As I float into Overland Park Convention Center, which overflows with lush floral displays and the sweet smell of wedding cake, a fairy tale surrounds me. I gaze at a dress with a beaded train, then shudder, considering how much hemming it would need for my short frame. Ah, a tea-length option…
“You’re the most beautiful bride,” the smiling saleswoman comments.
I’m usually not one to turn down a compliment, but… uh. I awkwardly move my “staff” badge up higher on my dress. “Actually, I’m not getting married,” I blurt, flouncing away to grab another cake sample. Nothing soothes embarrassment like cream cheese icing.
I took on the Bridal Spectacular assignment based purely on my “Say Yes to the Dress” addiction. And I was not disappointed: The event outclassed even Kleinfeld, the famous New York City bridal shop and setting of TLC’s show.
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While I might not have left the event with a venue, dress or photographer (because I doubt any book five to ten years in advance), I walked away with:
1. A loose ranking of KC’s best bakeries and caterers. The event featured cakes adorned with flowers and pearls, painted with rock candy rainbows and even one with otherworldly edible tendrils. Bakers? These pastry chefs should add sculptor, artist and architect to their resumes. Pyrotechnics aside, Parkville’s Sugar and Spice Catering took the cake with a classic vanilla flavor and moist filling. Just checking, would it be weird to order a three-tier wedding cake for my next dinner party?
2. Skepticism toward dresses with buttons down the back. “We’ve got to get her out of this dress in two minutes!” “That material rips easily!” and “That dress is $20,000 -- make sure nothing happens to it!” are just some of the phrases from backstage at the fashion show that will have me sticking to zippers.
3. Plenty of fuel for my stationary obsession. Forget dresses, I spent more time stroking glossy invitations and geeking out about typography. No Comic Sans here…
4. One “Bridesmaids”-esque scene seared permanently into my brain. For the fashion show finale, male models sauntered through the crowd, launching bouquets. I would have posted a video to our Instagram story, but the catcalls from the mother of the bride next to me might have violated community guidelines.
5. A newfound appreciation for my unadorned ring finger. I get anxious just from setting up a doctor’s appointment, so I'm obviously not ready for all the planning, booking and buying it takes to be a bride. I’ll get my wedding fix through “Say Yes to the Dress” marathons for a while longer.
To see more from Bridal Spectacular, check out our Instagram shots from the day.