By Dave Taylor
This Sunday will be a big day for anyone planning their own “big day,” with the county’s first Bride and Groom Show bringing in more than 20 vendors from the area to showcase their skills and offerings, as well as to give away lots of free stuff.
The event, hosted by the Hancock Clarion, will be held Sunday, March 11, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Immaculate Conception Parish Hall in Hawesville, and will have something for local lovers and just lovers of pomp and circumstance.
A newspaper hosting a bridal event might seem surprising, but in fact it’s a perfect fit, said Linda Dillon, the Senior Accounts Executive at the Clarion and organizer of the show.
“I had a lot of people from the community that were pushing us to do this,” Dillon said. “We’re the community newspaper, we’re the voice of the people, so when they asked me to step forward and do it, I thought well, we’re not really in the event business, but maybe we’re going to be, because if that’s what we need to do to support our community I’ll step forward and do that.”
Putting on a bridal show in a county that’s not known for its public events didn’t pose much of a challenge, she said.
“I was actually surprised that people were eager to do it,” she said, adding that the current total of vendors scheduled to come is at 23.
This week’s Clarion includes a special section on wedding planning, including information on the 23 vendors along with another dozen or so who couldn’t come because of prior commitments, but Dillon said the vendors coming Sunday represent a wide variety of services from different parts of the region.
“We have eight participants from Owensboro,” she said, “and then there are 11 participants from Indiana… and three participants from Hawesville.”
Every element of a wedding will be covered on Sunday, she said, with plenty of help available to put together a dream wedding.
“When you’re planning an event, a wedding in particularly, there’s seemingly endless things that you need to decide,” she said, like photographers, venues, food, music, and more.
“If you go to a bridal show it’s a good opportunity to meet vendors face to face and get to know them, to see what their style is and what they offer,” she said. “Not only that, you get really good advice from these people because they’re experts in the field.”
Sunday’s show will also be an opportunity to see what’s trending now, she said, since weddings are becoming more and more personalized, and vendors offering everything from rustic to glam to even themed weddings.
“And also personalities are very important,” she said. “If you’re going to work with these people for quite some time, you want to make sure that you’re on the same page with them, that you like each other, and it’s a pleasant experience.”
The show can also help with one of the most potentially unpleasant experiences of a wedding: the cost.
“You can take advantage of the opportunity to save on the wedding itself because all of the vendors are offering discounts or free prizes,” she said. “You can literally get anything from a free photography session to discounts on venues and travel, and there’s even a free hotel room that’s being offered at a beautiful resort.”
“You can’t win though, if you don’t come and enter,” she said.
Many vendors will be offering freebies throughout the day, including caterers offering food and others offering demonstrations and samples, and one giveaway will be what every attendee could use: free money.
“There’s going to be a $50 cash prize that the Clarion is going to offer and if you have each vendor sign off that you visited their table, then you bring the list back to us and we’ll enter you for the $50 cash prize,” she said.
The core of the show, of course, is to help couples plan a beautiful wedding while staying on a sensible budget, and Sunday will do just that.
“If you can knock $100 off here and there, on your travel, on your venue, on your flowers, it’s all going to add up,” Dillon said.
“If you want to see what’s trending, if you want to talk to professionals and get advice, and then also have the opportunity to be budget savvy and get some things for free and cut down your costs on your wedding day, you definitely want to be there,” she said.
Entry to the event is $2 per person at the door.