Tuesday 1 December, 2020

The Wedding Convention promises goodies and giveaways for couples

When Andrea Coutain was getting married ten years ago, she felt frustrated with the difficulty in sourcing quality suppliers.

The well-known suppliers, she said, knew they had the market cornered and were charging exorbitant prices.

Determined to make the wedding process easier for others, Coutain started the Wedding Convention.

The Wedding Convention is an annual expo and business conference aimed at giving soon to be married couples access to services they may need.

This year, in honour of the event’s fifth staging, Coutain is only doing the expo over two days.

“It is about getting quality in and getting couples to meet those people,” said Coutain, who very carefully curates the suppliers to participate in the event.

She said she follows many suppliers on Instagram, look at the growth pattern before approaching them.

“Your business must be at least two years old and you must have your marketing material in place,” she said of the requirements for suppliers to be selected.

At the Wedding Convention, which will be held at the Banquet and Conference Centre, Movie Towne, couples would be able to find everything from wedding designers and decorators to cocktail suppliers and entertainment for practically every type of ceremony.

A big draw is the giveaways. If you are a couple planning your wedding then you would eligible for one of five prizes such as a seven day Caribbean cruise courtesy MSC cruises with airfare to Miami from Lazzari and Sampson; a $25,000 voucher for appliances from Reliable Appliances and Parts; two United Airlines’ tickets to travel anywhere in the United States, Canada and Mexico; a $5000 voucher from Dwellings; and a two-night stay at Magdalena Grand in Tobago.

Bonus prizes include a cake from Bakery Treatz valued at $4000, and a honeymoon stay for seven days in Antigua and Barbuda.

Coutain said from past feedback, about 95 percent of their exhibitors get business from the event.

Asked what she sees as the number one thing couples need to know when it comes to weddings, Coutain said a professional wedding planner is important.

“The wedding industry is so diluted in Trinidad, there are so many people doing the same thing.  One of the things I see happening is that everyone who plans a party thinks they can plan a wedding. There is training involved, so many details you need to know like the type of religious service, the paperwork, it is not just about décor it is about preparing before,” she said.

Looking at the industry, she said there is a need for more diversification of services offered.

“From the professional, service industry side you find a lot of people doing the same things like décor but there is no focus on the planning part of the wedding. On a couple’s side, be cognisant of your budget, you can’t expect champagne tastes with mauby money.”

She said in T&T, local is trending with more people opting to have items such as doubles and corn soup at their weddings.

The Wedding Convention takes place on Saturday, October 20 and Sunday, October 21. Tickets are available at all branches of Zina’s jewellery and Movie Towne guest services in Port-of-Spain and C3, San Fernando. Tickets are also available at the event and through Wipay.

For more information, visit the website. 

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