Congratulations, you’re engaged! Now here comes the fun/stressful/emotional part of planning a wedding; more specifically, an Outer Banks wedding. We’re right here with you through it all and by taking the Outer Banks wedding process step by step, you’ll be able to plan the wedding of your dreams without stressing to the max.

Planning an OBX wedding can be stressful, but this guide makes it easier!

1. Establish Your Budget

First things first, figure out how much you want to spend! The type of wedding you and your partner want will determine how much you will spend on your big day. You can do an elopement-style wedding with a small wedding party or an exquisite event with 200 guests. There are plenty of wedding venues for you and your partner to choose from depending on how much you want to spend!

Your Outer Banks wedding budget will depend on if you want to do DIY projects or have an all out wedding event!
Photography by Sarah D’Ambra | Venue: Jennette’s Pier

2. Figure Out When You Want to Get Married

Another factor in your OBX wedding is figuring out when you want to get married and on what day. Typically, weddings in the winter and early spring are more cost-effective than weddings during the peak summer and fall months. Additionally, weddings that are held on weekdays, or Sundays are less expensive than weddings held on weekends.

Getting married on the OBX during the winter and early spring can save you big bucks.
Photography by Sarah D’Ambra | Venue: Grande Ritz Palm

4. Establish Your Venue

Weddings on the OBX are so unique in that there are so many different places you can choose to get married and have your ceremony. From Jennette’s Pier to the historic Whalehead Club, there are so many places for you and your partner to say “I do” and party! A popular choice for Outer Banks weddings is the naturally gorgeous venue of the beach itself. You can select one of our event homes nearby to celebrate a reception with everyone afterward. OBX event home rentals are a great option for hosting your OBX wedding, but we’ll go into a little more detail on that in a bit.

5. Find Your Photographer & Other Vendors

Your photographer is arguably the most important vendor you’ll hire other than your venue and caterer. You’ll want someone who can capture your OBX wedding day in the best light and give you hundreds of photos to look back on year after year. Other vendors you want to make sure you hire are a florist (if you’re not planning on doing DIY projects), a day of coordinator (or planner), a caterer & bartender, a DJ, hair and makeup artists, and any additional wedding vendors you might be interested in. If you’re not local to the Outer Banks, a great place to start your vendor search is the Outer Banks Wedding Weekend and Expo event! You can get more details here and see what vendors and services will be attending.

Photography by Sarah D’Ambra | Venue: Jennette’s Pier

6. What Are You Going to Wear?

There aren’t many wedding dress and suit shops on the Outer Banks so you may need to travel to Virginia or Raleigh if you’re a local. If you don’t call the OBX home, we highly recommend dress shopping in your hometown or somewhere nearby your home town for the best dress and suit selections. Another reason to dress shop fairly locally to where you live? Being able to have access to alterations quickly! You’ll want to be able to access your dress or suit as many times as you need to account for alterations before the wedding – so it’s better to have a shop a quick trip away.

For the ladies that are dress shopping, keep your wedding venue in mind as you do. A ballgown-style dress is gorgeous, but if you’re getting married on the beach in the middle of July, you might get a little too hot and uncomfortable.

7. Where Are Guests Staying?

A big thing to keep in mind when planning an OBX wedding is figuring out where people will stay. A way to combat that task is to book an OBX event home! Most of Resort Realty’s event rentals are large enough to accommodate bridal parties, families, and friends. Your guests can split the cost of the rental and you can enjoy a week of love, surf, and sand on the OBX!

8. Take Other Tasks Into Consideration

Other wedding tasks and advice include the following:

  • Where are you getting wedding bands?
  • How many people are going to be a part of your bridal party?
  • Do you want any extra vendors? Photo booth? Food truck?
  • Find your wedding decor vision and stick to it (get some inspo here)
  • Take advantage of free wedding planning sites like Zola & The Knot
Photography by Sarah D’Ambra | Venue: Jennette’s Pier