Sayyar, owner of Sam and Rosco’s Restaurant in Douglasville and The Center at Arbor Connection, an events planning business, said he participates in about 10 bridal shows each year, and that it is an investment of time, energy and money.
But the payoff for Sayyar and other Bridal Expo vendors will be the opportunity to meet “face to face” and make contacts with a large number of potential clients and customers.
“It’s worth it,” he said. “It’s an easy way to try and impress them.”
Sunday’s 2013 Bridal Show and Train Depot Open House, which is sponsored by the Times-Georgian, will be the first major, free event to bring the general public to The Depot on Bradley. It is scheduled for 1-5 p.m.
A limited-audience, fundraising wine tasting party was held Nov. 9 at the depot as finishing touches were being put on the building.
An estimated 500 to 1,000 people are expected at Sunday’s expo to see the products and services offered by 25 vendors.
“I think if we were even close to achieving that it would be amazing,” said Jessica Reynolds, executive director of Carrollton Main Street, which oversees bookings for the depot.
Reynolds is glad the day has finally arrived when the public can enjoy the facility. She said the Times-Georgian’s Bridal Expo should be a “great first event” for the depot.
“I think it’s been a long time coming,” she said of the depot’s opening. “To really get to see all these moving pieces come together is a very happy, momentous occasion.
“We thought this would be the perfect kind of opening for people to come in an view this beautiful facility and see it all decked out and see all the hard work that has gone into making this happen.”
The 9,500-square-foot depot cost the city about $1.5 million to renovate.
Residents tried for nearly two decades to get possession of and save the old 1800s train depot. Passenger service to the depot stopped in the 1960s, although the building continued to be used for freight into the 1980s. But it was becoming dilapidated.
Norfolk Southern Railroad originally wanted $1 million for the depot, but the city worked out a deal in which the city would take over maintenance of the nearby wooden bridge over the railroad tracks, in exchange for the depot.
The Friends of the Depot group was formed to raise funds and provide private support for the renovation project.
Reynolds called it a historic property worth saving.
“It’s so unique to this area,” Reynolds said. “There’s nothing else like it. There’s so much character and history associated with it. It’s something that is very special.”
Bookings for events began this month, and already 20 weddings are scheduled.
“The response has been overwhelming,” Reynolds said. “It’s a beautiful facility.”
The two main areas of the depot, the Ticketing Booth and the Grand Hall, will be open for Sunday’s expo and open house.
The 25 vendors at Sunday’s show will be businesses from Carroll, Douglas and Paulding counties that specialize in areas such as bridal shops, catering, event designers and planners, fitness and hair salons, among others. More than 100 brides-to-be will register at the expo when they arrive.
Sayyar hopes in particular to connect his businesses with visitors to the expo who might soon become engaged.
“Timing is very important,” he said. “This is a great time of year for people getting engaged.”
Sayyar’s Sam and Rosco’s Restaurant is serving as a food vendor for the expo.
The best parking options for visitors will be across from Carrollton City Hall on Bradley Street. Visitors should avoid parking in private properties.