When planning nuptials, there's so much more than saying saying yes to the dress.
There's decorations to consider, food to taste, music to select and much more as couples prepare to trade vows.
On Sunday, the Civic Centre was filled to the brim with brides, grooms, friends and family members as they perused all of the available options to make their special day memorable at the Sweetheart Bridal Show.
More than 70 vendors peddling sweets, suits, songs and sunny destinations during the 22nd annual event.
"A wedding is your biggest party you will ever put together," said Lisa Morgan of Enchanted Event Design who had a full example of a decorating scheme including head table, backdrops, centrepieces and more at her booth.
Putting together a wedding is such a visual task that having a chance for people to see what vendors can offer outside of photos is a great opportunity not only for prospective couples, but also the vendors themselves, Morgan explained.
The wedding show was also a time to pickup lots of swag.
Ian Grindle and Shelley McKenzie both walked away with a couple of the multitude of prizes that were handed throughout the day. The big tickets up for grabs included a grand prize of a one-week stay in an ocean-view condo in Kannapali, Maui, a round-trip cruse for two to Alaska, custom design wedding bands from Ken's Goldsmithing and two-night accommodations plus spa package and breakfast at the Jasper Park Lodge.
Grindle nabbed a Hummus Brothers gift certificate by giving the most "awww-worthy" reason for loving his fiancee.
The two have known each other since the age of three - they're both 33 years old now - and have the photographic evidence to prove it. The Creston natives began dating in Grade 11 and Grindle popped the question last June.
"We knew we were going to get married," Grindle said, noting that along with "awww" the most common reaction to their story is to ask him what took him so long to propose. "But this was the right time."
Sunday's event was McKenzie's second bridal show of the season and while she already has a dress locked down for the June 29 ceremony, the couple were on the lookout for honeymoon destinations and decorating ideas.
Krystine Tohill and Levon Iley will wed Aug. 3, 2014 and having just locked down their venue were still in the early stages of planning.
Having a lot of connections in the city has made preparing for a wedding a fairly easy task said Iley.
"Now that we have the venue everything's falling into to place," Tohill agreed.
The pair took advantage of the downtime caused by the wedding fashion show on the main stage to talk to vendors without having to wait in lines or wade through the crush of excited attendees.
The show featured examples of bride and groom wear, along with outfits fit for the wedding party and mother of the bride.
Kim Croft of Image in White Wedding Gallery - the "Randy Fenoli of the Prince George wedding world" - has been in the bridal business for nearly 21 years.
"This is like the kickoff of the wedding season," Croft said. "For 2013 brides, Christmas is over and they're ready to get into this full bore."
Where wedding season used to occupy a steady two or three months, Croft said it's now a year-round grind. But she's still caught up in the excitement of it all.
"That's how it should be," she said. "It shouldn't be about turmoil and the budget."
With the show over, keep up with the latest in wedding resources at www.sweetheartbridal.ca.