Uganda’s fifth Bride and Groom Expo at the Uganda Manufacturers Association showground has again drawn thousands of visitors, keen to see what the over 100 exhibitors and service providers had to showcase, to make that dream wedding become a reality.
Participation from the exhibitors came from as varied a back ground as Bridal Shop Owners, Beauty Salons, Venue Owners, Honeymoon destinations, Tours and Travel Agents, Event Managers/Wedding Planners but also, of course, Fashion Designers, Marriage Counselors, Photography Studios, Transporters, Caterers and Service Providers for Tents and other equipment and a range of additional services apparently all needed today to make a wedding day perfect in any respect – though the men doing the rain dance were positively barred from attending.
A number of Ugandan travel agencies specializing in organizing honeymoon travel were in attendance, as were key venue and honeymoon destination providers like Kampala’s key hotels and several lodge and resort companies from inside Uganda and Kenya. Popular in Kampala are the Sheraton Gardens, for wedding pictures in particular, as applies to the Kampala Serena Hotel, where wedding receptions and dinners are en vogue for sure.
The sprawling grounds of the Speke and Commonwealth Resorts, commonly referred to as Munyonyo, too have seen mega weddings with between 1.000 to over 3.000 invited guests take place and all three of them regularly host the newlyweds for their wedding night before they set out on their honeymoon to the Seychelles, the beaches of Mombasa or to Zanzibar, to name but three regional destinations much in demand for starting married life.
Said a travel agent, in retrospect asking for her name not to be given: ‘Honeymoon planning is a demanding business. If the budget is there, and if Branson’s spacecraft were available, we could send them to space even. Some of our clients fly first class or business class to Dubai and enjoy the best hotels like Atlantis or the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi. Others follow royal footsteps and go to the Seychelles, which is very very popular in Uganda not little thanks to you always harping on about it. But Mombasa and Zanzibar are also in demand. Here in Uganda some of our safari lodges like Mweya or Paraa offer honeymooners upgrades to suites and GeoLodges have special packages for honeymoon travel. The RainForest Lodge is a good example because they have some of their cottages a bit remote and honeymooners like their privacy. It is a good way to start a marriage, to get away from the post wedding stress for a while. Many couples actually get their honeymoon package as a gift from parents or friends, suites, champagne, limos and all included. We make sure for every client that their trips are well planned and organized but for honeymooners it is extra special because they will talk about it their entire life. We cannot afford to have it messed up unless we want to be the cause for an early divorce’.
The Bride and Groom Exhibition is one of Kampala’s key social trade show events, organized by the country’s leading daily newspaper the New Vision and details can be found via www.brideandgroomexpo.co.ug
by Dr. Wolfgang Thome, eTN