“Anything goes,” Rhoads said. “I’ve scraped gum off a bride’s shoe.”
As the owner and wedding coordinator of Wedding Style and Wedding Style Favors, Rhoads has dealt with a range of brides-to-be: from a Tim Burton-esque, goth theme to a traditional rose-enamored white wedding.
“I do everything - all walks of life, all ages,” she said. “There is no limit to pull it off.”
After working a 9-to-5 job in San Diego as a loan consultant, Rhoads found herself helping co-workers plan their weddings on top of doing her actual job duties. From there, Rhoads realized being a wedding coordinator was her true calling. Originally born and raised in Reno, Rhoads brought her business back to her hometown.
For the past eight years, Rhoads has catered to every bride’s needs by offering her expertise, whether a bride is newly engaged and flipping through bridal magazines for fresh ideas or has the long-awaited event mapped out since childhood and just needs a bit of guidance.
Before any planning can begin, a 45-minute phone consultation is set up so Rhoads can get a feel for the couple she will be working with. Asking preliminary questions, such as ‘How did he propose?’ or ‘What color is your wedding dress?’ may seem trivial, but it is these little details that help serve as the foundation for the ideal ceremony.
Over the summer, Rhoads did a wedding for a Sparks couple that lived across the street from one another since childhood. Though never dating until after high school, the groom proposed by framing a classic first grade note that he ironically never gave to his bride-to-be, with the inscriptions ‘Will you marry me?’ accompanied with check boxes for yes, no or maybe.
It is anecdotes such as this that help Rhoads add her special touches. That particular couple had an elegant block party reception on the lot where they grew up together and from where they would mark the beginning of their lives as a married couple.
“I always have to do something more,” Rhoads said. “I’m known for adding just one more touch.”
With about 80 weddings under her belt, Rhoads has dealt with local clients in Sparks and couples on the opposite side of the country who choose Northern Nevada as the scenic backdrop for their mini-destination wedding.
Rhoads proves that destination is not an obstacle and that she can plan weddings in all climates. An outdoorsy, eco-conscious couple wanted their wedding along the American River, where the entire party hiked the Sierra Nevada mountains. Decked out in their formal attire, guests were given mini-backpacks appropriately packed with trail mix.
“It was a classy and elaborate wedding,” Rhoads said. “We did quite a bit of hiking to the wedding spot. We all wore Keds since it was the fanciest shoe that would go with the dresses.”
Busting the stereotype of brides who do all the work, Rhoads, who has had a handful of grooms more than willing to take on the task.
Rhoads tells of a fiancé who made all the decisions and designs for his bride-to-be. Since he was a graphic artist, his authentic designs were used in the end result leaving, as Rhoads puts it, “his bride flabbergasted.”
Aside from the trend of imitating celebrity weddings, Rhoads also incorporates feng shui design as well as “green” weddings offering organic-friendly materials and caterers.
Rhoads’ Sparks-based warehouse of Wedding Style Favors holds an assortment of retail items to purchase online: from wedding favors to corporate party embellishments. The Web site not only serves as an online shop, but also entails a crafty do-it-yourself idea section for those on a limited budget.
In coordination with her wedding planning company of Wedding Style, Rhoads has now intertwined the two businesses into her new location in the Arlington Gardens Mall in Reno. Clients can browse the shelves full of trinkets featured on WeddingStyleFavors.com and get an idea of what they may want for their wedding.
“I love what I’m doing, I get to contribute more and more of me than any other job,” Rhoads said. “It’s all a creative feel – they don’t teach you that in school.”