An affair to remember might call for reinforcements

Generic weddings won't cut it anymore, but it needs not be a one woman show. Local bridal fairs are a great place to form ideas and make connections. Ai Mitton/ UVU Review
Generic weddings won't cut it anymore, but it needs not be a one woman show. Local bridal fairs are a great place to form ideas and make connections. Ai Mitton/ UVU Review

Though the bridal business is booming in Happy Valley, it’s no longer your Grandma’s wedding with stale cake and red punch. Wedding couture in Utah is moving out of the backyard and into the ballroom.

On Feb. 13 Provo High hosted one of many bridal fairs held throughout the year. With vendors promoting everything from dresses and shoes to romantic after-wedding getaways, the fair offered ideas for every step of the planning process, including several you may not have considered.

Because I’m only at the starting line of planning my own wedding, the Bridal Fair seemed a decent place to begin my journey. Armed with my two best gals and my Mum, we headed to Provo in high style and were not disappointed.

The fair was 100 percent free and included prize drawings at nearly every booth. Fashion shows were held every hour where dresses from local shops like Alysse’s Bridal were modeled and displayed not only for the bride, but for the bridesmaids and mothers as well.

For those that chose to drag their boyfriend/fiancé along for the party, there were contests for the sexiest biceps and who looked best in formal wear.

The current social trend calls for a more formal affair, offering a meal rather than a snack. Thus, popular restaurants like Goodwood Barbeque, Café Rio and Magelby’s were offering samples of meal options designed to wow your guests and show how much you appreciate their support and attendance.

Whatever your budget, most companies are willing to work with you on menu options that include choices from the simple punch and a sandwich, to a full course of fancy cuisine.

Utah is home to some very innovative small businesses and the fair was no exception to this rule. Gowns by Pamela is one example of mixing necessity with savvy business. Owned and operated by Pamela Weight, they offer a large selection of wedding gowns for rent that have separate skirts that can be matched with a variety of tops.

There is no longer the need to fret over finding the perfect dress. You can create your own with Weight’s help. The biggest problem now is in having to select just one.

There was also plenty of info on a variety of locations that can accommodate the wedding party from the I-do’s to the final toss of the bouquet. My personal favorite is Sleepy Ridge Weddings located in Orem. They offer a selection of banquet rooms with packages that include linens, decorating, catering and photography.

If you are even considering getting married in the near future, I recommend attending one of the many bridal fairs throughout the year. The fair was a big time-saver since it featured all of the elements needed in one location. The prizes and food samples were an added bonus to the already enjoyable atmosphere.

For info on upcoming shows visit utahbridalshows.com or thebridalfairs.com.

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