Would you get married in a Bournemouth beach hut?

Nowadays when old methods are replaced with quirky new crazes, Hannah Smithson visits Bournemouth’s annual Wedding Show  to find out what’s traditional and taboo this leap year…

Onlookers gaze at the amazing array of wedding dresses at the annual Bournemouth wedding show

According to tradition, on the last day of a leap year in February, which happens to fall at the end of this month in 2012, the ‘normal’ order of proposals is reversed and women can pop the question to the men. So ladies, will you be defying convention and asking your man the big question this leap year? There are hundreds of websites giving advice on the best way to do it, where, when and how but what happens once the question’s been asked and the answer’s ‘yes’…

Wedding planning- that’s what! Hundreds of couples and brides-to-be flock to Bournemouth’s International Centre’s Wedding Show every year, to get inspiration and ideas throughout the weekend for their special day.

Boasting to be the largest wedding exibition on the South Coast, over 130 local and regional exibitors turned up to showcase their wide range of luxury services and accessories to help you enjoy the big day.

A programme of features, included choreographed fashion shows, live performances from singers and musicians revealing that there is much more to a wedding show than one orginally thought. There was even a BH live fitness zone giving advice on how to slim down to fit into that all important dress and a ‘de-stress’ zone offering free ‘mini-treatments’, specialising in hair, health and make-up. To entertain those more concerned with music than make-up there was a ‘grooms zone’ offering a mobile fun casino and new for 2012, a champagne and Pimms bar.

From photo booths to ice sculptures this year’s wedding show had all the new trends and accessories to enhance your special day

With hundreds of options of photographers, venues and wedding cars available, its easy to see that one could get overwhelmed. Each Bridezilla was eagerly investigating to find the finest food, negotiating to get the best deal and dreaming to find the most magnificent gown. In the effort to create the most unique wedding event, businesses had come up with new ideas to entice their excited guests.

Photo booths, seemed to be all the rage this year, as I spoke to Oliver Reed, Director of ‘Say Fromage’ Photo Booth’s who said he came up with the idea four years ago when there seemed to be no one else doing it. He said: “It was a business I set up after University, I did my degree in photography and wanted to make some money out of it but had to be inventive.” He explained how photo booths were a great idea for weddings as it gave the power of the photo to the people in it. “People often cringe after a photo’s been taken but being able to take the photos yourself again and again with multiple free prints is great.” He likened photo booths to the modern day polaroid and showed me how you could dress yourself up with props, making for very silly pictures indeed. He said: “It’s great when you can get your own photos at weddings with great uncles and aunts you haven’t seen for years.” Say Fromage seemed to be the cheapest deal around with the hire of the booth, including free prints and props for just under £600.


Travel in style to your beach wedding in this converted luxury beach camper

How about this one- getting married on the beach in Bournemouth? Oh yes, there seems to be a business claiming to offer the first ever beach weddings in the whole of the UK on the sunny beaches of Bournemouth, the Uk’s very own version of Californian sands. But would it actually be sunny? Given Englands reputation for weather, I asked company director of Beach Weddings Bournemouth, Melanie Kiani– what happens when it rains? She assured me that there was a marquee in the event of bad weather and the reception would be inside whilst you’d actually get hitched under the roof of one of Bournemouth’s famous beach huts.

Following a success that saw seven million viewers tune in per episode, the cultural phenomenon, My Big Fat Gyspy Wedding is back this month, and with it the dresses! The popular channel four show returns to our screens and this time the ceremonies are even more outrageous and the pantomime style dresses have got even bigger. The modes of transport have likewise increased in size and style to fit the bride. Bournemouth Wedding Show didn’t quite have the dresses as seen on TV but it certainly had some alternative modes of transport- from carriages to Volkswagen surf vans.

So if you’re looking for a unique way to spend your special day this year then there is certainly inspiration to be found at the largest wedding show on the south coast or alternatively, catch the next episode of My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding on Channel 4 at 9pm on Tuesday 21st Feb!


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About hannahsmithson

Hi I'm Hannah. I've just graduated from Bournemouth University with a first class honors in Multimedia Journalism and am about to adventure off to the other side of the world to work in the Falkland Islands for FITV. I am excited about my future prospects in Journalism and here is my blog where I document most of my experiences. Please get in touch if you want to chat...

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