Archive | July, 2015

Jen & Courtney | April 18, 2015

26 Jul

Jen & Courtney #1(Blog)
First wedding of the year at theJen & Courtney #4 (Blog) beautiful Wrightsville Beach Holiday Inn Sunspree. One of my favorite things about this property is the dramatic staircase down to the beach. The hotel is shaped like a giant “V” with a pool in the middle and staircases on either side which lead from the third floor dining deck all the way down to the ocean. A two-staircase design is perfect for weddings as it provides beachgoers an alternate route to and from the hotel during the ceremony. From just inside the third floor lobby a bride can watch all the action below; guest seating, bridal party processional and even theJen & Courtney #2 (Blog) groom waiting anxiously at the end of the aisle for a first glimpse of his new bride. However, the glass has a slight tint so those on the beach can’t see the bride. I also love the gazebos at the beach end of each staircase, which create a beautiful frame for the bride to walk through.

Typically, it is the bride’s walk down these stairs, which tops my list of favorite moments at Holiday Inn weddings.  However at Jen and Courtney’s wedding it was the couple’s recessional back up the stairs which I loved most about this special day.

Although Wrightsville Beach’s renourishment efforts were just completed in June 2014, we have already seen the shoreline begin to shrink. So to stay out of the tide line during certain times of day we have started setting up our pavilions  a bit closer to the dunes. With less beach space and a record number of guests participating in the Jen & Courtney #3 (Blog) bubble send-off we elected to line everyone up the stairs starting at the beach and ending at the access to the pool. With bubbles flying the happy couple walked through this impromptu “tunnel of love” on their way to the reception.

Location: Holiday Inn Sunspree Resort, Wrightsville Beach



Chelsea & Tom | April 11, 2015

12 Jul

Chelsea & Tom #1(Blog)

Chelsea & Tome #3 (Blog)The logistical part of ceremony planning begins about 6-8 weeks before the wedding.  At that time, we schedule a call with the bride to discuss all the typical things; music, seating, bridal party, ceremony wording and send-off.  Divorced parents, handicapped guests and small children or pets in the bridal party sometimes require us to come up with creative ways to ensure a seamless ceremony.  I used to say I’ve seen it all and that nothing surprises me anymore.  We’ve had two couples divorce and remarry their spouses, a ring bearer in a bear costume, a volcano ceremony which included the bride and groom wearing aprons and safety goggles, a five piece brass band, a pirate wedding complete with the officiant in an eye patch and countless other fun moments that still make me smile.   After conversing with nearly 200 brides, I feel like there is nothing I haven’t seen .   Rarely does a bride surprise me with an idea for something I don’t know how to handle, but I’ve learned over the years, never say never.

Chelsea & Tom #5 (Blog)Chelsea’s ceremony was pretty straight forward, a bridal party of nine, two sets of parents – still married to their original spouses and a saber send off at the end.  Instead of a maid of honor she opted to include her brother Michael as man of honor.  So far so good.  Then she announced Michael was also going to be her photographer and that he planned to walk their mother down the aisle at the beginning of the ceremony.  What? . . . How?  I certainly didn’t have any fast solutions for this one, but eventually we figured it out.  With a second photographer and a little rearranging of the bridal party Man of Honor/photographer Michael was able to stand by his sister’s side and still capture all her important moments.  I usually try to post photos which don’t include the photographer, but this time I made an exception.  See Michael photographing his father giving the bride away (above) and crouched on the stairs in the saber send off (below).

Chelsea & Tom #2(Blog)

Location: Carolina Beach, Atlantic Towers

Angela & Brian | April 10, 2015

9 Jul

Angela & Brian #1 (Blog)Angela & Brian (Blog)Not every bride can pull off shades down the aisle.  It certainly requires a level of coolness, a sense of humor and the ability to connect with your partner without looking directly into his/her eyes.  In the five years  we’ve been doing beach weddings this is the first one I’ve seen were every member of the bridal party wore sunglasses throughout the ceremony.

Angela and Brian’s decision to wear them didn’t diminish the moment.   We could still see that spark when she touched his arm and in the way he smiled every time she said his name. The bride wanted her wedding to have a chillAngela & Brian #3 (Blog) vibe and that’s certainly what she got.  However, I have a feeling in the private moments leading up to the ceremony the photographer was able to capture a few romantic shots of the couple gazing into each others eyes.  Opting for a first look prior to the ceremony gave the couple the opportunity to have both.

Location: Kure Beach, NC