BOLIVIA, NC (Jan. 15, 2013) – Since December is the month for wedding engagements, it’s only natural that the wedding planning season would start in January. Coupled with Valentine’s Day, winter at the beach is the perfect one-two romantic punch to kick-start the year.

To help eager brides (and grooms) get a good start on wedding planning, the Brunswick Islands hosts two bridal shows – one in January and another in February – where prospective couples can learn about event venues, listen to local entertainment, test out favorite caterers and explore the creativity of area florists.

After a long day of planning, the betrothed can take advantage of any number of Valentine’s Day specials at area hotels and bed and breakfasts. Unwind on the wide beaches of the islands or revel in one of the area’s historic sites. Sample local restaurants and play a round of golf. Or just enjoy some calm and uninterrupted time together before event preparations get into high gear.

According to an XO Group study, nearly one out of every four couples selects a destination wedding, a 20 percent increase from 2009. North Carolina is one of the top five continental U.S. locations for a destination wedding, and with more beach than any other county in the state, the possibilities in North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands are seemingly endless.

2013 N.C. Brunswick Islands Winter Events

The Silver Coast Bridal Show – Ocean Isle Beach
Jan. 27

Meet local wedding vendors and find out more about their services including catering, photography, officiating, cakes, DJs and entertainment, event rentals, limos, venues, florists and more. Held from 1-4 p.m. at Silver Coast Winery on Barbeque Road in Ocean Isle Beach.   (910) 287-2800. Admission is free.

Southern Cape Fear Bridal Showcase – Southport
Feb. 17

Thinking about a destination wedding? Attend this event for any and all wedding planning needs in the Southern Cape Fear Coast. Representatives from catering firms, reception venues, entertainment consultants, florists, photographers, jewelers and more will be on hand to assist with preparations for a perfect wedding in the Southern Cape Fear Coast. From 1-4 p.m. at the Southport Community Building in Southport. (800) 457-6964. Admission is free for brides and $5 for other attendees.

2013 N.C. Brunswick Islands Winter Escapes – Specials and Discounts

The Sunset Inn - Sunset Beach 
Winter Blues Beach Escape
Don't let the cold winter blues come calling. Visit The Sunset Inn and soak up some sweet Southern sun! Kick back and relax in a private room with a screened porch overlooking the marsh and Intracoastal Waterway. Leave the breakfast and housekeeping to the staff, and spend some time unwinding and exploring the island, nearby shopping and restaurants. In February, stay Monday-Thursday and receive 15 percent off regular rates. Reserve Valentine's Day for two nights and receive a small bottle of bubbly. 

The Winds Beach Resort - Ocean Isle Beach
20 Percent off Winter Discount Coupons
Ocean Isle Beach is perfect in winter; no crowds and the temperatures are generally mild. Take a few days off and enjoy the beach at this beautiful time of year. The Winds Resort provides a coupon good for 20 percent off any accommodation any day of the week. This relaxing resort is perfect for vacations, romantic weekends, weddings, honeymoons, reunions, golf packages and weekend getaways. Valid through March 27.

Robert Ruark Inn - Southport
The 14 Percent Special
Every day in February is Valentine's Day at the Robert Ruark Inn. Book two weekday nights at this romantic, elegant Victorian inn and enjoy 14 percent off plus a special Valentine treat upon arrival. Choose one of four suites with a private bath, antique furnishings, luxury linens, fireplaces and AVEDA products. Enjoy a delicious breakfast and afternoon appetizers, 24/7 coffee and tea bar, bicycles and a number of cozy areas throughout the property. Call and mention the 14 percent special in honor of Valentine's month. Valid weekdays (Monday-Thursday) when two nights are booked. 

Ocean Crest Motel - Oak Island 
$57 a night
Book a standard room at the already low, off-season rate of $57 a night and upgrade to an oceanfront room for the same price, based on two persons, excluding taxes. Oceanfront rooms with private balconies are slightly more, but well worth the difference. They’re based on availability, so reserve early. Extended-stay guests can check in any day of the week and save even more with the “Pay for Five Nights - Stay for Seven” year-round special. Every season is wonderful at the Ocean Crest Motel, the only oceanfront motel on Oak Island. Valid until January 31.

Oak Island Accommodations - Oak Island
Sandy Toes Savings
Stay three nights and get the fourth free or stay seven nights and only pay for five. Offer valid on all rooms at the Island Inn Motel.

About North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands
In the southernmost corner of North Carolina, stretching from the Cape Fear River to the South Carolina border, lie North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands. Five barrier islands provide secluded spots on six pristine beaches for families and nature-lovers, while quaint island and mainland towns beckon with family-owned bed and breakfasts, restaurants and shops. Forts, lighthouses, historic architecture, boating, fishing and 34 golf courses offer plenty to do and see on a trip that harkens back to a simpler time.