Here come the brides.
Mid-Ohio Valley residents preparing to walk down the aisle are expected to descend on Marietta College's Dyson Baudo Recreation Center Sunday to make contact with and sample the wares of more than 60 vendors offering everything from wedding planning, clothing and food to photography, music and specialty art products.
"We're trying to promote the area vendors so that (people) can see we have everything they need in our local area so they don't have to go out of town," said Marcia Stewart, owner of Ash-Hanson Flowers and Wedding Innovations and coordinator of the event.
Those vendors will of course have displays and samples on hand - perhaps most notably those providing edible products.
"We suggest that no one eat before they come, because all the caterers serve food and all the cake-bakers have samples," Stewart said.
She also suggested attendees bring mailing labels to stick on sheets as they sign up for door prizes instead of writing their information down over and over. The label should include the names of the bride and groom, a phone number, mailing address, email address and the date of the wedding.
If you go
What: Marietta Bridal Extravaganza.
When: 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday, registration begins at 12:30, drawings after the 4 p.m. runway show.
Where: Dyson Baudo Recreation Center, Marietta College.
Who: More than 60 vendors, including photographers, musicians, caterers, venues, clothing and more.
For information: 376-2679 or
The Bridal Extravaganza started in 1999 with 23 vendors. This year's total is 64, with the venue of the college recreation center providing plenty of room for them and the crowd of brides- and grooms-to-be, their friends and family.
"Everything is done in one room, even the parade of fashions," Stewart said. "You can be talking to somebody, turn around and watch the show, turn around and keep talking to them."
The parade of fashions, slated for 4 p.m., will feature the latest styles, Stewart said. The show itself aims to be on the leading edge of trends in fashion, flowers and more, including venues available in the area, she said. The Fairfield Inn & Suites at Ohio 7 and County House Lane, scheduled to open in March, will be participating.
Attending the show is a "no-brainer" for vendors, said Curt Plummer, a Belpre-based DJ who works events from Chicago to North Carolina and is looking to pick up some local events. There will be plenty of options for those looking for services and plenty of business to go around, he said.
"Everybody's going to get a share of the market," Plummer said. "I'm friends with a lot of the different DJs, bands and things. ... It's all one big, happy family."
Marietta resident Anthony Wilson said the show is a benefit for him and his home-based business, AWilson Pencil Portraits.
"I'll get three or four orders from this one event," he said.
Wilson does pencil sketches of photos, such as an engagement picture for guests at a wedding to sign for the couple or a favorite image for a bride to give to the groom.
"I just tend to try to work with my brides," he said. "Whatever they want, I try to provide it."
Stewart said one trend she's seeing lately is brides being more budget-conscious. Vendors are aware of that but Stewart said a wedding can be affordable while still living up to expectations.
"We plan a dream wedding, then we do a reality check," she said. "No matter what we have to do with budget, we make it happen."