2017 Outer Banks Wedding Weekend & Expo {Tips and Tricks}

So you’re engaged? CONGRATULATIONS!!! The Outer Banks Wedding Weekend & Expo hosted by The Outer Banks Wedding Association is a must-do for any couple planning an OBX Wedding! It’s fast approaching and the weekend of January 13th & 14th will be here before we know it! It can be an exciting, and sometimes overwhelming experience, but definitely one you’ll remember forever. We’ve compiled our best advice for how to prepare and tackle the weekend of events!



  • PURCHASE YOUR TICKETS ONLINE. You can find those HERE. The VIP Ticket includes a bag of expo goodies and swag provided by the Sponsor Vendors, while the General Admission ticket is perfect for bringing along your fiance, parents, or bridal party.
  • BOOK YOUR ACCOMMODATIONS EARLY.  Visit the Wedding Weekend Page on the OBWA site to read all about the weekend’s schedule of events. This is also where you can read about various “expo perks” the amazing OBWA vendors are offering for the weekend, including discounts on accommodations specifically for expo attendees.
  • BRING PRE-PRINTED ADDRESS LABELS. Many vendors offer giveaways at their booth, and having your info pre-printed will save you time (and hand cramps!). Printed labels also make it easy for vendors to contact you, as opposed to deciphering handwriting. Info included should be : Name, Hometown, Phone Number, Email Address, Wedding Date/Venue
  • DO YOUR RESEARCH AND ARRIVE WITH A PLAN. Visit the Vendor Page of the OBWA website to get an idea of who you’d like to talk with during the show, but be open to chatting with those who maybe weren’t on your radar. You never know who you’ll click with!





  • CHECK IN EARLY. The OBWA office is open until 8pm on Friday, January 13th for Wedding Weekend Check-In. Bring your online confirmation to check-in where you’ll receive your VIP Bag, wristbands, and all the weekend info you’ll need! The OBWA office is located at 128 Grenville Street in Manteo. Checking in early means no waiting in line on Saturday or Sunday….just show your wristbands at the door and breeze right in!
  • FAMILIARIZE YOURSELF WITH THE AREA. If you aren’t already familiar with the OBX, taking some time to check out the map and become familiar with the various towns. The Outer Banks is a vast area with wedding venues stretching from the 4×4 area of Carova all the way down to Ocracoke Island.
  • PLAN YOUR TOUR STOPS. The Saturday evening self-guided tour is a must for those who haven’t picked a venue yet or just to see the venue you’ve already booked. Many vendors will set up at tour stops, making it the perfect opportunity to chat with people you might be interested in. It’s important to be realistic about what venues you’d like to visit – if you plan to visit stops in Corolla it’s not likely you’ll also make it to stops in Manteo.





  • WEAR COMFORTABLE SHOES. You’ll be spending a lot of time on your feet, expo day isn’t the time for stilettos!
  • LEAVE YOUR COAT IN THE CAR. It’s winter on the OBX, and while likely to be cold/chilly this time of year the last thing you’ll want to do is carry a coat around once inside…..especially while trying to eat!
  • COME HUNGRY. Most caterers and cake vendors will have lots of samples to show off their food and sweets. Everything from BBQ to Sliders and Cupcakes to Slushies, there’s a lot to snack on.
  • BRING YOUR CHECKBOOK. A lot of vendors offer discounts and show specials for booking them that weekend. It’s a great way to save a little money. This is why it’s helpful to do your research ahead of time so you feel comfortable with your decision and not pressured to sign on the dotted line. Likewise, some vendors book up VERY FAST, especially for prime dates. If you’re in talks with a vendor, it might not be a good idea to wait until the expo to finalize your contract – you risk the chance of someone else beating you to it!
  • HAVE FUN. Don’t let all the information overwhelm you! This should be a great weekend to meet vendors, see venues, and eat amazing food!
  • TAKE A BREAK, THEN HIT THE TOUR. The self-guided tour runs Saturday evening from 5-9pm. This gives attendees a couple hours to relax before blazing a trail. Don’t forget, for every tour stop you visit you’ll earn an extra stamp, which can be redeemed for additional entry tickets for the Dream Wedding Drawing. Make sure to check out the Expo Guide to see what vendors are involved and all the details. **Remember : The Dream Wedding is a SET DATE and the package must be accepted “as is”.**




The best piece of advice I can give is to pre-purchase your tickets online, and check in early at the OBWA office on Friday! This gives you an edge because you’ll get Friday evening to sift through your VIP Bag, view the 2017 Outer Banks Weddings Magazine, and get a game plan together for what vendors you want to see. The biggest perk is NO LINES on Expo Day 1! That’s right, with early check-in you and your whole crew will already have your wristbands. Show your arm at the door and breeze right in!!

Aside from that, don’t be afraid to get in there and ask questions! You never know who you might connect with and what you might end up loving! Shopping for vendors is like shopping for a wedding dress….go in with an open mind!



The Details

  • Friday, January 13th {Early Check-In @ OBWA Office : 128 Grenville St, Manteo}
  • Saturday, January 14th {Expo Day 1 : 9am-3pm @ First Flight Middle & Schools}
  • Saturday, January 14th {Self Guided Tour : 5pm-9pm}
  • Sunday, January 15th {Expo Day 2 : 9am-3pm @ First Flight Middle & High Schools}





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