Here comes the bridal fest


Hibernian Hall hosts one-stop wedding planning expo

By Christie Barlow
[email protected]

A cake, a dress, invitations, jewelry and caterer are just a few of the decisions that a bride has to make before she can walk down the aisle.

Many brides find they don’t know where to get started, but Laura Massey is trying to make it easy for them. Massey, owner of Head over Heels, a wedding and event planning company, held a Bridal Fest at Hibernian Hall last weekend. Around 50 brides-to-be gathered at Hibernian Hall to talk with vendors, pick up some tips, check out products and register to win some door prizes.

There were caterers, travel agents, cake designers, jewelry makers, photographers and invitation displays, among other items, on display for brides to check out. Around 30 different vendors were there to talk with brides and discuss the different options and services available to them.

Hibernian Hall’s Bridal Fest featured a display and show about makeup, mini beauty treatments from Mary Kay, photo sessions for brides, and a seminar on how to plan a wedding. The highlight for many of the brides was the three door prizes offering free vacations.

There are a ton of benefits to attending bridal shows, Massey said. Brides can save themselves a lot of time attending these shows. They can be an opportunity to bundle a bunch of separate appointments into one day, Massey said.

“Instead of wasting time making individual appointments with five different photographers, you can come in and see all the different people and make individual appointments later on,” Massey said.

The big shows held at places like the Convention Center in Charlotte can be overwhelming and leave the bride with just as many questions as when she showed up, Massey said. At a smaller show, like the one at Hibernian Hall, visitors get the chance to check out what’s available locally, and have time to talk with the vendors.

Nicole Taylor came to Hibernian Hall’s Bridal Festival to check out what was available in the local market. Along with her wedding planner, Edna Grace, Taylor was hoping to get some inspiration for her wedding. Grace encouraged Taylor to check out as many shows as she could, starting with Hibernian Hall’s show.

“You need to know all that’s involved,” Grace said. “It’s a lot and can be overwhelming, you need to do it a couple of times.”

Maryann Nance brought several of her cake designs with her and offered free samples of cake to those who attended the festival. Nance, who owns Creative Cakes, said she prefers the small shows because there are so many vendors and brides at the large shows, it is tough for any real communication or planning to take place.

“At smaller shows you have time to spend with them other than ‘hello, would you like a piece of cake,’ ” Nance said. “There is more time to discuss colors and options with the bride.”

• Contact Christie Barlow at [email protected] or 704-789-9140.

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