Bad Godesberg Over 1000 people intending to get married came to the „Tag der Hochzeit“ wedding fair in the Redoute. With 30 exhibitors they could get advice on dresses, rings or food.
Quite shyly, the couples sneak up to the 30 or so stands in the Bonn Redoute. From small plastic bowls they spoon up the leftovers of the sweet tastes of the confectionery Hünten, while they look around the bridal room of Melanie Rahman. While her sister Steffi distributes lollipops decorated with roses, to which small coupons are attached, the eyes of some brides curiously wander to sequined sneakers in pink.
"Recently I equipped an entire senior high school with them. They are still wearable in everyday life and remind brides of the best day of their lives," says Melanie Rahman from Troisdorf. The bridal shop also has the matching denim jacket on offer. Although the sneaker already makes a small hole in the wedding cash box of 159 Euro, according to organiser Hans-Joachim Fandel, this doesn't play a big role for many couples: "Wedding is no longer a must nowadays. Couples take their time. There is something for everyone at this fair: for couples who are in the middle of life, but also for those who have a smaller budget," he says.
It all began a good 25 years ago at the Brückenforum, then moved on to the Royal Court, and later to Kameha. "It is the second year in the Redoute for us. It was a very deliberate decision. Because planning has something to do with feeling, too," explains the 59-year-old. The ambience fits. High ceilings decorated with stucco put the wedding dresses in the right light. Weddings are now celebrated in the ball and concert hall designed by the architect Martin Leydel in 1790.
To feel like a princess for a day is what many brides want in 2020: "Boho and vintage are still in vogue, but the princess dress with fine glitter tulle is also in great demand this season," says Fandel. "The trend is towards micro weddings. It has to be small and fine. If couples only celebrate with 15 to 20 guests, it can be more exclusive," he explains. Another trend is the repeat offender: "My daughter just told me "Daddy, I saw these two here last year. Everything is represented here today. From trade fair hoppers to perfectly planned couples who already have the location, cake and dress and just want to make sure they get it right," says Fandel.
Arnd Hawlina sits between DJ service and tailoring and drapes little canvases on small easels. He has conjured up small caricatures in the limited space. He is like an analogue photo box. "Except that I can get to the people at the table," jokes the caricaturist, who has also been allowed to draw the singer and actress Maite Kelly. "I'm hanging out with her in the guest loo now," Hawlina says with a smile. For weddings he designs invitations or guest gifts in the form of small easels. He has already experienced a lot at weddings himself: "I do 40 weddings a year on average. I like to observe the individual family members - their similarities and differences. Anyone who thinks that hiring an artist costs an enormous amount of money is mistaken. "There are wedding photographers who charge three or four times that amount. The good thing about caricaturing is that I can also work with per diems," he explains.
After the first glass of champagne, the couples' shyness disappears. Equipped with flyers and business cards, Katja Pfeiffer and Raiko Helm make their way home: "Although we've been together for ten years, we don't have any exact ideas yet. But what is clear to us as of today are the wedding rings. We wanted to leave them out in the beginning," she says, "I got engagement earrings from my future husband. After we tried on a few rings, we think the feeling is nice now after all."
Original text: Bettina Freund
Translation: Mareike Graepel