Asian Wedding Exhibition's 11th Year
By Ashanti OMkar
The Asian Wedding Exhibition hits it's 11th year, with an absolutely jam packed and colourful event, having used FNIK PR this year, who have gone all the way to make it the success it was, in Wembley, from billboards on the London buses to ample coverage, no doubt many a bride and groom decided to make their wedding dreams come true by visiting on the cold February weekend. An estimated 30,000 people went throughout the exhibition halls, with huge demand for the wonderful catwalk, which is usually one of the highlights of the show.
The headline sponsor was Citibank NRI Business (Wealth management for the global Indian), with Zee TV as the official Asian media TV sponsors. They must have know a good thing to back, as the event was such a big success, in fact, in my opinion, the biggest and best in recent years. The show, a brainchild of Yogesh Kanani, who has pursued it to the level it has reached, has a few things to say: “This year we included more of the British Asian wedding scene and its place in our modern day society. Not only is the Asian community keeping it traditional high standards and wedding values but it’s also adapting modern British wedding lifestyles into its way of celebrating its marital events. The show as a whole celebrated all things colourful, traditional and modern and we hope that not only members of the Asian community enjoyed the two days but also people of all different backgrounds who visited the exhibition found something creative, which may enhance their wedding in anyway shape or form.”
Articulating a very valid point indeed, from Yogesh, as weddings not only have a huge impact on the Asian culture, but modern British Asians are finding that there are services available that they never imagined, to make their special day and their honeymoon to be highly customised to their particular tastes. The catwalk sponsor, Shaadi.com, who have got together many a couple, through their internet dating service had all the best of the best on the stage; Wembley's RCKC, Gary Anderson, Wembley's Varriety Silk House and Zaynab's Provoke - all commanding the attention of the crowds, who seemed to thoroughly enjoy the show! Complete Party Services provided the much-needed refreshment, with steaming hot food, to keep the attendees energy levels up! There was also plenty of great support form some of the top publications, like Eastern Eye, Occasions magazine, newly launched Perfect weddings magazine and Asian Voice.
Saffron D'Or (whose CEO also owns Asian Woman and Asian Bride magazine) had an innovative invitation for the guests of AWE2005, where they provided the 1st ever Virtual wedding at Hilton Paddington. Vanessa Patel, who organised the event got together many premium providers of wedding services and put them under one roof, with a dating couple, who acted as the model bride and groom. This was a stall at the AWE that enticed many of the visitors and their event was also a huge success.
Some of the exhibitors who had extremely busy stalls were 'Something Special', with their delicious Mandaps, the Lakhani Group, who provide it all, Caketastic for delectable cakes that are a mini works of art, Bippin Dattani Photography, who provide some amazing looking wedding memories, with their 1st class photographer and Charmi creations had some affordable but exclusive outfits, that were flying off the shelves and Kyles collection had some of their latest designs in co-ordinated accessories, again a bit hit with the brides. Sunrise Radio had the people's favourite DJ, Tony Patti in his booth, broadcasting live from the exhibition. One of the highlights for many brides was the newly created Mehndi Creations, who shared a stall with NilesHeena Mandap services. Many young ladies, enticed by the amazing Mehndi patterns, colourful glitter and stonework swamped the stall, where Khilna Shah proved the Mehndi Magic with her deft patterns and extremely artistic work. This is one to look out for in the future, as her popularity over the 2 days clearly showed.
One of the other main points of the AWE2005 was the meticulous national survey that was carried out on British Asian weddings, which led to many a revelation. One of the main ones was that 59% of British Asians prefer to live in sin - something that would have been unheard of just less than a decade ago. Over 3000 respondents answers were compiled, to reveal that 45% of British Asians would consider marrying outside their race in-order to find the perfect partner. This includes 61% of Muslim women and 39% of Hindu Women. Again, something that isn't represented in the general populous this was, for many an Asian, a set of points to ponder, which made the AWE2005 not only a glittering, Bollywood style event, but one that makes the attendee think.
If you missed this one, don’t fret, it’s coming to Birmingham soon, NEC - Hall 8 from 26th and 27th March. Anyone who missed out on exhibiting, stalls are still available. For more information, logon to www.awe2005.com