For all the brides and grooms to be in the Okanagan, or for anyone who wants more information as they make plans for their special day, the second annual Okanagan Bridal Expo is the place to make those dreams come true.
The event is coordinated by Bethany Armstrong and Winona Philips, two local wedding planners who decided to join forces and create a regional expo for the wedding industry.
“This made us put our brains to work with proper marketing, proper advertising and working with the right people. You can plan your whole wedding under this roof,” laughed Armstrong, before adding that exhibitors will be offering discounts for weddings booked today.
Last year’s inaugural event saw 850 people wander the aisles filled with everything from clothing options, photography, cake decorators and musical choices. This year, they hope to reach that number and surpass it.
“This year we’re expecting at least 850. We have to at least match it or do more – it’s getting bigger and better every year,” she says.
There are over 100 exhibitors from around the Okanagan taking part this year, including one very special guest.
Jane Dayus-Hinch has almost 30 years of experience in the wedding industry and is the host of the Canadian television series Wedding SOS.
“I’ve done the Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver wedding shows and the big Toronto show, but when the girls from Kelowna asked me, I couldn’t refuse,” says Hinch, who will be speaking after the fashion show segment and giving out special tips and hints on how to make your perfect day complete.
“The brides are always interested because it’s the year of their wedding, so I do something called ‘Plan your Wedding in a Day’. It’s a course that I run, and if they haven’t gotten a wedding planner and are trying to put together this huge day, they get one shot at it. (Brides) are wonderful bookers – they know how to book a florist, book a photographer, book a cake but they don’t know how to bring it all together.”
The event is continuing this afternoon at Prospera Place and will go long into the night with the fashion show beginning at 6 p.m.