Engaged! Magazine has raised the bridal expo to an art form. Held at D.C.’s classiest hotels and event spaces, this annual showcase is full of luxurious wedding ideas and vendors.
This year, couples explored the Decatur House, the St. Regis Hotel and the Willard Intercontinental, taking in elaborate centerpieces, sampling gourmet dishes, listening to string quartets and signing up for every mailing list in sight.
Guests could take a complimentary shuttle between the three venues, but but we figured a walk would do us good after consuming all the desserts we could find. Our favorites? Decatur House featured “bride and groom” chocolate covered strawberries from Windows Catering, while the St. Regis had yummy Earl Grey petite fours and salted caramel macarons from Sweet Hearts Patisserie. The Willard was the clear winner, however, with mini pies from Pie Sisters and a decadent four-tier dessert bar. We washed it all down with wine, champagne and specialty cocktails from one of the several open bars.
There were plenty of savory options as well. The Willard’s in-house catering team put together a spectacular Indian buffet, along with displays of soups, salads, charcuterie and oyster shooters. The St. Regis chefs also had some lovely hors d’oeuvres, such as snow crab and papaya salad in a sesame cone and potato and chive tartlets.
Vendors included the usual bridal expo suspects—event planners, travel agents, florists, entertainment companies—but some standouts included the PopCulture Strings quartet (excellent Beatles’ covers) and Laura Hooper Calligraphy. Hooper even provided a sample of her work to interested guests.
Speaking of free stuff, guests got to take home swag bags that each weighed as much as a small child. Items included sparkly pink nail polish, a mint green pashmina, whoopie pies, chocolates, unisex cologne, and a host of flyers, brochures and business cards. These were, of course, in addition to goodies picked up along the way, such as tea, scented candles, tote bags and notepads.
Come hungry and empty-handed to next year’s event, ladies and gentlemen; you will not leave disappointed. If you can’t wait that long, head to the magazine’s Baltimore event this weekend! Check out a complete list of vendors here.