NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. — Neema Lodhia and Mili Shah of Wedding Store 24 presented their 11th wedding show Oct. 29 at the Island Hotel here, following the success of their previous 10 bridal shows, and featured a multicultural show catering not only to South Asians but also mainstream American couples and families. WS 24, a concierge service located in the heart of Little India, serves as a ‘one stop bridal resource’ for Indian American and South Asian brides, and is set up with vendor booths, just like the bridal shows, whom they pre-qualify.
Lodhia told India-West that they set up their bridal shows as events, not as mere trade shows, because they want the brides to have the full experience of a wedding event. Their shows are a fusion of both South Asian and American cultural experiences in order to incorporate the visions of not only the parents but also of the bride and the groom.
With each successive attempt, the bridal shows have become more elaborate and the venues have become more elegant. This year, they threw a lavish party for the prospective brides and grooms complete with music, dance, fashion and food with champagne flowing like water. A model in a circular swing poured champagne into glasses of attendees at the entrance, while the sophisticated Island hotel was decorated befitting a high-end wedding party.
Hundreds of couples and families attended the show to experience the latest trends in fashion, food, décor, music, photography and other wedding services in the gorgeous venue. Talking to India-West, many brides and grooms said they came to this event because WS 24 presents an extravagant and fusion mix of traditional and modern couture wedding designers, products and services.
Offering their venues for weddings were not only the Island hotel, but also the Wyndham Anaheim, Avalon hotel and bungalows, Palm Springs, Crown Plaza, Redondo Beach and Marina, who handed out printed wedding packages with prices for different events.
Photography service vendors were prominent offering their unique services, including videographers, 3D photography and activation videos and photos. Josh, a videographer from Fisheye studio based in Irvine, who was offering a bridal expo special price, stated that his focus is on creating beautiful productions for the couple that tell the stories of their special moments to be remembered forever.
Another vendor, SHeFARI, is a one of a kind luxury travel boutique company for women by women creating travel packages for getaways like bachelorette and spa weekends, shopping getaways and even dream honeymoons.
Vendors featured at the bridal expo included BEL Events, 3D Sounds, Star Dance Floor, AJ Studios, Breluxe Beauty, LA Rickshaw, and Pajama Sutra among others.
The entertainment featured the cool and charming young band VIPs who performed before and during the fashion shows. Fashion by Rohini, who has a flagship store in Little India, presented a little teaser before her show, with brides in shorts and glittery tops circling the round runaway. The 22 stunning models with the gorgeous Paiy Hansara as the show stopper, displayed a full range of beautiful creations by Rohini in various hues, fabrics, patterns and styles with interesting necklines and sleeves. The styles varied from heavy embroidered Indian outfits to comfortable and light modern and cocktail wear that the young and non-Indian brides could wear for their wedding functions.
Panache Bridal displayed beautiful and exquisite white gowns in various textures and styles with elegant models. With all the fashion spotlight on brides, Friar Tux shop based in Costa Mesa, which specializes in rentals as well as sales of suits and tuxes, made sure that the grooms were not left behind. Their fashion show featured charming young men wearing sophisticated suits with bow-ties.
Jewels by Mala, an opulent fine jewelry brand, displayed a wide range of elegant diamond and polki jewelry. The company owner, Mala Sujan Seth, is a jewelry expert and designer based in Costa Mesa and has a long working experience with the famous Anmol Jewelers in Mumbai, India, frequented by celebrities.
Earlier, Ramesh Maraj of Indisax Entertainment played pleasant Indian tunes on the saxophone in the lobby, while Ronobir, a talented sitar player, presented a soothing sitar recital.
Karmagraphy, another vendor, is an entertainment company that provides singers, dancers and choreography for dance segments for any occasion.
The food vendors kept everybody happy with a nonstop supply of hot and innovative food and service. The Monsoon restaurant, which opened nine months ago in Artesia, specializes in fusion healthy Indian cuisine. Their booth, which had a backdrop of a huge Buddha statue, served up hummus paani puri cocktails, bhel chat in bamboo cones, and cauliflower dipped in coconut, along with pineapple biryani, banana stew, chicken tikkas and mouthwatering desserts. Owner Rakesh Popat has been in the restaurant business for 30 years and had restaurants in East Africa and London before opening in Los Angeles and San Diego.
Mantra Indian Cuisine served hot potli samosas and freshly prepared tasty vegetarian noodles and other delicacies. SoHo Taco stand served delicious corn tacos along with tortilla chips and freshly made salsas.
Towards the end of the engaging bridal show, a free engagement shoot was given away, which was won by a lucky guest. The event ended in style with dhol played energetically by Malinder Tooray of Special Occasions, who provide DJs, lighting and high-end services for weddings.