Newton Falls – Dozens of brides-to-be, their future grooms, and supportive friends and family members walked down the aisle from the foyer of Roby Lee’s Restaurant & Banquet Center last Sunday and into the reception hall which has served as the celebratory place for many newly-knot-tied couples. Serving as a glimpse to just a few of the myriad of possibilities to peruse in the planning process, the 16th Annual Bridal and Catering Show presented an array of all things nuptial whether it be the eye-candy that is gown fashions from Alfred Angelo and tuxedo options from American Commodore Tuxedo or the real sugar stuff of freshly baked cookies and deliciously-decorated cakes from the Warren Baking Company (their Red Velvet is DIVINE) and the aromatic assortment of flavors served by Carolyn’s Cakes.Roby Lee’s Restaurant & Banquet Center Bridal Show Newton FallsFor the $5 price of admission, attendees were offered a chance to win various door prizes supplied by the vendors represented during the event such as four hours of limo service, a necklace from Lia Sophia, and discounts on many different wedding-related services. For couples planning to book their receptions at Roby Lee’s, opportunities for 50% off selected buffet packages or a free chocolate fountain display were tempting options. Many of the businesses offered show-specific deals for anyone in attendance such as discounts on floral arrangements, cake and cookie platters, or a free tux rental for the man of the hour, the groom! Holiday Inn Express, just off the Ohio Turnpike at Rt. 5, offered a free Jacuzzi room upgrade for the newlyweds, and even Sam’s Club proposed a sweet contribution of a $10 or $25 gift card with corresponding membership level sign-up or renewal. (Where else can you order flowers, cake/ cupcakes/ cookies (or all three!) and purchase new luggage for the honeymoon at the same time?)

While the glowing brides-to-be and their entourages explored the veritable buffet of options set before them, DJ tunes kept the atmosphere full of energy and shared the musical spotlight with local harpist, Ellen Eckhouse. As many people do these days, Eckhouse wears several hats so Garrettsville residents will recognize her as proprietor of The Village Bookstore when she’s not strumming the beautiful strings of her harp. In between sampling the selection of snacks surrounded by stunning tablescapes, visitors could flip through photography portfolios of some of the area’s very talented picture-takers (no disposable cameras or low-resolution cell phone shots here) or try their own hand at the do-it-yourself instant photo booth rentable for weddings, birthday parties, showers, bachelorette parties, really any excuse one could imagine for having a get-together and dressing up in the provided silly or frilly props.

Whether the couples had only become engaged over the recent holidays or have already been planning their union for years, there was certainly no shortage of fresh ideas from which to choose to inspire a couple’s creativity and give their much-anticipated upcoming special day just that right unique touch.

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In addition to her role as a contributing reporter for the Weekly Villager, Mialie T. Szymanski is the creator of the bi-weekly column “Puppy Tails”. This children’s story time column stars Doodle Dog, a floppy-eared puppy who has an optimistic perspective of the world around him. Szymanski's picture book “Doodle Dog Enjoys the Day” chronicles a day in the life of this “paws”itive pup. The upcoming read-aloud anthology “Puppy Tails: Adventures of Doodle Dog” is a collection of the columns and illustrations as seen in The Weekly Villager over the last year.