Wedding Expos 101

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Every once in a blue moon, a strange phenomenon happens in convention centers, activity centers, and event tents all over the country. People from different walks of life gather together and discuss topics and prepare for activities such as feeding the masses, clothing the naked, and sheltering strangers. No, I'm not talking about charity events. They're called Wedding Expos, which is what happens when clumps of clueless couples-to-be have a head on collision with people out to milk as much money from them as possible. If you're going to get married and you're into mainstream marriages, chances are at some point in your preparation, you will have to go to these strange occasions that seem to have its own traditions. If you've never been into one, or went to one and had such a traumatizing experience that your mind completely wiped out all the horrible memories out, let this article serve as your guide towards a healthy and hopefully, violence-free experience.

Just like most conventions, with the exception of the annual nationwide jueteng get-together, Wedding expos require you to register upon arrival. Pertinent information such as marriage date, religious affiliation, annual salary, and DNA swabs (sometimes) are collected, quite possibly for the benefit of getting a genetic footprint for gullibility. Grooms and brides-to-be are required to declare that they are soon to be married and are given special "badges" so that they are easily recognizable, herded, and sent to concentration camps treated with extra care by the exhibitors. These badges are required to be worn throughout the affair, even though wearing one will cause you to get constantly mauled by booth reps desperately trying to hit quota. NFL-style pile-ups are not unheard of. In some expos, and I kid you not, there are bouncers roving around for the sole purpose of ensuring you are wearing your star of David /s> badge, by force if necessary.  

Another thing notable about these wedding expos is that every, and I mean every booth, including the one reserved for the venue janitorial service, has flyers. These flyers vary in shapes and sizes (from the size of a toe nail clipping to the size of the scale territorial map of the Soviet Union). You are handed out these flyers with military speed and efficiency and by the time the synapses of your brain tell you that you don't need it, you'll find out you are already holding one in your hand. Or a thousand. There's no avoiding it short of stabbing the one handing the flyers to you with an icepick - and only after you've gotten the flyer. It is therefore possible to stay in the convention area for about an hour and accumulate the equivalent of the paper material used in a municipal campaign season. By the time you do get married, chances are you've visited more wedding expos that you can visit - and therefore, have probably accumulated enough leaflets to fill your new home - or make a new one with 3BD/2TB entirely out of recycled pamphlets.

What was that? You mean these leaflets are for information? Hahaha! I knew a couple who actually leafed through every pamphlet given to them one time. By the time the couple finished, they were finally able to avail of the senior citizen discounts. With the amount of information you get from handouts, you can probably figure out the meaning of life, the Unified theory of the universe, and the logical pattern of Vina Morales' hair in one go. Given the time. Some wedding expos, exhibitors are kind enough to provide bags for your leaflets or pieces of your spine after being shattered from carrying all those papers.

Moving on. If you're reading close to the posting date, there's a close chance that at the entrance of the hall, the wedding video of Carmina and Zoren is being played over and over again. This is, of course, to remind all men entering the wedding expo that as of 3Q 2012, the "bar" has been set higher by Zoren, now the official enemy of all Filipino men wanting to propose and get married within the next hundred years. Thanks to him, if your proposal does not involve the element of surprise, Boy Abunda, cherryblossoms, Kris Aquino, Boy Abunda, and inexplicably dancing midgets - you have already failed your bride-to-be.

Seriously, thanks a lot, Zoren.

(Side thought: In hindsight, however, I do believe the man is a genius. Despicable and vile, but a genius. Think about it. He plans the perfect "wedding of the century" that everybody will be talking about, gets various companies to help out in exchange for being able to say they took part of the "wedding of the century", which is the subtle equivalent of getting endorsed by every woman watching The Buzz every Sunday - and the man does not pay a single cent. You will be able to see him being the official endorser of every service he used, but still, how many of you will get to freeload an entire freaking wedding? Good bloody luck. Like I said. Evil, but genius. Anyway...)

Well worth noting as well that Wedding Expos are a lot like car shows. You all came for the exhibitors, but people still will check out out what you brought along with you (car, woman, womancar). You can count on women staring at husbands-to-be like they're comparing Super Trump cards, while the men care comparing brides-to-be like, well, brides-to-be. On a minor note as a passive-participant in this game: Why is it that the older the woman, the uglier the husband-to-be? Don't answer that.

Aside from the bride/groom showdown showoff, there's the booths, which is arguably the actual purpose of people going to conventions. It's hard to keep track of that sometimes when you're engrossed with other things, like wondering how much you hate Zoren. The booths are usually manned by pretty ladies and good looking gents, again, kind of like a car show. Unlike the carshow, however, you probably have your partner with you, watching your every move. Which kind of begs the question  why the hell would booth exhibitors hire good looking reps when they just increase the chances of a fight that might break up the wedding and prevent them from doing business except of course the reservation fees that are absolutely unrefundable under the oath of ... oh wait. Nevermind.

To further entice customers, all booths have "expo-exclusive" promotions like freebies and discounts you can only avail during expos. Freebies are sometimes off-kilter and totally unrelated to what you are buying, such as buying a wedding gown gets you a free rice cooker, and renting an orchestra will net you free 1hr legal annulment counseling. Still, freebies are freebies and if there's one thing Filipinos are big suckers for other than celebrity weddings, it's free stuff. (I realize that I've been ragging on about Zoren and Carmina too often already. I promise this will be the last one)

In the next half we will be discussing the types of booths that you will be encountering. But since I'm about as tired as my jokes, I'll have to take a rest from typing and go play darts with my new Zoren target practice tarp (What?? So I suck at keeping promises. Got a problem with that?)

To be continued. 

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