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Brides and grooms-to-be flock to annual bridal show (17 photos)

Love was in the air at the annual bridal show Sunday at Cardinal Golf Club

The holidays have passed, the days are finally starting to get longer and our thoughts, inevitably, turn to spring. 

For some, thoughts of spring turn to thoughts of their upcoming nuptials and all the dreaming, planning, and shopping that become par for the course.

That’s where Love Story Bridal Show becomes the annual go to for soon-to-be brides and their entourages.

The annual bridal show, a long-standing tradition for York Region and Simcoe County, was recently taken over, re-branded and is now hosted by Cardinal Golf Club.

“We started hosting the show a couple years ago when the previous company that ran it retired and stepped away from the industry,” explained Anne-Marie Million, director of sales for Cardinal Golf Club.

“We’ve had a great response,” she continued. 

“A lot of the vendors that did the previous show wanted to come back and the show has been successful because there’s not really another show in the area. It’s not too small, but also not too big. People like it because they can see three or four vendors from each category and not be overwhelmed.”

With people lined up to come in when the doors opened, over three dozen local vendors were able to share their talents and help in the decision-making process for hundreds of brides and couples.

One of the first decisions that an engaged couple needs to make is whether they will go the DIY route or if they’ll enlist the services of a wedding planner, to help ease the stress and make everything more enjoyable on their big day.

“It’s important to remember that the day is for you. Although you’ve done the DIY preparation, you can’t execute the DIY alone. You have to trust somebody,” said Anita Donato, owner of Anita’s Corporate Events in Sharon. 

Donato’s slogan is “Making your dream a reality” and that’s exactly what your planner is there to do, but first, your wedding planner needs to understand your dream.

“I won’t take you on as a client until I’ve actually met you or spoken to you on the phone. It’s really important to have a connection with my brides,” said Donato.

“We have to be in tune with each other. If we’re not in tune, the day isn’t going to be executed the way you want.”

As an expert in the business of weddings, Donato has some advice on selecting the vendors that you hire.

“There are three things you need to look at. First, are the vendors going to be local? If you’re doing a local wedding, you don’t want to have to worry about delivery or travel charges from out of area vendors.”

“Next, you have to connect with that vendor in a way that they’ll remember who you are and what you’re doing on your special day.”

 “Lastly, talk to your planner about their recommended vendor list. While you’re not obligated to use those vendors, they’ve already been vetted and have proven themselves over time.”

Ahmad El-Farram, owner and lead photographer at Knight Image Photography in Newmarket, is in agreement about the need for a bride and groom to do their homework when they’re sourcing vendors for their wedding.

“The best thing I can do is to educate a bride. Regardless if they go with me or not, it ensures that they’ll achieve their goals and work with the best people,” said El-Farram.

Ask questions, do your research and narrow down your top choices based on budget, style and personality.

“Personality wise, if we’re not a good fit, it’s not going to work because, let’s be honest, we’re hanging out all day,” said El-Farram.

The biggest thing that he cautions future brides and grooms is to protect themselves even if they’re distracted by the emotion of the wedding.

“It’s a saturated market and you want to make sure that your vendors are running their business like a business. Do they have a contract? Are they insured so that you’re protected by hiring them? Don’t be afraid to ask questions,” he said.