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RED BANK: WEDDING WALK RETURNS SUNDAY

wedding walk 032215 2Wedding Walk participants checking their itineraries during the 2015 edition of the annual event. Below, sidewalk markers indicate shopping routes. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

[UPDATE:  The concluding reception of this event is now scheduled for 3 p.m. instead of 4 p.m.]

wedding walk 032215 4For prospective brides and grooms (and brides and brides, and grooms and grooms), it’s the most significant set of steps this side of that “walk down the aisle” — the annual Red Bank Wedding Walk, the 2016 edition of which renews its vows on Sunday.

Showcasing the products and services of more than 40 area businesses, it’s a real-world, real-time stroll through all the borough has to offer committed couples, from dress shops, confectioners and florists to salons, jewelers and photographers. And Red Bank, as befits its status as a “one-stop shopping destination,” is ready once again for its close-up on the first day of Spring, 2016.

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WEEKEND: WEDDING WALK GETS SAME-SEXY

WeddingWalkMichael Warmington of Red Bank RiverCenter joins a team of Barbizon tour guides in welcoming guests to a past edition of the Red Bank Wedding Walk, which returns to town this Sunday. Wanda Sykes (below) brings her standup skills back to the Basie Friday night. 

Sykes-WandaRED BANK: When the Red Bank Wedding Walk returns to the blushing banks of the Navesink for its latest edition this Sunday, it’ll be a bigger/better-than-ever affair with an historic edge: it’s “encouraging same-sex couples to join us this year and explore all that Red Bank has to offer for the perfect wedding,” according to organizers at Red Bank RiverCenter.

Taking place between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m., the 2014 event sounds a call to “prospective brides, grooms, partners, their families and friends” to key into the borough’s “fun and funky vibe” as they visit over 40 wedding-related businesses — florists, gown and accessories retailers, bridesmaid and guest attire boutiques, photographers, wedding planners and designers, jewelers, salons and banquet facilities — many of which will be offering promotions, light refreshments and special amenities.

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A RED BANK WEDDING, TELEVISED

oyster-pointStephanie Agresta and Chris McCaffrey used only local businesses for their wedding, which took place at Oyster Point Hotel, and their journey will be televised tonight. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Before taking part in March’s Wedding Walk, Stephanie Agresta had already planned on having a Red Bank-heavy wedding.

But, as she pointed out, “the wedding walk really brought to life all the opportunities in Red Bank.”

It also brought another opportunity, which airs tonight.

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RIVERCENTER STEPS UP MARKETING

rivercenter-sign-051310The 2010 budget shows no increase, but reflects new economic priorities, says RiverCenter’s executive director.

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Financially, it’s status quo this year at Red Bank RiverCenter. The independent agency that promotes the downtown and West Side special improvement district is working with a zero-increase, $512,000 budget.

Where that money is going, though, is a little different from previous years.

After the borough council gave its approval for the center’s 2010 budget Monday night, redbankgreen caught up with RiverCenter Executive Director Nancy Adams to find out what’s changed in the year’s spending plan.

The folks at 20 Broad Street are stepping up their marketing and advertising of the borough, a move Adams said is much needed at a time when the small businesses are trying to get more traffic through their doors.

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FROM RED BANK TO WED BANK

wedding-walk1Ashley Steimle, right, of Toms River, registers with one of the many vendors at Red Bank’s first Wedding Walk Saturday. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

If there’s one thing a bunch of brides to-be can agree on, it’s that when taking a day to map out a wedding, 65 degrees and sunny in downtown Red Bank beats climate-controlled and crammed into a hotel lobby or V.F.W. hall.

Had it not been for the borough’s first Wedding Walk on Saturday, women from all over New Jersey said they might have gone the traditional route of mass wedding planning, usually held in  banquet facilities.

“I’ve been to the wedding conventions in hotels, and this is a far better experience,” said Tara Fantini, of Ocean.

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INVASION OF THE BRIDES-TO-BE

wedding-walk

Discover NJ’s Frank Dicopoulos, left, interviews Margaret Mass and Kevin Barry for a video promoting this weekend’s Wedding Walk. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

For the soon-to-be-married guys looking to get familiar with Red Bank’s myriad watering holes, Saturday is your day.

That’s because the ladies will be preoccupied with more pressing things, like hitting dozens of downtown shops participating in the borough’s first Wedding Walk.

Red Bank RiverCenter executive director Nancy Adams says the Wedding Walk is landing in town because the oft-proclaimed Hip City doubles up well as a wedding planner’s paradise. Doubt it? Ask the Labettis, a Red Bank couple who put the borough to the test three years ago.

Adams, along with other local business owners and managers, figured now’s a good time to let the rest of the region know about it.

“Local retailers talked about Red Bank as an amazing wedding destination,” she said. “A to Z, you can plan a wedding here. You can even have it here.”

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