One-stop wedding shopping
Expo planner Wes Jenks of Jenks Productions in Connecticut said the idea behind the expo is to let couples shop for their wedding under one roof with the best wedding professionals in the area. He estimated 2,000 future brides, fiancées, moms and wedding party members took advantage of that opportunity this year.
Another advantage of the expo appeared to be to showcase the newest bridal trends. Starting with the wedding gown, Krysti Klotz of V. K. Bridal Couture in Walnutport said styles are changing to the more contemporary. “The bride is looking for something timeless— a new look.” That translates into strapless gowns or those with sheer backs, or backs with covered buttons and other detailing, Klotz explained. “It’s now about the whole picture, not just the front.”
Wedding-party fashions also have been updated. Bridesmaids dresses in more casual above-the-knee, free-swirling skirts in a myriad of colors and patterns dominated the runway during the expo’s fashion show.
Decorations, shapes, fillings and flavors of wedding cakes have also gone modern. Classic white or ivory circular tiers have morphed into octagonals and squares finished in a variety of fondant colors. It was not surprising to find cakes on display at the expo frosted with black trimming or studded with black beads.
Granny Schmidt’s Bake Shop in Whitehall might have a nostalgic name, but its displays for the expo exemplified the romantic and modern looks in wedding cakes. Themed cakes are popular today, such as the bake shop’s black-and-white creation based on “A Nightmare Before Christmas,” baked for a Halloween wedding.
Granny Schmidt’s owner Michelle Quier provided samples of current cake flavors and fillings, ranging from the classic vanilla and raspberry, to banana Nutella, lemon poppy seed with limoncello frosting and chocolate and Kahlua cream.
At another booth, photographer Alyssa Andrew said has been doing pre-wedding boudoir photos of the bride for six years, and she says “it is now starting to be more of a trend.” One prospective customer who did not want to be identified said, “A boudoir photo album would be something different to give as a gift to her fiancée. I wouldn’t take photos of myself that way.” Standing next to her, the fiancée was asked if he would enjoy getting the photos. He didn’t say anything; just blushed.
If engaged couples prefer to turn all their wedding needs over to one coordinator, then Dream Events of Northampton is the type of full-service event planner they may be looking for.
Invitation designer Carol Fenstermacher said her company helps coordinate everything from “the beginning to lights out.” They do up to 30 events a weekend, mostly weddings.
Newly engaged Sibohan Stern was attending the expo for the first time with her fiancée Matt Elison and getting advice on wedding invitations from Fenstermacher. The couple agreed the expo was very helpful. “We had no idea what to do. We don’t even know what kind of cake we want,“ Elison said. Then, referring to the many local vendors they were meeting at the expo, he added, “We could Google, but you don’t learn about the small mom and pops that do great work.”