By Gary Singh
So wedding season is slowly coming to a halt but the industry itself shows no intention of quietening down this Autumn. Next year's brides and grooms are spoilt for choice with so many forthcoming wedding shows taking place but is it really a place for men? Are they even catered for at these events? We speak with Ahmer Iqbal, founder of Premier Asian Wedding Show to bring the curtain down, on what has been up until recently, a bridal event.
Hi Ahmer. So tell us about the Premier Asian Wedding Show UK?
We established the first show in Manchester in 2010 as a one-stop-shop for brides and grooms alike. Now in its third year, the show has been held over nine times at prestigious venues across the UK. The exhibit is a contemporary mix of Eastern heritage and Western influences, where couples can find a huge variety of exhibitors at their disposal.
But there are so many Asian wedding shows out there. How is Premier Asian different to the numerous others?
The Premier Asian Wedding Show was created because there are ‘numerous others’ out there. Our shows are designed to meet the needs of young couples, who give up their weekends to attend because they want their wedding to be a cut above the rest. We specialise in showcasing premier exhibitors such as Kyles Jewellery Collection, Moss Bespoke and John Lewis to name but a few.
From my experience these events are notorious for leaving the groom feeling bored and alienated. Do your shows really cater for men?
Our event is a comprehensive ‘wedding show’ and we make sure it covers a wide variety of suppliers such as stag-do organisers and, more importantly, we make sure that our catwalk shows cater for the groom. We often get more comments and positive feedback on this than anything else; even our male models are keen to return after our shows!
I can only imagine why! So what lengths do you go to encourage men to attend and enjoy participating at the show?
I suppose the answer to this question is that I personally take an interest in making sure our events are a balance of groom and bride interests. After all, the groom being undeserved is one of the key reasons I started the shows.
Is this what inspired you to set up PAWS UK?
Yes, as I was given the responsibility to organise my brother’s wedding. After attending a plethora of shows I realised that the poor groom was often overlooked. We had to rely heavily upon recommendations from family and friends when selecting service suppliers.
Having a background in television production and events it seemed like a natural opportunity to fill that gap. So I decided to take my professional skills into the market with a more targeted and premier event.
The traditional model of parents planning the wedding is a thing of the past. Grooms want to be heard and catered for as much as the rest of the wedding party, and I hope that at our events they will find we do just that.
That's refreshing to hear. So now you have established a presence in Manchester, Birmingham and London, what's in the pipeline for the Premier Asian brand?
For 2013 we are at the Midland Hotel in Manchester and Queens Hotel in Leeds. Our website is going through a complete overhaul, so we can provide the latest information and support online for our customers. We’re also in final negotiations with a prestigious national hotel chain for 2014, which will see our number of venues double and take us into new regions in the UK.
The next Premier Asian Wedding Show is due to take place on Sunday 22nd September 2013 at the Midland Hotel, Manchester. For tickets and more information please visit www.premierasianweddingshow.co.uk.