Expo to help plan your special day

IF YOU are getting married this or next, year make a note of this Saturday and Sunday on your calendar.

The Wedding Expo 2010 at the Coca-Cola Dome in Northgate, Johannesburg, has everything you need to know about planning your wedding. Admission to the expo is R80.

The expo will also feature the latest trends in fashion and décor.

Held twice a year, the expo hosts more than 250 exhibitors, all of whom specialise in making a wedding day the most romantic and memorable day of your life.

Exhibitors include wedding accessories, catering, gifts, fashion show, bridal and designer wear, fashion accessories, beauty aids and cosmetics, hair and beauty salons, wedding planners, event managers, caterers and holiday and honeymoon packages.

There are four South African designer couture shows daily at 11am and noon. Then there are two local designer shows daily at 12pm and 3pm, showcasing ready-to-wear retailers with designer gowns from Italy and the US to name but a few.

Amanda Cunningham, owner of The Wedding Expo in support of the South African fashion industry, said the show has drawn a distinction between talented local wedding gown couture and imported retail wedding gowns by showcasing them in two separate shows.

Featured imported labels include Bride & co, Viola Chan, Oleg Cassini, GF Bridal, Maggie Sottero, Olivelli, Ophelia Wolf Bridal-Morgan and Brown and La Collezioni dei Conti.

Cunningham said planning a wedding was no longer such a staid and traditional affair as it used to be.

"One sees so many different and exciting things coming into a wedding that a couple can really make the wedding reflect who they are - from the ceremony to the cake," she said

The expo will also offer bridal workshops to help couples choose the right dresses and themes for their special day.

The workshop kicks off with advice on how the bride-to-be should plan for the future and what to look out for when merging two lives.

An attorney will explain the different marriage contracts and what reasons one should have for choosing a particular one. A wedding planner and stylist will give tips on how to plan a wedding and the budget.