Wedding Photography in JohannesburgI attended the wedding expo at the Coca Cola dome on Sunday 27 August 2012 with a good friend of mine, Thembi. She is to be a bride sometime in October 2013. As only wild horses would have dragged her fiancé to the wedding event and she was not willing to put herself through the torture of his complaints; she decided to err on the side of caution and not let the groom tag along. So I went along willingly, excited to scout out what the latest wedding trends are out there and being a Gauteng wedding photographer myself, I looked forward to admiring the wedding photography that was sure to be on display by the various Gauteng wedding photographers.

We arrived bright and early and after paying the R 100 entrance fee and receiving the red plastic bag to put in the brochures, we eagerly hit the wedding stands; which we decided to tackle in methodical fashion, starting with the first row and working our way through each stand. When we began, we eagerly chatted or waited to chat to the people at the stands and indiscriminately took flyers and brochures thrust at us; from body wraps promising quick weight loss to a wacky wedding video of the big day.

wedding photographers gautengFast forward an hour later, and we were a bit more discerning. We only went to the wedding stalls that were of interest to us. Thembi’s main objective was to see what was out there and also to narrow down the service providers she wanted to use, without having to scout all over Johannesburg or Gauteng. In time, we had our very own routine going on. For every stall that seemed promising, we folded the top right piece of the brochure, to separate it from the pile we were fast accumulating. I also suggested putting the brochures we thought had potential in our handbags, so that we could begin working through them first before tackling, if at all, the rest of the pile in the red bag.

Thembi bought four thick bridal magazines, which quickly browsing through, seemed to be full of much needed details on wedding photography and stunning wedding venues. We ended up buying a bag made of recycled material from the Northgate Dome as the plastic bag we had been at the entrance was not enough to take the wedding photography brochures and wedding flyers we had received. I bought a wedding photography book with wedding photos that were beautifully composed and taken showcasing the work of talented Johannesburg wedding photographers, for my ever-growing wedding photography book collection.

There were a lot of options in terms of Gauteng wedding photographers and the offerings varied from the more traditional wedding photography to artistic wedding photos and spontaneous wedding photography. It was a wedding photography feast and the options were endless. It was fun flipping through the many wedding photography photo books and admiring the different interpretations of the Gauteng wedding photographers who were advertising at the wedding expo 2012.

Wedding PhotographyWhen we finally sat down for coffee and a slice of delectable cake, just before making our way home to wade through all the information, we exchanged notes and narrowed down some of the gems we had both liked:
1. Gourmet Fruit Bouquets – delectable, delectable, delectable. If snow white had been given this apple covered in chocolate with a big poison sign, she would have still bitten into it. So worth it! I broke my two week chocolate fast over these. It is brilliant as a wedding centerpiece and desert.
2. Jem Exclusive Catering & Events – It is the food, after the company, which makes a wedding event great. If you are fussy about what you eat and what you serve your guests and your wedding venue allows you to bring outside catering, this is worth a taste! You will surely not be disappointed.
3. Maggie Sotero Gowns – these wedding dresses were amazing. Actually the fashion show was the highlight of the expo and there was something for every shape. A pity that we were not allowed to take any photos. Thembi remarked that it would have been great if some of the models were a bit more plus sized than the size 6 models on the stage; so to give prospective brides with curves an idea of which style of dress would suit them. Otherwise fab fab event.
There were other fabulous wedding offerings at the stand but you have to go to the next one in 2013 to see for yourself for fear of turning this into a thesis. It was well worth the entrance fee.

With my new expo worldliness, here are some tips for wedding brides when deciding whether to expo or not to expo:
1. Take an extra bag or a big bag as after a while the plastic bag is not sufficient, especially if you decide to buy some wedding photography magazines and other goodies at the expo.
2. Have some cash on you. We saw some lovely party favors going at a discounted price but as we had not come prepared, we missed out on what could have been a steal of a deal.
Wedding Photography3. Wear flat shoes. Or not, if you can rock it. Just be prepared to walk the floor and get every cent of your wedding expo entrance fee.
4. Take a small camera or use your cellphone if it has a good camera. There are some amazing Johannesburg wedding cake ideas; divine table setting ideas and other great trends that you should be able to snap and pore over later. It can be a good base for your Gauteng wedding idea and will add a lovely dynamic to your wedding photography.
5. Go with someone who you can bounce ideas off and is prepared to trawl each stall, asking the right and wrong questions (read; if this is not your man’s thing, do not force him, rather take a willing girlfriend; however if he is game, you lucky gal, go do your couple thing at the wedding expo).
6. Shopping on a budget? Take advantage of some of the wedding photographers’ discounts. The expo was teeming with discounts. Book a venue and get a free wedding cake, buy a wedding dress and get free custom made shoes; book a Gauteng wedding photographer and get a free wedding photography package or a wedding photography shoot to trash the dress; show up at the aisle and get a groom or two, depending on your preference – you get the drift. If you shop around, you can cut off some rands off your overall wedding budget.
7. Last but not least, come with your strongest will-power. If you are on a diet or on a wedding dress chocolate fast, better bring your dried fruit in bulk and point them at the delectable wedding cakes and chocolate sweets. Bad things happen to good will-power when surrounded by all that sweetness.

Hey, the next time there is a wedding expo in your area, grab a (willing) groom-to- be or a girlfriend of three, get those flat shoes on (or not) and happy trawling for ideas (and discounts) for your big day.