A series of wedding expos in the Four Corners aims to help take away some of the planning stress by bringing vendors to one place and allowing couples to shop around for all their wedding needs.
Durango will hold the first expo, followed by another unrelated expo in Farmington and a third at Sky Ute Casino in Ignacio.
The Durango expo is produced by Durango Weddings Magazine and will take place at the La Plata County Fairgrounds from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. on Jan. 19. The 2013 show includes exhibits, informational seminars and a gown sale.
Debbie Devereaux of Durango Weddings Magazine said that after the proposal, the couple often has to run around trying to find everything. The Durango Wedding Expo, however, brings it all to the couple. The expo provides information on everything the couple will need, from venues to invitations and favors.
There will be three planning seminars during the Durango Wedding Expo. The first seminar, "Planning Your Wedding in Three Easy Steps," will take place at 1 p.m. It will be followed by "Choreographing Your Reception" at 1:30 p.m. and "Creating a Picture Perfect Wedding" at 2:00 p.m.
There will also be a designers' challenge in which local designers will showcase wedding styles with various themes ranging from Cowboy Chic to Vintage Vogue.
The Farmington expo will follow on Feb. 4 from 11
Finally, the Sky Ute Casino will hold its expo on Feb. 9 from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. The expo will feature a fashion show.
SELECTING RINGS FOR THE SPECIAL DAY
One of the most essential parts of the wedding is probably the rings. Garcia and Co. Jewelers will be present at the Farmington expo.
Brent Garcia, the manager of Garcia and Co., said there are five types of rings: solitaire, three-stone, micro pav , channel set and shared-prong. A solitaire is a single diamond on a band. Micro pav consists of a lot of little stones that appear to fuse together into a single stone. Channel set is when the stones are down inside the band. Shared-prong is the series of stones lining the band.
Garcia said solitaires are a popular ring choice because they are generally a safe choice to go with to surprise the woman, especially if the man doesn't know what the woman likes.
However, Garcia also does custom design for women who want something different and unique.
Garcia said some of the popular designs recently have been floral or vintage inspired rings. He also said rose gold is gaining in popularity, partly because it's not as yellow as traditional gold.
Garcia said the most important part of buying the ring is the diamond, which can be a little overwhelming for guys. Because of this, Garcia offers a free guide to buying diamonds.
For the groom's band, Garcia said it is important to keep the man's occupation in mind. For instance, if he works in the oil fields he might not want a traditional gold band because it might get beat up. Because of that, Garcia said a lot of the rings he sells are made of metals like tungsten or chrome which are more durable. Garcia said the store even carries a ring with a cammo design for guys who are more outdoor oriented.
"A lot of guys are now having two rings," Garcia said.
Garcia said men are often opting for the second ring because they want one they don't have to worry about getting beat up and another to wear on more formal occasions.
BRIDE AND GROOM GIFTS
An often overlooked part of the wedding is the gifts the bride and groom give each other.
Garcia said guys often don't think about the gift they will give the bride because they're "so worried about the yes."
Pearls and diamonds are traditional gifts for the groom to give the bride and and the bride can wear it during the ceremony. For instance, Garcia said a pair of diamond hoop earings looks really nice with hair updos that are popular in weddings. Other options include pearl drops and diamond crosses.
For men, Garcia said the store makes customized cufflinks and has a wide selection of watches. Some of the watches can be engraved with the date of the wedding.
AT THE EXPO
Garcia said brides who have signed up for the expo as VIP will receive special surprises in a swag bag the jewelry company will give them. There will also be a jewelry package giveaway during the expo.
CHOOSING A DRESS
Jeannette Vigil is the CEO/president of Jae Geo's Bride and Tuxedo Inc., located in downtown Farmington. Vigil said the store has been in business for 25 years and often has customers come from Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Taos to buy dresses.
Vigil said Jae Geo's stocks only designer gowns and tuxedos, which allows the women who shop there to look at the designers' patterns online and to choose what they like even before they go into the shop.
While strapless dresses are in right now, Vigil said Jae Geo's also offers jackets that can be worn over the dress for traditional church weddings and has a modesty collection, which is popular among members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The modesty collection includes dresses that are temple approved.
Vigil said one of the popular styles right now is for the bride to wear colored shoes. She said she recently attended a wedding in which the bride's shoes matched the bridesmaids' dresses. Vigil said color coordination is important and the store helps coordinate the colors so the bridesmaids' dresses match the tuxedos.
Colors that are popular change each year. This year, Vigil said, bright colors such as lime green and purple are favored, however, in previous years brides have chosen earthen tones.
Vigil said Jae Geo's has usually participated in a fashion show at the Farmington Expo, however, due to popularity, it will be having its own show that weekend so people can go over from the show to Jae Geo's to try on dresses rather than just see the dresses on models.
Vigil said every year there are days that are popular for weddings. For instance, last year Dec. 12 was popular in order to get the lucky 12-12-12. However, Vigil said June, July and August are always popular times.
No wedding would be complete without flowers. Stacey Beck of Hazel's Flowers said when selecting flowers for the bouquet, it is important to match the flowers colors with the other colors prominent in the wedding. However, Beck said Gerbera Daisies are often a popular choice.
"Each year the colors change," Beck said.
Beck said emerald green is one color that is expected to be big this year, which makes it difficult to select flowers because there aren't any emerald green flowers. Beck said the Israeli Ruscus, traditionally used as a filler, could see an increase in use, as could sword fern.
Last year, Beck said, succulents were a popular addition to wedding bouquets. Succulents are plants such as aloes and jades that have distinct appearances as that enable them to store water during dry periods of time.