In our search to bring New England a comprehensive group of vendors, sometimes we to have to look outside of our area. This weekend, The Shaadi Bazaar Team took a trip down to the Dulhan Bridal Expo in Somerset, New Jersey.
We checked out vendors, looked at styles and trends in clothing and jewelry, sampled savory treats from caterers, saw a plethora of photo albums and videos, but the highlight of our day was meeting Shalini Vadhera.
As much as I want to tell you all about meeting her, I will save the best for last. We brought paper and pens, address labels and were armed and ready. Our mission was to start on one side and work our way through the aisles and speak with as many vendors as possible. We saw that almost every DJ there also offered packages that included lighting they all had similar frosted glass panels lit with LED lights that encased their set up. Some DJs offered lounge furniture rentals and others offered piping and draping as part of their packages.
There were at least six different Mandap companies all displaying various mandaps, table settings, decor elements throughout the show in New Jersey. We asked each of them what the newest setups were and obviously if they traveled up to New England. The trends in mandaps that we saw this year was a heavier use of crystals on the mandaps and the use of flower balls. The shapes of them were moving away from the large ivory and gold columns into various shapes and simpler colors so they could adjust to any color scheme. The shapes were oval, square, circular and rectangular. We even spotted a mandap made entirely of crystals. Almost all of the vendors were willing to travel to the New England area if they haven’t already, for a transportation fee, but were willing to work something out because their priority is to help brides create their unique vision.
There were dozens of henna artists and makeup artists at the Dulhan Expo in New Jersey. They were doing trials on brides that came to the show as well as models that they brought with them. We didn’t see any new trends in the henna area. There was one company that was putting henna tattoos on people. We also met some wedding planners who offered various levels for service to help ease your stress in the wedding planning process.
Halfway through the aisles we couldn’t resist the smells of the live cooking stations any longer, so we went to eat. One caterer was serving up a Mexican station with quesadillas another had a chaat station. We headed back and perfectly enough we found ourselves a cake vendor for dessert!
There were many jewelry vendors as well as clothing boutiques. We enjoyed checking out the latest styles and discussing the trends that we saw. In jewelry, many of the trends were the antique styles with kundan work. Large colored stones surrounded by kundan with antique gold finish. If it wasn’t this style then it was pave diamonds that sparkled from a mile away. All the jewelry had large earrings that we had a hard time not scooping up some for ourselves! We saw floor sweeping salwars with thick borders in nearly every clothing boutique we went to. There were many that had netting over brocade work as well.
Our last stop of the day was meeting beauty expert and author, Shalini Vadhera. If you don’t know who she is, we can share, she is her own brand, celebrity makeup artist, exotic beauty finder and author. I couldn’t stop staring at her, she is absolutely stunning in person and soo sweet as well. We were chatting about her book and obviously I was asking her all about makeup. I jumped at the chance when she offered to do my makeup. Shalini has her own blog that features makeup and skincare tips and tricks from around the world. Her book is called Passport to Beauty which shares all these secrets and recipes that she has learned on her travels. The recipes are simple enough and many of the products are found in your home already.
After spending 3 hours there, we came away with a ton of business cards, new ideas and we’re full of inspiration. It was an insightful and fun trip to learn about new trends for every step of the wedding planning process and see what the New York/New Jersey market has to offer. For more information on bridal shows in the New England area visit our events page.