Wedding Planning - 7/6/2018
The Oklahoma Bridal Show is the largest event of its kind in the state, producing five shows a year in Oklahoma City, Tulsa, and Edmond. Owners Ken and Sharlene Monier bought the bridal show in 2012 and have been at the helm ever since. The couple discusses the show and their soft spot for love.
A small smile crosses Sharlene Monier's lips when asked, "What's your favorite part of the Oklahoma Bridal Show?"
"Seeing the brides." She replies. "They have their bridesmaids and their moms and it's just so exciting to see them coming in the door. They're laughing and they're having fun and taking lots of pictures and it's really exciting to see how excited they are. I cried at every show for the first 5 or 6 shows."
Ken chimes in, "I love seeing the brides come in with their girlfriends and just having a blast and I enjoy the fashion show."
This last comment is a bit of a surprise after Ken had fun-naturedly complained about Sharlene forcing him to watch "Say Yes to the Dress", but he finally admitted he actually enjoys the television show dedicated to watching women find their perfect wedding gown. Maybe that's why he likes the fashion shows at his own event so much. Ken wants Oklahoma brides to find their perfect dress.
As we interview them, the busy couple is preparing for an upcoming show. The Oklahoma Summer Bridal Show takes place soon and they are busy making sure all is ready.
The Moniers have two different customer bases, brides, and vendors. It's their job to bring these two groups together under one roof.
"We always want to focus on brides." Says Sharlene. "If there are no brides there are no vendors. They're the key. We want the vendors to be successful and in order for the vendors to be successful we have to supply lots of good brides."
Sharlene and Ken knew very little about the wedding industry when they bought the bridal show, but they're fast learners. With a background in banking and funding business, Ken turned his attention toward working with vendors.
"Occasionally vendors will come to us and tell us 'thank you' because this show is very important for the survival of their businesses." Says Ken. "To be able to get 800 brides to come to a show, how much would it cost them to get 800 brides to come to their shop? I mean, it would be astronomical. That's one of the reasons I liked being in banking is helping businesses and watching them grow and we've seen that with the businesses here."
While Ken tries to nurture vendors, Sharlene handles advertising and marketing and bookings and everything else along with their entire family and even though they've run the bridal show for six years and it remains the largest in Oklahoma, the Moniers still worry.
"We're always nervous nobody's' gonna show up." Says Ken.
Sharlene agrees. "The night before the show you think, 'Are the brides going to be there?'"
But as the old saying from an old film goes, "If you build it, they will come."
On average, 850 brides attend the January Bridal Show. It's the largest event of the year for the Moniers. The second largest show takes place every July and just like clockwork, about 400 brides show up for that Summer show. The Spring show nets about 225 brides along with two fall bridal shows, one in Edmond and one in Tulsa.
At this very moment, Sharlene and Ken are making last-minute adjustments for this year's Summer show which will take place at the Oklahoma State Fairgrounds Pavilion on July 15. Over 100 vendors will be on hand, just waiting to see the excited brides who will be lined up to meet them all thanks to the Moniers, who are a couple in love with love. Get tickets and more bridal show info at okBride.com