If getting married counts as the most significant day of our lives, then all preparations become essential and special. What better way to source your supplies than the first and foremost show that started it all, in a one-stop shopping extravaganza? There are other bridal shows around of course, and on the international circuit, Dubai may have had its own super-shopping month recently, but this annual weekend event showcased at London’s stunning Alexandra Palace, is a unique experience that’s hard to beat.
Now in its 15th year, there’s an even more exceptional selection of services for all budgets and tastes – exclusively chosen from the UK to the Indian sub-continent, plus two stylish fashion shows a day to give the bride princess-perfect ideas on latest styles. As if finding your best-ever merchandise from a wealth of names to new label gems, isn’t enough, the finale boasts a breathtaking competition package worth an amazing £45,000 for one very lucky girl.
It’s always of interest to discover the history behind notable exhibitions and this is no exception. The innovative creator behind it is Yogesh Kanani, who devised the concept in 1993.
‘When I first did it, it felt like the first of its kind,’ he explains. ‘There had never before been a dedicated exhibition to the ethnic community. There was no concept of lifestyle.’
The seed of the idea came to him out of the blue. From seeing a traditional English exhibition with his fiancée, he originated an Asian version – complete with cross-culture appeal. The first ground-breaking occasion was in 1993, featuring ‘forty brave exhibitors.’ Held at Wembley Conference Centre, it managed to attract 3000 visitors. Fast-forward to 2007 and 15,000 guests came into contact with 110 companies over two days.
It may be hard to recall the days before the shopping convenience we can enjoy now, but there was a time before the internet, specialist magazines and such exhibitions, when in effect, you had to traipse all round the UK in order to trace one mandap in a brochure! Now we have the luxury of a scenario where decor and style buys come together across three price bands, in respect of your bridal budget.
Organise your whole wedding in one go, cherry-pick together your own hip hit-list or collect those gold-dust contacts, to book at a later date – the choice is yours. One thing that is certain, you won’t be stuck for choice. Far superior to an average trip down the high street, stockist highlights span everything from the international and exclusive, to the chance of unearthing new brands hard to find elsewhere.
Love the lowdown on bridal fashion, jewellery and beauty, caterers to carriage hire, invites to photographers, mandaps to venues, overseas exhibitors to wedding co-ordinators. Whether you’re looking to fulfil an imminent marriage or just browsing for the fun of it, it’s a dream day out that might just be the answer to some bridal dreams.
Diary Date: March 9th & 10th. Further information, including directions, exhibitors and special prize competition breakdown, can be found online at www.aweuk.com.
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BRIDAL PRIZE OF A LIFETIME
Five-star goodies across every part of your wedding could be yours, simply by entering the grand prize draw at the Asian Wedding Exhibition 2008. Everyone attending is automatically entered, with the sole winner to be announced on Radio Clubasia, from 10th March.
The stylish prize includes location, co-ordination, va-voom venue, catering, décor, outfits and other essentials such as photography and video, DJ and car-hire. Specific prizes are:
Venue & Eats: The Millennium Gloucester; catering by Clay Oven; Chocolate Fountain by RWS, cake by PJR Wedding Cakes; Event-co-ordinator, The Indian Wedding Company; Photography by Harpal; Video by Studio Max. Décor: Mystic Events; Mandap: Wed in Style; Car-Hire: VIP Bentleys; DJ: Kamology.
Outfits: Grooms by Exclusive Alterations; Brides by Charmi Creations with jewels by Bombay Boutique and Bridal Make-up by Naveeda.
Now that’s what we call a wedding made in shopping heaven!
For Further information or interviews, contact Yogesh on 07956 128 104 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org