PEMBERVILLE — Taylor Newlove of Bowling Green, touring the 2013 Wedding Extravaganza Sunday afternoon with fiance Tim Chimes of Cleveland, had plenty of stops to make.
|Vicki Knott (center) and her daughters Sarah (left) and Beth look at the display by Downtown Deco Sunday afternoon. (Photo: Shane Hughes/Sentinel-Tribune)
“We’re looking at just about everything,” Newlove admitted, in view of the fact that she still needs a dress and they’ve haven’t yet selected a reception venue for their planned summer 2014 wedding, although “we have a couple ideas.”
The pair, who met as undergrads at Bowling Green State University, had paused to taste cake and chocolate fountain samples at the Mary Poppins Cake Factory booth on the east end of the Riverview Banquet Centre. For the third year in a row, it was the setting for the show, co-hosted by The Sentinel-Tribune.
Bride-to-be Elisha Dierker of Pemberville is almost at the opposite end of the wedding “race.” Her big day is just six weeks away.
“We came last year and really enjoyed it,” Dierker said, as she and her mom worked their way through the attached tent where more vendors held court. “This year we have pretty much everything; we’re just making sure.”
Her five maids will be carrying bouquets of orange flowers designed by Todd Sheets of Downtown Deco, to set off their deep purple dresses, at an Oct. 25 ceremony at Cedar Creek followed by a reception at Freeport Banquet Hall in Wayne.
That’s a hall quite familiar to DJ Kalen Bloom of Bloomdale, who chatted with visitors to his booth after calling brides together for one of several prize bouquet-tosses during the four-hour show.
His company, Rhythm N Bloom, has been up and running for about a year now, although he’s been DJ’ing for the last six years.
“We started with small parties, then proms, and now we’re doing weddings, the cancer society Relay for Life and car shows,” including a recent show in Bowling Green and another coming up in Fostoria.
“We like to focus it around the bridal party. It’s not our day,” he said, describing his approach to weddings. “We have no problems making sure everything is timed correctly, working around the photographer and the caterer.”
Bloom enjoys being able to take live requests during the reception. He says the current odds-on favorite for father-daughter dance is Rascal Flatts’ “My Wish.”
“Lately that’s been requested for about half of our weddings.”
A highlight of the 2013 Wedding Extravaganza was the presence of a record four bridal gown shops.
One shop that’s opened within the past year is Belle Amour, at 927 N. Summit St. in Toledo.
Fall 3013 brides “want lace,” said owner Michelle Menningen emphatically, pointing to an all-over lace model with halter neckline on one of the mannequins at her booth. “And they want sleeves.”
A surprising number of the latest gowns have “three-quarter-length sleeves, in fact — mostly sheer,” often paired with deep “V” plunging backs and a lot of back interest.
“We got one in the other day with a Queen Anne neckline and illusion back that was just beautiful,” Menningen said.
Bridal gown prices are currently ranging from $1,500 to $2,000, she estimated.
Further down the aisle a live model showed off a full-skirted white gown in front of the Bridal by Gwen booth. Owner Gwen Kizer opened her doors just a few months ago on Eastgate Road in Toledo.
“All my gowns are off the rack,” she explained, and thus perfect for the bride who is coming down to the wire. “And we rent, also,” although so far most of her customers end up purchasing the gowns.
She discussed trends in bridal, noting that she has much more demand for white versus ivory, and at least 50 percent of brides are opting for above-the-knee dresses for their maids.
Toledo residents Donnavive Burkett and her fiance Adam Cashen came down to Sunday’s show to dig deeper into plans for their Dec. 13, 2014 wedding.
“We’re trying to plan our budget and the only way to know” what they can expect to spend for each wedding service “is to check directly” with vendors.
“We’re still looking for a hall,” Burkett noted.
“We were at ‘I Do at the Zoo’ last weekend and saw Riverview there, so we decided to come down to this show” and get a closer look. “We really like it here; we’re able to really talk to the vendors” instead of being rushed along.
Couples still looking for a hall were also drawn to the booth for the Stroh Center at Bowling Green State University, where Lindsay Laurent, coordinator of special events, was enthusiastic about the fact that Stroh is now booking weddings.
“We have our first wedding in August. I’m really excited,” said Laurent. “We’ve probably already done six banquets and have another coming in February.”
Laurent is already brimming with ideas for next year, when Stroh will take over as the venue for the Sentinel’s Wedding Extravaganza. “We’ll have so much space to work with.”
Figuring you can never get started too early, Morgan Alexander of Wayne, who plans a fall 2015 wedding, made a careful tour of the show with her mom, Ruth. “Maybe I’ll get ideas of things I didn’t even know existed,” she said, looking at a display of preserved bridal bouquets in keepsake shadow boxes by Linda Henry of Keepsake Floral.
Alexander’s planning an outside wedding at the White Star Barn near Gibsonburg, with definite country overtones, “so yeah, we’re gonna get down.”