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Archive for September, 2008

The Wedding Trap

Ah, the wedding industry can be a cutthroat one…

I walked into a *certain* wedding stationary shop on Charters Towers Rd yesterday (shop 255B *cough*) wanting invitation ideas and advice. I strode right up to the front of the shop – which is unusual for me, seeing as I’m usually the customer sneaking around the back shelves hoping that the overly-extroverted, overfamiliar, generic shopkeeper (who seems to follow me around) doesn’t suddenly corner me with a boisterous ‘How are you going today?! Is there anything I can help you with, anything in particular you’re after? We’ve got a snazzy new section over here all at marked down prices…..’

To which I usually stand there stupefied, with an anxious smile on my face and beads of cold sweat running down my brow, only to mumble something about ‘just looking thanks’, before hi-tailing it out of there before my introverted brain implodes from excessive social stimulation.

 Anyways, back to the stationary shop.

 I boldly asked the friendly, middle-aged shopkeeper if she could help me with invitation ideas. She gestured towards some albums on display containing examples of her work, and I smiled appreciatively. But before I could do anything else she looked at me with a not-unfriendly, but ‘see-if-I’m-kidding’ kind of smile and, peering over the top of her specs, said: ‘You *are* going to buy the invitations from our store aren’t you?’

Me: (Nervous laugh, awkward smile) ‘um…ye..’

‘Because if we give you ideas then we prefer you to use our materials’ (stares more intently over the top of her glasses, eyes piercing)

Me: (More awkward smiling, sweat beads forming) ‘yeah…(clears throat)…yes um, well I guess that’s fair enough’

At that point I proceeded to walk awkwardly around the store, looking at the different types of paper and cardboard, (and occasionally looking awkwardly at the shopkeeper) hoping that they had the right colours and styles, seeing as I was now locked into an unspoken contract with this lady, and could only exit the store empty handed at my own peril. I expect if I had attempted to leave the store I would’ve been met with:

(Blocking door) ‘Where do you think you’re going?

Me: Um…ah…

‘You’re going to another stationary shop, aren’t you?!’

Me: ‘Um’

‘Boys…’

Suddenly I am bagged and thrown into a dark room where an old Italian man speaking in a husky voice and surrounded by suit-wearing goons asks me why I have been so disrespectful to his family. He says because it’s my first indiscretion he’ll overlook it, but if there’s any more funny business he won’t be so forgiving.

At which point I am thrown out onto the street, only to wake up the next morning next to a horse head.

Ok, so maybe that’s a *slight* exaggeration (and an infringement of copyright).

But seriously, weddings mean big bucks. And, being an already over-crowded market, business owners will do anything for your patronage, seeing as merely attaching the words ‘wedding’ or ‘bridal’ to a product or service can quite feasibly increase the retail price by at least double for no apparent logical reason, other than the fact that most brides are not thinking rationally. In an industry filled with gratuitous amounts of hype and hot air, it’s all too easy to get swept away and not realize that a wedding invitation contains exactly the same amount of cardboard as a non-wedding invitation (despite the fact the wedding invite often has an exorbitant markup). Tread carefully my friends, because the bridal industry is a frightening, unpredictable place for the novice, and you just never know when you’re going to wake up next to a horse head.

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