Tag Archives: Carolina Beach

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

Toni & Geoffrey | September 18, 2015

11 Aug

Toni & Geoffrey #1 (Blog)

For some brides picking the perfect beach access can be a daunting task.  With so many great locations simply narrowing it down to a specific beach can be challenging.  However, for this bride selecting a site for her seaside ceremony was the easy part. Toni & Geoffrey #3 (Blog) Before Geoffrey even proposed Toni new exactly where she wanted to say “I do.”  Hidden in the residential section of Carolina Beach near the north end is Seahorse Lane.  With only four public parking spaces, this beach access is easy to miss and does not appear logistically sound for a wedding of 40+ people, but for Toni this was the ideal location.

Her walk down the aisle would also be a walk down memory lane.  The bride and her family enjoyed many summers at this very spot swimming in the ocean and building sandcastles on the shore.  For their daughter’s big day Toni’s parents were able to secure several homes at and around this access providing ample space for parking and a fun few days for family and friends to reconnect. I have a feeling this family will continue to make memories at Seahorse Lane for years to come.

Toni & Geoffrey #2 (Blog)Location: Seahorse Lane, 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




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

Chelsea & Tom | April 11, 2015

12 Jul

Chelsea & Tom #1(Blog)

Chelsea & Tome #3 (Blog)The logistical part of ceremony planning begins about 6-8 weeks before the wedding.  At that time, we schedule a call with the bride to discuss all the typical things; music, seating, bridal party, ceremony wording and send-off.  Divorced parents, handicapped guests and small children or pets in the bridal party sometimes require us to come up with creative ways to ensure a seamless ceremony.  I used to say I’ve seen it all and that nothing surprises me anymore.  We’ve had two couples divorce and remarry their spouses, a ring bearer in a bear costume, a volcano ceremony which included the bride and groom wearing aprons and safety goggles, a five piece brass band, a pirate wedding complete with the officiant in an eye patch and countless other fun moments that still make me smile.   After conversing with nearly 200 brides, I feel like there is nothing I haven’t seen .   Rarely does a bride surprise me with an idea for something I don’t know how to handle, but I’ve learned over the years, never say never.

Chelsea & Tom #5 (Blog)Chelsea’s ceremony was pretty straight forward, a bridal party of nine, two sets of parents – still married to their original spouses and a saber send off at the end.  Instead of a maid of honor she opted to include her brother Michael as man of honor.  So far so good.  Then she announced Michael was also going to be her photographer and that he planned to walk their mother down the aisle at the beginning of the ceremony.  What? . . . How?  I certainly didn’t have any fast solutions for this one, but eventually we figured it out.  With a second photographer and a little rearranging of the bridal party Man of Honor/photographer Michael was able to stand by his sister’s side and still capture all her important moments.  I usually try to post photos which don’t include the photographer, but this time I made an exception.  See Michael photographing his father giving the bride away (above) and crouched on the stairs in the saber send off (below).

Chelsea & Tom #2(Blog)

Location: Carolina Beach, Atlantic Towers

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

Cassie & Wes | July 18, 2014

7 Feb

Cassie & Wes 2(Blog) With only 52 SaturdaysCassie & Wes #3(Blog) in a year (20 in peak wedding months) more and more brides are considering Friday weddings.  This new trend has many advantages for destination beach brides in particular.

First, Friday weddings reduce competition for caterers, photographers, and venues.  With many brides booking key vendors more than a year in advance, selecting a non Saturday wedding date is a good way to get who you want without having to wait.  Second, vendors often offer reduced prices on “non-peak” days meaning more money in your pocket for the honeymoon.

Cassie & Wes #4 (Blog)Third, beaches are less crowded on weekdays allowing for a more intimate ceremony and less bathing suit clad folks in your photos.  Forth, Friday weddings are great for out of town guests.  No need to cut the reception short in order to catch an early morning flight home.  During Friday night reception guests can party all night, have all day Saturday to recuperate and safely travel home on Sunday.

A Friday wedding was certainly a perfect fit for this destination bride from West Virginia and her nearly 90 out of town guests.  After the formal festivities were over they still had a full day to enjoy the beach and hotel pool.  Favorite moment of the ceremony was watching Cassie and her dad walk down the aisle to a rendition of “Love is All Around” by The Troggs, preformed on guitar by two of the couple’s friends.

Location: Courtyard Marriott, Carolina Beach