SANTA CLARA, Calif. –The 10th anniversary edition of the Wedding and Lifestyle Expo Asiana, or WLEA, billed as “Vivah 2017- Bridal Expo Bay Area,” was held at the Santa Clara Convention Center here Aug. 20, one of the biggest bridal shows in California.
Featuring around 75 booths of all kinds of wedding finery – from traditional and exquisite wedding dresses and jewelry to mandap decorations and mehndi booths – several thousand guests attended the expo to browse, buy, make bookings and comparison shop for various wedding essentials.
“Traction has been fabulous. I think changing the date from October to August, we did not know what to expect, and I think it has been lovely,” Leena Jay of WLEA told India-West. “Many of our vendors are the same as last year but new ones have joined the Vivah family. We have many new categories that help the brides to see a lot of different things.”
Jay added: “Brides want something different. They want something eclectic. This is a great place to come, touch, feel and see what exactly you can expect for your wedding. While the idea is to book a vendor, the bigger idea of the show is to get your consultation done here. You get to meet not just one décor person but six. Similarly, you do not just see one designer but eight. It’s definitely quality but also quantity in different price ranges.”
Reminiscing about her own wedding and comparing it to those of the current day brides, Jay said, “Brides do not want limousines any more. We are seeing rickshaws, Harley Davidsons. You can see a Rolls Royce and a Lamborghini parked in the front. We have also seen jet bookings. Brides just want it bigger and better. Brides are upping what others have done. They want to make a mark for themselves and here at Vivah we allow you to do that. Our vendors are classic and unique.”
This one-stop shop aimed at those planning a South Asian wedding/reception included attendance by brides-to-be, their friends and families, grooms, their friends and families and others. The attendees circulated through various vendor booths including venue marketers, photography studios, wedding trousseau shops, jewelers, card designers, wedding planners, and others.
The vendors displayed their wares to their potential customers with gusto and enthusiasm to make bookings and to make the most of their chance to meet new and potential customers to strike quality sales leads.
Many young women got intricate mehndi designs done on their hands at several mehndi booths, while their parents could be seen browsing albums of designs and making inquiries on rates and services.
Many patrons also sampled cake bites on the booths of several cake vendors that advertised doing vegan and eggless cakes with traditional decorations. “We have got many inquiries for our cakes, pastries and cupcakes. Some patrons have also asked us about matching the cake designs to the decor,” said Mona of Bake Me Something.
The engaging fashion show featured wedding outfits for brides and grooms from such boutiques as Shehnai Bridal Boutique in Fremont, and commenced with the collection from Frontier Heritage Boutique of Los Angeles. WLEA had held the first Vivah show in Los Angeles this year and will be hosting the first show in Dallas, Texas, on Jan. 21, 2018.
The fashion show started with the exclusive and glamorous wedding lehngas, gowns and saris that are part of the collection of designer Neeta Asija of Frontier Heritage Boutique.
Patrons clicked to glory as lissome models sashayed down the runway adorning bridal fineries in myriad hues and designs. The showcase of the wedding attires for both the brides and the grooms were peppered with saris, gowns and lehngas of varied colors and styles for the varied wedding festivities.
“I am very happy with the number of people that have come to the show. This is our first time in San Francisco and we did not expect the numbers to be so large. I am very happy with the traction that we have had,” said Neeta Asija of Frontier Heritage told India-West. “Besides lehngas, gowns are also popular with the brides.”