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Tips for getting married on the beach in North Carolina

Updated: Mar 17

You have decided to get married or eloped on the beaches of North Carolina. Great choice! There are so many options and beaches to consider: Cape Lookout National Seashore, Nags Head, Hammocks Beach State Park, Oak Island, Outer Banks, Carolina Beach, Atlantic Beach, and my personal favorite because it's the closest to me and right outside of Wilmington... Wrightsville Beach! Planning a North Carolina beach wedding or any beach event requires careful consideration of various factors. Here are some points to be overly mindful of:

Bride and groom on Wrightsville beach under the pier

  • Wind: The coastal areas of North Carolina are often characterized by strong winds. Protecting your hair and maintaining the integrity of your decor, flowers, and arch is crucial. Consider opting for an updo hairstyle that is less likely to be affected by the wind. Check out the photos on this page, her hair was down (which does make for a more romantic look sometimes) nonetheless it was slightly difficult to work around her hair and the wind! Secure your decorations, floral arrangements, and arch with sandbags and extra zip ties to prevent them from being blown away. It's also important to note that wind can carry sand, so be prepared for the possibility of sand being thrown at you and your guests. Additionally, keep in mind that the wind can make the temperature feel cooler, so plan accordingly with appropriate attire or consider providing shawls or blankets for guests.

double exposure of bride and groom on a beach in north carolina with a hot pink bouquet

hot pink bouquet being held by the elopement couple on Wrightsville beach north carolina

couple having a small microwedding elopement in Wrightsville Beach

  • Permits: When planning a beach wedding or event in North Carolina, it's important to research and obtain the necessary permits. Most areas along the North Carolina coast require permits for ceremonies, photography, and setups on the beach. Make sure to check with the local authorities or the specific beach's regulations to understand the permit requirements and any associated fees. This will ensure that you are in compliance with the local regulations and avoid any potential issues on your special day. This is also especially important if you are bring in wedding objects such as chairs, alters, arches, flowers, and other decor. Some beaches charge more for setups or may not allow it.

bride playing with her sequin dress on Wrightsville Beach in north carolina after her elopement

  • Dog Regulations: If you are considering including dogs in your beach wedding, be aware that there are restrictions regarding their presence on the beach. Certain times of the year may have limitations or specific rules about allowing dogs on the beach. For example, Wrightsville Beach does not allow dogs on the beach April 1st - September 30th. Make sure to verify the regulations for dogs and plan accordingly if you wish to have them present during your beach wedding.

  • Back-up Plan: The weather at the beach can be unpredictable and change rapidly. It's essential to have a well-thought-out backup plan in case of inclement weather. Consider securing an indoor venue or a covered area nearby that can accommodate your ceremony or event if needed. It's better to be prepared for unexpected weather conditions rather than having to deal with last-minute changes or cancellations.

elopement couple sitting in front of Oceanic restaurant on Wrightsville Beach after their wedding
Oceanic Restaurant on Wrightsville Beach has multiple ceremony and reception spaces!

  • Sun and Heat: The summer months in North Carolina can be sweltering, and having an uncovered beach ceremony may expose you and your guests to excessive heat and direct sunlight. To ensure everyone's comfort, consider providing shade options such as tents, canopies, or umbrellas. Arrange for water stations or provide individual bottles of water to keep guests hydrated. Timing your event earlier in the morning or later in the evening when the sun is less intense can also help mitigate the heat.

  • Other Beachgoers: Keep in mind that the beach is a public space, and not all beachgoers may be aware of or sensitive to your wedding or event taking place. Depending on the time of year, the beach might be crowded, which can impact the privacy and tranquility of your celebration. Plan your event during less crowded times if possible, or consider setting up a designated area or signage to indicate that a private event is taking place. It's also a good idea to communicate with your guests about the public setting and potential interactions with beach visitors.

  • Rentals: If you are getting married on the beach, that might mean you have to recreate you ceremony or reception site. This will involve renting chairs, tables, and other items that are needing. Along with the cost of renting said items, someone needs to be there to set it up and tear it down.

By being mindful of these factors and incorporating them into your planning process, you can ensure a smoother and more enjoyable beach microwedding, elopement, intimate wedding, or event experience in North Carolina! If you would like a professional team to handle the designing, decor, set-up, and tear-down, of your elopement or intimate wedding on one of the beaches of North Carolina, please reach out to us! Vendors Involved: Beach: Wrightsville Beach Makeup: Makeup by Madison Stidham Photo + Floral: Us! New Land Weddings Ready to get married?!

Interested in hearing more about our design, photography, and floral packages? Email or call me today! I have been in the industry for 14 years therefore I here for you! I have a wealth of resources and referrals for you! I’m here to talk options and explore your micro wedding dreams!Call me at 920.213.7439 or email me:

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