WESTFIELD — Bridal fairs are a great opportunity for engaged couples to meet and compare multiple wedding vendors in a single location. Unfortunately for those living in rural communities, bridal fairs are usually not convenient to attend. Chandler Boltz, of Chandler Fairytale Weddings, is working to change that.
On Jan. 30, Boltz hosted her first local bridal fair featuring vendors from Surry and Stokes counties. A relatively small event, the Surry County 2016 Bridal Fair showcased about a dozen local wedding vendors. “It’s an intimate setting with a lot of personal one-on-one interactions,” said Todd Morse, representing Our Chosen Heritage, a local bed and breakfast accommodation.
Held at Luna’s Trail Farm and Event Center, at 1155 Wilson Farm Road in Westfield, attendees had the unique opportunity to take in the venue as well as the visiting vendors. “It’s stunning with a vintage, rustic feel and great views of Pilot Mountain and Hanging Rock,” said Boltz of the location.
Luna’s Trail is a new venue in the area, opening in the past year. “I wanted to showcase what they have to offer,” said Boltz, mentioning the many sites on the property where a ceremony could be held, the overnight accommodations, and state of the art “Big Barn” facility for receptions.
Brides had the opportunity to meet photographers, florists, and make-up artists. Artists Way Creations, of Danbury, was on site with samples of several flavors including their signature white wine wedding cake. Gowns from Bridal Destination, a Mount Airy bridal shop, were available to try-on. In addition to touring the venue and meeting the vendors, brides could be entered into a drawing for multiple door prizes.
Caitlyn Gossett attended the fair as a wedding gown model for Bridal Destinations. After her boyfriend’s surprise proposal at the bridal fair, Gossett was in the perfect location to begin planning.
Hannah Lawson, of Creative Designs Flowers and Gifts, explained her joy in meeting a bride for the first time. “It’s often the beginning of a long friendship; the relationship grows as they come back through the years for anniversaries, baby showers, and other life events.”
Happy to be invited to the event, photographer Tonya Senter, of Captured Moments Photography, said, “we like to keep it local.” Speaking to more than a dozen brides in the first two hours, she explained that coming out to bridal fairs also allows the vendors to network, gaining new partnerships and referrals.
Although this was her first bridal fair, Boltz, a wedding planner by trade, is not new to organizing large events. Since forming her own business she has assisted with about a dozen weddings. “I love seeing the brides excited, and finding solutions to put less stress on them,” said Boltz.
Boltz explained that the fair was about bringing local vendors together to do something bigger than they could each do alone. “The focus is on local vendors, so the income comes back to this community,” she said.
The fair was intentionally kept on a small scale. “The brides like the easy going atmosphere,” Boltz said, noting that each one received plenty of personal attention and enjoyed the relaxed environment.
Pleased with the response, Boltz intends to make the Surry Bridal Fair an annual event. More information can be found on the Chandler Fairytale Weddings and Events Facebook page or by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Diane Blakemore may be reached at 336-368-2222 or on twitter @PilotReporter.