2018 Bridal Expo Helps More Than 100 Couples Plan Their Big Day
You may have noticed a lot more engagement announcements on your social media feeds this month. That’s because the end of holiday season is the beginning of wedding season.
The annual Bridal Expo in Bemidji has been helping couples plan their big day for decades.
“This is the largest bridal event in the area! The radio station has been putting this on for forever!” says Jodi St. John, an on-air personality for RP Broadcasting in Bemidji.
“There’s always been a bridal event for the past 20 years and we’ve always been involved in one form or another, and I would say recently in the past 15 years we’ve taken the event to a more organized level,” adds Mark Ricci, the operations manager of RP Broadcasting.
The expo has been hosted at the Sanford Center for the past five years. It sees anywhere from 100 to 150 brides who come from all over Northern Minnesota.
“They range from Grand Forks to Duluth to International Falls, Northome, Bagley, Park Rapids. Just really about a 50-70 mile radius of Bemidji,” says Ricci.
Brides and grooms come with family and friends to check out the latest trends in the wedding world from the local experts who know what they’re talking about.
“These are your industry leaders in the bridal industry. They are here! They are going to take you all the way from the bachelorette party all the way through to the honeymoon,” says St. John.
The bridal expo is a one-stop shop for wedding planning needs. This year, there were over 40 vendors offering anything from dance lessons to catering.
St. John says, “Different vendors for venues, photography, anything you can think of that has to do with weddings and what is great is people can come and they can meet the people! They can get that rapport. They can see their products. You can dream of things that you didn’t think even existed for weddings when you start planning, so you can really get some good ideas all in one day.”
The one thing the expo is missing is the dresses, but that could change in the future along with a new date.
“We’ve been looking to have a major dress manufacturer in the event so we’ll be looking to go to after Valentine’s Day next year and have it the first Sunday after Valentine’s Day. We know we’re going to have some pretty big names involved with the event in the future,” says Ricci.
Organizers says 20% of the foot traffic at the expo this year was from grooms. They say that’s big increase from previous years.