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'Anti-Bridal Show' Offers Booze-and-Burlesque Alternative to Wedding Expos

By Meredith Hoffman | January 11, 2013 7:49am

WILLIAMSBURG — For all fiancées who fear that the "Electric Slide," cheesy bands or stiff groomsmen suits may stifle the romance of their big day, Tom Wright is coming to the rescue. 

His remedy? An "anti-bridal show" that includes burlesque acts, live DJs and a booze-fueled "fashion bar."

"People like us tend to run away from traditional wedding fairs," Wright, a DJ by trade, said of his friends and fellow artists, lamenting the "God-awful" bridal expos he attended in the past with "people dressed up in sequins, pumping the Black Eyed Peas at 10 a.m."

But the "Lovesick Wedding Expo," which Wright and his partner launched in Philadelphia in 2011 and brought to Brooklyn last year, has attracted a boom of eager brides- and grooms-to-be, he said. He expects 500 attendees — up from last year's 350 —  at this Saturday's fair at Music Hall of Williamsburg.

"Our vendors tend to be artists first, who then became wedding vendors," Wright said. "They're bringing eco-friendly, alternative and artistic work into the wedding world."

The fair's 40 vendors include designer Bonobos featuring a specialty groomsmen line, the local organic caterer Betty Brooklyn offering eats, and photographers from the Brooklyn-based Photo Pink Collective, he explained.

"At the back bar of Music Hall we're having bridal fashions on display, and people can come play dress-up in a low-key way," Wright said of the "fashion bar," which will also offer cocktails.

"You can drink and play dress-up!"

On shopping and primping breaks, visitors can watch performances by the "alternative magician" Vinny DePonto, cabaret performers Tina Tassels and Calamity Chang, and the funk-soul band Empire Beats, Wright said. 

Plus turntable DJs like Wright, his partner's Lovesick Inc. and Beat Train NYC hope to show attendees they don't have to settle for mediocre tunes at their wedding bash.

"My wife and I had a 13-piece swing band...and then they played the 'Electric Slide,'" recalled Wright of his wedding band's music selection, "which, trust me, was on the 'do not play' list."

And at the expo, Wright hopes that even "tag-alongs" to brides-to-be will have "one of the coolest times of their lives."

"If you want to spend $6.50 for a beer and a burlesque show," he said of his event, "go for it." 

The Lovesick Expo is 11 a.m. — 3 p.m. Jan. 12 at Music Hall of Williamsburg. Tickets are $6.50 online and $10 at the door.