One-stop wedding shop

February 25, 2019

Married only three weeks ago, Jessica Young jumped at the chance Sunday to wear her wedding gown again : this time to promote an alterations business to hundreds of brides-to-be at the 12th annual Bridal Extravaganza.

Produced by Fort Wayne Newspapers and Fort Wayne Magazine Weddings, the four-hour extravaganza featured more than 80 vendors at Grand Wayne Center. The businesses promoted seemingly every item and service needed to craft a wedding, including florists, venues, travel agencies, limousines and lingerie.

The setup is especially beneficial for first-time brides, who are likely unaware of their options, said Young, who attended the extravaganza last year. She offered some advice to engaged couples.

“Shop around,” she said, adding the bride and groom can listen to others’ input but should plan the wedding they want.

Registered brides had opportunities to win giveaways to put toward their weddings.

Dream Day Giveaway prizes included 500 toward a new wedding gown, 1,000 toward a wedding videography session.

Although engaged since June, Jeremy Moore and Liz Quinn have many wedding details to finalize, including the venue and date, Moore said. He appreciated the information available and noted the tasting samples offered by caterers and bakeries didn’t hurt.

“Free food : gotta love that,” Moore said as Quinn watched a bridal fashion show.

Models strolled the stage as pop music played, a bouquet of balloons and the word “love” prominently displayed behind them. An announcer described the gowns, which included fit-and-flair dresses and dresses with “elegant details,” pockets and deep, low backs.

Future brides stuffed vendor information and freebies in the Vera Bradley bags given to the first 300 registered brides as well as a white reusable bag from Men’s Warehouse decorated with the phrase, “I Said Yes.”

David Barksdale was carrying such bags for fiancée Jessica Wyley. The couple got engaged in January, he said.

“She’s been doing way more research than I have,” said Barksdale of the wedding planning.