Hosted by the city of Woodstock Parks and Recreation Department, the fourth annual Cherokee Bridal Expo will be held at Woodstock’s Magnolia Hall on Saturday.
Sponsored by Maria Murray, owner of Globe Trotters travel agency, the event will showcase several local vendors, including Murray’s own business which offers honeymoons, destination weddings, cruise packages and other travel services to the brides, as well as their family and friends.
Murray said she anticipates about 250 attendees, about what she has seen in the last couple of years.
“I think a lot of brides like it because they have more of an opportunity to speak one-on-one with vendors,” Murray said.
Brides and guests can expect beverages, hors d’oeuvres, a fashion show at 3 p.m. and numerous vendor prizes, including a two-hour engagement photography session worth $400.
Murray said there will also be a prize drawing for a honeymoon trip courtesy of Couples Resorts.
Melissa Dean, owner of Smallcakes Cupcakery Woodstock, said she will participate as one of the feature vendors at the expo. She said she plans to open her franchise Feb. 1 at 2035 Towne Lake Parkway and will provide several dessert options for brides.
Smallcakes Cupcakery earned its fame when owner Jess Martin was featured on Food Network’s “Cupcake Wars.” Dean said she jumped at the opportunity to open her own franchise.
“I just always liked to bake and always wanted to own my own business,” she said. “The opportunity came up and I decided to just go with it.”
Dean, a Woodstock resident, said her shop will offer 15 cupcake flavors each day and hopes to provide an alternate dessert experience for local brides.
“As far as serving
cupcakes at weddings, it’s a lot easier to serve them to individuals,” Dean said. “They can be decorated just as beautiful as a cake can.”
Dean said she will be providing cupcake samples at the expo and information about wedding packages.
Run by two local floral stylists, another first-time participating local vendor is Simple Elegance by Patti and Brenda, who have both provided floral arrangements for Cherokee County weddings for the last 28 years.
Co-owner Patti Cramer said she and Brenda Brooks, former owner of Brenda’s House of Flowers, typically do not advertise but thought the expo would be a good way to get more exposure.
“This being our first time, we really don’t know what to expect,” Cramer said. “We want to give brides the opportunity to ask us questions so we can share our knowledge and then they’ll hopefully use us.”
Cramer said she and her business partner of about 28 years have provided florals for weddings costing anywhere between $400 and $50,000.
“We cater to all brides,” she said. “Our motto is to make the bride happy, no matter how much money she has. That’s the key to our business.”
Additionally, Cramer said they will be giving $175 toward a bridal bouquet to one lucky bride who books a wedding with their company.
Other participating local facilities include The Wheeler House in Ball Ground; caterers and restaurants include The Magnolia Thomas House and Center Cut Catering; religious services from Bascomb United Methodist Church; DJ and music services from Complete Music DJ Video Photobooth and Sirius Diversions; accessories from Stella & Dot and Lia Sophia Jewelry; personal accessories from Passion Parties by Lynn and My Skinny Wrap Treats; desserts from Best Dang Bakery Around; glamour photos from Glamour Booth; bridal shop Tie The Knot Bridal Boutique; wedding doves from A Dove’s Nest; men’s formal wear from King Tux Rentals; bridal registry from Bella Bridal Network ; photographers Matthew Druin Photography, Audrey Grace Photo and It’s Your Day Photography; salon Melissa & Company; travel services from Holland America Cruise Lines and Royal Hideaway.
Marybeth Stockdale with Woodstock Parks and Recreation will also be on hand to speak with brides about the location itself, which provides bridal receptions.
“We’ve gotten many reports that she’s a joy to work with,” Murray said. “She will go the extra mile for you.”
The event will run from 12 to 4 p.m. at Magnolia Hall, located at 108 Arnold Mill Road Building C, behind Magnolia House Restaurant.
To register for the event, go to www.cherokeebridalexpo.com. Tickets cost $6 and only cash is accepted at the door.