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Wedding expo unveiled at KwaTaqNuk Resort

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POLSON — For anyone with questions about planning a wedding, the 2010 Mission Valley Bridal Fair was the place to find answers on Jan. 17. Held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the KwaTaqNuk Resort and Casino in Polson, which co-sponsored the event with the Valley Journal, the second annual wedding expo offered brides and grooms-to-be a chance to meet caterers, florists, reception location coordinators, wedding cake specialists, hair stylists, event rental coordinators, DJs, bridal gown/tux shop professionals and more.

Two fashion shows during the afternoon presented a variety of ceremony and reception styles for the wedding party. About 20 volunteer female models and several male models showcased dresses and tuxedos from Rococo Bridal in Missoula, Mimi’s Bridal in Kalispell and First Resort Clothing Store of Polson. The Flower Mill and Dawn’s Floral Designs provided floral arrangements for the shows while the Hair Company of Ronan styled several models’ hair.

When they weren’t watching models strut the catwalk, attendees could participate in live demonstrations like facials by the Hair Company, sample food and wedding cakes from caterers or meet photographers and DJs. 

And that was all in addition to the prize drawings — 44 brides entered for a chance to win a grand prize valued at $1,500. Nearly every vendor contributed to the collection of gift baskets, which included a night’s stay in the KwaTaqNuk’s executive suite, trail rides for two at Cheff’s Guest Ranch and multiple gift certificates to area businesses. Jossolyn Sattler was the lucky lady who took home the coveted prize.

Theresa Gill won another drawing for a $425 Flathead Lake dinner cruise for herself, her fiancé and 25 guests aboard the Shadow, the KwaTaqNuk’s double-decker cruise boat.

A total of 61 brides-to-be from all around Western Montana and as far away as Spokane, Wash., signed the bridal fair guest book, and co-organizer Summer Goddard of the Valley Journal estimated more than 250 people attended the event. 

“I’m extremely happy with the turnout,” said Alicia Pierce, KwaTaqNuk sales and marketing representative. “I just think (the bridal fair is) a great addition in the off-season to bring people in to our valley.”

Pierce also noted that this year, the booth setup was rearranged to feel less congested than last year’s event. Planning for the next Mission Valley Bridal Fair is already under way, and Pierce is confident it will be better than ever.

“There’s definitely an opportunity for expansion,” she said. “We were almost at capacity, but I think we could get a couple more vendors in there.”

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