The Event Center hosts wedding gala with 50 varied vendors
By Maggie Blackwell
Brides filled The Event Center Saturday to attend Cornerstone Churchís very first occasion there: The Bride Show.
Billboards had heralded the event for weeks. All kinds of brides filled the aisles to study the vendorsí offerings: young brides, older brides, confident brides, giddy brides, stylish brides and casual brides.
The event featured 50 or so vendors who offered every option for the wedding. There were those vendors you might expect: wedding planners, florists, caterers, photographers, bridal shops, tux rentals, hair salons, and makeup artists. In all, there were 11 caterers, most of them offering a taste of their wares. Seven photographers displayed samples of their wedding craft.
There were also vendors you might not expect: teeth whiteners, the Salisbury Trolley, a real estate vendor, Verizon Wireless, jewelry shops, and weight loss plans. The Forum, a local gym, offered a Bridal Boot Camp, eight weeks of intensive workouts coupled with nutritional and diet guidance.
The Event Center is the worship area for Cornerstone Church on Webb Road. A large building that seats 700, it was built with events in mind. A loading dock backs up to the stage so that if needed, performers can unload equipment. Two green rooms flank the stage, outfitted with comfy furniture and private baths with showers. A sophisticated lighting system and audio system add to the drama.
The featured guest of the day was Angela Ramos. Ramos recently moved to Orlando from Hollywood, where she served as a correspondent for Jay Leno for five years. Today she serves as a stylist and personality serving Life Style and InTouch magazines.
Ramos was on stage three times during the day. She gave fashion tips in the morning. Later in the day, she emceed a fashion show from SteinMart. Finally, she gave wedding styling tips.
ěItís your Princess Day that youíve dreamed of all your life,î she said. ěDonít make yourself so stressed out ó you need to enjoy yourself.î
Tina Godair, director of The Event Center and co-pastor at Cornerstone Church, planned the event for about eight months.
ěIím a detail person,î she said.
Itís obvious. The hall definitely does not have a small-town feel.
Bride-to-be Shenise Clyburn is planning a September wedding at Uwharrie Vineyards. She attended the event with her mom and other female relatives.
ěItís great!î she said. ěI was looking for a caterer and flowers, but I found lots of other things Iíll need. Iíve never been to a bridal show, but I was surprised and pleased. Everything here is so elegant.î
In addition to finding her caterer, she saw ideas she may consider in her wedding. Is her fiancČ involved in the planning? ěHe told me his only job is to say, ëI do.í î
Tera Stroud of Rockwell attended the event. Tara is planning an October wedding and found a caterer, photographer and DJ on Saturday.
Jamie McKnight is marrying in 2010.
ěI liked all the vendors and how they all had their unique styles,î she said. ěFor this small area to offer a show like this was amazing.î
Jamieís mom agreed. ěI was afraid weíd have to go to Charlotte or the Raleigh area to find services. This event showcased whatís available in Rowan County. I am amazed.î
Tiffany Haley of Charlotte is planning a May wedding at St. Lukeís Episcopal Church in Salisbury. The proud mom is Salisbury artist Llewellyn Padgett. While at the show, Tiffany selected a caterer. And her fiancČ? ěHe would help if I asked. I told him I had it under control.î
The final event on stage was a fashion show by The Brideís Choice. The show featured beads, bustles, and bows as models paraded in wedding gowns, mother-of-the-bride attire, and flower girl dresses. An enthusiastic crowd applauded the showing, and returned to their perusal of vendors to make their day complete.
ANGELAíS TOP STYLING TIPS
NEVER pay full price
Get your key elements: a good pair of jeans, shoes, and handbag.
Itís OK to follow a trend, but maintain your identity.
Use accessories to establish your style. Angela found a coin from the year her grandmother was born. Using a coping saw, she cut out the background and created a one-of-a-kind medallion. She wears it as a necklace in memory of her grandmother.
Designer bags are not important. Find good pieces at the thrift store.