Dreams come true for brides

Anneke Coetzer. Photo: Elma Slabbert / Elma Photography

MBOMBELA – Umbali’s annual wedding expo offered brides and the curious public the whole package on Saturday. Not only were the dresses, cakes and decor required for the special day on show, but companies offering services that may be required before and after the big day also took part.

Attorneys (for antenuptial contracts) and studio dance lessons, as well as travel agents and guest houses (for the honeymoon), showcased their services, and offered prospective brides advice.

While about 350 people visited the expo, an additional 82 prospective brides who registered beforehand received extra-special treatment, with goody bags and additional attention.

Milize Viljoen.  Photo: Elma Slabbert / Elma Photography

Milize Viljoen. Photo: Elma Slabbert / Elma Photography

Organiser, Theresa Schoeman, said she aimed to bring all the different service providers together in one spot, in order to offer clients a variety, so they can find what they like.

In total, 30 exhibitors took part in the wedding expo. She also focuses on local service providers. “I want to show people that they can get the same good service here as they would expect in Johannesburg.”

The cakes almost took centre stage, with layered beauties and traditional and African-inspired cakes displayed in their numbers. Brides could also choose from trendy smaller cakes, topped with fruit, as well as smaller baked goods such as macarons.

Helen Pereira.  Photo: Elma Slabbert / Elma Photography

Helen Pereira. Photo: Elma Slabbert / Elma Photography

Cakes galore.  Photo: Elma Slabbert / Elma Photography

Cakes galore. Photo: Elma Slabbert / Elma Photography

Cakes are becoming smaller with minimalist decorations, giving brides wishing to break with tradition more options.

Dresses are also becoming smaller and less white: blush and ivory are increasingly popular. Yet the expo offered something for everyone’s taste, including those seeking more traditional dresses and, of course, outfits for the wedding party.

Bianca Ferreira opened a franchise of Love and Lace in Mbombela last year. “There were more people than expected. Everyone agreed it was the best-attended expo to date,” she said.

Elscha Tintinger.  Photo: Elma Slabbert / Elma Photography

Elscha Tintinger. Photo: Elma Slabbert / Elma Photography

Flowers were also everywhere, from decorating cakes and centrepieces, to bouquets. Shades of green are increasingly introduced in the elements, in balance with flowers, and brides were shown in how many ways they could get creative with every aspect of their decor, from the overall colour scheme to the dainty details.

The creative use of photographs of the couple in, say, displaying seating arrange-ments (or not) was intriguing, as well as the array of clever ideas for gifts for guests.

Pretty things, delicious bites, objects to keep, even engraved hip flasks to help the father of the bride get through the day, also inspired visitors.

Ms Bridget Ola and Ms Claudia Banks.  Photo: Elma Slabbert / Elma Photography

Ms Bridget Ola and Ms Claudia Banks. Photo: Elma Slabbert / Elma Photography

Claudia Banks, from The Beaded Giraffe, said the exposure the expo offered was invaluable to her new company. “I would defintely do it again.”

Of course, live music is essential to any good party, and musicians strutted their stuff. And so the expo ended on a lively party note, with the brides inspired to get creative for their special day.

You may also be interested to read:

Couple celebrates 50th wedding anniversary

Tracy Todd’s wedding: All the moments you need to see

Minanzi Mbira Band's Tendayi Kusaya, Justin Behrendt and Danmore Kusaya. Photo: Elma Slabbert / Elma Photography

Minanzi Mbira Band’s Tendayi Kusaya, Justin Behrendt and Danmore Kusaya. Photo: Elma Slabbert / Elma Photography

  AUTHOR
Mireille de Villiers
Journalist

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