This fall the lakecity will see the premiere of a new and exciting evolution of a classic event in the new Cariboo Wedding & Grad Show at the Gibraltar Room on Oct. 5.
The brainchild of Kristen Foote, organizer of the popular Vintage Valentine’s burlesque show and proprietor of Kristen Foote Make-up & Hair, this event comes as the result of months of work and planning on her part.
As a makeup and hair artist, Foote often does work for both wedding and graduation celebrations, making her doubly invested in this event.
Previously, Foote was one of the 15 vendors who turned out for the 2019 Bridal and Grad Fair that occurred early this year and was asked to help organize the next one.
As planning progressed, however, she ended up taking on the full responsibility of planning it herself which led her to decide to evolve the idea and take it in her own unique direction.
“I came up with the name Cariboo Wedding and Grad Show. I wanted to change it so it’s not just a bridal show specifically for brides, I wanted to have more focus on grads and I wanted men to feel equally comfortable at the show as women,” Foote said.
At previous shows, usually held in February, Foote had noticed that there were no grads in attendance and attendees were primarily women and brides to be. She felt that only catering to brides was really limiting how many people could attend. She reasoned that there are not as many people getting married in Williams Lake or even the Cariboo as there are in big cities like Toronto, where she’s worked in the past.
Opening it up to weddings of all kinds and holding it earlier in the year to attract more grads maximizes the event’s potential, she said, for both vendors and attendees.
In that spirit, she’s also invited a wide range of businesses, event planners and other organizations to fill up not only the Gibraltar Room but also part of the parking lot out behind it.
Venues, photographers, florists, decor specialists, dressmakers, tailors, hair and makeup, deejays and more will all be represented, Foote said, along with food via food trucks, brisket sandwiches supplied by Slow Smoke BBQ and even a fashion show put on by the Glass Slipper Boutique. Spectra Powers Sports and the Lakers Car Club will also be in attendance to hold a mini show and shine, providing a change of pace from the other vendors. All told, Foote said over 50 vendors are expected to come out for this semi-inaugural event.
“It’s been way more work than I expected, way more, but we do have some really amazing wedding vendors in Williams Lake, we’re really lucky,” Foote said.
“So I’m just excited to be able to create this event where we can actually showcase what everyone does and have a more interactive environment.”
Beyond weddings and graduation Foote really wants to encourage the whole community to come out and see what the Cariboo has to offer.
If you’re planning any event, many of these businesses and vendors will be able to help you bring your vision to life, she said.
The doors are open on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., with food vendors selling food all day and beer and wine tasting likewise going on for the entire event.
The fashion show is scheduled from 2:30 p.m. to 3 p.m., though they may have another fashion show prior to that if she can find enough willing male models. Evan Fuller will be performing live music at noon.
Throughout the day they’ll be accepting submissions for two raffle prizes, one themed for grad and the other for a wedding, donated by the various vendors. To enter, Foote said attendees will be issued a stamp card, in the spirit of the Downtown Williams Lake Art Walk, and have to visit at least 30 vendors to be able to enter their name. The draw will take place at 3:30 p.m. and any participants need to be on hand to collect their winnings.
The first 200 people through the doors will also receive a bonus goody bag, Foote added, filled with treats, coupons and other things.
Tickets are $10 in advance via Eventbrite, contacting Foote herself or at All-ways Travel in town or $15 at the door, cash only. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Williams Lake Dry Grad, Foote added.
Foote is looking for volunteers to help run the event on the day of as well as models for the fashion show and encourages anyone interested in helping out to reach out to her at 778-961-0392.
“I essentially did this event for the community, it is based on weddings and grads but I want everyone to feel welcome to come,” Foote said.
“I’m hoping this show will be welcoming and open to everybody.”