When Steve told one of our friends we were spending Sunday afternoon at a Wedding Crawl, she replied that it sounded like what you did to get to the ceremony after you had a little too much fun at the rehearsal dinner the night before. There was plenty of fun at this year’s Crawl, and the temptations were many (red velvet cake pops!), but the biggest danger of overindulgence was in great wedding ideas.
This was the third year for the now annual Wedding Crawl, a festive event put on by teams of local wedding professionals in the Roanoke Wedding Network. Each team collaborates to create a mock wedding and reception at one of five prime downtown wedding locations. The venues featured were the Corinthian Ballroom, the Patrick Henry Hotel, Charter Hall in the Market Building, the Taubman Museum of Art, and (our personal favorite) the Center in the Square Rooftop. Each “wedding” showcased a ceremony and reception set-up complete with decorations, flowers, a planner, a caterer, a photographer, a photo booth, a DJ, a bakery and cake, and a bride, along with other vendors such as officiants, hair and makeup salons, lighting designers, and videographers. I was really impressed at the commitment and creativity of all of the teams, who clearly put in a lot of time and energy to make the event a success.
After signing in at the Roanoke City Market, where I was given a “bride-to-be” sash and pinned a “fiancé” boutonniere on Steve, we were directed to start at the Corinthian Ballroom, an elegant space with great natural light. It was there we sampled the aforementioned cake pops, courtesy of Delish! Sweets and Treats, and goofed around in SwellBooth‘s vintage-look photo booth. Upstairs we indulged in Chanticleer Catering‘s yummy victuals, and I convinced Steve to do the Wobble, which William Mahone Photography captured on camera. (I’m behind the bride.)
Have I ever mentioned just what an incredibly good sport Steve is?
Our second stop was the Patrick Henry, which featured a Great Gatsby theme. April Amodeo of Amodeo Photography took a beautiful portrait of us on a red velvet settee, and we oohed and yummed over Confection Connection‘s strawberries with sweet cheese. I also spotted my hoped-for makeup-artist, the talented Jessica Hall. No time for a mini-makeover, though, as it was time to push on to the next venue.
My favorite stops of the day were (surprise) the Center in the Square Rooftop and Charter Hall. All the venues were beautiful, but every time we visit the Rooftop, we become more certain that we have indeed chosen the right space for our celebration. Our wedding planners, The Perfect Fairytale, were part of the Rooftop team, so we got to chat with Lexie and Michelle, and our venue coordinator, Jenny. They were hosting prize giveaways, which was a nice added treat, especially since—I won!
I caught the bride’s bouquet, then spun a prize wheel, and Steve and I won a “how we met” video from WeddingsinRoanoke.com. It promises to be great fun to put together!
I now understand, though, why our floral designer Mark Frye went pale back when I asked him about tossing the bouquet. All I did was reach up and close my hands around the stem of the giveaway-toss-bouquet, and it practically exploded. I will toss something, but it won’t be my exquisite bridal bouquet.
The Wedding Crawl, I think, is imagined as an event for newly engaged brides and grooms to explore possible vendors. Had we been at the start of our process, I think I would have felt overwhelmed! We’ve made most of our major decisions, so we had the unique opportunity to enjoy our vendors in action before our wedding. In every case, our experience at the Wedding Crawl confirmed our choices, which was exciting.
I loved the design at Charter Hall in part because it was in our wedding colors, but also because it was whimsical, fun, memorable. Though we won’t specifically have a carnival theme, we loved the playful vibe of the space. Our caterer, CenterStage, was there as well with some delicious food, and we met the men of Lighting Ninjas, who gave us a few new ideas to think about.
Our last stop was also great fun. Our photographer Noah Magnifico was at the Taubman Museum, as was our cake designer, Evie of Wildflour Bakery. They even had our cake flavor combination! Noah showed us a balcony space on the third floor we hadn’t known existed and captured some cute shots of us on my iPhone, and we got to see some more lighting options from Lighting Ninjas. The floral wall by George’s also sparked some ideas for the green wall on the upper deck of the Rooftop.
All in all, it was a lovely way to spend a sunny April afternoon. If you’re in the area and planning any sort of event—whether wedding, anniversary party, even a big birthday bash—the annual Wedding Crawl is a great way to sample the spaces, talents, tastes, and personalities of the local wedding and event scene. I might have to go back next year, just for fun!
Watch for some vendor spotlights in the coming months!