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Bridal Expo offers inspiration, options
Event featured variety of vendors
Models wait backstage for their turn on the runway Sunday afternoon at the Gainesville Civic Center during the fashion show portion of the 24th annual Bridal Expo.

The Gainesville Civic Center hummed with the sound of women chatting excitedly with their mothers and closest friends, as they planned the best day of their lives.

The 24th annual Bridal Expo welcomed hundreds of brides with their friends, fiancés and families Sunday at the Gainesville Civic Center. Nearly 50 vendors from across Northeast Georgia set up booths with samples for attendees.

The theme of this year’s expo was “Be Inspired,” and future brides had plenty of inspiration at their disposal.

Vendors included companies providing decor, tuxedo rentals, invitations, photography, registries and more. Some booths offered wedding makeup services, while event planners had numerous table arrangements on display.

Wedding venues included the civic center itself; the Atlanta Botanical Garden, A Smithgall Woodland Legacy; the Hilton Garden Inn; Lake Lanier Olympic Venue; the Smith House in Dahlonega and Greg Hall in Hartwell, to name a few.

Several caterers offered samples of food, including 2 Dog Cafe and Longstreet Cafe from Gainesville and Natalie Jane’s Restaurant from Cornelia.

Music, including string quartets, DJs and bands, was available for perusal, and several photographers and florists were set up, as well.

Brides were given bags from Gainesville Parks and Recreation, which they filled with pamphlets, business cards and fliers.

Bride-to-be Alexis Chadwick said she has started planning her summer wedding in Dahlonega, but there were still some items she was hoping to find at the expo.

“I’m getting married June 3,” she said. “The Juliette Chapel is where I’m getting married, but I’m here looking for cakes and flowers and such.”

Guests were also treated to bridal fashion shows featuring two Georgian fashion designers: Atlanta-based House of Van Miller fashion brand by Vanessa Henderson and Rita Workman of Hana Couture of Buford.

Bride-to-be Tiffany Anderson said she was excited to also see travel agents offering honeymoon packages.

“I’ve done a lot of planning already, but it really seems like you could plan a whole wedding right here,” she said.

The Times was the major media sponsor for this year’s Bridal Expo and debuted its new Brides & Grooms magazine at the event. The magazine shares a variety of features about getting married in North Georgia and was available for free at the expo and at The Times office.

Other major sponsors included Carrie Jean Photography, Oakwood Occasions and Greg Hall Weddings and Events.

“I just love this,” said Dee Reising, a wedding consultant with Occasions Florist in Gainesville. “It’s so much fun to see all the little details that make a wedding come together.”