My friend who got married last year went to the Seattle Wedding Show (here are some pictures from the 2007 show courtesy of a vendor's blog) and, through a series of circumstances not relevant to the story, combined the visit with a brief stint of babysitting for her nieces, one a tomboy and the other a girly-girl. The children's father came to pick them up after a half hour, but that half hour at the wedding show was quite exciting for two little girls. It was hardly surprising that the "I want to be a princess when I grow up" girly-girl would be completely enthralled by the wedding show. What was unexpected was that the "kissing is yucky, let's go climb a tree" tomboy was also won over despite the high concentration of lacy dresses and frilly things.
The magic ingredient is cake.
Now you'd think kids would be experts at cake, and in fact the girls were quite enthusiastic cake-eaters. At the wedding show, there were about ten bakeries all showing off their creations, and naturally there were samples of the cakes available for tasting. Even the most hardened "I'm not cute" child, when faced with the opportunity, will stand sweetly with an adorable smile if it means that an adult will offer her a sample of cake.
By my friend's reckoning, the girls sampled five different cakes in the span of ten minutes. Despite this broad basis for evaluation, when asked for their assessment of the relative merits of the various cakes, the only response was "It's yummy!"
By the way, the wedding show also alerts you to all the things you never thought a wedding needed but which, it seems, have become an indispensable element without which your wedding will be a total disaster. Here's a sample from last year's show.
- Chair covers. Not just seat covers, but chair covers. The great thing about chair covers is that they take a perfectly normal chair and turn it into something uncomfortable and unwieldy because you can't put your feet or your purse or anything else under the chair.
- Fish in fishbowls as table centerpieces.
- Flower preservation services.
- Ice sculptures.
- A stand-up comic.
- A photo booth.
- Sending CDs with the wedding invitations so you can include all the information on the CD instead of forcing your guest to OCR it into their calendar. (That's my only guess.)
- Videography. (I have yet to meet anyone who watched a video of their wedding more than once. For many couples the count was zero.)
To see what sort of exciting must-have features are on the agenda for this year, go to the Seattle Wedding show site, and click on Wedding Specialists. Or just buy a ticket to this year's show and find out in person. Though given the recent economic downturn, this year's show is much more budget-conscious.