Anything and everything an engaged couple could want for their wedding was inside Avenue HQ, an event space located on Capitol Avenue, for the Thrifty Bride Wedding Expo on Saturday.
Gowns and tuxedos. Cakes and catering. Entertainment and venues. Beauty and wellness.
Christel Boone, owner and head planner with The Thrifty Bride, the wedding planning company sponsoring the event, said there were 38 vendors set up, many of which were local or small businesses. She wanted to brides to have access to these businesses at one time while simultaneously putting them in front of the public.
"I wanted this to be a local vendor event," she said, adding the expo was a way for the local wedding industry to network.
Donna Deetz, owner of High Street Retreat and The Trolley Company, said she appreciated the exposure the wedding expo gave her and other small businesses.
"We hope there are a lot of folks who come here today who learn about the small businesses," she said. "This is an opportunity for small businesses to shine."
The free event attracted 70 pre-registered patrons. Boone expected to see about 500 people walking through the doors, a number she estimated based on Facebook activity. Catering companies served free samples, and models walked in gowns from Ana Marie's Bridal during an afternoon fashion show.
Boone said she hoped brides walked away with more knowledge and better prepared for their wedding day. In addition to the standard necessities, the expo highlighted wedding essentials that don't easily come to mind.
"A bride might not think of the small details until there's a detail she might need," she said.
It was The Thrifty Bride's first wedding expo, and Boone said she plans to hold one in January and July annually to feature new fashions and trends.