As a last-minute plan, my family and I attended our first bridal show together. We only recently found out about it, and I found someone on Craigslist with tickets and a parking pass. The show was Bridal Celebrations held at the Palace of Auburn Hills here in Michigan. The Palace is metro-Detroit’s go-to massive venue, so we knew there’d be a lot to see.
The reason I was particularly excited to attend one of these things is that I love free stuff and I love entering into contests (although I never win). So going around getting samples of food and desserts, receiving goodie bags, and entering for a chance to win anything sounded like fun to me! So I gathered up my mom and two little sisters to spend the day amongst a sea of salespeople.
When we got there it was still about 10 minutes until it began, so no one was being let in yet. The line was an insane spiral in the lobby of the Palace and it was very difficult to find the end upon arriving. Shortly after we get in line, and as more people were still arriving, the line was extended along the window wall facing the outside. Even with the sardine-like wait period, it was exciting to see that many hopeful brides in one location. I felt so happy for everyone there!
As we were waiting, a very smart live band was playing in the lobby. Seeing as Nick and I want a band rather than a DJ, I was ecstatic to be able to listen and explore an option already. I liked so much about them, from their song selection to their talent. Unfortunately I didn’t care for one of the singers’ voice. Don’t get me wrong she had a great voice, it just didn’t work for any of the songs being played. She was more well-suited for Adele than Robin Thicke for sure.
Let The Madness Begin!
When we finally stampeded in, right at the top of the stairs was the Men’s Warehouse money box. Um, yes I want to stand in a box of flying discounts and catch them! I signed up right away and caught over $100 in discounts. They were counted up and instantly followed by a statement such as and you can use these if you put down a deposit today! I said no thanks and walked away, a common theme for the day. My wedding is almost two years away, I don’t need to be putting deposits down right now.
As we started our way around the vendors, it was definitely apparent that the big-name companies paid their money to be first. Every bride-to-be was entering into every sweepstake and stopping at every table. Towards the end of the line, people’s energy was fizzling and every table started to look the same. I felt bad for these vendors as I’m sure their photography services and such are just as great as the others, but I had already seen 20 before them and didn’t care to see another today. Note to any and all retail/service companies who don’t already know this – pay the extra cash to be near the start of the line.
And note to all future brides who are attending one of these shows – BRING STICKERS WITH YOUR CONTACT INFO! You know, like on those tabs you can print out? You enter into so many sweepstakes, mailing lists, appointments, etc. that it saves a ton of time. I on the other hand had to write out my full address, email, and more with every form. My handwriting by the end was severely lacking in legibility.
There was one table which the person themselves got me excited about their product. When approaching her cake table, everyone was already intrigued. She made the kind of cakes that were in the shapes of things (like purses and shoes), and the more classic cakes were still beautiful! My mom got to talking to her and apparently the light bulb went off as she asked the woman where she was located. She let us know that she actually works from home, which happens to be on the same street as my parents! Her daughter was in school with my youngest sister, and they have the most beautiful and well-behaved brown husky that watches their kids play in the front yard. She said to stop by any time and she’d hook us up. I hope that means the same thing to her as it does to me lol. I plan on using her to make a cake for my nerd-theme shower =)
Cakes by Renee
And the most disappointing part of the show? It was actually the fashion show. The part that everyone looks forward to the most was a huge let down. I have so many grievances that I’m going to actually bullet-point these:
– It started late
– the dresses looked to be made of crappy quality
– all but one of the models had absolutely no enthusiasm (props to that one guy!)
– the shortest girl tripped multiple times on her dresses
– Music paused abruptly between each set
– The first five dresses did their routine down the aisle FIVE times in a row, taking up an entire song length
I still wouldn’t have missed it, as there was so much to talk about as well as getting off my feet for an hour. But girls, if you’re not impressed with a show in the first 5-10 minutes and would rather be doing something else, go ahead and do that something else.
As the whole show came to an end, I tried to recap everything I’d seen and people I’d talked to. I also reflected on how each member of my family helped me during the day. My mom was the most analytical and helped to make sure the right questions were asked of the vendors we cared to investigate. My younger sister Megan (Maid of Honor) was definitely the one who kept the excitement going. She shared my enthusiasm for finding new things and being happy about the show. My youngest sister Danielle, I have to admit, was entirely useless. She was cranky, on her phone the whole time, and even snapped at me at one point. If we had made her go I would’ve understood – but she came by choice and was miserable the whole time. Now I know this whole planning thing will not be something she gets involved with.
We ended our day by meeting up with Dad at Buca di Beppo Italian Restaurant, a favorite for all of us. It was the perfect ending to a productive day. Both here and in the car we were able to organize all the brochures and business cards, as well as discuss comparisons between companies. I’m so grateful that I have people who support me and will join me on crazy adventures such as this. This is going to be fun!