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Anyone wed or attended an Outer Banks, NC wedding?

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Chelle0511

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Hello All! I just love this forum, the bright ideas, and inspiring stories! My FF and I have know for the last year that we would have a destination wedding. We are in the process of finding the ring, and are now ready to start working on the location.

We have a 5 y/o daughter, and the "family vacation" part of it excites us! We are the type of people that are most happy when surrounded by family and great friends!

I had been researching Georgia and North Carolina, I like the beach backdrop, but am totally over the thought of Florida. After watching "Nights of Rodanthe" this weekend - I am SOLD! I LOVE the Outer Banks of NC! How fun would it be to rent a couple of Beach Houses, have a beautiful wedding by a near-by Light House, and vacation for a week with the ones we love!

We''d like to take our parents, close aunts/uncles, possibly grandparents, and some of our couple friends. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 people. I think I would like our daughter there as well. She just turned 5, and it wouldn''t feel right without her.

Has anyone out there been to a wedding in this area, or have another NC location they love? We would like to keep the price reasonable, as we are paying for everything ourselves. Also, Spring seems to be the the most price efficient, how is the weather here in late April?

I can''t wait for your responses!
 

BeachRunner

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How fun! I''ve only been to OBX once, and it was a lovely vacation. We went for my birthday (late April), and we pretty much had the beaches to ourselves. There were no crowds, no lines, no traffic, etc. My favorite island/spot was Ocracoke Island. It was beautiful, not populated, but there was a reason for that. You MUST take a ferry to the island. It has rentals, and once you get down there, is worth the drive! (there is also a lighthouse on the island).

There are beach homes everywhere, and I recommend checking out VRBO.com for a ton of rental options. AS far as weather goes, April was nice, rained two days when we first got there, and the temperature was warm, but no overly warm. I wore jeans, but also got to wear shorts one day as well.

Let me know if you have anymore questions!
 

diamondseeker2006

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The weather will not be warm enough to wear swimsuits in April, in most cases. So I am not sure I''d really want a beach destination where no one could really enjoy swimming, etc. You''d have to go further south for swimming. We go to the beach near Charleston in April, and the girls can sometimes lay out then, but the water is still too cold for swimming. But, rates do jump up a lot in the summer months, so you just have to decide what you want the week to be like. It''s been a long time since we''ve been to the Outer Banks, so I don''t have any specific recommendations there.
 

Chelle0511

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I''d love to do late Summer/early Fall - but no Hurricanes for me
! I think an Island you must Ferry to would be great - if they have a wedding destination that is all incusive. I don''t want the expense or worry of having to ferry over everything (flowers, food, etc) :)!
 

BeachRunner

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Date: 3/1/2009 11:22:30 PM
Author: diamondseeker2006
The weather will not be warm enough to wear swimsuits in April, in most cases. So I am not sure I''d really want a beach destination where no one could really enjoy swimming, etc. You''d have to go further south for swimming. We go to the beach near Charleston in April, and the girls can sometimes lay out then, but the water is still too cold for swimming. But, rates do jump up a lot in the summer months, so you just have to decide what you want the week to be like. It''s been a long time since we''ve been to the Outer Banks, so I don''t have any specific recommendations there.
Oh yeah, we most def. did not swim. There were very few people laying out, and at times, it was warm enough. If you are trying to save money, the off season is the time to go. I''ve also heard the OBX can get very busy, and become polluted with traffic. That is NOT my thing, so we loved vacationing in April.

In addition: If memory serves me right, someone was debating on whether to have their wedding reception at the local aquarium. No idea the cost, etc...I think a reception at one of those gorgeous beach houses would suffice if your guest list is small enough!
 

SarahLovesJS

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I love the OBX, I grew up vacationing there. I think the weather in April is warm, but I wouldn''t expect to spend a lot of time swimming in the ocean it will probably still be too cold. Also, if you decide to go for a house be careful which one you rent because the beach erosion down there is unreal at some of the beach houses. It''s very sad..some of them literally have no beach now. So just look for one with good, recent pictures and/or some kind of reviews if you can''t go check it out in person. If you''re looking for a bit more upscale I''d recommend the Duck or Corolla area..also many families in that area lots to do. For more secluded then I''d recommend Hatteras, but it is definitely secluded. And of course there''s always Nags Head which is an in-between of the two aforementioned areas with a bit more crowds and things to do, but definitely not as crowded as Duck/Corolla in my opinion. Let me know if you need any other help/advice! :) Very exciting!


Also, to having the dinner at the house thing: my neighbor actually did this. Her family rented the house for the week and had a catered dinner at the house it was great. They had the wedding on the beach. Beautiful photos, etc.
 

neatfreak

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My MOH was also MOH in a wedding in the outer banks last summer. Just remember that EVERYTHING you want needs to be hauled in to the islands, which adds considerable costs if you want fancy decorations, flowers, etc. It was not really a cost effective place to have a wedding in the end and many compromises had to be made by the bride-and she even grew up there so she knew the ins and outs of doing an event on an island before she even got into it. For example, depending on what island you are on, you might only have one choice for a caterer, one florist, and no place to buy last minute anything if something gets ruined. Remember that depending on what island you are on there might not even be a proper grocery store. So just make sure you research your island thoroughly before jumping on anything.

So just something to consider that if you are an anal bride who wants everything like their perfect vision, it might not be the best choice. If you are laid back and want a casual go with the flow wedding, then it might be a beautiful option!
 

diamondseeker2006

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I think that venue looks great! I would wait and have a reception after you get back home. That would be a lot less stressful than trying to have something beforehand. I''m just not sure I''d choose OBX for April since there isn''t a lot to do. We go to Isle of Palms near Charleston year round and there is plenty to do within a half hour during the seasons when you can''t take advantage of the ocean, pools, etc. However, I personally am content to lay around in April and read, walk on the beach, etc. and go out to eat at night. So if you think your guests will like that, you should be okay at OBX.
 

NewEnglandLady

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I have not been to OBX, but did consider renting a large house on Martha''s Vineyard (for our families) and having the reception at a local historic house--it did end up limiting our options because it was an island and we didn''t want to use vendors from the mainland (as NF mentioned, but I also found it to be very expensive because island vendors knew they could charge more. We ended up renting a house on the ocean on the mainland for the wedding and it worked out well--I have to admit that the "family vacation" aspect was absolutely amazing and we loved it. In fact, we are doing it again this summer and have rented a house on Isle of Palms for the family--there are A LOT of huge houses on Isle of Palms and it''s not nearly as expensive as some of the surrounding areas. I know that DiamondSeeker already mentioned it, but it might be a good option for an April wedding.
 

diamondseeker2006

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Date: 3/2/2009 8:49:09 AM
Author: NewEnglandLady
I have not been to OBX, but did consider renting a large house on Martha''s Vineyard (for our families) and having the reception at a local historic house--it did end up limiting our options because it was an island and we didn''t want to use vendors from the mainland (as NF mentioned, but I also found it to be very expensive because island vendors knew they could charge more. We ended up renting a house on the ocean on the mainland for the wedding and it worked out well--I have to admit that the ''family vacation'' aspect was absolutely amazing and we loved it. In fact, we are doing it again this summer and have rented a house on Isle of Palms for the family--there are A LOT of huge houses on Isle of Palms and it''s not nearly as expensive as some of the surrounding areas. I know that DiamondSeeker already mentioned it, but it might be a good option for an April wedding.
Hey, NEL! I think you''ll love IOP! We really do! Charleston is 20 minutes over a bridge, but sometimes we never leave the island. Something like 15 years ago, Hurricane Hugo came through and eliminated a lot of the old houses, and new and gorgeous houses replaced them. So it is really one of the more beautiful beaches since it is mostly houses and condos down on the Wild Dunes end (we own an oceanfront condo in Wild Dunes with some friends). The only hotel on the island itself is higher end, so it is vastly different that other beaches such as Myrtle.
 

NewEnglandLady

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Date: 3/2/2009 8:58:47 AM
Author: diamondseeker2006

Date: 3/2/2009 8:49:09 AM
Author: NewEnglandLady
I have not been to OBX, but did consider renting a large house on Martha''s Vineyard (for our families) and having the reception at a local historic house--it did end up limiting our options because it was an island and we didn''t want to use vendors from the mainland (as NF mentioned, but I also found it to be very expensive because island vendors knew they could charge more. We ended up renting a house on the ocean on the mainland for the wedding and it worked out well--I have to admit that the ''family vacation'' aspect was absolutely amazing and we loved it. In fact, we are doing it again this summer and have rented a house on Isle of Palms for the family--there are A LOT of huge houses on Isle of Palms and it''s not nearly as expensive as some of the surrounding areas. I know that DiamondSeeker already mentioned it, but it might be a good option for an April wedding.
Hey, NEL! I think you''ll love IOP! We really do! Charleston is 20 minutes over a bridge, but sometimes we never leave the island. Something like 15 years ago, Hurricane Hugo came through and eliminated a lot of the old houses, and new and gorgeous houses replaced them. So it is really one of the more beautiful beaches since it is mostly houses and condos down on the Wild Dunes end (we own an oceanfront condo in Wild Dunes with some friends). The only hotel on the island itself is higher end, so it is vastly different that other beaches such as Myrtle.
I think we will love it, too, it seems like a perfect compromise between busier beaches (Myrtle) and expensive locations (Hilton Head). I love that there is a lot to do for beach lovers and non-beach-lovers alike and that it''s so close to Charleston, the airport, etc. We definitely considered OBX as well Chelle, you''ll have to keep us all updated on your plans! I think your idea for the wedding sounds great, but I''m biased since I did something similar, haha.

I''m so glad to hear you love IOP, Diamondseeker, because I don''t know many people who''ve gone, but it really seemed like such a great location with a lot of options for 6 - 8 bedroom homes, which is not easy to find! Thanks for the info about Hurricane Hugo, I was wondering why all of the houses were so new!
 

Inanna

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Sep 14, 2008
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I have a friend who got married in the Outer Banks, specifically Corolla. It was beautiful!!!

This is the house her family rented and held the wedding/reception there: http://www.villagerealtyobx.com/OuterBanks/VacationRentals/Corolla/Details/ThePlayer/. Basically her immediate family and bridal party stayed in the house - I felt VERY lucky to be able to stay there. I know at the time she rented it, there were no "wedding event fees" associated with that rental, but there are now unfortunately. Looking at the current prices for this house, I see that their rates have increased significantly (my friend rented it for around $2500/week and no "event fees"). I definitely suggest taking a look at VRBO.com.

Her wedding was in September, which is a semi-risky time, but her family saved money on the rental (I assume they got insurance) and luckily the weather was perfect! We did go swimming in September, however, I think the water may be a bit too cold for swimming in April.
 

Chelle0511

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Hello NewEnglandLady!

Do you have a link to the Vacation Home that you rented for your wedding? I have no problem staying on the mainland, if there is not the hustle and bustle of people everywhere! In fact, this route makes more sense with guests of all ages. We''d like to be able to get out and about for nice dinners and drinks during the stay:). I''m getting ready to check out Isle of Palms on net.

What month were you married?

Inanna - that home is AMAZING, thanks for the information!

DiamondSeeker- thank you! I think we are going to do some research on the mainland, do you rent your condo, or is it for personal use only?

Thanks to all - you''re the best! I''ll keep researching - keep posting - and I''ll keep updating!
 

dcgator

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Hi Chelle,

I would highly recommend the OBX as a vacation destination, especially if you are looking for something low key and if you want to rent a few houses for close friends and family. I also second someone else''s comment about going to Corolla or Duck. I spent a couple weeks in Duck every summer since I was 5. It is just lovely and not as touristy as other parts of the islands, like Kitty Hawk.

You can really get some great houses that will fit upwards of 20 people, if you want. While Duck has some great houses and little shops, it is close enough to the bridge to the mainland and also a Super WalMart, so you can stock up on everything you may need on your way to the houses.

April is kinda cool for the beach, but I''m sure just as pretty. If you could wait till late August/September, I would probably recommend that just because you could actually enjoy the water/heat.

If you need any get sites for house rentals or other info, please let me know!

 

Inanna

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Chelle0511 - I''m including the link to the wedding planner/officiant that my friend used (Shirley Ann): http://www.carolinaweddingco.com/index2.php?v=v1. She coordinated everything (the caterer and florist she recommended were particularly amazing). She also officiated - it was truly one of the most emotional and beautiful ceremonies I''ve ever witnessed.
 

GoingCrazy29

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Jun 19, 2008
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My family vacations in the OBX, specifically Emerald Isle, every July with about 15 other families. We all rent houses and it is a fantastic time at a beautiful beach. I would definitly recommend Emerald Isle- they have tons of houses for rent and it isn''t super crowded at all. My FI and I actually thought about getting married down there, but realized we have way too many people to do any sort of destination! You can google Emerald Isle to find out more! Good luck with planning!
 

Chelle0511

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Wow - after 6 hours of internet research today alone, my head is SPINNING! The Mainland has become a very good option...

I just want something affordable and all-inclusive. With full time jobs, being states and states away, and have a child to care for - I just don''t have the time and will-power to plan something piece by piece...which is one reason for not getting married locally.

I just want someone to plan it from start to finish, and let me enjoy it:)!

Mallards Marsh seems to be the only thing I can find...
 

diamondseeker2006

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We don't rent our condo, but there are plenty to rent. I'll give you some links. I would think Wild Dunes would have some wedding packages, but I am not optimistic about the price being low. However, accommodations are definitely much lower when you avoid the summer. There are houses and condos.

http://www.wilddunes.com/south-carolina-events.php

http://www.wilddunes.com/index.php

I'll attach a view from our condo view to give you another look. (Actually, that picture was taken in the winter, so there are more flowers booming the rest of the year.)

Feb-May 2007 028b.jpg
 

luvthemstrawberries

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Hey Chelle! I live in NC and basically spent half my life at the beach. We usually go to Topsail for our vacations because we have a place there. But the Outer Banks are a beautiful area.

Haha you''re following the same path I went down before I changed my location. We''re not exactly sure where we''re going to have it yet, but if we do it at the beach, we''re going to be at Atlantic Beach, NC.

Some things to think about with the Outer Banks - the time it takes to get out there. You''re going to be on the outskirts of the state, and NC 12 is basically the only road to get you up and down the more rural parts. So depending on where you choose, it could take you a while (over an hour off the very edge of the mainland, not even counting the time it takes from the last major city) to get there. Some areas do require ferries with very specific schedules, so your guests/family would need to be very informed.

There are a few places in the Outer Banks that have some civilization (i.e. stores, restaurants, etc.), but the areas around the lighthouses tend to be more rural and a good drive away from those more built up areas. And from the research I''ve done, I think the lighthouses are public property. You are allowed to have a ceremony on the grounds, but if other tourists are there, they have free reign. (Check me on that to be sure, though.) So as mentioned before, there are not many places for last minute needs, especially for weddings.

The North Carolina aquariums are a great places for a reception. (http://ncaquariums.com/) You can have the ceremony there too if you want. They are VERY reasonably priced. Plus a really fun/unique place for guests and for photos. We''re looking at the one in Atlantic Beach. There are also ones in Fort Fisher (south of Wilmington) and Roanoke Island (part of the Outer Banks, and much easier to get to).

There are a lot of vendors that provide service to the Outer Banks, but not many in the exact location. So as mentioned before, I imagine things would be shipped in for the occasion, unless like you said, the place is all-inclusive. I think a wedding planner experienced with the area would be a great help.

There is at least one annual wedding show for the Outer Banks. I''m posting one of the links below.

If you''re willing to branch out from just the Outer Banks (which honestly is pretty, but is just talked up more by tourist folks) - the other beaches of NC are just as pretty, and much easier to get to. Wilmington is a great area, and has LOADS of venues and vendors right at hand. Atlantic Beach is more sparse, but still pretty. I think you''d really like Wilmington/Fort Fisher/Wrightsville Beach area, because there''s so much readily available to you, and you won''t have to worry as much about access and planning as with the Outer Banks. If you want info about that area, let me know because I have more for that too.
 

luvthemstrawberries

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A few links I used in my research:
- About Outer Banks weddings: http://www.insiders.com/outerbanks/main-weddings2.htm
- A location in Duck: http://thesaltaire.com/index.php
- One of the shows, with links to places/vendors: http://www.outerbanksweddingassoc.org/expo.php
- The Ramada at Nags Head (one of the larger areas in the Outer Banks): http://ramadaplazanagshead.com/
- Corolla Chapel: http://corollachapel.com/default.aspx
- Whalehead Club in Corolla: http://www.whaleheadclub.org/
- First Colony Inn in Nags Head: http://www.firstcolonyinn.com/
- The Sanderling Resort in Duck (this looked to be the most all-inclusive, but takes a long time to get to - but I really, really liked this place): http://www.thesanderling.com/
 

luvthemstrawberries

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I also agree with the comments about April at the NC beaches - it may be semi-warm some days, but the water will be way too cold. And there''s always the chance for rain. Of course, NC in the spring/summer is volatile when it comes to weather changes. You can have bright, sunny, 90 degree weather, and out of nowhere a 20 minute thundershower can spring up. 30 minutes later it''ll be gone, and you''ll be stuck with sticky humidity and sunshine!


BUT North Carolina beaches are going to BOOM in populations when Memorial Day comes. It''s up to chance as far as if you did something in May, if the weather would be warm - most likely the weather would be beautiful, but the water could be questionable. But the closer you get to Memorial Day, the better the weather will be. BUT the more people will be there too. And it will stay that way through Labor Day. So it''s basically a question of paying the in-season prices for better weather on a wedding/family vacation, or save some money and not have quite the vacation weather (possibly - you can never be sure
).

Also the hurricanes are a real issue. FI and I were seriously considering September, but we were leaning towards the beach for a while, and I''d rather not even take that chance. Yes, there is wedding insurance out there, but I''d rather avoid something I know is entirely possible to happen at the NC beaches in the fall. Many of the big hurricanes that hit here have been in September.

Just some food for thought.
I think you''re leaning towards a great and memorable time, whatever you do! The people you''ll deal with around here are great, and it''s a beautiful place.
 

Chelle0511

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Thanks luvthemstrawberries! You replies are amazing! I had previously consideredThe Sanderling, it''s beautiful! After much research I am considering the mainland. The prices are right, and with a semi-younger crowd - it will probably be more fun! But again, there are soooooo many choices, and I still would like all inclusive.
 
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