RETAILERS & BRIDES PRAISE WEDDING WALK

wedding-walk-iiA model lured customers to shops on White Street all day Saturday. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Jayne Hernandez stood inside Hamilton Jeweler’s Saturday with a clicker in her hand, and pulled its lever every time a customer walked through the door.

By 2p, she’d done that 230 times. Not bad for a Saturday, she said.

“It was a mob scene,” said Hernandez, a manager at the store. “A bride mob scene.”

In terms of business, a mob scene is a good thing, she Hernandez said.

And it came as a direct result of Red Bank’s second Wedding Walk, in which hundreds of brides-to-be and their families descended upon businesses downtown and elsewhere.

weddding-walk-iiMore than 200 brides-to-be came into Hamilton Jewelers on Broad Street Saturday. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

The event, which had its debut earlier this year, has proven a boon to retailers, attracting shoppers who might otherwise might not make a trip here.

“We’re getting brides, their moms, their fiances,” Hernandez said. “It’s not exposing one distinct base. It’s exposing generations.”

Deb Stasi, who runs a floral business, D’Lu, from her home, set up a stand inside The Galleria at Red Bank to reap the benefits of that exposure. It was a smart move, she said.

“A lot of interested brides are sitting down to talk to us. It definitely has been worth it,” Stasi said.

A final tally of how many came into town for the walk wasn’t available Saturday, but it was evident that at least a couple hundred had turned out.

In addition to shining the light on Red Bank, the walk gave an opportunity for future brides to plan their weddings outside of the conventional way of hiring a planner or attending conventions.

“It’s better than your average bridal show. It’s definitely helped,” said Ashley Burke-Perretti, who’s tying the knot in May. “I would definitely recommend it.”

Nancy Adams, executive director of RiverCenter, which puts on the walk, said last week that the walk will become a staple in the borough for years to come. But considering the time and energy to coordinate it, it’s unlikely to become a twice-a-year thing, she said.

The plan is to hold it again next year, sometime around March, she said.