Engagement Story

The week of our 4 year anniversary we flew to Key West. Every time we took a vacation together my friends would say, "Is this it? Is he finally going to propose??" I would always say, "I don't think so..." Although it had crossed my mind when we first got there, 3 days into our vacation it had slipped my mind. That evening we met up with friends at sunset festival at Mallory Square. I was taking pictures of the sunset and street performers with zero idea what was going on behind me. Wes was on one knee waiting for me to turn around. I thought for sure it was a joke until I realized everyone was taking pictures of us and that was a real diamond ring he was holding!  

Why did you choose the Outer Banks & The Black Stallion?

I started vacationing every September in OBX in 2005 and brought Wes the first time in 2012 after we started dating. He loved it as much as I do. Every September, our favorite part of our OBX vacations are the pool parties with friends. 

After we got engaged and started talking about what we wanted for our wedding, we both brought up having it in OBX when we go down for our annual September vacation. Little did Wes know, I had seen The Black Stallion on Twiddy's website about 2 years prior and bookmarked it in my head. I fell in love immediately but thought, "the only way we could stay here is if it was for a wedding or something..." When I showed Wes the house, he also immediately fell in love with the idea of hosting the ultimate pool party for our wedding and we immediately went into planning mode. 

Description of wedding

The theme of our wedding was FUN! We did not want to follow the inflexible timeline of a typical hotel venue or the rigid rules of a ceremony venue, which is why we chose The Black Stallion. We've been to so many weddings where it seems like everyone is just going through the motions: sit at the ceremony, wait during the cocktail hour, sit at your table, wait for food, etc. Lets just go straight to the fun! 

We had a pre-cocktail hour for guests in the main house when they first arrived while the wedding party were having their own in the pool house. Once we were all ready to start the ceremony, guests took their drinks to the backyard for a short, sweet, and fun ceremony. Afterwards, we went to have a few pictures taken in the pool house while everyone returned to the cocktail hour. Then it was straight on to the pool-side reception for dinner, a lot of dancing, and some impromptu swimming! By the end of the night, everyone ended up jumping in the pool, including the photographer, videographer, and caterer!!! 

Any advice to couples currently planning a wedding?

Figure out together what is important and what is not important when you picture your perfect wedding day. For us, the most important thing was everyone feeling welcome, having fun, & lots of food and drinks. Things that were not important: flowers, center pieces, & useless decorations. This really helped when it came to budgeting.

That being said, the BEST money we spent was on our Day-of Coordinator, Mandy Harlow. We did all the planning up to the day and then we just needed someone to follow our timeline, make sure people were where they were supposed to be, and get everything done so we did not have to worry about it! Our entire day went off without a single hitch and it is all thanks to her. 

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