ADDISON – Those excited to celebrate the arrival of spring will find help with whatever event they have planned at this weekend’s Wedding & Special Event Expo.
Some of the same vendors from 2013’s inaugural event will return, and they will be joined by newcomers as well, said Bernadette “Dee” LaRocca, executive director of the Addison Chamber of Commerce and Industry. One comment LaRocca heard repeatedly after last year was appreciation for the location, Alta Villa Banquets.
“They enjoyed the venue for sure,” LaRocca said.
Alta Villa will again host the expo, which features a variety of vendors, from skin care and cosmetics to flowers and formal wear.
Vegas-style entertainer Vito Zatto will perform at the free event. In addition, three fashion shows will exhibit formal wear, mother-of-the-bride styles and wedding gowns.
With 25 years of experience, Alta Villa’s event coordinator Cheryl Hoest said she’s seen many changes over the years, but she still gives all of her brides-to-be the same advice.
“The biggest thing I still tell the bride is don’t stress the small stuff,” Hoest said. “Just enjoy the day. It’s yours.”
One advantage many of today’s brides have is the wealth of information and guides, she said. There are friends, family, magazines and now the Internet, all with plenty of wedding planning ideas and tips.
“Most brides don’t get as intimidated as they used to,” Hoest said.
But even with seemingly endless resources, some wedding traditions haven’t changed, she said.
“June is still the bride’s month,” Hoest said.
She suggests traditional brides looking for a summer wedding begin planning a year to 15 months in advance – not only to secure a venue, but because a grand wedding requires time to plan.
On the other hand, Hoest said those looking for a simple or off-season wedding could probably spend six or even four months planning a less expensive wedding.
Alta Villa hosts more than just wedding receptions. Owner Enzo Grisi is celebrating 50 years in the event business, and some families have hired his services for two generations.
No matter what the event, Hoest cautions people to spend a little extra on quality services like photography and entertainment for celebrations.
“The world is turning and becoming really great and hi-tech, but not everybody has talent,” Hoest said.
The camera phone gives many false confidence in the ease of taking quality photos. Hoest understands that everyone has their own budget and price is important, but she considers photography a “get what you pay for” item.
“Those are one-in-a-lifetime moments,” she said.
A disc jockey can be just as important of an investment. Once the introductions are over, the fate of the party lies with the DJ. Hoest has witnessed impressive equipment fall flat because of a DJ’s lack of personality.
“It’s his world, and he can destroy you as much as he can give you a good party,” Hoest said.
Regardless of what type of celebration her clients choose – be it simple or extravagant, with bold or subtle decor – Hoest’s favorite part is seeing her couples walk in together.
“To me, still, the most classic time no matter how they do it ... is when they’re introduced,” Hoest said.
If you go
What: Wedding & Special Event Expo When: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday Where: Alta Villa Banquets, 430 North Addison Road Cost: Free
Sea Sisters Travel, D's Flowers & Gifts N More, Alta Villa, Lena Lee Photography, Vito Zatto, The Ladies Room, HealthSource of Villa Park, Arbonne, The Copy Guy, Sam's Club, American Family Insurance, Anthony's Formalwear, Costco Wholesale, Elegant Embroidery by Anne, It Works!, Mary Kay Cosmetics and ReMax Destiny