Weddings: Two Shows, Two Weeks

January brings The Wedding Fair and the Twin Cities Bridal Show to both Twin Cities downtowns

A model walking down the runway at the Twin Cities Bridal Show. Photo by Lauren B Photography, courtesy The Wedding Guys.The fashion show at the Twin Cities Bridal Show

PHOTOs, from above: LAUREN B PHOTOGRAPHY, courtesy The Wedding Fair; Lauren B Photography

If you’re on Facebook and connected with people of a certain age (or their parents), there’s a good chance you have seen at least one engagement announcement—or five—over the holiday season. And, if you’re one of the happy people in the gorgeous engagement photos and about to plan (or help plan) a wedding, then the Twin Cities is dishing up two wedding shows back to back.

On Jan. 20 at the Minneapolis Convention Center, The Wedding Fair is taking over, and then a week later on Jan. 27 at the St. Paul RiverCentre, The Wedding Guys’ Twin Cities Bridal Show is happening.

No matter how decked out your wedding Pinterest board is, the hard part is always going from vision to reality. Wedding shows are often the only places you can talk to a vendor or service provider without going out of your way to make an appointment, and both shows have filled their halls with more than 150 hand-picked and trusted vendors including photography services, bridal gowns, florists, venues, and more.

Free samples at The Wedding Fair make everyone happy. Courtesy The Wedding Fair.Wedding shows are full of inspiration—the Twin Cities Bridal Show even has a Pinterest Inspiration Station where people can see how The Wedding Guys’ six wedding style Pinterest Boards look like edited down and in person. You’ll see photos galore of different weddings and all of their aspects, and you can even get a mini pampering. The Twin Cities Bridal Show has a Glam 2 Go Makeover Zone, and The Wedding Fair also has hair stylists, makeup artists, and even ring cleaners on hand who would love to give you some special treatment. Of course, the fashion show at each event is always a huge draw as well.

Both Twin Cities Bridal Show and The Wedding Show come with programs that map where everyone is, so you can easily plan out which vendors you want to see. Even if you’re on a mission, make sure to stop by the catering samples as you wander about (like the above bruschetta offered at a past Wedding Fair).

Bruce Vassar, one of The Wedding Guys, recommends that people come in with a budget in mind for the wedding. Most of them don’t know how much things cost since it’s not something they buy every day,” he concedes. “If you have nothing coming in, the first thing to start off with is a venue and then a caterer.” Those two items (usually about 40-60 percent of the total budget) dictate the date, which you need in order to book anything else, and, in the case of the venue, the feel of the wedding. As wedding planners and frequent attendees know, anything goes, so don’t feel the need to do what you’ve always seen just because you have to.

“We always tell our guests to look for vendors who are able to envision their wedding day the way they do, to ensure the day is unique to them and tells their story,” Josh Franz, the owner of The Wedding Fair, says.

A line of wedding dresses on mannequins at a past Twin Cities Bridal Show. Photo by Lauren B Photography, courtesy The Wedding Guys.Wedding Fashion Trends

While you’re at either show, you might catch these bridal trends:

Wedding Dresses

There are so many diverse trends with wedding dresses, and The Wedding Fair’s runway is a testament to that, including dresses from places like The Wedding Shoppe and Effie’s Bridal Trunk. Executive Producer Betsy Steele has coordinated a show that includes the staple fitted and fit-n-flare gowns, ballgowns, highly detailed dresses with both intricate and chunky lace and beading details, and chic and simple dresses. Designers have begun giving attention to back designs on dresses as well as playing around with the neckline, and as multiple of the dresses will attest to, the smooth and contouring canvas of crepe is very in right now.

The Twin Cities Bridal Show will no doubt have this variety, but Vassar notes that there are some notable trends out there right now, too. Thanks to Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Sussex (aka Meghan Markle), long trains and long veils with detailing are back, and the dress she wore for her wedding gave attention to clean lines, minimalism, and modest romanticism. To counter that, Vassar says that other trends in the bridal gown world include three-dimensional flowers and the search for “sophisticated sexy.”


While tuxedos are popular, especially as the slim fit has come onto the scene, people are turning toward suits more and more, Vassar says. In general, like many wedding-related things, people are going less traditional and going more specific to a wedding that speaks to them. While the black tux is still a standard for many formal evening weddings, people are not shying away from going to groomswear with royal blues, two-tone tuxes, earth or blush tones, and even mixing and matching fabrics and patterns.

Bridesmaid Dresses

According to Vassar, more traditional bridal dresses are in the upswing. Brides have been opting for long dresses over short ones, and the trend of mismatching styles while using the same color is, while still popular, over its peak. While sometimes bridal parties will have variation with details of the dress, like the neckline, the overall style is the same.

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