Tag Archives: ocean front

Saidah and Julian | June 25, 2016

17 Feb

Guests often struggle with what to wear to a wedding, especially when it includes a ceremony on the beach.  Long dress or short dress?  Suit and tie or khakis and a collared shirt?  The bridesmaids are wearing pink, does that mean I need to choose a different color?  White is out . . . don’t want to upstage the bride. What about black . . isn’t that the color of mourning? What exactly is “beach formal?”

Miss Emily Post may disagree, but I like the idea of setting specific dress codes for guests on wedding day.  Guessing is stressful. Personally I like instruction (and included dress code information on my wedding invitations). If you want guests to wear a jacket please specify, if not let them know a collared shirt is ok.  Most guests appreciate a little bit of direction.

When it comes to color typically guest try to avoid the brides pallet, but how do you know what colors she’s using? As a general rule the bride’s colors are typically splashed across the invitation and wedding website. If you don’t know, it’s ok to ask.

What are my thoughts on creating a color palate for bridal party and guest alike? Love it! I’m a big fan of the new monochrome trend. It makes your guests feel like they are part of the wedding party and results in great pictures. Just give plenty of notice and stick to colors or hues in a common wardrobe.

I loved the way Saidah’s vision of navy wedding came to fruition.  It certainly created a cohesive and nautical look.  Perfect for a ceremony on the beach!

Location: Wrightsville Beach, Access #2


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

Jennifer and Richard | May 22, 2016

29 Oct

Although many of our couples live outside the immediate vicinity, Jennifer and Richard’s beachside ceremony certainly gave new meaning to the term destination wedding.  Their journey to Wrightsville Beach included about 20 hours of airplane travel and drew guests from at least two other continents around world.

The coolest part of this wedding, other than the couple themselves, was the story behind Jennifer’s wedding dress.  Her gown was made in South Korea by a woman the bride never met based on measurements and a description Jennifer provided over the phone.  Fortunately it was a perfect fit!

Location: Access #43, 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


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




Helen & Antoine | August 2, 2015

20 Mar

Helen & Antoine #11(Blog)

Helen & Antoine #33(Blog)Sunday marked the second wedding of the weekend at Shell Island.  This time the couple was local.  As I’ve mentioned in previous posts most of our couples are from out of town.  I love hearing stories of far away places and how couples found themselves saying “I do” at the North Carolina coast.  We love this place and we are glad you love it too!  But there is something special about local brides.  They often introduce me to new vendors and creative ideas.

Helen and Antione’s desire to Helen & Antoine #44(Blog)save the aisle for the bride was definitely novel, but the execution proved a bit challenging.  With a bridal party of 24 including parents and grandparents ensuring a seamless processional was a must.  Our solution?  Three aisles!  Bridesmaids and groomsmen entered in pairs but separated at the brides aisle with groomsmen walking up the left aisle and bridesmaids up the right.   As the bride appeared, two cousins sitting in the back row pulled the blue sashes opening the center aisle for Helen’s big entrance.  Cool and practical, especially for a large wedding like this.

Location: Shell Island Resort, Wrightsville Beach

Helen & Antoine #22 (Blog)

Evangeline and Vincent | July 18, 2015

7 Feb

Evangeline and Vincent #1 (Blog)For most brides a Evangeline and Vincent #2 (Blog)wedding
on the North Carolina coast is a destination event that requires several months of logistical planning.  Although some live within a few hours drive, we’ve worked with brides as far away as California and Mexico.  Many make the trip to check out the ceremony location and meet us prior to booking, but a handful don’t lay eyes on their venue until a few days before the big event.

For this North Carolina groom and his Filipino bride micromanaging the details was not an option.  Although we exchanged e-mails and photos in the weeks leading up to their special day it wasn’t until two days before their wedding that we actually got to meet.  For a laid back couple like Evangeline and Vincent the surprises that unfolded during their wedding made it all the more special.

Location: Access #19, Wrightsville Beach


Lindsay & Collin | June 20, 2015

29 Nov

Lindsay & Collin (Blog)

Access #12 is not a great Lindsay & Collin #3 (Blog)spot for parking.  However it’s ideal for a beach wedding if you happen to secure the house located at 11 Sandpiper Lane for the weekend and hire a shuttle service to transport guests to and from your reception venue. June can be a bit warm and today was no exception.   Fortunately the couple planned ahead setting up a refreshment stand in the shaded garden adjoining the first floor of the beach house.  After a quick ceremony on the beach it was back to the air-conditioned shuttles and off to Bluewater Grill for an intracostal front reception.

Lindsay & Collin #2 (Blog)Although the couple now resides in sunny California they chose to to come back to beautiful North Carolina to say “I do.”  I can’t say I’m surprised.  Spend four years at UNC-Wilmington and you’ll most likely be a life long Wrightsville Beach girl too!

Location: Access #12, Wrightsville 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

Jen & Courtney | April 18, 2015

26 Jul

Jen & Courtney #1(Blog)
First wedding of the year at theJen & Courtney #4 (Blog) beautiful Wrightsville Beach Holiday Inn Sunspree. One of my favorite things about this property is the dramatic staircase down to the beach. The hotel is shaped like a giant “V” with a pool in the middle and staircases on either side which lead from the third floor dining deck all the way down to the ocean. A two-staircase design is perfect for weddings as it provides beachgoers an alternate route to and from the hotel during the ceremony. From just inside the third floor lobby a bride can watch all the action below; guest seating, bridal party processional and even theJen & Courtney #2 (Blog) groom waiting anxiously at the end of the aisle for a first glimpse of his new bride. However, the glass has a slight tint so those on the beach can’t see the bride. I also love the gazebos at the beach end of each staircase, which create a beautiful frame for the bride to walk through.

Typically, it is the bride’s walk down these stairs, which tops my list of favorite moments at Holiday Inn weddings.  However at Jen and Courtney’s wedding it was the couple’s recessional back up the stairs which I loved most about this special day.

Although Wrightsville Beach’s renourishment efforts were just completed in June 2014, we have already seen the shoreline begin to shrink. So to stay out of the tide line during certain times of day we have started setting up our pavilions  a bit closer to the dunes. With less beach space and a record number of guests participating in the Jen & Courtney #3 (Blog) bubble send-off we elected to line everyone up the stairs starting at the beach and ending at the access to the pool. With bubbles flying the happy couple walked through this impromptu “tunnel of love” on their way to the reception.

Location: Holiday Inn Sunspree Resort, Wrightsville Beach