I went to my second bridal expo today. Earlier this month, I went to the Melbourne Ultimate Bridal Event at the Royal Exhibition Building. Today’s event was the Melbourne Bridal and Honeymoon Expo at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre. I was worried that today’s bridal expo was going to be identical to the first one I went to, but they were different.
It was a beautiful morning in Melbourne. I arrived at the convention centre just before the 9am open with my pre-paid ticket in hand, and was greeted by a long queue. Later I found out that the first 500 brides would receive a little pamper bag. It contained a little bottle of NV sparkling chardonnay, a tealight candle, and cosmetics.
I go to places and events early to get in and out before the crowds roll in. From the start, this expo was full of people and it didn’t take long for it to feel chaotic. It makes it hard to get a close look at things and talk to vendors. I moved pretty quickly passed the exhibitions, winding and squeezing through people. The Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre doesn’t have the beauty or charm of the Royal Exhibition Building, but it is air-conditioned and comfortable. That crowd and the heat would have been unbearable at the Royal Exhibition Building.
It didn’t feel like there were as many exhibitors as there were at the Melbourne Ultimate Bridal Event, but they were different. All the familiar brands such as Crown, Myer, Ferrari Formalwear, and Raffaele Ciuca were not there. It was good to be exposed to new brands. The bridal expo had all the kinds of vendors you’d expect to see – flowers, cakes and cake toppers, cars, celebrants, venues, photo and video, jewellery, stationery, entertainment, beauty services, bonbonnieres, bridal dresses and menswear. Everyone has a flyer, booklet, or business card, maybe a bag. Many exhibitors have a giveaway you can enter in exchange for your email address.
The general atmosphere was not as pleasant as that of the Melbourne Ultimate Bridal Event. It was too busy for chit chat. Some vendors were pleasant, some were pushy, most barely glanced at me, and one wouldn’t allow me to photograph her booth and went as far as saying my phone could be confiscated if I did.
By 10am, I was done and ready to go home, but I wanted to see the bridal fashion parade at 11am. I took a front-row seat by the runway, organised my bags of flyers, booklets, and business cards, edited the photos shown below, and wrote most of this entry on my iPhone.
By the time the fashion parade was about to start, the place was packed and all the seats were taken. Unfortunately, photography was not allowed. It was not as exciting or fun as the bridal fashions parade at the Melbourne Ultimate Bridal Event. The choreography was slow and instead of upbeat music, they played slow and solemn music including “Worthy Is The Lamb That Was Slain” from Handel’s Messiah. After twenty minutes, I spotted people leaving and others yawning. However, I will give them brownie points for including a plus-size model in the show.
The fashion parade featured: Del Monte Couture, Roger David, Nifi Bridal, And the Veil Bridal, Ed Harry, Bridesmaid Dressing Room, Bella e La Bestia Bridal, Helena Bridal Studio, and Le Chateau Blanc Couture.
The Melbourne Bridal and Honeymoon Expo was today only. If you missed it, there are upcoming events in Ballarat, Geelong, Werribee, and other nearby areas. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit the website here. Like the Melbourne Ultimate Bridal Event, this expo showcases a traditional approach to weddings. There’s another expo next month that might be more appealing to the offbeat bride. The Affordable Wedding Expo is Saturday, 18 February at the Brunswick Town Hall. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit the Eventbrite event here.