The Crystal Coast Tourism Authority beckons aisle-bound brides and grooms to enter the Crystal Coast “Vows on the Beach” Contest, with just one week left to submit, for the opportunity to say ‘I do’ with a view along North Carolina’s Southern Outer Banks and win a happily ever-after grand-prize, including: a toes-in-the sand wedding ceremony; luxurious, seven-night wedding/honeymoon accommodations for the dynamic duo courtesy of Bluewater Vacation Rentals; Wedding and Events coordinator and $2,000 bridal registry at Belk (

From comedic to heartfelt, and tear jerking to knee slapping, entrants must describe in 50 words or less why they deserve to win the “Vows on the Beach” Contest. All entries must be submitted on the Crystal Coast Facebook page – – by 11:59 pm on Feb. 28, 2013. Entries will be reviewed by The Crystal Coast Tourism Authority, and one winner will be chosen in March 2013.

“Our continued focus is to build awareness for the Crystal Coast as an emotion-evoking destination; it’s a place all about memories,” says Carol Lohr, executive director of the Crystal Coast Tourism Authority. “The most important day of one’s life calls for a picturesque setting, along with precise planning and this contest allows us to share an unforgettable wedding experience set amongst an equally unforgettable backdrop.”

Dangling like a delicate strand of pearls off the coast of North Carolina, the favored Atlantic beach destination of generations represents one of the only remaining natural barrier island systems in the world. The islands are strung together with 85 miles of silken coastline along the Southern Outer Banks, 56 miles of which are in the protected Cape Lookout National Seashore. Miles of shimmering water reflects countless tiny suns during the day and shatters the moon into a thousand pieces at night. Lush maritime forests edge the silken coast like emerald jewels studding a royal crown. The barrier islands take a curious southward curve, blessing the Crystal Coast with beaches that course east and west making it possible to admire the dazzlingly bright sun rise to greet the day and then slip into the shimmering translucent blue waters in the evening during a spectacular North Carolina sunset.

For more information on the Crystal Coast “Vows on the Beach” Contest, visit or call the Crystal Coast Tourism Authority at (800) 786-6962.

Posted by: Eric Hause | February 14, 2013

Real Cape Fear Weddings :: Jamie + Matt

Wedding date: May 19, 2012 | Ceremony location: Oak Island Beach | Reception location: The Members Club, St. James Plantation | Coordinator & Flowers: Orchid Island Events | Cake: Crazy Cake Chicks | Disc Jockey: DJ Professionals & Video | Chair Rentals: 3 Cheers Rentals | Arbor: Sweetwater Bamboo Arbors & Rentals| Photographer: Memorable Moments Digital Photography

In her words: “The Carolina coast has always held a special place in our hearts. Growing up with annual vacations to the coast, I was thrilled to be only a couple of hours away when I started graduate school at UNC-Chapel Hill.  When Matt followed me to North Carolina from Chicago, we took advantage of regular weekends at the beach, so I wasn’t at all suspicious of Matt’s plans when we set off one morning for a day at Bald Head Island. We decided to climb the lighthouse and when we got to the top, he dropped to one knee and proposed.  We knew right then that our wedding should be at Oak Island in Brunswick County. The day of our beach wedding, we were blessed with a bright Carolina Blue sky to compliment the special details that went into our day, such as photo boutonnieres to honor Matt’s mother, who passed away in 2004; family members to serve as our officiate and our musician; and table place cards telling the story of the many meaningful locations in our relationship.”

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Posted by: Eric Hause | February 13, 2013

Real Crystal Coast Weddings :: Kim + Clay

Kim and Clay visited  Beaufort during a vacation and immediately fell in love with the quaint seaside town.  They commented that if they ever got married this is where the weddings would be–and that’s exactly what they did!  Their family and friends from around the country in town for their wedding saw for themselves why this area is so special. Here’s a look at their July 26, 2012 wedding from their photographer, Richard Barlow.

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Posted by: Eric Hause | February 13, 2013

Real Crystal Coast Weddings :: Marlana + Brandon

Wedding Date: August 25, 2012 | Reception Site: Swansboro Rotary Civic Center | Photography: Keepsake Memories Photography  | Decoration/Rentals: Crystal Coast Tent and Event Rentals | Cake: Mrs. Vingerber’s Sweets | Flowers: Through the Looking Glass | Catering: The Wood Cooks | Videographer: Rohrig Video

In her words: “After a year of celebrating our engagement with our families and friends, our Crystal Coast  wedding weekend finally arrived! We kicked things off  with a rehearsal dinner and celebration at the beautiful Coral Bay Club in Atlantic Beach.  Jim Quick and the Coastline Band rocked the house until the clock struck 12.  Afterwards, Brandon and I had an emotional goodbye. The next time we would see each other again was when the church doors opened for my dad and I to walk down the aisle. We got married on August 25th at Swansboro First Baptist Church with 440 of our closest friends and family.  The ceremony was even more perfect than I could’ve dreamed.  We were married by a close family friend, Reverend Charles McKinney, and the personal touch that only he could’ve placed on our ceremony had everyone in tears.  After the ceremony my new husband and I headed to our reception at the Swansboro Rotary Civic Center where we were greeted by an over-whelming crowd of our favorite people.  As we were introduced by our band, The Craig Woolard Band, into our beautiful transformed reception, I knew that this was the perfect start to our new chapter in life, happily married.”

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Posted by: Eric Hause | December 24, 2012

The 2013 Crystal Coast Wedding Salon :: Tickets on Sale Now

If you’re planning a Crystal Coast destination wedding, you’re probably also planning to brave a Crystal Coast bridal show. Well, we have the antidote for the madness of most bridal shows: The Crystal Coast Wedding Salon, January 18-19, 2013 in Atlantic Beach, NC. Now in our fourth fabulous year, the Salon isn’t your average bridal show. It’s a romantic weekend of wedding planning at the beach for you and your groom.

We’ll take you and your groom on chauffeured limousine tours of Crystal Coast wedding venues. You’ll meet over 40 Crystal Coast wedding vendors in a relaxed, intimate wedding showcase at the Coral Bay Club–no endless rows of pipe and drape booths with no time to talk to vendors. To top it off, you’ll rock it out at our After Party at the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores, complete with fully catered dinner, drinks, DJ, dancing, great prizes, and fun!

You can also register to win an all-inclusive Caribbean vacation for four people and lots of other fantastic prizes.

And that’s all for one low ticket price. Tickets are on sale now. Come plan your wedding with us–and have a fun weekend at the beach!

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Posted by: Eric Hause | July 10, 2012

Real Myrtle Beach Weddings :: Matt + Meredith

Hometown: Charlotte, NC | Wedding Date: February 3, 2012 | Wedding Venue: Grand Dunes Ocean Club | Planner & Designer: Stunning & Brilliant Events | Photographers: Paula Player Photography  and Jim Merrill | Flowers: Little Shop of Flowers | Cake: Janet Adams | Rentals: Carolina Events & Tents and BRAVO! Rentals | Lighting & Ceremony Music: Globaltruth Entertainment | Cookies & Cake Pops: Cake Creations by Melanie

Matt McCall spent his early career racing in NASCAR. His car number was 23. He and Meredith met on May 23, and he proposed to her on May 23 at 5:23 AM. And their wedding date was on 2.3.2012 (2012 equals 23 when added together). Thus it was a natural that their spectacular Myrtle Beach wedding incorporated the colors and numbers that are his claim to fame. After their big day, they made their getaway in a Z06 Corvette amidst a huge burnout with checked flags waving.

Posted by: Eric Hause | July 10, 2012

Real Crystal Coast Weddings :: Kelly + Thomas

Ceremony Site: Beach at Emerald Isle | Reception Site: North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores | Planner/Officiant: Promised Hearts | Photography: Coastal Image Photo | Disc Jockey and Video: DJ Professionals & Video | Party Bus: A Diamond Limousine | Catering: The Crab’s Claw

In her words:“We have been coming to Emerald Isle for about ten years. My aunt owns a condo in Ocean Reef, and we love the laid back beach life. When I got engaged, all I could picture was getting married with my toes in the sand, and there is no better beach than Emerald Isle in my opinion. We go to Sand Dollar Island every year, by a boat out of Beaufort, and we caught as many sand dollars as we could, which were used in the centerpieces at the reception. In fact, everything was native to Emerald Isle. The sand and shells were all collected there. As the final seaside touch, we loved the idea for having the diver in the tank taking pictures of the guests on the dance floor. Tom’s nephews even said it was better than Disney. Now that is a compliment!”

Posted by: Eric Hause | June 26, 2012

Our Summer Magazines are Hot off the Press!

Our summer 2012 editions are packed full of destination wedding tips, real weddings, and vendor information all designed to make your wedding planning easier.

You can order your copy at one of the web sites below. Or browse our interactive online editions!

Cape Fear Bride Magazine | Grand Strand Bride Magazine | Crystal Coast Bride Magazine

Posted by: Eric Hause | April 5, 2012

2012 Trends for the Non-Trendy

We’re not much into trends as they relate to making your wedding day reflective of you. *But* we loved some of these ideas and trends for 2012. Hopefully you’ll find something here to inspire you as you design your Coastal Carolina wedding.

Posted by: Eric Hause | March 29, 2012

Ashley + Jeff :: A Wedding On The Beach

This is what a Myrtle Beach wedding is all about! In this video by Bob Collins, bobvox media, Ashley and Jeff don’t let a windy Myrtle Beach day deter their oceanfront nuptials. The couple celebrated afterwards with a reception at their beach house.

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