Local vendors put together ‘dream wedding’ giveaway

The wedding in the Johnstone-Sare building on Dec. 17, 2022, will have all the typical trappings of such occasions. A lavish dress, a stylish tux. Floral arrangements and meticulously planned decorations set up by a wedding planner. 

There will be hors d’oeuvres from Bambino’s, a cake from Dusty Rose. A room at the Hotel Phillips is already booked for the night.

Now, all the wedding needs is a couple. 

What started as a small wedding package giveaway to draw in business, organized by Sand Creek Bridal owner Amy Warehime, has become a contest for an almost completely planned event. 

In what the organizers are calling the 2021 Bartlesville Ultimate Wedding Giveaway, engaged couples who live within 40 miles of Bartlesville have the chance to win a wedding package worth more than $12,000. Twenty-five small, locally-owned vendors have committed to donating services, covering everything from a hair and makeup trial-run for the bride to photography and videography.

Warehime said the only thing the couple may need to buy is more food, as the package includes finger foods, but not a meal.

“I saw a need that Bartlesville didn’t have and hope to fill that gap where people don’t have to go to Tulsa or bigger cities, they can start here,” Warehime said. 

“I started asking around among other businesses and it’s blown up to way more than I ever expected, which is great.”

Hoping to organize a small giveaway package to draw in business, Warehime began to call other vendors in early 2021, asking they add to the package, which includes a wedding gown and veil worth up to $1,500 and a groom’s full outfit worth up to $220. 

The idea gained more support than she anticipated, so a couple business owners gathered to organize the contest. A date was agreed upon that works for all the vendors — Dec. 17, 2022 — and it was decided that when the contest closes for entries on Aug. 31, a panel will narrow the pool to 10 finalists

The finalists’ “love stories” will be posted online, with the winner determined by votes.

Dusty Rose Cakes owner Dusty Hardester said joining the project was a “no-brainer” considering the interconnected nature of local vendors, who frequently work the same events.

She had worked with Warehime previously, even making the cake for her wedding.

“We’re all friendly with each other. We refer people back and forth to the different shops; we’re really good about that here in town,” Hardester said.

Crystal Sare, owner of the Johnstone-Sare building, said now that they have organized a “dream wedding,” she hopes the winner is a couple who may not otherwise be able to have a wedding.

“Because the fact a story is required, someone will probably be chosen who has an unusual situation that will make them especially deserving of a wedding they otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford,” Saco said.

“I think there will definitely be some community-spirted because they will vote on the different couples’ stories and I think that’s going to be a good thing.”

For a full list of the services included in the package, contest details and to enter, visit the Facebook page for 2021 Bartlesville Ultimate Wedding Giveaway.