Bonnie Belle’s Pastries’s


Kristen McGril, a student from Fairmont State, works Bonnie Belle’s Pastries’s booth during the bridal extravaganza.

For many people, getting married is the most exciting day of their lives. There is the exquisite dress, the delicious food and the cake. Wedding planning can be a great experience, but it can also be very stressful.

The Waterfront Place Hotel hosted its 13th annual Bridal Extravaganza Sunday. For three hours, future brides and their fiances and families were exposed to all the things that can go into a wedding.

"We do change the event every year based on current trends," said Kelly Saunders, the catering sales manager. "This year, the current trend is pinks and blushes and champagne colors. We find out what the current trends are from all of our contacts like the florist and the linen companies. They know what they are selling and what is big at the time."

There were stands for catering companies, makeup, flower arrangements, table settings, jewelry, tuxedo companies, DJs, photographers and even destination weddings.

"I think the best part about this expo is that it really sparks creativity and new ideas. All of our vendors set up little samples of what they do, and sometimes it spurs people to think of thinks they never would have thought of," Saunders said.

One of the flower vendors shared how they make their arrangements and specifically for different events. The Flower Shop is a small family business. One day while going in to pick up flowers, the owner of the store explained they were selling it. They jumped at the opportunity, and now the business is family-run.

"A lot of time and love goes into each arrangement and each bouquet because we really take what the person wants to heart," said Lael Hixenbaugh, the office and marketing director. "We definitely try to take their ideas and their dreams and make it into their own little masterpiece. Everything is 100 percent custom."

Hixenbaugh said the biggest difference between flowers for weddings,baby showers and funerals is the colors.

While she is not a part of the family, she said they have welcomed her into the business as if she were family. Even this past Christmas, they spent it all together.

Krystal Stevens, a music therapist, attended the show with her mother Traci Stevens and grandmother Nancy Gagne. Krystal Stevens is planning to get married in October and has recently begun wedding planning. So far, her favorite part has been the food, and she is currently in the process of picking a wedding dress.

"He and I met in college. We are both music therapists, and he is a big musician. His proposal was this huge, elaborate thing with a string quartet, and he is a part of a fraternity so he had his brothers serenade us after a walk in the park," Krystal Stevens said. "A lot of our friends afterward were like, ‘You have ruined it for everyone.’"