A Wedding Competition Worthy Of American Idol Status

By: Wesley Berry, AAF

Past American Idol contestants Clay Aiken, Taylor Hicks, and Kelly Clarkson may have stood up to the pressures of the American Idol competition, but could they handle the stress of the Designer Wedding Challenge.

Wedding professionals from around the United States are gearing up to compete in the Designer Wedding Challenge, a competition inspired by the popular reality television competitions. The contest is set to take place on September 29 and 30, 2006 in Rogers, Arkansas. According to event coordinator Shante Crockett, included in the competition will be at least fifteen florists who will compete in three contests:

* Floral Design Competition: In this contest, florists will pit themselves against one another to design gorgeous bouquets, boutonnieres, and table centerpieces. The task is to create pieces that are functional, beautiful, and unique.

* Tablescape Competition: Contestants here will design elegant table settings including flatware, table linens, and, of course, the centerpiece. The table themes can vary, but all of them should be beautiful and exemplify the chosen theme.

* Interior Design Competition: Using a $20,000 budget, each contestant must design a dream interior setting. This competition is expected to be the biggest contest in the two-day event.

The events will be judged by celebrity event planner Preston Bailey. Awards will be given for first, second, and third place. While there are individual cash prizes as high as $2,500, it's the prestige of being involved that will likely garner the biggest rewards. Glende Wise, owner of the Bamboo Orchid in Poteau, Oklahoma and contest participant, says, "It's especially important for me because my business is new to the area, and I am trying to break into the market."

Other competitions in the event are the Chair Design Competition, Gown Design Competition, Jewelry Ensemble Competition, Cake Design Competition, Photography Competition, and Videography Competition.

2,000 people are expected to attend the Designer Wedding Challenge at a ticket price of $20 each, not including seminars. Attendees who wish to take part in the many seminars that will be available will pay a ticket price of $150 each.

The event is sure to be a real crowd pleaser with all the excitement and suspense of any reality competition currently aired on television. So, if the music of American Idol isn't your bag and you're more of a Martha Stewart fan than a Clay Aiken fan, consider attending the Designer Wedding Challenge.


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