BRENTWOOD -- About 250 brides will descend upon downtown Brentwood this Saturday to plan for their upcoming big day and check out some options for local vendors and venues.
This weekend's "A Bride's Day Out" will feature information on more than 40 East County wedding venues, photographers, florists, bakeries, caterers, DJs, formal wear providers and jewelers. The event, now in its fifth year, runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Organizer Annette Beckstrand of His & Hers Formal Wear said there are many advantages to a local wedding and that the quality of all of the vendors has improved over the years.
"They get to know who is local. You can have meetings with five of them (vendors) in one day instead of traveling to Danville or Oakland to meet with one," she said. "It becomes like family. We look out for brides and their families."
Starting at 10 a.m., Beckstrand said that brides, grooms, moms and bridesmaids can register at His & Hers to start the process. Local vendors will be located on Oak, First, Second and Chestnut streets and Walnut and Brentwood boulevards.
Attendees who visit each participating business will be eligible for special discounts and $1,500 worth of grand prizes. With several blocks of walking and the event's culmination at the Brentwood Community Center, where the raffle prizes will be distributed, Beckstrand encourages brides to wear comfortable shoes.
Although there are many bridal fairs this time of year, Beckstrand said one of the strong suits of A Bride's Day Out is its variety of vendor options. She added that local businesses as vendors provide affordability and reliability.
"We all work together," she said. "This is all about the bride."
As the owner of Oakley's Brownstone Gardens, one of the participating vendors at this Saturday's event, Karen Wiemholts said that today's brides are looking for something different like garden weddings in various settings. Brownstone hosts up to 75 such weddings annually. Wiemholts said that they offer three different garden backdrops for the cocktail hour, ceremony and reception.
Brownstone will also host a bridal fair June 11.
"We are still booking weddings for this year and into next year," Wiemholts said.
Reach Paula King at 925-779-7174 or firstname.lastname@example.org.