Most bridal shows (see the fast-approaching "bridal extravagaza") make a virtue of their bigness: sprawling convention spaces, countless vendors, and a thousand brides competing for their attention.
"You get an instant headache just walking in the door," laughs Connie Dryden of Island Flowers. In 2007 she and Kathy Glass of KG Weddings launched what they call a "boutique-style" bridal show bringing together a growing community of vendors in the Galveston area.
"We had six vendors in the lobby of the Panama Hotel," she recalls. Today, they're hovering around 30, and they aim to keep it that way.
"Our goal," she says, "is to keep it at a limit that's more intimate."
The Boutique Bridal Show of Galveston
Galveston Island Convention Center at the San Luis Resort
January 19, noon–3
I learned something of this intimacy when throwing my own wedding in Galveston, which was coordinated by KG Weddings with flowers and decor by Island Flowers. Everyone we hired seemed to know every other vendor, be familiar with the venue, and approach each task with the casual competence on which Galveston depaends.
"We see each other every weekend or every other weekend," Dryden says of the show's participants, "and we hand-select people we know are true professionals. A lot of our brides and grooms book all of their vendors at the show. You don't have to go through a bunch of people to find someone you want."