Bride-to-be Blogger Carly: Checklist Fail

Bride-to-be Blogger Carly: Bridal Expo Fail


Venue (check)

Caterer (check)

Cake (check)

Church (check)

Hotel blocks (check)

Photographer (check)

Registry (check)

Save-the-dates (check)

DRESS! (check)

I love making lists. I make to-do lists at work, grocery lists at home, packing lists before trips, gift lists at the holidays; if I need to remember to do more than two things at once, I’m making a list. They motivate me to get things done (or, more accurately, the list drives me completely nuts until I get things done).

One really great feature on, the site where Sean and I have our wedding website, is the “Checklist,” which is lucky, because I would barely know where to begin making a wedding to-do list! And, not only do they make the list, but they remind you when you should be brainstorming, searching and booking, based upon your wedding date.

For a while, I was totally ahead of the list, checking off items that weren’t due for months. But last week, I logged on expecting to see a new item or two when the words “8 upcoming tasks” glared back at me. Oh well, I thought, I’m sure I can check a bunch of these off now! I’ve probably done at least a few already. Boy, was I wrong. Among the eight outstanding to-dos on my list (just for October, mind you!) include searching for and booking a florist, videographer (do I even want a videographer?—better decide now!), ceremony musician, cocktail hour musician, and DJ (or band… we haven’t officially decided on that either!). So, apparently, while I was basking in the glory of checking items off the list over the last few months, I forgot to look ahead at the big tasks to come!

As if by fate, a few minutes later a new email popped up in my inbox inviting me to an expo of local wedding vendors. Perfect, right? I was sure the event would be packed with DJs and florists jumping at the chance to work with me! I invited my good friend/bridesmaid/fellow bride-to-be Megan to come and gather information with me. Plus, I know a girl who actually won her honeymoon at one of these things, so maybe Megan or I would win something cool too!

After too much fun at the Midtown Festival on Saturday, Megan and I pulled ourselves together and headed to University City to check out the expo. With high hopes we entered the ballroom donning hot pink Bride-to-Be stickers, ready to meet the vendors. Sadly, the event was far from what I had hoped. It was very small and only featured one DJ and one florist. There were approximately 12 booths set up, about half of which were dessert related (see my completed checklist above) and another handful were skincare/laser hair removal/cellulite treatment focused.

Megan and I quickly made our way to most of the booths and stopped to nibble on a cake sample while we decided our next move when the DJ announced my name. I had won a door prize. OH, YEAH! As we walked over to pick up my prize, we agreed how totally worth it this was now that I was a winner. Free honeymoon here I come! Sean is gonna be thrilled! My heart was pounding with excitement as the DJ handed me my prize certificate. Newman International (name has been altered to protect the innocent)? “What’s this?” I asked the DJ.

“No clue, they don’t tell me what the prizes are, just to hand them out. You should probably walk around to all of the booths to find them and they can tell you what you’ve won.” Awesome. Super helpful.

But, the word “international” was giving me hope. I mean, that totally sounds like a travel agency, right? Megan immediately got on her phone and started Googling as I scanned the booths. At about the same time Megan found their website, I spotted the booth—skin care? We walked over to the booth and saw a table covered with pictures of middle-aged women’s before-and-after shots and bottles of wrinkle treatment. Wrinkle cream? Seriously, I won free wrinkle cream? I’m 28! I handed the saleswoman my certificate and learned that I had not really even won a bottle of the wrinkle cream. Rather, I’d won the opportunity to host a party for ten of my closest friends (at my apartment, with wine and cheese supplied by me) and have a representative from the company come over and show us how the wrinkle product works. Only then would I be presented with my free bottle of magic potion and (lucky them) my friends would be able to buy some to take home. Man was I disappointed. Megan looked at me and said, “Sorry, I’m busy. Can’t make it to that party.”

So I left the expo without the things I had gone for, but I had a whole lot of fun with Megan! What I realize is that things aren’t always going to go as planned, but it’s great to have someone with you to laugh about it with. Megan and I will have this funny memory to last beyond either of our weddings. Plus, we got to eat lots of cake—and, after picking up my “prize,” we spent the rest of the afternoon hitting the shops along Walnut.

I’ve heard good things about bridal expos but, for now, I think I’ll just go back to internet searching and reading magazines and online reviews to complete this month’s checklist. But since the Internet doesn’t raffle off any doorprizes, anyone want to offer me a free honeymoon?

What experiences have you had with bridal shows? What are some good ones out there?


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