Wednesday, May 14, 2008


About one month ago, Tim and I attended a bridal fair. It was held at a local hotel and featured a couple rooms full of wedding vendors for cakes, locations, photographers, formal wear, flowers, etc.

The minute we entered the area, I knew this was all about collecting names. That's how these folks make their money. It's like those cars you see parked at shopping malls. Nearby is a box with some poster touting how you can "win this car!" Of course, who knows if anyone actually wins it. The whole point is that they want you to fill out that little slip so they can sell your name to other parties.

As we stood in line, I joked to Tim about how our name is going to end up everywhere. He agreed. So we devised a plan on how to fill out the forms. Since there is that one in a million chance of winning something, we didn't want to give totally fake names and addresses. First, we wanted to track all the mail we would receive so we each changed one letter in our last names. Since Tim will be moving out of his apartment in the summer, I claimed his address as mine. When it's time for him to forward his mail, he'll do for "name only" and all the junk will stay at the apartment (and some poor person will get all my crap).

It's taken about three weeks for the wedding junk mail and spam to trickle into our mailboxes. At first it was a bunch of e-mails congratulating us and speaking as if we'd inquired about using their services. I get almost daily e-mails from vendors trying to sell me invitations and favors. I make sure to unsubscribe myself the minute I get each of these e-mails. Long-term, it won't matter with the e-mails because I purposely created a separate e-mail account for all our wedding communications. If the spam gets out of hand, we simply cancel the account the year after we get married. Ha!

In terms of snail mail, man, these vendors spend some big money trying to get your attention. Tim brought over a large, cardboard package the other day. Inside was three, full-size, color brochures about Sandals resort. One was about their standard vacation packages, another talked about getting married at the resort, and the smallest had inviting pictures of their exclusive wedding packages. Just the postage alone was $4. We've gotten interactive CDs from a couple other venues. I also get various catalogs for invitations, gifts, and favors. The catalogs are great for ideas, but I doubt I'll be buying anything.

Bridal fairs are fun in terms of the freebies but watch out for the blitz of unwanted attention. At least, it makes for entertaining experiments to trace what happens to the information you hand out.

1 comment:

teahouse said...

Someone warned me about I never went to any bridal fairs while I was engaged. I also stayed the hell away from and!