Whether gushing over a holiday engagement or anticipating a flower-laden fall reception, Oz Bakirdan said that now is the time to plan the perfect wedding.
Bakirdan, the owner of Bridal Palace and Dejure Formal Wear, said January and February are always the busiest months of the year for making wedding arrangements.
“Finding the right dress, flowers and photographer are all big decisions, so we try to take the stress out of wedding shopping,” said Bakirdan, whose business hosts central Illinois’ largest bridal show, Wedding of a Lifetime, each January at the Civic Center. “When planning a wedding, you can never be too early, but you can be too late.”
Sara O’Shea, owner of So Chic Events and Bridal in Morton, said the main wedding booking season is January through March because of the prevalence of bridal shows and end of the year engagements.
“Sixty-five percent of engagements happen between Thanksgiving and Christmas, because people are around family and loved ones and are motivated to share the great news,” said O’Shea, who has enjoyed meeting hundreds of couples looking for assistance.
“For most people, this is their first and only wedding, so I love being able to help articulate their vision because each one is totally different,” she added.
Dave Cramer, co-owner of Floral Expressions, agreed that all things wedding-related are busier this time of year because “lots of women are receiving rings,” but also that fall has become really big for weddings.
“Lot’s of people are planning outdoor weddings, because brides use a lot more colors instead of just white, and fall has some beautiful colors,” said Cramer, who sets up mock bouquets, play dates to preview the flowers and as many appointments as nervous brides need to be satisfied.
“We want to portray to clients that we are the wedding experts and they can trust us.”
Princeville resident Jessica Kunkel will wed Nick Bliss on Sept. 15 at St. Anthony’s Church in Bartonville, and found the perfect dress at David’s Bridal just last weekend.
“I had all my bridesmaids, many from out of town and out of state, and my mom get together with me and play dress-up, so it was really fun,” said Kunkel. “All the planning went really smoothly.”
She’s looking forward to her honeymoon, because she had to get a passport even though she doesn’t know where her first days as Mrs. Bliss will be spent, but that’s not what she has enjoyed most about the experience.
“All this planning revolves around the person you’ve finally found, and having the privilege of spending the rest of your life with them,” she said.
Eric Engel can be reached at 686-3194 or email@example.com.