What You Need to Know Before Booking Your Reception Site

You’ve said “I do,” he’s kissed the bride, and now it’s time to party! Kick off those heels and mix, mingle, dine, and dance the night away with family and friends. But finding the perfect reception spot is no easy feat – Luckily, we’re here to help!

Consider your style, head count, and budget.

Before deciding where to host your reception, there are a few things to consider. To start: What’s your wedding’s style? A casual summer wedding requires completely different accommodations from a formal winter wedding, so first nail down your preferred style and season. Next: How many made the guest list? If you haven’t made one yet, hop to it – you’ll need a head count so you can find a reception site to suit your needs. Finally: How big is your budget? This goes hand-in-hand with your guest list – sometimes, your budget will determine the number of guests you can afford to have, not to mention the caliber of venue. Once you’ve made these critical decisions, start the search.

large_imageSearch for sites that suit your needs.

Local bridal publications and websites, wedding shows, married friends, and Google are all great sources of potential reception sites. Typical venues include hotels, banquet halls, restaurants, community centers, and country clubs. Other options might be country inns, historic homes or estates, city parks, college or university facilities, museums, galleries, and boats.

Each of these potential venues will be one of two things: on-site or off-site. Most on-site locations offer the majority of services needed to host a reception: catering of food and drink, chairs, tables, tableware and linens, and a serving staff. With all these necessities already covered and calculated into the cost of the venue, on-site is an appealing, potentially less-stressful way to go. Off-site locations usually provide only the facility for a flat fee – you’re responsible for the rest. The nice thing about off-site? You have the freedom to do everything your own way and control costs of individual services.

Narrow down your search by focusing on sites that meet all of your needs, including your style, season, budget, and estimated number of guests. Once you have your sights set on a few choice venues, take a day trip to check them out.

Evaluate your options.

t_7a57cca0-a3e4-11e1-a4a8-853ab0600001Every venue offers advantages and disadvantages. Your job is to sift through the features of each and find what works best for you. Here are some things to consider:

Location. To avoid inconveniencing your guests, the reception site should be no more than a 30-minute drive from the ceremony – ideally less. But if there’s no avoiding it and the site is located in a remote area or poses parking and traffic challenges, you should consider providing shuttles for your guests.

Size and layout. Is the venue in question just one large room, or will cocktail hour, dinner, and dancing each take place in separate, smaller rooms? Make sure the cocktail area is large enough for guests to mix and mingle and that the dinner area will comfortably hold the number of tables you’ll need. Make doubly sure that the dance floor is big enough for everyone to bust a move! Beyond spatial comfort, also consider temperature. Throwing a summer wedding? Don’t skimp on air conditioning.

Privacy. If the reception site caters to multiple events simultaneously, find out if there are any other bookings on the date you have in mind. If there are, work with your site contact person to ensure that you will have adequate privacy for your celebration.

Parking. Make sure there is convenient, well-lit, ample parking for your guests. If such conveniences aren’t an option, find out if the site offers valet or shuttle services.

Technical details. Whether you go for a DJ, band, or iPod playlist, inquire after any music restrictions the venue might have. Is there sufficient power for speakers, mixers, and amplifiers? Are the acoustics suited to live music? Some sites have built-in public-address systems that can be used to introduce the wedding party and to toast the bride and groom. If your venue doesn’t provide this equipment, find out if your DJ or musicians can. Or, look into microphone and speaker rentals yourself – your contact person should be able to walk you through the wiring hook-ups prior to your wedding day.

Décor. Most reception-ready sites offer a neutral background to work with, but see that the flooring, ceiling, and wall coverings work well with the style and season of your wedding. So that nothing clashes, some brides even wait to decide on their color scheme until after they’ve procured a venue. In terms of decorative details, find out what you’re allowed to bring in as far as tangible décor and lighting. If the reception location is spacious, decorating can be overwhelming. In this case, try concentrating on one element, such as tablescapes. Or, if funds allow, hire a wedding coordinator to assist with site beautification.

Services offered. With each venue you visit, find out in clear terms exactly what services are included. There’s a lot to consider: catering, bar tenders, wait staff, cake cutting – get these details up front.

Personal touches. When looking at sites and imagining your celebration, ask yourself (and your contact person) if you can have fun with this space. Is there a spot for showing a photo and video montage during cocktail hour? Is the layout conducive to a choreographed entrance by the wedding party? Is there room for a photobooth?

A note about outdoor receptions

Given Wisconsin’s unpredictable weather, it’s critical to have a backup plan for any outdoor reception. It’s highly recommended that you employ an experienced wedding coordinator if you have your sights set on an outdoor reception. A coordinator will ease the workload and stress-factor in the days leading up to a “60% chance of rain” wedding day – and will help to make any last-minute changes run smoothly.

The nitty-gritty

As with any wedding vendor, make sure all the details are outlined in writing. Take into account things like service charges, cleaning fees, insurance waivers, and penalties for not fulfilling the food and beverage minimum. Use a credit card whenever possible to make payments so that you have more protection in the unlikely event of a problem.

For more information about receptions in your local area, go to our Local Resources page and select the area that is closest to you.

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Gatsby Revisited

With shows like “Downton Abbey” and “Mad Men”, we’ve begun to revisit the roaring 20′s and what that era had to offer in wedding fashion.  Take a step back and experience life when it was all fresh and new.

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Beautiful Brides

Make-up & Hair by Emily Johnson

We had such a fun time the other morning with our models and brides-to-be, getting ready for our January Premier Bride Showplace. Here are some great photos from Emily Johnson!

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Premier Bride Showplace 2013!

Welcome, Central Valley Brides!

The following sponsors and exhibitors are participating in the Premier Bride Showplace bridal show in Fresno on January 6, 2013 .
 PRESENTING SPONSOR
Wedgewood Wedding & Banquet Center website
 CO-PRESENTING SPONSORS
Mark Janzen Photography website
Limo for You website
La Ryan Catering website
The Vault website
Oh So Swank! website
 EXHIBITORS
ALTERATIONS
Shirley Gambero Designer/Dressmaker website
BAKERIES
Barb’s Cakery website
Crème de la Cake website
Eddie’s Bakery Café website
Sweet Dreams Wedding Cakes website
Valley Lahvosh Baking Company website
BRIDAL GOWNS/VEILS/PRESERVATION
Black Tie & Bridal Lace website
David’s Bridal website
Ga Ga Chic website
Jones Cleaning Center website
Luftenburg’s Bridal website
Premier Bride’s Perfect Dress website
Shirley Gambero Designer/Dressmaker website
CATERING
The Classic Catering Company at Six-Two-Five website
La Ryan Catering website
Plates Grilling & Catering website
Ridge Creek Dinuba Golf Club website
Ruth’s Chris Steak House website
Yosemite Events & Catering website
DANCE LESSONS
 DISC JOCKEYS
AMS Entertainment website
DJ Bash website
Expo DJ Services website
Good Times Entertainment website
Haro Entertainment website
Mobile Sound Productions website
Music Spectrum Entertainment website
My Dance DJ website
Party DJ Party website
Starberst Entertainment website
TNT DJ & Video website
FAVORS/SPECIALTY ITEMS
Wings Away Dove Release website
FLORISTS
Awesome Blossoms website
Brown Bunny Flowers website
Country Charm Flowers website
Oh So Swank! website
Sweet Dreams Wedding Flowers website
GIFT REGISTRY
Bed Bath & Beyond website
National Healthstyle Cooking 4 You website
Williams-Sonoma website
HEALTH & BEAUTY
American Laser Skincare website
Bullard Chiropractic Clinic website
EYE-Q Cosmetics website
It Works! website
Makeup by Dara website
Makeup & Hair by Emily website
Mark A. Lowe, D.D.S. website
Spectrum Salon & Day Spa website
INVITATIONS
Lisa Takao Paper Couture website
Paper Haven website
TradeMark Handmade Inspired website
JEWELRY
The Diamond Gallery website
Ara Karkazian Watch & Jewelry Co. website
The Vault Fine Jewelers website
LIMOUSINES/TRANSPORTATION
Limo For You website
Royal Coach Limousine website
MUSICIANS
Arpeggio Strings website
OFFICIANTS
PARTY RENTALS
AMS Entertainment website
Classic Party Rentals website
Creative Chair Coverings website
Expo Party Rentals website
Fun Photo Booths website
Go Bananas Events & Rentals website
LIght Up The Walls website
Lounge Essence Events & Rentals website
Maty’s Linens & Decor website
Pnoto A Go-Go Photo Booth website
Pose & Print USA website
Walker-Lewis Rentals website
PHOTOGRAPHERS
Brian Bishop Photography website
Choice Imaging Photo and Video website
Creative Captures by David Barrios website
D.C. Photography Studios website
John M. Reynolds Photography website
Kenny Gilman Photography website
Mark Janzen Photography website
Mark Tabay Photography website
Morgan/James Photography website
Puente Photo website
Ros-Lynn Studios website
TMphotography website
Van’s Studio of Photography website
TRAVEL/HONEYMOON
AAA Travel website
Cruise Adventures website
Cruise Planners website
Ships and Trips Travel website
TUXEDOS
AJ’s Tuxedo Junction website
Black Tie & Bridal Lace website
Luftenburg’s Bridal website
Men’s Wearhouse website
Pat’s Tuxedos Formalwear website
VENUES/ACCOMODATIONS
The Big Fresno Fair Event Center website
China Peak Mountain Resort website
The Classic Catering Company at Six-Two-Five website
The Downtown Club website
Duceys on the Lake website
The Fresno Ballroom website
Golden Palace Banquet Hall website
The Grand 1401 website
Historic Seven Sycamores Ranch website
La Quinta Inn & Suites NW Fresno website
Lilly’s Meadow website
The Loft Events website
Moravia Winery website
Paradise Springs website
Park Inn by Radisson website
Piccadilly Inn Airport website
Piccadilly Inn Shaw website
The Pines Resort website
Radisson Hotel website
Ridge Creek Dinuba Golf Club website
Ruth’s Chris Steak House website
Sierra Meadows Country Club website
Smittcamp Alumni House website
Tachi Palace Hotel & Casino website
TorNino’s Banquets website
Tuscan Gardens Venue website
Una Bella Giornata website
Victorian Gardens of Two Sisters website
Wedgewood Wedding & Banquet Center website
Wolf Lakes Park website
Wonder Valley Ranch Resort website
Yosemite Weddings website
VIDEOGRAPHERS
Choice Imaging Photo and Video website
D.C. Photography Studios website
Good Times Entertainment website
MVP Weddings website
Reverie Video Productions website
TNT DJ & HD Video website
WEDDING COORDINATORS
Genesis Master of Events website
Go Bananas Events & Rentals website
Oh So Swank! website
WEDDING RESOURCES
The ONE Wedding Planner website
Premier Bride website

Premier Bride Showplace Tips

You may find that the more time you can save in planning your wedding, the better. Our bridal show can be the one stop shopping experience you need to plan your entire wedding, especially if you go prepared. Here are a few tips on how to get the most out of Premier Bride Showplace:

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  • Plan In Advance – Make a list of what you will need most and what your budget will allow for each item and service. Be sure to leave some room for the unexpected – you never know when you may see something you’ll want to have that you never thought of.
  • Be Ready To Make Decisions – Bring the major decision-makers to Premier Bride Showplace with you. If you are the major decision-maker, bring someone with you that you can bounce ideas off of. Be ready to book your favorite vendors there at the show. Some exhibitors may even offer day-of-show booking discounts.
  • Dress For The Occasion – Remember to wear comfortable shoes. Need we explain more on this one?
  • Fashion Forward – Bring a notepad with you to jot down any dresses or tuxes you like during the fashion show. It will be much easier for you to remember which Bridal Salon featured the gowns you like. You’ll also want to be able to take notes when attending the seminars.
  • Above all, have fun! Bridal shows may be useful and informative, but they’re also a blast. You’ll have a great time with your family and friends – planning your perfect day!

MVP Weddings Shares Some Highlights…

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MVP Weddings would love to provide a beautiful, cinematic video of your wedding day. To see if what they provide a good match for what you’re looking for, they recommend the following:

  1. Check out their videos and see what you think
  2. Compare their wedding packages (or build your own)
  3. See if they’re available for your wedding and reserve your day

We invite you to check out Kat and Eric’s Wedding Highlights from MVP Weddings HERE. We also encourage you to check out their BLOG as well.

ABOUT MVP WEDDINGS

Shortly after we were married in 2003 we began creating wedding videos for other couples. 8 years later I (Matt) am the primary cinematographer and editor while my wife (Susan) adds art, class and style to our wedding videos from a bride’s perspective. I (Matt) have also put on a few pounds since then 🙂

We are the owners of MVP Weddings and we partner with other talented cinematographers to create beautiful, cinematic wedding videos and provide a wonderful customer experience for couples. We lived in the San Francisco Bay Area for 13 years and moved to Fresno, CA in the summer of 2011 to be closer to our family. We would be delighted to create a beautiful wedding video with the art of cinema that tells your story. Thank you very much for considering our videography service, and may God bless you and your very special relationship of love and commitment in marriage.

Sincerely,

Matt and Susan Martin

Matt and Susan Martin

Frequently Asked Questions:

  1. What sets MVP Weddings apart from other wedding videography companies?
  2. What is the difference between “cinematic” editing versus “documentary style” editing?
  3. What is the “Create a Music Video” option?
  4. What is a “Love Story”?
  5. I’m on a tight budget – what can I do?
  6. Do you attend the rehearsal?
  7. When will we receive our wedding video?
  8. What if we want to change our video after we review it?
  9. What is the schedule for paying for the video?
  10. Can I use a credit card to pay?
  11. What equipment do you use?
  12. Do you do record other types of events (quinceaneras, bar and bat mitzvahs, corporate videos, etc.)?
  13. What are some websites where I can get information about about wedding vendors? (Caterers, photographers, florists, wedding cakes, DJs, etc.)
  14. What are your terms and agreement – how do you define “hours of coverage”, what if something comes up, etc.?

 

Featured Vendor – Sweet Dreams Cakes

Sweet Dreams Wedding Cakes and Flowers offers custom cakes of exceptional quality as well as exquisite, full service floral design for all of life’s celebrations. Proudly serving Central California from the Sierras to the Coast for 20 years.

Designer & Baker “It is very gratifying to make people happy by doing something that I love to do.” – Laura Zabicki of Sweet Dreams Cakery

Sweet Dreams Cakery is owned and operated by Laura Zabicki.
Laura has always liked baking and decorating cakes.  Her desire to become a professional  baker and cake designer led her to obtain a degree in Food Systems Management from Eastern Michigan University.  After graduation, she held positions in Michigan, Northern Virginia, and San Diego.  Sweet Dreams Cakery was established in 1993, specializing in custom cakes and gourmet desserts for all of life’s celebrations. Sweet Dreams Cakery prides its self on baking everything from scratch. Using all natural, high quality ingredients to provide  deliciously moist desserts.
We offer a wide selection of elegant wedding cakes and specialty cakes for all of life’s celebrations.

SWEET DREAMS CAKES

Supreme Cake
This is the ultimate wedding cake. This outstanding confection consists of moist French vanilla or dark chocolate cake layered with tangy raspberry filling, two generous layers of chocolate mousse and a center layer of classic cheesecake.

Specialty Cakes
Specialty cakes are made from scratch using the finest ingredients. All cakes are frosted with a silky buttercream.

Toffee Bavarian Cream Cake
French vanilla or chocolate cake filled with toffee Bavarian cream and carmel sauce.

Raspberry or Strawberry Cream Cake
French vanilla cake filled with citrus Bavarian cream and either a tangy seedless raspberry coulis or fresh sliced strawberries.

Chocolate Mousse Cake
Moist chocolate cake filled with chocolate mousse and chocolate ganache.

German Chocolate
Moist chocolate cake filled with coconut pecan cream and chocolate ganache.

Lemon or Orange Cream Cake
French vanilla cake filled with rich citrus Bavarian cream and lemon or orange curd.

Carrot Cake
Moist carrot cake made with pineapple and walnuts filled with a toasted pecan cream and cream cheese buttercream.

Please note that any of the specialty flavors can be made “supreme” with the addition of a center cheese cake layer.

Custom Services

Rolled Fondant, Gold Leaf, Pleated Fondant Wrap, Chocolate Drip
Fondant Swag, Rosettes and Streamer, White or Dark Chocolate Curls, Rose Petal Decoupage, White Chocolate or Dark Chocolate Wrap, Sugared Fruit, Butter-Cream or Royal Icing Flowers,
Pastiage (sugar paste) Flowers, Bows, Swags, Basket Weave
Pulled, Blown and Casted Sugar Art.

“Sweet Dreams” will provide a boxed keepsake cake as a gift for the bride and groom.

Contact Sweet Dreams at: (559)-641-7606

About Premier Bride

Welcome to Premier Bride Fresno, the valley’s most complete wedding website to Central Valley brides! Our directory includes the best wedding professional in and around the Fresno, CA area for your wedding. We are proud to provide you with information for wedding locations, reception sites, caterers, DJ’s, bridal salons, decorators and wedding planners. We also cover Visalia, Clovis, Oakhurst, Madera, Tulare, Lemoore, Reedley, and Selma. Premier Bride, your local wedding resource.

Here we feature our wedding vendors to spotlight their services and specialties. Congratulations on your upcoming event – we wish you a lifetime of happiness, adventure and joy.

Featured Vendor – Beautiful Brides by Carol & Co.

Beautiful Brides by Carol & Co. is here to help you have endless memories by creating a perfect look for you and your bridal party. You will look breathtaking on your wedding day with a beautiful hair design and flawless make up, that is photographically friendly. Every look is designed with your personal ideas in mind, making it unique just for you.


Beautiful Brides by Carol & Co. believes in providing service that is gracious, professional and friendly. Taking care of all your pre- wedding and wedding day beauty needs. We can come to you or you can come to the salon. Bridal packages include a pre-wedding day trial for your hair and makeup.

With more than 25 years experience in the beauty and wedding industry. Carol is a proud member of the Central Valley Bridal Association and California Cosmetology Association.

Beautiful Brides by Carol & Co. is available to take care of your beauty needs, keeping you calm and feeling secure in the fact that you will truly be an “unforgettable bride”. You will look amazingly beautiful on your special day.

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Complimentary consultations are available.

The premiere bridal hair and makeup team for the Central Valley serving Fresno, Clovis , all outside lying areas including the Central Coast, Bass Lake , Shaver Lake, Northern and Southern California.

About Premier Bride

Welcome to Premier Bride Fresno, the valley’s most complete wedding website to Central Valley brides! Our directory includes the best wedding professional in and around the Fresno, CA area for your wedding. We are proud to provide you with information for wedding locations, reception sites, caterers, DJ’s, bridal salons, decorators and wedding planners. We also cover Visalia, Clovis, Oakhurst, Madera, Tulare, Lemoore, Reedley, and Selma. Premier Bride, your local wedding resource.

Here we feature our wedding vendors to spotlight their services and specialties. Congratulations on your upcoming event – we wish you a lifetime of happiness, adventure and joy.

Premier Bride Showplace Vendors

Welcome, Central Valley Brides!

For more information about wedding planning, wedding vendors & bridal shows, please visit www.pbcv.com.

The following sponsors and exhibitors are participating in the Premier Bride Showplace bridal show in Fresno on August 19, 2012 .
 PRESENTING SPONSOR
Wedgewood Wedding & Banquet Center website
 CO-PRESENTING SPONSORS
Mark Janzen Photography website
Limo for You website
La Ryan Catering website
The Vault website
Oh So Swank! website
 EXHIBITORS
Exhibitors with the pink Running Ribbon Susan G. Komen next to their names have kindly donated to Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Premier Bride would like to thank them for their generosity.
ALTERATIONS
Shirley Gambero Designer/Dressmaker website
BAKERIES
BRIDAL GOWNS/VEILS/PRESERVATION
David’s Bridal website
Premier Bride’s Perfect Dress Susan G. Komen website
Shirley Gambero Designer/Dressmaker website
CATERING
Classic Catering website
LaRyan Catering website
Plates Grilling & Catering website
DANCE LESSONS
 DISC JOCKEYS
AMS Entertainment Susan G. Komen website
TNT DJ & HD Video Susan G. Komen website
FAVORS/SPECIALTY ITEMS
Edible Arrangements website
FLORISTS
Oh So Swank! website
GIFT REGISTRY
National Healthstyles Susan G. Komen website
Bed Bath & Beyond website
HEALTH & BEAUTY
Bella Makeup & Hair Design website
Central California Advocare website
Forever Adored website
INVITATIONS
Lisa Takao Paper Couture Susan G. Komen website
JEWELRY
Rogers Jewelry website
The Vault Fine Jewelers website
LIMOUSINES/TRANSPORTATION
Limo For You Susan G. Komen website
MUSICIANS
OFFICIANTS
PARTY RENTALS
AMS Entertainment Susan G. Komen website
Covered with Elegance website
Forget Me Nots AntiquesSusan G. Komen website
Light and Sound Solutions website
Lounge Essence website
PHOTOGRAPHERS
Brian Bishop Photography website
Choice Imaging website
Creative Captures website
D.C. Photography Studios website
John M. Reynolds Photography Susan G. Komen website
Kenny Gilman Photography website
Mark Janzen Photography website
Morgan/James Photography Susan G. Komen website
Nostalgia Photography Susan G. Komen website
Ros-Lynn Studios Susan G. Komen website
Schafer Studios website
TMphotography Susan G. Komen website
Van’s Studio of Photography website
REAL ESTATE/FINANCIAL/INSURANCE
TRAVEL/HONEYMOON
TUXEDOS
AJ’s Tuxedo Junction Susan G. Komen website
Black Tie & Bridal Lace website
Pat’s Tuxedos website
VENUES/ACCOMODATIONS
Classic Catering website
Paradise Springs website
Swan Court Conference Center website
The Big Fresno Fair Event Center website
The Downtown Club Susan G. Komen website
The Loft Events website
The Pines Resort website
TorNino’s Banquets Susan G. Komen website
Wolf Lakes Park Susan G. Komen website
VIDEOGRAPHERS
Choice Imaging website
D.C. Photography Studios website
Reverie Video Productions website
Schafer Studios website
TNT DJ & HD Video website
WEDDING COORDINATORS
Oh So Swank! website
WEDDING RESOURCES
Premier Bride Magazine Susan G. Komen website
The ONE Wedding Planner

Featured Vendor: Lemmon Made

About

Lemmon Made Weddings, Events, and Custom Invitations to bring your dreams of a beautiful, stress-free wedding to life. Lemmon Made Weddings, Events, and Custom Invitations supply creative solutions to your wedding and event needs.
Services include:

Custom Invitations

We design each invitation order not only around the bride but also the event, so you get a one of a kind product.
Have no idea what you want for your invitations? We have samples and ideas to help with the design process.
We can take care of all your stationary need from the invitations and response cards to map cards, programs and table numbers. We can also help with wedding etiquette guidance.

Wedding and Event Decorating
If you are looking for someone to make your wedding or event beautiful but have taken care of the planning your self, Lemmon Made offers decorating services.

These services include but are not limited to:

Cake table
Head table
Back Drops
Draping
Artistic Display
Birthday parties, Baby showers, and special events
Holiday, Home and Business Decorating

Lemmon Made also offers decorating services for the home and business. We can do entire rooms or just the windows, Lemmon Made will provide a beautiful product. For the business, we can dress your window to give it that big city feel. And coming soon Holiday Decorating, both inside and out.Wedding and Event Planning

Lemmon Made offers many wedding and event planning packages including full service coordination, day of coordination, consultation and budgeting services.

Day of Event coordination packages include:

Attend/conduct rehearsal
Supply vendors and wedding party with an outline of event
Instruct and oversee all duties of participants
Oversee set-up and decorating
Assist bride & maids with dressing
Supervise all vendors and professionals (Including photographers, florist, and caterers)
Ensure everything runs as planned
Handle necessary payments
Supervise entire ceremony and reception
Attend to guests’ special needs
Oversee the tear down of event

Full service coordination packages include all services included in the Day of Event Package plus:

Location search and availability
Styling and designing of event
Vendor search and availability
Retail search and retainment
Budget management
Wedding etiquette guidance
Overview and education
Assistance with all details of the event planning process
Full management on event day including setup and tear down of the event

Budgeting and Consulting services include:

Overview and education
Wedding etiquette guidance
Budget guidance
Vendor and Location referrals

For more information about wedding planning, wedding vendors & bridal shows, please visit www.pbcv.com.