Social media stars! International design inspo! Hands-on workshops! (Plus a little something special for the grooms.)
When event planner Aly Armstrong first thought about Fleur, she knew it had to include the people many brides look to for inspiration (but are rarely featured at wedding shows): social media influencers. "I’m really marrying the lifestyle community and the event industry together," says Armstrong. "It’s a combination of industry experts and online influencers." The brand new wedding show, coming to Vancouver January 21 at JW Marriott Parq Vancouver, will have a panel featuring former Bachelorette and social media star Kaitlyn Bristowe and lifestyle blogger Monika Hibbs, alongside a selection of industry professionals. But what exactly will a former Bachelorette bring to the wedding panel (besides how to score a fiancé on a reality television show)? "I think, first and foremost, people are going to be interested in learning what interests her," says Armstrong. "We’ll definitely be asking her to share with us what she sees involved in her own wedding." And if Bristowe’s one-and-a-half million Instagram followers are any indication, people are definitely going to want to know what she has to say. "She’s hilarious. I just want her to share from a raw and real place," says Armstrong. Fleur will also showcase inspiration from international wedding trends—the show will have a luxury decor walk that will transform the hotel’s ballroom into five different locations for guests to journey through. "It’s going to represent culture and diversity, and inspiration from cities from all over the world," says the event planner. While not all of the cities have been confirmed yet, some of the locations include Whistler ("staying true to our West Coast roots"), Paris, Tuscany (think natural vineyards and organic florals), possibly a city in Singapore, and a set-up inspired by the Taj Mahal. The walk is designed to be a full-on sensory experience, tastebuds included. "The JW is going to curate a menu specific to each city," says Armstrong. "When guests walk through the luxury decor walk, they’re also going to be met with canapés that compliment that city."
Fleur will also fill another ballroom with wedding vendors for guests to check out after the walk. "Every vendor that will be at the show, I can wholeheartedly say, I trust this business or this vendor and would recommend them to you," says the show's creator. Guests can also attend a fashion presentation by Blush Bridal and sign up in advance for hands-on workshops like calligraphy (great for making homemade cards), watercolour painting and a V.I.P. portraiture experience with The Collective You (photo tips included!). And don’t worry grooms, there’s something for you too. "In previous shows, I noticed that a lot of people don’t cater to the men in attendance," says Armstrong. "Whether that be the groom, or it’s a same-sex couple, or it’s the father of the bride, or just a brother tagging along, there’s not a lot for men to generally do at bridal shows because they’re geared more towards brides." Fleur will attempt to breakaway from this trend by hosting a gentlemen’s lounge in a multi-level penthouse suite. Bespoke suit designer Jason Sarai will host the event, offering tailoring tips, scotch tastings and pampering. "The show in itself will be heavily geared towards brides, but we didn’t want to leave the men out."
Sunday, January 21 JW Marriott Parq Vancouver Tickets: $50 general admission; $80 workshops (including admission) fleurvancouver.com