Tag Archives: Carolina Beach Courtyard Marriott

Ingrid & Neal | June 16, 2016

20 Jan

Yes, the majority of
our weddings do take place on location as planned, but when the weather doesn’t cooperate it’s always nice to have a good “Plan B”.  Deciding to move the ceremony inside is ultimately up to the bride and groom, but we try to make it easier by offering a professional option and preparing for both possibilities so the couple can make that decision as late as possible.

On the morning of Ingrid and Neal’s wedding there wasn’t a cloud in the sky, however; sustained winds of 20 mph with gusts up to 30 mph had this bride and groom reconsidering their ceremony location.  We had discussed the possibility of moving their ceremony inside during the rehearsal, but decided to wait until a few hours before start time to make the call.  We arrived onsite prepared for both options, and invited the couple to meet us on the beach.  A few minutes later we were headed inside to talk to the banquet manager.

Fortunately the Courtyard Marriott has a great ballroom and a wonderfully accommodating crew.  Kudos to the Nellie and her team for helping make this ceremony so beautiful.

Location: Courtyard Marriott, Carolina Beach

LaDester & Tavaris | June 12, 2016

5 Jan

Our brides are always the talk of the beach!  From the moment we place our first chair until the ceremony starts curious onlookers come down to check out the action and ask questions about the ceremony.  The hotel balcony is always full of guests with iPhones in hand hoping to capture a shot of the bride for their vacation reel.  Little girls wrapped in towels stand by the pool fence and cheer as the bride walks out the door.  It’s definitely fun to share in the bride’s special day, and even come down for a quick picture in front of the arbor after the ceremony.  The BSO crew is always happy to step back and take your picture.

I’m not sure if it was the 150 chairs dressed in hot pink sashes or the beautiful flowers provided by Carolina Beach Blooms but this ceremony definitely drew an impressive crowd.  Onlookers came out early and many stayed until the end (watching quietly from a safe distance of course)!

The bride and groom were just as vibrant and fun as their fuchsia color palette painted across the beach.  What can I say, pink was definitely the color of love on this beautiful day.

Location: Courtyard Marriott, Carolina Beach





Leslie & Dustin | June 11, 2016

13 Nov

Picking a wedding dress is one of the most important decisions a bride has to make.  It is after all the most talked about and photographed item of the day.  The wedding dress often dictates the formality of an event and influences other key decisions such as flowers and decor.

The trends are ever changing and I love seeing what each girl picks to wear down the aisle.  This year’s bridal fashion has also been particularly fun for beach brides as we’ve seen a move to lighter fabrics and ever shortening hemlines.  I’m convinced the “high low” (longer in the back, shorter in the front) look splashed across cover after cover of bridal magazines is designed with the beach bride in mind.  This hemline certainly lends itself well for an easy barefoot walk through the sand.  When it’s time to head to the reception step into some chique pumps (perhaps in a fun color) and your ready to dance the night away.

Nice job Leslie.  Your dress certainly tops our list of favorites for 2016!

Location: Courtyard Marriott, Carolina Beach

Andrea & Harry | May 20, 2016

15 Jun

Although the bride is the star of the show, when small kids are involved they definitely share the spotlight. With four nieces and nephews of my own (and two more on the way), I definitely understand the desire to include these little darlings in the ceremony. There is nothing more adorable than a crinoline clad two year old toddling down the aisle. However, for most kids under five the odds of achieving this goal unassisted and staying put during the ceremony aren’t very high.

Being separated from mom and dad during the processional can be upsetting.  The long walk through the sand into a sea of unfamiliar faces is often scary or distracting. Not to mention remaining still and quiet for 20-45 minutes isn’t something most 2-4 year olds have mastered.  There are ways to include toddlers in the ceremony and with proper planning the experience can be a positive one for all.

Kids under 3 do best when escorted by a familiar family member or friend.  Holding signs and throwing petals on command while walking on uneven surfaces can be challenging.  Consider decorating a wagon and having older kids pull the younger ones.  Wagons with thick tires actually do quite well in the sand.  Once down the aisle, allow little ones to play quietly on the ground.  A few plastic toys placed strategically to the side typically does the trick.  Assign an adult not involved in the wedding party to chaperone and keep them entertained during the ceremony.  Remember, a wandering child under adult supervision is alway better than a crying child sitting in the audience.  Lastly, recognize kids are cute regardless of what they do.

Although an impromptu hug wasn’t in the plan I think Aunt Andrea and Uncle Henry would agree it definitely made for the perfect ending to their ceremony.

Location: Courtyard Marriott, Carolina Beach

Cassandra & Calvin | August 14, 2015

3 Apr

Cassandra & Calvin (Blog)Cassandra & Calvin #2 (Blog)The sand ceremony represents two becoming one.  As the bride and groom pour different colored sand into a common vessel the officiant explains: “Just at these sands can never be divided so will their marriage be.”  Aside from being a sweet symbol of unity, it is also a fun exercise in team work.  Pouring sand into a tiny opening with your new spouse under the watchful eyes of friends and family can be a bit nerve racking.  Yes, on more than one occasion we’ve seen this go wrong.  Fortunately today was not one of those days.  Not only did this couple make it look effortless, but they were able to do it while exchanging playful banter with a smile.  If the sand ceremony is any indication of marital harmony Cassandra and Calvin are certainly off to a great start.

Location: Courtyard Marriott, Carolina Beach




Erica & Josh| July 25, 2015

21 Feb

Erica & Josh (Blog)

We get lots of requests Erica & Josh #2 (Blog)for sunset weddings.  The idea of capturing the beautiful hues of days end as the sun sinks slowly into the ocean certainly sounds romantic, but there is one slight problem.  The sun rises in the east and sets in the west, meaning sun activity over the coast of North Carolina actually occurs in the morning.  For most brides a sky filled with pinks and reds about an hour before dusk will suffice but for those brides who truly want that big ball in the background, best plan to get up with the birds.

Every year we do a handful of morning weddings, most around 10:00am or 11:00am.  On occasion, usually around a holiday weekend, we get a request for a 7 or 8 am ceremony.  This however was our first 6 am wedding and admittedly I was a bit nervous.  First there were the logistics of setting up in complete darkness.  Second, the pressure of timing Erica’s processional just as the crest of that fiery ball hit the horizon.

Erica & Josh #1 (Blog)Yes, it was early, but this was truly one of the most memorable weddings of the year!  Guests took their seats guided by the light of white paper lanterns at 5:30am and we all waited patiently for nature to preform.  At the first burst of light the processional began with the seating of the mothers to the song “Here Comes the Sun” by the Beatles.  Weeks of planning charting and observing the sun rise at this very spot had the father of the bride a bit antsy as the clock ticked two minutes past our anticipated start time.  This wedding certainly brought timing to a whole new level and had me sweating bullets until the bride and father were half way down the aisle.  It was then I realized how spectacular this moment was.  Erica’s dad was right, it was truly perfect.

Location: Courtyard Marriott, Carolina Beach


Donna & Nelson | May 16, 2015

16 Aug

Donna & Nelson (Blog) Donna & Nelson #2(Blog)You got to love a man in uniform, especially at a wedding. As retired Marine Colonel Nelson stood at full attention waiting for his bride to arrive, I couldn’t help but notice all the beachgoers lining the boardwalk and standing off to the side waiting for the ceremony to begin.

True, most beach weddings have an audience, but the crowd today was larger than normal. I’m not sure if it was because May 16th was such a beautiful day, or because the folks on the beach were captivated by the three handsome men in full dress standing on our pavilion, but this wedding certainly held the crowd’s attention until the very end.

Donna, deciding toDonna & Nelson #3 (Blog) forgo a tradtional white gown for a flowy blue dress reminiscent of Elsa from the movie Frozen certainly looked like a princess as she made her way down the aisle to her real life prince.   Love may have found this couple later in life, but as both would attest in their personalized vows, it was definitely worth the wait.

In true military style the couple had friends and family in attendance from all over the country which made the day all the more special.   What a wonderful way to begin a new life together.

Location: Courtyard Marriott, Carolina Beach

Natalie & James | April 10, 2015

28 Jun

Natalie & James #1(Blog)

Spring 2015 marked big IMG_2840 (2) (Blog)changes for Carolina Beach as the town completed the finishing touches on its on its new boardwalk just weeks before wedding season was set to began. Bigger, wider and better than ever the new boardwalk, which runs from the Courtyard Marriott all the way down to Harper Street,  features 5 beach accesses, stylish lighting and lots of cozy bench swings.

Natalie & James #2 (Blog)Not sure Natalie and James knew renovations were in the works (we certainly didn’t) when they booked their wedding here nearly a year ago, but it was definitely a wonderful surprise.  Favorite moments of the day included Natalie’s processional down the aisle to Cannon in D escorted by her two brothers and the sweet embrace she shared with James just before the couple’s first kiss.


Location: Courtyard Marriott, Carolina Beach

Erica & Travis | September 19, 2014

22 Mar

Erica & Travis#1(Blog) Erica & Travis #2(Blog)Gone are the days when eloping meant a quick ceremony at the courthouse or an impromptu trip to “The Little White Chapel” in Vegas. For the bride and groom looking for a simple but intimate way to say “I do” an elopement-honeymoon on the North Carolina shore may be the perfect option. Regardless of your guest list size, every couple deserves a magical wedding experience. So whether your surrounded by 4 or 400 of your closest friends and family make it special. Buy a beautiful dress, walk down the aisle to a special song and hire a great photographer. Capture the moment, trust me, you won’t regret it.

Location: Courtyard Marriott, Carolina Beach

Shaun & Darryl | May 31, 2014

12 Dec

Shawn & Darryl(Blog)
Shaun and Darryl’s proposal story Shawn & Darryl #2(Blog)is one of my all time favorites. He’s from Massachusetts and she’s from Idaho, but fate and the US Air Force brought them together in beautiful North Carolina. Love bloomed and a few years later Darryl decided to propose. He bought a ring, selected a serene outdoor location and prepared a few heartfelt words. Naturally she said yes but the surprises didn’t end there.

Shaun & Darryl #4(Blog) During his proposal on bended knee Darrell pulled out his second gift of the day, a picture of him and Shaun’s dad. Yes, unbeknownst to Shawn, prior to asking her to be his wife, Darrell traveled all the way from North Carolina to Idaho. He met his future father-in-law for the very first time and ask for Shawn’s hand in marriage. How sweet it that!

Location: Courtyard Marriott, Carolina Beach