New wedding venues and event for Valley couples

January 4, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
If you're looking to tie the knot this year, now's the time to start planning.

The Valley's largest bridal show is coming to the new exhibit hall at the downtown Convention Center in Fresno this weekend.

If you live here in the valley or in the foothills you don't have to travel far in order to book your white wedding.

This Sunday dozens of vendors from all over the area will take over the convention floor including one of two new venues opening it's doors for it's first full season this summer.

With terrain, acreage and elevations comparable to Tahoe, but with fewer crowds, China Peak Mountain Resort is a popular destination for skiers and snowboarders in the winter months.

But when the snow turns to water, China Peak now turns to weddings using its majestic mountain peaks, high sierra meadows and crystal clear run-off creeks as selling points to create those picture-perfect moments.

"This is just a perfect spot to have a wedding. Not only is it cool in the summer time when it's really hot in the valley, I mean you're looking at a temperature at a high of 70 or 80 degrees, you're overlooking the lake, it's absolutely stunningly beautiful and perhaps the best benefit is that's its private and most people who book a wedding up here now, they literally book the entire property," China Peak owner Tim Cohee said.

Owner Tim Cohee opened the mountain to weddings for the first time last summer and booked more than five couples his first season.

He says pictures from the events are creating a buzz amongst couples looking to tie the knot in a unique location.

This year brides and grooms are given a list of options on where they can hold their ceremony and reception at the resort.

"Obviously people have seen the photos of being up on the mountain so that's a huge attraction. Everybody now says I want to get married on the mountain I want to ride a chair with my father, it overlooks the lake and it's a stunning spot," Cohee said.

But if the great outdoors aren't your style, but you still enjoy a spectacular view, another wedding destination is gearing up to open for the first time in 2013.

It's called the Clovis Castle, a new venue tucked away in the rolling foothills off Auberry Road.

The grounds are rich with European character and feature a 65 foot lighthouse crafted from granite stone mined right from the estate.

It's new owners didn't want to talk on camera until construction of the entire estate is complete, but said they're already receiving inquiries from couples for this summer.

The Premiere Bride Showcase is Sunday from 10-4 at the Downtown Fresno Convention Center. Tickets are $8 in advance and $10 at the door.