A new bridal studio in downtown Augusta will double as an event venue rental when it opens Tuesday.
Billed as a one-stop shop for brides-to-be, WED Augusta is occupying the lower 4,000-square-foot space inside the Emporium building at 1106 Broad St. Four years ago, the open, double storefront underwent a $3 million renovation project that also created nine loft apartments above the retail portion of the building.
“When we saw the space, we were really excited about the opportunity,” said studio co-owner Tori Burgio, adding that the spot had been vacant for at least 10 years. “It’s a beautiful building. It’s exciting to be a part of the revival of the downtown area and bring more business that way.”
So far, Burgio and studio partner Meghan Bishop have secured about 15 bridal vendors from photographers and graphic artists to DJs, travel advisors, hair and makeup stylists, and food and beverage suppliers.
“Rather than having to go to one place to meet the baker and one place to the meet the photographer, they can just come to this one place and it’s all right here for them,” Burgio said. “We’ll set up bride and vendor meetings in the studio.”
The studio will transform into an event venue on weekends and has already been rented for a high school reunion in November, Burgio said.
Burgio formed the concept for her new business, she said, through her full-service vintage rental and event planning company, Ever Thine Vintage, which began in January.
“That’s what led me to meet some of these other vendors in the area and we kind of started building a little community,” said Burgio, who moved here from Pennsylvania with her husband and infant son in 2010.
Burgio, who will continue to provide event planning services at the new studio, said the business will add more modern options for future brides.
“We’re really wanting to offer services that can suit a bride who doesn’t just want that same old traditional look,” she said. “My goal really is to find vendors who could produce weddings that are still really beautiful and high quality, but were a little bit more modern and up-to-date with the trends.”
The Emporium building, once used in the 1880s as a mercantile store to sell furniture, also will return to its roots as Burgio plans to showcase larger vintage rental pieces, such as furniture and accent decor, that she’s moved from a cramped warehouse into the new studio.