Wedding expo offers options for wedding planning on a budget

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COLUMBIA — As fall wedding season approaches, brides and grooms got the chance to explore planning options for their special day.

Avenue Headquarters in downtown Jefferson City housed the first wedding expo sponsored by The Thrifty Bride. The expo had 38 vendors showcasing all kinds of wedding options. The expo also included a fashion show, used wedding dress consignment, trolley ride and thousands of dollars in raffle prizes.

Christel Boone is the owner of the The Thrifty Bride in Jefferson City. She said she had talked to other wedding planning shops who all agreed there needed to be an event for wedding planners in Jefferson City.

One of the goals of the expo was to focus on local vendors.

"We tried to keep very small vendors so that it gives the small guy the chance to be seen by lots of people at one time," Boone said.

Boone wants to give couples the wedding of their dreams, regardless of budget.

"A lot of times brides come to me with five or six thousand dollars," Boone said. "So we go through and we find thrifty options so we can make sure they can have everything that they want."

She is also passionate about not discriminating against same-sex couples and believes they have a greater need for wedding services.

Boone said that she wasn't aware of any of the vendors at her expo who would refuse services to same-sex couples, but that she wants couples "to love someone that they love."

"If I did find out that was the case with any of the vendors, I would not use them as a vendor for my clients again," Boone said.

The Thrifty Bride is planning another wedding expo for January.