Here comes the bridal expo

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The Carillon takes on a showroom full of chiffon

Megan Narsing
Contributor

Walking into the Queensbury Convention Center last Sunday, you may have been surprised to see – in amongst the boys and girls geared up in their sports equipment – anxious women mingled here and there with their entourage, practically glowing with pride and flaunting their expensive engagement rings: brides-to-be.

The Regina Bridal Expo was packed and getting around anywhere required a lot of saying “excuse me” and gently shoving through crowds. The admission was $15 and for your money you were invited to go to a variety of wedding-themed booths, enter some contests, get some free merchandise samples, watch two separate fashion shows, and scout out the services offered in Regina and area for your big day.

There was something for everyone there. There were places like Moore’s for men’s tuxedos. There were numerous places for the bridesmaids to get ideas for the stagette, such as “Passion Parties.” There were DJs, photographers, hairstylists, designers, and even a magician.

Not being a bride or part of a bridal party at all, it felt a bit like an undercover mission for myself. With the security walking around it really felt like a “brides only” event. When the admissions asked if I was a bride I told her no and claimed to be “just a bridesmaid.” Getting my stamp and proudly showing the guards, I was finally able to enter the busy and bustling expo.

Now, I should admit that I used to work in a bridal shop. Having been to one of these expos before, I had slightly higher expectations than the average woman walking in amongst the rows of tables and lights.

I managed to drag a friend along into my undercover mission and the two of us made our way through the masses. The busiest booth was surprisingly the Moore’s and Bay booths. They were mostly advertising men’s wear and gift registries, two essential things for any wedding party. I hardly got a word in to the men and women working there – but I received a free bag, so I wasn’t too heartbroken over that one.

We were stopped occasionally by the people running booths but upon realizing we were just “bridesmaids” and that our fictitious bride, “Angela”, couldn’t make it, they lost all interest in us. We were able to talk to a few willing booths though. A hair salon was more than nice, giving a full detailed list of pricing and other things that we could get done for the big day. The “Pleasure Parties” booth – “Pleasure Parties” being code for an Avon party-like event where a salesperson comes to your house to talk to you and your friends about certain “pleasure-enhancing” products that you can buy from said saleseperson – was also quite interested in talking with us, even going as far to ask about the sex life of “Angela” and her fiancé.

We tried to get out of that conversation pretty quickly.

Overall the atmosphere was exciting and left us wishing that we actually did have a wedding to plan – although it seems like a lot of work. We didn’t stay for long, as we were being suffocated by women everywhere. Besides, it was a tad difficult to stop and chat if you weren’t getting married. I can’t blame the booth staff, though; they’re trying to sell their products, not make small talk with two young bridesmaids.

The expo was good for a small taste of what was out there and to indulge in the environment of pre-marital excitement. Unfortunately, the selection of booths was very limited and only kind of gave you a taste of what’s out there. We were done looking around in all but 30 minutes, which is hardly any time at all. After making my way through the crowded front door where brides mingled, almost getting hit by a little boy and his hockey stick and trudging through the snow to our car, I couldn’t help feeling a little disappointed, even if the expo was entertaining.

If it had given me a little more to go on and maybe free cocktails I would have enjoyed it even more. But isn’t that the case at every wedding?

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