Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Deer in headlights (or My First Bridal Expo)

Bridesmaid R and I paired up to tackle my first bridal expo. It was a rainy, foggy January afternoon - awful for anything but staying inside. Everyone else must have had the same thought because the event hall at the local university was packed! It was absolute chaos between the vendors, staff and guests. I was overloaded and thankful when BM R stepped up and made her way through the crowds past the registration table. (We only needed to "check in" if we wanted to be entered in the drawings.)

A quick scan around the main room revealed a wide variety of vendors: cakes, caterers, photographer, videographers, hotels, salons and dress shops. How best to tackle this melee? Dive right in! Actually, it was more like shoehorn your way in. Yes, there were brides there. And they brought everyone in their family and wedding party with them. There was a strong contingent that appeared to attend every bridal expo for the goodies.

Most of the vendors were not ones I had much interest in, but it was helpful to see more of what is available. Caterers and bakeries were giving away free samples which lent a "feeding time at Costco" atmosphere to the event. We stuffed our hungry faces full of wedding cake and pastas once we realized this was our first meal of the day. I remember sampling a white cake with raspberry filling and white icing and remarking that it tasted like an Entemann's danish. Not a compliment. Some of the cakes (from old guard bakeries) were politely deposited into the nearest waste receptacle once we rounded the corner. source

We ran the gauntlet past carnival-barker-esque vendors who practically hooked the elbows of passersby. I was happy to see a few vendors there that I wanted to check out and spoke with briefly. BM R and I got a kick of letting them guess which one of us was the bride. It allowed us to do a fair bit of divide and conquer.

All in all, it wasn't a waste of time. It was something I needed to experience. Although it was a mob scene (free!), I picked up coupons and info for vendors we may use. At the very least, I can show the pricing for caterers to my parents so I have proof $80/person is not unreasonable.

What was your experience at bridal expos?

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