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iece of cake
Local wedding vendors team up to offer seminars for brides and grooms

Date published: 3/11/2006


Most brides' hearts are all atwitter when their special someone finally pops the question.

But after they say "Yes!" panic can suddenly set in.

They're about to plan the biggest day of their lives, and most haven't a clue where to start.

Twelve Fredericksburg-area businesses hope to make the wedding planning process as painless as possible. They've formed a nonprofit group tentatively called the Events and Weddings Association, and will put on seminars every other month.

"We'll be sharing our knowledge from all our years in the wedding business," said Ginny Chilton, a bridal consultant who runs Weddings by Ginny on Lafayette Boulevard. "It's a little bit different concept than having a bridal show. Brides and grooms can come and ask questions."

The first seminar, a sort of Wedding 101 crash course, will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. March 19 at Holiday Inn Select in Central Park. Each vendor will give a short talk, and participants can meet with vendors afterward.

"A lot of the information we'll cover is in the bridal guides, but you'd like to hear it from someone else, too," said deejay Jason Price of Classic Hits Entertainment in Fredericksburg. "A lot of times it sinks in better that way."

An added advantage is that seminars will be held year-round, because weddings aren't all held in June, he said. The next seminar will be held May 21 on the City of Fredericksburg riverboat, a popular wedding reception site.

"They'll all be based on planning," Chilton said. "That's the big thing. When brides first get engaged, they say, 'Oh my gosh, now what do I do?' We're going to show them what to do to make their lives less stressful."

Besides Chilton and Price, association members include I Thee Wed; Beastly Productions; Cakes Galore; Fredericksburg Limousine; Fredericksburg Supplies and Rentals; Images By Ivan; LOK Custom Fashions; Personal Chef Catering; Primerica; and Videographers of Fredericksburg.

The idea for the seminars sprang from similar events Chilton and others in the bridal business held several years ago. They stopped holding them because they got too busy.

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In 2004, September was the most popular month in which to marry, followed by October, then August, June and July

The length of engagement is 17 months

43% of couples had both their ceremony and reception in the same location

9% of couples had a destination wedding with an average of 53 guests

--Source: Brides Magazine 2005 wedding study

Nuptial numbers