Wedding entrepreneur launches local wedding venue tour

A Whatcom County business is launching an annual tour of wedding venues in hopes of making venue selection easier for its customers.

The inaugural Whatcom Wedding Tour will take place on Sunday, Oct. 18. Local wedding planning company The Simply Organized Bride organized the tour.

For $5, participants can tour eight venues, including the Fox Hall at Hampton Inn, Hotel Bellwether, Shuksan Golf Club, Lairmont Manor, Four Points by Sheraton (formerly Lakeway Inn), the Ferndale Events Center and the Chrysalis Inn & Spa.

Most venues will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Attendees are asked to check in at Gown & Glove Bridal Consignment, at 1521 Cornwall Ave., to pick up a guide book and goodie bag before the tour.

Each venue will have wedding-related vendors making presentations throughout the day on catering, floral displays, photography, hair and makeup, event planning, bridal fashions and other topics.

The Silver Reef Hotel Casino Spa, also a venue on the tour, will have an after party starting at 4 p.m. with fashion shows, dance lessons, door prizes and a buffet.

For Deborah Thibodeau, owner of The Simply Organized Bride, the wedding tour represents growth for her business and comes as a response to a changing industry.

The average wedding budget has increased from $22,062 in 2009 to $26,499 in 2015, according to wedding industry data firm The Wedding Report. In that time, the average number of wedding attendees has decreased, the report said.

Locally, couples are allotting less time to plan ceremonies, Thibodeau said.

“The national average is 14 months, but we often see Whatcom County brides with a timeline of six months or less,” she said. “This means soon-to-be-wed individuals need to research and explore options in a fast and efficient way.”

Learn more about the Whatcom Wedding Tour at

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