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Alum’s business helps wedding planners

Anyone who has planned a wedding knows it can be a bewildering process.

Zina J. C. Nelson ’89 (business administration, marketing) offers help. Nelson produces The Greater Rochester Bride & Groom guide book and its companion Web site, www.RochesterBride.com. The free magazine, published twice a year, covers every aspect of organizing a wedding – from attire to videography.

Zina Nelson '89.

“When I got married 13 years ago, you went to the phone book,” says Nelson. “I wanted to make it easier for other people.”

According to Nelson, about 6,000 marriages take place each year in the Greater Rochester area. Brides are faced with the difficult task of deciding what they need and who to hire. Nelson simplifies the process by screening the businesses she includes in Rochester Bride & Groom, and limiting the number listed. That way, she feels she provides quality service to users of the guide as well as advertisers.

The publication includes feature articles, checklists and helpful information. If readers can’t find what they’re looking for in the book or on the Web site, Nelson encourages them to call. Nelson, now well-established in the industry, participates in about a dozen bridal shows each year.

“We offer a whole marketing service,” she says, “the publication, listings on our Web site, links to advertisers’ Web sites and direct mail services. We know it works for the advertisers, and we know it works for the brides.”

Like other self-employed business people, she logs long hours. In exchange, she has the flexibility to work at home – an important consideration for her. She and her husband, Darrin Nelson ’88 (computer science), have a son, Ryan, 6, and a daughter, Rachael, 5.

“I grew up in a family of entrepreneurs,” says the former Zina Cardinale, whose family owns C&C Imports and International Liquors and Wines in suburban Gates.

“I really enjoy the people I’ve met in this field, as well as working with the brides,” she says. “Weddings are a happy part of life. It’s nice to be part of that.”

To learn more about the business, see www.RochesterBride.com.