Leah Sager grabbed her phone and took a picture as she scanned a booth at the Beautiful Beginnings Bridal Expo at the Pensacola Bay Center.
The bride-to-be said she had most of her planning done before the event, but was hoping for some ideas on the small details she was working on and didn‘t mind grabbing a few food samples either.
“This is way easier than taking a whole day off and having to go all over to book different appointments,” Sager said. “(The expo) has everything you need.”
Sager was one of hundreds of future brides who gathered at the first of a string of local expos featuring businesses for catering, baking, photography and every other detail of weddings.
“It‘s a one-wedding stop,” said event coordinator Brenda Carraway, publisher of Coastal Weddings Magazine. “Plus, brides can meet a prospective vendor, have tastings, preview displays, bring their groom, mom, best friend, sister and, of course, preview the latest bridal fashion in a well organized runway show.”
Sager grabbed her “I‘m a bride” bag and made her way into the Civic Center filled with more than 100 vendors.
“This is overwhelming,” she said looking around.
The April 27 bride came in knowing what dress she‘ll be wearing, where her wedding will be and where the food is coming from, but said she was still looking for ideas on style, mother-of-the bride dress and any other inspiration she could gather from the expo.
One of Sager‘s first stops had her grabbing her phone from her purse and snapping a photo of a booth filled with custom-made goods with initials and sayings on runways, plates and even crates.
"This is something I want to do," Sager said before shaking the hand of the vendor and grabbing her card. "This is all about getting the ideas for the little details."
The 25-year-old made her way around the store grabbing cake samples, signing up for massages and chatting with photographers on price points and style. When the lights turned off and the bridal fashion show got underway she turned and began breathing heavy before laughing.
"It's getting closer," she said, panic in her voice. "I've got a lot to do, good thing I came today."
Other expos in the area:
Gulf Coast Bridal Faire
This expo will take place Jan. 20 from 1 – 5 p.m. at the Emerald Coast Convention Center. The event features door prizes, a bridal fashion show and a “man cave” for male attendees. The grand prize is a wedding package from SunQuest Cruises. Admission is $10 and the box office opens at noon. Brides are encour-aged to pre-register.
For more information visit: gulfcoastbridalfaire.com
“Brides Just Want to Have Fun” Bridal Show
This expo is sponsored by the Destin Bridal Directory and hosted by the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort. The event will take place on Feb. 16 from 12:30 to 4 p.m. and offers several door prizes, a bridal fashion show and one grand prize at the end of the event. The resort offers special rates for the weekend and the entry fee for the event is $10.
For more information visit: bridesjustwannahavefun.com.