It what is believed to be one of the first trade shows in the region to make its return since the start of the pandemic, the local Wedding Extravaganza hosted hundreds of couples Saturday who were looking to secure services for their big day.
There were 475 couples registered that attended the wedding show, plus many other visitors at the event held at the Caboto Club.
“It feels good to be back,” said Nancy Campana, the show’s owner. “Many of these couples were supposed to get married back in 2020 and have delayed it two or three times if they have a large wedding.
“It’s so hard to believe we haven’t done a show in over two years, but now that we are back I was saying that it felt just like yesterday. It feels like the past 24 months just vanished and we didn’t miss a beat.”
There were 130 vendors at the wedding show with most already having their services booked right through 2022 due to a backlog of couples that have put their nuptials on hold because of COVID-19 restrictions which increasingly are being fully removed.
“Wedding businesses are a huge staple in this city,” Campana said. “I don’t think people understand how this industry has been affected. These are people who are used to working 16-hour days and not to be able to work at all was emotionally difficult for a lot of them. Some have gone out of business or retired.
“This is a very tight-knit group, we all work together (on weddings), so it feels really great for the industry to be opening back up.”
Among vendors that attended the show and happy to be fully back in business was Guarda Luna Espresso and Gelato Bar Catering of Windsor.
“It’s actually fantastic,” said Pat Rossi who with his wife Lori has operated the business for 17 years. “It’s great to be back out in the community and see the excitement of people moving forward with their original plans.
“There has been a lot of enthusiasm and interest (at the show). People are so happy to be putting everything back together. There has been a lot of energy in the room. Since our business is very social it’s nice to get back to some normalcy and reconnect with people.”