Newton Falls – Wedding season is nearly upon us and dozens of brides-to-be, grooms, and their family-and-friends-filled entourages stopped by Roby Lee’s Restaurant and Banquet Center Sunday on the hunt for the perfect dress, desserts, photographer, tablescape trend and flower arrangements during the 17th Annual Bridal Show. Forty-eight hours after the nation celebrated the day for romance (or those whose status this February is “unattached” chose to ring in “Single Awareness Day”), vendors in the business of all things love piled in to the venue’s reception hall to display their products and present their services to the crowd of novice wedding planners piecing together the event of their dreams.bridal-show-newton-fallsThe couples have been tracking the trail of rose petals and piles of glitter droppings for weeks or even months in anticipation of staking their claim on just that rare and elusive find, and the inviting scent of all those aromatic centerpiece candles drew them right into the lush forest of taffeta, tulle, chiffon and satin trimmings decorating the recently-renovated space. Featuring the wardrobe designs of Alfred Angelo Bridal and American Commodore Tuxedo, the festivities also included cake makers The Cake Boutique, Carolyn’s Cakes, and the Warren Baking Company, the latter of which showed samples of teeny two-bite cakes in a tiny tower alongside a selection of cookies and other bakery essentials. The petite pastries may only have provided a taste of what the long-time area staple can do (they’ll celebrate 91 years this June!) but it packed a flavorful punch to tease the tastebuds nonetheless. Just as their red velvet choice from last year, the palm-sized cherry cake made this reporter want to go back for seconds… and thirds. Keeping the mood high and the siren’s call of a dance beat strong was Brooks Music, a resident DJ who, according to the stretched and bedecked vehicle parked out front, also offers limo packages and travel planning assistance, as attendees perused the portfolios of several photographers on site. Prefer to be your own photographer? A popular trend for any type of event is a portable photo booth which allows party guests to showcase their individual tastes with an array of masks, accessories on sticks and other props to liven up a snapshot. And for those who wish to “frost” themselves with as many sparkles as they do their cakes, jewelry vendors such as Lia Sophia were on hand to help with that extra-special piece of bling.

Concluding the day was the much-anticipated door prize drawings and several brides walked away with multiple wins which included discounts on products, gift certificates for services, or actual items in well-stocked goody baskets. Roby

Lee’s itself offered a slew of grand prizes as well such as a free ceiling lighting display made up of tulle and twinkle lights, free chocolate fountain presentation during the reception and discounts on dinner packages for new bookings. In addition to the lucky tickets, most businesses present offered a special of the day, available to any bride who signed up for a product or service during the show, so anyone could walk away a winner. Of course, whether their number was called or not, it’s probably a safe bet that all the brides and grooms feel fortunate that they have found each other!

Now once the “I do”s are said, rings exchanged and ink on the marriage license has dried, the couples will have one question to ask: Was all that hard work a success and did all that patient planning pay off? Perhaps more importantly, did the photographer get the shot? That will only be known once the evidence is framed and mounted on the wall as a memento of the big day!

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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.