Planning a wedding on the Outer Banks? Here are some things you will want to know...
Village Realty recommends planning a year in advance. The first thing you should do is select the locations for your ceremony and reception and book your accommodations.
The Outer Banks wedding season is from May-October, the weather is nice but it is during prime season and the rates are higher and it is hard to find availability. If you get married in the less popular months, from November to March, you will have more dates available, more options for service providers, less expensive accommodations and fewer crowds. Also consider having your wedding and/or reception on a weekday when more caterers, DJs and event locations will be available.
Most Village Realty homes run Saturday to Saturday or Sunday to Sunday. We recommend that you consider getting married mid-week, to better prepare for the big event. Your family could stick around and relax after the wedding or you could send everyone home and spend a short honeymoon in the home. We do have some homes that rent Friday to Friday and in the off seasons some owners may allow you to rent a home from Wednesday to Wednesday, Monday to Monday, etc. Please call for information.
If you are getting married outside, you should always have an alternate indoor plan. Tents are questionable due to weather severity. If you move the wedding inside the rental home make sure it will accommodate the number of guest and you have enough room if it is to be catered. Make sure all vendors are flexible with this.
Hurricane Season runs from July thru early November, with a definite peak the end of August and in September. Be sure to inquire with all vendors about their policies concerning a hurricane evacuation or other unforeseen causes for cancellation. All homes in our program offer "Trip Insurance" You can check the internet for companies that offer Insurance Policies that are just for weddings.
Even if you live far away it is worth the time to make a trip to the Outer Banks to meet with the people you're hiring and to see the locations you've chosen. Take down notes and take pictures it will help in your planning and decorating decisions when you can't be here.
For your sake and the vendor's make sure you have a contract that specifically spells out what you and the vendor have agreed upon. If you make any changes get it in writing.
North Carolina beaches are public, so there is no way to close off an area for your wedding. To avoid crowds gathering around or dogs crashing the wedding, if possible find a location that is typically crowd-free, or wait until most of the beach crowd has gone in, usually around 4:00 p.m. You will need to consider parking, beach access points, weather and more.
Please respect the homes that you rent. The homeowners have put a lot of time and money into the home for the enjoyment of their guest. When you leave remember to leave the home in the same manner that you found it in order to avoid charges to your security deposit.
The number one problem that you will find in planning a beach wedding is parking. We recommend getting married near a public beach access that has plenty of parking or rent a house that is near a beach access with plenty of parking. Some brides make off-site parking arrangements and then shuttle guest to the site in buses. Please remember homes have a certain number of parking spaces. You are not allowed to park in the yard or along the road side.
Unless you live here; expect to be making several trips before the wedding or event and many phone calls. You might want to consider hiring a Wedding Coordinator on the Outer Banks. They can help you with many of the hundreds of details and decisions you have to make.
A destination wedding on the beach can be one of the most remarkable memories you'll make. Be sure to have a back up plan for uncontrollable circumstances and weather and let guests know what to do incase mother nature acts up.