I'm Mary. It's nice to meet you. This blog is a tiny space on the internet to document my musings on style, travel and culture. Enjoy!

A weekend in Milwaukee

Occasionally, I get to travel for my job. Last weekend I spend three days in Milwaukee to promote the new issue of Wisconsin Bride (of which I am the editor in chief) and chat with brides about wedding planning. My account manager, Katie Roberts, and I spent two days at the Wonderful World of Weddings bridal show at Milwaukee's State Fair grounds.

Here's the new issue. I love this cover, shot by Buck Holzemer and styled by Hollie Mae Schutz of HMStyling. Over the course of two days at the expo only one bride mentioned that she wouldn't wear such an over-the-top bolero. I was expecting much more criticism; Midwest brides can be quite traditional in their wedding attire (which is part of why I like to push the envelope in our fashion shoots — gotta show 'em something they haven't seen).

Here's Katie, holding down the fort at our tiny exhibitor booth.

We gave away 2,000 magazines! I've never seen more brides in one place. Most were your typical 24- to 25-year-olds, but I spotted several barely 18-year-olds and more than a few 70+-year-olds. The majority had a small entourage of their mother, sister and friends, and some even brought their grooms. All were so tickled to get a free copy of the magazine — a few even had one already, which is neat because the new issue just came out a few days ago.

Here was the view from our booth:

That traffic jam at the end of the hall was due to everyone crowding around a display of live "mannequins," and a table with cake samples. The booth next to us gave out bags of candy. Not a bad idea — brides flock to free stuff.

Meanwhile, across the country, my coworkers were giving away copies of Arizona Bride (of which I'm also the editor in chief) at a wedding fair, but they had a much swankier setup:

No fair! Bridal shows can run the gamut style-wise; sometimes it's a classy event and sometimes it's more low-key. Here's hoping my next expo is more like Arizona's.

During our second night in Milwaukee, Katie and I went out to dinner at Nanakusa, a lovely sushi restaurant in the 3rd Ward.

Photo by Czeltic Girl via flickr

It was delicious. We loved the scallop maki roll best. If you're in the area, this place is a must.

Afterward, we wandered around the corner to check out Cuvée, a second-story champagne bar that also hosts wedding receptions.

Photo by Zilli Hospitality Group

It was super classy and cozy. Katie and I parked ourselves in a wrap-around booth and tried a champagne cocktail. I got a French 75 and she got a Bellini — both were perfect.

Next, we checked out Bacchus, an upscale bar/restaurant across the street from our hotel.

I loved how dimmly lit and chic it felt. We weren't sure what to order so the bartender invented a drink for us. It always pays to let bartenders experiment, and we weren't disappointed.

All in all, it was a lovely weekend. On Sunday I'm heading to Scottsdale to represent Arizona Bride on a tour of hotel ballrooms and golf course venues throughout the Valley. My itinerary is packed with spa treatments, so I'm pretty excited. I plan to fully enjoy the warm Southwest weather and soak up as much sun as possible.

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