I feel a little weird saying this since we have been photographing and filming weddings since 2004, but I have never ever had a booth at a bridal faire before! We have received countless calls, emails, and flyers over the years asking us to participate in these mega shows where thousands of potential brides flood the floors searching for vendors but we have never ever been to one. I think part of it was that I really liked being found solely by word of mouth when I first started. I was anti-advertising. I wanted those that found me to be close friends with other past clients of ours. I felt that we were providing such a good service I almost wanted it to be a secret.
Fast forward 9 years and we finally did our first Brial Faire two weekends ago at Palmdale Estates in Fremont, CA. This is one my favorite outdoor venues, and is the best outdoor venue in the Fremont Area. We are always so flattered and thankful that Veena and Leann recommend us to the brides that get married there so we made it a priority to have a booth here when they graciously asked us to be a part of this special event.
What makes Palmdale standout is their friendly staff in my opinion. They are like a big family and so cool. I always enjoying photographing events there because we get to see the same great people over and over again. They make events special for all their couples and really know how to handle multi-cultural events such as Indian and Muslim weddings as well.
We had a nice booth right at the entrance and we displayed our albums, canvas prints, parent albums, and mini albums which were a big hit with all the faire attendees. Perhaps the biggest draw at our booth was my dancing dog. It is a speaker inside a dog and he dances when you connect your phone/iPod and play music. I myself saw it at a trades how recently and so I bought one knowing that for occasions such as these, it is a great conversation starter!
I really enjoyed walking around to all the other vendor booths and getting to know them. Some of them we have worked with before, but others we hadn’t or we never got to meet and chat in person much. This is especially true for florists and cake makers who sometimes get in, set up, and leave quickly at the weddings we photograph. I made a point to get photos of each vendor with their booth at the show. I think I got everyone. If I didn’t I apologize. I even forgot to get a photo of myself at the show. At least I got a shot of my son Ashanti who has the henna dragon on his arm that was done by Neeta Sharma, one of the Bay Area’s best Mehndi artists.
Palmdale showcased their excellent food, that I didn’t get a chance to eat this time but I got images of it! They also staged a mock wedding so guests could see what a ceremony is like in the “Sunken Garden”, which is one of the most popular spots couples get married at Palmdale. They have multiple options which is nice compared to other venues. All the participants in the mock ceremony were either employees at Palmdale Estates and the groom and officiant were both DJ’s!
What was especially nice about the Palmdale Estates Bridal Faire was that all the vendors are on the preferred list at Palmdale Estates. These are people who have done multiple weddings at the venue and out of all the vendors in the Bay Area, these are the ones that Palmdale Estates prefers to work with. Weddings are a team effort and when you have a great team, you can throw a great event! That is what separates this show from the mega shows at Convention Centers etc that let in anyone that can afford a booth. You get lots of sub par quality when you do that so that is why these venue specific shows are really nice.
All in all our first Bridal Faire experience was a lot of fun. It was great to meet potential brides who came to see us, as well as, to meet people who would have never known about us, had we not ben there. We look forward to attending more bridal faires in the future and can’t wait to shoot some fabulous weddings coming up soon at Palmdale Estates including one this Sunday!
Tech Specs: I shot this entire event with a Canon 5D Mark III and a 50mm 1.2 L Lens. No cropping and no photoshop. Just basic Lightroom adjustments.