Thank you to all of the local vendors who contributed to this 2024 Guide. Especially, Devon from Detail Event Visions, Sol by Florist by Sol, Officiant Eddie. As well as the past brides who have contributed to their real wedding stories.
Hey! my name is Glenn, I am wedding and portrait photographer based in the beautiful city of Wilmington, NC. This guide will help you get you through the essentials and make your wedding planning an ease.
Let's jump right in!
Getting Married in Wilmington, NC
Wilmington is such a vibrant city. growing exponentially day-by-day. And I get it. This city a lot of charm and being close to the beach, it's really no wonder why you can get married and have your honeymoon at Wrightsville beach.
Table of Contents
Your Dream Wedding
How Do I Set a Budget?
Wedding Venues in Wilmington
Getting Married on the Wrightsville Beach?
How do I set a Wedding Budget?
Starting a wedding budget can initially feel overwhelming, but with a structured approach, it becomes manageable and effective. Here's a guide to kickstart your wedding budget planning:
- Start with your Dream Venue: This will determine your guest list, catering, photography, etc. as it heavily relies on the number of people attending the wedding.
- Make a Guest list: As I stated above, your guest list will eat up most of your budget.
- List your "must haves:" Now that you have your dream venue + guest list, what kind of things do you want on your wedding day.
- Start Early: Begin researching and booking vendors as early as possible. Popular vendors often get booked up quickly, especially during peak wedding seasons.
- Meet in Person or Virtually: If possible, meet with vendors before hiring them. This helps you gauge their professionalism and whether their personality is a good fit for you.
- Keep Track of Your Vendors: Organize all your vendor contacts, contracts, and notes in one place. This makes it easier to manage and coordinate with them as your wedding day approaches.
Remember, the key to a successful wedding budget is balancing your dream wedding with what is financially feasible for you. Open communication with your partner and staying organized are crucial elements in this process.
WEDDING VENUES IN WILMINGTON
If you're getting married in one of these places;
Brooklyn Arts Center
The Atrium by Ligon Flynn
The Watson House and Garden
Merrell Estate & Gardens
The Barn At Rock Creek
Ask us for their point of contact. I'd love to share this publically but they might not want people spamming them.
How to Book your Wedding Venue?
- Determine Your Style: Before you start looking, decide on the style and theme of your wedding. Do you envision a formal ballroom, a rustic barn, a relaxed beach ceremony, or something else? Your venue should reflect the overall tone you want for your wedding.
- Set a Budget: Know how much you can afford to spend on the venue. This will help narrow down your options and avoid the disappointment of falling in love with a place that's out of your price range.
- Consider Guest Capacity: Estimate your guest count before you start looking at venues to ensure they can comfortably accommodate your party size.
- Think About Location: Consider the convenience of the location for your guests. If many guests are traveling from out of town, a venue near hotels or transportation hubs might be ideal.
- Visit in Person: Photos and descriptions can only tell you so much. Visit potential venues to get a feel for the space and imagine your day there.
- Check What's Included: Find out what's included in the venue rental. Some venues offer packages that include catering, furniture, and decor, while others might just rent the space.
- Ask About Restrictions: Some venues have restrictions on vendors, noise, decor, and alcohol. Make sure these align with your wedding plans.
- Consider the Date: If you're flexible on your date, you might find more availability or lower prices. Some venues offer discounts for off-peak seasons or weekdays.
- Read Reviews: Look for reviews from other couples who have used the venue. They can provide valuable insights into the experience and service.
- Plan for Weather: If you're considering an outdoor venue, have a backup plan in case of bad weather.
- Accessibility: Ensure the venue is accessible for all your guests, including those with mobility issues.
- Photography Opportunities: Consider the potential for beautiful photos. Scenic spots or unique architectural details can add a special touch to your wedding album.
After securing your ideal venue, the next step in capturing the essence of your special day is choosing the right wedding photographer. Your venue sets the stage, but a skilled photographer will immortalize the magic and emotion of each moment.
Selecting a wedding photographer is about more than just finding someone with a camera; it's about finding a visual storyteller whose style resonates with your personal love story. A great photographer not only captures the grand, sweeping moments but also the intimate, unscripted ones that truly reflect the spirit of your celebration.
In this next section, we'll guide you through everything you need to know about selecting the perfect wedding photographer – from understanding different photography styles to questions you should ask before booking.
(This part is the exciting part!)
My approach to wedding photography is more than just capturing images; it's about telling your story. I believe in creating a comfortable and enjoyable experience for you, ensuring that your true selves shine through in every photograph.
- Tailored Photography Plan: We'll create a plan that reflects your day's schedule, desired shots, and special moments you want to capture.
- Venue Walk-Through: If possible, we'll visit the venue together to scout the best locations for photos.
Education and Preparation
- Understanding Styles: From traditional to candid, learn about various photography styles to choose what resonates with you.
Tips for a Picture-Perfect Day
- Preparation Tips: Advice on how to prepare for your photos, including timing, lighting, and attire.
- Comfort in Front of the Camera: Tips to feel relaxed and natural, ensuring genuine and beautiful photos.
On Your Wedding Day
- Capturing Every Moment: From the preparations to the final dance, I'll be there to capture the magic.
- Unobtrusive Presence: I blend into your day to capture candid moments while respecting the intimacy of your celebration.
After the Wedding
Photo Selection and Editing
- The Best Shots: I'll select the best photos that tell the story of your day.
- Professional Editing: Each photo is carefully edited to enhance its beauty and emotion.
Delivery of Memories
- Online Gallery: A curated gallery for you to share with loved ones.
- Physical Keepsakes: Options for printed albums and prints.
Getting Married on Wrightsville Beach
To get married at Wrightsville Beach, you'll need a special events permit via email.(See the permit and email below)
It's $130 for the permit which is submitted via call.
You'll also need permits for these Wilmington beaches.
- Carolina Beach
- Kure Beach
- Ft. Fisher
Getting Your Marriage License
When were 1 month from your wedding. You'll need a few things.:
- $60 in cash
- Photo ID
- Your Partner
- Marriage license form
- Appointment with the New Hanover Office of Deeds
- Officiant or Courthouse
- Seasonal Considerations:
- Discuss the best times of the year to get married in Wilmington, considering the weather and tourist seasons.
- Include a section on how to plan for an outdoor wedding, considering Wilmington's coastal climate.
- Unique Local Elements:
- Highlight Wilmington’s unique features, like beach wedding options, historical sites, or local traditions that couples can incorporate into their wedding.
- Pre-Wedding Activities:
- Suggest local activities for guests, such as tours, attractions, or dining experiences in Wilmington.
- Include options for bachelor and bachelorette parties, rehearsal dinners, and post-wedding brunches.
- Budgeting Tips and Tools:
- Provide a budget planner tailored to Wilmington weddings, including average costs for local services.
- Offer tips on how to save money or get the best value from local vendors.
- Accommodation and Transportation:
- List recommended hotels and lodging options for out-of-town guests.
- Include information about transportation, like rental services or shuttle options, especially for venues that are outside the city center.
- Legal Requirements and Marriage License Information:
- Provide a simple guide on how to obtain a marriage license in Wilmington and any legal requirements that couples need to be aware of.
- Post-Wedding Services:
- Include information on local services for name change procedures, thank you card suppliers, and preservation of wedding attire.
- Real Wedding Stories:
- Feature stories or interviews with couples who recently got married in Wilmington, showcasing their experiences and vendor reviews.
- Interactive Elements:
- Consider adding QR codes linking to virtual tours of venues, video testimonials from vendors, or interactive maps for location-based planning.