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Plan your big day at Gold Country Bride Bridal Faire

Event comes to Sunset Whitney in Rocklin
By: Stephanie Dumm, Placer Herald correspondent
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Gold Country Bride Bridal Faire

When: Noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, March 24

Where: Sunset Whitney, 4201 Midas Ave., Rocklin

Cost: $5 or a nonperishable food item

Info: (530) 852-0278 or tickets@goldcountrymedia.com

Brides looking for ideas to create a memorable wedding day but don’t want to be stampeded at a larger bridal show should look no further than the March 24 Gold Country Bride Bridal Faire.

The Bridal Faire is being put on by the Roseville Press Tribune, Sunset Whitney and Celebrations, and will be held at Sunset Whitney in Rocklin.

Trinity Cooney, catering sales manager for Morgan Creek in Roseville, described the March 24 Bridal Faire as being “less crowded and more intimate” than bigger shows.

Morgan Creek and Sunset Whitney are under the same ownership, said Cooney, who oversees catering at both venues.

The Bridal Faire was held at Morgan Creek last year, but has been moved to Sunset Whitney “because we thought location change would bring more people,” according to Cooney.

Linda Shuman-Prins, event manager for Gold Country Media, said there will be “50 to 60 localized vendors” on March 24.

“The event is smaller in nature, allowing for more time with vendors, nothing high-pressure, just a relaxing way to shop for your wedding,” Shuman-Prins said. “Brides will be treated to samples and gifts. One salon will even be doing makeup and quick hair styling. You will be able to find everything you need all in one place.”

About 100 people attended last year’s Bridal Faire, said Cooney, compared to the 3,000 to 4,000 she has seen at bigger bridal shows. There will also be 50-60 vendor booths.

“At Sunset Whitney and smaller shows, it’s much more intimate, so as a bride, when you’re arriving and see a florist you like, you can spend time talking to them one on one,” Cooney said. “Because that bride can approach in person, in the booth, I think it’s a better opportunity for vendors for sales and better for brides.”

Among the usual wedding vendors such as caterers, florists and photographers, Cooney said there would also be jewelers, gift registry representatives and bachelor/bachelorette party organizers.

The event will be a plus for vendors as well, according to Cooney.

“There were people (at last year’s show) I had never seen in business,” Cooney said. “For small businesses and local businesses, this is a good opportunity for them,” Cooney said. “They live in this community and do business here.”

Refreshments will be served and Cooney said tours will be given of Sunset Whitney for brides interested in the venue for their wedding.

“The property is about 50 years old, roughly, has a lot of history and at the same time it’s gone through renovations and changes,” Cooney said. “The way people know it historically, we’ve refreshed the look of it.”

Sunset Whitney has two banquet rooms, which allows for two same-day weddings, according to Cooney, and “nature surrounds the wedding area.”

“There are lots of trees and you may find a deer or wild turkey,” Cooney said.

Melanie Morton, banquet sales manager at Sunset Whitney, says that “anybody with a budget can have a wedding” at Sunset Whitney.

“If a bride is on a budget, we can really, really work with them,” she said. “We have a lot of different items and options. You can do a full bar, hosted or non-hosted. We have different buffet menus and you can do plated, as well. We have our own chefs and offer in-house catering.”

For a bride thinking of having her big day at Sunset Whitney, Morton said there are two banquet rooms that seat about 200 people, as well as an outdoor garden ceremony area that seats 250.

“We also have a good-sized bridal suite for the brides to get ready in, and it’s for the brides and their family,” Morton said. “We offer complimentary champagne and apple cider of the bride’s choice so she can enjoy her time in the bridal chamber.”

Improvements recently made to Sunset Whitney include new carpeting and granite countertops in the bar area, Morton said.

“One of the rooms has full access to a huge outside patio that comes heated and with the rental,” Morton said. “You can have your reception out there, cocktail hour, you can do anything with the outdoor space and it’s a really good size.”

Brides who swing by the Old Saint Mary’s Chapel booth will learn that if they are married in the historic building, they can ring the chapel bell three times.

That’s according to Ronna Davis, a board member of the Rocklin Historical Society, the organization that takes care of the Old Saint Mary’s Chapel.

Davis said the chapel, which is owned by the city of Rocklin, is Rocklin’s oldest public building.

“The chapel was first built and opened in 1883, and it was used by the Roman Catholic community for many years,” Davis said. “Eventually it became too small for the congregation, and they moved to St. Peter and Paul.”

The church has been on Front Street its whole existence, but was moved 300 feet in 2005 by both a moving company and a group of Rocklin residents, according to Davis.

Prior to the city owning Old Saint Mary’s Chapel, the building housed various congregations, including the Church of Religious Science and Baptists, according to Davis.

“We had our first wedding in September of 2007. It’s unique in that it has such a rich history to it and it’s a timeless, classic place to have a wedding,” Davis said. “It’s a historical building and a bride and groom become part of that history when they choose to be married there.”

The chapel seats 110, said Davis, and since the building is nondenominational, those marrying in the chapel must provide their own officiant.

To check out the chapel, call (916) 415-1150.

Hiring a good DJ can mean the difference between bored guests and happy guests, and Matt Deutchman of Galaxy DJ says his company can keep a wedding moving smoothly.

Galaxy DJ will be at the Bridal Faire to fill brides in on the many services they provide, Deutchman said.

He appreciates that the event is a place to meet local brides, since Galaxy DJ is based out of Roseville.

“I think it helps (having local vendors) with being able to meet and plan all of the details of the wedding,” Deutchman said. “That’s pretty important.”

Galaxy DJ has four DJs who cover weddings, Deutchman said, and services include music, photo booth, event lighting and video slideshows.

“The photo booth is probably the best seller – it’s the No. 1 add-on for weddings,” Deutchman said. “We make a graphic for them at the bottom of the strip, and guests can take three photos. It’s all touch-screen and they can email the photos and Facebook the photos.”

Deutchman said the photos “can be uploaded real-time” to Facebook.

Quoting Martha Stewart, Deutchman said having a good DJ leads to 80 percent of the success of a wedding.

“We emcee the entire event, and are always keeping people in the loop of what’s going on next. Especially when the bride and groom are taking their photo during cocktail hour,” Deutchman said. “We keep the guests entertained while the photographer is doing his or her thing. Knowing how long it takes for a certain amount of people to get through the line – it’s the little things that make it better.”