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VIProfile: Tootie Finkbone

Story by Angela Reeves

Tootie Finkbone fell in love with wedding planning in 1992 when she helped her youngest brother Bill plan his wedding. She went to school for Interior Design but knew something was missing. During the planning process for Bill’s wedding she knew that was what she wanted to do with her life. “That’s when I fell in love with wedding planning,” said Tootie.

Almost thirty years later, as one of the area’s leading wedding planners, Tootie has helped hundreds of couples plan their big day and has had several of her weddings featured in Kentucky Bride Magazine. After working in the industry for many years, she saw a need for an upscale Bridal Expo in the area. The Southern Kentucky Bridal Expo was created by Tootie six years ago with 50 vendors and has now grown into over 100 vendors.

The 2019 Expo is being held on Saturday, January 19th at the WKU Knicely Conference Center. The vendors include venues, caterers, bakeries, florists, photographers, videographers, wedding planners, musicians, etc., but every new year unique vendors emerge. The 2019 SOKY Bridal Expo will include Build a Bride - an innovative way to shop for your wedding dress in the comfort of your own home. All of the latest wedding trends along with tons of inspiration and ideas will be featured at the Expo. “I want the bride to know what all of her options are and match her with the vendors that fit her budget and vision,” said Tootie.

Tootie says 2019 will redefine the barn wedding. Burlap, mason jars, and baby’s breathe are out and being replaced with a rustic elegance such as contemporary containers, vibrant flowers, and gold and silver accents replacing the metallics. Balloon decor is on the rise and you will see a taste of this at the Expo along with fabulous door prizes given through the day such as a wedding cake, horse and carriage ride, limousine rental, and string ensemble for ceremony music.

Tootie has lived in Bowling Green for most of her life and is proud of the community it has become and amazed at the growth of Bowling Green/Warren County. Over the years Tootie has seen the area turned into a wedding mecca and a destination wedding locale. “There are so many beautiful and unique wedding venues in Bowling Green and the surrounding area,” said Tootie. She tells brides to look over contractual agreements with wedding professionals very carefully and to remember it’s not what you spend, but how you spend your money. For instance, a wedding venue may or may not include tables and chairs, tablecloths, and more than 24 hours to be able to set up and breakdown. Looking over the fine print of contracts is important and is why hiring a wedding planner or day of coordinator is a wise decision. Tootie acts as the couple’s advocate and often helps secure discounts for them. She has worked with brides as soon as engagement (often two years in advance) or as a weekend of coordinator, depending on what services the Bride needs and will help alleviate stress.

Over the last few years Tootie has chosen to slow down her full time business and will continue to scale back in the future. She and her husband love to travel out West and went to Glacier National Park for their 30th Wedding in August where they hiked and kayaked. “Being outdoors around the beauty of nature revitalizes me,” said Tootie. They have three grandchildren, Maddie, Ben and Reid, they love spending time with and enjoy their vacation home outside of the Gulf Shores, Alabama.

Tootie would like to start an Association of Wedding Professionals in this area to help each other generate ideas and hold each other accountable. She is also an active member of Broadway United Methodist and would like to help with one of their many worthwhile projects such as helping the homeless or mentoring a child through a local school. No matter what though, she will always stay involved in the Wedding Industry in some form or fashion, as it has been a lifelong passion!

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