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TLC star to appear at bridal fashion show

| Friday, Feb. 7, 2014, 7:42 p.m.
Monte Durham is the fashion director for TLC's 'Say Yes to the Dress Atlanta.'

Say yes to the dress — in Pittsburgh — with Monte Durham of the Atlanta version of the popular TLC reality television series. Durham, fashion director on the program, will be at the Wedding Clickers bridal event Feb. 9 at David L. Lawrence Convention Center.

“People feel like they know me from watching me on the show, but you can only do so much through a television screen. It is nice to meet viewers in person,” says Durham of “Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta.” “I love shaking hands and taking photos with all the guests. I also enjoy the feedback I get from everyone who stops by to talk to me. I love what I do. I am a people person, and I enjoy mingling.”

Every bride has a story to tell, and Durham says he enjoys listening to her share everything from the engagement to the wedding plans, just like on the show.

“I hear some very beautiful stories about how the couple met and how they envision their wedding day to be,” Durham says. “It is an honor to be a part of their special day.”

Durham will be on hand during the Wedding Extravaganza Boutique Show, which will feature 18 models — men in sharp-looking tuxedos and women in couture gowns — and will answer questions at the end.

“For the most part, brides have a good self-image of what looks good on them,” Durham says. “The goal is to help them find the gown that makes them look and feel pretty and romantic.”

Gowns on the runway will be provided by Babe's Broadway Bridal & Tuxedo of New Kensington and Sorelle Bridal Salon in Washington, Pa. Their dresses will be displayed in pop-up boutiques where attendees can try them on to find “the one.”

The vendors include more than 100 wedding professionals.

Brides often say “yes to the dress” at this type of event, bridal-shop owners say. Each boutique will provide close to 100 dresses.

“Brides love to try on dresses they've seen on the runway,” says Kimberly Mentecki, who co-owns Babes Broadway Bridal & Tuxedo with her mom, Karen Fassinger. “Some brides might not want to drive to our shop if they don't live in the area, or they just might want to try on a dress they just saw on the runway or from one of our racks of gowns. We love being able to help them find the dress of their dreams.”

The shops will have headpieces and veils, and Durham will be available to help the brides complete the overall look, just like he does in the show.

Mothers of the brides, bridesmaids and flower girls can look for dresses, while men can search out the perfect tuxedo.

The fashion-show director is Nicole Widdowson, a former model at the event.

“Nicole is awesome because she puts the whole show together,” Mentecki says. “Nicole has modeled, so she knows what goes into planning a fashion show. It takes a lot of coordinating. The whole event is a class act.”

Widdowson has been with Wedding Clickers for 10 years. One of the things that make this event so popular is the pop-up bridal boutique, where the brides can try on gowns right then and there.

“It is very cool to watch the brides when they see a dress in the show and then go and try that gown on after the show,” Widdowson says.

JoAnne Klimovich Harrop is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at jharrop@tribweb.com or 412-320-7889.

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