Annual Bridal Fair all about the options

TEXARKANA, Texas — The 2023 Texarkana Bridal Fair aims to pull back the veil on wedding options in the region.

The 26th annual showcase, hosted by TownSquare Media, will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at Texarkana Convention Center on Cowhorn Creek. Coordinator Andi Darby expects couples-to-be to find what they need to make their special day memorable without breaking the bank — or hitting the road.

“It’s important to be able to know what’s available locally,” Darby said. “The people are here who have what they need. They don’t have to go to Dallas or Shreveport.”

About 50 vendors from a 75-mile radius will share their wares and expertise — from cakes, catering, receptions and honeymoons to tuxedos, photographers and venues. Even real estate agents will be on hand.

Darby said with wedding costs running the gamut from $1,000 to $25,000, knowing what is available is important to making the wisest wedding-day decisions, especially for parents and all others who foot the bill.

“This is a way for the bride and the entourage to get ideas and answers,” she said, citing bouquet arrangements and reception menus as examples.

The showcase will feature the latest in wedding attire, which Darby said has become more down-to-earth and rustic over the years.

“There are not many church weddings planned,” she said.

From what Darby has seen, grooms are going more toward such things as vests and cowboys boots and brides are preferring gowns of various lengths.

As many as 200 future brides and their companions are expected to attend the bridal showcase, but a primary party may be missing, Darby said.

“Not many grooms get dragged out there.”

Each bride-to-be will be asked to register and list the products needed most for the wedding. All who register will be entered into a drawing for prizes, including four tickets to the Feb. 25 concert of country singer Parker McCollum in Bossier City.

The grand prize is $2,000 to be spent with any of the showcase vendors, Darby said.

Entertainment will be provided by Wes Spicer, Jam Master D of Pro DJ Services and Lynn Roberts.

“They are not just playing music, they are entertainers,” Darby said.

Hilton Garden Inn, which is connected to the convention center, will operate a cash bar. A photo booth also is in the works.

Besides helping the wedding party, the Bridal Fair gives a boost to local event businesses.

“This is how the vendors can plan their year,” Darby said.

Tickets for the 2023 Texarkana Bridal Fair are $14 if purchased by 4:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 20 or $20 at the door. Children 12 and younger get in for free.

Dot’s Rentals & Sales is the title sponsor.

(Texarkana Convention Center is at 4610 Cowhorn Creek Loop.)