Photos courtesy Megan Ann Photography

“I found success when I started collaborating”

Ali Eagan, owner of Made By Anatomy (along with Erica Eichelkraut Zilbauer of City Lights Studio,) has turned a passion for fashion and dress making into a career, and turned an effort to grow her own sales into a massive collaborative project of over 100 wedding vendors from Buffalo and Rochester.

This year’s spring Bridal Show (Buffalo Indie Weddings Spring 2019 Bridal Show and Marketplace) is coming up on Sunday March 10, and we wanted to hear about how the organization came to be, and what to expect now that it’s become an institution for the region’s wedding industry.

“Being an entrepreneur in the wedding industry is a total rush! I find that I’m always on my toes to make sure I’m keeping up with the latest trends and ideas to stay current for my clients – but I love it,” says Eagan. “With my background in fashion design, you could say I’m used to keeping up with the trends!”

“I was very dissatisfied with the options for marketing my specialized small business (Made by Anatomy) locally, and I found success when I started collaborating with other wedding professionals who were on my wavelength. The decision to amplify that concept and throw a big party back in 2013 was truly the best way to seemingly collaborate with all of the pros I know!”

“Running BIW has been an exciting evolution, as we’ve grown into a full fledged collective with over 100 members between Buffalo and Rochester who share in the same values and passions for their businesses. We bring inspiration to our followers daily direct from the source: the local vendors. We help creative couples plan their weddings by presenting the best vendors and ideas in town.”

Eagan and Eichelkraut Zilbauer teamed up in 2012 to form Buffalo Indie Weddings. They were inspired to throw a small, boutique-like bridal show to suit the style and attitude of their similar clientele. The first event, had an overwhelming response. First of its kind in WNY, it was intimate yet exciting; full of live music, cocktails, prizes, shopping and more.


According to Eagan, the excitement over the event made it evident that brides in the area were desperate for better wedding options, but didn’t know where to find them. With semi-annual bridal shows, and an inspirational blog, Buffalo & Rochester Indie Weddings has positioned itself to be the voice of authority in the region for connecting indie brides and grooms to the top local wedding artisans.

So what’s going down on March 10 at Hotel Henry?

One, perfect, fun-filled and kick-ass cocktail party, loaded with inspiration and giveaways! Not your average overwhelming bridal events, rather fun and laid back with wedding pros who are looking to connect with you rather than sell to you. In accordance with our strictly local businesses only policy, our collective focuses on highlighting the more unique and distinctly Buffalo venues for our bridal events. All of BIW vendors have been vetted and selected based on their talents, merits and style, as well as their ability to work with every kind of couple. We believe in equal love for all!

We provide a fresh take on Buffalo bridal by connecting the most innovative wedding artisans to indie brides & grooms seeking a truly exclusive experience. All vendors are local, LGBT friendly, and offer creative products and services with a focus on stellar customer service and originality!

Some ways in which our events are more unique are the several fashion shows and interactive exhibits, displaying the most fashion forward wedding and beauty styles of the season. You’ll get to see the gowns and hairstyles up close and personal before and after the show! Speaking of interactive elements, we always have some fun and inspiring DIY projects led by our talented vendors! Each of our vendors offers a prize at the show, and we are excited to see who will win the Local Lovers Mini-Moon Grand Prize Giveaway!

Sponsored by Hotel Henry, the Mansion on Delaware, 100 Acres, Hatchets and Hops, Lace and Day and Buffalo Indie Weddings, the winner of this grand prize giveaway will get to enjoy their wedding weekend a little bit longer! Relax for one night at Hotel Henry, and the next at The Mansion On Delaware Avenue with dinner and breakfast at 100 Acre.  Stop by Lace and Day to pick up something lovely for that evening, and have a blast throwing axes together at Hatchets and Hops! The winner will be chosen on the fashion show stage after the last fashion show, winner must be present to win.

Brides and grooms can connect and mingle with over 35 other unique vendors on Sunday, March 10th  to help check off those wedding to-do list boxes! Couples can enjoy various different signature cocktails from the cash bar, along with nosh and treats, and spend the afternoon meeting and greeting with wedding vendors, partaking in any of the hands-on DIY crafts available, and see two different bridal fashion shows and a fashion exhibit with live music in the styled wedding lounge!

Tickets are available on-line at the pre-sale cost of $8, and at the door for $10.