Bridal show coming to Newport Beach will cater to fusion wedding parties

For years, Artesia’s Little India-based Wedding Store 24 owners Neema Lodhia and Mili Shah have helped brides and grooms find ways to incorporate pieces of their South Asian culture into traditional or fusion ceremonies.

The store opened as a one-stop shop for wedding parties to find vendors for gowns, flowers, photography, music and performers. Now, the store is taking its show on the road to Newport Beach.

Wedding Store 24 will present the Wedding Show for the Modern Bride from 4 to 8 p.m. on Oct. 29 at the Island Hotel, 690 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach.

The event will showcase white gowns from Panache Bridal and brightly colored lehengas and saris – typically a long skirt, a cropped top and a drape – from Fashion by Rohini. Tuxedos from Friar Tux will also be featured.

In addition to the fashion show, musicians and Bollywood fusion dancers will perform at the event.

“There are a lot of different traditions that symbolize the same thing,” Shah said. “It’s nice to see the similarities, but also the differences coming together and people making their own traditions.”

Lodhia, who has owned Wedding Store 24 for seven years, began the business after helping her cousin plan a wedding, according to Shah.

“They were driving all over Orange County and L.A. meeting different vendors,” Shah said. “It was taking up a lot of time and she thought, ‘Why isn’t there one place to go and find everything you need for the wedding?’ and that’s how the concept came.”

Shah became an owner in partnership with Lodhia two years ago.

For couples and wedding industry professionals seeking to learn the basics of a traditional ceremony, Wedding Store 24 offers educational seminars like “Indian Weddings 101.”

“An Indian wedding is never simple,” Shah said with a laugh. “They’re always colorful and there are a lot of cultural elements.”

These elements include the groom’s procession where he rides onto the site on a horse or an exotic car, which Wedding Store 24 has vendors for.

Aspects of a Hindu wedding include the mandap, a canopy structure with flowers and draped fabrics for the bride, groom and their parents to be under during the ceremony to signify the coming together of two families.

Lodhia and Shah’s store — which also offers a Fushion 101 seminar — has helped assemble weddings with these components mingled with other cultural facets.

Shah said one Hindu and Jewish ceremony incorporated the mandap along with the breaking of the glass, a custom of Jewish weddings.

Another celebration had the exchange of the wedding bands along with a Hindu tradition that involves the exchange of flower garlands between the bride and groom.

“Being in SoCal, there are so many interracial and intercultural couples that fusion weddings do become a thing,” Shah said. “The fusion couple is the market that we are geared toward showcasing to. The most fulfilling thing is seeing so many cultures coming together.”

In the past, Wedding Store 24 has held shows in Beverly Hills, West Hollywood and downtown L.A.

The upcoming show in Newport Beach will offer a raffle for a chance to win a free engagement photo session and a free stay in the Island Hotel among other gifts.

If You Go

What: The Wedding Show for the Modern Bride

When: 4 to 8 p.m. on Oct. 29

Where: Island Hotel, 690 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach


Twitter: @AlexandraChan10