Kelley and I tied the knot at Jennette's Pier on 9/14/13 and although it was a tad bit windy, it was absolutely perfect. Thank you so much to everyone that posted ideas and reviews on this board...it was a lifesaver. Now for my input...
VENUE: Jennette's Pier- Breathtaking views during day and night of the ocean. I fell in love with the pier the minute I saw it. We worked with Michele and she was WONDERFUL. I feel like she went above and beyond when it came to answering my questions and gave great advice for timing, layout of reception, and hotels. She even let my bridesmaids and I use her office to wait for the reception and brought us drinks and appetizers
PHOTOGRAPHER: Ross Costanza Photography- One of my favorite vendors. He isn't local to OBX, he's from Chesapeake, VA (an hour ish away) but did an amazing job. He had a ton of unique ideas for photos and made sure to pull Kelley and I out of the reception during sunset and one more time (15 minutes) to get some cool night shots. He did a great job of keeping us on time and capturing the little moments of our wedding. Within a week, he posted a sneak peek and the pictures are absolutely gorgeous. Since it was windy and the sun was bright that day- he definitely had his work cut out for him but never skipped a beat. Highly recommended.
DJ: John Harper- I can't say enough good things about John. Kelley and I are very laid back and wanted more of a beachy/reggae feel during the ceremony, cocktail hour, and dinner and John took a list of our favorite songs and matched them with others to fill in the time. He is very easy to work with and brought an assistant to play music for our ceremony while he set up the reception. He kept the flow going throughout the evening and we got a ton of compliments on the music selection! He had our guests- old and young- on the dance floor the entire night! He's got a great DJ voice!
CUPCAKES: Atlantic Cake Company- Seriously, this vendor was a no brainer. I met Susan at a coffee shop and tried 3 different flavors and fell in love. Susan and her husband make cakes out of their home and they are DELICIOUS. They are the best cupcakes I've ever had- try the key lime and coconut! She was one of those types of vendors that you explain what you're looking for, and she just delivers exactly what you had in mind without any questions. Super easy to work with and very personable. Susan is FANTASTIC.
FLOWERS/RENTALS: Renee Landry Styles- Renee is crazy talented and my flowers were absolutely beautiful. She is a little pricier than others but I just loved her unique style and am very glad that I chose her. She is very busy and sometimes it takes a while to answer emails, but I promise you the end result is worth it. I also rented vintage windows (for seating chart) and a "shoes here, vows there, love everywhere" sign from her- they were super cute!
CATERING: Coastal Provisions- We met with Kelly at Coastal Cravings to taste BBQ and were surprised when the chef, Scott, came out to meet with us as well. We got their BBQ which was very reasonably priced. Kelly went back and forth with us about substituting sides, adding appetizers, etc. and was extremely helpful throughout the process. My FI and I tried several different places for BBQ and this was by far the best and had the best price! They were very accommodating throughout the planning process and Kelly worked with us to get everything down to our budget. She was absolutely amazing to work with and was very thorough. We also got their bar package which included beer/wine/soda for only $11 a person! We did run into some "bumps" during the reception when we ran out of beer....twice. Their staff jumped up and ran to the store, but my guests still had to wait. The only issue I had with this vendor was that Kelly wasn't at the wedding so we had totally new people that we weren't used to working with. Again, this isn't a big deal because their bartenders, chef, and wait staff was a dream to work with, but it would have been nice to have our point of contact there. Nina was sent instead and although a lot of people on theknot have worked with her and loved her, she was a little rude to my day of person when we asked for an additional bar hour.
If you go with coastal provisions definitely taste the crab balls/cakes (I can't remember what they are called) for your appetizers. My guests raved about them...so good! Their staff was amazing the day of and the food was delicious. They even boxed up the leftovers and left them in the kitchen for us
HAIR AND MAKEUP: Bombshell Studios- I LOVE LOVE LOVE Amber and Sandra. They are so talented and laid back and it was so great to have them come to our beach house to do hair and makeup. I've been to weddings where the entire bridal party has to get up, fight traffic to get to a salon,etc. so I was more than happy to pay a travel fee for Amber and Sandra to come to our house. Amber owns the salon and after showing her 2 pictures...she did my hair exactly how I envisioned it. She is a perfectionist which is what every bride looks for in their hair stylist
Sandra did all of our makeup and really paid attention to our needs/wants and exceeded my expectations. I don't wear a lot of makeup and she respected that and went the more natural look- I absolutely loved the way that I looked and recommend Bombshells to everyone. They were my favorite vendor. Also, it was VERY windy the day of the wedding but all of our hair stayed put. It was awesome.
RENTALS: Ocean Atlantic Rentals- GREAT to work with. They delivered everything that we needed right on time and were very helpful throughout the process. We worked with Britany- she was very helpful and worked with us to cut some additional costs. Super easy to work with and I would definitely recommend them.
***Just a heads up to all brides that rent chairs for the ceremony...chairs are $3.50 per chair but if you get the rental company to set up the ceremony and break it down, you add another $3 per chair to your cost ($1.50 to set up, $1.50 to breakdown). We cut that extra costs by having the groomsmen set up the ceremony chairs 2 hours before the wedding and break them down during cocktail hour/picture time. I know this sounds annoying, but it didn't take them long at all and ocean atlantic even left their chair skids so the guys could load the chairs right on there for an easy pick up. I know that you're probably reading this thinking that I was crazy to trust that the groomsmen would get this done in time and trust me, I was stressed out too, haha, but it was very easy to set up and breakdown on your own.
REHEARSAL DINNER: Pamlico Jack's- ABSOLUTELY AMAZING FOOD. I have no idea how they were to work with (my mother in law did everything) but the food was sooooo good and the view of the sound is amazing. There was live music outside that night so the younger crowd ended up staying a little later. It was perfect.
Some things I learned along the way-
none of my guest even realized when we had "hiccups" the day of so don't stress the small things...you're the only one that will notice, I promise!
RenttheRunway.com ...I got all of my jewelry there for dirt cheap. Check it out!
EAT BEFORE YOUR WEDDING...I can't stress this enough.
I hope this helps...feel free to ask any questions!!