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a bride’s mafia

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    For our annual wedding issue, we chat with a local wedding concierge to learn about the biggest bridal trends, best local vendors and a big wedding expo coming up this week at Great American Ballpark, complete with a grooms workshop at the batting cages. Keep reading for all the big day details.

    A Bride's Mafia will be hosting its annual Afterhours Bridal Show this March 10 at Great American Ballpark.
    A Bride’s Mafia will be hosting its annual Afterhours Bridal Show this March 10 at Great American Ballpark.

    This year’s wedding season is upon us. If you’re planning a wedding, then you know that there’s a lot of work behind the words “wedding planning.” Whether you’re doing it on your own or with the help of a planner, you’ll quickly learn that there are different wedding trends every year.

    That’s where Nidhi Bedi, founder and owner of A Bride’s Mafia, a Cincinnati-based wedding concierge business, can help. She says with expansive visual resources like Pinterest, brides are following fewer trends and mass-produced concepts, and instead, finding inspirations that uniquely create their her own vision. “Brides aren’t going by what’s trends or the colors they saw at the last wedding,” she adds. “This year is about designing their vision and making it a reality.”

    Nidhi Bedi
    Nidhi Bedi

    For example, Bedi says, while metallic is very popular among brides, they’re bringing this style out in their own unique way. “Some brides to them to make their event over the top, some use a sparkle to make it whimsical and others use it to make it complete earth tones,” she says.

    Bedi says brides are taking Pinterest ideas and customizing them. “They will take lighting, chandeliers, linens and centerpieces, to name a few, and give it their own personality stamp,” she says. “They aren’t just using up-lighting, but brides are turning to gobos with monograms and customized designs.”

    When and where a bride is having her wedding also plays into the design, theme and colors she chooses. That’s why she recommends booking a venue as one of the very first steps in planning, as it sets the tone for many other wedding day decisions.

    The trends that Bedi says makes her most excited for this year’s wedding season is all the variation. “I just love the different weddings we’ve been seeing – from metallics, earth tones, bright color fusion and greenery,” she says. “There’s so much variation and I love them all because it makes each event so unique.”

    Bedi and A Bride’s Mafia are helping brides meet with the vendors of their dreams at the upcoming Afterhours Bridal Show at Great American Ballpark on March 10 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. “This show is absolutely my favorite of the year,” says Bedi. “It’s so fun! It’s at the ballpark and we have 90 amazing vendors in this show.”

    From table linens to photographers and videographers, florists and DJs, the Afterhours Bridal Show lets you meet with those vendors to let you see the latest trends up close and personal.

    Bedi says that A Bride’s Mafia took extra steps this year to help get the groom involved. “I think we’ve hit a home run there,” she says while discussing the new Grooms Workshop.

    The workshop, hosted by Hey! Mr. DJ, allows grooms to get pointers on how to make their day unique and how to be involved in the finer details of the planning process. Plus, after the workshop they get to go to the batting cages.

    Brides who attend the show can enter to win a $20,000 wedding. The winner of the grand prize will get married at the ballpark, and A Bride’s Mafia covers the rental, dress, tuxedo, DJ, photographer, videographer, hair, makeup, florist, limousine, cake and a coordinator. “It always makes my day to meet the winner and see how excited they are,” she says. “The team of vendors that do the giveaway are so amazing and incredible.”

    Bedi says A Bride’s Mafia also has some big things planning for this year. “We’ve got some things up our sleeves we are working on – we just can’t say it yet, so stay tuned,” she adds.

    To learn more about this season’s wedding trends, local vendors and how to hit the ground running with your wedding planning, visit www.abridesmafia.com. You can also get complimentary tickets to the Afterhours Bridal Show here.

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    We chat with Nidhi Bedi, the owner of a local wedding concierge service, to see which industry experts she trusts most to take care of her brides.

    Nidhi Bedi, owner of A Bride's Mafia
    Nidhi Bedi, owner of A Bride’s Mafia

    Nidhi Bedi takes a deep breath recalling all that she’s learned in her five years since launching her Cincinnati-based wedding concierge service, A Bride’s Mafia. “I remember when I first decided to take on this adventure,” she says. “I had planned to do a bridal show on Fountain Square and everyone thought I was a bit crazy for it. I can remember the night like it was yesterday. I remember at 5p.m. thinking, this is it. I wonder how it will go.”

    Four hours later, with perfect weather, 60 vendors, 250 brides and more than 2,000 guests later, Bedi knew she had found her calling. Following that first event, Bedi did additional bridal shows at Paul Brown Stadium, The Elements Conference and Event Centre, Great American Ball Park, Glendale Square, Moonlight Gardens, Hollywood Casino and Music Hall.

    Today, A Bride’s Mafia is a full-service business that helps brides coordinate their dream wedding. According to Bedi, it’s a one-stop-shop with exclusive deals, complimentary consultations, customized wedding timelines and bridal shows to introduce you to the finest wedding vendors in the Tri-State.

    “A Bride’s Mafia and our team has everything for you from the moment you get engaged to the time you walk down the aisle,” she adds. “The members of A Bride’s Mafia are hand-chosen to be part of our exclusive group. Every vendor must submit an application and is then approved with a site consultation and visit. Our vendors and team hold a certain level of respect, commitment, expectations and reputation that we want our brides to experience.”

    At A Bride’s Mafia, you’ll find a number of different vendors from attire to music to flower. Here’s a breakdown of the businesses Bedi and her team work with to help make your special day even better:

    Attire
    Bedi says that she adores Carmen and Peppe at Peppe Ramundo & Son, and not just because they’re great people but because of what they do for her clients. “Peppe Ramundo & Son owns all of their inventory in house, so when a measurement goes bad or something doesn’t fit the way it should, they can take care of it right there on the spot,” Bedi explains.

    Wendy’s Cincinnati Bride offers a great selection of inventory, great pricing and produce one of the area’s favorite bridal shows. “As one of our sponsors [for the Afterhours Bridal Show] for the last two years, Wendy’s Cincinnati Bride has been phenomenal to work with,” says Bedi.

    Bedi has worked with Toni at Alterations by Toni personally, and she says that working with her is very rewarding. “I can tell you—she had her work cut out with me,” says Bedi. “Finding a dress was the easy part, but there were certain things I wanted changed. I was extremely concerned because I didn’t know if it could happen and what I had envisioned everyone wasn’t able to see. However, we went into my first fitting with Toni and by the time we went back the dress was so much more than I could have ever imagined.”

    Beauty
    Summer at A Touch of Summer Make Up Artistry will take what you tell her and make you look even more beautiful on your special day. “She is one of the most talented people I have ever come across,” says Bedi. “She not only makes all of my brides absolutely stunning but she calms them down.”

    Angie Bova at Sia Spa is there for botox and fillers to help you and your bridal party look your best. “I’ve sent her two of my clients already and they have absolutely loved her service and dedication,” says Bedi.

    Cincy Style Bar is a favorite of Bedi’s. She says she fell in love with the place when she went there and many of her clients agree that co-owners Andrea and Ashley are amazing to work with. “When I met with them I just got such a great vibe and energy,” Bedi adds. “Cincy StyleBar not only offers hair and makeup but they also offer services such as tanning, manis, pedis, waxing and much more.”

    Bedi adores Heidi at I Do Updo On Location. “Not only does she do my hair but I got to plan her wedding,” she says, adding that Heidi is someone who understands the pressure of getting married and can keep you feeling relaxed through the stress of your big day with her jokes.

    Lash Out offers eyelash extensions and permanent makeup. “While the thought of permanent makeup might sound scary,” Bedi says, “I recently talked to someone who said it’s a painless process.”

    Christina is Bedi’s contact at the Paul Mitchell School where she once had a team of 30 artists take care of 400 brides’ hair and makeup. “The people that attend the school have such passion,” she says.

    Bedi says that when it comes to Rodan & Fields, the creators of Proactiv, she isn’t sure if she should first mention the products or Jennifer Knell, the independent rep Bedi works with. “The products leave your skin feeling silky smooth, refreshed and clean,” Bedi says.

    Ruhin at RK Henna offers Henna in standard henna as well as white.”Ruhin’s work is original and customizable with a unique touch that makes each event look different,” Bedi says. “My last bride loved sparkle and she added gems and glitter to the henna and it looked amazing.”

    Culinary & Dessert
    A Spoon Fulla Sugar offers tasty cake and amazing designs. Bedi says it’s the bakery’s attention to detail that really makes them stand out. “This year alone they not only did cakes but hot chocolate, caramel apples, party favors, custom buckeyes and so much more,” she says.

    Angela from Dulce Designs has great candy buffet designs and her willingness to customize anything and everything. “Every bride that I’ve sent to her comes back with raving reviews about how amazing she is and how they felt so excited to be working with her,” says Bedi.

    Elements Catering, which Bedi helps run, has enjoyed a hugely successful year. “I think one of my favorite parts of 2015 has been being able to go off-site and visit so many amazing venues and customizing the bride’s day from a clear slate,” she adds.

    If you’re in search of the perfect place for your rehearsal dinner, you’ll want to check out Jeff Ruby Culinary Entertainment by stopping at Jeff Ruby’s Carlo & Johnny, Jeff Ruby’s Precinct or Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse. Any of these restaurants is perfect for bridal showers, luncheons, rehearsal dinners and even small receptions. “The staff are personal and accommodating,” Bedi says, “and the eateries feature indoor and outdoor options to suit your preferences,”

    Bedi says that Patricia at Patricia’s Wedding & Custom Cake is one of, if not, the hardest working person she’s ever met. “Any time I call with a need, Patricia calls me back,” Bedi says. “I love that my brides get so excited because they deal with Patricia herself. Patricia makes each bride feel important and customizes everything to meet their specific needs.” As an added bonus, Bedi says, the cakes are super tasty.

    Entertainment
    There are a number of entertainment bands that Bedi and her team at A Bride’s Mafia work with, each of which is so different and unique. Aside from the bands, there are four DJs that work with A Bride’s Mafia including DJ Toad, Hey! Mr. DJ, JD Hughes and McFadden Music.

    Bedi says DJ Toad and his team are personable, care about your event and, according to Bedi, “they know how to rock a party!”

    Hey! Mr. DJ is one of the key vendors who impressed Bedi from the moment she met him. “Every time I work with them, they have something new that they add to the reception,” she explains. “The team will sit down with you, customize timelines and try to help you create a vision that will set your event apart from all the others.”

    JD Hughes is one of the nicest people I know,” Bedi says. “He cares about you and your marriage as well as your family, your history and your future.  He gets to know you and he offers his knowledge to make your marriage successful.”

    Mark at McFadden Music is sweet to work with “and comes with a lot of experience,” Bedi says of the Q-102 radio disc jockey, “he lets his music do the talking.”

    Floral, Decor and Linen
    Lindsay at A Fluttered Collection can customize anything and everything you need. Bedi calls her a real-life Etsy store. “She can do table numbers, decor, signs, bowties and more to make your special day perfect,” Bedi explains.

    Entertainment Unlimited can make anything look like the royal palace, Bedi says, adding that she’s worked with the owner, Scott, many times. “I’ve never been able to get him a challenge he couldn’t complete with flying colors,” Bedi laughs. “He does lighting, draping, backdrops and customized pieces. If you have a vision, Scott and Entertainment Unlimited can make it happen.”

    Beth at Glendale Florist goes above and beyond with each of her clients, according to Bedi, adding that every bride feels like she’s made a new friend after their experience with Beth.

    Local florist Ellie at O’Reilly Florist brings talent and passion. “The thing with Ellie is she really wants to get to know you,” says Bedi. “She takes what you want and helps make it a reality.”

    Sphire Elegance Chair Cover & Linen brings ultimate transformations to your wedding and reception set-up, Bedi says. “Amanda and Barb can make your vision happen with care and passion,” she adds.

    Limo & Travel
    Elements Limousine Service, which Bedi helps to run, is a business that caters to the bride on her big day, bachelorette party, bridal shower and more. “The team is able to bring personalized service with its 14 passenger hummer limo that’s spacious, fresh and the perfect accessory for your big day,” says Bedi.

    Jerry and his team at First Discount Travel can get your honeymoon booked easier than anything you’ll find online, Bedi says. “Their personal expertise won’t cost you a penny more and because they don’t work for anyone in particular, there’s no bias, just plenty of personal travel experiences to help you along the way,” she adds.

    Jenny Meiners Travel can book you with any of the major cruise lines while ensuring that your trip is seamless, Bedi says.

    Photography & Video
    Dolce Vita Photography’s Kristie is sweet and creative, Bedi explains. “I love when Kristie is on a wedding because I know that timeline will be nailed out in advance, I know she is closed to the bride and their family and I know that she will go above and beyond for the bride,” she says, adding that Kristie owns a piece of land so she can offer brides secluded scenery to make their own.

    Besides being hilarious, Bedi laughs (he’s her fiancé), Michael at Michael Bambino Photography has passion and skill. “They’re one of the most talented team of photographers I know,” Bedi says. “The unique talents and skills each of his photographers bring to the table is amazing.”

    Bedi says Michelle at Nixon Photography enjoys getting close to her brides so she can get to know them and provide them with the best, most personalized, photos possible.

    Specialty
    AddieInk Design takes your vision for a wedding invitation and customize it into something more than you ever dreamed of. Bedi says that she loves this recent add to her vendor list because it isn’t a “retail” store so brides get to interact one-on-one with Jen, the owner of AddieInk.

    To make it official, Dorrien is a pastor who gets to know the couple through counseling “and often tells stories to their guests with the utmost sincerity,” Bedi says. In addition, Steve at A Day To Remember will officiate your wedding and bring humor to your day, Bedi says.

    CapStory is a unique concept that gives you a link that your guests can text their photos to so you have them all in one place instead of tracking them down with a hashtag on social media. Bedi says they’ll even make a mini album with your pictures.

    Bedi says one of the best jewelers in town in Diamonds Rock. “Diamonds Rock knows service beyond expectations,” she says. “Dennis guides you and takes care of you.”

    Customizable wedding invitations are available for every personality, theme and budget at On Occasions Cincy. Bedi suggests stopping by the store if you can to check out what their bridesmaids gifts, too.

    Bedi says one of the coolest vendors at A Bride’s Mafia is Pedal Wagon, a unique way for you and your friends to enjoy the city. Bedi says it’s a rolling party that you attend with 15 of your closest friends. There are wine tours, historic tours, parties and more available with Pedal Wagon.

    Want your wedding to go off with a bang? Turn to Queen City Pyro, where Bedi says you can get customized fireworks for your big day.

    According to Bedi, Shutterbooth is a great way to incorporate a photo booth into your wedding without sacrificing quality. “Shutterbooth has national recognition that gives them reputation and passion for what they do,” she adds. “They’ve been members since we started and offer each bride a customized package that fits her budget.”

    Bedi says the other trusted photo booth company she works with is Smiling Eyes Photobooth. “Not only do they give you double prints, an album and stay for the reception, but they also offer incredible service,” she explains.

    Rosalind at VeRozzi has jewelry that will blow you away,” Bedi says. “The custom pieces aren’t just for you, but for your entire bridal party so that everyone can coordinate perfectly on your big day.”

    Venues
    The Bell Event Centre is full of history and friendly staff. Bedi says that it’s become one of her favorite venues after she recently attended a wedding there.

    Bel-Wood Country Club is one of those hidden gems with beautiful grounds and scenery. “The place is stunning and the people are awesome to work with,” says Bedi.

    The Crowne Plaza Blue Ash will work for guest lodging, “but it’s also a great place for your wedding,” Bedi adds.

    Feeling lucky? Head to the Hollywood Casino Lawrenceburg. Bedi says it’s also the perfect place for bachelorette parties.

    One of Bedi’s favorite places downtown is the Hyatt Regency. “Their recently renovated ballrooms are stunning and there are beautiful chandeliers hanging from the ceiling,” she explains. “The hotel has a great chef, room blocks and its staff are easy to work with.”

    For a sophisticated location, you’ll want to have your wedding at Music Hall. “They are great at working with your requests and the day of your wedding will have you feeling like you’re walking around in a dream,” Bedi says.

    Bedi coordinates about five to six weddings each year at the Savannah Center, where Mary will do anything she can to accommodate a bride’s request. “The place is gorgeous and the experience is unparalleled,” she says.

    It isn’t uncommon for couples to have their weddings at Great American Ballpark. In fact, Bedi says their team is quite easy to work with, and you can even get married at home base.

    Elements Conference and Event Centre (also run by Bedi), will give you the blank canvas you need to design your day and make it perfect. “My team and I at Elements make you feel like the most important event that day,” she explains, “since we only do one event per day/night.”

    On November 11, A Bride’s Mafia will host its fourth Aferhours Bridal Show at Music Hall. The show is unlike any other and gives a unique twist with more than 2,000 people expected to attend. The show will take place from 6:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m., and brides, grooms and their families have the chance to preview the latest wedding trends and chat with vendors to help make their big day the most perfect one.

    “We will have everyone that you need to make your perfect day happen fromt he moment you get engaged to the time you walk down the aisle,” says Bedi. “While you are there, make sure you stop by our pampering romo where brides and their guests receive complimentary hair and makeup.”

    Bedi adds that the best part about the bridal show is that admission is free. “Oh, and there’s a huge bonus for this year–we will be giving away a $20,000 wedding that night to one lucky bride,” she says. For more information, visit www.abridesmafia.com or send Bedi and her team an email at info@abridesmafia.com. For your complimentary tickets to the Afterhours Bridal show, click here.

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    Learn about the local makeup artist who’s passing along her best tips and tricks (for day and night!) through in-depth makeup lessons.

    Michael
    Photo by Michael Bambino

    The art of makeup is one that some people excel at from an early age. Summer Holmes, founder of A Touch of Summer Makeup Artistry, is one of those people.

    Holmes has loved makeup for as long as she can remember. Growing up and playing with makeup turned into a lifelong passion and career – one that still excites her to this day. “I’ve been fascinated with makeup since I was a teenager. I’ve been pursuing my makeup career my entire life and get so excited every time I get the opportunity to brighten someone’s day,” she says.

    A Touch of Summer Makeup Artistry has been in business since 2007 and Holmes couldn’t be more proud of how her company has evolved over the years. Makeup is so much more than something people use during their daily lives—it brings out the most beautiful aspects in a person to make them feel more confident. Holmes strives to make everyone feel gorgeous. She states, “What inspires me is makeup and my passion for making women look and feel beautiful.” When she steps back and sees a woman glowing because of her makeup, that’s when Holmes feels the most successful. “The most rewarding aspect of my job is making my clients look as good as they should feel,” she says.

    Photo by Michael Bambino
    Photo by Michael Bambino

     

    Holmes has pursued makeup artistry her whole life, which gives her a competitive and unique edge to other makeup artists. She has had the opportunity to learn different techniques over many years, allowing her to become a fantastic makeup artist. “What makes my company very unique is my advanced training, experience in esthetics, and makeup artistry. I’ve dedicated my entire life to the beauty industry for almost 20 years. I understand the fundamentals of corrective skincare and the perfect makeup application,” she claims. Holmes graduated from Ohio University with an associate degree in Business Management and then went on to earn her Managing Cosmetology license from Aveda Fredrick’s Institute in Cincinnati. After that, she earned her Advanced Training Certification in Makeup Artistry from Westmore Academy of Cosmetic Arts. One thing is for sure—she is extremely qualified and experienced in her field.

    Between her years of experience, there is nothing Holmes can’t handle. She does makeup for all occasions, including bridal parties, beauty pageants, boudoir photo shoots, prom pictures, etc.—just to name a few! Because she offers services for so many events, Holmes is always prepared for any client that comes her way. Finding the perfect match for all skin colors and types is no problem for Holmes as she states, “I assess every clients’ skin first to determine what products are best suited for all skin types.” She also uses any makeup on the market—high-end and drug store combined.

    Aside from simply doing someone’s makeup, Holmes also offers in-depth makeup lessons. “My makeup lessons are very interactive. We will start off with a daytime look and then transform into a look that’s more dramatic. I will explain product usage and recommend proper brushes for a flawless application,” she states. So often women walk away from having their makeup done only to wish they could do the same looks on a daily basis. Holmes understands that desire and makes it a possibility as she teaches her tips and tricks during lessons. She provides makeup lessons for individuals or for groups and in a location the client prefers.

    To see Holmes in action, you can find her at the Afterhours Show with A Bride’s Mafia on November 11, 2015, at Cincinnati Music Hall from 6-9pm. Visit her website for more information on services and booking.

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