RENO, NV - On Sunday, the Grand Sierra Resort was the place to be for all things bridal.
“This is the 25th annual American Heart Association Fantasy Wedding Faire,” AHA business development director Danielle Hammons said. “The money raised today goes toward fighting heart disease in Northern Nevada.”
Organizers were expecting a turnout of about 2,000 and 100 vendors.
“Turnout has been fabulous, I’m so excited about the participation we’ve had from the vendors, from the brides, it’s been amazing,” Hammons said.
It was Heather Franklin’s first bridal show.
“It’s awesome, there’s so much information and the people are great,” Franklin said. “They’re nice, they’re informative and I couldn’t think of a better place to go. They’ve helped with everything from my venue to entertainment to budget to flowers. Everything.”
The event featured everything from designer dresses to custom keepsakes. For a lot of the vendors, customizing is key.
“All of my menus are custom, people ask me for brochures and I don’t have them,” caterer Frances Patula said. Her company, The Elegant Herb, specializes in gourmet appetizers. “That’s our specialty but we do everything from continental breakfasts to post-wedding brunches. People tell me what they like and I develop menus around them, that’s what we like to do.”
And that kind of one-on-one service is appreciated.
“People say there’s a recession but not when it comes to weddings!” Patula said. “So we’re delighted to be here to meet all these brides and cater to her needs.”
Missy Green’s company Parties to Remember specializes in custom cookies and chocolates.
“We put a direct reproduction of an image right on the product,” Green said. “Whether you want an invitation, an edible place card, napkin ring, even an edible menu, you can put anything you want on it.”
Nothing is more custom then the photos from a wedding. Photographer Belinda Grant says most people still prefer professional photographers when their special day rolls around.
“A lot of times people start out saying that their friend will photograph the wedding but they usually discover that’s not really the best thing,” Grant said. “Most come around and decide to use a professional for the big day, and we work so closely with these people, you really end up getting to know them and working really closely with them on their albums.
The best part of that job?
“The best part is you get to have fun, be creative, there’s the excitement of a wedding and you get to capture these memories,” Grant said.
The AHA’s theme this year was “Live Healthy Ever After.”