One-stop wedding shop

March 21, 2005|by WANDA T. WILLIAMS

HAGERSTOWN - Sharon Stanley, one of the first brides-to-be arriving at Sunday's Bridal Bliss 2005, eagerly awaited the show's start. Stanley, engaged for a little more than two years, said she gets butterflies as she makes plans for her wedding.

"I'm here to get some ideas ... I have no clue where to begin. Hopefully, this show will calm my nerves," said Stanley, 23, who recently pushed her September wedding date back to have more time for planning.

"Not sure when we're going to reschedule it. We're pacing ourselves ... we want everything to be just right," she said.


Stanley took notice of the large icicle chandeliers hanging from the ceiling of the Clarion Hotel and Conference Center at Antietam's grand ballroom on Dual Highway, where the show was held. The ballroom's dim lighting created a romantic atmosphere as brides-to-be, their parents and grooms-to-be entered.

About 300 people purchased tickets for a day of one-stop wedding shopping, a show organizer said. Nearly 40 Tri-State vendors lined the walls with elaborate setups offering wedding attire, cosmetics, wedding cakes, professional photography and dental care promoting the perfect wedding smile.

And while most brides want flawless skin on their wedding day, new beauty regimens don't always work overnight, experts at the show said.

"If a bride is thinking about trying a new skin-care line, you should consider doing it about six months before the wedding," said Kelly Redmond, an independent beauty consultant with the Swiss skin-care line, Arbonne International.

"Skin needs time to react and balance. You may experience breakouts or reactions," she said.

Bridal Bliss 2005 will become an annual show sponsored by the Clarion Hotel, said Carol Cochran, the hotel's director of sales and marketing.

One vendor offered the traditional and the not-so-traditional wedding cake.

"We're introducing the cupcake wedding cakes," said Cindy Long, owner of Cindy's Sweets and Supply Inc. in Williamsport.

Cupcake wedding cakes are made using "individual cupcakes" placed atop a cake stand accented by flowers and other decorations.

"It's easy and it's self-serve, You don't have to worry about cutting slices of cake and it's about one-third of the cost of a traditional wedding cake," said Kristi Schetrompf, Cindy's head cake decorator.

Bride-to-be Kristy Wrightson attended Sunday's show with her mom, Linda Wrightson. Both came in search of wedding bargains to accommodate the family's $7,000 wedding budget.

"When you plan ahead, it really helps you save money," said Kristy Wrightson, who won't be getting married until next year.

"We've already picked out her dress and now we're looking for ideas for bridesmaids' dresses," Linda Wrightson said.

The show's $3 admission fee offered chances at winning a variety of door prizes, which included a free wedding gown and a honeymoon in Florida.

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