JESSICA O’Brien had it easy with the choice of her wedding dress.
Mrs O’Brien, 28, said the dress, from Warrnambool’s Dubois boutique, was the second one she tried on and made her “feel like a million bucks”.
She wore the dress for her March marriage to Luke O’Brien and relived that million-dollar feeling when won the Gown of the Year award at yesterday’s Warrnambool Bridal Expo.
Other winners in the Wedding of the Year dress awards were Nicole Walker, who won the traditional section; Jenna Conn, vintage; and Emma Dart, modern.
The Wedding of the Year awards were one of the highlights that drew hundreds of people to the Lighthouse Theatre for the ninth annual Warrnambool Bridal Expo.
While most of those at the expo were women, groom-to-be Ryan Brodie was unfazed.
Mr Brodie, 28, said he was enthusiastic about the preparations for his marriage to Nicole Wilson, 28, next January and had not been dragged along to the expo.
His fiance Nicole said she was keen to make their wedding in January “a meaningful occasion” and not get carried away with elaborate details.
She aimed to do the table decorations and wedding invitations herself and was at the expo to get ideas about possible designs and materials she might use.
Another of those at the expo was Laura Dickie who has become the wedding planner for her childhood friend, Haylee Barker.
Ms Dickie, of Warrnambool, said she was surprised to see how many men were at the expo. “I thought it would be all women,” she said.
She said she had picked up some good ideas for Ms Barker’s wedding.
Ms Barker said she and her fiance Steve Trigg were going for a big traditional wedding because they liked the idea of making a public commitment of their love for each other.
Callum Watson, 25, said he believed the bigger involvement of grooms in their wedding preparations was part of changing wedding trends that included more people getting married later in life. His fiance Lucy Adams, 25, said the changing trends included more “DIY” weddings.
Among the exhibitors were brothers Mark and Daryl Suter who had their 1960s EH Holdens on display as wedding cars. Mark Suter said the choice of cars was not solely a male domain and some brides enjoyed the experience of riding in the iconic Holdens as much as the grooms.
Expo organiser Tracey Togni said about 45 exhibitors took part.