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I started writing bridal show reviews about a year ago on my blog, and even now I end up going to one a month. Since all of you have likely been or will go to at least one, and between the lot of you, you’ve been to all of them. So you know that there are three types of shows, which (and you locals will appreciate this), I’ll call Beverly Hills, Culver City, and Downey.
You can tell by the registration fee how many vendors are going to be at the show. You can get usually get into Downey shows for around $7 (buy online for a $1 discount!), there will be at least three rooms of vendors, packed wall-to-wall, and still not enough space to walk or breathe. No one knows where anything is, like the bathrooms, and suddenly you find yourself lost in the lower levels of bridal hell with your fiance, who isn’t quite sure what they’re doing there in the first place. You know, other than being supportive.
Culver City shows will cost you less than $15 to get in. It’s a pleasant place, maybe two rooms including the one with the fashion show, and a lot more space to actually talk to vendors and get the information you want.
Beverly Hills shows are the big jump. At least $20 per ticket, one large room (the best in the hotel), full of vendors, cool swag bag with actual stuff you want in there. The last one I went to set me up with makeup for a year. And don’t plan on eating after or before the show, because you are going to get lunch and drinks and dessert right there. Beverly Hills shows are better than Costco for that.
But there’s one thing I’ve noticed that all of them are starting to have in common – the plastic surgery clinics, pushing a new and better you at every show I’ve been to lately.
Now, I expected it in Downey, I have to admit, where all the show was obviously trying to do was make as much money as they could. But I didn’t expect two of them. One of which was for a gastro-freaking-bypass clinic in Tijuana. In Culver City, I was a little surprised, and somewhat taken aback, by the foam nipple squeeze toys the clinic was handing out. And then one showed up in Beverly Hills, and I just started wondering what the heck was going on.
But, that is a rhetorical question. I know what’s going on. The economy still sucks, and the bridal shows need to fill space, and they figure it’s your choice to either visit those tables or not. The clinics know that brides want to look as beautiful as they can on their wedding day, so they’re pushing their candy right in the playground. I usually do about three laps at each show, so I can tell you that these booths don’t get nearly as many visitors as others, mostly hit-and-run pick-up-a-flyer-and-hope-no-one-sees-me traffic, and of course, the foam nipples are very popular with the guys. But they must get enough business from being there, because they keep showing up and grossing the hell out of me. I get it, but I don’t have to like it.
My discomfort exists on several different levels, none of which are, “how can anyone have plastic surgery??” (Oh, except for Heidi Montag, because that girl is a hot mess.) You know me… I don’t care what you do, as long as you’re happy. And that’s the main word here – “happy.” I work with brides every day. I try on dresses with them, go to vendor meetings, tastings, all during which they face some sort of pressure to do x, y, and z… and I’m constantly saying stuff like, “Caroline, what do YOU want? If you don’t want this, don’t get it. Don’t just do it because someone is saying you need to have it.” Whether you succumb to it or not, I hate to see you guys faced with any more pressure. It really pisses me off. God knows we all have our body issues, and the plastic surgery booth is not another mirror check that any of us need, in addition to the constant refrain that women hear every day anyway, that says, “you’re not good enough, you could do better.”
Or that maybe he could do better, another implication that enrages me. Look, you had that bump in the middle of your nose and those love handles before, and he still asked you to marry him, didn’t he? And he likes it when you can wrinkle your brow at him when you think that he’s crazy. Did you hear him mention something about getting a tune-up before the big day? Just like you love him for him, the way he is… he loves you for you, the way you are. He’s got you, and he’s doing just fine.
I might be a little judgmental here, but, seriously, KHANNNNNNNN!!! Gah – What do you guys think?
This Week’s Wedding Deals:
I think I may have come late to this party, but I’m just glad I was able to show up at all. So, speaking of Costco, they’ve doubled-down on the the wedding game, especially in terms of flowers. Their kits and arrangements are simple, but they’re reasonably-priced, beautiful, you get the flowers fresh, and you can DIY them up, or hand them to your wedding party straight and/or stick them on the table.
Locals, listen up. So, I’m at Adamson House, doing a final walk-through for Ellen and Patrick’s wedding, and the park ranger takes me over to the boat yard deck on the north side of the property (not pictured, because I can’t take shots on my iphone worth a darn). “We also do small weddings during the week here, too” he says to me. “This is gorgeous” I say, “How much is it to rent?” “$681 for four hours” he says to me, “so you can take your pictures here, too.” You guys, I nearly fell into the ocean. The house itself is $6500 to rent for 8-12 hours! Granted there are some caveats – the deck can only fit 20 people total, and since Adamson only does one wedding a day, odds are you are going to have to have your ceremony on a Friday.
But, man, how cool would this be for a local/last minute elopement wedding? Get married and have pictures taken in the midst of the Pretty for less than $1,000… and then drive up or down the coast for a reception meal with your nearest and dearest? Too awesome. June 6 and June 12 are still available, actually, so contact Mo Zuhair at email@example.com if you’re as intrigued as I am.
See you at the end of the aisle,