Mark my words, this wedding could slap a smile on anyone’s face. It’s just that pretty. Crafted in the hands of Bells and Whistles, every last detail sings a coastal chic song and Beach Productions captured it all in perfect fashion. Pay a little visit to the full gallery for even more lovely and don’t miss the bride’s sweet words below.
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From the Bride… I think it was the morning light in Duck that I remembered most. Wed gone there one weekend when the water was still cold and the beach was empty. Josh was excited to show me the birds the pelicans and the terns and the Sanderlings. His family’s sunny beach house was a short walk from the beach and we walked there in the morning. The light was pink as the birds flew along. It was the first place that came to mind when we decided to get married a couple of months later. I wanted to share it with the people I loved most, as Josh had shared it with me.
Wed had lunch at the Sanderling Inn during our visit, amazed by its unique ability to be so polished and so relaxed. We wanted a wedding that encapsulated that vibe. We also wanted someone on the ground in Duck to help us with vendors and creative decisions as we planned from Chicago. We had been told that the Sanderling had an extraordinary team of planners that were collaborative and resourceful. That was an understatement. Jessica relentlessly encouraged my creativity and tried to bring every idea I had to life. She also connected with me Dorothy (our magical florist and event designer), Julie (our soul mate of photographers and the queen of capturing natural light) and Amber (the most talented hair and make-up artist I have ever met). These miracle workers made everything possible.
Many of our guests decided to arrive a few days early and were greeted by a string of beautiful sunny days. They walked to lighthouses and built sandcastles and dined on piers. The wedding day itself, however, was a rainy one. The early afternoon brought a reprieve and we decided to risk an outdoor ceremony despite an impending rain cloud. Im so glad we did: the light was rich and the temperature was cool. We were married by an adored friend of mine who helped us craft a ceremony that featured our hand-written vows and incorporated some of my Buddhist practices. The flower girls led the short procession in sparkly shoes, the five year old patiently guiding the two year old when she wanted to put all of her petals down in one spot. Our rings were passed around in a little basket, blessed by every single guest in attendance. We both swore to love each other the best we could for the rest of our lives, speaking over the wind as it howled.
We held our reception in a large, airy room sitting right on the edge of a long dock that guests could stroll down. We decided to soften the high and bare ceiling with draped sheets of sheer white fabric, punctuated with strands of tiny white lights that shone through like little stars. Id had an idea about hanging seating cards from huge white tree branches strung with the same tiny lights. Dorothy made this idea a reality: it turned out more beautiful than I ever could have imagined. She also lit the room like a glowing theater set. We cracked up as we forgot all of the steps to our choreographed first dance to Thats How Strong My Love Is by Otis Redding. Our guests ate and laughed and danced in this warm, peachy glow for the entire night. And when I say they danced, I mean it: our band, a five piece soul band that traveled many hours to be with us, had the entire room on their feet from start to finish. So did Joshs 102 year old grandfather, a professional saxophone player, who joined the band for one song. He stole the show.
If I had any advice for a bride-to-be, I would encourage her to listen to her own voice. It takes courage to figure out what kind of wedding will be the most meaningful to any couple, especially when everyone seems to have an opinion about how things should be done. I remember thinking that it was pretty darn miraculous that I got to marry this incredible guy. I tried to remind myself that I wanted a wedding that honored that. No one could tell us what kind of wedding was going to feel right to us. That was our job. Now that its all said and done, I feel so grateful that I listened to my instincts.
Photography: Beach Productions | Event + Floral Design: Bells and Whistles | Event Planning: The Sanderling Resort | Venue: The Sanderling Resort