Prospective Brides Get A Look At Sycamore Wedding Possibilities
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Jenna Thorp’s wedding won’t be held until 2017, but she already is thinking about flowers, a photographer and centerpieces. She is even searching for “the” dress.

On Nov. 15, Thorp, a Hinckley resident, attended “Seasons of Love: A Bridal Tour” presented by Sweet Dreams Desserts and Catering. The bridal tour featured five Sycamore wedding venues and more than 20 vendors.

“This is my very first bridal event, and I’m very impressed,” Thorp said. “I love getting new ideas and seeing all of the different types of decorations.”

Deanna Watkins, owner of Sweet Dreams Desserts and Catering, first had the idea of a Sycamore bridal tour in January. After months of planning and having vendors and venues agree to participate, Watkins’ dream came to life.

“The whole thing was my idea,” Watkins said. “I believe that you are given a moment of brilliance each day. That was my moment that day. ... I wanted something different, not just a one-venue bridal show. I wanted to have a mini wedding at each location and involve other local businesses. Instead of having the businesses competing with each other, everyone worked to help put the event together.”

The tour began at Chapel in the Pines and continued to Blumen Gardens, St. Mary’s Memorial Hall and the Regale Center. Each of the four locations was decorated in a different season. The venues each featured a buffet and desserts catered by Sweet Dreams Desserts and Catering. Transportation to and from the venues was provided by The Nice Bus and Spare Wheels Transportation.

“Each venue has a photographer, florist, DJ and different food and desserts,” said Karen Halter, accountant and caterer at Sweet Dreams. “We split it up to show everyone what Sycamore has to offer, which is a lot.”

Watkins designed the event to allow brides to have time to meet face-to-face with local vendors and business owners.

“Weddings and wedding planning should be fun, not stressful,” Watkins said. “I wanted the brides to spend time with each vendor and at each venue. They get to make that personal connection and talk one-on-one, which they aren’t able to do at other events.”

Heather Thurnall of Elmhurst and her fiancé Steve Hernandez, who are planning their Oct. 8, 2016, wedding, said they enjoyed talking to each of vendors throughout the day.

“It’s nice to see different venues close to home,” Thurnall said. “I like how each of the businesses have an intimate feel. It’s not like talking to a big corporation.”

The tour concluded with a fashion show at Jane Fargo Hotel, featuring 28 wedding gowns from DeKalb’s Alexis Kay Designs, suits by Ducky’s Formalwear and undergarments and lingerie by A Perfect Silhouette. During the fashion show, Maria Faciano of Bartlett modeled the wedding dress, created by Alexis Kay Designs, that she wore for her wedding in July.

“I am excited to be wearing my dress again and showing others its unique design,” Faciano said. “It’s such a fun event. And we’re not just modeling dresses, but honeymoon wear as well.”

View photos: bridal gowns

Courtney Weber, event manager at the Jane Fargo Hotel, said the bridal tour was a terrific idea.

“Even though the hotel hosts our own expo in March each year, our expo only has one vendor from each type of business,” Weber said. “This bridal tour has all different types of venues and vendors. It features all of Sycamore in one day. November is a great time for a bridal show because brides still have time to plan for a December wedding.”

Watkins said the first Sycamore bridal tour was a great success.

“At least 30 brides registered for the event this year,” Watkins said. “It was a great turn-out for the first time, the first year, it was held. My goal is 100 to 200 brides next year. It can only get bigger and better in the future.”

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