Michelle & Sharon | April 23, 2016

24 May

In a traditional wedding the bride’s dress is a secret kept up until the moment she walks down the aisle. Many modern day weddings include a first look which is captured on film an hour or so before the ceremony. In both cases the bride usually provides input into what the groom wears in order to achieve a specific overall vision for the weddings.

So what do you do when the wedding includes two brides, both of which want to share in that day of surprise? Send a trusted friend to review both selections and ensure a cohesive wedding day look. The result a picture perfect ceremony!

Location: Holiday Inn Sunspree, Wrightsville Beach

Stacy & Lee | April 16, 2016

16 May

Trading the safety and predictability of an indoor ceremony for a spectacular setting only mother nature can provide does come at a risk.  However, with countless picture perfect nuptials and more than a few last-minute miracles under my belt I can generally say the odds are pretty good if you plan a beach wedding in North Carolina it will most likely happen on the beach.  Nevertheless, every now and then mother nature throws us a curveball we just can’t work around.  Hours of relentless rain, unyielding gale force winds and yes even the occasional hurricane may foil your vision of the perfect seaside ceremony, but it doesn’t have to ruin your wedding.  On days like this its best to order another glass of champagne, try and relax and trust your vendors to handle it.   

Standing inside Stacy’s beach house a few hours prior to the ceremony, all seemed well.  It was a perfect 81 degrees and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky, but down at the shore it was a different story.  With 20mph sustained winds and blasts of sand whirling about we all agreed it was time to consider other options. 

Although a veranda wedding wasn’t exactly what the bride had envisioned it turned out to be the perfect alternative.  In the safety of the dunes about 100 yards from our intended location we found just enough wind to give our flags some movement, but not enough to tussle the brides hair.  Not bad for a last minute Plan B!

Location: Wrightsville Beach, NC


Natalie & Jason | April 2, 2016

17 Mar

Yes wedding planning is primarily the bride’s domain, but the best weddings are those that take both people’s ideas into account. After all, marriage is all about teamwork. So if your groom is interested in being part of the process, let him and if he isn’t, encourage him to become involved.

Giving your groom special
projects that cater to his interests can really help get him in the wedding spirit and excited about the planning process. It will also show that you value his opinion and trust his judgement. Of course I’m not suggesting handing over full reign of vision and decor, but most grooms are more than capable of helping out with a few specific projects and appreciate being asked to participate.

Natalie and Jason’s seaside ceremony was the perfect mix of her vision and his ingenuity. She handled the music, flowers, food and reception decor. He helped out with the wedding ring selection and directional signage which included a nod to his favorite pastime, fishing!


Location: Holden Beach, NC


Amy & Chris | October 25, 2015

9 Feb

amy-chris-3-blogIt’s easy to become all consumed with trivial details in the quest for a perfect wedding day.  Yes getting married is a huge deal and it should be a wonderful experience.  However, what makes it perfect isn’t food and flowers, but special people and fleeting moments.  The ability to be present and really appreciate that shared time with loved ones is what makes the wedding experience truly spectacular.  However, it’s a hard thing to do and I am always surprised when I see it happen.

The days leading up to this wedding were amy-chris-2-blogfilled with love as this bride and groom stocked every bedroom at the ocean front house with special treats for honored guests.  Handmade signs denoting each couple’s room framed the doors.  About an hour before the ceremony was set to begin the groom headed to the living room greeting his guests with warm hugs and a cold beers.  We started a bit late due to a slight mishap with the cake, but some creative friends rallied to the occasion to the sweet sound of the bride’s praises.  Cocktail hour was also a bit delayed due to extended well wishes and extra photo time will all attendees, but the bride and groom didn’t seem to mind.  After all, how often are you surround by so many special people in your life?

Location: North Topsail Island, NC



Alex & Justin | October 24, 2015

14 Jan

alex-justin-4-blogWhy We Love Fort Fisher Ocean Grove

Its got a great ocean view and a magnificent live oak canopy to shade your guests from the sun.

There is free parking directly across the street and easy access to restrooms.

Why Fort Fisher Loves Us

Our floating platform and wooden walkway looks fantastic and leaves no trace (no digging or raking required).  Set-up is quick and there’s no evidence we have been here after we leave.

Why Alex and Justin Love This Place

Justin took Alex on their first date here and it’s where he popped the question a few years later.

Why I Love This Bride

She’s a tall girl like me and not afraid to rock heels down the aisle

Location: Fort Fisher Ocean Grove, Fort Fisher


Crystal & Phillip | October 24, 2015

8 Jan



I’ve been looking forward to this post since we booked Crystal and Phillip’s wedding over 18 months ago.  Although we have highlighted many weddings on the beach beside the Oceanic Restaurant, this is the first one we did on the pier.  Yes, I’m partial to this venue.  After all, it is where Paul and I had our first date and where we got engaged seven years later.  But nostalgia aside, it’s truly a beautiful place for a wedding.  With a spectacular 500 foot walk down the aisle and grand views of the horizon all around I can certainly see why Crystal Pier has become a popular choice for local and destination brides alike.  I also think it is fitting that our first bride on the pier shared its namesake. 

This wedding was also a reunion of sorts as Crystal’s bridesmaid Becky was actually a Beachside Occasions bride back in 2011 and Becky’s father officiated both weddings.  

It’s been nearly nine years since Paul popped the question and a little over a year since Crystal and Phillip said I do.   Where does the time go?  Since tying the knot the couple welcomed a handsome baby boy.  We couldn’t be happier for them both.  

Location: The Oceanic Pier, Wrightsville Beach


Rose & Jonathan | October 18, 2015

5 Jan


Today I experienced my first runaway bride . . . well, sort of. Unlike Julia Roberts in the movie this bride chose to runaway with her groom.

rose-jonathan-1blogThe wedding day festivities began bright and early for Rose, Jonathan, and their faithful wedding party as the crew readied themselves at the starting line of the Ocean Isle Beach Oyster Festival 5K/10K road race. Running a 5K wasn’t initially part of the plan, but for these avid triathletes finding out there was a wedding day race less than a half a mile from their beach house was too tempting to resist. This naturally lead to the printing of race day wedding t-shirts and some friendly competition. Friends and family that chose not to run lined the finish line to cheer them on. What a fun and memorable way to start a new life together!

Location: 69 West First Street, Ocean Isle Beach


Marissa & Will | October 17, 2015

31 Oct


I can’t believe the 2016 wedding season is coming to an end.  It’s been a great year, but I still have a lot of fun moments from 2015 to share.  I look forward to showcasing some great new venues and creative ceremony ideas in the months to come.

marissa-will-2blogAlthough most of our weddings take place on Wrightsville and Carolina Beach we always look forward to the opportunity to explore the surrounding coastline traveling as far north as North Topsail Island and as far south as Sunset Beach.  Today we hit the road for Oak Island.  I must admit I have a love/hate relationship with this beach.  I love the tree lined streets and the small town atmosphere.  It’s close to Southport and quick ferry ride from the Fort Fisher Aquarium.  I love its expansive shore line and the fact that even in peak season the beach is relatively quiet.  What I hate about Oak Island its limited selection of wedding venues (that is until now).

Making its debut on the island in November 2014, 801 Ocean Drive is the perfect venue for a beach wedding.  With high ceiling, enormous windows and an open floor plan this place was built with large gatherings in mind.  In addition to having a spectacular reception space 801 Ocean Drive also has plenty of space for the wedding party to get ready.  Best of all it’s ocean front.

Location: 801 Ocean Drive, Oak Island, NC


Alison & Andy | October 3, 2015

11 Sep

Alison & Andy #1 (Blog)

Although we can’t promise our brides perfect weather on their wedding day, we do promise to do everything possible to make the ceremony happen on the beach.  So far our success rate has been pretty good thanks in large part to our hard working, creative crew.

The weekend of OctoberAlison & Andy #22(Blog) 2nd brought torrential rain to the North Carolina Coast.  The combination of Hurricane Joaquin passing well to the east, an upper level low pressure system off the Southeast U.S. coast and a stalled cold front resulted in 16 inches of rain. As noted in my previous posts one of my favorite things about working at Shell Island is the vast beach front. We never have to worry about the tide line here. In fact, the distance to the ocean is so great that we often end up transporting grandparents back and forth to the ceremony in the Beachside Occasions truck.

However, on the morning of October 3rd we arrived to find the ocean all the way up to the hotel. Needless to say the bride and her dad were very concerned. After prompting Alison’s bridesmaids to get her another mimosa we headed to the beach with her dad to check out our options. Recognizing there was little chance that the 4-foot-deep tide covering the ceremony location would subside before our predetermined start time we headed south looking for a dry spot large enough to accommodate our large pavilion and 48 chairs.  As luck would have it, we found just enough beach one access down and with the bride’s okay set-up commenced at Access #2.

Alison & Andy #3(Blog)This wedding taught me two things.  First, there is usually (not always) plenty of beach in front of the Shell Island Resort.  Second, torrential rain is no match for a flexible bride and a resourceful Beachside Occasions crew.


Location: Shell Island Resort, Wrightsville Beach


Terri & Kyra | September 25, 2016

9 Sep


Terri & Kyra #2(Blog)For most beach brides feeling the sand between their toes is one of the draws of a seaside ceremony.  However, we’ve had more than a few bride’s express concerns about walking long distances in the sand, especially if they are planning to wear shoes and/or have full skirted gowns.  Although we always give our brides the option to set-up closer to the dunes in order to shorten their walk, the best pictures always come from the weddings on the ocean’s edge. 

I love Fort Fisher for many reasons, but the walk to the shore is certainly not one of them.    Although the second berm offers a spectacular view of the ocean the
trek out there in formal attire can be a bit challenging.  Our solution at this wedding was to run 80 feet of walkway making this the longest aisle in Beachside Occasion’s history! 

Location: Fort Fisher Recreation, Fort Fisher