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Romantic Outer Banks Wedding

Kelsey + Zach | Jun 8, 2019

Intimate oceanfront wedding with fresh greenery, blooms and ivory hues at Sanderling Resort in Duck, North Carolina 

Zach and Kelsey met in Charlotte when she was still in college and he was working in the city. They were both out at a bar one night where he was celebrating a friend's birthday and she was helping with a charity event, when he offered to buy her a drink.

“I told him I couldn’t drink until after the event, and of course as soon as it was over, he was there with a drink in hand,” said Kelsey, “and like they say, the rest is history!”

On the day of their engagement, the couple had plans to go to a rooftop bar with friends and family. Zach, a lawn-care enthusiast, asked Kelsey to join him outside to inspect the grass before they left. As soon as Zach faced her, she realized there actually wasn’t anything to see and he was about to propose!

“We both totally blacked out and remember nothing from that moment forward except me being totally and utterly speechless,” said Kelsey. “Of course, after the proposal, I learned that his parents were already at the rooftop where I was surprised with all of our friends and family!”

On an overcast summer day, Kelsey and Zach said "I do" at a gorgeous, relaxed resort in the Outer Banks. Growing up in the area, Kelsey always dreamed of a beach wedding, so as soon as Zach popped the question, it wasn’t a matter of if, but when they would get married on the OBX.

“As I thought about our wedding day, I wanted it to be classic and effortless while letting our venue and location be the focal point of our big day,” said Kelsey.

Their color palette consisted of ivory, cream, beige and lots of greenery, starting with the bridal party’s attire. As Kelsey got ready alongside her bridesmaids and little flower girl at one of the resort's vacation homes, the ladies twirled around in their sand-colored mismatched gowns.

“All of my bridesmaids have such unique and individual personalities,” said Kelsey, “so I wanted to be sure that they not only felt comfortable, but also confident, in their dress.”

For Kelsey’s bridal look, she chose a stunning form-fitting ivory gown with a strapless sweetheart neckline. Both the bodice and the train showed off romantic lace details, and she wore a floral embellished hairpiece in her loose curls.

“The back was just so dramatic and so jaw-dropping,” said Kelsey. “I loved the dress so much that on the night of our wedding after everyone was gone and it was time to go to sleep, I did not want to take it off!”

Zach and his groomsmen looked effortlessly handsome in custom navy suits, paired with greenery-patterned ties and ivory pocket squares. The unique ties beautifully complemented the bridal bouquets, full of fresh eucalyptus, dusty pink roses and cream garden roses.

At the wedding ceremony site, the expansive lawn and rustic observation deck set the mood with the ocean and soundside as the backdrop. In addition to the stunning views and warm ocean breezes, more floral installations bordered the wooden arbor with muted blush tones, shades of white and lush greenery.

“We had flowers everywhere and it was perfect!” said Kelsey. “We were married under the most amazing arch with billowing blooms of white and cream roses with greenery.”

Their guests sat in white chairs with accents consisting of white roses and greenery, while the service was officiated by one of their close friends - allowing them to really personalize every aspect. The wedding ceremony was short, sweet and special, with readings by two couples whose marriages Kelsey and Zach look up to.

“Zach and I wrote our own vows and hearing them for the first time in person is something neither of us will forget,” said Kelsey. “We were able to make promises to ourselves and each other, with the addition of inside jokes that tied everything together.”

Still, things don’t always go as planned... The humidity was intense and Zach’s fingers were swollen from the heat, so Kelsey had to use both hands to force the ring onto his finger while telling him to smile through the pain!

“What felt like six hours, a few laughs and a couple of tears later, we finally got it on!” said Kelsey.

While the wedding photographer captured the newlyweds and their wedding party on the picturesque shoreline, the guests made their way to the pavilion for the most magical reception. Inside the building entirely made of windows, there was billowing white drapery and market lights suspended from the ceiling. It also had an outdoor deck that led to a gazebo overlooking the sound, just where the sun was setting.

“Again, we wanted the space and the sunset to be the focal point, so we kept things simple with a couple of flowers, greenery, and varying white candles on each table,” said Kelsey.

The pavilion was illuminated by soft, romantic candlelight, with bamboo chairs and taupe table linens to tie everything together. Each table had a centerpiece of flowers, greenery, and candles, and the head table had a long runner of flowers and greenery with candles throughout.

“I think the white flowers with greenery really complemented our overall look without being the center of attention,” said Kelsey.

One of Kelsey’s favorite parts about the wedding was that, in lieu of a traditional wedding cake, they had a local frozen yogurt shop serve ice cream sandwiches! The flavors included classic vanilla ice cream between two chocolate chip cookies, and chocolate ice cream between two chocolate fudge cookies.

“We knew getting married on the beach in June would be hot,” said Kelsey, “so once you start mixing in dancing all night, ice cream sandwiches were the perfect solution to cool all of our guests down.”

The wedding band was an absolute hit, keeping the couple and their guests entertained, and on the dance floor all night long!

“Our band is still being talked about over a year later,” said Kelsey. “When I say that they played everything, I truly mean it!”

To top off the wedding of their dreams, Zach led Kelsey out to the gazebo overlooking the sound, where they embraced under the twinkling market lights that lit up against the evening sky.

Congratulations to the new Mr. and Mrs.! 

Still looking for a venue for your wedding day? Check out our list of vetted vendors HERE!

Creative Team

Matt Lusk Photography

Sanderling Resort

Show Me Your Mumu

Surfin Spoon

Glimmer Hair & Makeup

SnackBar Jones Band

Sugar Snap Events

Rentals & Decor
Metro Rental

Reel Love Weddings

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