The Big Beautiful Wedding Expo.

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Today we are talking Joseph Burke of Stratosphere Productions about their fabulous new event; 
The Big Beautiful Wedding Expo
This event will be the UK’s first wedding expo for the plus size market, EVER.  This kind of event takes place in the US with huge success, so it’s time to bring it a little closer to home.  The plans for the event are well underway; let’s get Joseph to tell us more…

Joseph Burke
Kat: Hi Joseph,

Joseph: Good afternoon Kat it’s great to be here and thank you for inviting me along.

Kat: You're most welcome hun, so can you tell us a little about The Big Beautiful Wedding Expo, what can we expect to see?

Joseph: Well Kat, it all started when I attended a wedding show for my company Stratosphere over a year ago and I noticed the amount of plus size brides and grooms to be, it was whilst watching the catwalk show I realised that all the models both male and female were at most a size 10 and thought this just isn’t real life, being a larger male I also felt a bit self conscious. It was at this point that my partner said that she is surprised there wasn’t a plus size wedding exhibition for that market, this was when the event was born and me and my team began market research attending over 20 wedding exhibitions and speaking with brides and grooms to be. The results were shocking for example 70% of the plus size brides that we spoke to have said they would delay their wedding date in order to attend the Big Beautiful Wedding Expo and 94% of plus size brides that we spoke to during our market research stated that they have felt uncomfortable and left wedding exhibitions feeling depressed after seeing only size 6-10 models at wedding shows. Since launching the show we have been contacted by so many exhibitors that cater and tailor towards the plus size bridal market and they all congratulate us on launching the project. This is the first time in the UK that a plus size wedding expo has been run.  We will also have a demonstration stage where leading make-up companies will be providing brides with make-up lessons and tips for your wedding and professional mixologists will be giving cocktail making tips and ideas for catering on your magical day. You can expect to see, exhibitors from plus size wedding dress makers, larger ring and jewellery makers, transport providers, entertainment companies, wedding favours, venues, photo booths… pretty much everything you require for your magical wedding day regardless of your size. We will be having plus size models on our catwalk shows and not your average size 6 -10’s. This isn’t just for the ladies also as we understand that men are as important on a wedding day too. Our motto is ‘Love knows no boundaries of size at The Big Beautiful 
Wedding Expo’
Left to Right: Beverley & AJ, Sophie & James, Beverley & AJ and Amanda & Scott all proving that Wedding days are not just all about white traditional gowns.  Each couple look fantastic, hopefully the BBWE will help other couples have the day of their dreams.

Kat: I like that motto and wow, you really have thought of every aspect, that's impressive. So who is this event catering for?

Joseph: It caters to any bride or groom of any size, large or small, tall or short, fat or thin. We believe that everyone no matter what should have their magical day their magical way.

Left to Right; Becca, Kat (myself), Isabel & Pippa.  Becca & Isabel have shared photos of their special day, whereas Pippa & I are unmarried but took part in Bridal photoshoots.

Kat: That's fantastic Joseph, really inclusive.  What make your event different from the other wedding expo’s out there?

Joseph: As I said before we are the UK’s first wedding expo catering to the plus size market and whilst we are still hoping other brides to be etc will attend,  it will be catered towards the plus size market with plus size catwalks and brands being the stars of the show.

Left to Right; Angeline, Biana on their special day and Sian & Nastaran modelling bridal wear for Curvy Con 2015
Kat: What made you want to focus solely on the Plus Size wedding market?


Joseph: The fact that it has never been done before in the UK, after research I have learnt that it has ran for a long time in the USA and even in Europe, I also learnt that the UK has the second highest plus size population in Europe and yet 85% of retailers do not stock wedding dresses over size 14. This surely needs to change particularly as the plus size high street fashion market is increasing.

Kat: Yes I agree it must change as those stats are crazy, you would think that more retailers would cater for all sizes especially as it's not like only straight size people get married!  So what brands do you have on board so far?

Joseph: We have only opened to exhibitors buying stands recently, but we  sold 20 stands in the first day, some by very large companies such as Debenhams, Marks & Spencer and others, we are also in talks with some major plus size clothing brands regarding a sponsorship opportunity.

Left to Right; Vicky & her best friend, Helen & Peter, Becky & her hubs and Amanda & Scott all looking radiant in their gowns.

Kat: Do you have dates and a venue set yet?


Joseph: Yes the venue is the Arena MK in Milton Keynes. Just outside of London. For those travelling from afar we have liaised with local hotels to achieve special event rates and we are incorporating these with special ticket packages to include entry to the event. The date of the expo will be the 4th & 5th June 2016

Kat:  Will you be looking for designers and models to showcase bridal wear?  How do they get in touch?


Joseph: Yes, we encourage any designers to get in contact asap as our bridal stands and catwalk spaces are expected to be the first to sell out with one catwalk slot already gone today alone. Designers can contact us directly either by email joseph.burke@bbweddingexpo.com or by calling our offices at 0207 164 6273. With regards to models we will be holding a casting day in January. Any models interested should register via our website www.bbweddingexpo.com


Left to Right: Becky, Sam, Daisy & Elena looking sensational in bridal wear.  Your gown should be exactly how you want it, hopefully with more bridal shops stocking larger sizes we can all have our dream dress.

Kat: Fantastic, I have already registered my interest, I'd love to model bridal wear.  How can people get involved?  Do you need bloggers/photographers/hosts?


Joseph: We are inviting as many bloggers as possible to the event and should they be selected as an official show blogger then we will be giving them media passes to the event. We are looking for an official event photographer and they can also register their interest by contacting my team  directly at info@bbweddingexpo.com


Left to Right; Kat on her special day and Mary-Louise, Chiara & Kelly-Marie all modelling bridal wear.
All Images are copyright of the Curvy Convention. Left to right; Sarah, Hannah, Claire & Paige all modelling bridal wear at The Curvy Convention in May 2015.
Kat:  With all the talk of weddings, do you have any wedding plans in the pipeline?

Joseph: Ha ha not for a while, but some day I hope or should I say my missus hopes of their being wedding bells in the air for us. Maybe a proposal might be in the pipeline in the not too distant future.


Kat: Aww that's sweet, let me know when you pop the question - I'll buy a new hat!  Thank you for talking to me, Joseph, it’s been a pleasure….I can’t wait for the event to take place.

Joseph:  Thank you Kat for your kind hospitality and we too look forward to seeing you at the expo.

So if you are a bride or groom to be, love weddings, or just fancy going to a fantastic plus size event, make sure you register your interest online so you can be kept up to date with all the information on The Big Beautiful Wedding Expo by following @bbweddingexpoUK on Twitter too.  See you there!

Xx


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