Culpeper wedding show next weekend, elopements are the latest trend

When it comes to the hottest trends in weddings, doing it on the fly appears to top the list.

“The latest trend is definitely elopements,” said Joy Orr, owner of The Refinery, a special events venue in Downtown Culpeper.

“Everyone is doing really tasteful and intimate elopements, so they can still splurge a little and make it a gorgeous event, without having the cost of a full wedding.”

The Refinery still has limited availability for 2023 weddings, including an inclusive elopement package which makes planning even easier, she said.

The Wedding Show and Giveaway at The Refinery returns Sunday, Jan. 29, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. It will be a one-stop shop for all things related to nuptials and will offer a chance for one lucky couple to win a free wedding.

“If you have just started your wedding planning journey and you don’t know where to even start with the massive amount of things on your to-do list, then come to this incredible wedding show,” Orr said.

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There will be premier vendors in every category, a catered meal and an array of desserts to try. At the end of the event, The Refinery will give away a free wedding weekend with accommodations for up to 16 people in two recently renovated overnight suites next door.

Additional giveaways at the show will be for a photography package, place settings, bridal makeup and hair, cake, bridal bouquet, mini boudoir sessions, a cocktail-hour charcuterie spread, DJ services, a wedding design package, up-lighting or cold sparks, and a gourmet dessert spread.

“We understand that you have lots of questions and just want to hire the best of the best to make your day go perfectly,” said Orr. “That is why we have assembled this team of vendors that our venue has used time and time again—the definition of tried, true and trusted.”

Tickets to The Wedding Show and Giveaway are available on Eventbrite.

As couples returned to a semi-normal wedding season following more than two years of pandemic, The Wedding Report called 2022 the busiest year of weddings in over 40 years, according to a July release on the PR Wire from Helzberg Diamonds.

And as prices and demand continue to surge, many couples are reconsidering what’s most important to them on their big day. A national survey to more than 1,000 U.S.-based couples who were engaged last summer found that 62% of them were open to a scaled-back, elopement-style wedding. The number was higher for women at 69%, according to the release.

According to survey results, the average wedding cost is up to $33,204, and 26% of couples think they are spending too much. When respondents were asked which wedding day services they would go without, top answers included flowers, alcohol, a band/DJ and a videographer, which could save couples on average $19,480, the release stated.