The Wedding Crashers Tour (Photo by Shalese Danielle Photography)
For those who are engaged and ready to be amazed, The Wedding Crashers Tour is a unique Richmond experience. Participants not only get the chance to meet local wedding professionals, but actually see area venues decked out in ceremonial splendor.
This year the tour begins at the Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center, where attendees will have the opportunity to connect with local vendors including Sue Corral Ink, Debonaire Entertainment and Richmond Photo Booth. Then participants hop on a bus provided by Winn Transportation and visit three area destinations, all set up with current wedding trends to get the ideas flowing and create inspiration for their own affair.
Amanda Robinson of Sweet Fix and local wedding photographer Jessica Maida co-founded the tour. Robinson says her reasons for founding the event come from the mindset of an artist as opposed to a business owner. “I’d rather be behind the scenes making the art rather than trying to sell the business,” she says. “That traditional wedding show is not for all of us [as business owners, and Maida and I] wanted to create an event for vendors where clients come to see us and we’re able to showcase our potential, our own style and trends.”
Robinson says the event really focuses on what’s trending for weddings, describing it as “Pinterest in person.” “It also gives the grooms and brides the opportunity to experience [the venues] in action as if they were attending a real wedding,” she says.
An added benefit of the tour’s design is that participants have a chance to spend time with vendors as they mingle over refreshments. As Robinson says, you really want to get to know the people who you will be working with to plan your wedding. “You want to like the person you are working with,” she says. “For example, the wedding planner … you’ll be spending six, seven, eight months with them as you make decisions about your wedding.”
There’s a contest for the best-staged venue of the tour, where participants can vote on their favorite. Robinson says she doesn’t want to give away what the vendors are doing to create their space, but she says to expect some modern industrial looks with the feel of bringing the outdoors inside. “There will be a lot of neat colors that you haven’t seen in many weddings in Richmond," she says. "This is not just a show, this is a style shoot.”
Robinson says this year’s tour will be even bigger than previous events, with multiple giveaways including one from Diamonds Direct Richmond, free food and alcoholic beverages, photo booths, live music and DJs, activities, swag bags with unique goodies, and more. New this year is an after-party on the rooftop (weather permitting) of Quirk Hotel following the tour. The after-party also includes food, drinks, giveaways and more opportunities to get to know local vendors.
Cakes by Sweet Fix (Photo by Jessica Maida Photography)
When it comes to her favorite part of the tour, Robinson remains a baker at heart. “The cake, of course!” she says, adding, “I am really excited to see what the other vendors are doing this year.”
Ultimately, Robinson says this event is a great catalyst for engaged couples to come away with ideas and a list of vendors they’re interested in working with. “We do want this to be an upscale event, but we don’t want it to be unobtainable. This is where you can see what you like and what aligns with your personal taste and vision,” Robinson says. She adds that fun is also a huge factor for the tour. “Planning can really stress people out. This event is not just like a wedding planning experience, it’s like a day out … it is a full-day getaway, like a date.”
Richmond Bride is a sponsor of the 2017 Wedding Crashers Tour. The tour is organized by Glint Events, owned by event planner Kate Franzen. It begins at the Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center, 2401 W. Leigh St., at 10 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 12. Space is limited, but there are still tickets currently available at weddingcrasherstour.com for $35 each.