'Here comes' the Simply Elegant Bridal Showcase
Couples who are wedding planning will have an opportunity for some one-stop shopping Sunday, Jan. 19, at the Simply Elegant Bridal Showcase at The Maryland Theatre. Billed as “the largest event for brides in the Tri-State area,” the showcase is hosted by The Maryland Theatre, Wertman Photography, The Herald-Mail and What’s NXT.
Herald-Mail event coordinator Kim Tagg said around 50 vendors covering flowers, dresses, cakes, invitations, photography, wedding décor and more will participate.
“The vendors will have an opportunity to talk with all the different brides about their weddings. They will get exposure and the brides will see what they have to offer,” Tagg said.
Admission costs $5 and includes a free swag bag, champagne flute and champagne for those who are of age, and many chances to win prizes which will be given away throughout the day. Those who buy tickets in advance will be entered into a drawing for a $150 Visa gift card.
Top prizes include a wedding onstage at The Maryland Theatre; a $1,000 catering voucher from 28 South of Hagerstown; and a honeymoon package with a value of $2,000 courtesy of All Seasons Vacations of Mercersburg, Pa.
Wanda Keefer, who owns All Seasons Vacations, said the event benefits both brides and vendors.
“Brides are ready to book when they come to the show, so I like that idea,” she said.
Keefer has been a vendor at the Simply Elegant Bridal Showcase and at similar shows for many years. She tries to donate at least one giveaway per year.
“It’s a good way to give back to the community and to let people know we are out there,” she said.
This year’s honeymoon prize giveaway is a four-day/three-night, all-inclusive, two adult package to Sandals Ochi Beach Resort in Ochi Rios, Jamaica.
“People can go anywhere for a honeymoon but I think Sandals is one of the top in the business. It’s a 5-star resort,” she said.
Representatives from the travel agency will be available at the showcase to discuss information about monthly interest-free payment plans for travel and assistance getting couples “through the honeymoon process from start to finish.”
“We take a detailed time with brides and grooms so they understand what is involved with a honeymoon,” she said. “We take care of everything down to luggage tags, ribbons on luggage, customs forms, tips like ‘dos and don’ts.’ We VIP them.”
While there will be one free giveaway trip, others at the show who book through All Seasons Vacations will receive the same services for honeymoons and vacations at no additional fee.
“It doesn’t cost anything more than if they booked online or called an 800 number,” Keefer said. “We make sure they understand the value they are getting for what they spend.”
Many couples are opting for honeymoon registries rather than gift registries.
“Honeymoon registries are free to them and to (wedding) guests,” she said. “A honeymoon registry gets you going. You don’t need to register for crockpots, towels, gift cards, things you might not use. People put money toward the honeymoon instead. That’s really big right now.”
J&B Bridals of Chambersburg, Pa., will display the latest in wedding fashions. David’s Bridal will display bridal fashions throughout the venue, including mannequin displays on landings on both sides of the staircase in the newly-renovated theater.
In past years, Tagg said, the showcase took place at the Valley Mall and then more recently at Press Room at The Herald-Mail. Several hundred people attend.
For the first time this year, it will be held at the theater in a community partnership in support of the facility and its role as part of a vibrant downtown community.
“The showcase offers an elegant ambiance and generates a lot of excitement,” Tagg said. “It gives people access to a lot of great resources. They come and find what they are looking for, whether it is planning a honeymoon, wedding cakes, bridal invitations, DJs. They can sample food, talk one on one, and get a lot of information to help plan for their big day.”
Top photo: A model makes her way past a crowd at the 2019 Bridal Showcase Sunday afternoon at the PressRoom at The Herald-Mail. (Herald-Mail file photo)