Nuptial ideas abound at bridal fair

February 20, 2011|By JENNIFER FITCH |
  • Shauna Smith models a wedding gown Sunday at the bridal fair at the Martinsburg (W.Va.) Mall.
By Kevin G. Gilbert/Staff Photographer

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — Before stuffing envelopes for their wedding invitations Sunday, Shane Ranck and Amanda Westerfield stopped by the 13th annual Bridal Fair in Martinsburg intending to learn more about services and enter drawings.

The Hedgesville, W.Va., couple said they were feeling a combination of stress and excitement leading up to their big day, which is May 28. The bridal show, they said, provided an opportunity to get more ideas.

“It’s kind of small, but it has everything you need,” Westerfield said of the bridal show. “It feels manageable.”

Sponsored by The Journal and hosted at the Martinsburg Mall, the show featured more than 50 vendors, including florists, bakeries, photographers and limousine companies. About 100 brides were expected.

“I know there are a few who got bookings,” organizer Pam Fawley-Martin said of the vendors.

Amy Reid helped nine models prepare for the 3 p.m. fashion show featuring apparel from Formalities of Winchester, Va. Several models — the majority of whom were former students of Reid’s schoolteacher mother — said they were nervous about tripping on the runway.

Reid said the sample dresses had not been altered for the models.

“Because of that, it’s not hemmed like it would be for your wedding day,” she said of the concerns about tripping.

Lace, pick-up skirts and mermaid cuts have remained popular choices for brides for some time now, Reid said.

Tristan Wilson of Hedgesville, W.Va., said she’s finalizing decisions about her gown for her upcoming nuptials, which she and fiancé Ryan Johnson said will happen this summer. Wilson used the bridal show as an opportunity to look at flowers in pink and pearl tones.

“The flowers are definitely the things that impressed me the most,” she said.

Sarah Hollis of Martinsburg said she needs a caterer, cake and bridesmaid dresses for her Oct. 8 wedding to Jacob Cave. She was impressed by the food samples provided by vendor Heavenly Taste of Martinsburg.

“You can get a lot of good ideas (at the bridal show), even if you’re not seriously looking yet,” Hollis said.

Morgan Hunley of Martinsburg’s Country Road Carriage Services said vendors not only can meet brides and grooms, but also network with other related businesses. Hunley, whose Percheron horses Pete and Paul pull a vis-a-vis carriage, said she made connections with representatives of an events center.

Hunley said offering carriage rides to bridal parties capitalizes on her love of horses and the outdoors. She said brides and grooms are genuinely excited for their weddings.

“I love being in a business where you can see the love and compassion between people, and I can show my love of horses,” she said.

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