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Armstrong-area charities to benefit from bridal show

Ruediger | Leader Times
Karen Zambotti of Bridal Reflections shows off a popular gown offered at her Kittanning store. Zambotti coordinates and sponsors an annual bridal show and proceeds benefit the Orphans of the Storm, Downtown Kittanning, Inc., and Arts on the Allegheny. Wednesday January 9, 2013 Louis B.

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By Diane Orris Acerni
Friday, Jan. 11, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

If matrimony is in your future, St.Mary's Parish Hall, 361 N. Jefferson St, Kittanning, is the place to start your planning this Saturday.

The Armstrong County Bridal Show organizers promise to offer a variety of exhibits and entertainment and may possibly save intendeds some “ matrimoney,” too.

The doors of the parish hall open at 6 p.m. and for the $5 admission price, ticket holders will be treated to an evening of seeing and sampling all-things-matrimonial.

Karen Zambotti, owner of Bridal Reflections, again hosts the annual event which has grown in popularity. This is good news, not only for anyone interested in attending, but also for three area organizations that benefit from the profits that the show generates.

During the past four years, Zambotti has contributed more than $4,000 to three local organizations: Orphans of the Storm, Arts on the Allegheny and Downtown Kittanning, Inc.

“I chose those three because of their diversity,” Zambotti says.

“Yet, they all promote quality family-oriented causes.”

“I think that most of us have benefited from free activities such as Light Up Night, movies and concerts in the park,” she further explains, adding that most of us fall for a pet, as well.

Zambotti also hopes to provide an opportunity to generate business for the vendors that participate.

“Four years ago we had 24 vendors. This year there will be 41.”

Attendance has significantly grown, with 148 in attendance last year.

Among the 41 are caterers, cake-makers, florists, music makers, media specialists, innkeepers, beauticians, photographers, chaffeurs and other wedding professionals who offer goods and services to make the day the day.

Zambotti emphasizes that many of these wares also can be appropriate as gifts for wedding attendants as well as useful items to warm newlywed homes.

Bridal Reflections by Karen Zambotti provides beverages and most food vendors will let you have your cake (etc.) and eat it, too.

Browsing vendor exhibits will be the focus from 6 until 8 p.m., when a formal fashion show begins. Attire suitable for the entire wedding party, from the mother-of-the bride, to the groomsmen will be modeled on stage. Fashions seen are available at Bridal Reflections, where men, women and children can be outfitted.

Zambotti's is the only specialty shop in the county. However, she draws clients from many areas and many are repeat customers.

Freeport resident, Carrie Hill, recently visited Zambotti's shop in pursuit of a wedding dress for daughter Casey. Although this is the first wedding in the Hill family, Carrie is a veteran of formalwear shopping, as her four daughters attended proms.

“We have shopped for dresses from Erie to south of Pittsburgh,”Hill says. “And we always come back”

Zambotti provides free alterations for dresses purchased from Bridal Reflections, a service that is seldom found elsewhere. “You can't match her service,” said Hill, who adds,”You know that you'll walk out of there looking the best that you can.”

Zambotti hopes that many will walk away from the show with useful information and possibly a bonus or two. “Each vendor contributes a prize with a minimum value of $50.” Zambotti says.

Only future brides and grooms are eligible to win prizes and must be present to claim them when drawn. The program concludes with awarding two top prizes.

Second prize entitles the winner to five free tuxedo rentals from Bridal Reflections and the grand prize winner receives $500 worth of goods and services of their choice from the event vendors and a bridal gown, courtesy of Karen Zambotti.

Zambotti sees this as an opportunity for both bride and groom-to-be to attend. “Consider it an easy date night out and double your chances of winning, too.”

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