Wednesday November 14, 2012

LENOX -- Planning a wedding can leave the bride and groom -- but mostly the bride -- scatter-brained.

Couples struggling to make those countless decisions may have found things a little easier if they attended Tuesday night's Wedding Showcase, which presented attendees with a streamlined menu of options, from dresses to food to music. And all right here in the Berkshires.

Nearly 50 vendors were on hand for the showcase at Seven Hills Inn. It was held on the second day of the four-day Lenox Wedding Tour. Like last year, the tour showcases ideal locations in Lenox, plus some other ideal Berkshire locations, to tie the knot.

The tour mostly caters to wedding industry professionals, but Tuesday's showcase was one that the public could sign up for to mingle with industry experts after paying a fee.

"It's an opportunity to have everything in one place, and to meet vendors in person and get information," said Lisa Light, a local wedding planner.

Lenox has the most marriage venues in the Berkshires, according to Tara Consolati, the tour's marketing representative. She said people from Boston, Philadelphia and New York often flock to their Berkshires for their wedding.

The atmosphere was as sleek and upscale as an actual wedding. Grapes and cheese were the perfect partner for the wine being served. Classical music set the mood.


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Natick residents Aimee Tryba, 27, and Alan Waters, 26, will be getting married at, coincidentally, the Seven Hills Inn on Sept. 1, 2013. Tryba used to live in the Berkshires.

"We wanted something unique, but not something too different," Tryba said. "We looked at other parts but this was the whole package."

Waters said they maxed out the inn's 175 guest capacity, and cut guests instead of choosing another venue. They went from talking to a music DJ to heading toward the food vendors.

"This cuts down on Google searches," Tryba said.

"And gas, too," Waters said.

When choosing the venue, Seven Hills Inn Owner Robin Gerson Wong said couples should take into consideration their guests, and what kind of setting they want.

"Space is important, and so is aesthetics," Gerson Wong said. "Each place in the Berkshires has its own specialty."

No bride would be complete without her wedding dress. Since every bride is different, it should reflect their personality, and their body type.

"If the bride is shorter, we may make suggestions on how to make them look taller," said Deidre Torra of Deidre's Special Day in Pittsfield. "Some brides that are very active-wear dresses that are tight and make them look like mermaids. They're very uncomfortable."

At the showcase, Torra had a white, sequin-covered wedding dress on display.

"Some don't like a lot of bling, while others like to put everything but the kitchen sink on their dress," Torra said.

At 40, Heather Witalisz has finally found her husband-to-be, Dave Siegel. They're getting married sometime in the spring or summer.

She's never been married, "and it's about time," Witalisz said.

"It's a challenge to juggle real life and enjoy the wedding planning, but you only have one time to do it," she said.

Older than most of the brides-to-be at the showcase, Witalisz's said she's avoided the dreaded "bridezilla" mentality.

"I know that there's a point that you have to let go of the Cinderella fantasy, but in a good way," she said.

Witalitz only has the music and dress picked out so far. Oh, and the groom.

"We'll have the music, the groom and the dress," Kathy Witalisz, Heather's mother, said. "What else is there?"

To reach Adam Poulisse:
apoulisse@berkshireeagle.com,
or (413) 496-6214.
On Twitter: @BE_Poulisse

Wedding advice

n When choosing a venue, think about how many guests you will invite, and what kind of setting would fit your style.

n The bridal gown should reflect the bride's personality and body type.

n Have fun doing the planning and don't stress over it.