Wedding and Meeting Planner
Planning a wedding or meeting in the Southport-Oak Island Area shouldn't be stressful. The below wedding planner should provide you suggestions for most of your needs in one location but it will be equally helpful when planning a meeting.
Need some unique ideas? Check out our Pinterest Page
PDF of Wedding & Meeting Planner is a great resource list of vendors.
If you need further assistance please call or e-mail one of the Chamber's knowledgeable Information Specialists 910.457-6964.
Why the Beach? by Lora O'Neil
It’s beautiful, serene, and romantic. The beach encompasses all of the qualities that people envision in a wedding. Your special day is meant to be just that, special. Avoid the traffic, leave church for Sundays, take off your shoes and step outside the everyday mind set and onto the beach for the most romantic place and day of your life. Find beauty in simplicity. Wear flowers in your hair, a sun dress, dress your groom in a Hawaiian shirt, relax and let the day be unforgettable.
- Invite your friends and family to enjoy a mini vacation while sharing your special day.
- Escape, let go, and enjoy your day and the beach.
- Beautiful photographs. What better background than the ocean to make your wedding photos unforgettable. There is nothing comparable to the beauty of the orange glow of the sun setting or the blue sky and ocean as your bridal backdrop.
- Great food. Thanks to the ample water and wonderful restaurants in this area, many unique options exist for fabulous cuisine. Try seafood, ethnic varieties, or traditional fare.
- Variety. You have the option to make the occasion as formal or as casual as you wish. You can have a beach barbeque or an exquisite banquet in a local community center, country club, or restaurant.
- Accessibility. Located with easy access from US 17, 74, 76, 421 or I-40 and NC 87, 133 & 211. The Southport-Oak Island area is served by the Wilmington International Airport, the Myrtle Beach International Airport as well as the Cape Fear Jetport in Oak Island.
- Keeping the numbers down. Having a wedding at the beach allows for intimacy. You have the opportunity to be surrounded by your closest friends and family and not getting caught up in inviting distant ties that might come for the favors rather than the experience of sharing in your special day. And, keeping the numbers down also can keep the cost down.
- A range of activities. There are so many activities to choose from on the Southeastern Cape Fear Coast – nature trails, kayak tours, bike trails, canoe rentals and fishing trips for the outdoor enthusiast.
Restaurants, Festivals, Concerts and Conventions are available yearly for the action oriented.
- A choice of accommodations. From camping to beautiful B&Bs and beachfront cottages along the Atlantic Coast are happy to accommodate the newlyweds and any guests who plan to stay after the reception.
- A choice of ceremonies. Have an intimate beach ceremony, a ceremony at sea or plan to wed in a church. Options are available for any type of wedding and religion.
Suggestions for Where You Can Get Married?
- Brunswick Town Fort Anderson State Historic Site - ruins of St. Philips Episcopal Church
- Old Baldy Lighthouse
- Village Chapel of Bald Head Island
- Amuzu Theatre - Historic Theatre in Downtown Southport
- Battleship NORTH CAROLINA
- Oak Island Golf and Country Club's -Oceanfront
- Southport Community Building and Observation Deck –Waterfront
- City of Southport Parks
- Town of Oak Island Parks – beach, scenic walkways & parks
- Town of Caswell Beach – beach
- Oak Island Lighthouse –
- At Sea –See list of Power and Sail Boats
- On a Zip Line at Shallotte River Swamp Park
- In the Air -Brunswick Air or High Tide Helicopters
- Bed & Breakfast Inns – See list of Accommodations
- City of Boiling Spring Lakes -Big Lake or parks
- On a Pier - Oak Island Pier, Oak Island's Register Park Pier, West Oak Island Drive Pier, Southport City Pier.
- Live Oak Park at the Southport Marina
- Silver Coast Winery in Ocean Isle Beach
- Additional list of locations for receptions and weddings.
Where Do We Obtain a Marriage License?
To obtain a marriage license in Brunswick County you must go to the Register of Deeds Office in the Brunswick County Courthouse, 75 Courthouse Drive, Bolivia. Click for Requirements. Call 910.253-2690 with questions.
Who Can Marry Us?
Most churches have policies against marrying anyone who is not a member of their church or family of a church member but there are alternatives.
- Magistrate Office Bolivia –910.253-3919
- Ordained Ministers -Matthew Lawson-Boothby - 910.363-6332, Carolyn Pryor -910.448-1230 or Jay Parkman-910.368-1696
Helpful Planning Tips:
SIX TO TWELVE MONTHS BEFORE THE WEDDING
- Discuss Budget
- Hire Wedding Coordinator
- Compile guest list
- Engagement photos (to be included in newspaper announcement & save the date cards)
- Save the date cards ordered and mailed out to out-of-town guests only
- Plan Honeymoon -Secure Passport if needed.
- Discuss Reception
Style – Sit Down, Buffet, Food Stations, etc.
Formal, semi-formal, informal, traditional, non-traditional
Theme – Colors
Favorite decor idea (hearts, beach, favorite flower, etc.)
Book Your Vendors
Caterer picking a caterer
Rehearsal dinner Site
Limousine transportation booked
Florist (ceremony, reception, bouquets, boutonnieres, etc.)
Entertainment, Band, DJ
Wedding Cake Designer
Rental company (chairs, linens, trees, candelabras, portable restrooms, etc.)
Accommodations (hotel rooms for guests)
Ice sculptor (optional)
Balloon Decorator – reception site (optional)
FOUR TO SIX MONTHS BEFORE THE WEDDING
- Finalize Guest List
- Order and address wedding invitations
- Wedding Bands
- Gift Registry
- Groom, Groomsmen, Fathers’ Tuxedos
- Beauty Appointments
- Hair, Massages, Nails, Facials, Waxes, etc.
- Reception Site
Location of each table
(cake, gifts, guest book, reserved tables, assigned seating, food stations, buffet tables, ice sculptures, photo backdrops, etc.)
Will the bathrooms be decorated, have favor baskets, or attendants?
Special people that have not been included (Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, etc.) can be guest book attendants,
favor attendants, greeters, scripture readings, ushers, etc.
- Rehearsal Dinner Site
Discuss rehearsal times with officiant
Compile a guest list
ONE TO THREE MONTHS BEFORE THE WEDDING
- Meet with coordinator and begin agenda.
- Marriage license
- Order wedding programs
- Finalize guest list for rehearsal
- Order rehearsal invitations and mail
- Final wedding gown fittings
- Buy gifts for attendants, parents, etc.
- Order favors and assemble, if necessary
- Beverage napkins
- Unity Candles
- Place Cards
- Personalized Candies
- Personalized Ribbon/Boxes
- Personalized foam coolers, etc.
- Childcare services – adult reception/out-of-town guests
- Mail wedding invitations (6-8 weeks)
- Choose Music
- Bride Entrance
- Unity Candle
- Cocktail Hour
- First Dance
- Father/Daughter Dance
- Mother/Son Dance
- Cake Cutting
- Bouquet/Garter Toss
- Champagne Toasting, etc.