On the hunt

Jameka Little of Kinston searches for a caterer and a photographer during last year’s Crystal Coast Bridal Fair at the Crystal Coast Civic Center in Morehead City. This year the event will be held Saturday, Jan. 11. (Dylan Ray photo)

Brides, grooms, bridal parties, family and more are invited to attend the 28th annual Crystal Coast Bridal Fair.

The show is set for 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 11 at the Crystal Coast Civic Center in Morehead City.

The Crystal Coast Bridal Fair provides a one-stop shopping experience for brides and grooms, with multiple vendors to explore for the big day.

Pam Kaiser, with Pam’s Specialized Catering, the event organizer, said planning a wedding can be stressful, and the goal of the bridal fair is to eliminate that pressure.

“It is overwhelming,” Ms. Kaiser said. “Coming to a place like this or an event like this might help you put it into perspective.”

The Crystal Coast Bridal Fair is the biggest bridal fair event east of Raleigh, and there will be everything soon-to-be married couples need for the big day.

Those who attend will be able to see a fashion show featuring the latest in styles and trends.

Ms. Kaiser said the bridal fair will feature around 55 vendors, with many new selections attending the event.

“I think it’s exciting to have so many new, different vendors that are there,” she said.

Some of the new vendors include Duplin Winery, Rustic Bar, Bottles Beyond and more. Ms. Kaiser said many are from out of the county and as far away as Raleigh and Wilmington.

While attending the bridal fair, brides and grooms can speak to vendors one-on-one, which Ms. Kaiser said can be beneficial as the bride and groom decide what will and won’t work for their wedding. Vendors will be able to share their knowledge of a subject on the spot and attendees can ask questions, something Ms. Kaiser said can be difficult to do if brides opt to shop online.

“The opportunity is unlimited for a fresh bride,” she said.

Those who attend the fair will also be to listen to live music and participate in contests.

During the bouquet toss, brides sit with their faces away from the audience and toss a bouquet over their shoulder into a 5-gallon bucket with their nondominant hand.

The second contest, Wedding Cake Treasure, involves brides surrounding a table that has a cake in the center. There will be several items and charms baked in the cake. Dressed in a rain slicker and gloves, brides will dig into the cake to retrieve the items.

During a third contest, a bride must be present at 2:30 p.m. for a drawing. The bride chosen will receive a credit from other vendors in the show worth $250.

The bride selected must pick out a vendor before the show is over and sign a contract to secure the prize.

For the third year in a row, the Crystal Coast Bridal Fair will also host an after party for brides and grooms, complete with a DJ and cash bar. The after party is from 6-9:30 p.m. at Merrell Estate and Garden in Pine Knoll Shores.

“That’s going to be really cool to have the after party there. I’m really excited for the vendors to go there and see what’s available,” Ms. Kaiser said.

Tickets for an all-inclusive package, which includes the fair and the after party, are $15. Tickets for the bridal fair only are $8.

Bridal fair tickets can be purchased at the door on the day of the event for $10 or $15 for the after party.

To purchase tickets or for more information, including what to do before visiting the show, visit crystalcoastbridalfair.com.

Organizers have provided tips on what do to before and during the Crystal Coast Bridal Fair so couples can make the most of the day.

Before attending the fair:

•    Have some idea of what you want for your wedding. The more you can narrow down your vision, the better off you’ll be.

•    Determine three areas of your wedding you’d like to find vendors for and seek those out at the bridal show. Skip the others or save them for last.

•    Ask a friend, family member or your fiancé to come along. You’ll need that extra set of hands and eyes.

•    Pack snacks.

•    Bring tote bags. You’ll have plenty to go into them.

•    Print sticky address labels with your name, wedding date and email. You can use these to stick on giveaway slips instead of filling all that info out at every booth you go to.

•    Set up a wedding-only email account. Use this email to keep all your wedding-related information in one spot.

•    Have your budget set. Set thresholds for venue, photographer, details, dress etc. This will help you narrow down vendors at the expo.

During the fair:

•    Stay focused. There’s going to be a vendor, venue, cake and dress style for every type of bride. Don’t go in sure of your modern, chic wedding and come out with information for a shabby chic venue with a horse drawn carriage.

•    Take breaks, there’s a lot to take in and you want time to digest some of what you see.

•    Watch the fashion shows.

•    Only enter the giveaways from vendors you’re interested in.

•    Sample cakes.

•    Don’t stress if you can’t find everything or everyone you wanted. You likely won’t. Keep in mind some dream wedding vendors might have weddings booked for the expo weekend.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

As a privately owned web site, we reserve the right to edit or remove comments that contain spam, advertising, vulgarity, threats of violence, racism, anti-Semitism, or personal/abusive/condescending attacks on other users or goading them. The same applies to trolling, the use of multiple aliases, or just generally being a jerk. Enforcement of this policy is at the sole discretion of the site administrators and repeat offenders may be blocked or permanently banned without warning.