North Carolina-Outer Banks

need advice to start planning

I feel a little overwhelmed looking at all of the options for a destination wedding in OBX since I've just started looking. I guess right now I'm trying to narrow my choices down between having the wedding/reception at a beach rental we stay in or if there are reasonable halls to have the reception? Does anyone recommend a few good sites to get started that are good wedding packages? I'll be doing most of the planning from Pennsylvania so it's hard to get a good idea from up here. Thanks!

Re: need advice to start planning

  • Welcome!  Are you from Pittsburgh?  I'm in Monroeville!

    So we had our wedding in June - beach ceremony in South Nags Head and reception at 108 Budleigh (a very quaint and vintagey venue - also reasonably priced since you have it the whole day) in Manteo.  Is there any particular town you're looking at?  I was originally looking south (Avon/Buxton) but opted for the Nags Head/Manteo area for a few reasons: 1) vendors are more plentiful 2) convenience for guests with more places to stay, eat, etc.  Many brides/grooms go further north to Duck or Corolla.

    A great website is which lists mostly all of the vendors.  I decided to pick each vendor instead of going with a package, but some places (Mallards Marsh and Sanderling) have packages - some are more all-inclusive than others.  The girls and guys on this board do a great job of providing feedback based on their own personal experiences with vendors - you can also find more reviews on and another helpful OBX website is which gives a lot of ""real wedding" examples.

    So, you need to start by considering how many guests you want to invite, your budget, and approximately what date you want in order to find your venue.  Also think about whether or not you'll be able to travel down to the OBX for planning trips - that might help you decide if you want a package or if you can be more hands-on in choosing each vendor.  Once you pick a venue and have your date set, then you'll want to think about your caterer, photographer, etc.

    Good luck! And feel free to ask questions as they come up.
    image June 22, 2012
  • Hi and welcome! We are starting to get quite a big group of people from PA down in the OBX for weddings! I think we were all where you are at right now! It's hard to believe for us it was just a year ago, my FI is also on the board, Phillyboy, so I"m sure you'll see him pop in every once in a while.

    First thing, we are having our wedding at the Sanderling on Sept. 7th. As a point of clarification, we booked their elopement package (40 people or less) and they do offer several vendors under that package. A normal wedding at the Sanderling would not be all inclusive. Beach Ball Events (Mallards Marsh, Adriana's, Marshes Lighthouse) is a one stop shop, you can choose to use all of their vendors, or you can select some of your own and receive a reduced rate.

    I think the first thing would be to decide on how many you want to invite, and possibly think will come. That will help determine venue. Take a look at the website that Jen mentioned and start looking at options, etc. An event house is a fantastic way to go, as will be many venues down there. I was amazed with the amount of venues that are down in the Outer Banks. Also think about what feel you want your wedding to have, whether ocean views are important to you, bringing in your own caterer, etc.

    Feel free to ask away, we're happy to help!
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
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