Win Your Wedding

By Nora Heston Tarte

Couples who live in or travel to San Joaquin County for their nuptials spend an average of $30,719 on their wedding. That’s enough for a new car, or a down payment on your first home. Prioritizing your funds and planning a budget-friendly wedding can be rough, but couples have another option: win your wedding!

That’s right. There are multiple opportunities in or near San Joaquin County that offer engaged couples a chance to win an expenses-paid wedding – or to at least get a few of the necessities cost-free! Learn about some of this year’s contests, and then enter to win a dream-wedding package so you can have it all!

Stockton’s 19th Annual Summer Bridal Event

Brides and grooms who attend Stockton’s 19th Annual Summer Bridal Event on August 5 could walk away with a dream wedding – free of charge! The event, held from 6-9 PM at the Lincoln Farmhouse, provides multiple ways to win. The dream wedding winners will receive a package from the Morris Chapel and a custom bridal bouquet, compliments of the Chapel and Michelle’s Flower Cart.

Other grand prizes will be provided by Boomtown, Elizabeth of Lodi, Elkhorn Banquets, Formal Connection, Just for You Boutique, Minuteman Press and Marquis Entertainment. If that isn’t enough, brides who preregister can enter to win a romantic getaway, as well. Preregister online at Admission is $12.

The Luxury Wedding Show

The Luxury Wedding Show offers a unique opportunity to experience a mock wedding, from beginning to end. Featuring vendors in every wedding category from favors to florists, cosmetics to candy stations, it can help brides envision what they want their big day to look like!

Don’t forget to enter the myriad of vendor-offered giveaways while you partake in complimentary cake tastings and stock-up on free wedding magazines to help you plan your event. The show will be held from 12-4 PM at Tsakopoulos Library Galleria, in Sacramento on August 9 and January 3, 2016. Prize giveaways take place at 1:30 and 3:30 PM. Preregistration is open online at

Decadent Affair

Wine & Roses, located among Lodi’s wine country on a seven-acre historical site, is hosting Decadent Affair on August 23. The annual event welcomes brides and grooms to tour the grounds of the 66-room hotel, complete with a spa, botanical gardens and a modern gym. In addition to viewing a potential wedding venue, guests can peruse top of the line vendors, sample specialty food and drinks and watch a bridal fashion show. There are, of course, chances to win vendor prizes and fun bride and groom contests to help with the wedding expenses. Prizes change year to year and are offered by the vendors at the event. For more information, visit

International Wedding Festival

Modesto is home to the 9th Annual International Wedding Festival, Modesto’s largest bridal show. Held at Modesto Centre Plaza from 12-4 PM on September 13, the festival boasts the Central Valley’s most elite providers under one roof.

Be one of the first 100 brides and you will receive $1,000 in bridal bucks to be spent toward planning your wedding day. A 3 PM a fashion show showcases more than just wedding gowns – in addition to wedding day apparel, attendees can get a feel for DJ services and lighting options. In the past KHOP has given away $20,000 dream weddings. This year, they will offer another prize package with details to come. Keep an eye on to learn more. Tickets are $15 each.

Annual bridal events, including The Simplicity of Elegance – Stockton’s Annual Premier Bridal Event and Love in the Heart of Wine Country – Lodi’s Annual Bridal Event, have been hosted for 22 and 16 years respectively. Details for 2016 events have not been announced, but brides can visit often to look for upcoming announcements.

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