If you thought planning a wedding was a mammoth task, imagine planning a wedding expo.
Bridal expos are all about convenience and ease of access to, sometimes, hundreds of wedding suppliers in as many categories as can fit under one roof, but behind the scenes, they’re massive productions whose organisation rivals that of even the biggest, most complicated wedding.
Tadas Adamavicius runs the annual Melbourne Bridal and Honeymoon Expo. He says that though the event lasts just seven hours, he and his team of three have worked for at least 12 months putting the expo together, a feat he estimates has required no less than 1500 hours – and more than 1000 cups of coffee to pull off!
For Tadas, this weekend’s bridal fair will be his forty fifth foray into the world of expos big and small and, he hopes, this will be his grandest yet. Bringing his more than three decades in high end retail and wholesale experience to his expos, Tadas says putting together an expo, especially a wedding expo, is quite an art.
“Just as guests at a wedding may not realise how much hard work and organisation goes into putting together a couple’s big day, visitors to an expo, any expo, probably have no idea of how intricate and involved a process it is,” says Tadas who has worked in management for some of Australia’s biggest retailers, including Gloweave, Priceline and Coles Myer.
“There are so many little things that you have to consider, everything from ensuring staff and visitors adhere to the venue operator’s rules and OH&S regulations, to controlling visitor flow and, of course, organising food and drink, security and payment facilities. It’s like being a wedding planner for hundreds of brides at the same time!”
At least 10,000 visitors, including brides-to-be and their friends, families and partners, are expected to storm Melbourne’s Exhibition Centre on Sunday (January 22) to peruse the wares and services of more than 200 wedding suppliers, everything from bonboniere makers and photographers to wedding car hire specialists and even Team Easy Weddings! (Yes, we’ll all be there!)
“There is a fantastic mix of suppliers exhibiting at the show, but also a few that you may not expect. I love the fact that we’ve got Just-For-U exhibiting with us. They provide minding services for pets, kids and the elderly in your home so you can do what you you need to do without worrying.
“There are also topless waiters and glow-in-the-dark furniture vendors to spice up your hen’s nights and House of Orchids will be showing off their gorgeous porcelain floral keepsake centrepieces.
On a more practical note, there are also suppliers such as Medibank and HBA who provide new couples with health insurance and Aussie Home loans will also be there for couples who may be looking for mortgages.”
Every expo needs a highlight and at The Melbourne Bridal and Honeymoon Expo, it’s the fashion parade which, he says, will be a “spectacular event,” one that has involved more than 60 people and will showcase the latest fashions for brides and grooms, as well as other members of the bridal party.
“I can’t say too much,” says Tadas, “but there’s a big surprise that will definitely be worth seeing!”
The Melbourne Bridal and Honeymoon Expo will be held at the Melbourne Entertainment Centre (Jeff’s Shed) this Sunday, January 22 from 9:30am-4:30pm.