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Wedding show is a one-stop nuptials shop

For soon-to-be brides and grooms, nothing beats the convenience offered by the twice-annual Oregon Wedding Showcase in Eugene — where they can see, touch, hear, smell and taste the different ingredients they will sprinkle into the unique recipe for their most special day.

Timed perfectly for couples planning weddings for spring, summer or even further into the year ahead, the winter show will happen this Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 17-18, at Lane Events Center in Eugene. A lineup of 80 exhibitors — including 25 participating in the event for the first time — will include florists, photographers, bridal shops, caterers, wedding planners, disc jockeys, event destinations, bridal gift registries, entertainers and more.

Show organizer Judy Van Valkenberg says the event provides a window into current wedding trends and, just as importantly, puts couples in touch with the experts who can turn their wedding-day dreams into reality.

“Our bridal show is set up so you can meet many wedding professionals and compare products, services and prices all in one weekend in one place,” she says.

“Weddings are becoming more and more individualized and unique to the couple’s likes, tastes and lifestyle,” she adds. “Oregon Wedding Showcase wants to help you plan your day your way. We have wedding professionals to fit every different style and budget.”

Just a sampling of the things to look for at the show:

picture: simple wedding dresses

Photo booths: These are “the hot thing” at receptions now, Van Valkenberg says. “We have quite a few companies who do photo booths,” including some that offer just that and others that provide photo booths in addition to wedding photography and other services.

Disc jockeys: They don’t just play music anymore. “They often now are the master of ceremonies and in charge of helping plan and coordinate the whole reception,” Van Valkenberg says. “Many times they also do lighting, photo booths or other things, too.”

Wedding cakes/desserts: In addition to the standard offerings, Van Valkenberg says bakers at the show also offer gluten-free sweets, and specialty cupcakes, cheesecakes, chocolates and French macarons (with many available to sample at booths).

Live music: Performers participating in the show and ready to sign on for wedding-day gigs include Dover String Quartet, Code Red (a rock-country band) and D ’n’ A (a traditional Celtic duo).

Real-deal dresses: Local bridal shops offer extensive selections of gowns, fitting expertise, alteration services and more — plus peace of mind. Van Valkenberg says knock-off wedding dresses sold online have become a “huge problem.” Dresses and other wedding party fashions will be on display in two daily fashion shows at noon and 3 p.m.

Handouts and prizes: Couples who register for the show will receive a free subscription to Brides magazine; a $200 gift card for a customized commemorative gift product; and opportunities to win one of five Las Vegas getaways.

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