Weddings have changed to reflect today’s diverse society, the manager of an Ottawa wedding show said yesterday.
White weddings, with their cookie-cutter brides and grooms and formal ceremonies are no longer the norm.
“There’s no such thing as a wedding trend,” said the Ottawa Wedding Show’s Yolande Adams.
“We’re seeing people get married for the second and third time. We see people getting married when they’re older and already have children. Things have changed.”
Weddings are no longer limited to May, June and July, she added. “Weddings are year-round now.”
Between 4,000 and 5,000 people — including about 2,000 brides-to-be — are expected to attend the spring edition of the Ottawa Wedding Show at the Ottawa Civic Centre at Lansdowne Park on April 4 and 5.
The show, which features fashions shows, seminars, a gown sale and retailers, planning professionals and service providers in the city, is one of the only wedding shows in Ottawa that doesn’t charge admission.
“Our main concern is to drive traffic to our vendors and exhibitors,” said Adams. “The more people we get, the more business the vendors will get out of the show. It’s been proven more and more that people don’t want to pay to get into shows.”
While the “free” factor is certainly appreciated during a time of recession, Adams said she doesn’t expect the recession will affect the wedding industry.
“It’s still a growth industry,” she said. “People still get married in a recession. It’s still their special day.”
Another wedding show that offers free admission is the sixth annual Manor Bridal Show, which takes place Sunday at The Keg Manor on Richmond Road. The show runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and includes area exhibitors such as a cake designer, a dress designer and other wedding-related services.
Julie Johnston, organizer of the show, is taking a different approach.
“It’s geared to be very intimate,” said Johnston, who is expecting 150 attendees. “There are no lineups, no pressure. It’s just a relaxing day for the brides.”
Another unique aspect of the show is that it features one business per category. “That way, the brides get a broader range of services,” she said.
The budget range people have for their weddings can be enormous, Adams said.
“Weddings range from ones where people get their brother-in-law to DJ and flowers from Loblaws to spending $30,000,” she said.
Whether they’re going small or all-out, many people rely on shows like this one for ideas.
“Some people have their wedding dress, shoes and their reception booked and come to the show looking for one thing,” she said.
Others, she added, “just got engaged over Valentine’s Day and don’t make any decisions until they’ve seen everything.”