Bridal and Special Events Show fills Expo Center Saturday

February 1, 2006

Q104 presents the Gorge Bridal and Special Events Show, sponsored by Columbia Gorge Magazine, The Dalles Chronicle and the Hood River News, Feb. 4 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The show will be held at the Hood River Expo Center. More than 30 wedding and special event-related businesses from The Dalles, Hood River and other points around the Gorge will be on hand to assist attendees with all of their event needs.

“This year we changed the location to the Hood River Expo Center,” said General Manager John Huffman in a press release. “We needed more space for all of our exhibitors that are returning to the show again. We are also excited that Making Memories is joining us for the first time ever this year, with Brides for Breast Cancer.

According to a Making Memories press release, more than 1,000 wedding gowns will be available for purchase at this event, including several hundred new dresses recently donated by a national bridal manufacturer.

The Making Memories Foundation is dedicated to helping terminally ill breast cancer patients by granting them a wish. All proceeds from the gown sale will go toward granting these wishes.

The event will showcase regional businesses, but it gives Hood River a chance to show off, according to Genevieve Scholl-Erdmann of Hood River Chamber of Commerce.

“The wedding industry in general is absolutely vital to our local economy, particularly in the spring, summer and fall months,” she said. “That’s another reason to come to the show; even if you’re not planning a wedding it’s something definitely interesting that is going on in our community and will benefit everyone through increased visitation and the economic impact to the area.”

“It’s just nice to show what you’re all about,” said Mike Rice of Mt. Hood Bed and Breakfast, whose booth was voted Best of Show in 2005. For couples and service providers, the show is “a good start to finding that fit,” he added. “A lot of brides at this show will be looking at 2007.” Rice’s wife, Jackie, will represent the business at the show.

Scholl-Erdmann said the show helps people who live outside of the area to familiarize themselves with how to plan a wedding, as well as tour the area.

“It is also important for local people to come to the show and see all that is happening in the wedding industry and the opportunities for keeping weddings at home,” Scholl-Erdmann said, “and see how special a wedding you can have here.”

She said the show will allow people to see firsthand the birth and growth of a niche industry like ours.

“Our wedding industry services are really in a nascent stage,” she said. “There are lots of folks who have done weddings for years who are veterans and quite a few people who are brand new. There is definitely a learning curve in how to deal with weddings.

“It could be very educational,” she said. “If anything, you’ll learn how to successfully market your business at a bridal show.”

Part of the fun, according to Rice, is that “Vendors walk around and see what everyone else does.”

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