Colourful flowers, flowing white dresses and a variety of other wedding décor filled the open area of the Millennium Hall last Saturday and Sunday as many brides and grooms-to-be flocked to the centre to attend the first ever Addis Ababa Bridal Show.
Samrawit Takele, managing director of Romhay Travel Tour and Event Organizer, is the lady behind the event.
“2300 people attended the event in total. Events like this have happened before, but never this vast,” said Samrawit.
The Addis Ababa Bridal Show, which was fully sponsored by Romhay Travel Tour and Event Organizer company, is set to be an annual event and according to Samrawit, will be taking place around the same time next year as it was a success for both the vendors as well as the future newlyweds.
There were a variety of professional vendors that attended the event. With the show being held at the Millennium Hall, it was the perfect location for vendors to showcase what they had to offer the brides and grooms. The vendors included wedding photographers/videographers, dress shops, wedding décor stores, flower shops, hair/makeup consultants as well as travel offices to help with the honeymoon planning.
With an entrance fee of 50 birr, the show was well worth it for the attendees, according to Samrawit, since many people connected well with the vendors.
“People noticed that we meant business,” said Samrawit. “The vendors got a good connection and did a lot of business and everybody seem to really like it.”
Planning a wedding can be one of the most stressful times in an individual’s life. According to the Daily Mail, one in six women cite planning a wedding as their most stressful life event and 23 percent of the men saying that it was the most stressful thing they have ever done.
The purpose of the Addis Ababa Bridal Show was to decrease that stress by offering ideas and helping future newlyweds to plan their big day with the advice of all the vendors that were present.
The cost of an average Addis Ababa wedding estimated to be around 200,000 birr, events like this are important as it allows the bride, groom and their friends and family to potentially shop in one location and make their wedding planning easier.
Romhay also made the event competitive as they brought in multiple vendors of each type–flowers, photographers, dress shops, etc.
Additionally, the organizers decorated the hall with some of the vendors’ items in order to actually show the attendees what their wedding could potentially look like.
“We tried to show some new decorations,” said Samrawit. “We covered the hall with white umbrellas and white flowers,” which is a major décor style for this upcoming wedding season.
According to her, one of the major themes this season is the decoration. The dress and the food and the flowers are important but when it comes to what people are looking at, it is “all about the wedding decorations.”
With traditional Ethiopian clothing making a comeback, décor was not the only trend to be found at the event. There were white, billowy dresses – the kind that can be found in fairytales and movies. But the event also included a fair number of traditional wedding dress options–for those brides looking for a more elegant, time-honored look.
Not even the rain on Sunday, could keep the event from being a success. Despite the aggressive storm that ripped across the majority of Addis Ababa on Sunday, the event managed to draw people in until the end of the event on Sunday.
“It (the rain) did have some effect. But we took our time and finished the show successfully,” said Samrawit.
For those individuals that are planning their engagement, keep your eyes open for next year’s second annual Addis Ababa Bridal Show, as it is an event that could help make the wedding planning go smoothly and ultimately make your dream wedding a reality.
Ed.’s Note: Lauren Wilson is on an internship at The Reporter.