Perfect union of ideas
On trend...Megan Ormsby models at a Wedding Planning Party.
In our time-starved world, brides-to-be are increasingly turning to industry experts for advice on their wedding day and bridal expos remain the hottest ticket. The one-stop shops are still attracting the masses, offering more suppliers than ever. If you can elbow your way through the sea of other giddy brides in the room, you'll find help with everything from the itsy-bitsy details to the big stuff, such as planning an international honeymoon. Just a warning: be prepared to sift through gaudy options - aquarium centrepieces, anyone? - to find the real gems.
Sydney Bridal Expo
One for the diary, this annual event is the longest-running and biggest bridal expo in Sydney. Staged at Darling Harbour in April/May, the two-day expo often attracts more than 4500 guests. The director, Graham Stroud, says feedback reveals brides enjoy having a smorgasbord of suppliers on hand.
Workshop fun...with Angela Wilson.
"There's everything under one roof so that brides can experience sitting inside the wedding cars on offer, try on wedding gowns and decide what suits them," he says. "This dramatically reduces time and you can look at price comparisons."
Stroud says he has already been fielding inquiries from keen punters who plan to travel from as far as New Zealand for next year's expo. It will offer more than 100 stalls showcasing the all-important wedding dresses, stationery, bridesmaid's frocks, cake decorations, musical options and even suits and beard-trimming services for the boys. See sydneybridalexpo.com.au for more.
Angela Wilson workshops
More-intimate bridal workshops are staged every two months by wedding planner Angela Wilson. Catering for small gatherings of women and their bridesmaids or mothers, the workshop starts with champagne and a showing of bridal gowns from New York.
"Each workshop is generally focused around a new overseas trend," Wilson says.
"Our next workshop is primarily for the mother of the bride."
But that shouldn't deter other interested guests, she says.
"The workshops are always a lot of fun and all the girls can come along, drink champagne and look at new bridal gowns."
So what's new? "We are exclusively stocking the label Amsale bridal, which was featured in the movie 27 Dresses," Wilson says. "This brand has a very New York contemporary edge to it. It's for the sophisticated and fashion-conscious." The next workshop will be on September 18 from 10am-noon and it's free. For bookings or more details, see angelawilson.com.
The Ultimate Wedding Planning Party
For brides looking for a social evening, this is a night of champagne, sparkles and plenty of industry advice. In an event slightly more intimate than the Sydney Bridal Expo, it is expected to attract about 250 guests. Organisers focus on what's on trend rather than everything that's out there for couples planning to tie the knot.
Industry experts, including business owners and wedding planners, will talk to guests in an open forum.
Two sessions will be held on September 15, at Opera Point Marquee, Sydney Opera House. Tickets cost $50 (day) and $80 (evening). See moshtix.com.au.