The Weddings of the West Bridal Fair, held Sunday at the newly completed 250-seat Plaza Hotel conference center, helped marriage-minded couples rein in the endless task of decision-making that marks one of the biggest and most important days of their lives.
Those planning on, or even "slightly leaning towards," walking down the aisle were given a "passport to romance" and offered a free honeymoon by visiting each of five possible area wedding locations, from the Carson Valley Inn to David Walley's Hot Springs & Spa.
"Part of the challenge of creating a wedding is being able to take what the bride (and groom) says and interpret it to their happiness and satisfaction," Mark Frady, owner of TuxTown and president of Weddings of the West, said. "So often, brides have been planning this day for years of their lives. They have this perfect picture of what they want and exactly how they want it to go. That's why we've managed to be so successful - by really listening."
And also giving out advice.
"One thing I always tell grooms," said Frady, "is that if you want to be treated like a king, treat her like a queen."
Brides wishing to taste a little pre-wedding glow were encouraged to sample a piece of white-velvet wedding cake from Sugarplum Bakery & Treats of Genoa.
"Musical tastes run the gamut," said Bill Alan of McClain's Music & DJ Service. The 25-year wedding veteran loves his job and says he has seen and played it all.
"Some people actually insist that certain songs are not to be played at their wedding," he said. The Village People's "YMCA" seems to top that list.
"The magic is in finding the right mix between old stuff and new stuff."
Trying to please a crowd that can range in age from 1 to 101 is tough, but Alan says he sees weddings as a kind of family reunion. "It's all about having fun and celebrating."
Other businesses vying for the eyes of the future bride and groom were Rhonda's Floral Gallery and Flaggstone Wine & Gifts.
Weddings of the West is a network of more than 130 businesses, from photographers and caterers to jewelers and bartenders.
n Contact reporter Peter Thompson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1215.