I’m in the business of booking expos and a few times a year, I get to attend expos. Most of the expos that I attend have booths lined with hoteliers, rental car agencies, convention bureaus and AV companies. But the other day, while in Washington with my fiancée, I attended a totally different type of expo. I attended the Washington DC Bridal Show. And not a mere spectator, as a buyer!Oh this was quite a production. Scores and scores of happy new brides with their shiny finger adornments, and for the most part their mother’s or their best friends, charged up and down the aisles of the convention hall. Few grooms were present on this day – perhaps because it was also the day of the Divisional Round of NFL Playoffs. But since my game wouldn’t start until 4:30p, and my wedding was prospectively five months away, I thought it prudent and dare I say fun, to join my fiancée for a once in a lifetime kind of event.
The beginning of the show was overwhelming for both of us. No doubt this could have been due to the fact that our wedding was just around the corner, and other than a venue, we had nothing set in stone. Booth after booth would add more questions than answers for us. More choices for vendors we knew we had to find, and more vendors for things we didn’t know we needed vendors for. It took a few times for she and I to recollect ourselves, to process what we’d seen and heard, and to reprioritize. We did this almost twice an aisle. But at the end of the day, we really think we’d met our future photographer, florist, DJ, hair and makeup professionals, and even an alternative bakery.
For us, it was about matching these service professionals personalities to ours. And flipping through a bridal magazine or reviewing even the best website is not going to provide this level of interaction. I recommend the Bridal Expo to any prospective brides (or grooms). Not just the grooms who began holding space at their preferred venue four weeks before asking their bride-to-be to be the bride. And next year, when I’m married, maybe the Bridal Expo could use a Hotel Lobbyist!