Pozitive Vybrationz at Bridal Expo
Hundreds of happy, hopeful, and starry-eyed lovers who all want to get married in the near future poured into the Montego Bay Convention Centre for the recent Jamaica Bridal Expo. They came in from all over the island from different age groups, backgrounds, and budgets but they shared one common objective – to make their wedding day unforgettable.
Now in its seventh year, the Jamaica Bridal Expo brought together an impressive line-up of wedding planners, caterers, honeymoon resorts, spas, gown, and tuxedo designers, jewellers, entertainment companies, photographers, and even MCs to answer questions and provide guidance for planning the perfect wedding.
Entertainment over four days showcased the latest in wedding wear with the Bliss Bridal Wedding Show and tuxedos from Earl’s Fashion. There was also a rollicking bonfire beach party at Reading Reef Beach, just outside Montego Bay, that sizzled with world-class Jamaican steel band Pozitive Vybrationz and a drumming ensemble called Children of the Drums.
The Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) was the event’s lead sponsor, and their aim is to grow the wedding and honeymoon market share for Jamaica. Over 150 travel agents from the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom participated, too, to learn about the abundance of options for doing weddings in Jamaica. Donnie Dawson, Jamaica’s deputy director of tourism for the Americas, was on hand with his marketing team to ensure that the travel agents benefitted fully from all Jamaica has to offer in the weddings market.
“The objective of the expo is to educate event planners and everyone in the industry on how to plan a successful wedding,” Peter Shoucair, executive producer of the event, told The Gleaner. “We also teach specialised travel agents how to sell Jamaica as a wedding destination, and this year, the event has grown in a big way,” he added.
A lively panel of wedding specialists engaged a large audience on day three with useful tips. “Refrain from allowing your mom to plan your wedding, for sooner or later it will become her wedding,” Michelle Soban, a baker from Trinidad and Tobago, told the attendees. “Engage the services of experts who are emotionally detached from the event and who are able to execute with perfection,” she added. And Ophellia McKnight, a Jamaican wedding designer, who is also president of the Jamaica Wedding Professionals Association, offered an abundance of useful guidance.
The Thursday-to-Sunday activities also included a conference session addressing related issues. A Jamaican decor and design company, Tai Flora, transformed the venue into a celestial romantic outpost.
“I have met the love of my life, the woman who swept me off my feet, and we are so happy to have attended the expo,” Patrick Dickson, who came in from Negril with his fiancée Mali Tomlinson told The Gleaner. Mali agreed: “We found the answers we were looking for.”
And Colin Bruce, manager at Luna Sea Inn, a small boutique property in Belmont, Westmoreland, was very happy that the company participated this year. “Because of recent raves on TripAdvisor about our hotel as an idyllic location for weddings, our booth has been visited here by several wedding planners, and the experience has been very productive,” Bruce remarked.