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{Bridal Workshop Review} Bridalicious Fundamentals 2011 S/S

May 6, 2011

As I walked into The Raddisson Grand Victorian on a Sunday afternoon in April, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. This was a first for me; attending an event as a wedding blogger and I had mixed feelings of excitement and trepidation. As a RSVP-only event I knew Bridalicious wouldn’t be like the loud and overwhelming affair that most bridal trade shows are. However, I was a little concerned that the event would be so small and intimate that (as a non-bride) I’d feel like an intruder. 

First impressions: I was pleasantly surprised to see roughly 150 brides-to-be mingling in an adequate space. Not too big, not too small; it was just right. The event had been organized by Richha Arora, Shobana Lakkavally, Gaurav Sawhney, and Garima Singh. Unlike most bridal trade shows, it was refreshing to see young (and welcoming) faces in charge and spoke to the direction the afternoon was going to take.

The ballroom, bathed in a purplish pink light, had been divided into three parts. There was a lounge area in the center which had beautiful tables designed by talented local event planners: Berries and Blooms’ by Natasha Manji, Sara Baig Designs, Nisha Chandra, and Karma Designs. Each table showcased the designers’ individual takes on the theme of a “Secret Garden”.

 Alongside these were desert tables with tasty and colourful samples by The Chocolate Fountain Shoppe, Fine Cakes by Zehra, Dessert Trends and Piece of Cake by Shivani. The setup really set the ambiance for the event and controlled the flow of the space nicely. (You can read detailed reviews of the inspirational Secret Gardens on the blogs of LBB & Dreamers Events

 The far ends of the ballroom were cordoned off for the workshops which seated groups of roughly 60 each. The two groups got a chance to sit through all the workshops, however switched sides after the second round of workshops which was followed by a small intermission for snacks. It was interesting to see how the organizers had overcome the challenge of expanding their guest list while maintaining the intimate feel and integrity of their event.  

The workshops were presented by each of the organizers covering their own area of expertise and what are widely considered to be the main areas of wedding planning:

 

What impressed me most about Bridalicious was the open flow and exchange of vital information (as well as tasty snacks) for the brides with absolutely no pressure to buy. That’s not to say that the organizers won’t be seeing a substantial ROI. In fact its precisely such thinking and these kind of tactics that tend to build customer loyalty and appreciation of vendors.

For me, the most useful segment of each workshop was when the organizers shared a list of essential questions to ask the vendors that you`re dealing with. When planning a wedding it’s often things like florist contracts and photographer surcharges that end up being unexpected obstacles. You know what the say: the best defence is a good offence (I’ve been watching way too many cheesy movies lately).

As much as I liked the event, there are a few things I feel the organizers could have improved on. The size of the screens used were way too small for my liking, and this coupled with some of the softer presenters, made it difficult to follow the presentations especially for those of us in the back rows. I also found the amount of information to be a bit overwhelming at times and would have liked to see more interactive sessions with attendees actively participating in the workshops rather than just faithfully jotting down lecture notes. 

Needless to say Bridalicious is a must for any bride-to-be in the Toronto area, especially for the modern South Asian bride. What I loved most was the organizers’ clear-cut understanding of the workings of their fields and how well they were able to translate mainstream wedding trends for South Asian brides and their weddings. There is a real need for communication channels to be opened between brides and vendors. So kudos to the Bridalicious team for kick-staring the conversation. The organizers went out of their way to ensure that it was enjoyable, informative and valuable experience for all who attended. And of course the select prizes and swag bags (carrying a Suhaag Magazine and Lamhe Wedding Planner amony other stuff) at the end of the event were the perfect icing on the cake.     

(images via g+h photography)

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. May 7, 2011 12:59 am

    hey thanks for stopping by my blog- love what your blog is- so fun :)

  2. May 13, 2011 6:16 pm

    @Jammie … Thanks! Love you blog too … (Thats step 2 I guess)

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