According to event and wedding experts, there have been significant changes in the way couples plan their special day.
Brides and grooms have increased their budgets ($22,062 in 2009 to $26,449 in 2015), lowered the number of attendees (149 in 2009 to 136 in 2015), and expanded their options when it comes to selecting the perfect venue.
While some couples still choose traditional church and ballroom settings for their wedding, others are seeking venues that offer natural beauty or interesting architecture—like historic buildings, golf courses and waterfront hotels.
“Many of today’s brides are looking for venues and vendors that can help them create something new and fresh—they specifically want a unique setting and décor that looks amazing in photographs,” said Deborah Thibodeau, Northwest Washington wedding expert and owner of The Simply Organized Bride.
Thibodeau says budgets, guest list size and venue selection are not the only things that have changed since she launched her bridal and event resource business in 2002.
In addition to getting more creative with venue selection, she has observed that couples are shortening the timeline they give themselves for planning their special day.
“The national average is 14 months, but we often see Whatcom County brides with a timeline of 6 months or less—this means soon-to-be-wed individuals need to research and explore options in a fast and efficient way.”
With changing bridal trends in mind, Thibodeau recently established a new division of The Simply Organized Bride called Whatcom Wedding Tour.
Whatcom Wedding Tour will be an annual fall event that provides an affordable, convenient way for local couples to visit multiple venues and meet dozens of event vendors in one day.
The first annual Whatcom Wedding Tour will take place on Sunday, October 18th. Seven of the eight venues on the tour–including Ferndale Events Center, Fox Hall at Hampton Inn, Hotel Bellwether, Shuksan Golf Club, Lairmont Manor, Lakeway Inn (soon to be Four Points by Sheraton), and The Chrysalis Inn & Spa–will be open to ticket holders from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
There will be 4-6 vendors at each venue including local companies that offer catering, floral design, photography, hair and makeup, event planning, bridal fashions, and more.
Silver Reef Hotel Casino Spa, also a venue on the tour, will be open from noon to 7 p.m. with an after party event starting at 4 p.m. that includes ongoing fashion shows, dance lessons, door prizes and a complimentary buffet.
“Tickets are just $5 per person—we want the tour to be a fun and informative day that brides can share with family and members of their bridal party. It will be like a travelling event planning party around Whatcom County.”
Visit thesimplyorganizedbride.com to learn more about Whatcom Wedding Tour, including ticket information.