When folks think about eloping on the beach, they picture gorgeous sunsets, a light breeze, and comfortable weather. Some days you get lucky and everything falls into place – but more often than not, you may be faced with high sun and burning sand, crazy winds that knock over decor and tangle hair, or the dreaded afternoon rainstorm. Beach elopements simplify so many details involved in big weddings, but there’s no controlling the weather, especially on the Carolina Coast.
ElopeNC created the Pampas Grass & Sea Glass design to showcase a natural, minimalist, eco-friendly design on the beach, and Oak Island wedding planner Kim Sirkin, the owner of Blue Satin Bee, took the design to a whole new level. Recognizing the significant importance of having an inclement weather plan, Kim was able to secure a beach house rental with beach access on Caswell Beach – perfect for a long weekend elopement getaway!
“I always suggest to couples when planning for a beach wedding to have it at a beach home or beach venue that is big enough for the wedding to be held indoors,” says Donna Brown of Always Faithful Wedding Service out of Jacksonville, NC. For any elopement, having an indoor backup takes so much stress away, not only from the weather plan but as a facility for restrooms, a reprieve from the sun, and a place to keep food and beverages cool and safe for consumption.
“This particular design allows for many ways to personalize a wedding,” Donna says. “It has a distinct soft and romantic feel that is earthy by nature and reflects the beautiful outdoors. The theme adjusts to even the smallest of budgets. This was a great elopement style for me to ‘officiate’ because I enjoy the outdoors and the relaxed atmosphere. The Bohemian offers inspiration for a fun, informal wedding or a more romantic, feminine one. The style is light, flowy, and free-spirited.”
Blue Satin Bee worked with ElopeNC members and their favorite OBX vendors to pull colors from the surroundings and infuse every detail with a love of the ocean. The acrylic welcome sign for the elopement, designed by Oh Hey There Amber, was painted with blues, creams, and gold, and a white script said, “We dream in colors borrowed from the sea,” and this rang true through every vendor’s participation.
The invitations, designed by Lauren Andrews Designs, featured sea green, copper, and dusty blue with white script. Lauren says, “I loved the mood board and vision and was excited to connect with new vendors. (Kim with Satin Bee is phenomenal, by the way!) This design and the elopement experience would appeal to couples that want simplicity – in design and in their day. We offer simple as well as more intricate design options and even custom designs based on the couple’s stationery budget.”
On-site hair and makeup by Kyle Bramm allowed the model couple – who are married in real life! – to have a relaxing afternoon getting ready in the beach house while vendors set up the styled shoot. Elope with Emily, the lead photographer and ElopeNC member whose photos are featured in this blog, led a gaggle of other photographers through the day, capturing the details and special moments from every angle. Shoutout to ElopeNC members Cirque91 and Ezer Photo (teased below), as well as Kennedy Parker Photography, AEM Creative Photography, and John Peregoy Videography, for participating and sharing their creativity.
Attire was brought to the beach house by Sam Redfern, the owner and gown designer at Sinderella Rockefellas Bridal Boutique & Accommodations, who joined the ElopeNC community right after the styled shoot! “My gowns range in price from $1500 to $3500 if purchased, and we offer rentals at about 30% of the total selling price (along with a signed waiver),” Sam shared. “The price of the rental for Elopement purposes depends on the gown that the bride would like to wear for her wedding day. As far as alterations for an elopement, my gowns are samples in many styles and sizes. I am happy to get as close as I can in size and style that fits the bride’s body shape and theme of the wedding. And we have groom attire as well!”
Once dressed in gown and suit from Sinderella Rockefellas and jewelry from Wade’s Jewelers, our couple met in front of the house for their first look, with Ponderosa Photo Booth setting the stage. They took a few sunlit photos together, with the bride holding a boho fan bouquet designed by FauxReal Flowers, before heading to the back porch for a light meal.
The reception table, a permanent bench and picnic table from the house, was set family-style for 6 people, with a grazing board from a friend of Kim’s as the centerpiece. Designed by Blue Satin Bee, the table was decorated with mustard and taupe cheesecloth table runners, colored water goblets by Southern Vintage Table, and place settings from White Birch Rentals, who also supplied the pillows, poufs, and rugs that brought together a cozy and earthy feeling. Silverware was tied with place card ribbons featuring each guest’s name, calligraphed by Oh Hey There Amber. The table also featured calligraphed bottles featuring lyrics from Ruelle’s “I Get to Love You” – I get to love you, It’s the best thing that I’ll ever do and Whatever may come your heart I will choose, Forever I’m yours, forever I do.
Inspired by the theme, Shelly Heath of Southern Vintage Table said, “Where the sea and sky are a brilliant blue-green and the sun is poised over the horizon, the beach may be the most romantic place to get married. When asked to supply vintage sea glass colored goblets of blues and greens, we knew these sea colors would beautifully harmonize with the theme of this styled shoot. With the neutral hues from the pampas grass, grass placemats, and florals, these goblets shone on the tablescape, like sea glass glistens in the seashore sand.”
As the sun began to dip in the sky, the couple headed down to the beach for a sunset ceremony, featuring nothing more for decor than a stunning backdrop created by FauxReal Flowers to accentuate the natural beauty. Deconstructed Arches were covered in pampas grass swag, framing the couple without blocking the view of the sun setting over the water. Always Faithful Wedding Service said, “For a real ceremony, I would have suggested to the couple to implement the fisherman’s knot or the sand ceremony to enhance their beach wedding theme. It offers a wonderful memory for the couple!”
With the vows read and ceremony complete, the couple made their way halfway up the boardwalk back to the house, stopping to cut a two-tier white cake flecked with blue and gold, provided by Nonnie’s Baking Co. The couple went up to the house and changed into lighter, more comfortable attire before taking a romantic walk on the beach and splashing around in the water, which led up to a steamy makeout session between the love birds! Still dripping wet, they journeyed to the front of the house for a first dance under Ponderosa Photo Booth’s market lights and a sparkler celebration of their love, with the distinguishable Oak Island Lighthouse shining over them in the background.
“I’m happy that I gave Kim the idea and go-ahead to use one of my gowns in the ocean,” Sam says. “I think it really was a great ending to what is a perfect-looking boho, beachy wedding. And by the way, the gown is fine after the ocean! Beautifully clean and back in my range of over 60 different styles and sizes again.”
The Pampas Grass & Sea Glass styled shoot was designed as elopement inspiration. All featured items and services were graciously donated by the following incredible vendors. The prices listed are estimates provided by the vendors to reflect what a couple could expect to spend on this elopement. Please note, not all vendors’ services are reflected in the total. Elopement cost: $8,495+
Featuring *ElopeNC Members:
*Planner: Blue Satin Bee $2500
*Photographer: Elope with Emily $750
*Goblet Rentals: Southern Vintage Table $30
*Officiant: Always Faithful Wedding Service $525
*Stationery: Lauren Andrews Designs $200
*Attire: Sinderella Rockefellas $1500
Flowers: FauxReal Flowers $1000
Bar + Photo Booth: Ponderosa Photo Booth $1000
Elevated Rentals: White Berch Rentals $690
Hair and Makeup: Kyle Bramm $210
Baker: Nonnie’s Baking Co $90
Not included in total:
Beach House Rental: Jonah’s Whale (A four-night minimum stay is required + event fee)
Basic Rentals: 3 Cheers Party Rentals
Videographer: John Peregoy Film
Calligraphy: Oh Hey There Amber
Jewelry: Wade’s Jewelers