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JCVB Blog

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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Johnston County Wedding Expo(s)

Johnston County Wedding Expo(s)

Say I Do in JoCo


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.


Experience a Wedding Expo


The excellent news is that there will be 2 wedding expos in the month of January in Johnston County. Locals are welcome. Non-locals are also welcome. If you live in the Triangle area, or in any area surrounding JoCo, but you don't want a Raleigh wedding, or you want a little hint of a destination wedding without having to travel so far... come get to know JoCo. We've got bride-choice wedding venues and southern hospitality at the ready.

The 2nd Annual Bridal Expo is happening at The Farm this Sunday January 10 from 11AM to 4PM. This event is FREE but to save time, plan on registering here before you come. There will be dozens of vendors on site for you to talk to about your upcoming big day! The Farm itself is also a venue and tours will be conducted every hour beginning at 11:30AM.

The 2016 Clayton Wedding Expo is on Saturday, January 23, from 11AM to 4PM at The Clayton Center. Discover the latest bridal trends as you chat with vendors about everything from venue selection to catering and from bridal fashions to honeymoon destinations. 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 and can be done here. The first 100 pre-registered brides will receive a free gift bag.

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 JoCo!

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Evans to Unveil a Jewel of a Store

Evans to Unveil a Jewel of a Store

Evans to Unveil a Jewel of a Store

Evans New Shop

Evans Jewelers is happy to announce the Grand Opening of their new location, 320 E. Market St. in downtown Smithfield. On September 18th a ribbon cutting ceremony will begin at 5:00pm followed by a night of live music, food, and beverages. It is open to the public and it is a night more than 2 years in the making. As owner Daniel Evans said, " we have been so blessed in our business that we needed more space, but we wanted to do it right. We had been discussing it for a while before deciding on our new location and getting to work on the remodel." 


The new space is truly only a few paces away from their current story, but much larger. Daniel said he chose the location because he loves being in downtown Smithfield, "the downtown area is historic and it has a lot to offer."


Visitors to the new shop will be pleasantly surprised. It does not look like a jewelry store. It has an open, urban loft feel to it with plenty of hardwood, brass, and cooper elements to give it a warm feeling. Honestly, I wanted to move in. I was assured that was the feel they were going for. Evans Jewelers will be a destination... and one with a lot to offer.

 

Not Your Typical Grocery Store

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To begin with I was told that Evans will always first and foremost be a jewelry store, as it has been for over 40 years. But the new location will allow for the offering of ancillary products. One of those products will be cigars from the Dominican Republic. There will be 5 blends on offer, uniquely made for Evans Jewelers and stored in the stunning Spanish oak walk-in humidor in the shop. Eventually the shop will also carry affordable boutique wines. It will be a small collection, but full of vineyards and varietals you can't find in a grocery store.


The new store location will also see the edition of a bridal registry. Not just fine china, but everyday china, pewter serving pieces, glassware, crystal, and other giftware. But the selection won't be limited to brides. Baby, graduation, and retirement gifts will also be available. Brides will be able to sign-up for the registry in-store and sit down with Anna Evans to discuss the makings of their ideal registry. Evans will send out registration announcements at no additional cost to you and they can also take orders over the phone and ship purchases for guests that do not live in the area.

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The wine tastings, cigar blendings, charity events, and other happenings will soon be a normal occurrence in the new made-for-entertaining Evans space. But I asked Daniel in light of all the new additions, what he liked best about being a jeweler, "about 75-80% of our products are custom designed pieces. So, what I enjoy most is seeing a customer smile when we really get it right, when the piece of jewelry we make for them is exactly what they wanted. And knowing that the piece we created for them may one day be a family heirloom, that creates connectivity across generations." 


Almost every product at Evans is truly unique and Daniel says that it is this sense of matchlessness that lends itself to the hard work and individuality they put into the new Evans Jewelers location. He says that he hopes customers will appreciate the blending of old and new. If you want to see the amazing space for yourself, mark the evening of the 18th of September on your calendar. I'll see you at the grand opening!

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The Halloween Bash at Brick & Mortar: Clayton's newest event venue

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Pirates and zombies descended on Clayton, NC… and no, not for trick or treat. These characters gathered for dinner and dancing at Brick & Mortar, the newest events venue in town which features rustic brick walls and 30’ ceilings in a wide open space with bar, dining area and dance floor. Cozy nooks are built in, too, allowing for more intimate conversation. It’s a great addition to Johnston County’s ever expanding entertainment options.

My husband and I donned our pirate gear and headed out for the fun. We enjoyed an incredible buffet dinner, dancing and drinks. We both highly recommend this as a group night on the town!

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A group from Riverwood enjoying the Halloween Bash

The location was once home to Mulberry on Main, one of the town’s premier independent restaurants. The owners, Jerry and Bernadette, enjoyed serving their customers through the years, but they recently closed the restaurant to focus on the catering side of the business. 

After a major remodel, Brick & Mortar Events began hosting weddings, corporate meetings and other special events. Desiring to remain connected to the community as a whole, they also offer public events for adults. The Clayton community can continue to enjoy the superior hospitality and great cuisine they’ve come to love from Mulberry on Main, in a new and memorable way.

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About Jerry and Bernadette Gubitosi

Jerry was inspired to cook from a young age by helping his mom in the kitchen, preparing meals for their large, close-knit family. It’s no surprise that his career took him into restaurant kitchens from a young age. He learned from every chef he worked under, whether the pizzeria or the 4-star Italian restaurant. 

After he and Bernadette married, they opened their first restaurant in New Jersey in 1986. Their success is due, in part, to their family’s commitment to helping them. At that first restaurant, Jerry’s younger sisters would work weekends alongside Jerry and his parents. They were only 12 and 13 at the time, but they worked hard, earned their money and saved enough to buy their own cars at age 16. That’s a solid work ethic!

When Jerry and Bernadette moved their family to North Carolina, his extended family followed to support their dream. His mom still works Fridays, making her famous lasagna for the catering business. At Brick & Mortar, Jerry continues to run the kitchen. Bernadette and a couple of their adult daughters work front of house. Other family members work the bar and behind the scenes. This family’s commitment to a dream -- and to Clayton -- is evident in everything they do.

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Welcome the New Year at Brick & Mortar

Brick & Mortar’s next event is coming up on New Year’s Eve, where you can welcome the new year with dining and dancing. Leave the cooking and planning to Brick & Mortar and invite your friends to join you! Ticket information will be available later this week at their website.

Events at Brick & Mortar

Advanced reservations are encouraged, though limited tickets may be available at the door.

Evening events are geared for adults.

A cash bar is available.

Parking is plentiful, whether in the side lot next to the building, on the street or in the main parking area at the corner of Main and Lombard streets. 

Certainly, the addition of Brick & Mortar to Clayton gives Johnston County residents (and our friends from the Raleigh area) a great opportunity to enjoy a night out on the town, without having to drive into the big city.

 

 

 

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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.

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Meeting Planners

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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?

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Group Tour Operators

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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.

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Hotel Packages

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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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FREE TRAINING

 

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