The Grand Rapids Wedding Affair is taking on a new name and format this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The bridal show will be known as the West Michigan Virtual Wedding Affair, and it will be held online from 6-9 p.m. Oct. 1.
According to Grand Rapids Bride, which is organizing the event, it is the region’s first and only virtual bridal show.
“I knew brides wanted an enjoyable way to meet vendors, and vendors — many of which are small, local businesses — needed a safe way to reach their customers, so I wanted to find a way to make that happen,” said Kelly Stroburg, founder of Grand Rapids Bride. “This virtual event is it.”
Brides can register at virtualweddingaffair.com, and vendors can learn more about the event on the website or they can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
On the day of the event, brides can log on to the virtual show and visit vendors and talk with them via Zoom calls. Vendors can offer virtual tours of their space; show samples of flowers, dresses and food; and set up in-person meetings.
“Many of these vendors are small businesses that depend on weddings for their livelihood, and all of that came into question this spring with the pandemic,” Stroburg said.
The annual Grand Rapids Wedding Affair event typically hosts 80 vendors and 400 brides at the Grand Rapids Public Museum.
In 2019, there were almost 7,300 weddings in the greater Grand Rapids area and the average cost was $25,000, making the wedding industry in this area worth $182.5 million, according to The Wedding Report Inc.