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Local News

January 14, 2013

Vendors: Bridal show offers chance to connect

The bridal industry had a strong local showing Sunday at the Foothills Performing Arts and Civic Center in Oneonta, organizers and vendors said.

Caterers, photographers, hairdressers, dress sellers and other vendors provided business cards and more to about 100 brides-to-be and their guests at the fifth annual Bridal Show in the Foothills atrium on Market Street in Oneonta.

Foothills Director of Operations Janet Hurley-Quackenbush said the event presented more than 40 vendors, up from 32 last year.

“It’s been the best show we’ve had,’’ said Kerri Green, owner of Celebration Creations Wedding and Event Planning who coordinated the show as a fundraiser for Foothills.

Green, who has planned 32 weddings since starting her Sidney business in 2006, said indications are that couples will spend more this year on weddings — $15,000 to $20,000, up from $10,000 to $15,000 in the past two years. She attributed the increase to couples being engaged longer and saving for their wedding.

In Otsego County, the average cost of a wedding in 2011 was $26,464, according to The Wedding Report Inc., which reported there were 487 weddings in the county that year. The average number of guests was 126 to 136, the study said, and reflected the number of wedding businesses at 75 to 83.

The local wedding market holds potential, said Bobbie Lipari Harlem, owner of the Carriage House Event Center Inc. and J&B Catering in Oneonta.

Lipari Harlem said she plans with Paula Fassler, owner of House of Brides on Southside Oneonta, to present a bridal show at the Carriage House at 790 Southside Drive from 6 to 9 p.m. March 2 and from noon to 4 p.m. March 3.

“This is our first,’’ Lipari Harlem said. “We are excited about presenting this opportunity.’’

The Carriage House is mostly booked for weddings this year, Lipari Harlem said, and is making dates for 2014. But in a market the size of Oneonta, networking is key, she said, and businesses refer clients to other companies and venue opportunities.

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