7 Top Tips for Your Outer Banks Wedding

Make that first walk as husband and wife something you’ll always treasure.

Make that first walk as husband and wife something you’ll always treasure.

TIP #1: Plan as far in advance as you can because the Outer Banks is a highly sought after destination. The remote and quiet feel of the Outer Banks is perfect for such an event, and the location is very doable for your guests to make the trip. Key wedding vendors get booked up early, so grab them as early as they will let you.

TIP #2: The trick to getting the perfect spot. The beach is free to use from the north end (Virginia border in the 4x4 area) all the way down to the south end of Nags Head. Our beaches are not crazy crowded like Myrtle Beach or the Jersey Shore, but it’s helpful to save your spot with a little trick. Go out early in the morning and spread out beach towels, chairs, etc., in the area you want to have the ceremony. Then, when it’s time to set up and have the wedding, you pull that stuff up and have your ceremony design setup. If you’re having your wedding on Hatteras Island you are suppose to get a permit from the Hatteras National Seashore Park system.

TIP #3: Get Vendors that fit your style. The best resource to get this accomplished is the Outer Banks Wedding Association. All of the best and trusted local vendors are listed there, with contact info, photos, videos, etc. It’s a one stop shop. There is no sense in settling for just ‘someone’. Do a little leg work, read some reviews, and snag the vendors that totally fit you. It’s what we do, and we love it!

TIP #4: Strike a Plan for your NC Marriage License. It’s very easy to get one in North Carolina, but like everything else, it’s good to know what you’re going to need in order to make it all go smoothly. The number one question I’m asked is “Do we have to get a NC marriage license or can we bring one from our home state?” To be clear, it’s gotta be from the tarheel state. The easiest and most convenient Register of Deeds office is on your way down highway 168; the Currituck County Register of Deeds. 252-232-3297. But if you’re already on the island, the closest one is the Dare County Register of Deeds, 252-475-5970. For more info, check out the Q&A page on this topic on my website.

TIP #5: Beware of the Number One Regret. The beach is such a beautiful venue for a wedding, and couples always have a plan for photography. But the number one regret (by far) that I hear from couples after the wedding trip is this…”Dang, I wish we had a professional video of our wedding.” Watch a few trailers on my website and you’ll see why. They are priceless!!! Some of the videographers that I see the most on the Outer Banks are Swell Productions, Reel Love Weddings, Heart’s Home Films, and Julie Dreelin Beach Productions.

TIP #6: Anticipate the weekend traffic in high season. We are like a big cruise ship with most everyone getting on and off the boat on the weekend…at the same time! This makes for some crazy traffic at times, so plan ahead and let your guests know. Getting up to Duck and Corolla is off the chart slow from about noon to 5pm on Saturdays, and not much fun on Friday’s either. If you can arrive earlier or later, I highly suggest you do it.

TIP #7: The Maid of Honor is going down! This happened just last week! Right in the middle of the ceremony, the maid of honor fainted because she wasn’t hydrated enough. We never think it’s going to happen to us, but please remind your wedding party, guests, and You, to drink plenty of fluids while here in the summer. Fortunately, the bride at that wedding was super cool and rolled with the whole thing.

BONUS TIP #8……. KEEP IT FUN !   (photo by Matt Lusk Photography)

BONUS TIP #8…….KEEP IT FUN! (photo by Matt Lusk Photography)

Jay Bowman