Newton Falls – Dozens of flowers brighten up a chapel or outdoor venue for a wedding, and Sunday at Roby Lee’s Restaurant and Banquet Center in Newton Falls the reception hall was brightened by not one smiling bride, but rather dozens of beautiful brides-to-be who attended the 14th Annual Bridal and Catering Show, with friends and family in tow, looking for ideas that would make their special day just perfect.

A place normally filled with dinner guests and dancing celebrators provided the perfect setting for vendors associated with  such an event to connect with potential clients; the brides were looking to possibly find that missing piece in making a wedding just right. Services represented at this year’s show included the dress designs of Alfred Angelo, Martha Thomas Florist, Carolyn’s Cakes, Lia Sophia Jewelry, and Eagle Vision Photography, just to name a few. A quirky little addition onsite at the event that has become a recent trend at wedding receptions is the Big Day Little Booth, and likeminded companies, that offer what is best described as a portable photo station similar to the kind found in shopping malls or amusement parks. For a flat package rate brides and grooms – or graduates, birthday party goers, etc. – can have the opportunity of dressing up with various props, if they choose, and making a scrapbook of impromptu candids as a collaborative gift for the couple of honor, a refreshing addition to the usual posed moments found in any wedding experience. Most of the various products offered could even be worked into any special event throughout the year – not just for tying the knot! Newly engaged brides just starting to explore, and those looking for a last minute detail alike enjoyed the samplings set out especially for their perusal. Also up for  tasting were a delectable chocolate fountain, a similar cascade of lemonade, and an assortment of hors d’oeuvres. Roby Lee’s own head chef, known affectionately as “Chef Zippy,” was on hand to oversee a mini banquet prepared just for the event.

Each vendor had an appropriately- themed door prize to give away,  ranging from free jewelry to engagement photo sessions to partial floral arrangements and decoration discounts. Though each bride who won an item, or two, from the various vendors was understandably excited, the pièce de résistance of the afternoon was the announcement of the winner of this year’s free reception, courtesy of the host, Roby Lee’s Restaurant. Third place and second place winners were also announced, with both brides receiving a reception for half the usual price. These lucky ladies were Samantha Lynn Gordon and Vanessa Dell. New for 2011, in addition to receiving a reception package donated by the restaurant, the luckiest attendee of this year’s show received some extra good news: it was revealed that all day photography will be provided by Colleen Fay Bowers of Fay’s Photography, and Brooks Music is offering 50% off DJ services for the reception to this year’s winners, Ashley Melott and her groom.

The package donated by Roby Lee’s, valued at $4,000, includes appetizers, dinner, and dancing facilities with linens, centerpieces, and decorations, for approximately two hundred guests. Last year’s winners, Katie Kiser and Christopher Royer, were married this past November. Congratulations to the winning couples of 2011 and happy planning to all the soon-to-be brides and grooms!