More than a year and a half after it shifted to a mostly online format due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Atlanta Wedding Extravaganza is finally going back to a 100% in-person structure.

In metro Atlanta and nationwide, the wedding/event industry was hit hard by the pandemic, which started in March 2020 and forced large-scale affairs, including nuptials, to be cancelled for several months to a year.

After being held in person in January 2020, the Extravaganza took place virtually in August 2020 and January 2021, with the latter event also having two in-person affairs. Shelly Danz, the Extravaganza’s producer, said she’s “super excited” to see it return to a completely face-to-face event. It will be held Aug. 8 from 12:30 to 5 p.m. at The Hotel at Avalon in Alpharetta.

“I think that the vendors and the brides and the grooms are so ready to get back together, to meet each other, to actually have these experiences,” she said. “The brides and grooms want to feel special, and we’re so excited to be able to do this again.”

The Extravaganza will feature Atlanta’s award-winning wedding pros with vendors in every category – from gowns and tuxedos to the venue to the photographer to the caterer and more.

It includes: innovative vendors in every category; treats and samples from Atlanta’s top caterers and cake designers; florals, tablescapes and celebration décor; live music for ceremonies and celebrations; timed admission tickets to ensure smooth entry; live modeling of fashions for your wedding party; galleries of decor, cuisine and photography; Instagram-worthy photo opps; VIP exclusive gifts, discounts and experiences; show specials and door prizes; other prizes (choose from a custom wedding cake to a honeymoon vacation).

Tickets are $10 per person for general admission, $25 per person for VIP (includes access to the VIP Lounge plus a VIP gift bag, champagne, exclusive offers and early entry to the show; limited quantities are available).

With the event moving to The Hotel at Avalon this year, for $199, couples can opt for the Sip, Stay and Say I Do package, a two-day event that includes two VIP tickets to the Extravaganza, an overnight hotel stay, champagne, treats and boutique shopping discounts.

Another new twist on the Extravaganza this year is Couples Cash, in which each couple (or bride) attending the event will get, essentially, a $500 gift card they can use toward deals and discounts with the wedding vendors there.

The event will also have an ultimate wedding giveaway, where prizes including vendor items such as cakes, tuxedos and dresses, all valued at more than $500, will be given away. Finally, the ultimate honeymoon giveaway will offer couples a chance to win a honeymoon at the Ritz-Carlton in Aruba.

“I think the main difference (about) this show is that the vendors put a lot of time and energy into their booths, because the brides want to see what’s unique and what’s pretty,” Danz said. “We have a tablescape contest where the vendors decorate beautiful displays so they can see tables they might have at their own wedding and get to vote for the best ones.

“There’s all these Instagram-able moments. It’s not just tables and business cards. It’s really to get ideas, meet the vendors, make connections, win all these prizes, have these VIP experiences. We want them to feel like this is a fun experience for them and not just coming to a room and collecting information.”

Chamblee residents Jen Eum and James Zhu got engaged in November 2019 and planned to get married in October 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic has delayed their wedding by a year. They plan to attend the Extravaganza to pick some vendors.

“I’ll be honest. It’s been hard to dream up all of these wedding details,” Eum said in a news release. “I’ve never been that girl who envisions my perfect wedding since I was young. I’m looking forward to the big extravaganza; it is a great idea to have a one-stop shop for all things wedding related. This type of show is a great way to visualize what our wedding can be – tailored to us.”

The Hotel at Avalon is located at 9000 Avalon Blvd. in Alpharetta. For more information on the Extravaganza or to purchase tickets, visit atlantaweddingconnection.com.

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