Whether it's booking destination weddings, contracting a videographer or selecting a musician, those manning the booths at the 23rd annual Sweetheart Bridal show were in agreement that lots of notice equals less stress.
The Prince George Citizen-presented event, held Sunday at the Civic Centre, featured everything a betrothed pair could need to plan their special day.
6ix Sigma productions was on hand to let residents know they don't have to look outside of the city for video services.
Filming the ceremony is the most difficult part of a wedding, said co-owner Jason Hamborg, who formalized the business last April with Glenn King. "Everything only happens once," he said.
But getting involved with weddings to help people remember the little things is a special opportunity, Hamborg added.
"Brides put so much effort into all the details," he said. "Things they might forget they did 15 years from now."
The earlier those details can be sorted out the better, cautioned Marina Ens, of Vanderhoof's Ens Travel.
Destination weddings should be finalized at least eight months in advance. "Some hotels only do so many weddings a day," she said.
Travel agents are seen as a dying breed, but Ens said they aren't any more expensive - and can sometimes be cheaper, depending on the trip - than online travel booking sites.
The summer, particular the August long weekend is generally jam-packed with weddings, said harpist Shoshanna Godber, who performs with flutist Ariane Nelles.
Godber said booking musicians at least six months in advance, or earlier, is key to securing what you want - especially over a long weekend.
While there are the classic tunes such as Pachebel's Canon and Bach's Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring, Godber said they're open to experimentation.
"It's fun when people have special requests that really work well with flute and harp," she said.
Sponsors for the event were led by Image in White Wedding Gallery, Gallery Bridal Boutique, Ken's Goldsmithing and Princess Flowers and Boutique. Other sponsors included Hudson's Bay Company, the Ramada hotel, The River 101.3, 99.3 the Drive and CKPG.
In addition to styling the nearly 30 models taking part in the day's fashion show, Trendsetters Hair Studio and Day Spa also offered free styling, esthetics and paraffin wax treatments to attendees.
"[The bridal show] is fun for us to do," said owner Craig Landon. "It gets us out of our normal environment, enhances creativity, gets the juices flowing."
And coming into their 18th year in Prince George, Landon and wife Sonya have picked up a few tips along the way.
Sonya Landon shared some advice from the the main stage in the afternoon, but told the Citizen one of the biggest misconceptions was that it makes sense to have your hair and makeup done at different locations.
"Get it done at the same time, at the same studio," she said, that way you're not rushing across town and worrying about running late and being disheveled.
And like everything else, waiting until the last minute is also frowned upon "You should book your appointment at least six months ahead of time," Sonya said.
Preparing for the wedding isn't just about the day, said Curtis MacLeod, manager of Ken's Goldsmithing.
The jeweller donated a $3,000 gift certificate as a grand prize for the show. In the past, the store put up a one-carat diamond as a prize, but found it now made more sense to offer the winner some flexibility - especially considering they usually already have an engagement ring. The prize could be used for anything from bridal party gifts to custom wedding bands.
When looking at wedding bands, couples should take into consideration their lifestyle and their desire for the jewelry's longevity. Traditional metals like gold, silver and platinum can be resized and gold can be melted down and made into another family heirloom.
More contemporary metals such as tungsten or cobalt can't be resized, but are cheaper if the wearer wants to replace it down the line.
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