Wed By Hand – Ottawa’s Indie Wedding Show (with Giveaway)

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About this time last year, our wine blogger Claire and I visited the Engage event, organized by Marry Me Productions. A local wedding planning and event coordination company, Marry Me Productions wanted to distinguish Engage from other wedding shows, holding more of a cocktail party at Lago Bar, Grill, and View (1001 Queen Elizabeth Driveway). On hand were florists, two prominent Ottawa caterers Tulips and Maple and Thyme & Again, amazing wedding cake baker The Girl with the Most Cake, cupcakery The Flour Shoppe, wine broker Vintner’s Selection, and several wedding stationary companies.

Later, friend Amy Karlin of Splendid Events, another local wedding planner, asked us to help her promote her “bachelorette party” event, Rouge. It was held at the Mansion nightclub (400A Dalhousie Street), another non-wedding show. Her food vendors included Icicle Treats, caterer Essence Catering, bakery Auntie Loo’s Treats, and favourite chocolatier of ours Koko chocolates. Offering a “great night out” for brides-to-be and their “BFF’s”, there were no booths or business cards, just “wedding talent.” And, mini-makeovers, papparazzi photos, limo rides, and a bridal fashion show.

So, why hold “non-wedding show” events? Because, attending a traditional wedding show (also called bridal show) can be one of the most jarring experiences you inflict on yourself. Think trade show, whose organizers charge wedding industry professionals exorbitant fees to exhibit because they know vendors can prey on people under tremendous pressure to have a “once in a lifetime experience.” Think high pressure sales tactics, sales people who do not respect your personal space, over engineered signage, and very bright overhead lights.

My takeaways from the “Only $1000 for a dress? Pfft! You will need to go elsewhere!” wedding show I attended in January at the Ottawa Convention Centre:

  1. There are creatures in the animal kingdom more ferocious than piranhas with a bad case of blood lust. They work for big box stores who want you to set up your gift registry with them.
  2. If your fiancé is not sporting a significant rock, jewelry exhibitors aren’t going to pay attention to you.
  3. It may be best not to rent suits or tuxes from a company whose young salesman hands you a promotion card and whispers, “Check out the booth behind me! Hot babes alert!”

    “They’re not mannequins, man”, he swoons.

  4. Eloping somewhere tropical with long sandy beaches should be the first consideration of all couples looking to get married!

Would you like a more civilized way to open a dialogue with the wedding industry? How about meeting local businesses who understand you are on a budget? Want to learn how to shave costs by doing some things yourself?

May we suggest attending Wed by Hand, a second annual non-wedding show, organized by the same people who bring us Urban Craft, Ottawa’s only recurring craft market.

Wed By Hand

Wed By Hand

[Photo courtesy of Anne-Marie Bouchard of AMBphoto]

Dubbed “Ottawa’s Indie Wedding Show”, Wed by Hand will again be held at the Glebe Community Centre (175 Third Avenue).

Organizers Krista Leben and Robin Sidhu are expecting hundreds of attendees to walk through the doors Saturday, February 11, 2012. So, they invited more vendors, expanded the workshops, and put together a dedicated tasting room for brides and grooms-to-be to sample food and drink.

Among the delectable vendors exhibiting, there will be:

Lavender Tea

Lavender Tea

[Photo courtesy of Anne-Marie Bouchard of AMBphoto]

Besides food and catering-related vendors, there will also be handmade and eco-friendly ones. There will be do-it-yourself (DIY) workshops. Did you know you could fashion your own boutonnieres?

Victoire will be on-hand with vintage dresses. And, Everlovin’ will showcase letter-pressed invitations.

Everlovin' Press

Everlovin’ Press

[Photo courtesy of Anne-Marie Bouchard of AMBphoto]



[Photo courtesy of Anne-Marie Bouchard of AMBphoto]

Jenn and I just bought tickets to attend! Care to join us?

Now, Krista has been kind enough to provide foodiePrints a pair of tickets to give away.

Here’s the deal. Leave a comment to this post, telling us what foods you would like to see served at a summer wedding (#noReason). Please bare in mind, wedding receptions need not all be about dinner. Cocktail receptions with passed hors d’oeuvre are very chic and practical these days.

Supply us with an email address so that we can contact you. At noon (EST) on Wednesday, February 8, 2012, we will use Random.org to choose one commenter. He or she will receive a pair of tickets to Wed By Hand. The tickets and a complimentary swag bag will be made available at the door. One entry per person please.

What: Wed By hand – Ottawa’s Indie Wedding Show
Where: Glebe Community Center (175 Third Avenue)
Dates & Times: Saturday, February 11, 2012 11:00 am – 5:00 pm (17:00)
How Much: $10 per person (includes swag bags, workshops, and tastings)

For more information, contact Krista by e-mail at wedbyahndATgmailDOTcom or by phone at (613)862-4627

Update: The contest is closed. In total, we received 5 viable entries.

  1. Kristine
  2. Melanie
  3. Kelly
  4. Melanie
  5. Rebeccca

Here is the number random.org chose:

capture from random.org

capture from random.org

Kelly wins the pair of tickets. Congratulations. An e-mail has been dispatched!

Thank-you to everyone who entered!

Mild-mannered IT professional by day and food blogger by night, I founded foodiePrints with a single intention, to share my love of all things food. My first post shared a recipe. Many followed. Eventually, I learned Ottawa prepares and serves great food. Thereafter, I started meeting restaurateurs, chefs, cooks, farmers, and other local producers, all good people. Ideas for food-related content swirled in my head. foodiePrints grew into a place to put them. From exploring foreign and domestic cuisines to shopping for exotic ingredients and cobbling together my takes on dishes in my meager kitchen, there are stories to tell. Welcome to foodiePrints. Here, you will find stories about food and drink, cooking, and eating in Canada’s capital. Be it food-related or just food-for-thought, I hope you find something tasty here.