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Though my husband and I have traveled all over the Southeast since we moved to North Carolina seven years ago, there’s one major destination we’ve so far missed: the Outer Banks. I know, I know!! From what I’ve heard, North Carolina’s Outer Banks offer some of the dreamiest beaches in the South, and hold so many memories for generations of vacationers. No surprise, then, that so many couples choose to get married there. Whether you’ve been visiting our beaches for years or your wedding weekend marks the start of a lifetime of new memories, here are five reasons you might choose to marry on the Outer Banks!

1. Dreamy seascapes and spectacular sunrises and sunsets. No matter which venue you choose, your views are guaranteed to be beautiful and memorable. The natural, unspoiled coastal surroundings of the Outer Banks offer unparalleled backdrops for saying “I do.” The natural light from sunrise to sunset is a wedding photographer’s dream, too!

2. The professionalism and reliability of a tight-knit vendor community. Booking vendors who work together often with the common goal of making your wedding day meaningful, fun, and stress-free is every bride’s dream! Headaches from planning remotely are alleviated by working with local vendors who are grounded in the area, can steer you in the right direction, and offer you a native’s tips and tricks.

3. The ability to accommodate any size, style, and budget. From intimate garden fêtes at The Elizabethan Gardens to coveted Jennette’s Pier vows, romance between the vines of Sanctuary Vineyards, a close-knit gathering on the soundside waters of a private home and dock, or a blow-out bash at one of the grand remote wedding homes up and down the barrier islands, the opportunities are endless when you plan a destination wedding on the Outer Banks. With their wide range of venues and savvy wedding vendors, celebrations can be extremely budget-friendly.

4. Award-winning food for every palette. The Outer Banks is known for fresh seafood! Serve your guests delicious, fresh-caught, local seafood, or fill up your menu with fine, gourmet twists on Southern classics. From BBQ to fancy feasts, there are many caterers who can tailor a menu to your tastes, no matter how refined or laid-back.

5. Perfect for friends and family mini-vacations. If the idea of a vacation with all of your loved ones is even more appealing to you than a wedding, the Outer Banks is a perfect spot! In addition to its sprawling beaches, the Outer Banks has national parks, the Wright Brothers Memorial, the largest sand dune at Jockey’s Ridge, and three lighthouses. There are also endless watersports and activities, and ample opportunities to simply lay in a hammock :)

Planning an Outer Banks wedding? One of your first stops should be the Outer Banks Wedding Association. It’s a one-stop shop for couples interested in saying “I do” on the shores of North Carolina. They’re hosting their 19th Wedding Weekend & Expo on January 14 and 15, 2017, which offers a great opportunity to see venues and meet vendors face-to-face (a valuable way to start long-distance planning!). The OBWA’s social media accounts and annual magazine are also great ways to gather inspiration for your OBX celebration!

All photos in this post by Courtney Hathaway, from Darlene and Ryan’s wedding in Nags Head!

This post is brought to you by the Outer Banks Wedding Association – thanks for your support of the brands that make Southern Weddings possible!

emily Written with love by Emily

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