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story.lead_photo.caption Daniel White, left, and fiancée Danisha Hogue look at a dress worn by Cate Gladbach, a model for Ana Marie's Bridal, during Sunday's Fall Bridal Spectacular at Capitol Plaza Hotel. Photo by Gerry Tritz / News Tribune.

Love conquers all, even amid a pandemic.

There were plenty of changes, but vendors and brides-to-be still gathered Sunday for the annual Fall Bridal Spectacular at Capitol Plaza.

Some of the attendees said COVID-19 has thrown a wrench into their wedding planning.

"It's harder to plan," said Julie Wood, as she and her maid of honor, Destiny Wilton, chatted with representatives from A Catered Affair and sampled the Chicken Italiano.

"When we went dress shopping, I couldn't bring the whole bridal party, just three people," she said.

Wood, who is planning to marry Ben Schnieders on March 27, 2021, said she booked Ely Manor in Linn, but she worries about the possibility of the pandemic affecting the capacity of the venue.

Still, she was enjoying the bridal event: "It's really cool to see all the vendors from the surrounding area."

Alyss Borche said planning her wedding during the pandemic has been "pretty easy," but her mother, Laurie Borche, said: "When the wedding comes, I hope we'll be able to have more than 40" guests.

Kristina Aust with Busch's Florist and Greenhouse said many couples have decided to hold off on tying the knot until next year. Also, she said, more of them are looking at outdoor venues as their primary or back-up locations.

Sunday's event had about double the amount of space, so people could spread out more. The aisles were much wider and changes were made at the entrance to encourage social distancing.

Attendees who didn't come with masks were given them. Protective masks were required in the common areas of the hotel, but they were optional in the event itself.

Catering samples were sparse compared to past years.

Organizer Vicky Arcobasso said she was out to prove that events still can be held the proper way and people can still have fun. She said our country can't shut down and needs to learn to live with the virus, "good or bad."

"I was trying to make the decision, do I do the show or not," she said. "And I had vendors say to me, 'This is my only hope.' I cannot be that person who stood in the way of them staying in business or going out of business. So I knew I wanted to make this work."


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