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FRIDAY, JANUARY 13, 2012

AUSTIN DAILY HERALD

A first-hand view before brides say ‘I do’ Hormel Historic Home wedding showcase styles, vendors to plan the big day By Amanda Lillie amanda.lillie@austindailyherald.com

edding planning involves a lot of time and hard work, but the Hormel Historic Home wants to save time for brides with its upcoming Austin Wedding Showcase. Two weekends from now, the Hormel Historic Home will be bustling with wedding vendors vying for the attention of local brides. Laura Helle, the home’s executive director, said they try to keep the cost low, but the vendors are high-class. “The ticket is $3, and I know some of the bigger wedding shows can be $10 to $15 just to get into the doors,” Helle said. “We try to provide it as a service to the community.” The show will feature a fashion show by Belles and Beaus, with Austin Bruins players modeling hockey groomswear. Local company Videyo Arts produces the

“It’s a place for brides to do the things they can’t do from their laptops.” -Laura Helle Hormel Historic Home executive director

BRIDAL SHOWCASE When: 12 to 3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 29, with fashion show at 2 p.m. Where: Hormel Historic Home, 208 Fourth Ave. NW Cost: $3 per person show, complete with a master of ceremonies and lighting. Helle said many brides plan the majority of their weddings online, so the showcase is

meant to give brides a chance to touch, smell and taste products. “There are certain things you want to taste, you want to see in person, and you just can’t do that online,” Helle said. “It’s a place for brides to do the things they can’t do from their laptops.” Vendors ranging from bakeries and caterers to florists will offer samples of their products. The show features mostly local vendors that go through a vetting process before participating in the showcase. The event is invitation only to vendors to ensure brides are being presented with trustworthy companies. If a business requests to exhibit, Helle said they check references and make sure it’s a quality business before allowing them to exhibit at the showcase. “If anyone can exhibit, it’s not saving the bride any time,” Helle said.

Photo provided

Models show off attire at last year’s Austin wedding showcase.

Bridal expo planned in Albert Lea

Getaways to kindle romance

Austin Daily Herald ARA Content

newsroom@austindailyherald.com

Romance is in the air. Whether you are celebrating Valentine’s Day, planning a honeymoon, or just looking for a fun getaway with your better half, these trip ideas are guaranteed to ignite a spark. ARA Photo

Escape on a cruise Put away your smartphone, shun the hassle of cooking and don’t even think about making the bed. A cruise ship is the perfect place for couples to skirt reality for a while. Pretty much anything you could want is at your disposal and you hardly have to lift a finger. The top cruise lines have really upped their game in the culinary realm, so try a few different entrees and a few different desserts, and splurge for a drink package. For uber-relaxation, book a couples’ massage. Cruise’s Celebrity AquaSpa, for example, pampers its guests as they literally watch the ocean float by.

Splurge for a dream vacation Hawaii embodies the words dreamy, romantic and sensual like almost nowhere else. The Big Island of Hawaii was named by Away.com as a top-10 destination for a honeymoon vacation on a budget. “Hawaii is a great choice for a honeymoon, but many people think they can’t afford it. The trick is to look beyond the name-brand places on the Big Island, like Kona, in favor of a hidden-gem like Kealakekua Bay,” says Away.com’s senior editor Kate Chandler. Hawaii is known for its sandy beaches, but it has so much to offer, such as snorkeling expeditions, rolling golf courses, interesting cultural and natural history and plenty of yummy

A dream vacation can be a great way to kindle the romance on a honeymoon. food choices. You can also choose to do nothing at all besides just basking in your love somewhere indescribable.

Take a hot air balloon ride What better way to experience the beauty of Napa and Sonoma wine country than with a birds-eye view? Book a sunrise or sunset tour, complete with a minipicnic and local sparkling wine to set the mood as your drift above the vines and wineries. Very few things can match the serene energy you feel as you watch the first rays of sun begin to paint the morning sky.

Hear a gig The saying goes that it takes two to tango. But in Austin, Texas, you might well swap in the two-step instead. Orbitz.com named Austin one of its 2012 Hotspots, and for good reason. Austin is the self-proclaimed “Live Music

Capital of the World,” and this music mecca is living up to its reputation. It’s home to more live-music venues per capita than anywhere else in the United States, so any time, day or night, just follow the sounds to find something playing. While you listen, loosen your belt and enjoy the good eats that Austin has to offer. The city is well known for its barbecue and Tex-Mex dishes.

The annual Bridal Expo at Northbridge Mall will be from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. There will be two fashion shows, one at 1:30 p.m. and another at 3:30 p.m. Brides can register to win prizes, including a grand prize of a honeymoon package in Jamaica. Exhibitors at the show feature local DJs, hotels, caterers, hair stylists, hotels and reception venues and more.

WEDDING NOTICES Submit your wedding and engagement notices to the Herald by contacting newsclerk@austindailyheral d.com or calling 434-2236.

Watch the stars For those who prefer to experience the outdoors with a touch of luxury, head somewhere like Amangiri in Canyon Point, Utah. This resort rests on 600 acres and was consciously designed to blend into its surroundings; every window has a sweeping view toward Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. One of the best aspects of the American Southwest, is that you’re never too far from an unobstructed view of the night sky. 405 East Main Street • Blooming Prairie • (507) 583-2141 1170 East Frontage Road • Owatonna • (507) 455-1000 3110 Wellner Drive NE • Rochester • 507-536-7700 132 North Broadway • New Richland • 507-463-0502

With over 20 years of creating memories, The Holiday Inn & Austin Conference Center has been the premier choice for wedding receptions. Fantastic food, elegant surroundings and impeccable guest services are just a few of our hallmarks. Our Grand Ballroom is the largest venue in the area, hosting up to 450 of your guests. We have so much to offer, let us personalize your very special day. And the best news of all? Our prices are actually reasonable!

Complimentary Bridal Suites – Special rates for Wedding Blocks

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