4 Reasons Bridal Shows Are NOT as WIC as You Might Think
Many of the wedding blogs and sites I follow, including my favorite, Offbeat Bride, talk about this thing called the “Wedding Industrial Complex”. It’s the attitude in the wedding industry that says “We make this dress in blue, but if we make the same one in white and call it a ‘wedding’ dress, we can charge three times the amount”! It says that if the word “wedding” is added to something, the price increases. It says brides should wear white, vendors should only address the bride for decisions and ignore the groom except for financial questions, and that same-sex marriages are weird or inferior. My favorite example of this by far is the $128 wedding bucket– a bucket painted white.
So I often read about how bridal fairs and bridal shows are just a room full of thousands of people perpetuating and participating in WIC-related activities, and how these things are like zoos and all kinds of other heinous things.
I disagree, at least for LOCAL shows. Here’s why.
1) Supporting local businesses is cool. And not very WIC.
At the first bridal show I did, the Vintage Glamour Bridal Show at UCLA’s ballroom, my booth was next to a new local company, Studio EQ, that does laser-cut invitations, keychains, you-name-it. They’re a husband-and-wife team who work out of their dining room. On my other side I found an amazing makeup artist who also does film special effect makeup (we’re talking zombies and beyond here, people).
Sure, I saw a few typical bad greasy DJs and average photographers, plus the cake woman who couldn’t stop talking about how she’d done Christina Aguilera’s birthday cake and Kim Kardashian’s wedding cake (which lasted longer than the marriage, I believe). But the cool local small business sector far outweighed the cheesy wedding sector.
2) David’s Bridal doesn’t show at wedding shows.
You know who does? Dolly Couture and Morgan Culture, among others. These aren’t cookie-cutter gowns. They’re pretty darn cutting-edge and fun takes on the whole white ballgown WIC thing. If you want to see more than one set of unique gowns at a time, on live human beings, go to one of these shows- particularly a smaller local one.
3) You can find stuff that’s not for weddings
Remember that laser-cut thing I mentioned? Forget the wedding- their Etsy shop has some freaking awesome stuff in it. Like who doesn’t need business cards, or thank-you cards for something, or an amazing scarf? Or if you need zombie makeup for something, you’ll know where to find it. And if you need a cute gown for another thing- a prom, a costume, a red-carpet event… you know where to find it.
4) MEET AWESOME PEOPLE
And then there’s the people. I was really scared I’d be the only… um… “normal”, non-obsessive, laid-back person there, and that I’d feel completely in another world. I didn’t; I felt right at home with those cool people I found myself next to. I saw people actively addressing the men in the room, who for the most part looked comfortable.
I even saw a friend from an organization we both volunteer for- that organization’s mission is transform peoples’ lives for the better and fundamentally alter the way communication works in the world. Pretty cool, right? Turns out she, in addition to being someone who cares about making a difference, is a wedding and event planner. If THAT isn’t someone you’d want planning an event in your life, I don’t know who would be.
So… maybe not as WIC as people think. I’ve read plenty of horror stories out there, but my experience has overall been great, and I’m excited to have been ASKED to be a featured designer at the upcoming Vintage Glamour show in Pasadena! See you there 🙂