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Annual show offers lots of choices for brides-to-be

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A bride often makes a year’s worth of decisions before she finally says a couple of important words on the day of her vows, the legendary “I do.” The wedding is supposed to be her reward for all the headache-filled hours spent planning the affair.

There seemed to be two categories of brides-to-be who stopped by the annual Bridal Showcase on Sunday at the Dulles State Office Building on Washington Street to plan their weddings.

The first approached the task with some trepidation, being helped by friends and relatives. The second group, by contrast, showed no signs of intimidation. For these women, the role of their entourage was clear: to indulge them. One bride-to-be’s mother jokingly referred to her as “a bridezilla.”

Ashley L. Cahill confided that her best friend, Nora M. Cloonan, was only pretending to be overwhelmed about her wedding, set for the spring of 2014. Miss Cahill, 23, will be a bridesmaid at her friend’s wedding.

“This is her cup of tea,” Miss Cahill said with a laugh. “This is a girl that will pick out 60 different shirts to try on in a dressing room. My goal is to keep her calm, and to keep her mom calm. We’re going to have fun doing this.”

Their first order of business was to munch on some cupcakes before stopping by the booths. All three were smiling at this point.

“I hope to find caterers and photographers here and compare prices,” said Miss Cloonan, 23, who lives in Calcium. She shook her long blonde hair while talking. “We’re going to have the wedding at Thompson Park in Watertown, but I still have to decide everything else.”

Her mother’s role in all of this? Nora M. Cloonan, who already dropped the “bridezilla” bomb to describe her daughter, simply shrugged her shoulders.

“I’ll give my opinion, but they’ll be opposed to it,” she said. “Her mom and dad are going to be involved, but only to an extent.”

Melissa J. Layammari, who hasn’t set a date for her wedding planned for October, had a more laid-back approach. She came with a friend, Crystal S. O’Dell, who used to be an independent wedding planner in Watertown.

“It’s all up in the air still,” Ms. Layammari said of her plans, adding she’ll be relying on her friend for help. She planned to pick up plenty of business cards.

Ms. O’Dell, comfortable taking the lead for her friend, said, “She first needs to decide on a date and location — we can’t do anything without it. She’s still undecided on a lot of things.”

The Carol Lee Shop, a bridal store and spa based at 69 Market St., Potsdam, featured an exhibit for the first time at the show, which included 57 vendors. Employee Kayla E. Maroney, 21, wore a white wedding gown as a demonstration aid Sunday.

“This one is a very timeless dress because it’s so simple,” said 17-year-old Michaela A. Bartlett, who also works at the shop, of her friend’s attire. Miss Bartlett is a junior at Brasher Falls Central School who works part time at the shop during the school year and full time in the summer. “But if you look at the dress, you think of Kim Kardashian’s style. Dresses in the fashion industry hug (the body), and I know it’s now a trend with a lot of the bridal dresses today.”

It’s also important for brides to pick a wedding planner they’re comfortable with, said Kathy S. Naklick, who owns The Manor House in Pierrepont Manor with her husband, James H. They host about 15 to 20 weddings a year on the grounds at the historical house built in 1823, where William Constable Pierrepont and his family lived.

“We often become friends over the year we’re in contact with brides,” Mrs. Naklick said. “You’re with them from the day they begin planning until the end of the day of their vows.”

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