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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Telegraph hosts wedding expo May 6

If marriages are on the decline in the United States, you wouldn't know it by the care and attention that are still lavished on weddings.

According to a survey conducted by Brides magazine, although the spending on the average bridal extravaganza has decreased slightly over the past few years, the happy couple is still investing a great deal on the events surrounding it. There are, for instance, double-digit increases for wedding weekends, destination weddings, engagement parties and bachelorette parties.

Whereas some traditions have fallen by the wayside, others remain preserved in tradition. The cake-cutting and first dance are still popular, but the sit-down dinners have largely been replaced by cocktail hours and hors d'oeuvres.

In order to keep pace with these changes, The Telegraph has stepped up to the plate with its inaugural Bridal Expo, "With This Ring," from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, May 6, at the Sky Meadow Country Club in Nashua, a co-sponsor of the event.

"As this is our first time hosting this kind of event; we're really excited about it," said Kimberly Lencki, events manager for The Telegraph.

"We did a lot of research to prepare for this, as we became familiar with what brides need and want from their wedding planning services. We have a large array of vendors participating with us, helping us realize our goal of making sure that what could be a very stressful planning event becomes less so."

The event is unusual, Lencki said, as most wedding expos generally take place in January. In that, she feels, "With This Ring" fills an important need.

"The expos in the beginning of the year won't really help the bride who gets engaged in April," she said. "This event will make sure that she doesn't miss out on starting her planning. After all, everybody knows that once you get engaged, you're already behind in your plans."

Lencki stressed that every aspect of the wedding will be covered by this event, including DJ services, hair salons, florists and cake vendors.

"We have everything you can imagine, from the moment the bride wakes up on the big day to the moment she's planning her honeymoon," she said. "The wedding is a huge thing - sometimes, it takes on more importance than the marriage itself."

With all of the hubbub surrounding the wedding, the planning aspect can often be overwhelming, and the Expo aims to take off some of that pressure.

"What's nice about our event is that it's so intimate," said Lencki. "We're being very selective about our vendors, but at the same time, we are truly trying to set the bride and groom up with services that will cover the entire gamut of their wedding."

Although the vendor list has yet to be finalized, there is still an impressive list of vendors who have signed up, including: A Photographic Memory, Anne's Floral & Gifts, Burque Jewelers, Carlen Images, Center for Physical Therapy and Exercise, Creative Cakes by Debby, Cruise Planners, Edible Arrangements, Fit It In Fitness, Grace Limousine LLC, The Ideal Protein Center, Koko FitClub, LA Limousine Service, LaFlora Couture, lia Sophia, Liberty Mutual, Mary Kay Cosmetics, McLean Communications, NH Images, Parnell Family Chiropractic and Wellness Center, Salon 25, Scentsy, Steele Hill Resort, Susanne's Bridal and TraveLBudi.

Since the event is so short - a mere four hours - it won't put a crimp in the schedule of the already-stressed couple.

"We'll get the bride all the information she needs in the least amount of time," Lencki said.

Of course, no event of this kind would be complete without raffles, and "With This Ring" doesn't scrimp.

"We're putting together a grand-prize package," Lencki said. "We have a season pass to Amherst Country Club for the groom, and we have a girls' night out for the bride before she gets hitched. It's still in the works, but it already includes a two-night stay at Residence Inn Marriott. There's also a limo service, and a night out, in either Manchester or Boston."

Lencki sees this event as breaking new ground for The Telegraph, which is hosting the expo.

"We're all very excited about this event, because it's the first one," she said. "We're hoping to see over 200 attendees there. It'll be fabulous."