Kathryn + Collins | Dunes Club, Atlantic Beach, NC wedding photographer

Venue: Dunes Club, Atlantic Beach, NC
Cake: Mrs. Vingerber's Sweets
Cocktail Hour Musician: Bruce Naegelen
Band: Jupiter Jones
Florist: Petal Pushers, Etc.
Event Rentals: Crystal Coast Tent & Event Rentals
Wedding Gown: Allure Bridals
Mens Apparel: Jos A Bank
Hair Stylist: Bobbi Ensminger, Bella Hair Studio
Makeup: Makeup by Kacyn
Officiant: Sally White

If you could pick one moment that stands out to you as the best on your wedding day, what would it be? We both agree that the ceremony was the most memorable moment for each of us. Our ceremony was fairly "short and sweet" but there was definitely something special about standing on the beach, looking at each other, surrounded by family and friends, making a lifelong commitment.

During your wedding planning, what was your vision for your wedding day? Early on we committed to having our wedding be authentic. There are a lot of beautiful ideas out there, but not everything resonated, or felt like "us," so we made sure to stick to those elements that were representative of who we were as individuals and as a couple. Success for us was having our closest friends and family have a great time and limit the amount of drama and hassle (hence, no bridal party), so we tried to keep it simple.

Describe any special traditions, personal mementos, or helpful friends/family members who played a sentimental role in your wedding planning or wedding day. Since we were having our wedding on the beach, we thought it would be appropriate to have a sand ceremony. Instead of using the typical craft store sand, we enlisted the help of our family and opted to use sand from where we grew up (Long Island, NY & Missouri) in addition to sand from the beach where were were married.

My "something old" and "something blue" had a special meaning as well. When I was a kid my bunny security blanket and I were inseparable, so my aunt took my ragged old bunny and repurposed him for our wedding. We cut him up and turned him into 4 letters, XXOO, my mom's signature term of endearment.

We also honored the memory of my two grandmothers. We used my maternal grandmother's glasses as toasting flutes--they were actually a present from her wedding to my grandfather-- and the cake cutter from my paternal grandmother's silver set to cut our cake.

What made you choose your venue for your wedding day? Collins and my dad actually booked the Dunes Club in Atlantic Beach before Collins ever proposed (this is a true story!)--but it was absolutely the right venue for us. The Dunes Club offered three things that were really important to us: (1) an oceanfront venue that would show our out-of-town guests the beauty of the beach, (2) a one stop shop for catering, drinks, and reception set-up to keep wedding planning as easy as possible, and (3) the flexibility to have our ceremony on-site, with a back-up plan for bad weather.

What was your First Dance song? Is there a special story behind it? We danced to Thomas Rhett's "Die a Happy Man." The song is about remembering the important things and not getting hung up on having the "finer" things in life. This year was a tumultuous one for both of us, so we were constantly talking about keeping things in perspective and focusing on the things we were grateful for--like each other--instead of the things we wish were different or better or easier.

What was one wedding planning decision that proved invaluable? We researched and booked our "big" vendors first (band, photographer, florist, bakery, etc). There are only 52 weekends a year and the best folks definitely book up first! Initially, it was intimidating, but then it was clear that we didn't need all of the details figured out that far in advance...the important part was getting the date reserved so we weren't scrambling later.