When you first start planning your wedding, the list of things involved in the big day can feel seemingly endless. From the venue, photographer, food, rentals, music, photo booth, favors and more; not to mention what you will wear for the big day — the list of things to book or buy and decisions to be made goes on and on.
While there are tonnes of magazines and blogs out there, there’s something special about face to face interactions with those playing a part in your big day. If you’re hoping to make more of a personal connection with those involved, be more efficient with your planning efforts (and money), or you’re just keen for a fun day out with your bride tribe (or groom squad), the Geelong Wedding Guide Wedding Expo has you covered with the very best of what the wedding industry has to offer.
We sit down with the brains behind the expo, local boss babe Dani Fontana of Geelong Wedding Guide and Boutique Event Co.
First up, can you give us a basic rundown of the business at the helm of the expo – Geelong Wedding Guide.
Geelong Wedding Guide started when we realised there wasn’t anything specific to the Geelong region online for weddings. There are a few Victorian-wide blogs, however, nothing really targeted Geelong, especially the real weddings of Geelong (not just your insta-worthy weddings).
What was the drive behind wanting to put on a wedding expo for the Geelong region?
We found that the existing expos were lacking something, we weren’t really sure what exactly but we wanted to make it an expo that brides and grooms actually wanted to come to and stay. When I was getting married we went to one, paid $15 each to enter and left about 10 minutes after arriving because nothing took our fancy.
What can we expect to see? Are all these businesses all local?
You can expect to see a whole range of amazing vendors – 70 in fact! Most are local to Geelong with a couple from Ballarat who also service the region.
You’ve got an absolute slew of interactive sessions. Any must-sees that you’d definitely recommend for those in the beginning stages of planning a wedding?
You’re correct – we have 16 interactive sessions (this has doubled since last year!). We would highly recommend Lou from One Day P.A as one of your must-see’s. Lou focuses on the ‘on the day coordination’ which in my opinion is one of the most important vendors you could choose for you day to make it as stress-free as possible. Another highlight would be Big Love Elopements – Jessie & Jake from Big Love are offering an Elopement service that is becoming quite popular in our region so I would not miss this one if you’re a little curious about what an elopement entails.
Who is the expo designed for? Is it the brides, the grooms, the bridal party, the guests, etc.
Absolutely everyone! Even non-wedding related attendees. If you’re an event planner or are the token person to organise events for your workplace, you’re bound to find heaps of vendors that can assist you in pulling together an amazing event.
For future brides, grooms or couples who are planning their weddings in 2020, 2021 or 2022 (or beyond) – do you have any advice to make sure they get the most out of the expo?
Take your time and visit every stand. You never know what you’re looking for until you come across it! Also, make note of the interactive session times (available on our website) that you’re wanting to see so you don’t miss out.
You’ve clearly got a passion for weddings and all that they encompass – what’s your favourite part of a wedding?
I absolutely do! Being in the wedding industry with our own business Boutique Event Co makes me love weddings so much. I love post-ceremony when the bride & groom return from getting photos. This is when you truly see them relax, grab a cocktail and mingle with their loved ones.
We hear there will be some goodie bags valued at over $4K for the first 50 couples through the door (definitely an incentive to get there early!). Can you give us any hints at what might be in them?
We highly recommend getting there early! Last year we had people lining up at 7am (I thought they were lost but they were waiting in line!). This year’s goodie bags are unreal…! With vouchers, samples, cookies, cupcakes and so much more!
Any last details we should know?
Come along and see it for yourself, it’s free entry and there will be plenty of people to chat to about your big day. And we’ve got lots of breakout spaces by Elderberry Event Hire where you can sit and chill with your partner or bride tribe.
The Geelong Wedding Guide Wedding Expo will be held at Deakin University Waterfront Campus on Sunday, January 19, 10am – 2pm. Entry is free. More info available via www.geelongweddingguide.com.au/expofaqs
Photos sourced from socials.