Ceremony/Reception: Sanderling Resort | Planner: Davis Walker
Photographer: Daniel Pullen Photography
Officiant: Reverend Jay Bowman | Catering: Sanderling Resort
Cake: Just Desserts | Flowers: Sugar Snap Events
Hair & Makeup: Glimmer | Spray Tan: Artistic Elegance
DJ: Coastal DJ & Videos | Transportation: OBX Trolley
Start at the Beginning…
“The Sanderling Resort is already so beautiful, I didn’t really need to decorate it,” says Michele. “I would call ours a ‘Classy Beach’ wedding. But I didn’t have buckets everywhere! Our wedding was about the natural beauty of North Carolina and the Outer Banks.”
Bridesmaids selected their own dresses around beige, blush, and neutral colors. Groomsmen wore khaki.
A Vote for the Outer Banks
A family member with a home in Corolla coaxed the couple to consider the Outer Banks.
Michele explains, “We are both from Italian families. Here in New Jersey, a lot of weddings are over-the-top, big, formal affairs. We eat huge amounts of appetizers and then there’s a sit-down meal, too! Kevin and I really wanted something less traditional and smaller. We wanted beachy and relaxed. We wanted something drive-able because there are lots of kids, so places like Aruba were out.”
Out of the 64 people in attendance, Michele estimates that 40 had never been to OBX.
The couple’s first trip to the Outer Banks was 16 months before the wedding. They used that trip to interview and hire their photographer and officiant in person but hired the rest of their vendors from a distance.
Michele works in Corporate PR for an IT company in a job that sometimes includes event planning. It meant that a destination wedding was right up her alley.
“With a destination wedding, there’s a lot of communications involved. I had timelines, agendas, directions; everything was ready,” says Michele. “The Sanderling Resort provided the planner and that was a saving grace. It was somebody I could geek out with [on event planning].”
Toddler in the aisle? Not a problem!
Not many brides have the courage to ask a three-year-old to be in the wedding, but Michele had four three-year-olds participating. Two were flower girls and two were ring bearers. The tots were expected to navigate long sets of stairs for the ceremony onto an observation deck. In the end, all went smoothly, and their participation proved to be some of good humor and comic relief of the day.
Naturally fair skinned, Michele wanted to be tan for her Tuesday wedding.
“I know it’s so ‘Jersey’ of me to want to be tan. I drove all the way down from Corolla to the salon in Saturday traffic and had a spray tan two days before the wedding – from someone I had never gone to before… a huge risk, I know!”
In the end, she was pleased with the natural glow that showed up on her day and in photos.
A favorite oceanfront bar in New Jersey was the inspiration for some fun celebration at the Stellato’s Outer Banks reception. The New Jersey nightclub’s signature tradition is a foghorn that sounds off periodically throughout the night and cues the bartenders to throw napkins in the air like confetti. Michele says, “We threw napkins a few times throughout the night at our wedding to pay homage to [the bar] and as a way to bring our Jersey culture with us.”
What’s in a Name?
The mid-July Stellato wedding was during peak summer season. With guests scattered from Corolla to Kill Devil Hills, planning transportation was essential for timely and safe arrivals at multiple events.
The couple booked blocks of time with the OBX Trolley affectionately called ‘Stella’ by its owner.
“Since the OBX Trolley is named Stella and our last name is Stellato, I jokingly asked if we could add a “to” to Stella and turn her into ‘Stellato’ for the day. Gene did this for us, and it came out great. It was so cool and unique. You could tell they’ve done this a million times and worked out all the arrangements, but they didn’t make me feel like that. Everyone treated me so well.” ♥