The late Don Burden, who built the Star Stations radio group into a twenty million dollar broadcast company, along with Kevin Sweeney, a past president of the Radio Advertising Bureau and a recognized leader in the industry, conceived of the Bridal Fair® concept in the mid-sixties as a device to generate sales for his radio stations.
In the late 1960's, Don Burden invited Mel Cooper and other executives from CKNW in Vancouver to visit the Bridal Fair® Event in Portland, Oregon with the planned objective to launch the concept in Canada. This resulted in the first Canadian show being produced in Vancouver in 1969 by CKNW.
By 1970, it was apparent that television could also benefit and these stations were added to the marketing target and rapidly became an important part of the company's customer base.
In 1972, Bruce Thiebauth, our current president, joined the firm as a salesman with additional responsibilities for operation of an affiliated company, Bridal Publications, Inc. This company published a guidebook for brides within which advertising was sold to local businesses. This book, which was called Wedding Bells, was very similar in its approach to The Wedding Pages (a guidebook for brides which is also based in Omaha.) Later, the publishing company was sold and Thiebauth was made regional manager for Bridal Fair. In this position, he maintained a customer "list" of stations who were licensed by the firm to produce its shows. This position required frequent travel to consult with these stations and aid in maximizing their sales of the concept.
Thiebauth purchased the majority stock position from Burden in 1976 and has pioneered many innovations in the way the company operates since then. Now through its Web site and intensive advertising campaigns run by its licensed stations, the company, through its licensees, offers a total marketing approach to brides and new-forming households unequaled by any other bridal event. The company currently operates in fifteen markets through a combination of licensees and directly produced (or company-owned) shows and has presented events to over four million brides and their guests making it the show with the largest impact and longest continuously running event of its kind in North America.
The company maintains corporate offices in Omaha, Nebraska.
Bridal Fair® is a registered tradmark of Bridal Fair, Inc.