By NICOLE GUGINO
OBSERVER Staff Writer
Bridal shows can be great inspiration for brides planning a wedding. Planning for the many aspects that go into a wedding can be both stressful and exciting; having ideas and experts on hand all in one place can make the task much more manageable.
The White Inn was the setting for a recent bridal show Vendors for photography, flowers, dresses, makeup, jewelry, music, food and wine, place settings and tuxedos together made for an inspiring experience.
Vendors' tables were full of vibrant and elegant wares for attendees to look through and purchase. The vendors made the event worth a bride's while, many offering discounts and consultations.
In the age of the internet, being able to see and experience many of the vendors' wares in person was a special experience for brides and their mothers, bridesmaids and fiances in attendance.
M&R Greenhouses, one of the florists at the show, had a table displaying several vibrant bouquets and a large centerpiece.
Mary Elizabeth Dewey of M&R Greenhouses said the standout colors are very in for 2012.
"Orange is the color of the year," Dewey said.
Another florist at the show, Fresh and Fancy Flowers & Gifts, had a table display of a large centerpiece and some sprawling bouquets.
Owner Charlotte Herlong said sweeping, less tightly bound bouquets are making a comeback; several brides seemed to gravitate toward the unique shape.
"We specialize in weddings. It's all about matching the flowers to the bride's personality, matching the bride and the dress Our motto is creating magical moments and treasured memories and that's what I do every day," Herlong said.
She added color, balance and texture are the most important elements in designing a bouquet.
The Cakery had a huge display at the event with cakes demonstrating several different styles, including one cupcake tower.
The local cake-makers let guests taste some of their most popular cakes including raspberry swirl with Bavarian cream.
Co-owner Peggy Rose said the cupcake towers are becoming more and more popular.
"Some brides like it because each guest gets their own special cake," she explained.
Many of the cakes on display, aside from a beach themed option, showcased flowers whether real, silk and gum paste.
Rose said cakes are following the trend with flowers where a pop of color is popular.
"Vibrant colors are definitely in," she added.
Several custom vendors of sparkling and unique jewelry were on hand displaying and selling rings, necklaces, bracelets and more, for anyone in the bridal party.
Bride-to-be Katie Wilkes of Forestville said she found the bridal show helpful.
"There's a lot of nice jewelry here, the makeup vendors have been really helpful and all the vendors are offering discounts," Wilkes said.
She explained she may buy custom jewelry for her wedding instead of going to a department store.
"I may buy handmade jewelry locally now instead of from a department store because they can make it however you want," she said.
Dresses - for brides and bridesmaids
Last year, the royal wedding influenced many bridal trends, although that wedding is over the fashions of the day are still inspiring new necklines for wedding dresses this year.
Although the classic strapless and sweetheart necklines were still on display, the models were pretty evenly split with illusion, one shoulder and deep V-necklines.
An illusion neckline is when a dress has a transparent panel of tulle or lace that attaches to the bodice and extends from the bust to the collar.
"Every girl is different ... I am starting to see more girls now want straps instead of strapless, like capsleeves," Iris Miller from the Bridal House in Fredonia said.
Bridal House supplied all the gowns for the fashion show.
The other trend for the year is "bling." In the past few years weddings have trended toward more simple, this year glamour is in and it was apparent by the dresses coming down the runway.
Almost every dress had lace, beading or rhinestones to make it sparkle as well as luxe fabrics and figure flattering design.
Although several dresses showed off a flattering a-line design, many dresses had drop waist or were a mermaid shape.
"Formfitted, a-line styles are in, brides now do not want all that puffiness. Its more elegant style. Lace and ruching are also very on trend," she said.
Another eye-catching detail were a long, sometimes floor length, row of buttons down the back of the dress.
Bridesmaids' dresses were also shown in a range of bright jewel tones and lengths. The show emphasized the new trend of non-matching bridal party attire, showing short and long options in the same color.
"Bright colors and short is more of what brides are going for now because it is something their bridesmaids could possibly use again and that is something a bride keeps in mind. Even if a bride wants to go long, most can be cut into a cocktail dress And with bridesmaids' dresses like bridal gowns, there has been a trend toward more a-line and less poofy,"Miller explained.
Flower girl dresses all tended to be white, a-line and innocent looking with a colorful sash. Iris said the Bridal House offers affordable options for the smallest girl in the wedding.
"Sometimes brides like to have something a little different. Flower girl dresses can be expensive but I have a company that is reasonable priced, you don't want to spend too on a dress for a girl for one day to get dirty and ripped," she explained.
She added these dresses also come in different colors and materials.
Thru the Grapevine Travel was on hand to counsel brides about their honeymoon options. Owner Rose Ann Falcone as been doing travel arrangements for 11 years and loves to travel.
Falcone said her company does honeymoons, destination weddings and cruises.
"Mostly honeymooners like to go to a resort, that's the big thing, some go on cruises but many like the all inclusive resort with the beach and all the amenities," she said as she offered brochures to those in attendance.
Ideas for dresses and cakes were not the only trends on display, there was also the push to shop local.
With the internet at a bride's finger tips and so many department stores offering options for a wedding, local vendors got a chance to let their products and services shine.
Shopping locally supports unique, community shops and keeps money in the local economy. It is also convenient and can make planning less stressful when it comes to crunch time.
It is also a way to make a wedding greener because less gas is used and pollution emitted to make and deliver the products.
Kellie Baker of Bemus Point said she is buying local for her wedding.
"I'm going to buy everything locally. I've gotten lots of ideas from the cakes and food was delicious," she said of her experience at the show.
The White Inn hosted this event as a fundraiser for the Lustgarten Foundation for pancreatic cancer research. Aisling Heenan announced the show had raised $810 for the charity. The next bridal show at this venue is planned for October.
Vendors included: M&R Greenhouses, The Cakery, Making Memories, Thru the Grapevine Travel, Sweet Creations, Kirk's Jewelers, Simply Skin Spa, Beachwalk Designs, Time Pieces, Digital Extravaganza, Tuxedo Junction, Jim's Dry Cleaners, Lea Sophia, Facial Expressions, Mary Kay, Fresh and Fancy Flowers & Gifts, Photography by Wendy, Portraits by Gary, Hot Bodies Tanning and Pampered Chef.