Love is in the air! And there is no better place to celebrate the joys and festivities that romantic love manifests than at the annual Statesville Bridal Expo. This hugely popular wintertime celebration of all things weddings is one of the longest running bridal shows in our area. Held each year at the Statesville Civic Center in Historic Downtown Statesville, the Sunday afternoon show this February 18th brings excited couples, their eager bridesmaids and groomsmen, and of course, their helpful sisters, cousins, mothers, and grandmothers to preview, sample, taste, and try out all that is available for couples in love. It’s the most beautiful show in town!
CELEBRATING WEDDINGS YEAR ‘ROUND
Some brides have been planning their wedding day since they were little girls; many begin planning just as soon as the engagement ring is in place. Some couples take a leisure approach, with a bit of planning here and there over a longer time. It doesn’t matter your style or your season, this February bridal show is perfect. Statesville’s Expo is just the right size, too. All wedding ideas are there on display, but not so much that couples are overwhelmed. It’s a fun day out to think about love!
For every couple, important considerations are: Where should we have the wedding and reception? Who will we invite? Will it be an intimate family and friends affair or a kick-up-your-heels party for 500? Should we serve dinner with dancing to follow? In the city or the country? All these questions (and many more that you haven’t even thought of yet) can be answered in this one afternoon. “Our vendors go all out putting their displays together,” Amye Burks, marketing and event coordinator for the Civic Center, explained. “It’s amazingly beautiful here during the Expo, and we are always delighted with the creativity and time that is put into making this event one of the best in the region.” The Statesville Civic Center team, along with the help of sponsors and partners, such as Holiday Inn Express, Events Unlimited, Johnson Greenhouses, DJ Superfly, and Sharpe House, all in Statesville, make this special event come together. Heather Krumroy at Events Unlimited does her magic throughout the show and provides decorating ideas you can create through party rentals. A striking cadre of footmen in full formal dress from the Sharpe House next door serve as official greeters and escorts. Keith Rhyne, Sharpe House site manager, opens the historic home during the Expo as an extension of the Civic Center’s festivities for light refreshments and tours—a delightful wedding venue to see in itself.
All the latest trends and traditional possibilities overflow from Expo booths. You’ll find ideas suited to the diverse weddings that Amye hosts each year at the Civic Center—from many cultures and couples and families of all persuasions. “Perhaps our most astounding Civic Center wedding entrance was the groom who rode an elephant here!” she told me.
About 60 beautiful vendor displays feature everything from large and small wedding and party venues; table, seating, and room decorations; centerpieces, flower arrangements, and bouquets; videographers and photographers; caterers and bakeries; musical entertainment and DJs; and destination wedding specialists, as well as gift ideas, makeup experts and hairstylists; vacation clothes and accessories, even chiropractors to ease those party planning tensions. If you can envision it at your wedding, you can find it at this Bridal Expo.
Sponsors and vendors donate door prizes that are awarded throughout the afternoon. Imagine winning a wedding cake, your bridal bouquet, or a photoshoot. I learned from Pat Everett, Holiday Inn Express general manager, that the hotel will be giving away the grand prizes—cash gift cards of $750 and $250—at the afternoon’s finale...be present to win!
WHAT TO WEAR?
Statesville Bridal Expo features a spectacular runway show that gives everyone an opportunity to imagine themselves in beautiful gowns and classy tuxedos. “We are extremely pleased to have Paige and Elliott Bridal Boutique produce our runway show again this year,” Amye said. “This is one of the most beautiful and fun times at the Expo…you should come early to see everything and plan to be on hand later in the afternoon for the show.” Candice Primm at Paige and Elliott explained that all styles, from trendy Bohemian, to informal garden party or destination attire, to classic traditional gowns, will be shown. The wedding dresses span size six to 24, and affordable prices start at about $350. Seeing full wedding fashions stylishly put together for bride and groom on the runway will help you pull your look together. Paige and Elliott consultants will be at their booth all afternoon. A not to be missed opportunity!
NOT JUST FOR THE WOMEN!
“Many of our grooms are all in, so we let them in for free with their bride,” Amye said with a smile. “The men want to be part of the planning and help make arrangements. They’re often most interested in the music, meeting and greeting bands and DJs, and looking through photo albums and watching sample videos. Jewelers’ displays of sparkling rings, hearing travel agents’ honeymoon ideas, and party venue possibilities are also of interest to the guys…and of course, sampling our caterer’s delicious foods.” Statesville Bridal Expo has something for everyone to see and enjoy. It’s like a live-and-in-person Pinterest click for planning your special day.
STATESVILLE CIVIC CENTER: HOSTING OUR COMMUNITY’S EVENTS
“This place is so special because it was designed to host just about every type of community, family, and business event that folks in our region might have,” the Civic Center’s director, Kenny Roberts, told me. “Out-of-towners get to enjoy our downtown, because they’re here attending a Civic Center event. It could be a business meeting or trade show, a family reunion, birthday or anniversary party, dance or concert, a seminar, conference, or fundraiser. An incredible amount of money has been raised for special community organizations right here! The City created a versatile, affordable event space that serves us well.” Kenny, Amye, Lisa Sharpe, office manager, along with the talented and knowledgeable Civic Center team make planning an event or meeting easy, working with groups from 10 to 1200 and offering their professional advice on room size, layout and planning, audio visual and sound equipment, and their approved caterers list, as well as use of the state of the art commercial kitchen where you can prepare food and refreshments of your choice. “We work with each event host as we would like to be served ourselves,” Amye said. “I’m surprised some people don’t know they can rent space here for any occasion; they just need to call and let us know what they have in mind. There’s rarely a day we’re not having an event, so we’re quite experienced, and we know our stuff. My best advice is to book your event as soon as you can, especially if you want to reserve a prime time.”
I have attended so many events at The Statesville Civic Center, I’d be hard pressed to name favorites. I’ll be coming to The Quilter’s Gallery show on January 27th; the Bridal Expo is truly dazzling, delicious, and amazing, and I understand COMIC CON on February 10th is the place to be and be seen.
Ready to plan your next party or business event? Give the Statesville Civic Center team a call, and ask them to show you around. They will explain all the Civic Center has to offer and will become your most helpful event partners. Like we said, they know their stuff!
STATESVILLE CIVIC CENTER
Historic Downtown Statesville
3OO South Center Street
Join us for the
Statesville Bridal Expo
Sunday, February 18th
1pm - 5pm
Grooms Enter Free with Bride