January bridal fair to make the move to the Tulalip Resort Casino
TULALIP — The ninth annual Northwest Bridal Showcase will move from the Edward D. Hansen Conference Center at Comcast Arena to a new home at the Tulalip Resort Casino’s Chinook and Orca ballrooms on Jan. 14 and 15.
As an added bonus, the Tulalip Resort Casino will simultaneously hold its Wedding Open House to showcase its amenities and services.
Since 2004, the Northwest Bridal Showcase, which is the largest bridal show in the county, has been held in the conference center at Comcast. But show owner Paulette Deckers needed to enlarge the event to meet vendor demand.
Comcast Arena wasn’t able to do so without altering the format and removing some important elements, such as the fashion show stage. As the fashion show is one of the most popular parts of the Bridal Showcase, Deckers said that wasn’t an option.
Deckers didn’t want to turn down the new vendors who had been making inquiries or disappoint existing vendors who wanted more booth space.
“I have the best vendors in the world,” she said.
So she made the difficult decision to change venues. She believes there was no other option.
Deckers tentatively approached Tulalip Resort Casino, unsure if they would be interested. It turned out they were and worked with her to get everything in place.
“I think they have wanted an event like this at the facility,” Deckers said. “Over the past two years they have had an open house to promote their bridal services, so this is a really nice combination. With the show, they get to showcase their bridal services to a larger number of people.”
Tammi Bryant Olson, director of marketing at Comcast Arena, said Brad Buckles and Brides Club will replace Deckers’ event with bridal shows on Jan. 28 and 29 and Sept. 22 and 23.
“We hosted the Northwest Bridal Showcase here for eight years and we produced the Dress Dash as an accompaniment to that show,” Bryant Olson said in a statement. “It was a pleasure working with Paulette to grow her show and we wish her the best.”
Deckers said she still appreciates the years she spent at Comcast Arena and looks back on that time fondly, but she can’t help but be excited over the new venue with its new possibilities.
For a start, parking will be easier compared to downtown Everett. That was something she knows many attendees found difficult at past shows. The Tulalip facility is also appropriate for the event. The AAA-rated, four-diamond resort is already a popular wedding and honeymoon destination.
The Tulalip Resort Casino and nearby Seattle Premium Outlets offer dining and shopping opportunities within easy walking distance. These attractions may also serve as a draw for more Canadian visitors to come to the Bridal Showcase.
While it won’t be open in time for this year’s event, Deckers joked that next year’s brides may find it easier to get grooms to come to the show after the new Cabela’s sporting goods store opens.
Some brides spend one day scoping the vendors and return the next for detailed information after discussing options with their grooms. Bridal Showcase tickets are good for re-entry both days.
There will also be a special dress sale again this year. In the past, the Northwest Bridal Showcase teamed up with Brides Against Breast Cancer and a local radio station for an annual dress dash. Because Brides Against Breast Cancer stuck with Comcast Arena, the Northwest Bridal Showcase will offer a three-hour gown sale on Jan. 14 called Run for the One.
This new dress sale will feature gowns from local dress shops priced at $199 or less. Deckers hopes to team up with another charity for a similar dress event in the future.
The Northwest Bridal Showcase will feature its popular fashion show at 2 p.m. each day. The show runs about 45 minutes and includes tuxedos, bridesmaid dresses and other attendant attire.
More than 100 vendors, about 20 more than in past years, will be at this year’s Northwest Bridal Showcase. Some bakers and caterers plan to have samples available.
Tickets, on sale now at www.nwbridalshowcase.com, are $2 less than the price at the door.
Deckers has great hopes for this year’s show and venue. She’s encouraged by its growth and the increase in vendor inquiries. She also thinks that people are starting to see the benefit in staying local for their wedding services.
“Why travel way south or way north to get what you need when you can get it all here?” she asked. Many brides are surprised to learn that travel fees often apply for services ordered outside of the county.
While vendor space is already filled for this Northwest Bridal Showcase, Decker will begin taking reservations for 2013’s new vendor space in March. Businesses that make arrangements in advance are able to get a free walk-through of this year’s event.
M.L. Dehm is a freelance writer for the Snohomish County Business Journal.