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If you go
What: 2013 Bridal Extravaganza
When: Noon to 4 p.m. Feb. 24
Where: Grand Wayne Center, 120 W. Jefferson Blvd.
Tickets: $10 in advance and $12 at the door, available at www.FortWayne.com or by calling 461-8484

Bridal show to showcase 130 vendors

Attention Fort Wayne area brides-to be: here’s a pitch.

Now that you’ve been caught by your bridegroom, how would the two of you like to have your wedding or reception at Parkview Field?

Yes, it’s true: The TinCaps’ ballpark now offers indoor and outdoor wedding ceremony venues and two 5,000-square-foot indoor reception spaces.

And the park is just one of more than two dozen wedding-oriented reception spots and caterers showcased at the 2013 Bridal Extravaganza in Fort Wayne on Feb. 24.

The sixth annual show at Grand Wayne Center offers all sorts of wares and services for the wedding-bound, says Kathy Colclesser, event coordinator.

“It’s an afternoon to get a lot of ideas,” says Colclesser, retail advertising director for Fort Wayne Newspapers, which presents the event with Fort Wayne Monthly’s Weddings and WAJI 95.1-FM.

“It’s fun and very interactive.”

Gowns, flower arrangements, reception spaces, musicians, bands, DJs, photographers, hairstyles and makeup options captivate brides, Colclesser says, while their future husbands peruse tuxes, rings, honeymoon packages and rehearsal-dinner restaurants.

“In the past we’ve averaged between 400 and 500 brides and 1,200 to 1,400 people,” Colclesser says. “Most of the time, the other people are the bride’s family. I’ve seen entire families come – mother, father, sisters, aunts, cousins, friends, bridesmaids.”

Besides more than 130 vendors, attractions include runway shows of gowns from Fort Wayne’s One Fine Day at 1:15 p.m. and The Bride-To-Be: A Bridal Boutique at 3 p.m. Dancers from American Style Ballroom Dance studio in Fort Wayne will put on a demonstration at 2:15 p.m.

Last year, organizers surveyed attending brides and found 88 percent were planning a Fort Wayne-area wedding.

One venue chosen by about a dozen brides last year was Parkview Field, says Holly Raney, special events manager.

The ballpark’s reception spaces include the Suite Level Lounge, “which overlooks the field and a great deal of the downtown skyline,” Raney says, and the Lincoln Financial Event Center on the concourse level in center field.

The only caveat – ballpark weddings can take place only when there are no baseball games. “And we have to wait until the TinCaps’ schedule comes out each year” before making summertime bookings, Raney says.

All attending brides will receive a planning notebook, and the first 250 will also receive a free tote bag.

rsalter@jg.net

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