Tower ing tiers and marbled frosting drew wide-eyed brides, but there was much more than cake Sunday afternoon at the “A Taste of Your Wedding Day” Bridal Show. Vendors filled the Lake Jackson Civic Center with centerpieces, coffee, dresses and music, showcasing wedding services of all kinds.

“I make individualized treats,” said Samantha Reddie, presiding over a table full of cake pops and photo-printed cookies. “My favorite to do honestly is the Oreos; they’re just never the same. You can customize them for somebody’s birthday, retirement, business logo. I love it.”

Sam’s Sweet Treats is highly specialized. She doesn’t make cakes or other wedding food; she’s strictly in the business of tasty party and wedding favors. Her repertoire includes cookies with a picture of the newlyweds, cakesicles covered in shimmering gold dust and edible shot glasses in the wedding colors. She said sugar cookies and macaroons are popular right now, while she personally makes a lot of monogrammed and photo-printed favors.

Guests will need something to wash down those cookies, and Southern Spirits has it covered. Co-owner Jamie James said it’s important to have licensed, trained and insured servers at an event, or a happy day might end with a tragic mishap. Most wedding parties prefer to turn it over to professionals, not just for safety, but also for the options they provide.

“We have fun, signature cocktails we can name after you; we can base it on color, we can base it on taste,” James said, and with a coffee bar among the choices, non-drinkers don’t need to feel left out. “A lot of weddings, even if they’re not serving alcohol at all, we can accommodate with mocktails or a juice bar.”

The biggest service most vendors offer is a deceptively simple one: Eliminating stress. Debbie Mathisen, wife and coworker of DJ Paul Mathisen at Lightning Sound, said there’s a lot more to what her husband does than playing music. A good wedding DJ never runs out of things to do.

“He orchestrates everything that happens at a reception. On the day of the event, he goes through it all to make sure the bride doesn’t have to worry about anything,” she said. “He goes out of his way as much to help the bride to the table with a plate of food, make sure her dress is bustled … we have a picture of him almost under the bride’s dress trying to get it bustled.”

Whatever else he might do, though, at the end of the day the DJ does control the dance floor. Lightning Sound offers mood lighting, sound systems, video projectors and photo booths. One of the most popular trends currently is “dancing on a cloud,” where the bride and groom have their first dance in a swirl of mist and bubbles. Debbie Mathisen said.

Whether brides sought something trendy or traditional, the show provided options. The show has been at the civic center for four years, and Event Coordinator Esther Lara said it keeps growing.

“It’s just getting bigger and bigger every year,” she said. “We have more than 60 vendors, we have had steady, steady brides coming in. Attendance is great.”

Mary Newport is a reporter for The Facts. Contact her at 979-237-0149.

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