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The Johnston County Visitors Bureau BLOG is published weekly with news and feature articles on visiting the county.

Weddings in Johnston County - Expos and Expectations

Weddings in Johnston County - Expos and Expectations

Locals and visitors alike seek to make Johnston County their wedding destination. A JoCo wedding can be rustic, unique, elegant, outside in a vineyard, or inside a whimsical historic home. And with the right team, it can be all those things at once.

I have worked on the fringes of the wedding industry for years. Never as a planner, but as a provider of wedding services and a member of an association comprised of event planners. Weddings can be exceedingly elaborate or frugally modest. I have never been married, but I have lived through some weddings, let me tell you, and I have two pieces of advice.

The first tip is this: designate a wedding planner. Notice that I did not say hire. I said designate. Wedding planners are angels from God sent to organize chaos into control, cheer in your corner, wipe the sweat from your brow, fight some of the harder battles for you, and make it look like walking on air. This makes them exceedingly qualified to get you from "She said yes!" to the post-reception send-off with supreme grace. This can also make them expensive depending on the level of service you are asking of them. You certainly get what you pay for (in the best possible way). However, in the event that you cannot hire a wedding planner, designate a trusted friend or family-member (not an immediate family member) who you trust to be honest, organized, and un-biased. If it helps, call them a wedding coordinator. They will help you coordinate all the details that you can't quite accomplish on your own. After all, someone has to tell the wedding party when to walk down the aisle while you stand out of sight of your groom.  

The second piece of advice is this: go to a wedding show held within the geographical region that you wish to get married. This holds especially true for destination weddings. If you are not familiar with the area, a wedding show will introduce you to vendors within the local wedding industry. If you live in the area you want to be married in, you're not off the hook. Even if you have been planning your wedding since you were 5 years old (twice-over now that you have a Pinterest), you don't know what you don't know until you attend a local wedding expo. How many cake makers, reception venues, florists, transportation companies, caterers, and wedding planners are in your area? You don't know. Because even though you live here, you've never gotten married here. Or maybe you have... this is a judgment free zone.

The excellent news is that there are 2 up-coming wedding expos in Johnston County.

The 3rd Annual Bridal Expo is happening at The Farm January 29th from 11AM to 4PM. They will have several vendors from the wedding industry, including photographers, videographers, caterers, bakeries, florists, DJ's, travel agents and more! Advanced tickets are $7/person and tickets at the door will be $10 (cash only). The Farm also be giving tours of their venue throughout the day.

The 2017 Clayton Wedding Expo is on Saturday, February 4th, from 10AM to 2PM at The Clayton Center. Discover the latest bridal trends as you chat with 35+ vendors about everything from venue selection to catering and from bridal fashions to honeymoon destinations. The event also will feature food tastings, giveaways, and door prizes. The Clayton Wedding Expo is free and open to anyone planning a very special event in the coming months. Pre-registration for the Expo is not required, but it is highly recommended. The first 100 pre-registered brides will receive a free gift bag. Pre-register here.

You can also browse a list of wedding venues in each town within the county at any time at the Johnston County Visitors Bureau website here. We are all here to help you say I Do in Johnston County.

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Meeting Expectations in Johnston County

Meeting Expectations in Johnston County

Let Johnston County Host Your Next Meeting

Last week on the blog, I discussed getting married in Johnston County. I'd like to segway that topic into a related one... groups. For many of the same The Clayton Centerreasons JoCo excels as a wedding destination, we also offer robust venue, dining, transportation, and fun break-out options for groups. This includes wedding guests, family reunions, motorcoach and tour groups, corporate meetings and events, as well as sports tournaments.

To find the perfect space for your group, read through our meetings and facilities guide. Selecting your venue is important to more than brides. Find venues that range in size and amenities offered. You can also look into unique venue options like wineries, breweries, and even outdoor locations.

For tour operators we have recently created brand new Johnston County itineraries, highlighting the many thematic ways to introduce visitors to the area. Options include craft beverages, history, agritourism, or even shopping. Itineraries can be requested through Sarah Campbell with the Johnston County Visitors Bureau at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 919-989-8687.

Adventuring Out of the Meeting Room

Speaking of things to do, that's another excellent reason to select Johnston County for your next trade show, reunion, corporate retreat, or tournament. When your attendees/guests/clients aren't with you, there is plenty of things for them to do. The Carolina Premium Outlets provides multiple branCarolina Premium Outletsd name stores like Coach at excellent prices. Not to mention the many historic downtown areas in the county filled with boutique shops, antique stores, and art galleries. Chef-owned dining establishments offer locally-sourced, southern cuisine. Contact our local restaurants about private rooms for lunches, dinners, or cocktail receptions.

Theaters and museums provide indoor entertainment and historical depictions of Johnston County's agricultural and civil war heritage, as well as highlight our local Hollywood star Ava Gardner. Local wineries, breweries, and distilleries offer tours and tastings across the county. In addition, multiple golf courses can provide a needed afternoon break between meetings.

Johnston County also has locals specializing in transportation, catering, musical entertainment, and even performance art that can help you add an extra level of wow to your group events. For help organizing your next event, or if you have a question, again please contact Sarah Campbell at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 919-989-8687.

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Beer Wine & Shine Trail

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Travel around the county to four award-winning wineries, two breweries and get a taste of brandy along the way!  Receive a Free $30 coupon book when you complete the trail.


Meeting Planners

meeting venue with presentation screen

Johnston County offers conveniently located and affordable conference facilities for meetings, reunions, and unique destination weddings sites.  Why not select a historic home or horse farm for your next event?


Group Tour Operators

girl with camera in travel group

Groups have discovered exits along I-40 and I-95 for outlet shopping, music theatre, museums and heritage sites.  Call today for custom itinerary planning.


Hotel Packages

hotel bed and pillow with johnston county logo

We have created several special hotel packages including a Girlfriends Getaway for outlet shopping, we know you need a break and great deals on shoes!  Click here to book your getaway today.


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Check out what other travelers say about Johnston County, North Carolina on TripAdvisor. TripAdvisor
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