Friday, February 7, 2014

The Cleveland Flea Freshens Up Wedding Planning

Wedding planning: The two words can elicit both a wave of excitement and crushing anxiety. Creating your wedding day can feel more like a chaotic chore than a celebration of love.

That’s why Stephanie Sheldon of the Cleveland Flea created the Supa Fresh wedding event, a pop-up, interactive vendor show designed to feel more like a mock wedding reception than a typical trade show. The event, tomorrow at The Screw Factory Artists’ Studios begins with a 2 to 6 p.m. cocktail reception with craft beer and food from three caterers. A “design dinner” for 100 people, from 6 to 10 p.m., features food from Spice Restaurant.

“Wedding planning is nothing more than throwing a great party,” Sheldon says. “All of the elements you would see at a wedding will be there without having to know the bride or groom.”

Stephanie Sheldon’s Tips For Being a “Supa Fresh” Cleveland Bride

1. Get Fresh: Sheldon challenges brides to think about weddings in new ways. “There are some great alternative floral vendors at the event who make things like paper flowers,” Sheldon said. “Or try hiring small-batch dessert companies like Chill Pop Shop, which is an ice pop company, instead of just having a single cake.”

2. Love It All: Wedding planning can be especially stressful if other people’s suggestions overshadow your wants. That’s why Sheldon sees wedding planning as a form of matchmaking.

“If you don’t find the right people, it’s not going to be what you want,” Sheldon says. “We’re the matchmakers, so the couples don’t have to worry about the details and can feel great about spending the money.”

3. Make It You: “Too often people feel pressured to follow trends,” Sheldon says. “A lot of the unique details can be gleaned from the couple themselves, their own inclinations that can reflect them in the most authentic way possible.” For example, Sheldon said a bridesmaid dress vendor at Supa Fresh offers many styles and colors. Sheldon hopes this will encourage guests to make their own rules. —Christina Bucciere

You can read more about Sheldon, one of Cleveland Magazine’s Most Interesting People for 2014, and the Cleveland Flea here.

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