Wedding planning is not for the faint of heart.

From selecting table centerpieces and a caterer to deciding whether to book a DJ or a live band for the reception, all of the prep work that takes place before the big day may cause some brides-to-be to feel as though they’re headed into battle rather than down the aisle.

Let the Bridal Wars begin.

Dubbed “the coolest bridal competition ever,” this popular event is held in numerous cities throughout the country each year.

The latest installment of Bridal Wars is scheduled to be held from 11:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday at the Rustic Grace Estate, 13299 FM 121, Van Alstyne.

Tickets are $24 per person at and will also be available onsite the day of the event.

During Bridal Wars, brides and their teams — typically members of their bridal party, friends, family members, co-workers and others — participate in a variety of lighthearted physical challenges and meet potential vendors for their wedding festivities.

Teams of any size can participate by registering in advance on the website or on Sunday at the event venue.

Bridal Wars is produced by Gatehouse Live, the event company subsidiary of Gannett, the owner of Texoma Marketing and Media Group, which publishes the Van Alstyne Leader.

“We took the traditional bridal show and turned it up a notch,” Bridal Wars Director Stacy Jubert explained of the concept. “For us, it was just about how to have fun and experience meeting some wedding vendors, but in a whole new way.”

In an area called the “War Zone,” team members take part in challenges including one called Last Maid Standing, which involves climbing into an inflatable “bubble ball” and knocking down members of opposing teams.

Even the traditional bouquet toss gets a revamp. At Bridal Wars, brides bounce on a trampoline and chuck bundled blooms at their teammates while opposing team members attempt to block their catches.

Dodgeball, tug-of-war matches, relay races and even cake-eating contests are held. Challenges are scored individually, Jubert said, and the winning teams in each category are awarded “swag”-type prizes such as drink tumblers and tote bags.

As with traditional bridal shows, attendees are “still tasting cake at Bridal Wars,” she said, “they’re just racing to eat it.”

Team members may also build and strengthen their friendships as a result of participating in Bridal Wars.

“Oftentimes, brides will have maybe a college friend in their bridal party (or) a girlfriend they grew up and went to high school with” who her other bridesmaids haven’t met, Jubert explained.

At Bridal Wars, “They’re meeting for the first time. So they’re bringing their bridal party together and they all get to have a great, fun time for the day. They’re cheering each other on, they’re taking photos and videos and laughing and just having a great time.”

After the physical challenges are complete, teams attend “The After Party” featuring food, drinks and other games including Wedding Jeopardy, Bachelorette Pictionary and a lip-sync contest. This is also when brides get to meet wedding service and product vendors.

Above all else, Jubert said, Bridal Wars is “really all about having fun with your girls.”