Bride-to-be Andrea Stevenson isn't the kind of girl who has fantasized about her wedding day since childhood.
And while the 23-year-old Ottawa resident is happy to be engaged, she doesn't really know where to begin.
"I'm excited, but I don't really know anything," the pharmacy technician said of her May 10, 2010, wedding. "I'm just looking at prices and ideas right now.
"I haven't really decided on anything."
With about $20,000 to spend, Stevenson does know her priorities for her big day — she wants to have a good time and good memories.
Stevenson was one of thousands of brides-to-be who attended the Ottawa Wedding Show at Lansdowne Park yesterday. With a mission to find photography contacts and cake ideas, she said planning was still in the "preliminary stages."
Fortunately, her maid of honour, Katie Pugliese, is herself a newlywed.
"I can help her," said Pugliese, 24. "And this is the second time I've been a maid of honour, so I'm more comfortable."
When it comes to trends, there's no right or wrong, said Ottawa Wedding Show manager Yolande Adams.
"A lot of people take the economic way, and a lot of people will splurge on their weddings," Adams said.
That said, weddings are recession proof, Adams said.
Ages of brides ranged from the young to older people who are getting married for the second and third time, Adams said.
Attendees got ideas for catering, decorations, cakes, invitations, reception venues and entertainment.
Brides looking for deals on dresses sifted through racks of discounted gowns.
"I didn't think I would find one here," said Brandi Dooran, 25. "I was trying them on for a lark, but I found one that was just perfect. And it didn't cost a quarter of what I planned to spend."
Ottawa resident Stacy Hanks, 23, just got engaged last weekend, but already decided she's going with cupcakes instead of a traditional wedding cake.
"They did that at the last two weddings I went to and I thought it was cool idea," she said.
The show is a good place for brides and grooms to look for ideas, said Adams.