GENEVA – The brides lined up in the blustery cold Sunday outside the Herrington Inn and Spa, waiting to sign in and get their pink bag and matching pink pashmina for Geneva's annual Wedding Walk event.
About 200 brides, bridesmaids, mothers and friends came to visit more than a dozen of the downtown's bridal businesses – from dress shops to jewelry stores, paper goods to photography studios.
Among them was Kristen Leprich, 25, of Naperville, with her two sisters and maid of honor.
"We booked our reception at the Herrington and that is how we found out about this," Leprich said. "We are just getting a better idea about the vendors that we can use. We really like the idea of staying in the area and doing all of our vendors – if we can – down here."
Leprich's wedding is scheduled for Aug. 3, 2013.
"We are just trying to figure things out as we go along," Leprich said.
Kelly Bemis, 25, of St. Charles, bundled in her pink pashmina and sporting the pink bag of the bride brigade, was ready to start shopping. She brought along two bridesmaids, Anna Ricker of Batavia and Sara Freedman of Aurora.
Bemis' wedding is scheduled for July 6 this year.
"I'm here to check out the different vendors and register for prizes," Bemis said. "Anna and Sara are helping me pick stuff out. I pretty much have everything, but I do need things like favors and bridal party gifts and look for dresses for the mothers of the bride and groom."
Bemis went on Geneva's Wedding Walk last year as well.
"This is a fun event," Bemis said. "This is great. Go with the girls and go around and see everything. We're going to hit them all so I can register for that Aruba trip. You get your vendors signed and you enter your ballot and they draw a prize."
With her wedding scheduled for Aug. 24, 2013, Jenny Pupchik, 28, of Frankfort, brought her mom and sister along to see what all the vendors have to offer.
"We are having our reception at Riverside Receptions," Pupchik said. "They offer two free hors d'oeuvres if you do this, [go on the walk] so I want my hors d'oeuvres."
Once inside, the first stop is Reiley Bechtold, to get wristbands to identify brides and their guests, pink bags and pink pashminas. Sarah Mangan, 26, of Cortland is getting married Sept. 28 this year, and has most of her things.
"This is just to get extra ideas," Mangan said of attending the Geneva Wedding Walk.
Jennie Polloway, who does sales and wedding planning for Elizabeth Wray Design, said the event highlights what local businesses have to offer brides-to-be.
"I love that we have so many fantastic wedding vendors just in Geneva," Polloway said. "It's a great source for our brides who can have all in one in Geneva. It's a great event, every year it gets better and better. I love our little wedding nexus here."