Pastry, my mom, and I went to a massive Bridal Expo at the downtown convention center. And, it was gloriously fun for all the wrong reasons.
The first adventure in the bridal convention was purchasing and printing tickets. A venue we have been considering had a link for two-for-one tickets for the reasonable price of $12. So, I decided that would be a great option as Pastry AND my amazingly snarky mom could also attend for the festive people watching and cake tasting. I bought a duo of tickets planning to purchase one at the door and went to print them out. 100 pieces of paper later, I had, well, 100 different bridal expo tickets laying on the floor of my office. They all had different bar codes, so I freaked out in case I had accidently charged my debit account $600 in Bridal Expo tickets. But, nope, only a $12 charge on my card for a mere 100 tickets! Deal of the century!
“Bwhahahahaha…,” said the paper-eating printer, “I shall print Bridal Expo tickets till the END OF TIME.”
On our way there, my mom was sitting in the backseat of my car, imparting wedding advice. The snark runs deep in our family.
My mom on us planning a fairly non-traditional wedding and what would make both families uncomfortable: “You know, I think you should draw the line at animal sacrifice. I mean, if you sacrifice a chicken at the ceremony, you will lose a few people.”
My mom on reception activities: “Have you two considered those giant hamster balls for people? That would be fun!”
My mom on her possible wedding attire: “Maybe a giant quinceanera dress! Those are so great…” (She really does love them.)
Upon arriving at the expo with our 937 printed tickets, the attendant checking people in handed us nametags, your choices being “guest,” “bride,” or “groom,” mixing ours up so I ended up with the groom tag. Previous to our arrival, Pastry and I put together basically a list of Bridal Bingo, things we were expecting to see at the show. Points were awarded for the following categories:
- Wearing a veil with regular clothing
- Wearing a tiara with regular clothing
- Wearing a veil AND a tiara
- Rhinestone shirt with reference to bride in any way
- Reference to “her special day”
- Reference to “fairytale” or “happily ever after”
- Crying in public
- Debates over color names, g. white, ecru, cream, champagne, etc.
- Coordinated bridal party outfits
- Coordinated bride and groom outfits
The Bridal Expo Bingo card for your enjoyment.
Perhaps my favorite siting of all of the above, was this classy groom along with his fiancé, perusing a floral booth. I stalked him down for this picture, slightly terrified he would figure out what I was doing and go all Sons of Anarchy on me.
You can almost feel the romance waft off of him…
Otherwise, it was a very full convention center full of an exceedingly diverse group of people. The gender split was not as female-heavy as I thought it would be, and the grooms in attendance seemed happily amused participants. We did see one groom in a pure white three-piece suit with a bright blue tie and matching blue shoes. He definitely won most overdressed. There were giant parties of bridesmaids in customized matching shirts and a pair of exceptionally preppy couples wearing matching orange outfits. I fell in love with a crazy expensive bouquet of succulents, pheasant feathers, sunflowers, herbs, and other weird things. Pastry and I kept remarking that a bunch of the couples looked like they were 12.
We went to pretty much every photo booth option possible, and tasted enough cake to henceforth decide NO CAKE at our wedding as we are serious about wedding pie. A drunken DJ who smelled so strongly of rum I thought I would get drunk standing next to him, enthusiastically introduced us to all his vendor friends throughout the fair. Another high point was an outlet mall weirdly promoting themselves with half-naked men in suspenders with a bunch of semi-horrified ladies milling about them. So, Pastry stepped right up, introduced himself, and took an amazing picture with the stripper-esque men to the vast amusement of the entire crowd.
And, then we found my mom some brightly colored quinceanera dresses in the wedding dress section, and it made her day.
We had crossed most of our items off the list by the time we left (after searching for an exit for 20 minutes) except the “crying” item. Lo, on our way back to the car, we happened upon a girl walking down the street crying with her boyfriend. She didn’t have a veil on, but I maintained it counted.
The next morning my mom emailed me a link to a coupon for a discounted human-sized Hamster Ball Experience with the note, “Don’t say I didn’t help with creative wedding ideas.”
“WE ARE GATHERED HERE TODAY….ROLL, PASTRY, ROLL!”