July 8, 2009

In the current economy, it is hard for many people to afford necessities, much less save money for additional expenses, such as weddings. To help brides-to-be discover more affordable wedding choices, family and consumer sciences agents with the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service will host The Frugal Bride.

The cost-saving bridal program will take place from 2 to 6 p.m. Aug. 2 at Providence Christian Church at Brannon Crossing in Nicholasville. It is open to future brides and their fiancés, family members and wedding planners across the state.

"The main thing we want the participants to take away from this is you don't have to spend a lot of money to have a beautiful wedding. There are options," said Tamera Thomas, Franklin County family and consumer sciences agent.

Topics on the agenda include He Said, She Said- A guide to couple's communication, online shopping safety, money management for married couples, Legal info 101- What you need to know, and bridal beauty under $400. Three breakout sessions will include photography, bridal beauty and calligraphy. A bridal fashion show, trends for the upcoming seasons and exhibits also are planned.

"This will be different from other bridal shows in that there will be an educational component to it," said Mary Hixson, Garrard County family and consumer sciences agent.

"We hope that the information they receive helps them not only plan their wedding, but with their marriage," said Marisa Aull, Jessamine County family and consumer sciences agent.

Agents and presenters will display store-bought and handmade wedding essentials and will compare the two, talk about the costs of each and the time required to make the handmade item.

"There are many things that can be handmade including headpieces, veils, garters, ring bearer pillows, wedding favors and decorations," Hixson said.

Attendees will be able to sample potential low-costs choices for wedding foods and drinks at the workshop, and the agents will discuss the cost, ingredients and number of servings each recipe makes. Sample place settings also will be displayed.

The cost to attend is $12 per person and $20 for two people. Those who attend the calligraphy breakout session will need to add $7 per person to the registration fee.  As part of the registration fee, each bride-to-be will receive a one-year membership to their county's Extension Homemakers club and a one-year subscription to the Beautiful Bride Newsletter the agents are developing. They will also receive a goody bag and can register for door prizes at the event.

Preregistration is required and due by July 30. Interested individuals can get information from any county extension office in central Kentucky by contacting Hixson at 859-792-3026, Aull at 859-885-4811 or Thomas at 502-695-9035.