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Meredith Holt, Published October 26 2012

Planning for a perfect day: Event offers nontraditional wedding show

FARGO – Katie Lewis describes “Get Hitched: A Wedding Event for the Modern Bride” as “Pinterest come to life.”

“Everybody has a wedding board (on the popular visual pin board website), whether or not you’re even dating, let’s be honest,” she says with a laugh.

This Friday night, guests will be able to feel dress materials, smell flowers and sample edibles at downtown Fargo’s Plains Art Museum.

“I wanted people to get an idea of what it really looks like in person,” Lewis says.

On the third floor, 22 vendors will be on hand to visit with future brides and grooms about their wedding plans.

“The vendors at Get Hitched have been hand-selected because of their quality of service and commitment to their craft,” she says.

The Fargo-based wedding and portrait photographer came up with the idea when she realized she wasn’t getting the one-on-one time with potential clients she wanted.

“As a wedding vendor, I was tired of the traditional wedding shows with booths and a thousand people wandering through,” she says.

Lindsay Arneson Corwin, a Fargo-based graphic designer and photographer who’ll be at Get Hitched, says the event is more social and interactive.

“The mood is light, and brides get a chance to engage with vendors in a relaxed environment,” she says. “The atmosphere is more of an intimate cocktail party where you can meet local artisans and get inspiration for your big day.”

Corwin first attended Get Hitched for help with her own wedding, and she ended up booking three of the vendors that participated.

“I loved being able to approach the vendors and talk to them in a ‘non-pressure’ environment,” she says.

In her six years in business, Lewis has learned that the better she and her brides know each other, the better experience they’ll both have.

“You want to enjoy who’s spending the majority of the day with you, and I’m a vendor that will spend the majority of my day with you,” she says.

The “girls’ night out” feel of Get Hitched allows the vendors to share ideas with potential clients and see how well they might work together.

She says the closer a bride is to her vendors, the more confident she’ll be in their abilities.

“You might even feel more comfortable saying, ‘This is generally what I want – here’s your creative freedom,’ ” Lewis says.

To give the chosen vendors a chance to show off what they can do given a little creative freedom, the photographer and the other Get Hitched vendors planned eight stylized “inspiration shoots” to act as the core of the event, in its third year.


Get Hitched from AJ Production Company on Vimeo.

“It was a really good opportunity for us as vendors to get to know each other more on a working-with-each-other level,” Lewis says. “I can see the flowers at the wedding, but I don’t necessarily know what it’s like to work with that vendor. Now I do.”

The shoots include a wide variety of wedding themes, such as “modern” and “steampunk.”

“We set up two shoots at each venue that would showcase two totally different types of weddings to show that you can be any kind of bride at these places,” Lewis says.

She wanted to show brides that they don’t have to be “country” to hold their weddings at Moorhead’s Rustic Oaks, for example.

“It’s a space, and what you do with it is totally up to you and how you communicate with your vendors,” she says.

Lewis also put together magazines with images from the shoots that she’ll hand out at Friday night’s event.

“I love ripping things out of magazines and keeping them, and I hope other brides are the same,” she says.

Lewis hopes the concept, layout and atmosphere of her event encourages conversation.

“Don’t expect to come here and see booths. I want people to understand that you’re going to be mingling,” she says. “I would love it if I saw brides who didn’t even know each other talking about their weddings.”

If you go

What: “Get Hitched: A Wedding Event for the Modern Bride”

When: 6 to 9 p.m. Friday

Where: Plains Art Museum, 704 1st Ave. N., Fargo

Tickets: Tickets are $10 in advance, $15 at the door and include a drink ticket. They can be purchased at West 13th Salon in West Fargo, Shotwell Floral and The Bridal Shop in Fargo and Tres Chic in Grand Forks.

Info: Hors d’oeuvres, drinks and desserts will be served. Five of the vendors will be giving short talks throughout the evening:

• 6:30 p.m. Exposure Productions, “Filmmaking at Your Wedding”

• 7 p.m. Yvonne Denault Photography, “Boudoir for Every Bride”

• 7:30 p.m. Blushed Airbrush Makeup by Trista Chapman, “Bridal Makeup”

• 8 p.m. Sadie’s Couture Floral & Event Styling, “Event Styling for Your Wedding”

• 8:30 p.m. Lindsay Arneson Creative, “Creating Unique Invitations”

Readers can reach Forum reporter Meredith Holt at (701) 241-5590