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Wedding salon 2006: Our afternoon as a billionaire bride

"Dreaming of becoming a billionaire bride?" teased a press release that we received recently. "Indulge in the fantasy at the much anticipated Wedding Salon, where all dreams come alive." The announcement went on to describe the upcoming Wedding Salon at Gotham Hall, "the world's first luxury wedding showcase," where attendees would have access to celebrity event planners and a representative from Per Se, receive free makeup applications by Allure magazine, and be in the glorious proximity of a Sylvia Weinstock cake. At $125 a ticket, this event did not come cheaply—but how many opportunities does one get to meet David Tutera, the genius behind those Star Jones and Elton John nuptials?

On the day of the event, the line to enter Gotham Hall stretched down the block. Ticket-holders—a mixture of those who had actually paid admission and those who had been comped—only being let in a few at a time by one of the many Wedding Salon crew swathed in pistachio-green bridesmaid dresses. Inside, the Versailles-like Gotham Hall had been transformed into a one-stop wedding village: makeshift vendor stalls (housing photographers, videographers, and wedding and honeymoon planners) surrounded a reception area featuring an assortment of lavish table settings, sky-high wedding cakes, and a stage where a rotating group of wedding bands performed through the night. Near the entrance, a model bride and groom, outfitted in a $100,000 gown from Kleinfeld's and a tux from 1-800-tuxedos, posed patiently under a canopy of baby's breath. Word had gotten out, and the press release didn't lie—in fact, it was clear that the release offered just a mere taste of the luxuries present. Wedding fantasies are like real estate porn: No price is too high to pay for seeing how the other half lives, though in fact some of the goods and services suggested here were well within the financial reach of the middle-class woman in white.

The highlights:

The $100,000 wedding dress (groom sold separately)
photo: Corina Zappia
The $100,000 wedding dress (groom sold separately)

1. Today's bride can afford two veils.
Victoria's Secret current bridal collection, Sexy Little Things, features all sorts of wedding-themed lingerie for the not-so-blushing bride: maribou garters; mesh panties with teal side ties and a diamante "Just Married" scrawled across the bum (tin cans and crepe paper streamers to tack onto your trunk sold separately, we suppose); and our favorite, the bridal v-string with attached ass-veil, for $20. We discovered later online that for $4 more, you can purchase a musical version that plays "Here Comes the Bride."

2. She enjoys "figure-flattering sweets."
How much do you love your wedding dress? Would you eat it? Boutique bakery Casue custom-designs and decorates iced shortbread cookies to look exactly like the bridal gown; the "figure flattering sweets" are available in a variety of dress styles, including strapless, column, and caplet sleeves. Casue will even custom-blend frosting colors to duplicate whatever repulsive shade of bridesmaid gown you will be foisting on your friends.

3. The outdoorsy bride pees in porcelain.
For plebes who stage their weddings at hotels or the backyards of accommodating friends, having a functioning toilet nearby is not a concern. But if you're holding your billionaire wedding on a remote island or on the edge of a cliff, proximity to proper toilets can be a real issue—and nothing kills the romantic day like hiking up Vera Wang in a ripe Johnny-on-the-Spot. The folks at Premier Executive Trailers provide luxury portable restrooms that can accommodate up to 600—spring for the "Luxury Liner," and the bathrooms come complete with porcelain potties, oak trim, and vanity mirrors. ("Attendants available upon request.")

4. The modern bride's wedding band of choice: Body Heat Productions.
Snicker all you want about sub-par wedding bands, but the performance group Body Heat Productions has played at over 4,000 events—let's see your little sissy garage band do that before the bassist bails for dentistry school. A self-proclaimed "standard in the industry for over 25 years", Body Heat pulls from a 7-page songlist that includes everything from traditional waltzes to a rousing rendition of "My Boo." (Official Body Heat tagline: "When the music really matters.")

5. Every bride likes free mini nail polish.
Only those who'd paid the actual ticket (not press comps like us) seemed to score the holy Town & Country bag that included, among other things, MAC lip gloss, mini Essie nail polishes, a chocolate mini-torte, and a gift certificate to Kleinfeld's. Still, the contents didn't seem to add up to the $1,500 the Wedding Salon staffers claimed they were worth. In general, short of the free cake samples, there appeared to be little to justify the Wedding Salon's costly ticket price. Disappointed, we headed down the steps, peeked in at the model couple one last time, and walked past the line of brides-to-be waiting anxiously outside. .

 
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