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Boots and a wedding dress? You bet!

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Bliss Bridal owner Maria Graziano fusses with the one of three gowns Ashley Camp modelled Sunday at the third annual Okanagan Bridal Expo at Prospera Place.
Secret: model Ashley Camp wore comfortable Ugg boots under the wedding dress she was wearing Sunday.
"Well, if I'm going to be standing here for three hours non-stop, I can't be wearing high heels," she said with a laugh.
"Don't tell anyone."
Camp is a dress consultant at Bliss Bridal and her duties during Sunday's third annual Okanagan Bridal Expo at Prospera Place was to stand on a pedestal at the company's booth in three different wedding dresses over the course of an afternoon looking pretty.
Mission accomplished.
Her blonde hair was in an elegant up-do, her make up was flawlessly understated and she posed in three beautiful dresses.
When The Daily Courier snapped photos of her, she was outfitted in a $2,200 special order strapless Enzoai lace mermaid gown with a detachable outer fit and flair shirt.
Next up would be the sequined ballgown and then the blush-coloured A-line dress.
"This is a fun job," said Camp.
"And, the irony is I'm single, no boyfriend to come and see me in these dresses."
Having a beautiful live model draws people to the booth, according to Bliss Bridal owner Maria Graziano.
"This expo is important because it's the largest one of the year for us," she said.
"If a bride is having a summer wedding, she needs to pick out and order a dress now. We'll book a lot of appointments here today."
Is business at a bridal shop anything like the diva squabbles and tension portrayed in the reality TV show Say Yes to the Dress?
"Not usually," said Camp.
"But occasionally there can be some bride, bridesmaid and family drama."
In all, the expo attracted about 1,000 who perused the 99 booths for companies promoting everything from gowns, photography, jewelry, hair and makeup, cakes and catering to wedding planning, nuptials in hot climes, disc jockeys, wine, limousines and venues.
"It's meant to be a one-stop wedding planning stop," said Cassandra West of Vernon-based Peace of Mind Wedding Coordinator, which organized the expo.
"With 100 exhibitors, you get everything from gluten-free catering to full on Bollywood bridal gowns."
The crowd was predominantly women - brides to be with their friends, bridesmaids, moms and sisters.
Grooms to be were in short supply.
Men generally like to leave the wedding planning and decisions to the women in their life.
Plus, there was lots of football and hockey on TV yesterday.
One of the grooms brave enough to attend with his intended was Kai Turcotte.
"We're getting married in August, so most of it is already planned," he said.
"We're here for last-minute ideas."
His fiance, Danielle Rodgers, is not a bridezilla, so the process has been easy-going.
"But you do have to get organized early," said Rodgers.
"Kelowna is the wedding capital of Canada, so venues and photographers get booked up early."
That's why early last year the couple secured the Gellatly Nut Farm for their outdoor vows and Two Eagles Golf Club for the reception.
One of the only other nods to grooms was the booth of tuxedo and suit rental and sales store Black & Lee.
"I'd like to think grooms are booking their tuxedos and suits now for their summer weddings," said store manager Laura Heimbecker.
"But the reality is guys are more last minute unless their fiance is pushing them. I had a guy I'd never seen before come in Friday to get a tux for his Saturday wedding."


At the third annual Okanagan Bridal Expo, The Daily Courier asked some attendees: What makes a wedding perfect?
Francina Miedema: "Family."
Whitney Verigan: "It's not just for the bride and groom, but an experience for the guests too."
Joelle Pauls: "Having the family from both sides all together makes a wedding great."
Brad Taylor: "Family."
Nicole Stradgier: "Marrying the man of your dreams and having the whole atmosphere with family and friends."
Niloo Vakali: "Good guests."

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