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Bridal Fair Season begins

Wedding bell do’s, don’ts

Northwest Guardian

Published: 01:21PM February 16th, 2017

If you go

Bridal Fair, at American Lake Conference Center, 8085 NCO Beach Road, Lewis North, Feb. 25, 4:30 to 8 p.m. Cost is $10 per couple or free for those who’ve already booked.

Wedding workshops South Sound Wedding and Event Magazine is offering two free wedding workshops. The event includes tips from professionals and a goodie bag. Sessions include: Indian Summer Golf and Country Club, 5900 Troon Lane SE, Olympia, Thursday, 6 to 8 p.m. and Titlow Lodge, 8425 2th Ave., Tacoma, March 11, 2 to 4 p.m. Visit southsoundweddingshow



Northwest Guardian

If you’re planning a wedding in the coming months, attending a local bridal fair or wedding show might be the best one-stop shopping opportunity to firm up those last minute details. The events also are helpful for those just getting started with wedding plans.

There are several upcoming events, including a Bridal Fair at American Lake Conference Center, 8085 NCO Beach Road, Lewis North, Feb. 25 from 4:30 to 8 p.m. Cost is free for those who’ve already booked their wedding event at the center or $10 for couples who have not booked.

Most wedding shows include everything from catering, cake tasting and disc jockeys to favors, floral designs and fashion shows. If you’re just getting started in the planning, don’t get too worried about missing deadlines or making it all perfect.

“I always tell people don’t stress out. At the end of the day, you’ll get married even if one or two details didn’t work out,” said Nathan Allan, owner and innkeeper at Swantown Inn and Spa, a boutique wedding venue in Olympia.

Swantown was one of several area venues featured at the South Sound Wedding Show at Saint Martin’s University’s Marcus Pavilion Feb. 4. It was also one of the many vendors who offered door prizes and gift certificates at the event — another reason to visit the shows.

The SMU event was a big hit for several brides-to-be, including 28-year-old, Maggie Carmack of Lacey, who is planning her July 22 nuptials when she will marry fiance, Joel McMillan, a Yelm High School math teacher. Carmack attended the South Sound Wedding Show with her mom, Pat Carmack.

The bride-to-be said she has her event mostly planned, but is looking for a caterer and photographer to make her wedding plans complete. Shortly after she and her mom entered the doors at SMU, she heard her name announced on the loud speaker. She’d won an overnight stay at Swantown Inn.

“I’m so excited,” she said, after Allan told her there was still enough time to book her free stay at the bed and breakfast to coordinate with her summer wedding plans.

Twenty-four-year-old Alicia Tullo, of Olympia, also hoped to get some ideas at the recent wedding show. Tullo and her fiance were engaged June 16 and plan for a wedding July 18, 2018.

“We’ve been together for eight years, so I’m not concerned about getting married, but I am worried we’re in the dark when it comes to planning a wedding,” she said.

Tullo’s mom, Annmarie Tullo, attended the event with her daughter. The mom has been married for 30 years and has been through the wedding planning process before for herself; however, that was a much smaller event — planned for 60 people in New York. Alicia is planning for about three times that many in attendance, she said.

Several of the vendors at the South Sound Wedding Show said they hoped to also have displays at the American Lake event.

To get the best results from a bridal fair or wedding show, here are some tips for brides-to-be compiled by Paula Lowe, publisher of Wedding and Event Magazine, which coordinates the South Sound Wedding Show:

• Write a list of wedding professionals or services that you are looking for so, when you arrive at the show, you will spend more time visiting the professionals you need.

• Consider creating an email for your wedding, so you can track your wedding emails easier.

• Bring premade labels with your name, email, phone number and wedding date so you can quickly register for prizes and other opportunities. Plus labels are more legible than handwriting.

• If you have Pinterest boards, a wedding notebook or fabric color swatches, bring those to the show to share with wedding professionals that you might consider hiring.

• Wedding show vendors often offer special pricing for wedding show participants, so bring your checkbook, debit and credit cards so you can make deposits with selected wedding professionals if you are ready to book with them.