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2012 San Diego Bridal Bazaar Preview

Over 300 exhibitors to pack the convention center

San Diego Bridal Bazaar

San Diego Bridal Bazaar

Courtesy Photo
  • San Diego Bridal Bazaar
  • San Diego Bridal Bazaar
  • San Diego Bridal Bazaar
  • San Diego Bridal Bazaar
  • San Diego Bridal Bazaar
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Calling all San Diego brides! The Bridal Bazaar is heading to the convention center for its 37th winter expo on Sunday, January 29 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Known as the largest bridal exposition in the city; this year’s event will feature over 320 wedding-service companies. From cakes to flowers, DJ’s to photographers, bridal gowns to tuxedos and even chocolate fountains and dove releases, the Bridal Bazaar is the one-stop shop for all your wedding needs. 

Founded in 1975, the Bridal Bazaar was purchased in February of 2001 by Betsy Winsett and Patty Westbrook. After their former marketing companies were both sold to larger companies, Betsy and Patty were excited by the idea of working with a small venture company like the Bridal Bazaar. Their jobs are to work directly with the people who service brides and weddings, but on the occasions they work directly with brides, Betsy says it can be “Fun, because brides are always happy.”
The greatest aspect of the Bridal Bazaar is the convenience. Betsy says, “In one day, brides can plan their whole wedding. For instance, for cakes, you can go back and forth and taste all the different cakes you want.” A variety of catering companies like Personal Touch Dining and French Gourmet Catering will also be on hand giving out samples, so that couples can easily book their catering company that very day. Betsy says, “It gives couples the chance to meet with the people who will be working on their wedding; you get to see if you mesh well.”
Over 6,000 brides, grooms and their friends and family are expected to attend the bazaar this year. While there are four Bridal Bazaars each year, two at the San Diego Convention Center and two at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, co-owner Betsy says the January bazaar is the most popular because, “Most brides get engaged during the holidays and since it’s not a big wedding month, there are more exhibitors too.”
The biggest highlight of the bazaar are the the three fashion shows that will occur at 11:30 a.m., 1:00 p.m. and 2:45 p.m. This gives brides-to-be the opportunity to see the latest in bridal fashion; wedding gowns, bridesmaid dresses, tuxedos and more will be presented by nine bridal galleries and tuxedo companies at each show. Participants in the shows will include:
Alfred Angelo Bridal
Brides by Demetrios
Bridal & Tuxedo Galleria
David’s Bridal
Friar Tux Shop
The Men’s Wearhouse
PreVue Formal and Bridal
At the end of each show, the models will come out on stage and toss balls into the crowd. Whoever catches these balls will win one of the 132 prizes available that day. $10,000 worth of prizes will be given out at each show and will include items like Starbucks gift cards, dinners at El Torito, nail salon gift certificates, engagement photo sessions and even gift certificates to boot camp classes. 
One of the most notable exhibitors at the bazaar will be The Princess Project. This non-profit organization provides free prom dresses and accessories to high school girls who cannot otherwise afford them. Attendees are encouraged to bring their old bridesmaid dresses, prom dresses, or other gently-used formal gowns to the booth. Monetary donations will also be accepted and Jennifer Gaston, San Diego Chair of The Princess Project, says, “We buy additional dresses each season to make sure we have a great selection for all of our high school girls. Our annual cost is less than $25 per girl - so $25 sends a girl to prom!” For more information on how you can help, visit princessproject.org
San Diego Convention Center, Halls E & F 
111 West Harbor Drive San Diego, CA 92101
Tickets: $12 at the door, $9 online