Today, Mom, Em, and I indulged ourselves into my very first bridal fair.  Albeit small, it was perfect and provided a great starting grid for what is to come.

Pipers Grand Manor Ballroom hosted their second annual bridal fair this afternoon.  There were several “preferred vendors” on hand…all with great freebies to try out and play with.  As soon as we entered, I filled out my information and received my door prize number.  Lucky number 224!!  We then walked into the ballroom and I was floored.  I’ve never actually been in their ballroom and it was absolutely gorgeous.  It was a place I had in mind when we thought about reception locations, but because of their steep rental fee, I steered clear.  We were looking at $1,000 or less – of which Pipers was not.  Although, I hadn’t really looked into what their rental fee included.  After fiddling with some numbers, BINGO!  It was in our budget – in fact, it saved us about $900!!  Mom likes the sound of that!  So the reason we decided to go to their bridal fair was to simply check out the place and put down our deposit.  Lucky for us – we hit the jackpot!!

We walked around the ballroom and visited with several of the vendors.  Disc Turner’s Mobile DJ‘s gave us some information – and some things to think about.  We hadn’t really considered having a DJ as Paul could do the job just perfectly, but it was still worth looking into.

Next was Distinctive Designs.  They had some beautiful centerpieces put together and again, gave us something to think about.  Centerpieces have been the buzz word lately, in fact Mom and I are headed out tomorrow to check some out.  We’re not sure where to go within this realm, but Distinctive Designs definitely got themselves into our brain!!

Next was  by far the best vendor…CAKES!!  Cakes by Donna is a local establishment with an absolutely gorgeous selection of cakes.  Not to mention the sterling silver cake stand you can rent.  Are you kidding me?!  My jaw dropped.  Then I tried out the cake – french vanilla and chocolate fudge with raspberry filling.  Yum! 🙂  It definitely had me smiling…but then again, I love wedding cake!! 🙂

After visiting those three, we decided to actually do what we were there to do.  Book our reception venue!!  We quickly found Tania and were sat down to discuss the details.  Emily noticed something no one else did…”Book your event with us today and receive either $500 off or a free chocolate fountain!”  Whoa!! 🙂  Freebie #1.  We discussed it – and I knew Neil wanted a fountain anyway so decision made.  Or was it?!  Then we got to decide between one big fountain or three smaller ones.  Jackpot again!!  3 smaller ones – milk, white, and dark.  I am in heaven!  So Mom signed the contract and paid the deposit…oh, and did I mention that this checks off like 15 things from the checklist!!  YESSS!!

After that, table settings were on our mind.  Budget.  Style.  Design.  Everything.  We spoke with Anna and she answered several of our questions.  Then Mom and I decided we’d scope out Hobby Lobby and some other places around Greenwood for some good centerpiece ideas.  Who knew cutting down costs would be so easy?!  Then came Freebie #2.  “Alright, for our next door prize, a gift voucher for The Tan Company.  We’re looking for number 224.”  What?!  YESS!!  Ironic, too, considering I was just telling Neil the other day that I majorly need to start tanning – not to mention I told him this morning that my legs were so pale that if you looked at them, you’d go blind.  So yes, jackpot majorly hit!!  $50 at The Tan Co…who could ask for more?!

So off to other vendors we went.  We stopped by Mary Kay where I was treated to a lip exfoliation…it was quite nice!  We spoke with the lovely representative and it’s definitely an option for my reception makeup – hey, it beats paying $45 to have it done elsewhere.

So what a successful day?!  And because I didn’t think to a) take pictures or b) even bring my camera, here are some that Pipers has graciously provided via their website.

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Oh, and did I mention Invitation Creation 2010 has commenced?!  Yes.  It sure has!!  About 100 envelopes down…300 to go!!  While I’m entirely happy with the invitation suite, I will say that decided to address the envelopes by hand…by myself…may have been a bit overkill.  Get back to me in 3 months – then we’ll decide!!

Today was perfect.  I am so so happy with where we have finally selected and I cannot wait to see how it all comes together.  Neil is slowly beginning to take interest, but I know it will be a slow process – and he may not even get there 100%.  Either way, I was successful in helping to make our wedding happen.  Not to say it won’t – I just really mean happen!!!

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