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Bridal expo a one-stop shop for those ready to tie the knot

Jan. 27, 2013 @ 11:03 PM

HUNTINGTON -- Jeremy Wrenn went the extra mile to show how much he loves his fiancee, Dakota Barnett, on Sunday.

Wrenn, a paramedic with Lawrence County EMS in Ohio, finished a 24-hour shift Sunday morning and then accompanied Barnett to the Big Sandy Superstore Arena for 100 WKEE-FM's Bridal Extravaganza.

"He surprised me last weekend by telling me that he was going to bring me," Barnett said. "He kept his promise."

Barnett and Wrenn joined a steady flow of brides, grooms, bridesmaids and mothers at the arena for the extravaganza, now in its 22nd year. The event creates a one-stop-shop atmosphere where brides-to-be can meet with dozens of vendors ranging from limousine companies to caterers to photographers as they prepare for their big day, said Jim Davis, regional program manager for Clear Channel Communications.

"We try to make it easy for them," Davis said. "We put everything in one location and let them plan their wedding day."

More than 50 vendors, some of which spilled out into the arena's entryway, participated in Sunday's extravaganza. Some offered large discounts to couples who paid for their services on the spot. Barnett and Wrenn, who are getting hitched in May 2014 after Barnett graduates from college, were looking for a caterer and wedding dress.

"This is great because we don't really have any caterers or anything close to where we live in Ohio," Barnett said. "We would probably have to drive to back and forth to Huntington or Ashland to find a caterer or a dress. I'm also getting lots of good ideas for wedding colors, food and decorations."

The event also is a critical day for vendors, who rely on the Bridal Extravaganza for filling up their spring and summer calendar.

"Because of this show, it allows us to reach a lot of brides without having to spend a ton of money on advertising, which is something a small business like us can't afford," said Josh McComas, who owns McComas Video Productions with his wife, Amanda. "For us, it's more about networking and introducing prospective clients to our services. We won't necessarily get a lot of on-the-spot bookings, but over the next few weeks our phone will ring off the hook with brides that want us to shoot their weddings."

Follow H-D reporter Bryan Chambers on Facebook or Twitter @BryanChambersHD.

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