Offbeat Mama just ran a post about how similar zookeepers and parents really are, but how about how similar zoos are to wedding expos?
I've only attended a few wedding showcases so far (there are a few more on my calendar, if I get to them) but I feel like I've already learned a few valuable lessons — most notably that wedding showcases are like zoos.
You often are expected to pay a small fee as a ticket to get in, then head into this large area with people who are milling about, staring, gawking, excitedly whispering and chatting. Only they're talking about weddings and wedding planning, not animals. Although, some might argue that a bride, her groom, or the actual vendors can act like animals. In fact, for my analogy seeing vendors as animals work best.
Here are five ways that wedding showcases are just like a zoo…
1. There is a reason the animals at zoos are in cages
This is so there is a safe boundary between people and the animals. A safe, respectable distance that keeps the “animals” away from you. Hopefully, it prevents the animals from reaching out, trying to touch you, grabbing your arm, wrist or shoulder and “throwing” something at you. Unfortunately, at wedding shows, there is no one to prevent sales people from doing this to you.
2. Many visitors will be excited, coo, giggle, or otherwise interact with the animals
Sales people think that everyone wants to talk to them and see them. They will grab you, try to lure you in and many brides play back into this as the sales person pretends to fawn over an engagement ring or ask how you met your partner. The bride-to-be giggles, laughs, blushes over a joke. No. Please, spare me.
3. They will fling things at you. Be prepared.
When you are offered a bag at the doorway, take it. It means you are going to need it for the number of booklets, pamplets, print outs, postcards, price lists and other assorted items the vendors/animals will be giving you. If you want to be eco-friendly, go elsewhere. I will admit I've gotten so many ridiculously huge bridal books that the only possible use I can think of for them is to eventually cut out pictures to use as paper dolls for a future child, niece, or friend's daughter.
4. A word on souvenirs
Souvenirs are items you don't need. Do you really want to buy more tupperware at a wedding showcase? What about that Pampered Chef gear, or do you really want a photo booth? Remember your budget and stick to it. Don't sign up for a discount or possible consultation about a service or item you never ever even dreamed of for your wedding just because the company is at the wedding show. Stick to your guns.
5. Don't attend too many
It's a creativity zapper. I will be attending a few more, mostly because DJs or other entertainment groups I like will be there. But I will maintain this tunnel vision and achieve my goal. Strategizing, not zoo gawking.