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Best Bridal Show in East Texas

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Thanks for checking in! We will update this blog with info about prizes being offered by our exhibitors that are registered to attedend our shows.

By Joyce Crawford, Sep 15 2018 11:18PM

Charming brick streets. Crystal-clear lakes. Gardens made to inspire. Tyler, Texas has something special for everyone including the bride-to-be. There are over 40 fine event venues within a 30-mile radius of Tyler. On Saturday, November 10, venue and wedding professionals from East Texas will be promoting Tyler as your perfect wedding destination on the brick streets of Downtown.

Visit Tyler, an organization dedicated to promoting Tyler to visitors, will sponsor the Bridal Expo on the Bricks during the November Hit the Bricks” event. November 10th, downtown on the square.

The Bridal Expo on the Bricks will feature East Texas venues and businesses dedicated to making your wedding day dreams come true. More than 50 exhibitors will be set up under tents and inside businesses on the square 11am-3pm. This event is free to the public. Purchase a ticket for a chance to win one of the many prizes offered by exhibitors during the event. The ticket is needed to enter Liberty Hall at 3pm for the Grand Prize Presentation/ Bridal Fashion Show presented by Brooke & Bre Bridal Boutique. On-line ticket sales are currently available on www.easttexasweddingevents.com.

We are excited to help the bride-to-be that lives out of town and locally, meet many of the business and venue exhibitors all in one location. This inaugural event on the square will include food trucks, travel agencies, and photographers. There will be caterers with samples, venue & hotel specials, live music, DJ’s, photo booths, and lots of fun and games from merchants with products or services that the bride will desire for her wedding.

Tyler has a variety of wedding venues that are ready to delight the bride-to-be with a wide variety of venue styles and rates. Tyler venues are budget friendly too!

Take a tour of Jack Ryan’s Steakhouse, the new premier wedding venue in downtown Tyler. Enjoy a champayne toast and hors d’oeuvres as you consider them to host your custom wedding event.

A shuttle bus, provided by Ellison’s Classic Coach, will take you to visit the Goodman- LeGrand House to see it setup for a wedding.

Step back onto the shuttle and travel to Callynth Photography Studio located on the square. This beautiful studio features hundred –year-old brick walls and 13-foot ceilings making it a fun, artistic, and versatile space perfect for smaller, more intimate weddings.

Next stop, Moss Flower Shop to experience a creative and unique floral studio set to inspire. They also have a great collection of vintage rental inventory. You will see their creative talents decorating the stage area for the Bridal Fashion Show at Liberty Hall.

Hotels in Tyler, like Staybridge Suites are offering special rates for those coming from out of town to attend the Bridal Expo.

Folks who are already married can take part in a “Rekindling Workshop” offered by Vow Family Champions. The workshop will be held at Liberty Hall with a “Vow Renewal” at 4pm. Prizes and special offers from businesses will be available to commemorate this unique celebration.

For ticket sales and more information about the Bridal Expo on the Bricks and the Vow Renewal please visit www.easttexasweddingevents.com or the East Texas Wedding Extravaganza Facebook page.

By Joyce Crawford, Aug 6 2018 08:30PM

My daughter is getting married. Every time that thought crosses my mind I feel this electric jolt with too many emotions to untangle.

I’m proud of the young woman she’s become and a little puzzled about how it happened so fast. I’m worried about the wedding. Will it be everything she hopes? Will family members have a good time? Can we keep it within the budget?

I’m also pretty overwhelmed. Emily is my oldest. I’ve never organized a wedding before.

Her wedding isn’t until 2020, but we’re eager to start planning. This past Sunday we went to the East Texas Bridal Expo presented by East Texas Wedding Extravaganza at Harvey Convention Center. Here’s what we found.

One Stop Shopping

Harvey Hall is a large convention center. The East Texas Bridal Extravaganza filled both of the main halls for a combined total of more than 26,000 square feet of exhibits, with additional vendors in the main entrance and hallways.

Emily and I had talked some about what she was looking for in a venue and a family member will officiate, but we needed information on everything else to do with the ceremony. At the Bridal Expo we found the following:

• Photographers

• Florists

• Videographers

• Venues

• Bridal and wedding party gowns

• Travel agents with honeymoon packages

• Caterers

• So much more

Most the vendors provided information and took down Emily’s dates and email address. When we got home we pulled out what they had given her and organized what we had gathered.

East Texas Venues

This has been keeping me up nights. Before the Bridal Expo I did some online shopping and glazed over pretty quickly. Venues are expensive, and in photos they all start to look the same. They’re spread out all over East Texas, and I was already dreading the process of trying to narrow the long list down to our best options.

The Bridal Expo was helpful because we got to talk to each venue owner on the same day. We had the chance to compare not just their pricing and grounds, but the people in charge. Everyone was nice and eager to help so we were able to identify the ones we most wanted to tour.

Emily was hoping and praying she would win the grand prize venue package from The Landing at Joshua Farms. She didn’t, but we still enjoyed visiting with the owner Debbie. Emily is an animal lover, so she wants to tour this 100 acre venue between Tyler and Longview because it has Longhorns and horses. The venue has indoor and outdoor spaces and the owner has a genuine desire to help each bride achieve her vision for her wedding day.

Bella Vista is one of the newest wedding venues, and what makes it unique is its 20 acres of lake front property on Lake Palestine. I think a lakefront wedding would be stunning there, especially with sunset, then the reception could have fireworks.

We’re also interested in following up with Eagle’s Bluff Country Club. Their room rental includes the table linens, china, silverware, tear-down, setup and service workers. They also supply chairs, a dance floor and other items couples often have to rent separately.

Bella Sera Ranch has a historic style chapel that appeals to this traditional mama. Goodman-LeGrand is another option I never would have thought of for a wedding. The historic landmark is available for weddings and bridal showers.

There were several other excellent choices available, and we came away feeling we had a basic grasp of what we might find at each one.

East Texas Caterers

Many of the venues also cater, and the ones that do offered samples. Venue 31 had delicious cake balls.

Fresh was there with sandwich trays and chips with fresh guacamole. Traditions had a huge spread that included assorted fruits and cheeses.

One option I hadn’t thought of was a coffee bar. When we arrived Piney Woods Coffee had a booth with a long line in front of it, and we were eager to look at dresses and cake, so we didn’t stop. However, an hour and a half later I needed the caffeine so we backtracked. I wasn’t sure though how a coffee bar might fit in at a wedding if it wasn’t early in the day.

The vendor offered some great ideas. She pointed out how coffee goes beautifully with the dessert course. Emily hasn’t decided whether or not she wants to serve alcohol at her wedding, and if she doesn’t coffee would be another beverage choice.

The vendor also suggested offering a signature bride’s and groom’s drink with their favorite flavors like vanilla, cinnamon or fresh whipped cream.

Piney Woods Coffee is locally sourced. And, we found as we strolled over to the next table that offered samples of wedding cake with buttercream frosting, it does pair very well with dessert.

Tons of Good Advice

Obviously the vendors were there to provide information on their products and services, but each one seemed invested in helping Emily plan her wedding, even if she didn’t use them for her event. Here’s some of the best advice we took home.

• Have a plan B if your event is outdoors. East Texas is unpredictable, and you don’t want severe weather or extreme heat to ruin your day – Susie Hart from 5S Sales in White Oak

• For the best bridal photos, keep your hair out of your face, and don’t wear shiny makeup – Martha Escudero Martin and Lee Martin of Martha Escudero Photography

• Find a venue that fits you, not one that’s cookie cutter. Talk to planners and choose one who has handled everything from A to Z so you know they can put out any fires, but also is willing to offer a blank slate you can fill with whatever you choose – Dan Huggins of Park Hill Farm

• Have fun with it. One of the best things I ever saw at a reception was when the wedding party came out with a dance routine – Joseph Cardenas of Adalante Catering and Events

• Do not go broke over your wedding. You cannot start a marriage in debt – Paddy Fitzpatrick of Fantasy and Fairytale Floral Design

• I steer couples toward booking lodging for out-of-town guests at smaller hotels. They get lost at the bigger ones. And make sure you book rooms near each other – Cassandra Snyder of Homewood Suites by Hilton

We’ll be processing the information we gathered in the months ahead, but I feel like we made a huge amount of progress. The East Texas Bridal Expo at Harvey Hall provided an excellent resource for wedding planning. There was so much to take in I feel like we still didn’t see it all.

I’m putting the next event on Saturday, November 10 on my calendar so we have another chance at an East Texas Wedding Extravaganza event.

By Joyce Crawford, Jun 14 2018 02:32PM

If you’re planning your wedding, you’re likely filled with hopes and dreams for your big day. You probably also have some concerns, especially about the budget. At the Bridal Expo this summer in Tyler on July 29, you have the chance to win a venue package valued at $4,500 from The Landing at Joshua Farms.

Imagine being able to make all your wedding day dreams come true with a prize that involves one of the most perfect settings in East Texas. Imagine getting married at this upscale Texas venue featuring pristine acreage, picturesque ponds and elegant facilities.

Whether your dreams include horses and hay bales, chandeliers and candle light or anything in between, The Landing at Joshua Farms puts it within your reach. Here’s what your wedding day might look like.

The Bridal Suite

How do you imagine spending the hours and minutes before you see your groom? Picture finding everything you need in this spacious bridal suite that easily accommodates the bride, photographer and 10 bridesmaids.

The stage has a three-sided mirror so you can see yourself from all angles. Large windows let in sunlight and offer a view of serene pastures and lush landscaping.

The suite has plenty of seating for you and your bridesmaids as you get ready and a leopard chaise lounge so you don’t wear out your feet before the main event. There’s also a table for brunch or snacks.

In the Bride’s bathroom you’ll find even more open space with a marble sink and crystal accents. Both areas offer bright lighting, mirrors galore and plenty of plugs for styling tools. You’ll also find a steamer if garments need any last-minute freshening.

While He Waits

No one knows your fiancé like you do, so you can probably already imagine the emotions he’ll experience before the wedding. He feels like the whole world is watching. There’s a tremendous amount of pressure to look, say and do everything just right.

You’re the one person he most wants to turn to when he’s stressed, excited and elated, and on your wedding day he’s likely to feel all three. Before the wedding you’re apart. That pressure builds anticipation and is part of what makes that first glimpse a memory you’ll treasure forever.

While he waits for that moment, your fiancé prepares in the area’s largest groom’s room. He and his groomsmen enjoy a big screen television, bar, private dressing room and spacious bathroom.

The groom’s room is decorated in man cave rustic décor with bar stools, a lounge chair and a dark leather couch. In the bathroom you’ll find a copper sink, while the closet provides exposed antique pipe on cedar block for hanging clothes.

Outdoor Wedding Options at The Landing

Apply your $4,500 prize package to private use of The Landing grounds and facilities for your ceremony and reception. If you have your wedding outdoors at this wedding venue that sprawls over 100 gorgeous East Texas acres, here are just a few benefits you’ll enjoy:

• Scenery – There’s no décor that can compare to soft daylight, Texas skies and open fields. The Landing Event Center has two ponds, Texas longhorns, horses, an outdoor pergola and more.

• Sloped Seating – Ceremony area has a gentle incline so no one has a bad seat.

• Ambiance – Whether your ceremony is in the morning or at sunset, natural scenery and lighting makes guests feel positive and relaxed.

• Plenty of bathrooms – The Landing at Joshua Farms has more bathrooms than any other venue in the area. No one misses a moment because they’re waiting in line for the restroom.

• Upscale outdoor facilities – Celebrate with the outdoor lounge and bar area.

If you’re planning an outdoor wedding and it rains at the last minute, you don’t necessarily have to move things indoors. The Landing at Joshua Farms has a lighted patio that can seat up to 200 with heaters, fans and other equipment to keep guests comfortable when the weather doesn’t cooperate.

Indoor Wedding Choices

The Landing at Joshua Farms has indoor facilities that are just as stunning as the outdoor choices. If you win the $4,500 prize, you can choose either option.

The venue has more than 10,000 square feet for the wedding ceremony and reception. Seat your guests facing the stage area with rounded steps. Windows flanking the stage offer views of the grounds and trees.

The Landing’s reception space seats up to 350 guests inside at tables. Venue use includes table and chair setup and cleanup after the reception.

The kitchen is one of the largest in the area and has a full commercial sink, ample prep space, large refrigerator, stove, ice machine and more. It also has its own bathroom so catering staff has easy access.

Photo Opportunities

While The Landing at Joshua Farms doesn’t provide a photographer as part of the prize package, it offers photo opportunities you won’t find anywhere else. Imagine how your photos might turn out if you include the following:

• A shot of the bride on the wrought iron swing suspended from one of the largest Sassafras trees in Texas

• The groom and his friends waiting for the ceremony in front of the old rustic barn

• The wedding party laughing in the large antique gazebo

• A photo of the just married couple and one of the Texas longhorns

• An intimate moment between father and daughter as they dance beneath lights on the patio

The facility owner Debbie Head says her Texas longhorns are like dogs. They come every time she whistles, so it’s easy to get a photo with them. She doesn’t charge to call them, she just requests you tag The Landing at Joshua Farms if they’re in your photos. Some scheduling limitations may apply.

Catering

The Landing at Joshua Farms does not provide catering, but the owner has a list of excellent caterers, florists and photographers. You’re also free to choose your own.

What the Prize Includes

If you win the $4,500 venue package, you can apply that to any date in 2019 that hasn’t already been reserved. Your day can be a Saturday, the most coveted day for weddings, but if any other day of the week works better, that’s okay too.

Winners will need to sign a contract and apply part of the prize to a deposit to save the date. The deposit and prize are non-refundable and non-transferrable.

How to Win

When you attend the Bridal Expo, register at the venue. If you’ve already chosen your date, you can check with Debbie to see if that day is available in case you win. If your day is written in stone and that day is already taken, consider registering for one of the other prizes available at the Bridal Expo.

Debbie will draw winners from the names collected at her booth and announce them during the Grand Prize presentation. Winners for all available prizes will be selected around 4pm, and participants must be present to win.

Why This Prize is Worth Even More

When we interviewed Debbie, we uncovered a huge benefit East Texas brides might not know about. She doesn’t charge extra for tables, chairs, furniture, equipment or linens she already owns. That alone is a huge savings.

But here’s the best part, the experience that’s guaranteed to make any bride feel more excitement than a kid in a candy store…

Debbie has a treasure trove of wedding decorations she also offers at no extra cost. When you’re planning the wedding, browse her lanterns, candlesticks, twinkle lights, drapery and other décor. If you’re looking for table runners, candle holders or other accessories, she has options from previous events she lets brides use.

She says often after a wedding, brides realize they have accessories they’re never going to use again and don’t have a place to store, so they leave them with Debbie. You may not find everything you’re looking for, but for the bride on a budget, this is a huge perk. Imagine how much fun you’ll have sifting through the possibilities.

Find everything you need for your wedding at the Bridal Expo Sunday July 29 from 12:30 to 4:30pm. Prize drawings and bridal gown presentations start at 1pm. For tickets and more information see the East Texas Wedding Extravaganza website and #ETxBridalExpo.

By Joyce Crawford, May 22 2018 05:03PM

Fabulous GRAND PRIZES to be awarded...too many to list on our flier!

The Landing at Joshua Farms offering a SATURDAY Venue Package valued at $4,500

Bella Sera Ranch offering a Friday Venue Package valued at $2,695

Old Omen Guest House offering "Event Day Free" for 150 guests valued at $2,650

Eagle's Bluff offering $1,800 towards a Venue Package

Venue 31 Events offering $1,000 in Free Decor Rentals with booking at their new venue

Fantasy & Fairytale Floral Designs offering $1,000 towards Floral Package

Complete Weddings of East Texas offering DJ, Video, and Photography Packages

Lisa Gallant offering Photography Package valued at $1,200

Nichole Beth Photography offering a Bridal Session valued at $500

The Barn at Silver Spur offering an overnight Cabin stay

By Joyce Crawford, Mar 27 2018 01:24PM

Event and Grand Prize Sponsors:

Hilton Garden Inn & Conference Center, Longview

5S Rental

Texas Best Events

Emily Rae's Boutique

Fantasy & Fairytale Floral Designs

Complete Weddings & Events, East Texas

Longview Spine & Sports Medicine

Serve 'em Up Mobile Bar

Dinner 4 Two

Exhibitors Include:

Brooke & Bre Bridal Boutique

Allie Martin Weddings and Events

Pour Me Bars

Rodriguez Insurance Company - Nicole Rodriguez

Lisa Gallant Photography

Longview Lights

Nicole Beth Photography

Inkredible Sounds

Jill & Kay Photography

Peggy's Tupperware

Origami Owl by Phyllis Felsen

Fresh Dental

Calavera Cakery

The Tuxedo Co.

Hers Bridal

Red Bus Photo Booth

Paparzi by Vickie Groven

Color Street by Sheila Yant

Maryah & Martyn - Jazz Contemporary

Salon L

Blush Beauty by Emily Oliver, Makeup Artist

Vow

Pure Romance

Simply Beautiful Flowers & More

Ellison's Classic Coach

Mary Kay by Ashely Shipley

Dillards

Lip Sense - Lovely Lips by Relly

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