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North Carolina-Outer Banks

Planning Ideas for Beach Wedding

Hello Ladies! FI and I are potentially planning an OBX wedding (due to some family illness, we had to postpone our first one). He proposed while on a vacation there and ever since I can only imagine getting married on the beach :]

I wanted to reach out to all of you for any ideas, pictures, blogs, or personal suggestions reguarding decorations, best practices around set up, or any other advise! I have looked at the different OBX wedding vendors sites, but I wanted to get more personal suggestions.

We are planning on booking 1 house for us and our wedding party. Our families will each get their own seperate house (if we got 1 house for all, we would probably need 30+ bedrooms and both families have previously stated they would rather enjoy their vacation seperate from the parties that would likely take place with friends).

We want something simple and carefree, possibly carolina bbq style food and a few alcoholic choices.

Thanks Ladies for any suggestions! :]

Re: Planning Ideas for Beach Wedding

  • Hi and welcome to the board!! 

    The very beginning of planning I thought was the hardest.  It when you have so many ideas but haven't made it to the point of nailing down vendors, etc.  It will get easier. 

    Have you been to this website? http://www.outerbanksweddingassoc.org/   It has a ton of helpful information. 

    As far as decorations go, I went with simple stuff.  To me, the beach was the biggest decoration!  There are a couple of links in my signature with planning stuff and some wedding photos. 

    I know others around here will chime in soon with other suggestions :) 
    Laura & Dusty - September 7th, 2010!
    Hatteras, North Carolina
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    UPDATED 11/05/10 Lots of Wedding PICS!
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  • Hello and welcome!

    I agree with Laura, the early stages were the hardest until you are able to nail down your venue and really see what direction you want your planning to go.  The obxwa.com is a great place to find different venues for your wedding.

    Do you have an idea of how many people you will have?  That can really make the difference on choosing and event home or an actual venue.

    I debated between an event house for our ceremony & reception or a venue and  after discovering the costs of an event home with the extra fees and renting all the tables, chairs, etc. it was a lot cheaper to rent a venue.  I ultimately decided on 108 Budleigh and I was so happy with how everything turned out.  Since it was an indoor venue, I really wanted to bring the beach inside and used cylinders with sand, shells and candles.  Starfish was my unofficial theme so we had a lot of those sitting out as well.  Our colors were teal & tangerine and I thought that was perfect for and end of summer wedding; 9/16/11.

    We rented a large beach home for my family to stay in and had the ceremony on the beach and then drove to Budleigh for the reception.  H's family rented their own house as well and H and I had our own place together.  As much as we love both our families, it was important for us to have some alone time during the week of our wedding. 

    The wedding expo was this past weekend but I think obxbrides.com is holding their 1st expo sometime in March or April and their site is located in the "sticky" at the top of this board.  That may be a great chance for you and FI to meet with some vendors and book a venue.

    I love the idea of doing a good ole fashioned bbq for the reception!  That would be so much fun.  I believe some of the other girls are using Currituck BBQ and High Cotton BBQ.

    Figuring out where you are going to have all this happen at, can sometimes be the most frustrating part but please, let us know if there is anything we can help you with! 


  • Welcome!  You've picked the best place on earth to get married. =) I think you nailed a beach wedding when you said simple and carefree.

    Picking a venue was the hardest part for me.  After that, things fell into place pretty easily.  Are you thinking of doing it at one of the houses or at a local venue?

    http://obxbrides.com/ is another site I used for inspiration.

    06.24.11 OBX, NC
    Planning Bio
    Married Bio
  • The ladies (and few gents) on this board are great resources!  Definitely let us know how many people you are thinking as that will narrow down venue ideas for sure. 

    We are hosting our wedding at The Sanderling, but are doing our rehearsal at The Saltaire House - it is a great events home that rents for partial week - and Ron the owner helps his brides with a lot of the planning.  My fiance's parents are having all of their friends stay there as there are about 6 rooms or so, so in the end, the price works out to be good.  We are doing Pigmans BBQ for the rehearsal - we did a tasting with them this summer and it was all sooo yummy.  Their catering coordinator's name is Janet and she actually does wedding/event planning on the side, so if you needed help, she's awesome - I really liked her when we met her.
    I think whoever you go with for catering depends on the type of BBQ you like - Currituck is also really good (we've gone there on our way out of obx). 

    Definitely also suggest looking at the Outer Banks Wedding magazine - that is the first place that I started looking when I began to plan.  My mom went to the expo for me and visited all the sites, picked up the magazine for me and both really helped. Here is their virtual copy - but you can order a hard copy - they feature a lot of weddings and call out all the vendors.  http://www.outerbanksweddingassoc.org/flipmagazine/index.html.

    Hope this all helps!
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  • Thank you all so much!

    We are planning for 40-55 people (I have a large family and they all want to be there). The wedding will take place directly on the beach and the reception back at our rental home.

    I see alot of you had the wedding in september/october. We were not sure of when, but I want it to be warm and hopefully nice out.

    Thanks again for your detailed responses!!!
  • The weather is great in Sept/Oct and rental homes are A LOT cheaper b/c its' the off season, so that is definitely an advantage.

    Even though Sept/Oct is the dreaded "H" season, the odds of one happening can be pretty slim, so don't let that affect your decision...just make sure you get travel insurance in case you decide on either of those months.


  • edited January 2012

    We are using Currituck BBQ for our rehearsal dinner, as others have mentioned above.  Their food is delicious!  Although they are kind of far from the shore, they will deliver for a very reasonable cost. They came in at about $6 less per person than High Cotton even after delivery, which is also VERY good!  That was our other favorite.

    Good luck on your planning!  There are so many options!  I'd recommend chosing where in the OBX you'd prefer to be first.  I like Duck, but my parents hate traveling north on 12 so we went with Nags Head for our ceremony (at our rental house) and 108 Budleigh in Manteo for our reception.  Let us know if you have any questions :)

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  • Oh - P.S. I lived in Pittsburgh for 4 years (went to North Hills High School and Slippery Rock for two years before moving back to DC.)  LOVE Pgh!  My best friend and MOH is coming down from there for our May wedding :)
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  • We're getting married at The Whalehead Club. We started out using Currituck BBQ for just our rehearsal dinner and ended up booking them for both rehearsal and wedding reception. Their food is so good, they are so nice and we gave them a huge menu of stuff that they don't provide at their restaurant...and they are making all of it. I couldn't say enough about them.

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