Over the weekend, I attended as an exhibitor at the 2017 Great NZ Bridal Show. It was my first time having a stand at one of these expos, so wasn't 100% sure how it would go, but apart from some very achy bones at the end of a long day of non-stop standing, I had a blast. And sure, these things can feel like a bit of a meat market sometimes, with all the various vendors selling their wares and the potential wedding customers possibly feeling a bit overwhelmed exploring their options. But as counterpoint to that, there were certainly an awful lot of happy smiling faces filling the crowds too. And you can spot them I think, the ones who have decided they're not going to let the apparent hugeness of wedding planning drag them down, and they're definitely out there to have fun.
And if people are finding the stresses of the pre-wedding hustle getting the better of them, I reckon that's a big part of where my job as celebrant comes in. I'm there to soothe those nerves and pretty much just say, "Hey! It's all good, everything's going to be fine, and I'm taking point to help hold all the bits and pieces together for your ceremony, so follow my lead and just relax and do your job of being two beautiful-looking, very-in-love people." (And hopefully that came across in my 20-second over-the-table sales pitch!)
Worth mentioning too that despite what the expo's name suggests, it wasn't just the ladies who showed up. Granted, they significantly outnumbered the gents, but I saw plenty of men there as well - with their partners, with friends, perhaps a father there supporting a to-be-married child. Which is a good reminder that a wedding day isn't all about the bride, no matter what the magazines may imply; the groom (or the other bride, as it may sometimes be) is half of the relationship, and really should be equally represented in what happens on the day.
The day was also a terrific opportunity to have a casual chat in the quiet bits with some of my fellow Christchurch celebrants, and what a lovely bunch they are: Kineta, Kate, Chris, Annette, Andrea and Tricia. Thanks to all the not-quite-weds who came by my wee table and said hi, and maybe I might be chatting with some of you again soon!