Experiencing Northern Michigan: Elite Wedding Expo in Traverse City

If your ears aren’t already ringing with the sound of chapel bells, they will be now, because wedding season in Northern Michigan is here! Whether you’re getting ready for your own walk down the aisle or supporting friends or family as they prepare for their big day, love is in the air Up North, where you’d be hard-pressed to find a more spectacular backdrop for saying I do. That’s why NoMi—especially the Traverse City region—is becoming a worldwide destination for weddings, particularly for outdoor ceremonies and receptions that fully embrace the heart of Pure Michigan.

Last weekend the Elite Wedding Expo drew in hundreds of eager brides and grooms to be to Traverse City for an afternoon of sampling wedding cakes, tasting wines, winning prizes, and networking with some of the best wedding vendors in the state. From tuxedos, bridal gowns, shoes, and rings to food, cake, wine, venues, and everything in between, this spring expo made for a fun afternoon of exploring what’s out there and trendy in the Northern Michigan wedding world today. 

The Michigan Wedding Guide hosted the event at the Park Place Hotel and Conference Center in Downtown TC this past Sunday, April 28, from noon until 4pm. This year marked the first Elite Wedding Expo to take place in the spring, the start of wedding season, and the event was an opportunity for Northern Michigan businesses to meet engaged couples who could become their clients and for couples to network and get ideas, whether the wedding is two years from now or a fortnight away. With friends and family in tow, brides and grooms to be who had registered for the event browsed around gathering inspiration from more than 40 area vendors, together representing all you need to create your perfect NoMi wedding.

One of the largest wedding events Up North, the Elite Wedding Expo draws in Michigan’s best venues, decorators, cake-bakers, caterers, photographers, videographers, dress shops, jewelers, designers, DJs, etc., and packs every facet of wedding planning into one room, making it possible for engaged couples to meet with these businesses face-to-face, make connections that lead to deciding which vendors to work with, and learn about all the unique businesses thriving as part of the wedding industry in Northern Michigan.

Some of my favorite vendors of the day included Captain’s Quarters (those impeccably-dressed gentlemen have the best senses of humor!), Rustic Bake (vegan and gluten-free vanilla chai and lavender mini-cupcakes? YES), and Northerly Design & Printing (classy cards, envelopes, stationery, and more with vibrant colors and beautiful custom details). The event planning and decorating business Sensational Events provided the lovely room decor for this spring’s expo. The Park Place sparkled, with fresh white draperies romantically flowing from the ceiling, colorful flowers brightening up the tables, and all the vendors’ incredible displays.

I got to work a booth with my colleagues at Mane Content, a division of 9&10 News with a stellar video production team that makes commercials and all kinds of cool creative. A big part of what differentiates Mane Content from other wedding videographers out there is technological advantage. We offer a unique livestream setup that can broadcast your wedding LIVE on your Facebook page or YouTube channel so your friends and family who can’t be there in person can still be there in spirit, listen to the vows, and engage with your experience—hearting and liking your first kiss and husband and wife—in real time. It’s a multiple-camera, high-end production that gives your wedding day a movie-quality look and feel. Plus, the best part is that you have your memories—and a complete wedding video—immediately to keep forever.

A highlight throughout the afternoon was the bridal gown display and walking fashion show! Natalie’s Bridal brought a fabulous collection of timeless and trendy wedding gowns to display at their booth and on the fashion show stage. Models represented all different body types and showcased a variety of stunning options in styles ranging from classic to modern. In addition to breathtaking bridal gowns, Natalie’s Bridal also sells beautiful bridesmaid dresses and mothers’ gowns, so you can make it a day out dress shopping with your whole bridal party.

Guests at the expo stayed until the grand prize drawing at the end of the event for a chance to actually win a wedding! And not just any wedding. We’re talking the Northern Michigan dream wedding package, including everything you need to have a guaranteed beautiful, relaxing, memorable day. One joyously surprised, lucky couple won this dream wedding giveaway valued at over $15,000! I managed to snap a quick photo the moment the bride and groom to be found out they won the big prize. So exciting! Congrats to the happy couple!

Can’t wait for the next Elite Wedding Expo? Mark your calendars now for Sunday, October 13 at the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa. Congratulations to all the engaged couples out there, and bravo to all the happily married couples, too. Be sure to check out the next Elite Wedding Expo this fall for lots of new inspiration if you’re getting married in the Mitten. Wedded bliss begins in Northern Michigan!

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