Under cloudy skies Sunday, on the grounds of the Rustic Grace Estate in Van Alstyne, brides-to-be took turns climbing into a pair of giant inflatable balls.


As part of a game called “Last Bridesmaid Standing,” the women repeatedly hurled themselves at one another, crashing together and bouncing apart until one lost her footing and fell to the ground.


These brides were more bruising than blushing.


Bridal Wars, which is held several times annually in cities throughout the nation including the Metroplex, lived up to its name and reputation as “the coolest bridal competition ever.”


With their teammates (mostly bridesmaids as well as other friends and family members), the women – and a few men - in attendance also played rounds of dodgeball, tug-of-war and cheered each other on during competitive cake-eating contests.


The antithesis of a traditional bridal show, Bridal Wars is produced by Gatehouse Live, the event company subsidiary of Gannett, which owns Texoma Marketing and Media Group. The latter publishes the Herald Democrat.


Rather than spend an entire afternoon pondering table-linens colors, party favor options and cake-topper styles, Bridal Wars participants took part in a variety of physical challenges for the chance to win bragging rights and some small prizes.


“I’m competitive and so are these girls,” Margarita Aguirre explained of her bridal party’s participation at Bridal Wars. “If there’s anything we can win, we are doing it.”


The Arlington resident, who is scheduled to wed in May, said she and her bridesmaids have previously attended other bridal shows.


“They’re fun and they’re cool and we’ve gotten a lot of information from them, but this is just something to kick it up a notch,” she said.


For Bridal Wars, most teams donned custom matching t-shirts emblazoned with their bride’s name, wedding details, cheeky slogans and personalized hashtags. Others wore colorful patterned socks and fluffy homemade tulle tutus.


Dallas bride Jazmine Daniel swiped stripes of eye black on the faces of her bridesmaids before they took to the grassy competition field dubbed “The War Zone.”


Inside an upscale barn at Rustic Grace Estate, attendees sipped mimosas and interacted with DJs, caterers, travel agents and other vendors of wedding services and products who manned a photo station, led group dances and served food samples.


It was the second time that Sabrina Hall had participated in Bridal Wars.


The Wylie resident attended prior to her own October 2019 nuptials with her bridal party. The event provided the group a chance to bond before the big day.


The friendly competitions “did join us together,” said Hall, who returned to Bridal Wars this week to fete her sister-in-law, Cassidy Ensley, in advance of her November wedding.


“It was a really good time,” Ensley said. “I had a blast.”