They are the Wedding and Bridal Fashion specialists who know-all about Big Fat Weddings. No, they aren’t Wedding Planners or Fashion Designers. We’re talking about enterprising men and women who organise Wedding and Bridal Fashion Shows. Around the year 2000, the business of Wedding Shows was a women driven initiative—stylish women like Divya Gurwara, Amishi Dhanuka and Geetika Sharma got designers and wedding vendors to display their creations in a bazaar-like style, over three days at a plush locale—so big budget brides, NRI families, or lehenga and jewellery enthusiasts could see creations and more creations, all under one roof. Soon many enterprising men, women and organisations jumped into the fray of organising Wedding shows motivating many exhibitors to showcase their expensive (sometimes average-quality) creations in other cities; and the business of luxury or community wedding shows—turned into the business of Big Fat Wedding Shows.
Divya Gurwara: Bridal Asia, started in 1999, stands out for its great style, and highly talented exhibitors who include big and emerging names from the world of bridal fashion. The show has faced solid competition over the years, but it has retained its image as the most exclusive show for crème de la crème brides. The stylish and elegant Divya is not only a smart businesswoman but a style diva too and she shares a special rapport with most leading Indian designers. Divya’s passion and personal involvement since the show started in 1999 ensures that year after year it is a class act.
Geetika Sharma Mehrotra: Bride and Groom, draws a huge crowd in the three cities where it is held– Delhi, Ludhiana and Bangkok. 11 years ago, Geetika with the help of her mother started the exhibition when she was barely 20 years old. A few years ago she started the magazine ‘Bride and Style’. At Bride and Groom, you’ll see lots of designers and wedding vendors targeting brides who love bling-rich lehengas, heavily embroidered sarees and chunky jewellery.
Tarun Sarda: The former advertising executive is a self-made man, and he got into the business for the sheer potential and not the style interest factor. Sarda initially worked at Wedding Affair magazine, and then moved on to launch the magazine Vivaah. The driven Sarda then sensed greater business opportunity in the wedding events space and he started Celebrating Vivaha. Today, the show is held in several cities including Mumbai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Chennai, Ludhiana and Bangalore.
Lifestyle/ women magazines have also been organising Wedding shows typically in Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad and Bangalore. There’s the Femina Bridal Show, which started with a big bang, but failed to earn an image like Bridal Asia, or grow to a scale like Celebrating Vivaha. Marwar’s Mega Wedding Show is now managed by Marwars new owner Spenta Multimedia. This year, a group of four who worked for Marwar, quit Spenta Multimedia to start The Royale Wedding Show. Many other Event Management companies are attempting to organise small or large Wedding Shows, not all have been successful though. It may be easy to the get huge foot-falls but convincing exhibitors with the best wares, to shell out big or even small sums for an exhibition space is a big challenge!
Forthcoming Wedding Shows
Celebrating Vivaha: August 6-8, Hotel Ashok, New Delhi and August 27-29, JW Marriott, Mumbai
Bride & Groom: September 2-4, Hotel Rembrandt, Bangkok
Bridal Asia: September 11-13, Hotel Ashok, New Delhi
Royale Wedding Show: October 19-21 Hotel Novotel, Juhu, Mumbai