Wedding season is approaching, the time where brides and grooms shuffle to and fro through every wedding show in Louisville as they dream up their perfect dream of wedded bliss at the altar. After a while, however, the shows seem to blend together into a morass of white buttercream frosting in gold luster dust with pearl white sugar beads floating on top, and they’re the plastic couples unable to lift their feet out of the sticky sameness of it all.
What’s a modern couple looking for a break from the traditional to do? Allow producer Sydney O’Bryan and co-producers Ryan Armbrust and Brittany Murphy to lead the way to a new gold dawn of wedding shows in Louisville, the rays of light beaming down upon The Louisville Palace  for the first-ever Louisville Palace Wedding Show  this Friday from 6 to 11 p.m., sponsored by Louisville Bride magazine .
The idea for a wedding show at The Palace came about as a result of the venue becoming proactive in seeking out a wedding business in the hopes couples would consider being married in the historic landmark. Thus, according to O’Bryan, who is also the director of sales and marketing for The Louisville Palace, the show had to stand out from the traditional fare, tapping into the sexier side of nuptials with the help of Armbrust and Murphy, who work together as Boudoir Louisville . The Palace Wedding Show will have over 40 vendors, with some vendors who wouldn’t normally have a place at the kids’ table of a wedding show reception display their wares and services for this eclectic event.
“We’re kinda billing this as an evening out more so than just come in and shuffle through a bunch of vendors,” added Armbrust, encouraging the brides and grooms to bring their friends to enjoy themselves at the bars while taking in live music by The Crashers  or a film from Folklore Cinema . Not only this, but with five hours to get know the vendors in attendance, brides and grooms can be more selective in who they choose. As Murphy would state later in the interview, “it kills [her] when [her brides] choose people based on recommendations or that they think really have a great reputation, and [her brides] get screwed over,” making it important for guests at the show to have a chance to get to know who their possible wedding vendors are. The extended length of this show also allows for guests to head home, “take a shower,” then come out to make a night out of the event according to O’Bryan.
Regarding Armbrust’s and Murphy’s involvement in the show, their participation came as a result of their work shooting brides for their respective studios. “We kinda wanted to get involved and do something to kinda capitalize on that bridal market, and get all those people through the studio,” Armbrust said, “so when we met Sydney, we kinda pitched an idea and said, ‘Hey, let’s do a bridal show.’” O’Bryan, herself a wedding business veteran of over a decade, praised the duo for bringing a different energy to the table, noting that she never saw anyone pushing the envelope, “something sexy, a little gift for the husband-to-be, or something for [the brides].”
“Weddings are evolving,” Murphy said. “If you talk to your mom or your aunt or your grandma about how their weddings were, they’re a lot different from weddings from today,” explaining how personalization and outside-the-box thinking is more prevalent in modern nuptials, a theme that carries through to the Palace Wedding Show, whose tag is “not your mother’s wedding show… this is YOUR wedding show!” That said, all three producers encourage brides and grooms to bring their mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, friends et al to have a good time at what O’Bryan hopes will be an annual tradition at the historic venue.
Though the Palace Wedding Show is, as with traditional bridal shows, aimed mostly upon the brides, the grooms have plenty to look forward towards according to O’Bryan, such as a grooms’ lounge up in the marquee on the second floor, where the future husbands and their buddies will find “a whole slew of ‘mancentric’ items… from Derby City Chop Shop , Bourbon Barrel Rehab , Kentucky Gentlemen Cigars … bourbon tasting… pool table,” though no burlesque dancers, as the producers don’t wish to cause any “premarital fighting” between the bride and groom, though the idea may be considered in future shows should this first outing be a home run out of Louisville Slugger Field. While no one will be taking their clothes off for money that night, O’Bryan said that it was important to welcome in the grooms as well as the brides, “the guys play[ing] just as much a part in the wedding and the marriage as the ladies do” in 2013.
Downstairs in the theatre, O’Bryan explained that there would be a mock-up for a wedding ceremony, which would be a part of a wedding package being offered by The Palace starting this year. The mock-up will feature ceremony music by the Highlands Chamber Players, Sam Meyers Formal Wear , Blackstone Bridal & Prom  and Couture Closet Bridal Boutique  will provide wedding fashions, and Boston's Floral Couture  and Events LLC  will demonstrate stage and stair design. Meanwhile, the second floor bar area will have lighting from PartyZone Productions  to help transform and showcase the space for guests. Murphy noted that the bar was the most customizable space out of The Palace, due to the lack of customizability with the remaining areas.
Regarding why couples should consider the historic venue, “the magnitude of the theater – it’s about the experience of getting married in The Palace… where else do you find this in the city,” O’Bryan stated. Furthermore, “[the couples] don’t have to do a lot of décor… It’s a really fun, whimsical place to host. And… since not everybody and their mother has hosted their wedding at The Palace, it’s time that we open the doors to those brides.” As a demonstration of this idea, the entirety of the 1920s theater will be open to brides and grooms attending that evening, where vendors will be distributed on the mezzanine, the grooms’ lounge, the theatre, the lobby and the second floor bar area. This is so guests can get an idea of what all can be rented for a wedding, allowing the bride to use her imagination regarding floor plans for the wedding and the reception.
Brides and grooms will have also have plenty of opportunities for prizes and giveaways from the vendors at the show, including two boudoir photography packages from Boudoir Louisville  (Armbrust's boudoir photography studio), discounts on wedding packages from Four Leaf Photography  (Murphy’s main photography business), and so forth.
Murphy encourages brides to pre-register at the Palace Wedding Show website up to the day of the show for free admission, along with their grooms, with the possibility of drink tickets for those 21 and over. As for those not heading to the chapel anytime soon, yet are interested in having a good time at The Palace, $5.00 will get them through the door.
For more information on The Louisville Palace Wedding Show, as well as to pre-register for free admission, visit the official website at www.palaceweddingshow.com , or email them at email@example.com , or call them at 502-736-1249. You can also follow the event on its Facebook page  and on Twitter .
Photos: Courtesy of Sydney O'Bryan and Ryan Ambrust, and Facebook/The Louisville Palace Wedding Show .