STILLWATER, Okla. —
Dreams for the perfect wedding day have started coming true for Stillwater's Bridal Showcase grand prize winner, Mackinsey Couch. The bride-to-be won a mixer from Murphy's Department Store, a Colonial Florist gift basket, towels and throw from JC Penney, a hope chest from Furniture Showcase and two Taste of Home cookbooks from the Stillwater NewsPress at the Saturday event in the Oklahoma State University Wes Watkins Center. She plans to marry Hunter Weaver in May 2014 – and she said it's important to start preparations early so “you're not stressed out as a bride.”
From confetti cannons to bubble machines, or black lights and neon screens for shadow dancing, the bride has lots of choices, said Brittany Venable of Black Tie Wedding DJ's and lighting.
“There are so many different things to look at for the entire wedding,” said bride-to-be Cheyenne Overland. “The showcase reminds you of things you wouldn't think to do.”
Terry Monroe, owner of Murphy's Department Store, has seen preparations for weddings differ over the years. In business since 1926, Murphy's has offered bridal registry for the community through generations of families.
“It's changed over the years – now everything is less formal with brides wanting more budget friendly items,” Monroe said. All the brides visiting his booth were going to get 10% off any purchase through June 30 which can represent a significant savings when trying to set up a household.
Ashley Sprague of Whimisical Photography, both a bride and a vendor at the event, said the bridal showcase is a good way to book customers for the year. Karen May of Blazing Rock Productions said the event is very productive for her business, too. She said the showcase allows her to connect with couples and review their needs. Carlease Carter of Designs by Lisa is hoping to expand her business with her daughter Nakylia Bickham so the bridal showcase was a way to target their marketing to potential customers. More than 500 people wandered through the booths with over 150 brides registered for the grand prize drawing. Some were on a mission with an entourage of girlfriends and mothers with planner notebooks in hand.