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Monte Durham Headlining 2020 Alexandria Wedding Showcase

Planning on getting hitched in Northern Virginia? The upcoming 2020 Alexandria Wedding Showcase will feature dozens of vendors from throughout the region to help you and your beloved on the most important of days.

Alexandria resident Monte Durham, host of TLC’s “Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta,” is headlining the event by hosting a VIP brunch and a fashion show, which will feature dresses, tuxedos and hair and makeup by local businesses. Durham plans to open his own salon in Old Town Alexandria later this year.

Last year, Alexandria Living Magazine took over the wedding showcase from Visit Alexandria, the city’s tourism bureau, which started the event in 2016. The event will be held on April 26, from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Westin Alexandria Old Town (400 Courthouse Square) and will feature more than 60 local vendors, including florists, caterers and dressmakers.

“Last year, there were more than 450 people who attended the showcase,” Beth Lawton, co-founder and publisher of Alexandria Living, told ALXnow. “There’s no deadline, but we’re selling out quickly.”

“We’re really focusing on making this an experience,” Lawton added. “One of the salons is talking about doing consultations, we have a fitness studio doing one-on-one meetings and a lot of our booths are going to be offering prizes of their own. So, you’ll be able to possibly win a lot of free stuff for your wedding, which is great because the average wedding costs more than $30,000.”

As far as prizes go, the Westin is giving away a grand prize of 250,000 Marriott Bonvoy points, which can be used toward plane tickets, hotel stays and more.

“Essentially, a couple who wins this will be able to spend eight nights in France or Hawaii,” Lawton said.

The event will also be featured in the March/April edition of Alexandria Living Magazine, which will be full of wedding-related stories.

“Alexandria is one of the most romantic cities in the world, and this event really shows how the city is a great wedding destination,” Lawton said. “Weddings require so much. You need the food and wine, you need a venue, the dresses, the tuxes, the flowers, hotels for people coming in from out of town, transportation, gifts. There’s just so much that goes into weddings, even small weddings, that it’s not too surprising that there are so many businesses in the area that can support that.”

Tickets for the event are $20 for those who register before April 10, $25 for regular admission, $35 for couples and $50 to also attend the VIP brunch.

Additionally, for those who want to devote their entire weekend to weddings, the Carlyle House will host its free, annual wedding open house from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 25. Couples are invited to meet wedding vendors, tour the facility and talk about getting married at a historic site in the port city.

File photo (top) by James Cullum

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