Romance abounds in the Ranchos

Ranchos couple Ron and Tanya Sayed have been making other's wedding dreams come true for nearly 20 years.

They met while working for Caesars: she as a food and beverage supervisor, he was the assistant maitre d' in the showroom. There was an instant attraction.

"He was in a tuxedo, you know?" Tanya remembers with a smile.

They left Caesars in 1982 to open Zachary's, a restaurant named after their beloved dog. Ron and Tanya were married in Tahoe the following year.

Soon, their busy restaurant was hosting wedding receptions and even an occasional ceremony. The Sayeds realized they were on the cusp of something big. Destination weddings were just starting to become more popular and they knew Lake Tahoe was an ideal backdrop for a romantic celebration.

Taking a leap of faith, they went into the wedding business with their partners, Dave and Kari Beronio. The two couples designed the chapel at Harvey's Lake Tahoe, which boasts 18-foot floor-to-ceiling windows and is suspended on a single cement column off the back of the hotel. The elegant facility seats 50 and stands up to 100.

Their vision included more than a chapel and minister, however.

"There was a need for a complete wedding facility," said Ron. "We wanted to offer everything; one-stop shopping so to speak."

At that time, Harvey's was the only casino with a wedding chapel. Important relationships with other relevant businesses including florists, beauticians, photographers, musicians and videographers were built. Tanya and Ron are pleased that their wedding chapel supports many other businesses in and around Lake Tahoe.

Both ordained ministers, Ron and his partner Dave are credentialed and licensed in the state of Nevada. All of the ceremonies are performed between the two of them. It is not an uncommon occurrence for them to be approached by someone who was either married by them or attended one of the weddings at the chapel. Some folks even bring their children back years later to show them were their mommy and daddy got married.

Ceremonies are not limited to the chapel. Weddings can be performed on the beach, atop mountains, at country clubs and at scenic areas around the lake. Their services are available in Hope Valley, Genoa, Incline Village, and various other outlying areas.

As for chapel weddings, "People can go from the lobby to the elevator to the chapel without ever touching the casino floor," Ron said.

They've created weddings for parties of two and for parties numbering in the hundreds.

With the exception of Christmas Day, the chapel is open seven days a week. The entire operation is run by the four original partners, who have devoted themselves to creating beautiful, memorable weddings suited to each individual couple.

"We've worked together since day one," said Ron.

If you would like more information about The Wedding Chapel at Harvey's, call 588-2411. You can also see pictures of the chapel and view rates and available services by checking out the Web site:

Remember to hug the ones you love this Valentine's Day.

n Amy Roby can be reached by e-mail at RanchosRoundup@hot


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