Albany business-owner Stacy Jubert wanted to come up with a more unique way for brides-to-be to prepare for their wedding than a typical bridal show, so she started a friendly competition.
For the past three years, future brides have been battling here in the Capital District in Jubert’s Bridal Wars event, competing for grand prizes. While Afrim’s Sports in Colonie will once again host the event, this year on Sunday, Aug. 16, the competition is expanding and embarking on a nationwide city-to-city tour.
Jubert has owned an Albany-based events company, Events with Style, for the past eight years, as well as Bridal News. The events company helps host a range of events, but typically concentrates on the wedding industry, many of which are the usual bridal show.
That is, until Jubert began Bridal Wars, in which a trio of a bride and two friends compete in challenges set by wedding vendors.
“About three years ago, I wanted to do something fun and different than the typical bridal show,” said Jubert. “Brides grab two friends, they form a team of three and they compete in all sorts of different challenges for fun.”
Whether a group’s interest is in fitness or otherwise, the event offers a range of challenges—a bouquet toss, tug-o’-war and nonalcoholic flip-cup. One game has teams hurling cupcakes at a wedding dress. Another has competitors running at each other in inflatable hamster ball-like domes for a game of “bubble soccer.”
First place winners in the Albany competition, one winner for each challenge station, will get an overnight stays at a resort of hotel. Each team also gets prize bags, while prizes are also given out for the best team name and best costume, both of which are up to the individual teams ahead of time.
“It’s really kind of a celebration for the bride and the wedding process,” said Jubert. “(The brides) meet cool vendors and find some that they love.” But really, she said, “They come for the fun of it.”
Since its beginning, Bridal Wars has grown each year it’s held. Since 2011, it could only be found in Albany, oftentimes hosted at Afrim’s Sports in Colonie, since the indoor fields provide blank space to work with.
The competition had been held about twice a year. The last event saw 70 teams of three women each, not including the friends and family that come for support or the vendors. Jubert said there are usually 40 or more challenges.
The location, however, is about to change. Jubert hired “Say Yes to the Dress” presenter Randy Fenoli to host recent events when she suggested taking Bridal Wars on the road.
Both Fenoli and Heather Romanski, Fenolie’s personal assistant and Jubert’s Bridal Wars partner, agreed. Jubert said Fenoli will be at the events, encouraging the teams and conducting interviews.
Only two other Bridal Wars competitions are currently scheduled, besides the Albany event. One is in Syosset on Long Island in October and the other is in Pittsburgh, in November. More are on the way, though, Jubert said.
“The event started in Albany, but it isn’t staying here,” she said. “August is our kickoff, but who knows when we’ll be back?”
For information on Bridal Wars or to sign up, go to bridalwarsevent.com.