Our media partner SPLURGE! Magazine attended The 1st Wichita NotWedding a few weeks ago and had a smashing time. Here’s her review of the event and an endorsement to buy tickets to an upcoming NotWedding near you!
A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of attending the very first NotWedding event held in my hometown of Wichita, Kansas. I had done some research beforehand, and I knew a little bit about what to expect in terms of which vendors were going to be in attendance and which couple had been chosen for our NotWedding. What I wasn’t expecting, however, was a truly one-of-a-kind wedding vendor experience, a picture perfect venue and being allowed to sit in on a very special moment in a young couple’s lives.
Let’s start with the ceremony: When we first walked in, we were handed a beautiful formal invitation (there were several different styles) and offered a glass of champagne. I loved this, because it was a warm welcome, and I immediately got a little more excited. The seating for the ceremony was circular, which I know is a new trend, allowing for all guests to have a clear view of the couple. Of course, the “Bride” and “Groom” looked wonderful- she wore a non-traditional gown, which suited the ceremony perfectly as it was actually the couple’s vow renewal. I would not have expected to sit in on such an emotional and beautiful ceremony at what is actually a “fake wedding”, and I enjoyed every second of it.
After the ceremony, guests were ushered into the second part of the venue where the “reception” was taking place. There were beautifully decorated table settings, gorgeous flower centerpieces and décor and of course, it wouldn’t be a wedding without delicious food! There was a fully catered buffet line for dinner, a dessert buffet line of chocolates and cakes, a wedding cake and a coffee shop stand that offered the most amazing pumpkin spice Frappé I’ve ever had. Vendors had name tags, and could mill around the reception space speaking with guests as they stood in line for food, snapped some photos at a state-of-the-art photo booth or simply viewed the tables and flowers.
Of course, there was also the event’s signature “Tunnel of Love”, where vendors set up and guests could walk through and approach the ones they were interested in. Having the event designed the way it was, I noticed how much more excited all of the guests were to be involved and how much more interesting everything automatically became. Rather than a traditional bridal showcase where vendors set up behind booths and wait for you to come to them, the whole atmosphere was relaxed and romantic and offered so much in the way of a true wedding that at times it was hard to imagine the whole thing was “fake”. The advantage that brides-to-be gain from attending an event like this, where everything is set up much like it would be on the Big Day, is priceless.
Everything at Wichita’s first NotWedding was fresh and fun and exciting, and right on point with this season’s newest wedding trends and classic traditions. As a bride-to-be myself, planning a late May 2014 wedding, having the ability to go and not only engage with local vendors, but to see them in action, was an experience that will be invaluable to me in the coming months. I am so excited to implement many of the trends I saw displayed at the NotWedding in my own special day, and I would highly recommend that all brides and their loved ones check out the next NotWedding near you!
– Meredith Olney