Seasoned bridal vendors melded with shops and restaurants in The Quarter at Tropicana on Sunday as the Bliss Bridal Expo attempted to break the mold of traditional bridal shows.
Unlike many shows held in halls and ballrooms, brides-to-be at Sunday’s show sampled what vendors had to offer while wandering the Tropicana Casino and Resort’s retail and shopping area — a location that organizers hoped would result in patrons staying longer and visiting the businesses at the casino.
While many bridal shows take place in sectioned off venues, Sunday’s event at the Tropicana invited brides to wander throughout the The Quarter as they visited tables of nearly 60 vendors throughout the casino’s shopping area. Organizers said that setup allowed brides to gather information, take a relaxed break to visit restaurants and shops, and perhaps return after discussing options with their party.
Now in it’s seventh year, Bliss Bridal Expo is presented by The Press of Atlantic City.
“Every year there’s an increasing amount of bridal shows, and we thought it was time to test something new,” said Rhona Bronson, marketing director for The Press of Atlantic City. “In this situation, it’s really a synergy with Tropicana.”
The show’s design also attracted participation of some businesses that wouldn’t normally think about seeking work through a bridal show.
Carmine’s, an Italian restaurant located in The Quarter, was among those vendors that fit that category. The restaurant offered samplings of its selections and promoted the restaurant for bachelor and bachelorette parties as well as rehearsal dinners. The restaurant also offers catering, said Susan Wallace, the restaurant’s catering and special events coordinator.
“This really was the perfect backdrop for us. After seeing how successful today was, I think we’d look to do this again,” Wallace said.
Brides-to-be stood out at The Quarter, where those who registered for the event could be seen wearing sashes that said, “I do AC,” a nod to the Atlantic City Alliance’s marketing campaign. Those sashes gave vendors and store owners an indication of those who had planned ahead to come to the event. At The Old Farmer’s Almanac General Store, employees said they used the event as an opportunity to tell brides that they could make a registry at the store.
Traditional vendors took part in Sunday’s event as well, and in many cases found creative ways to showcase their offerings. Northfield-based Tesi Bridal & Formal displayed dresses by hanging them in the entranceway of Cuba Libre, and models wearing wedding dresses walked throughout The Quarter displaying the styles.
“This has been a good vibe, a lot of people, a lot of brides,” said Irene Kosachuk, a sales consultant for Tesi. “It’s a really entertaining atmosphere.”
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