BY TOM LAVIS
Organizers of Johnstown’s eighth annual Bridal Showcase want to take the worry out of planning the details for that special day.
The bridal extravaganza, which is sponsored by The Tribune-Democrat and Johnstown Magazine, will be held from noon to 4 p.m. Jan. 27 at Pasquerilla Conference Center, 301 Napoleon St. in downtown Johnstown.
“The showcase is the biggest and best of its kind in the region,” said Mary Ann Rizzo, director of advertising sales for both publications.
“I would tell any bride or engaged couple if they are looking to lessen the stress about planning their wedding, this is the place to be.”
From finding a knockout wedding gown or the trendiest tuxedo to arranging music for the reception or tasting a prospective wedding cake, coordinating a successful wedding hinges on getting the details right.
“This is absolutely a one-stop shopping opportunity,” Rizzo said.
“We have over 50 vendors filling the conference center, and we are only two booths away from establishing a waiting list to participate.”
More than 500 people, 300 of whom were brides, attended last year’s event.
Attendees will have an opportunity to sample various foods and cakes that may meet their needs.
Rizzo explained that most of the brides-to-be have a date in mind when they come to the show, but they are looking to capitalize on the expertise of the vendors.
“They may already have a venue for the wedding, but they want to fill in the gaps from arranging for music to figuring out the flowers,” Rizzo said.
“The vendors will have their appointment books with them and ready to do business that day.”
With each showcase comes new ideas. Vendors know the latest trends, including styles and colors of bridal wear.
“We have seen bridesmaids settle on a color, but they want a dress that suits their individual needs and is comfortable,” Rizzo said.
Vendors will be available from noon to 3 p.m. with an hourlong fashion show to follow.
Organizers arrange for the models and rely on volunteers from Young Professionals of the Alleghenies.
This year’s fashion show will feature several male models from Bishop McCort Catholic High School’s basketball team.
“We generally have 12 females and eight males,” Rizzo said.
“The females need a little more time between dress and gown changes.”
Sharon Honkus, owner of Celestial Brides, 142 Market St. in downtown Johnstown, called the showcase an ideal marketing tool, where businesses can attract customers who may not walk into a brick-and-mortar store.
“It’ an opportunity to be one-on-one with a bride who may have no time to get to certain stores or businesses,” Honkus said. “They see gowns that they may skip over when skimming through a magazine, but it becomes an entirely different look when they see it on a live model.”
Honkus said she will display gowns that feature the latest trends for 2013.
“One of the newest and biggest trends this year is the modest gown,” Honkus said. “It has lots of lace, cap sleeves, open back and shows a little shoulder.
“Finally, after about 10 years, we have a gown that is not strapless.”
Each paid attendee will receive a year’s subscription to Johnstown Magazine.
“If they already subscribe, they can gift it to someone else,” Rizzo said.
Information: 532-5162 or visit www.johnstownmag.com/bridal
What: Eighth annual Bridal Showcase.
Where: Pasquerilla Conference Center, 301 Napoleon St. in downtown Johnstown.
When: Noon to 4 p.m. Jan. 27.
Tickets: Visit www.johnstownmag.com/bridalshowcase or at The Tribune-Democrat Service Center, 425 Locust St., Johnstown.
Cost: $7 in advance or $10 at the door.
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