Yesterday I dragged husband along to a wedding show at Bleinheim Palace, birthplace of Winston Churchill. Armed with my Vista Print virtually free business cards in their complimentary silver effect case, I was there to introduce myself to the world as a wedding planner. Never mind I had been interviewing rather successfully for a new corporate and totally unrelated job in the background during the last week. I wasn’t going to let what might be get in the way of what was: my new found entrepreneurial enthusiasm.
I hadn’t done anything as bold or expensive as renting a booth, nor was I aspiring to sign up any brides up on the spot. My low key strategy was just to introduce myself to various vendors and suss out the competition. Decked out in cashmere and pearls, what I imagined to be wedding planner power dressing, I approached the first vendor. He was manning a booth that provided undercover singers and musicians ala that great wedding scene in Love Actually where a choir materializes in the church balcony singing “All You Need Is Love” and various musicians pop up in the congregation to riff at the appropriate points. Booth man was gay and charming and pedalling a great idea. We exchanged cards. I was off to a terrific start!
Next up was a florist from Oxfordshire. I complimented their floral designs and introduced myself while discreetly slipping the booth lady a business card. “Oh, let me introduce you to the owner,” she said while leaning over to tap an elegant fifty-ish lady on the shoulder. Power florist lady turned around then proceeded to size me up while we made small talk, finally asking me where I got my flowers from. “A florist in Cheltenham,” I lied then immediately made an excuse to move to the next booth. Thankfully it was cake. I needed some sugar. All this networking was exhausting.
My tour around the remaining booths was uneventful except for observing that photographers are not good at small talk. Husband and I strolled outside to take a look around the rather grand grounds. We were turned back at a gate which required a ticket purchase to go any further. I then watched a fifty-something lady from the power florist school of women blag her way into the grounds on a flimsy excuse of needing to look around a venue inside the “pay for entry” enclosure. She was, you see, a wedding planner.
My entrepreneurial try-out is not going as well as hoped. I’ve just finished my routine – a bit shaky but I didn’t drop any pom poms – only to be upstaged by a back-flipping, toe-touching professional.