Wednesday,19 September, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1241, (9-15 April 2015)
Wednesday,19 September, 2018
Issue 1241, (9-15 April 2015)

Ahram Weekly

Cairo’s bridezillas

Salonaz Sami attended this year’s Our Wedding Carnival in search of the latest wedding ideas

Al-Ahram Weekly

In 2004, an American reality TV show gained a lot of buzz. The show was called “Bridezillas,” a portmanteau word made up of bride and the fictional beast Godzilla. As the name suggests, the show told the story of brides who turned into out-of-control, demanding and even bullying beasts under the enormous stress of planning a wedding.

This is how stressful and nerve-racking planning a wedding can be. But, thanks to Our Wedding Carnival, Egypt’s biggest and most comprehensive wedding-related event, this may no longer be the case.

 No matter what you want for your wedding, from the dress and flower arrangements to the honeymoon plans, it could be found at Our Wedding Carnival. The third edition of the annual event took place on 3-4 April at the Semiramis Intercontinental Hotel in downtown Cairo.

With its underwater, mystical adventure theme, Our Wedding Carnival was nothing less than extravagant. The event was organised by Red Square Agency and sponsored by major brands, including L’Azurde and L’Oreal.

There were over a hundred exhibitors covering all things related to weddings, making the sometimes hectic and traumatic experience of preparing for the big day a lot easier. Future brides and grooms had access to all the people and services they might need.

Big fashion designers showcased their new collections exclusively for the two-day event. Alexandrian Bahig Hussein launched his new collection “Dancing with the Stars.” As Hussein explained, “The collection was inspired by the history of dance from the pharaohs to the present day.”

He continued, “I mainly focused on distinct figures  like Jennifer Lopez, Marilyn Monroe, and Sherihan. I then blended those characters with Eastern and Western concepts to come up with some unique wedding dresses.”

International Lebanese designer Hadi Katra, who has participated in fashion weeks around the world, showcased his new haute couture and wedding collection. It was his first time to show a collection in Egypt.

Syrian fashion house Antar and Lahmouni (A&L) showcased 30 glamorous gowns with marvelous handmade touches. These, along with dresses from Blanche Maison de Couture and Rosa Clara, set the stage on fire.

“We like to introduce new ideas and designs, bringing Syrian and Lebanese fashions to Egyptian women who love and appreciate them,” Anter said.

The advice of Rosa Clara’s Elena Teindas to young brides was to be open to new wedding dress ideas. “Take it easy, enjoy yourself and have a fun experience in the fitting room. Enjoy looking at yourself in the mirror wearing different designs. One of them will fit you like a glove, and you will know it’s the right one,” Teindas said.

The event also featured, and for the first time on an Egyptian runway, make-up artist Mohamed Abdel-Hamid presenting a live airbrush make-up show. Two lucky raffle draw winners won a free make-up session with Abdel-Hamid.

Talented hair stylist Kriss also celebrated 15 years in Egypt with a stunning 30-minute live hair show. “We always want to be inspirational, artistic and out of the box,” Kriss said.

Along with the glamorous make-up, hair and fashion shows, the event featured several exceptional companies that provide wedding-related services. Their aim was to show engaged couples that they need not settle for what’s merely possible — they might be able to get the impossible for their momentous day.

One such miracle-maker is wedding planner Dina Bakr, owner and founder of the Flickers Agency, launched in 2008, whose motto is “You dream, we create.” According to Bakr, planning a wedding can take anywhere from four months to two weeks, depending on how big it will be. “It’s always better to start as early as possible,” she told the Weekly.

Getting to know exact desires of a bride and groom for their big day is the hardest part, according to Bakr. “We brainstorm with them, and once we agree on the perfect theme we start to implement it and then it’s an easy job from there on,” she explained. “My number-one priority is to have something special, creative and different at every wedding.”

And Our Wedding Carnival was certainly the place to be for creativity and inspiration, whether from the brides and grooms or from the exhibitors.

“Inspiring and being inspired is the key to success,” said Omar Khattab of Khattab Wedding Invitations. “We get our inspiration from everything around us, and we work with the biggest firms internationally so they always inspire us,” Khattab told the Weekly.

“We also watch for global trends in fashion, art, music, technology and lifestyle, and we try to give the same feel in the collections we create.”

This year, Khattab is celebrating 85 years of being a benchmark in the market segment. “Until now, no wedding invitations company worldwide has had such a wide range of products and rapidly developing trends to match the tastes of different consumers,” he said.

According to Khattab, events like Our Wedding Carnival can affect the wedding scene in different ways. As well as bringing everything wedding-related under one roof, “it puts all those in the industry in direct contact with each other for future collaboration,” Khattab explained. “It also builds awareness while exposing emerging names and brands and positioning established ones at the same time,” he added.

Khattab, who is participating in the event for the second time this year, wanted to make the entire first dress out of wedding invitations, but unfortunately the short time frame didn’t help. “This year we have a booth displaying our latest designs, which combine elegance, style and originality to help every couple celebrate their unforgettable moment,” he said.

“We have worked hard to bring new colours and flavours to the Carnival this year. From concept initiation to technical production and exclusive partnerships, our visitors will be spoiled for choice by the bridal catwalk shows, DJ entertainments, exquisite offers and many more surprises that we are keeping a lid on for now,” said Sherif Ashraf, managing director of Red Square, at a press conference prior to the event.

This year the event is also giving back to the community by teaming up with the Benebny Hayah, or “Building a Life”, project, to pay the wedding expenses of ten orphan brides from poor villages in Fayoum. “As we look forward to another great season of Our Wedding Carnival, the best success one can achieve is to reach out and lend a helping hand,” Ashraf said. “We hope that through this initiative, which we plan to continue in the future, we can add value and make a positive human statement that touches lives,” he added.

Benebny Hayah is a subsidiary of Life Makers, an NGO that works on redeveloping the infrastructure of underprivileged villages in Egypt’s rural areas, thus improving people’s lives. “Our collaboration with Our Wedding Carnival offers us a great opportunity to make a difference to underprivileged brides,” said Sherif Azzoz, the project manager.

For a culture and nation that puts so much emphasis on the union of marriage, there is a need for more events like Our Wedding Carnival, which has proved itself over the years to be the undisputed Egyptian destination for anyone who is planning a wedding.

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