Event focuses on Pittsburgh’s South Asian community
For many brides to be, the journey to “I do” includes a stop at a bridal show to gush over gowns, chat with caterers and explore other wedding day essentials.
Most of the time, these events stick to selections for Western wedding practices, leaving a void for those who observe marital traditions from other parts of the world. So where do those brides go to plan their big days?
Event planner Erin Calvimontes of Divine Celebrations in Highland Park came up with an answer: the Pittsburgh South Asian Bridal Show. Entering its fifth year, it features nearly 60 vendors — from fashions and foods to decor and DJs — who specialize in South Asian weddings. This year's show will be from 1-6 p.m. Sunday at the Westin Convention Center, Downtown.
South Asian wedding ceremonies are often elaborate affairs that last a couple of hours, preceded by days of preparation and family rituals. Ms. Calvimontes came up with the concept when she noticed that some families were flying in wedding vendors because they couldn’t find what they needed.
“It costs them so much more when we have people here who are just as good,” she says. “We started the show to showcase local talent.”
Taj Mahal Catering, Great Indian Weddings event designers, Karma Banquet and Event Center, Divinity Braid by ASV Weddings, and Peacock Creations and Event Design are some of the businesses slated to be at this year's show. There also will be performances by local dance groups like Steel City Bhangra.
Another highlight is a fashion show spotlighting colorful, ornate wedding attire and accessories — no white gowns or black tuxedos — by Monika’s Indian Collection and Natasha’s R and R trends, two Pittsburghbased designers. This year, the fashion show is getting a makeover and will be staged to look like a wedding rather than a typical runway.
In recent years, blended ceremonies that fuse Western and South Asian traditions have become more common, Ms. Calvimontes says. The show also has become a resource for those planning other large events, such as birthdays, anniversary parties and baby showers.
“In the South Asian community, it's not just the bride who plans the wedding. It's the whole family. They do everything big,” says Ms. Calvimontes, adding that last year's event attracted more than 400 people.
Thanks to a new venue and a few surprises, she hopes this year's Pittsburgh South Asian Bridal Show will be even better.
“Pittsburgh has developed quite a large South Asian community,” she says. “Being our fifth year, we really want to try to make this one of our bigger shows.”
The Pittsburgh South Asian Bridal Show will be held from 1 to 6 p.m. Sunday, with the fashion show beginning at 2 p.m., at the Westin Convention Center, Downtown. Admission is $5 or $10 for V.I.P. Register at www.pghsabridal.com.