Monday, November 16, 2009

Review - Bridal Showplace, Sunday, November 15th

Bridal Show Week is over. Whew! Learned a lot, saw a lot, ate a hell of a lot of hors d'ouerves and cake,and I have two new favorite drinks. Whew! For reviews of the week that was, click here, here, here, here, and here. Hope you enjoy them as much as I did!

The Bridal Showplace was held at the Hilton Hotel in Pasadena. Tip to Add to the Bridal show tips - find parking outside the hotel if you can. Parking at the hotel was $9.00...with validation. Uh, NO.

This is one of the first big shows of the season, so the vendors with the deals were definitely out on Sunday. What I was first struck by was how MANY different vendors there were in each category at the show, and I think, for a bride (and I actually asked a bride at the show, later) that it can get pretty overwhelming. So, another tip to add to the tips - do a little research beforehand, especially with photographers and florists. Go to the knot, go wedding wire, and flip through the vendors and figure out what styles you like, it will better arm you when you walk the floor. It is also very important to do a round of the floor before you talking to vendors, wait until you see all of what's available, first!

The Best in Show:

There were a few vendors that I kept going back to again and again:

Bride and Bloom Magazine Shop (no pic, sadly, but the link should work, now):
B&B (which I was just looking at the night before and ripping pictures out of) is opening up an online shop in January. They were giving away these cute little cards with a package of, wait for it, chocolate covered sunflower seeds. Sounds bizarre, tastes delicious. I gave one to my husband, the pickiest eater on the face of the planet. He ate the whole thing and asked for more, and that is all you ever need to know. Want to save 20% on your first purchase? Use the code BBS1115. You're welcome!

Pictured Clockwise:

Clay My Figure. Wendy Lee makes these insane figurines, which would be perfect for wedding toppers, and something you would definitely want to keep around afterward. They start at $99 and take about a month to complete.

Santa Monica Florists - many "traditional" florists were there, but Glorian was definitely not one of them, just look at that! Mention this blog or the show, and get a free bouquet with your wedding flower order. The bouquet's about $200,in and of itself.

Emily Photo - Her pictures just stood out to me as the being the most original and neatest shots on the floor. Great prices, too - 8 hours of photography, two shooter onsite, plus an engagement session, plus a soft cover album all for $2200. Deal, deal, deal!

Atmosphere Entertainment DJ - there were a lot of DJs on hand, but this one was totally grooving out to his music, and the music, it was good. I had to circle around a couple of times because of the crowd, actually. Their packages start at $995 for 4 hours, and you'll get a $100 discount off if you mention this blog or that you saw them at the show.

What I'd Like to See At My Next Wedding Gig:

A photo booth, definitely. There were three companies there, and they were always busy.

The Bad:
The show was a little disorganized. There were three rooms, but you wouldn't know by the registration staff, or the directory they handed out which didn't tell you who was where, or the signage of which there wasn't any. Counting that your guests are going to wander around trying to find the restroom and stumble onto the second vendor room (which is what happened to me)doesn't work. Plus, I asked two Reg reps where the dress store was, and one didn't know, and the other sent me in the opposite direction of it. That's solved by a five-minute orientation of your staff before the doors open and one sentence to people coming into the main room, "There's two other rooms down the hall to your left, fashion show to your right, and the dress shop is right next door to it across from the hotel shop. Thanks for coming!" Or something like that. And, most of dresses in the store were being used at the fashion shows, so they weren't available, long before and long after they were on the runway. Kind of a mess. What could they have done, you ask? Throw in some dresses from the other two vendors there and have less dresses from the show's store, but highlight them. One dress at the beginning, point out that the dresses are only $179 each, store is next door, one dress at the end saying the same thing. I know, I'm quite the event planning nerd.

The Ugly:
Oh, man. There were just a ton of plastic surgeons, teeth-whiteners, financial advisers (money arguments are #1 cause of divorce, congratulations on your engagement!), corset companies, and one guy, this one guy who runs a clinic in Mexico where they specialize in lap bands, which I swear I saw in an episode of Grey's Anatomy (and you probably did, too) as a bad, bad thing. He was just kind of creepy, and they let him speak before the Fashion Show,too which was all kinds of wrong. Okay, so on one hand, yes, everyone wants to look beautiful/their best/better on their wedding day, and that's why these vendors were there. None of them seemed to have anyone lingering to talk, however, and I'll tell you why: When you jump in front of someone and say, "Wanna lose 30 lbs in 5 minutes?", it's kind of a turn off. Plus, most of these "solutions" aren't permanent, aren't comfortable, and are often dangerous to your health. Your guy is marrying you because he loves you, the you you were when he proposed. I know I'm rambling, but all those knives pointed at women's self-esteem jugulars just made all the lambs in my head start screaming. Ugh. And, just in case you think it's just the thin girl being judgmental, I was 40 lbs heavier than I am now when I got married six years ago. The lapband pitch would have been a turn-off then, too.

Deep Breath, jumping off the soapbox, now.
At any rate, I picked up a so many great deals, and so many vendors were willing to offer those deals after the show that this week's Wedding Wise Wednesday is just going to list them. Stay tuned.

Have a great week and I'll see you at the end of the aisle,

Liz C.

p.s. Don't forget to register for my free wedding consultation conference call this Wednesday!
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