'Washingtonian' Adds Reem Acra Fashion Show to Sold-Out Bridal Expo
On Sunday, Washingtonian Bride & Groom hosted 450 brides, bridesmaids, and, yes, a few grooms at the Mandarin Oriental for the magazine’s fourth-annual Unveiled bridal showcase. The sold-out, ticketed event offered brides-to-be an opportunity to interact with more than 40 of the magazine's recommended wedding vendors and attend panel discussions for wedding planning tips. And this year’s expo boasted an exclusive runway show of 21 gowns from Reem Acra’s fall 2012 collection, with an appearance from the designer herself.
Not only did the vendors create elaborate exhibits in the hotel's grand ballroom, Oriental ballroom, and atrium spaces, the Washingtonian's event planners also were inspired by the theme “Timeless” to create a classic look for the overall event befitting Washingtonian Bride & Groom.
“We try to transform this publication into an event,” said Washingtonian event manager Eleni Savopoulos, who worked with director of marketing and events Rebecca Schwartz and special events coordinator Katharine Ragsdale to plan this year’s Unveiled. “We want the brides and grooms to be inspired when they attend our event. We’re going over the top.”
In the Oriental ballroom, decor included glassware dangling from the ceiling on ribbons, a pianist performing on a raised platform, and a white lacquered bar where bartenders served champagne punch and gin rickeys. As guests picked up Washingtonian Bride & Groom-emblazoned swag bags, they walked by a white 1933 Rolls Royce from Linder & Associates parked in the ballroom. Inside the grand ballroom, Chicka Chicka Boom Boom’s mirrored and white runway dominated the space, with Versailles resin chairs for the audience provided by DC Rental. Across from the runway, the Bridal Salon at Saks Jandel set up a mini boutique with Reem Acra dresses, a spot where the designer greeted guests after the 25-minute fashion show.
As guests interacted with vendors ranging from event planners to florists to videographers during the four-hour event, they could nibble on snacks like mini Georgetown Cupcakes or serve themselves treats from Ridgewells gourmet popcorn bar into bags that read “So glad he popped the question.”
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