By Wendy Weiler
First a proposal, next an acceptance and then planning for what some girls describe as “the biggest day of my life.”
This Saturday, for the first time, buildings and organizations owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are hosting a wedding show.
“When I first heard they were doing this I thought that it was perfect,” said Deanna Gardner, wedding show chair. “My first response was ”Why haven”t we done this before?””
Temple Square Hospitality, comprising the Joseph Smith Memorial Building, the Lion House and the Inn at Temple Square, will present a wedding gala, Salt Lake”s Premier Wedding Show.
While the church is not officially sponsoring the show, everything will be in accordance with the standards of the church, said Neil Wilkinson, director of marketing for Temple Square Hospitality.
“We do so many wedding events, because of our proximity to the temple,” said Dianne Theurer, director of food operations of the Joseph Smith Memorial Building. “People will always be getting married there, so it”s convenient to come here for a luncheon or reception. This show is so people can see what it”s like to hold wedding events here.”
Between the three buildings, Theurer estimates they do hundreds of wedding events every year. She said by Christmas they were already booked for spring.
“We”ve got this down to a science,” Theurer said. “We know what we”re doing, and we do it well.”
Gardner said her team wants to give guests a sensory tour through the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of spring, summer, fall and winter weddings.
“This will be just a beautiful event,” Theurer said. “I mean this will be one of those ”wow” experiences where people come in and say, ”This is just what I want.””
Displays will include everything from tuxedos to cakes, videographers to jewelers. Over 40 vendors will display their products and services. Many of them are offering giveaways and prizes. Professional wedding consultants will be available, and there will be free limousine rides between the venues.
“Our goal is simply to make this a wedding show unlike any other ever experienced in Salt Lake City,” Gardner said. “Literally everything a prospective bride and groom need to plan the perfect wedding is all in one incredible show.”
Attendance to the wedding show is free.
“I knew if we were going to do this, we should make it complimentary,” Gardner said.
Gardner and her team said they expect anywhere from 1,000 to 2,000 people.
Many of those people will be eager engaged girls from BYU.
“I”m totally excited to go,” said Sally Wheatley, 22, a senior from Overland Park, Kan., majoring in dance. “I got engaged over the break, and I”ve been so stressed trying to plan this wedding. I think this fair will help me smooth out a lot of my ideas.”
The show will be at the three venues from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. Free registration is available online at www.htsc.net.