Naperville Bridal Showcase Offers One-Stop Shopping

Article excerpt

Byline: Donna DeFalco Naper Settlement submission

Before engaged couples say "I do," they may want to attend Naper Settlement's 11th annual free Bridal Showcase from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Friday, Jan. 4, and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 5, at the settlement, 523 S. Webster St., Naperville.

More than 40 vendors will have booths in the Pre-Emption House Visitor Center and Century Memorial Chapel.

The nondenominational chapel is the highlight of the showcase. Built in 1864, the historic chapel is the setting for more than 70 weddings each year and features brilliant stained glass windows, classic architectural details and seating for 175.

"The Bridal Showcase is a great place for couples to start the planning process because they can meet and talk with more than 40 unique vendors one-on-one in a relaxed setting. It's one-stop shopping for all your wedding needs," said Becca Atkins, guest services associate and bridal showcase coordinator at Naper Settlement.

Atkins, a newlywed herself, married Brandon in August 2012. She found her photographer, Scott Pfeiffer, at the bridal showcase.

Pfeiffer of Naperville-based Pfeiffer Photography, said today's brides know exactly what they want because they are able to research various websites like Pinterest, then save their favorite photos.

"Brides can email me the pictures they like and then we make a list of the photographs they want at their wedding," he said. "Thanks to digital photography, today's brides could choose from among 2,500 to 3,500 images, which gives them more options."

What's the most important part of a wedding? Some might say the venue or the dress, but Denise Pape of Weddings by Denise in Naperville has a more practical answer -- it's the budget.

"Once the couple is engaged, they should talk with their families and decide on a budget to see if they are getting money contributed or if they will pay for the entire wedding themselves," she said. "The next step is to decide on a guest list, so they can plan the reception within their budget."

Pape, who is a bridal showcase exhibitor, says the latest trends are smaller, more intimate weddings. Another popular trend is a photo booth at the reception. She said that brides should trust their instincts and go with what they feel is right for them. …