In honor of Father’s Day this past Sunday, we thought we would share some of our most favorite Father-Daughter moments on the blog. Fathers are an important part of the wedding day because on this day they are handing over their daughter to the person she has found to spend the rest of her life with. The life he helped create and shape over the years, watching her grow from a tiny infant into a successful young woman, ready to go out and build a family of her own. We, at Wilmington Weddings and Events, want to thank all the father’s out there for their countless acts of love and helping create all of these special moments in their childrens’ weddings!

Image: Erin Costa Photography


Image: Erin Costa Photography

Image: Erin Costa Photography

Image: Treasured Moments Photography


Image: Anchored In Love


Image: Anchored In Love


Image: Marcus Anthony Photography


Image: Marcus Anthony Photography

Image: Tracy Turpen Photography

Image: Tracy Turpen Photography


A fabulous perk of living in Wilmington, NC is having access to beautiful beaches for photography sessions. A popular beach in the area for engagement sessions is Fort Fisher. Fort Fisher is located just 20 minutes south of Wilmington on Pleasure Island. Fort Fisher was used during the Civil War and is now a National Historic Landmark with six miles of beautiful beaches. With its gorgeous landscape it is no wonder Brooke and Zach decided to have their engagement photographs taken here. Their talented photographer Kate Supa recapped their engagement session below:

“It went from the sunniest skies to pouring down rain when we arrived at Fort Fisher for Brooke and Zach’s engagement session. We waited a few minutes, the skies parted and these two embraced the wind that comes after a storm. And their love so evidently shined through- that’s really what makes me love their engagement session so much and I’m even more excited for their wedding!”

After seeing these lovely shots from their engagement session, we can not wait to see the photographs from their wedding day!


Photographer// Kate Supa Photography
Venue// Fort Fisher


Have you heard of the new trend coming up in the wedding world called a Pop Up Wedding? We love this idea and were excited to hear that there would be one in our area! Read all about how Martha My Dear Rentals is offering this cool new option to Wilmington brides below.

pop up wedding wilmington nc

“Some people run marathons or read books in their down time, but I daydream about transforming a space for a wedding with my furniture.

This happened when we first dropped off furniture at Terra Sol Sanctuary for a magazine photoshoot for Focus on The Coast Weddings. When we arrived at the yoga studio, located in the antique district of Wilmington, we weren’t sure that we were at the right place because we saw what we thought was a little old church. When I opened the doors, the first thing that caught my eye was the bright fuchsia stained glass window in the middle of the room. Then I caught sight of the platform right underneath the window that had just enough room for a couple to stand underneath. By the time my husband and I came back home, I decided that the space was the perfect spot for the Pop Up wedding I had been daydreaming about for almost a year.

pop up wedding wilmington nc

What is a Pop Up Wedding?

A Pop Up Wedding is an intimate wedding of about 20 of your closest friends and family held at a location that is not usually used for weddings. It is planned, decorated and executed from start to finish by Martha My Dear Rentals. We thought that if we could find a beautiful space and add our gorgeous rental collection, we would have the ability (with a little help from our wedding vendor friends) to put together a wedding ceremony and small celebration in many spots in Wilmington.

Pop-Up weddings allow couples to marry quickly, worry-free, and at a fraction of the price of traditional weddings because they are in fact sharing the costs with other couples. Each couple that chooses to marry at the Pop Up Wedding will be given a time slot to arrive with those that are nearest and dearest to them. We will also be sure to have some of their favorites on hand to make the day personalized like music, food and wedding cake flavors. And it will all be captured by an amazing local photographer. We like to think it is a new, cooler and more memorable alternative to a civil courthouse wedding ceremony. We will be offering 2 elopement packages for couples to choose from and will host up to 3 separate and individualized weddings on the same day.

pop up wedding wilmington nc

pop up wedding wilmington nc

pop up wedding wilmington nc

pop up wedding wilmington nc

Why Couples are Choosing Pop Up Weddings

Traditional weddings aren’t for everyone! While discussing the concept, I have spoken to couples who like the idea for different reasons. Some are shy and don’t feel comfortable with being the center of attention; Others just bought their first home and would rather put the money into renovations for their fixer upper. And one couple would rather put their savings into an epic honeymoon where they travel from Disneyland to Yosemite park for a few weeks and visit everywhere in between!

Whatever the reason, we believe that all couples deserve a beautiful celebration of love, even if it is on a smaller scale. And we are happy to now offer Pop Up Weddings through Martha My Dear Rentals. We are calling this project “The Coastal Wedding Project” because we are hoping to be able to marry many couples who wouldn’t have thought of having a wedding like this in our little coastal town. Rather than just daydream about beautiful weddings in secret locations in my downtime, I would rather make it happen and spread the love with others.

The idea is that our Pop Up Weddings will look and feel as though the couples planned and designed their wedding for months, but really all they had to do was choose from a few of our options and show up for their special and oh-so-stylish time slot.”

pop up wedding wilmington nc

pop up wedding wilmington ncImages by Neal Petrosky Creative

The first Pop Up Wedding will take place on July 1, 2017 at Terra Sol Sanctuary located in the antique district of Wilmington, NC. Follow along on Instagram at @thecoastalweddingproject Please contact or for more info or visit their website at


When it comes to setting the tone and theme for your wedding, invitations are the first glimpse your guests will get to see into your wedding day. Save the Date and wedding invitation options are endless on what you can do, so we enlisted the help of invitation expert, Basic Invite, to update us on the latest trends and options.

“We are seeing a lot of brides going for watercolor washes and botanical designs as well as foil invites. Raised and flat foil invites are super trendy right now. All of our foil designs come in gold, silver, and rose gold. Our rose gold option is brand new and our brides are loving it so far!

A trend that has become more of a staple this year is the photo invitation. Couples love to use their favorite engagement photo as the backdrop to their invitation. This looks especially great on our double thick matte paper option.

Also, agate and marble designs are on the rise and we expect these looks to gain a ton of popularity as the year goes on and into the 2018 wedding season.”

Using a site like Basic Invite, gives you a great starting point for an invitation design but also allows you to customize it as much as you need. So it’s like getting a custom designed wedding invitation without the custom price!

Almost Unlimited Colors – Basic Invite is one of the few websites that allows customers almost unlimited color options with instant previews online. Once you select a design you can change the color of each element on the card to over 180 different color options. So, you can make sure the card is exactly how you want it – down to the littlest detail. This is what we feel sets us apart from almost any other online stationery company and is what we feel is our biggest draw.

Custom Samples – Basic Invite is one of the few websites that allows customers the ability to order a printed sample of their actual invitation so they can see exactly how it will print as well as the paper quality before they ever have to place their final order.

Over 40 Different Colors of Envelopes – Basic Invite is just as colorful with our envelopes as we are with our invitations. Customers can choose from over 40 different colors when it comes to their envelopes so that they can make their invitation stand out even before it is opened. All of our envelopes are peel and seal so the envelopes can be quickly and securely closed.

Over 200 Wedding Invitation Sets – Each of our wedding invitations is part of a set. You can find everything from save the dates to wedding invitations and enclosure cards, wedding menus, wedding programs and even matching thank you cards!

Free Address Collection Service – Use our free address collection service to request your addresses with just three simple steps. Share a link, collect addresses, and get free envelope printing.

Keepsake Guest Books – Perfectly personalized wedding guest books are the perfect addition to your wedding day stationery. These customizable guest books have a ring hidden inside which allows them to lay perfectly flat for a classy and convenient look. With sophisticated designed pages it’s the perfect opportunity for your weddings guest to leave sweet words and well wishes.

If you need a place to start, be sure to check out Basic Invite’s website! They offer everything from destination wedding invitations to bridal shower invitations. And be sure to check them out through their social media links for some beautiful inspiration: Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter.


Today we’re getting some expert advice from Coastal DJ & Video when it comes to picking your wedding music! Thank goodness for the experts! As long as you hire great professionals for your wedding, you’ll be in good hands!

“Aside from the dazzling bride and dapper groom, wedding music is one of the most important parts of any celebration. Whether your wedding is formal, funky or laid-back and casual, music is the main aspect of everything from walking down the aisle to cutting the cake and mingling with guests. You can incorporate your personality into your wedding by choosing music and song selections that are important to you, your significant other and both of your families.”

Image: Dana Laymon Photography


There are a couple of common wedding customs that call for background music to set the tone and express your sentiments.

Processional – This is the song playing while the bride walks down the aisle. Classical selections include “Canon in D” by Pachelbel or Handel’s “Water Music Suite.” Show your fun and modern side with “Marry Me” by Train, James Taylor’s “How Sweet It Is”, or Vitamin String Quartet and The Piano guys are very popular in the contemporary category for ceremony songs.

Recessional – The newly married couple walks back down the aisle and out the door. Time-honored tradition calls for Mendelssohn’s “Wedding March” or Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy.” Ray LaMontagne’s “You are the Best Thing” or “It had to be You” by Harry Connick Jr. give the recessional a unique touch.

First dance – The bride and groom enter the reception and dance. Think about songs that have special meaning, express your sentiments for each other or that you just simply like. Popular choices include “Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran, “Die A Happy Man” by Thomas Rhett, “All of Me” by John Legend, “You Are The Best Thing” by Ray Lamontagne.

Father/Daughter – When it’s time for that special dance with your father, here are some great song choices. “I Loved Her First” by Heartland, “My Little Girl” by Tim McGraw, “Butterfly Kisses” by Bob Carlisle, or “My Girl” by The Temptations.

Mother/Son – Tim McGraw’s “Humble and Kind”, Fleetwood Mac’s “Landslide” or Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World” are popular choices for the groom to dance to with his mother.

Cake Cutting – “Cake by the Ocean” by DNCE, “How Sweet It Is” by James Taylor, “Sugar Sugar” by The Archies, “Smile” by Uncle Kracker or Sugarland’s “Stuck like Glue” have all been chosen for cake cutting ceremonies. Some couples also choose to smoosh cake in each other’s faces, but that’s entirely up to you.

Bouquet Toss – Always a fun event, this is where the bride tosses the bouquet to her single guests. You can display your sweet or sassy side with songs like ABBA’s “Dancing Queen,” Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Wanna have Fun” or “This Girl is on Fire” by Alicia Keys. A recent classic is by the queen Beyonce, with “Single Ladies” – always a smash hit.

Garter Toss – If your hubby is excited to perform this really cool part of the ceremony, suggest  “Another One Bites the Dust” by Queen, “Rocky Theme” by Bill Conti, or “Pour Some Sugar on Me” by Def Leppard.

Image: Coastal Shots Photography

Cocktail Music Hour

You’ll want to provide your guests with music to listen to while the wedding party smiles pretty for the photographer. You can let your DJ set the mood, or you can come up with a low-key and entertaining playlist of your own. Remember, you haven’t arrived yet, so you don’t want your guests getting too wired up before you even arrive.

Reception Music

This is what will be playing while you’re eating, drinking and socializing with your guests. Choose some of your favorite wedding reception songs and genres in a mix of ballads and dance tunes. Rock, pop, country, R&B and even rap, hip-hop and reggae make fun mixes. Your DJ can take your favorites and come up with an entire playlist to match your personalities and wedding theme.

Along with all of the wedding songs you do want, it’s a good idea to define songs you definitely don’t want. Suggestive lyrics, vulgar language and relationship topics such as devastating break-ups and extramarital shenanigans could drop a few jaws. We know your friends are all hip and current, but we wouldn’t want to send Great Aunt Martha into cardiac arrest on your wedding day.

The End-Of-Reception Selection

Few couples realize just how crucial it is to end the reception on a high note. It’s usually the last impression your guests will have of your wedding, and you want them to leave with that rocking fun memory lingering. Here are some song suggestions:

  • “Don’t Stop Believin'” by Journey
  • “I’ve Had The Time Of My Life” by Dirty Dancing
  • “Save The Last Dance” by Michael Bublé
  • “Shout” by Isley Brothers
  • “Last Dance” by Donna Summer

Image: Coastal Shots Photography

Keep It Simple

Picking four or five hours’ worth of music can be a truly stressful task. It doesn’t have to be. Break it down into small and easily accomplishable tasks. For example, just concentrate on choosing the first dance song. Next, move on to the mother/son dance song. By the end of the week, you’ll have all of the main songs out of the way. This is also a great time to include your parents. Ask them what songs they like. They’ll feel like part of the planning, and you’ll end up with unique and meaningful choices.

As far as the wedding reception playlist goes, start with the tunes you and your significant other listen to every day – at the gym, while running, on road trips or at work. Your DJ can help you add to these songs to come up with a complete wedding music playlist.”

Music plays such an important part in a wedding and sets the tone for the entire celebration. How did you and your significant other choose your wedding music? Did you have a DJ? Let us know in the comments.

– – – – – –

About the Author

George Wainwright has been a DJ since 1988 and is the owner of Coastal DJ & Video, a team of DJs and videographers serving Wilmington, the Outer Banks, and most of NC. His music favorites include Beach Classics, Old School, Disco, Top 40, and Club.



Wilmington Wedding and Events welcomed the warmer temperatures back by hosting the 2017 Spring Bridal Mixer at Shell Island Resort on the North End of Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina.  The mixer was coordinated by wedding planner Hayley Luckadoo with Fairytale Pursuits. Hayley recently located to Wilmington from Charlotte and hit the ground running planning the mixer. The inspiration behind the Boho-Chic theme of the mixer according to Hayley was “really all the new trends for this year. Greenery is the color of the year, while blush is still a popular choice from last year, and so many brides are going for a natural, green look, while keeping it simple and fun. More couples are choosing that eclectic bohemian style, and we wanted to incorporate that since it’s the new trend.”

The mixer brought about over thirty wedding vendors from the surrounding area to showcase their areas of expertise to newly engaged couples. A couple of these vendors were ThreeThirty Films, Anchored in Love Photography and Pink Baking Co. ThreeThirty films showcased their filmography skills with their drone capability to capture the wedding from a variety of views. Anchored In Love was a premier vendor at the event and captured all the moments from the night. Pink Baking Co. showcased their talented baking capabilities with a variety of delicious sweets including mini cupcakes and macaroons. The macaroons where one of the most talked about treats of the night!

Hayley provided the following quote of how the night turned out in her opinion:

“I’m ecstatic about how the event turned out. We had so many great vendors who went all out on their booths, and the setup provided by the featured vendors was exactly what I pictured in my head. We met some amazing brides and truly enjoyed working with everyone on this show!”

Couples walked away with a ton of knowledge and new vendor connections to aid in their wedding planning process. We cannot wait to see the weddings of these couples and how our vendors make their fairytale wedding dreams come true!

Check out the video captured by ThreeThirty Films by clicking the attached link: 

Featured Vendors:

Wedding Planner//Fairytale Pursuits
Photography//Anchored in Love
Cake//Pink Baking Co
Calligraphy//Southern Bee Designs
Rentals//L&L Tent and Party Rentals
Rentals//Martha My Dear
Catering//Shell Island Resort Catering
Venue//Shell Island Resort
Videography//ThreeThirty Films
Transportation//Azalea Limousine Service
Florist//Verzaal’s Florist
Florist//Lou’s Flower World
Lighting + Pipe and Drape//Event Excellence Light & Sound
Event Artist//Saltwater Surf Art


Downtown Wilmington is full of stunning locations to take engagement photographs all year long. A stunning location that is extremely popular with brides-to-be is the Wilmington Riverwalk along the Cape Fear River. The Wilmington Riverwalk is a roughly one mile boardwalk that allows couples to stroll along the path getting gorgeous shots with the river flowing in the background. The talented photographer, Megan Dickerson, submitted these stunning downtown engagement photos highlighting this gorgeous couple’s love for each other along the Wilmington Riverwalk. Below is her recap of the engagement session:

“This gorgeous downtown Wilmington engagement session is one of my favorites to date! Taylor contacted me right after Cory proposed to her and wanted to do their engagement session as soon as possible. Taylor and Cody wanted to announce their engagement with photos and I thought this was such a cool idea! We had to reschedule from their original date due to the snow we had in Wilmington – yes snow in Wilmington, can you believe it!? Although the wind chill was 20 degrees, all of their photos turned out amazing! I am so happy they those me to photograph their sweet engagement! Congratulations again Taylor & Cory!!”






Image: Kate Supa Photography

We’re excited to be learning from Jana from Design a Dream Events today about unexpected wedding expenses you need to know:

Budgeting for a wedding may seem like a piece of cake to a wedding professional, but to the couples who have never been married before, sometimes it’s the big elephant in the room that doesn’t want to be discussed. It’s very easy to go over budget due to the unexpected wedding expenses that most couples don’t take into account. As a wedding planner, we are able to provide insight to our clients in order to help keep them on budget for their big day!

So what are these unexpected expenses you ask? Let us help break down the top 10 unexpected wedding expenses you should know about!



Image: Anna Holcombe Photography

When prepping for your wedding day, you’ll want to take into account gym memberships, tanning, trail runs for your hair and makeup, mani & pedis, hair trims and color touch ups, etc. The beauty goes far beyond just the day of, so make sure keep track of them all.


Image: Magnolia Photography

Of course most couples know they need invitations, and even save-the-dates, but there are many other paper goods to think about. Here are a few that may not be on your radar: postage, place cards, menu cards, escort cards, programs, and especially thank you cards post wedding.

  3. GIFTS

Image: Tie That Binds Weddings

Gifts are commonly remembered for the bridal party. It’s tradition to give a small gift to show your appreciation to your bridesmaids and groomsmen, but did you consider other types of gifts?  Here are some other options typically left out of this category: Party favors for your wedding guests, welcome gifts or bags for traveling guests at the hotels, and even sometimes gifts for the parents.


Image: Bed Bath & Beyond

Some companies, for example transportation or catering, will include gratuity on their invoices, but that’s not always the case, so make sure you double check.  Although it’s not a necessity to tip your vendors, it is a great way to show your appreciation to the vendors who have worked hard for your special day. There isn’t a magical number that each vendor should receive, but there are ways to determine how you would like to tip. You can tip based on a percentage of the total cost owed, a flat rate, or even a gift.


Image: KMI Photography

You’ve budgeted for all aspects of the big day, but many times the couples forget about all the other festivities leading up to the wedding. There’s the bachelor and bachelorette parties, bridal shower, rehearsal dinner, and sometimes even a post wedding brunch the day after. These hidden fees can add up very quickly, especially if the couple doesn’t have the luxury of receiving financial help from their families.  


Image: Anchored In Love

In the moment of agreeing to proposals and quotes, sometimes it’s easy to forget about the infamous sales tax and service charges that may not be on the initial quotes you’ve received. Some of the service charges to consider are: delivery and set up fees, carving fees, cake cutting fees, bartender fees, and even cork fees. Remember to ask about any additional service fees ahead of time.


Image: Anna Holcombe Photography

You searched high and low for your perfect dress for your perfect wedding… but what about all the accessories that MUST complete your look?! Don’t forget to budget for shoes, a veil and/or any extra headpieces, jewelry, and alterations.


Image : Magnolia Photography

It’s very considerate to provide vendor meals for the vendors who are working your entire wedding reception, especially the ones who are there for 8 to 14 hours. Vendor meals are provided by your caterer and should be cheaper than your guest meals. This expense can add up though if you have multiple photographers, videographers, planners, and a band. So this is something to keep in mind.


Image : Magnolia Photography

When budgeting for your rentals, it’s easy to remember tables, chairs and linens, but sometimes the detailed decor falls under the radar until you’re closer to the wedding date and the budget seems to be busting at the seams. Here are some examples of rentals and specialty decor pieces you want to make sure you don’t forget about budgeting for… Candles, votives, dance floor, uplighting, outdoor lighting, glassware, dinnerware, flatware, specialty linens, decorations for the tables other than floral centerpieces, outdoor spaces, lounge furniture, decorative items for the bar, fireplace mantles, and food tables.


Image : Kate Supa Photography

There’s nothing like yelling “ONE MORE HOUR” when you’re in the moment and having one of the best nights of your life. Keep in mind that there’s always a cost to extended the fun. Most vendors have a base rate for additional hours requested, but most will expect to be paid in full on the spot, so make sure you know what those costs are and that you’re ready to fork up the fees to continue the party.

There you have it! 10 of the most unexpected and hidden wedding expenses to keep in mind while budgeting for your big day. We hope by educating you on some of these surprising expenses you will have a better understanding of how to budget for your wedding and the festivities surrounding it.  

Thank you to our fabulous Guest Blog Contributor, Jana Ingraham with Design A Dream! Please be sure to check her out for all of your wedding planning needs!


This past Sunday, Wilmington Weddings and Events hosted the 1st Annual Wedding Dress Sample Sale with three Wilmington bridal boutiques at the stunning Wrightsville Manor. The three boutiques that supplied these amazing dresses were Camille’s of Wilmington, Coastal Knot Bridal Boutique, and The Wedding Dress Shoppe.  A wedding dress sample sale is where boutiques bring in dresses they have had in store and mark them down by upwards of 60-70 percent off retail cost. They are usually trying to make room for the new season of dresses and this allows brides to shop for their dream dress at a fraction of the cost! It’s especially perfect for brides who don’t have time to order a dress. The dress boutiques brought in hundreds of dresses for the brides-to-be and their families to look through in the hunt for their perfect dress! L&L Tent and Party Rentals aided in the event by creating seven dressing rooms for the brides to try on their picks. Over the course of the three hour event over two dozen ladies left with their dream wedding dress! We felt thrilled and honored to help these ladies find their dream dresses! We can’t wait to do it again! And be on the lookout for our Bridal Swap event coming up this July!

Venue//Wrightsville Manor
Dress Boutique//Camille’s of Wilmington
Dress Boutique//Coastal Knot Bridal Boutique
Dress Boutique//The Wedding Dress Shoppe
Rentals//L&L Tent and Party Rentals


A major trend in the South is to be married in an outdoors southern style setting, usually with a barn that exudes southern charm. Native Wilmington couple, Alex and Jordan, choose to be married at The Barn at Rock Creek located in Leland, North Carolina for their dream southern wedding. The Barn at Rock Creek is a local wedding venue that provides an authentic barn with space for a reception or ceremony downstairs and bridal suite upstairs for the bridal party to get ready. They also have ample outdoor space for the ceremony and entertainment. They included many local vendors who kept in theme with their southern charm wedding to make it a magical day for the couple.

Alex and Jordan’s happily ever after started in high school as told by the bride: “Jordan and I met in ninth grade at New Hanover High School. We were in the same English class and quickly became good friends. We were both seeing other people at the time. Summer came and went, and when school started back that fall we ended up becoming “boyfriend and girlfriend”. It’s such an amazing feeling being married to my best friend!”

The wedding was submitted to us by the incredibly talented Erin Costa with Erin Costa Photography.


Venue//The Barn at Rock Creek
Photographer//Erin Costa Photography
Florist//Creative Cuisine
Bride Hair Stylist//Bangz Hair Salon
Bride Makeup Artist//Flawless Make up by Isla
Bridesmaid Hair Stylist and Makeup Artist //Bombshell Brides
Live Wedding Event Painter//Shelia Donahue
Caterer//Middle of the Island
DJ//DJ Professionals
Officiant//Rudy Sheppard – Peace Baptist Church
Wedding Dress//Coastal Knot Bridal Boutique
Bridesmaid Dresses//Weddington Way
Groom and Groomsmen Suits//Jos. A. Bank
Cake//Creative Cuisine
Cupcakes//Melissa Rodenberg and Crystal Fraizer
Rentals//L & L Rentals and Martha My Dear
Wedding Coordinator//Lesley Taube from The Barn at Rock Creek