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.

wedding-walk1Participants in the 2010 Wedding Walk, above, which featured live Barbizon models, below, as will this year’s edition. (Photos by Dustin Racioppi. Click to enlarge)

wedding-walk-iiBrought to you by Red Bank RiverCenter, the free event runs between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m., with its central self-guided tour of the town book-ended by registration/check-in and continental breakfast (through 1 p.m.) at the Oyster Point Hotel, and a 4 p.m. champagne reception (with grand prize drawing) at the Molly Pitcher Inn.

In between are opportunities for engaged couples, families and friends to enjoy the borough’s “fun and funky vibe” by visiting the dozens of participating merchants, many of whom will be offering promotions, light refreshments and special amenities for the occasion.

All guests will be able to pick up a Wedding Walk map/passport at the Oyster Point base camp, and each registered couple will receive one complimentary tote bag to hold all the giveaways and information they pick up along the route. This year, guests will also receive some special gifts from sponsors Craig Kiley & Darryn Murphy Designs, Sounds to Go DJs, Pure Barre and more (while supplies last) at check-in.

Joining many returning favorites on the list of participants will be some new additions in the reception and party venue category (Gotham, Catch, Red Bank Elks Lodge #233). ThrillHer Diamonds and Goldtinker expand the roster of jewelers, while the personal services category has added Waxing the City and Schwartz Salon. And, returning to the wedding walk this year: dance instruction with the soon-to-open Arthur Murray Dance Studio. The atmosphere is further enhanced by a live 94.3 The Point broadcast featuring event sponsor/guest DJ (and bride-to-be) Laurie Cataldo.

Wedding Walkers can get around town via free shuttle, limo and trolley service courtesy of Arrow Limousine and Great American Trolley. Models from the Barbizon School will be stationed strategically along the route, with additional signage on businesses and on the sidewalks. The day concludes at the Molly, where attendees can mingle with sponsors while enjoying music, hors d’oeuvres, drinks and the riverfront view from the tented promenade. At 4:15, the grand prize drawings take place (with a chance to win additional door prizes from participating vendors).

To be eligible for the grand prize drawing at the end of the day, guests must visit at least 14 businesses during the Wedding Walk. Prizes include a honeymoon trip to Jamaica from Liberty Travel; a cake consultation with Mary from Carlo’s Bakery and TLC’s The Cake Boss; a romantic getaway package at the Molly Pitcher/Oyster Point; and a full DJ entertainment package (including lighting and a photo booth) from Sounds To Go.

Pre-registration is strongly recommended, with guests encouraged to visit the official event site here to browse the participating businesses, and map out an itinerary.