BEHIND THE VEIL: Prescott bridal event marks the union of betrothed couples with wedding specialists
All things "wedding" will be in the limelight Sunday when the 2013 Bridal Affaire unfurls throughout the Hassayampa Inn.
The annual event, which is the brainchild of Hazel Bowman, publisher of prescottweddings.com, begins at 10 a.m. and ends at 3 p.m. Packed into the day are multiple presentations of wedding planning ideas.
"The 2013 Bridal Affaire commandeers Hassayampa Inn rooms, filled with vendors," she said, adding that the event will even spill over into the Marina Room, the lobby and the patio.
Elements guests can expect to see represented include flowers, photography, DJs, jewelers, cosmetics, body and skin care, event planners, ministers, apparel (gowns, tuxedos and alterations), professional cleaners, wedding and reception venues, hairstylists, wedding cakes and confections, caterers, rentals and professional consultants.
Other highlights of the event, which is free to the public, are an interactive fashion show and raffle drawings every 45 minutes, with a grand prize drawing at 2:55 p.m.
When Bowman and her husband, Howard, moved to Prescott, she wanted to be a wedding consultant. "I thought it would be a wonderful thing to do," she said. That is largely because their five children were married within 21 months of each other, and Bowman discovered a wedding planner would have been a lifesaver.
"The biggest lesson I learned was that if I had been smart, I would have hired a professional event planner so that I could have been a guest at our own children's weddings. They have all the resources at hand and would have saved me valuable time."
Twelve years ago, Bowman launched prescottweddings.com, the area's online wedding magazine, and got 300 hits in a week - "one half from me," she laughed.
Today, she gets about 80,000 hits a month and upwards of 115,000 to 120,000 hits during the Bridal Affaire time period, she said.
The target market for the event is "the brides getting married here," Bowman said. "They want to know who can help them put the components together," she said, adding that vendors are the people who can make their dream come true.
"Wedding planners are worth their weight in gold, she said.
"Brides today are busy with careers and families. They know what they want. They just don't know how to put it together."
Sunday will be "a beautiful day," she said. "I want everyone to feel comfortable, strolling through the beautiful, historical Hassayampa Inn."
The Hassayampa Inn is located at 122 E. Gurley St. in downtown Prescott.