FLORENCE — "And they lived happily ever after" might be the popular ending to romantic novels, but the sentiment is true: the best weddings begin when two people realize their love for each other is strong, enduring and endless.
For many couples, the next step toward happily ever after is the wedding.
The TimesDaily and Faye Mann Happily Ever After Fall Bridal Show will help couples gather ideas, book venues and have personal conversations with the important people who will help them plan their special day.
Doors open at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Marriott Shoals Conference Center in Florence, which is a sponsor of the event.
Tickets are $7 each at the door and benefit Shoals Scholar Dollars and The American Heart Association. Part of the fun of the day will be door prizes, and the ever popular fashion show that begins at 3 p.m.
Some vendors are offering one free ticket to brides. Those tickets may be picked up at the vendors' locations and include Bed, Bath & Beyond; Coats Clothing; Dillard's; Kaleidoscope Florist and Events; Party Plus by Grand Rental; Party Pros; P&K Western Wear; Promenade Bridal; and Printers & Stationers Inc.
The event gives couples the opportunity to explore every aspect of wedding planning, from the location of the ceremony to the reception venue and everything in between. The most experienced vendors will fill the conference center, ready to discuss dates, budgets, trends, food and many aspects of the wedding day that couples — and their parents — might not think to request.
TimesDaily Event Coordinator Cecilia Brumley said everything a couple will need can be found under one roof.
"We have several new vendors in the show this time — new venue, new caterers, new photographers and more," Brumley said. "These vendors know their business and everything you can know about a wedding so you are in good hands with any of them."
Faye Mann is a wedding expert with almost 50 years in the industry. She encourages brides to view the bridal show as a bonding opportunity as well as the place to get the best information for planning the wedding and reception.
"It's a great opportunity not only for the bride to bond with her mother, grandmother, sister or wedding party, but it's a chance to include the groom and his family," Mann said. "It's a family affair."
The bridal show will rival other shows in larger cities.
"I think we have even more to offer than some bigger cities," Brumley said. "Brides come to our bridal show from all over north Alabama, Mississippi and southern Tennessee."
Mann attends the bridal shows and offers her services to brides. "I will be glad to help a bride with anything she needs. I can walk them through the whole process."
"We have vendors that can accommodate every bride's taste and style," Mann said. "Anybody in our shows has proven themselves to treat people right and be reliable.
"These are trusted people in the business."