Spend the day with the best in bridal at the annual Plattsburgh Bridal and Fashion Expo

PLATTSBURGH The culmination of months of planning and careful attention to detail will be realized as the popular Plattsburgh Bridal and Fashion Expo returns for its 18th year. The annual exposition, sponsored by Lauras Bridal and College Formals, State Route 3, Plattsburgh, will be held once again at the Comfort Inn Grand Ballroom, 411 State Route 3, this Sunday, Jan. 13. The event will feature an array of professionals in the wedding industry, offering information about their respective services from florists to jewelers to photographers and everything in between. Lonnie Cross, owner of Laura's Bridal and College Formals, said the event is intended to provide brides-to-be and even grooms-to-be with a venue that offers the essentials for that first step to wedded bliss. We'll have limousine services, cake makers, caterers, travel agents, skin care professionals, printers for invitations ... We'll have virtually everything you'll need to plan your wedding perhaps even in one afternoon, said Mr. Cross. This year, you truly can, added event coordinator Victoria Heroux. If you just received your ring for Christmas or New Year's, or if you've already been planning your wedding, you can basically start and finish that day. Wedding professionals will also be on hand to offer their expertise in planning what will be one of the most important moments in a couple's life together, said Mr. Cross. Those attending this year's event will also receive packets filled with information on planning a wedding, gown preservation, engraveable gifts and many other wedding-related products and services. When you're planning a wedding, you may not realize how quickly places become booked, said Laura's Bridal employee Heather Long, who is also helping to organize the event. "A deejay only has time to perform a couple weddings in a weekend, and they book up fast. So, it's important to bring your fiance by to talk with them to see how far you need to plan in advance." Most of the businesses that are listed here, we network with throughout the course of the year, so we really believe in their products, said Mr. Cross. The vendors are good quality people and in a small business like ours, they take a lot of pride in what they do. In addition to the products and services side of the expo, attendees will also get the chance to see the latest in bridal fashion, said Mr. Cross. The expo's runway fashion show is known for showing off the most couture designs influenced by what Ms. Heroux and Ms. Long have seen at shows in larger cities. The show will feature new fashions for 2008 from Montreal, New York City, Chicago and Los Angeles from some of the industry's top designers, including Alfred Angelo, Bill Levkoff, Davinci, Impression Bridal, Jordan and Maggie Sottero. The show will also feature Precious Formals found only in the North Country at Laura's Bridal and Laura's Bridal's own private label collection. Grooms-to-be will also have their chance to check out the latest in men's attire as models will be wearing labels such as After Six, Ralph Lauren, ecko, Erik Lawrence, Demetrios, Andrew Fezza, Christian Dior and Calvin Klein. It's very fashion-forward. We're constantly coming up with ideas for the expo, said Ms. Heroux. We start as early as the week after the event to start planning next year, discussing what things worked well, what didn't, and what we could do that's different. We listen to our customers to know what they want to see more of next year. Last year, people said they wanted to see more fashions for moms, so we've added more moms this year, said Ms. Long. And you'll see it all on bodies, not just on hangars or stick-figure models or the Internet. The Plattsburgh Bridal and Fashion Expo will have two shows to choose from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. with runways fashions at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. As an added bonus, one lucky winner will be drawn at each show to win a $1,000 grand prize, with winners need be present to win. If the potential to win $1,000 isn't enough to draw you to this Sunday's expo, the added benefit is knowing the nominal $8 cost of admission will go directly to the Make-A-Wish Foundation of the Northeast, said Mr. Cross, which the expo has contributed to for nearly 10 years. We're very proud to be able to give something back, said Mr. Cross. With the global efforts to charities by people like Bono, Bill Clinton and other really big hitters, we'd like to think that even little old Laura's Bridal in northern New York can make a difference. Tickets for this Sunday's bridal and fashion expo are available at Laura's Bridal and College Formals, 494 State Route 3, Plattsburgh, or by calling the business at 564-8897. Laura's Bridal and College Formals is also on the Internet at www.lauras-bridal.com .

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