Local News

Bridal expo draws crowd

SEBRING - Brianna Cole is already married, but Terri Cox has one more daughter at home, Amanda. "I'm just here scoping out," said Cox, who came from Fort Meade to the Highlands Today and GB's Ladies' and Men's Wear 2013 Bridal Expo. Cox, who just moved from Naples, is checking out the local vendors, collecting business cards and gathering ideas. One idea comes from Greg Brooks of Sebring. Along with his wife, Maureen, they own Wedding Doves of Highlands County. For $225, they'll release a dozen white doves at a wedding. "Two for $150," he said, "but I always underpromise and overdeliver. If I say I'll release 12, I may release three times that many."
Here's the nifty catch for the Brooks. White rock doves - so named because they're white and made their home among rocks - are really just pigeons that know their way home. Doesn't happen every time, though. That's why each dove wears a band around one foot with Brooks' phone number. He got a call once from the coast and had to drive there to pick up the lost bird. His stock is from Disney World, which releases doves over Snow White's castle. Walt Disney was a homing pigeon aficionado, too. Saturday was filled with fashion shows for grooms and groomsmen, hair demos, massages, a live DJ, travel counselors, caterers, photographers, cake decorators and door prizes. More than 50 prospective brides and mothers, along with three dozen vendors, turned out at the first-ever bridal fair, which organizer Tina Gottus hopes will become an annual event at the Highlands Today Center on Sebring Parkway. gpinnell@highlandstoday.com 863-386-5828