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Hurricanes. They have been known to visit us a time or two on the North Carolina coast. When planning a beach wedding in North Carolina, hurricane season (which happens to coincide with most of wedding season) must be taken into consideration. September and October are some of our busiest wedding months here on the Crystal Coast, and also our busiest hurricane months. Given all the costs associated with a wedding day/weekend, it really is a no brainer to go ahead and protect yourself by getting wedding insurance. It's low cost and can be such a huge relief in the event anything impacts your plans.

But please, have faith in your vendors! Over our thirteen years we've had a handful of weddings directly impacted by hurricanes (even two sisters married on the same weekend a year apart who both had storms roll through!). Even during the worst of storms (Hurricane Florence), local wedding vendors set aside what they were dealing with at their own homes to rally for their couples. Weddings were either moved to other venues or postponed to a later date. Local vendors are familiar with and prepared for these situations and will do everything they can to accommodate when weather events cause disruption.

Check Local Events

When picking your wedding date, be sure to check the calendar of local events and ask local vendors about the popularity of certain holidays. On the Crystal Coast, the Big Rock Tournament (the second week of June) and the Seafood Festival (first weekend of October) draw in lots of tourists. Holiday weekends like Memorial Day, 4th of July and Labor Day are also very popular at the beach. This means accommodations will need to be booked earlier and there will be an uptick in traffic. Having a wedding out on the sand will also mean you may be contending with more beachgoers in their bathing suits. While beaches usually clear out by sunset, in the heart of summertime the beaches can stay crowded well into the evening hours as the sun stays up past 8 pm. Choosing a venue further from a public beach access and planning ahead will help!

The Elements

Sand, humidity, heat, wind. While you're going to deal with the weather no matter where you get married, it's so smart to be prepared for the elements at the beach. You will likely be trekking out onto the sand in your dress and heels, the wind may be "blowing a gale." I've never seen a bride or bridesmaid regret an updo on the beach! Embrace the moment your train billows behind you in a gust of wind and tendrils of hair whip across your face. Have fun with it and your photos will reflect that carefree feeling.

Planning around sunset

Scheduling your wedding in such a way for optimal lighting is always important, but the beach has special considerations. In other locales you may have lots of shaded areas (trees, buildings, etc) to retreat to on a bright, sunny day for photos. However, those options are limited around most beach venues and basically nonexistent on the beach itself. For flattering, even, pretty lighting that won't have you squinting, it is preferable to schedule portrait time for golden hour, which is the last hour before sunset. We like to talk to our couples about their timeline in advance of the wedding day to ensure we're taking those romantic bride and groom portraits right as the sun is casting a beautiful glow on the horizon. There's a 15-20 minute window at sunset and just after when lighting on the beach is absolutely phenomenal. The color of the clouds, sky, water and sand all become simultaneously more vibrant and shadows soften on the sand. Make the best use of it!