The stress of planning a wedding can feel overwhelming between caterers, florists and dresses. In the military community especially, upcoming changes of station or deployments can make the process that much harder. For those looking to find options in the Onslow County area, the Jacksonville - Onslow Chamber of Commerce held Engaged Onslow at the Commons Recreation Center in Jacksonville, March 14. The bridal expo intended to help allay some of the worry that comes when planning for the big day.

Vendors from across the area showcased their skills and wares while a fashion show gave brides and bridesmaids a chance to see what dresses looked like in motion. Latoya Scott, who was the recipient of Armed Forces Insurance’s Military Spouse of the Year award for Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, handled the modeling.

“We have one show for wedding gowns and a second for bridesmaids, flower girls and all the other pieces in a wedding,” said Leshea Cavers, membership manager for the chamber.

Additionally, series of raffles helped to give brides some financial flexibility while also benefiting local businesses.

“One of the big ones is a $2,000 prize which will allow brides, if they need a limo service, catering or some other service, they can come to us and we’ll cut the check,” said Kelsey Stiglitz, business services manager for the chamber. “That is good for these businesses too since the money goes directly to local businesses.”

Above all, the goal was providing peace of mind.

“We try to bring relaxation to the bride,” Cavers said. “You are already stressed out enough trying to plan a wedding so if we can make it easier for her by having everything in one spot that’s what we aim for.”