Yup, we planned a wedding show during a pandemic.
Yup, we continued to plan an event even though the Governor restricted indoor capacity.
What were we thinking? Sounds dumb, right?
When the world shut down due COVID-19, like many other event professionals we had to shift our priorities. We were expecting to execute Spring weddings and we were anticipating helping a local women's conference.
Then BOOM. The world stopped and didn't know what to do. It's kinda like when snow happens in South Mississippi. People aren't sure what to do and just sit at home and eat snacks.
The Gray Girls had a virtual meeting (Zoom, of course) that led to hosting our own event for engaged couples. The event was to serve two purposes: engergize couples back into wedding planning but also engergize event industry professionals. These local professionals are small business owners who have had to reschedule, cancel and realign their business. They were missing their creative outlet. They were missing income.
We started reaching out to vendors. First on our list was a venue. This was the real test to see if what we wanted to do was crazy and if other vendors would be excited. We contacted Chari and Craig at The Jackson Pearl.
This venue was perfect for an intimate setting. It was eclectic, one of a kind, and beautiful. It was the perfect place to launch this new event.
Chari and Craig were down for the event. They believed in the idea and us.
We have a venue...which means we have a tentative date.
Next up: Caterer.
We met with Michael Paoletti with Food, Booze and Hiccups.
The energy from Michael was like no other. He talked about his background and his successful catering business. He mentioned his monthly event #DinnerOnTheLot in downtown Ocean Springs. He uses local and fresh food. He also volunteered his wife, Steph, to make the pastries. As an experienced pastry chef, her business Sweet Enchantments creates delectables that are irresistible.
We reached out to Jessie at Maidenhair Floral Event and Design. We had been impressed by previous floral installations and design that she had done. We collaborated on design and the vision of the event. Even though we knew where we wanted the installations, we were intentionally vague on how the installations should look. This was her moment to shine and show brides her creativity.
Kayce Stork Photography was just as excited as our vendors. Kayce agreed to do a small styled shoot and to capture event photos. We hired some very good looking models (Jaren and Raven) who were perfect in the same. Kayce made these two look beautiful and as if they were in love.
With those vendors secured. We definitely had an event...even with social distancing requirements. We intentionally planned for a small crowd, which allowed vendors to talk about their area of expertise and to give tips about planning.
Other vendors who made this event a success: