North Carolina-Outer Banks

Sanderling... Is this the right decision?

Hey, I am planning a July 29,2011 and have planned to do it at the Sanderling resort. I still have to send in my contract and am beginning to get concerned with the budget, I really didnt do a ton of research and planning this from SC I haven't been to the venue but heard great reviews...

Does anybody have input on this venue for ceremony/reception? It looks amazing, and I like how helpful they are, I just am worried I am spending too much for a 50 person wedding!  My budget for everything is $30k, but with the wedding and reception I am already over halfway to the budget, and I was looking to possibly rent homes as well..

Is it worth the price???  I have been seeing a TON about event homes, but I am concerned with having to plan all the other details individually whereas with a resort they take care of a lot of the little details.

I am getting "cold feet" about booking the Sanderling and I just wanted some feedback before I go ahead and send in the contract!  

Also, as far as floral and photography, and thoughts on:

Sugar Snap vs. Renee Landry
Brooke Mayo vs. Island photography

Am i looking at the priciest vendors in the OBX or no? I hope not!

Thanks a million!

Re: Sanderling... Is this the right decision?

  • lkleffkelkleffke member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    i looked at the sanderling when i planned my wedding in 2009.  I chose the currituck club over the sanderling b/c since i was also was planning everything long distance (from texas, while i was in grad school) Sarah - the CC event coordinator, would handle a lot of the tiny things.  Also, the food was inclusive and the BIGGEST reason: their outdoor space was covered and permanent -- with the sanderling you have to have it outdoors, which means you must get a tent (with my luck we would have had a hurricane come through the day of, so i had to figure that in)  and there was no backup plan incase it rained -just a tent.  The currituck clube had a backup plan - a space you could hold the reception indoors if it rained.  the prices were right and if you only have 50 people, the CC's covered veranda is perfect and roomy (it was a little tight for our 90 people).  I just felt you got more bang for your buck w/ the CC.  

    Renee Landry is pricey, but AMAZING.  You'll have one meeting w/ her and then she will completely impress you the day of.  Don't be scared by her lack of communication.  She can read you mind, i swear.  I'm a architecture grad (super finnicky about environment, feel, etc) and her designs truly blew my mind.

    I looked at Brooke mayo as well, but while her photography was awesome, she was MUCH pricier than some other photographers who were  her caliber.

    Just hoping this helps!

  • JenO24JenO24 member
    5 Love Its First Comment
    edited December 2011
    I initally wanted to do an event home, but then you have to worry about parking, plates, silverware, glasses, tables, chairs, buffett trays, etc...I got stressed out by that.  That's why I started looking at venues that were "all inclusive."  I did look at the Sanlering, but w/ thinking of 50 - 75 guests I thought it was WAY too expensive.  We ended up going w/ the Ramada Plaza in Kill Devill Hills b/c it was 1/4 of the price.  $1800 to book/reserve, $3200 minimum for their ballroom which includes buffet or plated food and alcohol and be covered in that $3200 minimum and we have the ballroom for 5 hours.

    We're using Michelle Lewis w/ OBX Wedding Flowers...she does AMAZING work and is a fraction of the cost of other florists in the area!

    For DJ/Photographer we're using a husband/wife combo Sue and Matt Artz w/ OBX Violin...they've gotten great reviews, super nice, quick to respond, AWESOME work and its the best deal in the area!

    Our cake is with Emily Patti of Patti Cakes.  She's in Currituck so it's a fraction of the price since its not down at the water.  She's so enthusiastic about her work, great at collaborating w/ you, very professional, and she does AWARD WINNING work - published in magazines.

    Rev. Jay Bowman is officiating our ceremony.  He's had nothing but GLOWING reviews from brides that he's worked with.  He has you fill out a questionaire form so he can personalize your wedding w/o having to meet you prior!

    Metro Rental is doing our chairs for the ceremony.  Everyone is pretty even priced down there, but Metro seemed more professional than other chair rental companys down there.
  • lkleffkelkleffke member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    I second Emily patti -- am mazing (and so fun to work with!)
  • edited December 2011
    We're using Sugar Snap.  She was much pricier than the other florist I looked at, but worth every penny.  We went back and forth with pictures and ideas by email.  Then, I went out and met with her this summer.  Our meeting was very productive and she put me at ease.  We can still make changes by email (or phone, I'd guess) up until right before the wedding.

    We also went with Island photography.  They're great!  So fun, but professional.  Our pictures will look great, I just know it.  Brooke May was a little too "in your face" for me.  If you haven't watched her videos of the wedding she did, you might want to.  She does a lot of shouting and is just a little too hyper for me.
    06.24.11 OBX, NC
    Planning Bio
    Married Bio
  • dwfangirldwfangirl member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Event homes are definitely more work because you do have to take care of details that you wouldn't at a resort.  I am having my reception at an event home but am looking at the Sanderling as the place for our guests to stay.  I haven't been inside because we always rent homes for the week when down there (I am in Boston), but I have heard from others that it is a really nice hotel.  

    As for florists - I am using Sugar Snap.  I talked with Renee Landry also, and she has great ideas, but she came in much higher than Sugar Snap right off the bat.  Plus, Sugar Snap gives you ideas at three tiers of pricing, which helps you decide if you want to be on budget or even -- wow! -- under budget.

    I'm flying in a photographer so I can't help you there, sorry!  :) 

    Good luck!
  • edited December 2011

    I'm getting married June 11, 2011 at The Sanderling. I have been so impressed by everyone there. I have been mainly working with Wendy and she is AWESOME!!!! I was freaking out about sending my contract in as well, but someone had a good point. The Sanderling does tons of weddings.......that is their "thing." In booking with The Sanderling you aren't going to have to worry about a thing, they are going to take care of every detail for you. We aren't having to get a coordinator, planner, or anything like that.

    We are also renting a vacation home which will be for my fiance and I and our wedding party. My parents are staying at one of the rental homes through The Sanderling. The are really nice and you can check in and leave any day you like which is nice (doesn't have to be Sunday to Sunday, etc.) I think you can definitely have a FABULOUS wedding at The Sanderling on a $30K budget.

    Hope this helps :)

  • JenO24JenO24 member
    5 Love Its First Comment
    edited December 2011

    WOW, $30K...must be nice to have that kind of money!!!

    Ours is coming in just under $10K...including our rings and honeymoon!

  • wgraczyk79wgraczyk79 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    I was so happy to see this post.  I'm considering the Sandering for a September 2011 wedding, and I haven't decided if it will make sense for us.  We have a similar budget, but closer to 100 people.  I'm hoping to get more feedback before going through with a contract because I'm not sure if it's worth the price?
  • briast112briast112 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011


    i just got engaged on the beach there little over 3 weeks ago... and i stopped at the sanderling to check it out, and i wasnt all the impressed. yes the beach ceremony would be fantastic, and the outdoor space is great of an outdoor reception, but the reception rooms they have arent all that great. pictures are better then in person. my fiance is a meeting planner for marriott and he wasnt all that impressed either. i def would recommend making the trip to see it in person before its too late to make sure you are certain on the location and venue. i personally think it is over priced... not trying to talk you out of it, but i would def go see it in person!

    i am planning to get married there in april 2011! so i am just now starting the planning and its very stressful!

    best of luck to you!

  • edited December 2011
    Thanks for all of the input, we went ahead and booked with The Sanderling! 

    I definitely think that it is pricy, perhaps pricier then I had initially anticipated but being from out of town, all the input/feedback and coordination and vendor recommendations they give are worth it.  

    Everyone I have talked to who has been to weddings there said it is awesome, and the best place to do it.  

    I am worried about budget with just 50 people, 100 people I think could be tricky, but the best thing I think is just to be up front with the vendors about what you can afford, I am finding that they are all realy willing to work with your budget, and Wendy at the Sanderling has been helpful with realistic budgeting. 

    Let me know what you all are doing as far as vendors, photography seems extrememly expensive!!

    Good luck! :)
  • edited December 2011
    I'm getting married at an Event home in a couple of weeks. So far (the wedding hasnt happened yet), I DEF recommend it. For 30k, it's something that is doable. Were spending around 26ish with our original "budget" was 18k (but that was pretty loose). I wanted an event home that gave me the opportunity to design my wedding day. Sometimes I feel like with halls is that you don't have a lot of choices.  

    Just to give you a brief outline of how the money is being spent (in relation to additional expenses you wouldn't pay for at a hall)
    Event home- 12k
    Caterior (full service)- The Good Life $34pp + $29/hr for attendants and $45/hr for  bartender
    Lighting- 300
    Rentals- 900
    Cake- 1000
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