David Tutera, wedding planner extraordinaire and host of WE TV's "My Fair Wedding," says the current economy has caused an upswing in "do-it-yourself brides."
"Couples are finding a way to get the wedding of their dreams without spending big bucks," Tutera said in an email interview with the Times Free Press.
How to create a fabulous, personalized wedding on a budget will be Tutera's topic Sunday when the TV personality makes a guest appearance at Formal Affair.
The annual bridal expo sponsored by the Times Free Press offers engaged couples one-stop shopping to create their dream wedding. Brides-to-be can visit with 160 wedding-industry vendors in one convenient location at the Chattanooga Convention Center.
Each vendor will be registering guests for giveaways in addition to five grand prizes that will be awarded at 5:15 p.m. Registrants must be present to win, said Lyndsi Sebastian, Times Free Press marketing manager.
The grand prizes include a Cancun honeymoon, courtesy of Choo Choo Travel; $500 gift certificate from Flowers by Gil & Curt; weekend getaway in a 2012 Jaguar from Jaguar of Chattanooga; one-day venue rental at The Renaissance Center; and a gift certificate for a man's tungsten carbide wedding band from Kennedy Jewelry.
Piece-a-Cake Bakery, Sisted Bakery and Bi-Lo will vie for the title of Chattanooga Cake Ace. This year's contestants will compete to have the best groom's cake. Formal Affair visitors will be able to sample their work at the bakeries' expo booths. Sebastian said a new feature of the cake competition will allow visitors to vote for their favorite cake for a People's Choice Award.
Following Tutera's program at 3:30 p.m., a fashion show of coming trends in bridal formalwear will be presented by participating expo vendors at 4:30.
Tickets bought online at timesfreepress.com before Sunday receive a $2 discount. Tickets at the door are $10.