When I was a single Miss Rucksack, I loved me some bridal shows. Fashion shows, giveaways, and free cake? Count me in! In college, friends and I even took turns “playing bride” at bridal shows and used our fabulous improv skills to make up elaborate stories about our fiances, engagement stories, and our wedding plans. You guys, we took it to the limit.
*For the record, my fake story was: engaged to an investment banker, he proposed while we were moving into our new house (We ordered Chinese food after a hard day of moving and he asked me to open the kitchen wares box. I was annoyed because—hello? who needs forks and plates with Chinese takeout? When I finally opened the kitchen box and pulled away the newspaper, there was a ring box!), and the elaborate wedding weekend would be held at The Inn at Longshore in Westport, Connecticut. Like I said, we were not kidding around.*
Attending a bridal show as a bride is a completely different experience. It’s somewhat like being the most popular girl at a dance and having a bunch of horny nerdy guys trying to get you to dance with them. Or like being a piece of bacon surrounded by a group of dogs.
Image via FanPop
The point is, everybody wants a piece of you and your precious wedding budget.
While attending our first bridal show as an engaged couple, Mr. Rucksack and I quickly came up with some ground rules, made simpler since we were really just in search of a DJ.
1. Avoid eye contact with vendors. They will suck you in if they catch you looking, and they can smell fear, or at least confusion. Mr. Rucksack and I would scout a couple of vendors ahead to check out the offerings and would march right past them if they weren’t what we were looking for. No use in wasting everybody’s time now, is there?
2. Fill out the raffle tickets since you never know what you might win. But also don’t fill out fill out anything that you don’t necessarily want because those vendors now have all of your contact information and they will continue to contact you until they go out of business.
3. When it comes to finding a DJ, it is OK to judge a book by its cover. We avoided anyone that was over the age of 60, was dressed terribly, or sported a flock of seagulls haircut.
Image via Duksta / I’m sorry, but how is this a thing?
4. Sampling cake is great, but don’t go overboard. This was a given for us since we don’t eat gluten. We also don’t particularly like cake. Still, surrounded by frilly dresses, flowers, and estrogen, I was a little tempted. I’m so glad I didn’t partake, because I’m sure the sugar would have just about taken me down with the heat and stress of that bridal maze.
5. Prepare for the marathon ahead of time. This means a) Go in with a game plan of what you need and then stick to it. Otherwise you will be there all day. b) Dress for the event. It will be warm, there will be a lot of people, you’ll be doing a lot of walking and talking. Leave your coat in the car and don’t wear heels. c) Fuel yourself. Having a big breakfast beforehand really stopped us from splurging on cake and lukewarm appetizers. d) Arm yourself with water. You’ll be talking to a lot of people and you’ll want to stay hydrated.
By following our guidelines we made it out in about an hour and we found our DJ!
Do you have any more tips for surviving bridal shows?