By Kalungi Kabuye and Harriet Birungi
One-hundred-and thirty-four stalls, 80 exhibitors and over 6,000 people over three days combined to celebrate 10 years of East Africa’s largest wedding expo. This was at Vision Group’s annual Bride & Groom Expo. The expo held from June 2224, at the UMA Show grounds in Lugogo, Kampala, is to date the only annual bridal expo in Uganda. It helps couples plan their weddings in a day, by bringing bridal service providers under one roof. In a ﬁtting tribute to the founding editor of Bride & Groom magazine, Lydia Keturah Kamugasa, who passed on last year, it was the biggest and most extravagant exhibition so far of the best that the wedding industry in Uganda has to offer.
Thanks to the support of sponsors Darling Uganda, Pepsi, Kenya Tourism Board, Bridal World, Transtel, Afdal Bistro and Silk Events. It was a long way from the ﬁrst expo held in 2009 in the small exhibition hall at UMA Showground’s. As Susan Nsibirwa, Vision Group’s head of marketing and communications, said on Sunday, they will have to look for a much larger place to host future expos. While 10 years ago exhibitors were limited to a three metres by three metres stall each, this time individual exhibitors took up full rows of six stalls. On Sunday, the crowds were so thick that someone said it was a picture of true human fellowship.
Ssenga, fashion and entertainment This year also had a joint Ssenga and Kojja session, which had
Crowds’ ﬁll the fashion show hall, the largest number of people ever to attend such a session. And the presenters, Hamida Namatovu and Kevin Gita Muwomya did not hold anything back. In a two-hour session, the two, took a very attentive audience through candid bedroom issues, importance of communication in a relationship and how to attain sexual satisfaction.
Fashion show there were 35 designers that showcased their outﬁts on the catwalk, but it was Anita Beryl of Beryl Quoture who stole the show with her collection which was a climax to what was a very memorable weekend. And she ﬁttingly got the ﬁrst standing ovation ever
seen in the 10 years of the expo. The session came to a close with show of lingerie from Lauma.The lingerie that left little to the imagination left many males revellers walking away with hands in their pockets. On the entertainment front, the evening session had entertainment from The Dance n’ Beats group and singer Zanie Brown who is the ambassador of Darling Uganda. There was also guitarist Myko Ouma and songstress Rema Namakula whose queen dancers were clad in shimmery halter neck yellow dresses. The audience seemed to have a good time singing along Rema’s well-known songs while she performed with Kushona Designs showcasing her bridal wear collection in the background.
Rafﬂe draws and awards a raffle draw was held by Kenya Tourism Board in collaboration with Jambo jet. The winner, Queen Victoria, received two return tickets to Nairobi. This was after Transtel gave out electrical appliances (40-inch TV, washing machine, electric cooker and fridge) to three winners. Nicholas Ivan’s raffle ticket won him a fridge; Philo Decorators director’s ticket won her a cooker. Michael Ssentongo won a washing machine and after calling out several of the bearers of various tickets who were not present, Nicholas Ivan won a 40-inch Led TV. The organizers also dished out their awards to the best exhibitors. Bridal World took home the award for best exhibitor. As the judges put it in their citation, they… had optimal use of space without crowding, beautiful gowns, beautiful and eye catching décor, and a creative layout with a complete wow factor’.Suki Fashion were second runners-up, while Darling, a beauty and hair products company, were ﬁrst runners-up. Stalls that had honourable mentions from the judges were Unik Functions, Classic Cake, Mozart Pictures, Nubian Vows, Essies Events, and Penybold Bridals. Others were Bridal Cars Uganda, Bridex Bridals,
Visma Resource Centre, Marasa Africa, Fairway Hotel, and Nalu Couture. The Expo 2018 closed to the beautiful voice of Siima Sabiti who, alongside, Bukedde TV’s Dora Namala, co-hosted the event