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The Dulhan Expo—Big Party - Joel Simpson | Union, NJ Wedding, Portrait & Event Photography
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The Dulhan Expo—Big Party

I don’t usually post about bridal expos (showcases), since they’re mainly forums for meeting new prospective brides, and once they’re over they’re over. And there are so many of them. But I must say that I was very pleasantly surprised by the scope and the fun of the Dulhan Expo yesterday (December 6) at the Garden State Exhibition Center in Somerville.

I went prepared for a wedding showcase, but it was much more than that. It was a 6-hour-long extravaganza of South Asian culture, with great emphasis on food (supplied by master caterers like Rosewood, out of Edison, and Jashn out of New York), amazingly filigreed wedding garments, makeup artists who created beautiful henna patterns on hands, as well as doll-like face makeup, and yes, photographers and videographers. There was also a large entertainment component on a stage that was (thankfully) on the other side of the hall from our booth—255 booths in 48 categories in all.

I shared a booth with a wonderful videographer, Xiao Fen, of Fen Video Production.

Here’s our booth, with Fen’s video screen on the right:


As you can see, it’s fairly modest, in fact, I deliberately include my 5-foot ladder, a low-tech piece of equipment, to demonstrate that I like to perch up high to get photos of everyone at the wedding—sending all that love to the couple at once. There are no back-lit still images, no large panels, other than my vertical banner on the right.

But once I bring shoppers into the booth with one of my novelty attractions, I show them my Storybook Albums, and the ones with a strong visual sense want to know more.

To my surprise, I met more parents shopping for their children’s wedding than I did actual brides. And miracle of miracles, they actually answered the phone when I called to follow up!
There were also parents looking for photographers for Sweet 16 and child birthday parties.

To round out the celebration of South Asian culture, there were gorgeous women modeling garments, makeup services and a walking table by Amel “Queen of Havana.”


Some of the other sources of beauty were Della of Dinesh Ramsay


and Rooma Noreen of Magnifique Brides makeup and hair artist:
6The henna hand designs were made by Ash Kumar, who works with Rooma.


I also ran into the versatile and charming actor, comedian Jagdish Patel and his lovely wife Daksha



whose striking black and white outfits caught my eye.

Towards the end four beautiful women walked by in front of my booth. I couldn’t let them go without offering to photograph them, and they kindly permitted me to arrange them in a “face mosaic.”
10I traveled to India last year, and this taste of the country so close to home only increased my desire to return. We’re very lucky in New Jersey to have such a robust representation of this beautiful, historic and spiritual culture right here in our midst.

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