Thursday, 18 October 2012 02:30
By press release
Antigua St. John's - Inclement weather conditions did not deter vendors and patrons at Antigua & Barbuda's first "Bride Villa Event" at the Copper & Lumber Store Hotel last Sunday.
The Destination Wedding Expo organized by The Antigua & Barbuda Tourism Authority and Caribbean Bride Magazine showcased more than 20 vendors, offering a range of wedding and honeymoon services including event planning, floral artistry, decor, photography, entertainment and catering.
Among the list of exhibitors were several hotels, including the host hotel Copper & Lumber Store, Sugar Ridge and Jolly Beach Resort & Spa.
World renowned event planner Preston Bailey, who was on island for the "Love in Antigua & Barbuda" weekend of activities, was the guest of honor at the Bridal EXPO.
Recognized for his talent and creativity in planning destination weddings and other high end events throughout the world, Bailey had an opportunity to see the array of talent and local resources that are available in Antigua & Barbuda.
One of the highlights of the event was a Bridal Fashion Show organized by Caribbean Bride Magazine. Bridal couture from local and international designers, including Antiguan designer Calvin S., was showcased.
Bailey was very impressed with the level of talent and creativity on display at the "Bride Villa Expo". Bailey said: " I am blown away by the talent, creativity and level of detail that has gone into some of these displays. There is so much talent here and I really want to help the people of Antigua & Barbuda find ways to harness this talent and create more business opportunities and jobs for the country."
The celebrity event planner did a "walk through" at the show to see every display, engage exhibitors and provide constructive feedback. Bailey took many photos and later "tweeted" about the creativity and artistry at "Bride Villa", the Bridal Fashion Show, and many of the weekend's highlights.
The pioneer in wedding design, who offers several courses in Design and Event Management, has committed to returning to the island in the next few months to offer education and training to local event planners. Bailey wants to help, and to help cultivate local talent by offering to extend a scholarship to a burgeoning event planner who will have an opportunity to take some of his classes.
Tourism officials are excited about this gesture from Bailey, a world renowned event planner. The ABTA has also received positive feedback from vendors and patrons, and officials are already making plans on how "Love in Antigua & Barbuda" can be expanded and improved in 2013.
Colin James, CEO of the ABTA, is pleased with the results of the "Love in Antigua & Barbuda" weekend of activities.
He said, "We have a strong product which is evidenced by the accolades that we have received over the years as a wedding and honeymoon destination. However, our association with Preston Bailey, who is considered to be an icon in wedding design and event planning, will augur well in keeping our product vibrant and competitive."
Antigua & Barbuda continues to receive accolades as a premier destination for weddings and honeymoons. The pristine beaches, range of accommodations, ease of access and airlift options to the destination and the ability to offer same day weddings with uncomplicated paperwork, are just some of the strong attributes that make the destination a popular choice among couples.