Thursday, February 24, 2005

Back on the Wedding Trail

Last Sunday we (David, his mum, and I) went to a wedding expo in Wilkes-Barre. My primary goal was to win a $20,000 wedding package that was up for grabs, but I had some secondary and tertiary goals as well to make the excursion worthwhile. Frankly, I was lukewarm to the whole idea of a wedding vendor blitz when I first heard it advertised on the local radio station, but the most obvious benefit (besides the opportunity of winning $20K of loot) was to see as many wedding merchandisers as possible in one afternoon.

The event was held at the Kirby Center from 12-5pm, so I thought even if we catch the final couple of hours, that would be all we'd need. Imagine my surprise when we arrived around 2:30 or so and were informed that the fashion show was just about to start and I had to get my draw slip signed by a long list of vendors BEFORE the big draw took place at the end of the show! Yikes!

After some discussion with the rep at Sarno and Sons (formalwear), I scurried downstairs to visit vendor tables and get my slip signed while David and his mother watched the fashion show in the main auditorium. I collected cards, chatted with photographers, DJs, limo reps, jewellers, and beverage brokers.

I had a special interest in the photographers -- that was my secondary goal. I wanted to see what kind of services they provided, and one couple in particular made an impression on me. It was a husband and wife who were originally from Pennsylvania, but lived in San Diego for 10 years and also had East Coast and West Coast receptions. We discussed how they managed it, and whether they took their own photos (as David is convinced I'm going to do).

My tertiary goal was to get some ideas about such things as guest gifts. I want to craft as much as possible myself, with David's help, and put our personal stamp on the wedding, as we've done with our rings (David designed them from some ideas I had.)

I couldn't get my draw slip completed as some of the vendors had packed up their booths, but the expo co-ordinator told me she'd put my paper in the draw barrel, anyway. I joined David and his mum in the auditorium and watched the rest of the fashion show. Most of the gowns were far too princessy for me: tripping-hazard trains, poofy skirts, glittery beadwork, busty bodices, et cetera, but there were some design elements I liked such as interesting split seams. I'm considering getting the dress made in the Philippines as I would love custom embroidery, but that remains to be seen.

I was hoping David wouldn't be bored to tears getting dragged to these things, but there was enough going on to keep him interested last Sunday, and at the very least I can send him scouting for dessert or beverage samples. Needless to say, we didn't win the grand prize (you'd have definitely read about it by now), but attending this wedding fair has convinced me there's much to be gained by going to the next one this Sunday. There are actually two more wedding expos this Sunday (we'll attend the closer one) and more next month, so there's plenty of opportunity yet to get FREE STUFF.