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Exhibitors gear up for first Pasco Bridal Show

What first strikes you is wavy golden hair, tumbling down a tanned back partially exposed by a V-neck dress.

In the distance, you can see the bleached buildings of the Tampa skyline with their ranks of teal, square windows. Closer, a stretch of grass, oak and palm trees frames a circle of laid red and brown bricks, dappled gold sunlight shines through the leaves.

The yellow-haired bride stands alone in the center of the circle, her back to the camera. The circle of bricks mimics the hoop created by the bottom of her satin and lace white dress.

This picture will greet passers-by at the Pasco Bridal Show between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Sunday at the Pasco County Fairgrounds in Dade City. Illustrious Event Planning organized the exhibit.

Jaimi Weatherspoon, owner of Essentia Special Moments Photography in Holiday, is nervous. This will be her first time exhibiting her work.

She's spent the last couple of weeks calling Asia Standifer, owner of Illustrious, for last-minute advice. She's spent weeks preparing, choosing discounts to offer, designing her banner and selecting handouts. She will also be photographing the show, so she had to plan around events she needs to attend.

The pride of her work and a piece from her favorite wedding is the photo of the yellow-haired bride under the trees. The photo is a standing poster that will draw the eye, she hopes, to her booth, and she'll tell its story to those who ask.

• • •

Peggy Hedlund's March wedding at the Sheraton Tampa Riverwalk Hotel is splashed across Weatherspoon's business cards and website.

When Weatherspoon went into business a little more than a year ago, her main advertising push was on Craigslist, where Hedlund found her.

Weatherspoon always meets with her potential brides long before the wedding so she can plan.

Hedlund and Weatherspoon talked for two hours over coffee at a Starbucks in Clearwater seven months before the spring nuptials. Hedlund told her she had met her groom at the University of South Florida in Tampa.

Weatherspoon did the couple's engagement and formal photos at the campus. She found areas to shoot outside the dorm where they met and at the spots they shared first kisses, first dates, first secrets.

By the day of the wedding, Weatherspoon had become Hedlund's wedding adviser as well as photographer.

During the reception, the DJ tried to outline the cutting of the cake, irritating Hedlund. She asked Weatherspoon if she had to follow his instructions. Weatherspoon told her to go her own way.

Hedlund did. When her husband held out a perfect square of cake, Hedlund smacked it into his face, mashing it between their new wedding rings.

Weatherspoon chuckled, snapped a photo.

• • •

A few days before the bridal show, Weatherspoon smoothed the sage banner that will hang on her booth Sunday across her dining room table.

The name of her business, Essentia, was spelled in swirly silver-white letters.

Aristotle first used the phrase ti ên einai, "the what it was to be." The phrase over time morphed into the word essentia, or "what is meant to be."

Weatherspoon was meant to be a photographer, she said, and Essentia was meant to be hers.

Mary Kenney can be reached at mkenney@tampabay.com or (727) 869-6247.

.if you go

Bridal exhibition

The first Pasco Bridal Show will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday at the Dan Cannon Auditorium of the Pasco County Fairgrounds, 36722 State Road 52, Dade City. Guests should register first by visiting illustriousevent
planning.com/Blank.html.

Exhibitors gear up for first Pasco Bridal Show 06/20/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, June 20, 2012 10:33pm]

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