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Wedding Fair 2009

For the last three days, the Wedding Fair has been on display in at the Alf Leila Ballroom at the Nile Hotel on the Corniche (formerly the Nile Hilton). A gathering of a number of wedding and celebration related vendors and exhibitors, the fair was an opportunity for all those involved to let Egypt’s brides and grooms to be know that when it comes to getting married, anything is possible. From cake and cupcake masterpieces for the imaginative to invitation cards and guest books covered in lace, the Wedding Fair not only offered up company contacts for those getting married, but gave ideas for different personalization possibilities for those wishing to express their marital bliss.

Cakes and Confection
The Wedding Fair exhibitors in the cake and confection category that stood out the most were Kum’s Cake, Choco Chocola and Patchi. The cakes created by Ms. Kum How and her team are simply magnificent – although no tasting occurred, the beauty of the cakes themselves could only be described as ‘romantic comedy movie wedding cakes’. Pink with black flowered designs, layered cupcakes with frosted flowers and white three-tier wedding cake towers with little male and female cars on top were just a peek at what Ms. Kum can do! Choco Chocola and Patchi had more traditional set ups, their longstanding reputations in Cairo precede them and a small chat with the exhibitor will update any newcomer to the chocolatier’s capabilities. Both companies will personalize chocolates for weddings, baby showers and any other occasion in which personalized chocolate is deemed appropriate.

A number of well-fastened booklets littered tables, page after page of flowered, lacey invitations expressing the culmination of many a bride’s quest for intricacy, but no invitation collection stood out as brightly as the little booth belonging to Mirale El Baz. With a Monopoly board fold out invitation on the counter and numerous other creative ideas on the shelf behind her, the usher at El Baz’s counter could only catch the attention of one looking for something a little different. In the throws of planning a wedding, one is often too pressured by in-laws to nit pick with every wedding detail and in many cases, Facebook invites take precedence over the traditional door to door invitation. Perhaps those who caught the fair far enough in advance of their wedding plans would take the time to sift through the options. “The fair has given us pretty good exposure,” said El Baz, “it’s been a bit slow but it’s nice to have people come up and take interest in our invitations.”

Event Planners
Perhaps the service found most in abundance at the Wedding Fair was wedding planning. With differing levels of detail coverage, each planning booth was bigger and more flower-filled than the next, offering display after display of center pieces, tables and chairs, booklets and booklets of set up ideas for the perfect wedding in any location. An entire back corner was taken up by the AlTalab Group – a seemingly unlikely set of exhibitors for a wedding fair with a particularly impressive table option set up and an extensive virtual slideshow. One planning an event, particularly outdoors and away from the generic hotel set up, would benefit from a call to the AlTalab Group for a number of set up and decorative solutions.

With a couple of travel companies for wedding planning, two or three wedding/evening dress exhibitors and a similarly small representation of jewelers and lingerie stores (La Senza), it was glaringly obvious that the fair needed a little effort in planning, exhibition booth selling and marketing. Whether or not the timing was off (any weddings taking place before Ramadan are likely to have been planned out already), the event should have made a louder appearance. The traffic at the fair was light on both the second and third nights and in a city like Cairo, it is odd that so few people are interested researching wedding options.

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