A couple of weeks ago, Fialonia alerted me to the fact that an exhibition site down the road from my house was going to be holding a wedding show. Would I like to go with her? she asked. Why not? I thought. I may have most of the big stuff done, but I still need to register (yayaya new knives!), get chairs for the ceremony, and figure out how the hell I’m going to get to the actual wedding. And in my experience, wedding shows are the place to get the ball rolling on this stuff. I used to work for a party rental place, see, and they always had a stand at these things, enticing people to rent tents, chairs, and chocolate fountains. I never wandered around much at the time because brides and all things bridal freaked me out, but how bad could it be now that I actually am a bride-to-be?
So on Saturday, Fialonia and I were off to the show. I was greeted at the door with a form to fill for the chance to get a free honeymoon (win!) and a sticker that I was to wear proudly that said ‘Bride’ (lose). Next I was handed a bag with free Burt’s Bees hand lotion and some wedding mags (win!). But then I was met with a tulle-swathed archway and two birdcages with real doves (double lose) and it was at this point that I realized I had made a mistake. I was, however, bound and determined to at least get chairs (or perhaps enter a draw to get free chairs…) so I went through the archway with Fialonia who was already snickering.
Where to begin. Well first there was the music (which it turned out was coming from the fashion show – more on that visual atrocity in a moment). What is it about weddings that says Shania Twain, Phantom of the Opera, or ZZ Top, exactly? So I’m walking around, being told by ZZ Top that every girl is crazy ’bout a sharp dressed man, and trying to find a party rentals place. Aside from one, ONE, stand devoted entirely to the rental of chair covers (ugly, satin-y chair covers that most chairs would die of shame wearing), I couldn’t find a single party rentals stand (big lose). What I did find was a billion (read: four) stands of DJs who all looked like Ricky or Julian, a number of travel agency stands (mildly helpful I suppose but only if you are planning to go to Mexico and we are not), some crazy jewelry stands (win I suppose in that I was able to pick out a ring for A….lose in that it was waaaay out of our price-range), and stand upon stand devoted to photography – cheesy, misty wedding photography. Every stand was covered in taffeta or tulle or some combination thereof. And because of the stupid Bride sticker, every stand I walked by meant being handed pamphlets and asked if I needed a DJ/photographer/insurance/honeymoon/penis cake/pole dancing lessons etc. Ugh.
After walking through what felt like miles of stands, entering the odd gift basket contest along the way and pushing through crowds of smug bride-to-bes, Fialonia and I discovered the source of the music – the fashion show. It was just starting and so we decided to stay and watch – Fialonia because she wanted to make fun of the bad wedding dresses and me because a) I thought I might be able to get some ideas for bridesmaids dresses and b) ever since I purchased my own wedding dress, I have become obsessed with confirming that it is in fact the prettiest dress in all the land (aside from Miss Knit’s dress which I am sure is beyond stunning). So we watched. First, a round of flower girls/junior bridesmaids. Nothing wrong with this aside from the fact that they were wearing tiaras and the sugar was just oozing from the stage. Oh, and the comment made by the fashion show DJ about how each of these little ladies would be a bride someday (which spurred a little feminist rant from me about lesbianism, independence, expectations, conformity, etc). Next a round of ring bearers – cute. A round of groomsmen – yummy. A round of mother-of-the-brides – yawn. Why must all mother-of-the-bride dresses include a jewel encrusted jacket with Klingon shoulder pads? Ick. A round of bridesmaids. Here’s where things started to get funny – why on earth would I ever ask my bridesmaids to buy let alone wear a muted lemon full length ball gown complete with bum crystals? Vomit. And then a round of wedding dresses. Awful, every last one. Part of the problem was that none of the dresses fit properly; many of the girls could have fit an extra set of knockers in the front…others looked like sausages in casings. Another problem, however, was that the dresses all looked like meringue curtains. With giant flowers. And/or giant bows. And randomly placed jewel explosions. Vomit vomit vomit.
But the pièce de résistance was the stand immediately to the right of the fashion show – the stand devoted to selling wedding dresses that was stuffed with smug bride-to-bes all scrambling to get a deal on a piece of meringue dress. Who, I ask you, goes to a tradeshow to try on wedding gowns? Doing this means stepping behind a curtain, donning an over-sized wedding dress and then stepping out and modeling said dress in front of your family, friends, and everyone at the wedding show. It also means battling over dresses with other bride-to-bes. And paying $1500 for a dress that was made by 5 year olds in Malaysia and that looks exactly the same as every dress on the market today. Ick ick ick.
To be fair, though, the show wasn’t all bad. I did end up registering with the Bay – well, starting a registry with them and being awarded $50 in gift certificates in return. I’m only going with them for the Denby but whatever. And I did enter a number of spiffy gift basket contests. But I would never go back to the taffeta madness again. There’s another show coming up in the spring but I’ve learned my lesson – online and thrift stores from here on out.