Saturday, October 5, 2013

About Those Wedding Expo Things. . .

. . . They really do vary widely.

I didn't get the chance to sit down and write the rundown on the first bridal/wedding show my mom and I attended in August.  Or, now that I think about it, was it that I just didn't care to because there hadn't been much that appealed to us?

I mean, everyone we talked to was nice, and I really liked the liquor vendor (not just because he gave me a glass a wine! He was friendly and knowledgeable!) and the photographer whose cute daughter sold lemonade for Alex's Lemonade Stand.  But the actual venue, a mansion with beautiful grounds but a chopped-up interior and creaky floors, left us cold.

The place where we were last weekend, however, felt completely different.  It even managed to win me over in spite of how rotten I felt with a lousy head cold which rendered me not in a particularly good mood to tolerate crowds.

To set the scene, we had to descend to the "Ballroom" which had not only a main floor but also an upper level and a built-in stage.  The stage had a DJ/emcee and from time to time had ladies modeling wedding dresses walking across it as well.

Before we went down to the ballroom, I was handed a little woven bag and a card where I was supposed to have the various vendors sign as I visited them.  After I visited everyone, I had to turn in the completed card for a raffle drawing.

I also was handed a big pink "Bride-to-Be" badge which I pinned on my sweater. Hey, if I had to impersonate Younger Sister, I had to do it all, right?

(Of course, much later in the day, after receiving some odd looks at the drugstore, I realized I hadn't taken it off!)

Down in the ballroom, there was an outer circle of tables as well as an inside circle.  Interspersed among the tables were food stations--the hot food ones staffed by very friendly employees, who served me tasty veggies; my mom, steak.  We also liked the crostini at what I later determined were cheese tables, although the crostini had just tasty olive tapenade.

So onward we went, looking at photo books and linens, talking to DJs and tuxedo reps (hey, we found a possible provider of tails and a top hat, if YSF isn't kidding), and smelling lots of sugar from the cake and candy samples.  I stuffed samples and logo'd trinkets in my bag, at some point acquiring a second bag from a limo/bus service.  We talked to the event coordinators and while I couldn't make an appointment with them, I explained (as YS) that my sister lived out of state and her opinion was so important to me that I would be making an appointment as soon as she had plans to come visit.

I made mental notes of who seemed nice and clued in; Mom already had in mind her favorite cake despite a yet-to-be-tasted sample placed in my one bag.  There also was the "candy lady" who had me at "Chocolate Fountain."

It was so easy to get caught up in looking at things and talking to people that we were surprised when we got to the end of the line that many people had left.  It was, after all, about one o'clock.  Football games were starting.

But then the event coordinators started drawing names for the prizes.  It was interesting to see brides win gift bags and free services--and then they drew the final, very large prize.  Over $200 in gift certificates.

They called my (I mean, my sister's) name!

If they hadn't required that you be 21 (and therefore show I.D.) I would have just smiled and said thank you.  But I felt I had to be honest and explain to the general manager, a genial Latino man, that I was there as a proxy for YS.  He said it was no problem and in fact if I wanted, he could split the certificate in two for us and change it to restaurant credits (there are a few in this facility) so I could bring YS to try out some things.  He handed me his card and told me to give him a call after we decided.  So nice.

A few days ago, I sorted through the pamphlets and trinkets and laid them out.

The pamphlets, I filed; the trinkets (candy included) I shipped to YS.

And I kept the larger of the two bags.  I probably will be using it to shlep stuff for the bride on the big day!

Obviously, it's going to be up to the bride and groom (and the date once set) where the reception will take place, but I do hope they will consider this place.  I really enjoyed the friendly staff, the tasty food, and the setting.

But in the meantime, Mom and I are keeping our eyes peeled for more of these bridal events! Whee!

(Edited 10/06/2013 to fix the typo/missing verb in the last paragraph.)