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Weekend Entertaining

Shop, Compare at One-Stop Bridal Fairs

February 20, 1988|ROSE DOSTI | Times Staff Writer

For brides-to-be and families planning summer or fall weddings, soon may not be soon enough.

How about a look at one-stop, shop-and-compare bridal fairs to help expedite the planning process and possibly save money too?

A relatively new phenomenon of recent years, bridal shows are bigger and better than ever, catering to a higher-level income customer. The wedding industry in the United States, in fact, represents a $23-billion market, almost six times larger than the film industry. Southern California's 10% share of this market or $2.3 billion represents the nation's largest bridal market to date, according to Southern California Bride magazine.

At a single fair, you may find as many as 300 exhibitors ready to show their wares--everything from the latest bridal fashions, formal wear, lingerie, bridal accessories and bridal bouquets. The typical fair showcases wedding merchants, such as photographers, video experts, florists, caterers, bakery wedding cakes of every size and description, jewelers, bridal salons, tuxedo shops, stationers, travel agents, instrumentalists and bands, deejays, banquet facilities and limousine services to name but a few.

The bridal fairs listed here are merely a few scheduled this month to help in the early months of planning. Also check your local malls for mini-bridal shows occuring now until the fall.

Bridal Expo '88, is at the Disneyland Hotel Exhibition Hall, 1150 W. Cerritos Ave., Anaheim, today and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The show will feature more than 150 merchants, and offer door prizes and coupon books worth $2,500 in discounts for participants. Upscaling their fair since last year's show, sponsors has added a dance performance by Chippendale's males and three fashion shows throughout the day. Also featured is an appearance by KIIS-FM radio deejay, Paul Freeman. You can get advice on how to address invitations, select china, choose the proper wedding cake and other services. Admission is $5. For further information call (800) 544-EXPO.

Bridal Fantasy Faire '88, sponsored by Southern California Bride magazine is the largest in California and attracts 25,000 brides-to-be, bridegrooms and their families each year. This year more than 300 exhibitors from Hawaii, New York, Mexico, the Virgin Islands and other Caribbean spots will showcase bridal-related merchandise and services. The show's highlight is the selection and crowning of the Southern California Bride magazine "Bride of the Year," with the winner receiving more than $30,000 in prizes. There will be in-person TV celebrity appearances and $70,000 in giveaway prizes. The fair will be at the Los Angeles Convention Center on Feb. 28 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tickets are $5 with half-price discount coupons available at most bridal merchant retail shops in Southern California or in the magazine. More information: (213) 827-8118.

Bridal Fair '88, a San Fernando Valley-oriented show sponsored by West Coast Bride, will be at the Warner Center Marriott, 21850 Oxnard St., Woodland Hills on Feb. 28 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The show will feature more than 100 exhibitors and conduct three bridal fashion shows throughout the day. Tickets are $3.50 in advance and $5 at the door. This bridal fair will feature door prizes and honeymoon drawings. For further information call (818) 705-7509. For advance tickets, send check to West Coast Bride, P.O. Box 954, Reseda, Calif. 91335.

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