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Expos provide brides-to-be

February 21, 2008
Planning a wedding can be complicated and time consuming. The many decisions often add unneeded stress for a bride-to-be.

Bridal expos — such as the recently held Clear Channel’s Wedding Expo at the Scottish Rite Auditorium and Backyard Broadcasting’s 16th Annual Bridal Expo at the Genetti Hotel — can help brides make plans, get ideas and jumpstart their wedding plans.

Trends in wedding ceremonies and receptions have taken a turn from traditional white. According to many bridal experts, color has taken a front seat in the wedding scene with rich colors adorning bridesmaids’ dresses and the bride’s gown.

Many vendors at the recent bridal expos said they are seeing bursts of color in black-and-white photography, along with bright colors in reception decor.

Brides today are including their dogs in the ceremony, dressing flower girls in wings and including themes such as Disney Princess and period costumes.

Some couples opt for simple ways to make their special day stand out, such as getting married in their parents’ backyard or by having a destination wedding.

The stories found throughout this section were the result of attending both expos and talking with a variety of vendors about their trades.


With more color being used in the attire and cake, it’s only natural to have colorful flowers to highlight the ensemble and decor.

“Brides are tending to shy away from the all-white arrangements and more towards bright colors,” said Kelli Stiber, owner of Mystic Gardens, 201 Basin St. “Chocolate is a hot color; we do have the chocolate Gerber daisies.”

Mystic Gardens, which had arrangements on display at the Clear Channel’s Wedding Expo, has been open for 2 1/2 years. Stiber, however, has been in the flower business for more than 20 years.

Stemming at the business for 22 years, Janet’s Floral Creations, 1718 Four Mile Drive, has seen trends come and go. Co-owners Janet Johns and Edith Easton bring more than 27 years of experience to the business.

“Lately, we have been seeing a lot of lime greens, oranges and hot pinks. Most brides want something unique and different, compact designs and loose and airy have been the most popular,” Johns said. Her arrangements were seen at the Backyard Broadcasting expo.

Stiber said floral pomander balls are becoming popular for brides. She showed an example of the ball at her shop, which was a round sphere made of flowers and adorned with decorative wire, which the bride can carry as her bouquet.

Another big trend with flowers, Stiber said, is centerpieces like a skinny glass cylinders or a vase in which orchids are submerged.

Unique seems to be the key word both florists are hearing from brides.

“Twenty years ago, it was a round bouquet and that is all you got; now it’s just anything and everything you can think of, we can do,” Stiber said.

Johns said brides are looking to stand out from the crowd. Adding things like rhinestones and gems to bouquets are some of the requests.

Other changes are the mother of the bride changing from pin-on corsages to wristlets or hand-tied bouquets, Johns noticed.

Stiber said more brides-to-be want “fairytale weddings,” so her shop provides hand-made fairy wings, made of feathers, that can be worn by flower girls and dogs.

Mystic Garden also offers dog leashes adorned with flowers for those lucky pooches who are included in their owner’s weddings. Flower girls also can carry nontraditional baskets made from decorative wire and peacock feathers.

“I believe that sets me apart from everyone else. I am the only one doing that,” Stiber said.

The two florists definitely share one common thing in modern floral arranging: embellishments.

Stiber tells brides to pick a florist that doesn’t have a full schedule on their special day so “[the florist] will give the undivided attention the bride deserves.”

She also suggests looking for a full-service florist, one that will deliver the flowers to the bride and church and transfer them from place to place.

Johns added that the freshness of the flowers also should be a priority.

“The types of flowers before used to be limited to just what was in season, but with modern-day advances, we are able to get flowers from all over the world and we can get almost any flower in at any given time,” Johns said.

Wedding planners

and trends

If all this sounds overwhelming, why not hire someone to take care of the details for you?

Wedding planners can help couples and family keep the peace and help ideas come to life.

Lori A. Poff Bridal Consulating and Services, Sunbury, helps the bride, groom and their families plan the special day. She displayed some of her services at the Clear Channel Wedding Expo.

“I’ll go in and decorate for the ceremony and reception, also tear down. That way the families can kick back and relax, and let the decorating up to a professional,” Poff said.

Poff has been offering wedding services since the ’90s. She also lets brides rent things like centerpieces, mirrors, tulling, arches and greens, which she also decorates.

“Not only does it get expensive buying decorations,” she said, “but they’re left with decorations they may never use again.”

Roxanne Lupold, wedding coordinator at Unforgettable Events, Mifflinburg, said she does everything from recommending vendors to negotiating contracts.

Lupold, who attended Backyard Broadcasting’s expo, said that most of her customers have a vision for their wedding; she just takes the ideas and helps bring them to life.

“I’ve been in business for three years, I sort of fell into this line of work. I have always love organizing parties for family and friends,” Lupold said.“In my opinion, weddings are still traditional, but with a nontraditional twist. Weddings and receptions are now a reflection of the bride and groom’s personality and interests.”

Lupold also has seen a trend toward “green wedding” concepts, where couples chose organic foods for their reception, use recycled paper for invitations and encourage having seedlings planted.

But most importantly, begin your plans sooner rather than later, Lupold said, even if your wedding’s not until 2010.

“Don’t think your budget will not allow for a professional coordinator. Unforgettable Events, for example, offers a free consultation,” she said. “If nothing else, hire someone to oversee the day of your wedding.

“Brides and grooms should be able to enjoy their day and not worry if the flowers or cake have arrived to the right church or reception area,” Lupold said.

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