Bridal Experience gives brides-to-be ideas, guidance on planning their weddings

Published: Aug. 23, 2021 at 7:38 AM CDT
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GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - The big day for brides-to-be is more complicated during a pandemic, which makes planning that much more important. To help brides with their big days, the Bridal Experience was held Sunday in the chapel at Centennial Plaza.

From wedding cakes to dresses and every detail in between, vendors and wedding planners were on hand to help each bride plan her perfect day. With the pandemic still looming over Mississippi, resilient brides-to-be are becoming motivated problem solvers.

“Even though the numbers have been rising with COVID, I think the vendors, as well as the brides, are like, ‘We’re just going to figure out a way to get it done,’” said Sherry Seaman, sales director for Gulf Coast Woman Magazine and Gulf Coast Weddings.

Kerri Pellegrin with The Wedding Collection, a wedding planning service in Bay St. Louis, agreed.

“For the most part, they’re being very creative with how they can still have the people that are most important to them at their day,” said Pellegrin.

Hannah Horn, who is getting married in May 2022, was one of more than 140 brides-to-be who...
Hannah Horn, who is getting married in May 2022, was one of more than 140 brides-to-be who attended The Bridal Experience.(WLOX)

Hannah Horn is getting married in May 2022 and, like so many others planning their future nuptials, she is hoping the day won’t be overshadowed by COVID-19.

“We’ve invited about 400 people to the wedding,” she said. “So, we’re just hoping to be able to have that many people in the space... I’m hoping that by then, it kind of maybe tones down a little bit. But, you know what, I’m getting married. So, I just want to get married.”

Jenna Swift is another bride-to-be who is planning her wedding for next year.

“I think one of the hardest things right now is just not knowing what’s going to happen the next coming year, so the planning can be difficult,” she said.

That’s where The Bridal Experience comes in, giving brides all the tools and guidance they need to make their big day a special one.

“Here, I can get some great ideas on what maybe I haven’t thought about yet, and these kind of events kind of guide me to where I should be looking or who I should be looking for to get to my big day,” said Swift.

For wedding planners like Pellegrin, it’s been a pleasant surprise at the number of clients they are seeing.

“We’ve actually seen an increase in traffic in our stores, so brides are still really wanting the dress, they’re still doing the planning, they’re still booking venues,” she said.

And the chapel at Centennial Plaza painted the perfect backdrop for brides to plan their days.

Good news for Angie Dearman area sales director for Centennial Plaza.

“It was the full intent for the chapel to be a wedding venue,” said Angie Dearman, the area sales director for Centennial Plaza. “So, it’s definitely a specialty of ours. We’ve really gotten good at it.”

The bridal expo had more than 140 attendees and 25 vendors from across the area. This is the sixth year that the event has been put on by Gulf Coast Woman Magazine and Gulf Coast Weddings Magazine.

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