I have officially planned five (!) Solutions Bridal Fashion Shows, each one special and somehow better than the next. Because this year’s show came after a brief (global) pause in 2020, I just knew I wanted to knock some socks off!
For a change, I wanted to step away from anything overly flowery or romantic (stay tuned next year, though!) and create something super energetic and fast-paced. Following a year and a half of us being stashed away in our homes, it felt like it was time to let loose!
We had an absolutely incredible team of vendors this year, each of them bringing their own talents, insights, and ideas to help bring the vision to life. Early on in the planning process, I mentioned to Jim O’Neill with FyerFly Productions that I wanted the show to feel more like a concert, rather than just dresses and tuxedos going down the runway. Jim suggested I watch Justin Timberlake’s concert at the MGM in Las Vegas and that was *it*! I immediately approached Art Faulkner to build the “wall” so that the lighting could go through it. FyerFly created a dazzling light sequence of starbursts, flecks of light, and even a section with the words “Love is Love” repeating across the wall.
A big theme for this year was inclusivity. I was thrilled when Erica, owner of Solutions Bridal, mentioned that she had added the Limitless line at the boutique, offering plus-size gowns, and that she wanted models to walk in them. From there, inclusivity became the paramount sensibility to match the aesthetic of the show.
Solutions Bridal featured an absolutely incredible selection of 75 looks. We had all sizes, genders, and ages, including a “senior” female model. Jazz It Up Artistry mastered all of the skin tones, types, and hair types flawlessly, which further showcased our inclusivity message.
Our partner, Leonardo Fifth Avenue debuted their new collection at the show and are now in New York to show it for Fashion Week! The tailoring was exquisite and there were so many unique styles presented. A personal highlight was wearing my custom Leonardo Fifth Avenue suit to present the show. I felt so confident in it and the fit was flawless.
In one of my favorite moments of the night, my dear friend John strutted the runway in a full skirt and heels. The idea of a man in a skirt was casually mentioned and introduced to me at a planning meeting by Tim Blunk with the Ritz Carlton, and I wasn’t willing to forget it. When the original model who was meant to wear the skirt was unable, I knew just who to call. So, 16 hours before the show I asked John to fill the space and he jumped in, heels first! The plan was for John to be our finale. The morning of, after we heard Jim’s runway playlist, we all collectively knew he needed to OPEN the show. Not willing to abandon the original plan, we had him close it too! It was beyond perfect.
Despite the minutiae of details, logistics, and the unprecedented number of garments and models to walk the runway, this was the easiest show to design, plan, project management and produce. A total testament to the entire vendor team that ran with what they do best.
Lastly, I am so grateful to Erica of Solutions Bridal for trusting me so implicitly year after year. As she has said before, one of the best parts of doing this show is seeing our own unique vision come to life. She deserves every bit of the show’s success.
Cheers to next year’s show, I already cannot wait!
Bridalwear: Solutions Bridal
Menswear: Leonardo Fifth Avenue
Event Planner: Lisa Lyons Events
Venue: Ritz Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes
Lighting/DJ: FyerFly Productions
Wall Construction: Art Faulkner
Stage: Letz Dance On It
Hair & Makeup: Jazz it Up Artistry
Performers: Noire Productions
Florals: Fairbanks Florist
Photography: Cricket’s Photo & Cinema + Art Faulkner Photography
Behind-the-Scenes Photography: Djamel Photography
Videography: Seltzer FilmsStationery: Seed Sprout Bloom
Chairs and Furniture: Gala Rental