OBX Wedding Planning


outer banks wedding planning

Left: Lori Douglas Photography. Middle: Outer Banks Productions. Right: Sarah D’Ambra Photography

During this wonderfully exciting time preparing for a wedding, there are fantastic wedding planners who are ready to walk you through this time of transition. Today’s wedding planners have educated themselves on best practices and problem-solving techniques to navigate these turbulent times and the ripple effect that has affected the events industry.

In other words, they have your back. 

Cue the much-needed confetti, streamers, and champagne!

But first, are you ready to roll up your sleeves and dive into the wedding planning process? 

On the one hand, the fun of brainstorming vision and décor, searching for the perfect venue, and booking vendors is tremendous fun. Some brides love the process from beginning to end. Others, however, may look at wedding planning as a bit more time-consuming (not to mention stressful!) than they bargained for.

Hiring a wedding planner may seem a bit indulgent to some, but why not streamline the process and make it more enjoyable? There’s never a wrong time to bring in the professionals. Turning to a wedding planner does not mean you’re delegating the most critical decisions of your life. Au contraire! A planner will merely embrace your wedding vision, execute it, and deliver an event you will remember for the rest of your life. 

The Outer Banks is a year-round fisherman’s haven. There is fishing, fishing, and more fishing. Book a charter boat to experience inshore and offshore angling with your buddies, or head out to the beach or one of many fishing piers with your rod in hand. You can rent what you need on site if you haven’t packed any gear. Piers generally offer food and beverages to enhance the experience. Be sure to inquire about fishing permits at your local tackle shops or visit www.ncwilidlife,org for more details.

Touring the majestic lighthouses of the Outer Banks is a great way to explore history and take in an incredible view. From Corolla to Ocracoke, coastal beacons provide great stopovers, climbing adventures, and photo possibilities.

No matter what your preference, you and your wedding party or guests are bound to find the Outer Banks a memorable place of adventure, natural beauty, and fun. Don’t forget to take your camera – waterproof if needed – to savor your memories for years to come!

outer banks wedding planning flowers

Outer Banks Productions

Can I afford it?

Bringing on a wedding planner doesn’t have to bust your budget. On the contrary, hiring a planner can save you money, turning out to be one of the best investments you will make. What’s more, you can choose the level of involvement you want from a planner.

A good planner will help you make the most of your wedding budget. They can generally stretch a budget because they know what’s more important and what will have more impact. Small decisions can add significant savings when you have a planner who knows what they’re doing.

Speaking of costs, once you have discussed your budget with your planner, every decision, purchase, and negotiation will be made based on that information. Your planner will create a detailed budget, making sure you stay on track and will keep you updated along the way.

Will it stress me out?

It may come as a surprise, but many wedding vendors prefer to work with a wedding planner instead of dealing directly with the bride or groom (or their parents) because doing so helps keep things streamlined while minimizing stress. In addition, as the wedding day approaches, vendors will feel better bothering a planner to iron out last-minute details than worrying an already-stressed couple directly. Moreover, wedding planners already have built-in relationships with vendors, which can also cut costs.

Full Planning

When someone hears “wedding planner,” it’s usually the full-service level of assistance that most people think of. Some full-service planners will charge a percentage of your overall wedding cost, while others charge a flat fee. Your full-service planner will always have a ‘Plan B’ in case of emergencies, mishaps, and inclement weather. This option is best for those hosting a multi-day affair or destination wedding or couples who want a professional to guide them through every step of the wedding planning process. 

A full-service planner will log hundreds of hours on your behalf for many weeks and months leading up to your wedding day. Services will typically include: budget preparation, negotiations with vendors, tracking your guest lists and RSVPs, and coordinating lodging accommodations for out-of-town guests. There will also be many check-ins with you and other errands and tasks like arranging wedding party gifts and wedding rehearsal coordination.

Full wedding planning assistance may not be practical for every couple despite all of the plusses. Remember, after you’ve booked your significant vendors, you could still decide to consult a planner midway through the process, as most planners offer partial or customized packages.

outer banks wedding planning flowers 2

Left: Lori Douglas Photography. Right: Sarah D’Ambra Photography.

Partial planning

If you need help with just a few aspects of your wedding, it may be that a part-time wedding consultant is the best option. The part-time planner can help on an as-needed basis. For example, let’s say you prefer to negotiate with vendors and do much of the planning yourself. Still, you’d choose to have a dedicated pro to help develop a timeline of items to accomplish and a blueprint for each wedding event. It’s more of an a la carte approach where couples can arrange help in areas where their talents may not lie. This arrangement is also going to be less expensive. 

Day-of coordinator

A day-of planner, as the name implies, is there for the entire wedding day, solely focused on your priorities and responsible for making sure your wedding day runs smoothly, allowing the couple a stress-free day. However, somewhat of a misnomer, a day-of coordinator will begin working anywhere from two weeks to a month ahead of your wedding to make sure everything is in order. In addition, they’ll coordinate your ceremony and reception setup, keep you and your wedding party on schedule, and handle any necessary, immediate post-wedding duties.  

outer banks wedding planning lights beach balls

Left: Pullen Weddings. Right: Lori Douglas Photography.

Choosing a planner

Your wedding budget itself will be at the core of many decisions you will make during the whirlwind days leading up to your wedding day. As you interview wedding planners, be sure to select one who comes across as honest and realistic when discussing the budget. They should be organized, calm, and confident – a consummate pro. Ask for references and follow up with them. Be sure to interview a few different planners before deciding.

  Before your meeting, however, develop a list of questions along these lines: 

  • Are you available on my wedding date? This should be your first question! Also, encourage any comments or issues regarding the selected date – such as popular wedding weekend, unpredictable weather, other significant events planned in the area, etc. 
  • What service packages do they offer, and what are the price ranges? Nail down exactly what is included in each. 
  • How will you help me stay within my budget? Ask potential planners to discuss creative ways to save and alternatives to more expensive options.
  • How do you prefer to communicate with your clients? Especially for destinations weddings, a tech-savvy planner in these Zoom times is well-suited for distance wedding planning. 
  • How long have you been a wedding planner? How many full-scale weddings have you planned? When was your last one? Is wedding planning your full-time job? If it’s part-time, what is your other job? This will help determine how much time they have available to dedicate to planning and the potential for distraction and assess the experience level..
  • How many weddings will you be working on at the same time? Realistically, the planner may be working with one or more other couples. A good planner will provide complete and customized attention to your wedding. 

In summary, wedding planning is stressful. However, the value of hiring a strong, confident, and experienced wedding planner to be on your side will make all
the difference. 

 



Preferred Vendors

The Finer Points Coastal

Corolla, NC
The Finer Points Coastal, LLC is an award-winning boutique event planning and design company specializing in weddings with over 20+ years of experience in hospitality and event etiquette.

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Outer Banks The Finer Points Coastal