Even before the doors opened, brides eagerly waited to step foot into an exhibit hall adorned with sophisticated, eye-catching mandaps and scattered with vendors artfully displaying the latest jewelry and clothing designs. The MyShadi Bridal Expo held on April 17 at the Crowne Plaza Ravinia in Atlanta, Georgia, kicked off to a great start as a varied group of attendees shared their engagement stories and vendors promoted their services. Future brides, grooms, and their families perused over 50 vendor booths during the Expo looking for decorating ideas, finalizing wedding plans, and tasting food samples.
After four successful MyShadi Bridal Expos in Florida, show sponsors Desh-Videsh Media Group launched their first expo in Atlanta, giving brides in the local area a chance to experience the unique event. For South Asian brides planning a traditional wedding in the United States, the Bridal Expo offered them the opportunity to visualize ways to incorporate classic elements into a contemporary wedding theme.
One bride was thrilled to get a better idea of the vendors she wanted to use in her wedding. “I thought [th
e Bridal Expo] was amazing … I really enjoyed it, and best of all, my fiancée enjoyed it too! There were so many vendors it gave me a clearer idea of what I want to choose to be a part of our wedding,” said Anita Rao.
For future brides, grooms, and their respective families, the Bridal Expo was a one-stop shop to peruse anything and everything one would need for a dream wedding, be it South Asian or American. From banquet halls, event planners, and decorators, to DJs, photographer/videographers, and wedding performers. There were also estheticians, jewelers, clothing boutiques, and even a limousine vendor. Caterers offered mouth-watering paneer wraps and delicious cupcake samples to give Expo attendees a flavor of possible wedding fare.
For the vendors, the Bridal Expo was the place to be to get tremendous exposure with direct access to brides and grooms. Vendors had the opportunity to meet face-to-face with potential customers and establish definite leads. Several vendors even went home with signed contracts for their services.
Becky Shehan with A Very Special Wedding was thrilled to be a part of her first South Asian bridal show. “Your show was the very best I’ve done and I’ve done plenty. It was all the personal touches that made the difference. It exceeded my expectations as far as layout, traffic, quality of vendors and the [fashion] shows! We had a wonderful response and our booth was busy from the minute the doors opened.”
Live demonstrations by beauticians and mendhi artists were a big hit with attendees. Getting to see makeup and mendhi applications as well as sari draping gave brides-to-be a firsthand look at designs and even some ideas for their own wedding looks.
An energetic dance performance by the Georgia State University Bhangra team, Aasmaan, got the crowd moving mid-afternoon. Another highlight of the afternoon were the two fashion shows that highlighted the latest trends in bridal and formal wear. Queenie Indian Couture showcased bridal saris and lengha choli suits in the first fashion show, and Mehr ‘n Nisa showcased formal wear for men and women using pure, non-synthetic fabrics during the second fashion show.
During the entertainment segment, attendees lined up for their chance to win one of several door prizes generously donated by several vendors. The grand prize drawing, announced after the final fashion show, was a free trip to India for one lucky couple. Jennifer Gionfriddo and Arun Lall, to be wed in the spring of 2012, were the ecstatic winners of the free honeymoon trip to India provided by Qatar Airways. Desh-Videsh wishes them and all other future married couples all the best in their new lives together.
Desh-Videsh Media Group also thanks Platinum Sponsors Occasions by Shangri-la, TV Asia, Qatar Airways, Trip Explorer, and Crowne Plaza at Ravinia for their support in making this Bridal Expo a tremendous success.