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“I’ve been to a lot of bridal shows, but this one takes the cake; there’s a little something for everyone,” said Dinna France, referring to the Wedding Social hosted by Rich’s on March 7.

Compared to a similar event, France notes, “every vendor and everyone that I’ve met is inviting and there for you.”

That’s exactly what Steven Guagliardi had envisioned for the event at the Atrium @ Rich’s.

Guagliardi, Director of Catering and Event Design, saw an opportunity to re-think the familiar wedding expo that so many couples have commented over the years as impersonal. “I wanted a more intimate event that would allow us to have good conversation in a relaxed setting,” said Guagliardi, noting that no two clients are the same, especially when it comes to their big day. From on-location catering in backyards and barns, to unique ceremonies at the famed Rapids Theater and the Buffalo Museum of Science, couples were able to envision themselves on their wedding day in a low-stakes environment, surrounded by inspiration and endless possibilities.
“I felt like [the vendors] really cared about getting you the best thing for your day,” said Rachel Phelan, a newly engaged attendee.

The unique “no-business card” policy, paired with the homey and elegant aesthetic of the Atrium, allowed couples to mingle and converse among vendors without the pressure to book on the spot. The fire in the Atrium fireplace set the mood. The atmosphere gave attendees a chance to talk to the various vendors about custom cakes from Cookie, hand-drawn wedding invites from Rust Belt Love, cigar-centric bachelor parties from Gregorio’s Cigars, and nearly anything else a couple could need for their special moment. The vendor selection was unique, but each one had something in common: the desire to work with the client to turn their dreams into reality.

“Based on what a couple tells us, we are able to customize an option that’s right for them and their personalities,” said Chelsea Daniels, pastry chef and wedding cake designer at Cookie. Heather Hammer, head pastry chef, and manager of Cookie, notes that her team is “up-to-date on wedding cake trends, and through consultations, [they] can help couples with dietary concerns, design recommendations, and so much more.”

At the end of the night, couples circled the dance floor for the long-awaited prize drawings, which included a wedding reception provided by Rich’s Catering, elegant jewels from Reeds Jenss, a Punta Cana honeymoon from the Travel Team, among many others.

Austin Sullivan and Rachel Phelan, the winners of the grand prize wedding reception from Rich’s, are especially excited for their prize. “We were actually planning on getting married at home,” says Rachel, “so now, this is going to be a whole different experience!”

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