LEWISTOWN - Floral arrangements, wedding gowns, samples of cake and other fine foods filled the Lewistown Country Club on Sunday afternoon for The Sentinel's third annual Bridal Expo.
More than 20 vendors displayed their products and services to brides and grooms-to-be, their families and friends. The event also featured mini-makeovers by Bon Ton and Mary Kay Cosmetics, as well as a bridal gown showcase presented by Sentinel Style Columnist Jacquie Bennett and Kay Kirkland, of The Paisley Bride. The showcase focused on outfitting the bride from head to toe.
Bennett began the presentation with a quote from her son, who once told her "the diamonds are in your own backyard."
Sentinel photo by BRADLEY KREITZER
Kay Kirkland, of The Paisley Bride, left, and Sentinel Style Columnist Jacquie Bennett talk about the different styles of wedding dresses Sunday during the Bridal Expo at the Lewistown Country Club. See more photos at cu.lewistownsentinel.com.
Looking around at the variety of vendors participating in the event, Bennett said she truly believes this is the case for those attending the expo - brides and grooms-to-be don't have to travel far to get help planning their wedding.
"It's all right here," she said.
Bennett asked Kirkland how a bride-to-be knows when she's found her perfect dress.
"She smiles, her posture's different. You just know," Kirkland replied. "It's a feeling. She doesn't want to take it off."
Kirkland then previewed several types of wedding gowns, including ones with a halter top and sweetheart neckline.
Bennett also discussed the idea to have a single-tier veil with an embellishment.
"It really does catch a sparkle as the bride walks down the aisle," she said.
One of the trendiest motifs right now for brides, Bennett said, is the flower. It is seen everywhere: on shoes, jewelry and gowns.
Bennett then explained that when a bride-to-be is picking out her wedding gown, her two main choices are the gown's silhouette, or its fit and flow, and the neckline. When choosing a gown, she said, "you have to be open."
Women shouldn't just see a dress on a hanger and decide to get it, Bennett said; they should try it on.
"Don't come in with a pre-conceived notion (about a particular gown),"Kirkland added.
When it comes to a bride's hair, some of the latest trends include veils and tiaras with a lot of embellishment, such as feathers or flower pieces, Bennett said.
"Anything kind of goes as far as the hair," she said.
Bennett also said she's noticed brides "stepping outside the box" when it comes to their wedding outfits, and using other colors besides white, such as light pink or ice blue. Another trend is to wear different color shoes.
"Put that pop of color under the white gown," she said, adding that brides can blend with their bridesmaids by wearing similar colors.
When it comes to dressing the bridesmaids, Bennett suggested shrugs, wraps or Pashminas - a type of cashmere wool that is made into scarves or shawls.
"Those are wonderful little accessories," she said. "I love them. You can do so much with them."
Bennett also addressed jewelry for the bride. She said brides who wear their hair down should wear smaller earrings, noting "long, dangly earrings look better with up-dos."
She said there are numerous jewelry options, including cuff bracelets, which some brides choose to wear over their gloves. However, it's important not to overload on jewelry, she said.
"You want to be the focal point (not the jewelry)," Bennett explained.
When it comes to dressing the mother of the bride, Bennett suggested such colors as navy blue, silver, gray, sage green or burgundy. She warned mothers that if they are going to wear a short dress, to make sure it doesn't fall too much above the knee.
"The formality of the wedding would be the key to what you're wearing," Bennett said, explaining that mothers should gauge their outfit on how formal the wedding is.
"You don't want to upstage the bride," she added.
It is important for the mother of the bride to look good, Bennett said, so she should put care into her appearance.
During the mini-makeover by Mary Kay Cosmetics, Pam Welsh, a Mary Kay consultant, said the purpose of the presentation, and Mary Kay services, is to teach participants how to put their makeup on so they can do it themselves on the day of their wedding, their honeymoon and other important events.
Welsh said light colors should be put on the brow bone to brighten eyes and make them look bigger, and darker colors should be put in the eyelid.
"Purples look good on brown eyes as well as blue eyes," she said.
When it comes to eyeliner, Welsh said if women can't put the product on both the top and bottom of the eye, they should just put it on the top. Eyeliner should never just be put on the bottom, she explained, because it can draw attention to certain flaws, such as dark circles or puffiness.
Brides and grooms-to-be attending the expo shared their thoughts about the event throughout the afternoon. Kim Napier and her fiance, Thomas Scheaffer, both of Lewistown, said they decided to come to the bridal expo because they're getting married in December.
"I was particularly interested in caterers and to see some of the bridal apparel," Napier said, explaining that she got a few new ideas from attending the expo.
"This is nice. Instead of running around, everything's in one place," she said.
Amanda Kerstetter, of Middleburg, said this was the first time she's attended a Sentinel Bridal Expo.
"I think I'm mostly here for photography," she said. "So far, it's going well. I've gotten a few ideas."
Jennifer Wiser, of Belleville - another first-timer at the expo - said she came to the event to look at dresses and accessories.
"(I came) just to get some ideas for the wedding," she said.
Sara Wagner, of Mifflintown, said she came to the expo to look for ideas on catering and her reception, in particular.
"It's good," she said about her time at the event. "I found a few places that I really, really like."
Melissa St. John, of Mifflin, said she came to the expo to get some ideas for her wedding and to see the vendors.
"I'm here to look at some dresses, check out the makeup, the cake," she said.
Courtney Condron, of Lewistown, said she attended to get ideas to help plan her wedding. In particular, she said she's looking for ideas for her honeymoon, and to make sure she's not forgetting any details when it comes to the planning. She described the event as "very helpful."
A variety of door prizes also were given out to guests during the expo. Participating vendors included: Central Novelty; lia sophia Jewelry; Mary Kay Cosmetics; Cakes by Margie/Avon; Bon-Ton; Deihl's Flowers Inc.; Goss Bridal; LoveShine Rentals; Paisley Bride; Amanda Baker Photography; CT Photography; Kay's Katering; Ruth Hunter, Harpist; Hoag's Catering; C. Barton McCann School of Art; Photo Booth Fun; Fullington Tours; County Observer; Wal-Mart; Expedia Travel; Creekside Catering; Laurel Rock Farm/Britcher Tent Rentals; Lewistown Country Club; and J.P. Edwards Grill & Bar.