Thursday, April 14, 2011

Bridal Show: Andover Country Club

Tonight will go down as one of my most favorite bridal trade shows.  Not only did I win a couple raffles, but I got to bring Adam with me!  My fiancé was visiting from England this week and was willing to tag along.  I’m so glad we got to share this experience together just this once.  : ) 

I don’t if any of you readers have been to a bridal show before, but basically you go in and a bunch of vendors give you their business cards and promotional materials. Plus they feed you at them so I think it's fun. You get to sample caterers and wedding cakes. And to sweeten the deal almost every vendor runs a raffle.

A lot of the wedding expo raffles are lousy, like $200 off if you book a $2000 photography package, good for one night only (I'd won that before and had to turn it down). A lot of them are just sale prices that they give to everyone the next day anyway because we have to register with an Email address. (I have a separate Email account just for bridal info). But a few wedding vendors give actual take away gifts, like the florists might give away one of the bouquets they brought as a sample, some limo companies give away a bottle of Dom Perigon, and the grand prizes for the bridal show company is a complete honeymoon vacation package or cash (I won $200 cash once).

So when Adam and I were looking around at the wedding vendors I saw a woman selling bells and commented to Adam, "They're new; I know most of the vendors by now but never saw bells. My nana used to collect bells so they get me a little sentimental..." etc. I picked up one of the bells and there was a $35 price tag for a little 3 inch bell and I thought, "Huh, glad I have my wedding favors picked out, no way could I swing that." But I enter pretty much every raffle, so I put my ticket in that one too.

Well, the raffles started, and I won a $65 necklace from Lia Sophia, which was pretty cool.  And then they also called my name for the free bell.  Adam was totally my lucky charm tonight, hehe.

When I went up to claim my bell I thought, "Eh, okay, I get one of the little bells. Not as good as the $200 cash prize that time but a nice little token to remind me of nana." She walked off the stage area with me and told me this was her first show and she didn't have the bell, it's a bronze bell with a wooden handle, but she'd take my mailing info and send it to me. I said sure and I sat back down, wondering why she didn't just hand me one of the ones on the table but happy to do what she needed me to do if she was giving me a freebie. Then, ten minutes later she came back to our table and said, "Actually, if you don't like the bell, you can go on our website and pick one out of similar value." LUCKILY I didn't just smile and nod, thinking it was $35; instead I said, "What IS the value," and she said "$475." I said oh. Okay. Thanks. And when she walked away I said to Adam, "WHAT did she just say the value was?!"

He heard the same thing, and we looked on the website that night, and sure enough, there's a bronze bell with a wooden handle for $475, plus $30 shipping and handling.

So I’m now the proud owner of a $500 bell. And a good story behind it. The question is, how (or do I bother) do I incorporate a hand bell into my wedding?  The thing is LOUD.  I’m having about 15 guests, not 500 that need quieting down at some point.  Readers, any ideas?

Readers, what is your relationship status?