Brittany Fralin came to the Roanoke Greater Virginia Bridal Show for a caterer and left with an entire wedding.
Fralin, of Rocky Mount, was chosen as the winner of the Roanoke Dream Wedding Giveaway during Sunday’s bridal show at the Berglund Center.
Fralin couldn’t believe she’d won. And didn’t think anyone else would either. “No one’s going to believe me,” she said.
Her mother, Katherine Fralin, said she was shocked and excited for what this would mean for the wedding of her only daughter.
Fralin joked that her mother was lucky — this is the only wedding she would have had to pay for, and now she doesn’t even have to.
The Roanoke Dream Wedding Giveaway includes just about everything, from a dress to a ceremony and reception at Mariners Landing at Smith Mountain Lake to a honeymoon in Vietnam. The prize is valued at $35,000.
Fralin attended the bridal show with her mother, two aunts and her future mother-in-law. They were all shocked when they heard her name called. Her mother said she would’ve cried if she hadn’t been asked to come on stage with her daughter.
Fralin wasn’t drawn to the bridal show by the grand prize. She just came to check out a caterer she was interested in. Her fiancée, Carter Watts, is in for a big surprise: He had no idea she’d even entered the contest.
The couple got engaged in August on the beach at Topsail Island, North Carolina. They met in high school, and have been together for about five years.
They’ll be getting married sometime in 2017, per the rules of the contest.
The bride-to-be said it’s a relief to have all of the decisions made for her wedding. Fralin hadn’t hired anybody yet, which works out well, as the prize winner must commit to using all of the vendors provided.
Fralin said the Dream Wedding gives her the opportunity to “do some more extravagant things” that she wouldn’t have been able to do otherwise.
The event and giveaway were organized by Virginia Bride Magazine. Fralin’s wedding will be featured in the magazine.
Angeline Frame, publisher of Virginia Bride Magazine, said the giveaway is an opportunity to give a dream wedding to “one couple that may not necessarily be able to have a big wedding with all the big-ticket items.”
Frame said there were more than 80 vendors at the event — most of them local — showing off dresses, cakes, photography, limousines, flowers, music and just about anything else anyone would need at a wedding. Hundreds of people circulated around the booths Sunday.
Several hair and makeup vendors set to work on the brides, giving them ideas for their wedding day look.
Sarah Hess, from Bedford, experienced it all: Nails, hair, makeup, and even a massage. She also tried a few cupcakes. Her friend Christina Price, of Bent Mountain, said they had probably visited every single booth there.
Hess, who got engaged on Christmas Eve, said the event helped to give her an idea of what was out there, and get started with her planning.
Amanda Anderson, of Les Cheveux Salon & Day Spa in Roanoke, styled Hess’ hair, expertly wielding a curling iron. She estimated she’d helped between 10 and 15 people on Sunday afternoon. The hair stylist said she spends a lot of time working with brides, and enjoys helping them find the perfect look.
“Your hair is the last thing you need to worry about on your day,” Anderson said.
The event also included a fashion show, featuring local stores like Becky’s Bridal in Buena Vista and Ranch Dressings, which opened a location in Roanoke just a few weeks ago.
Models glided down the runway in shimmering, sparkling gowns of all types. It was an occasion for tulle and trains. Brides and their mothers, and the occasional groom, ooh-ed and ahh-ed over sweetheart necklines and delicate lace.
Trorie Atkinson, the manager of Ranch Dressings’ Roanoke store, said it sounded as if the crowd liked the gowns the women modeled in the show. She wasn’t able to see their reactions, though.
“I was backstage sweating,” she said, laughing.
The store also had a booth, and Atkinson said it had been busy all day. She arrived with 200 business cards, and toward the end of the four-hour event, there was only one left.
The winning on stage with the dream wedding sponsor.
From left, Les Cheveux Salon & Day Spa. McMillan and Wife Photography and Flowers, Music, Music, and More Music, Aztec Rental, Becky’s Bridal
Front: Mariner’s Landing, mother of the bride, The Bride, Diane’s Cake Creations, Polished by Claire V, Virginia Bride Magazine, and Executive Town Carl and Limousine