by Donna Byrd
Planning the Perfect Topsail Beach Wedding
I’m sure you’ve all heard the statement, “It takes a village.” Well, last week here on North Topsail Beach, we put that old saying to the test to plan a Topsail Island wedding!
Bill and I have six children who all live in Nashville, Tennessee. Our daughter, Natalie, and her fiancé, Alejandro, decided that they wanted to experience the romantic waters, pristine sands and coastal magic of Topsail Island as the destination rendezvous for their anticipated wedding. To them, saying, “I do” at the beach where they fell in love and got engaged made perfect sense.
Beach House Wedding Venue
Of course, as the happy parents, Bill and I got busy and began planning for their dream wedding – a wedding on the beach. First, we decided on our beach wedding venue. There are several great places to have weddings on Topsail Island, but we opted for renting one of the biggest beach houses we could find. We wanted a house that would host the wedding and reception plus accommodate the wedding party guests. Treasure Realty really helped us in this area, finding us even a few more houses and condos for other out of town guests. (Of course, as a destination wedding, almost all of the wedding guests were from out of town). It was a relief to have the wedding venue and housing settled first. Treasure Realty came through for us!
Topsail Island Wedding Food: Lasagna and Carolina BBQ
The second thing we decided was where to host the rehearsal dinner. I looked into every available restaurant open on the island, but I had a stubborn bride and groom who wanted me to make my famous lasagna. I pleaded. I begged. “There are several great restaurants on our island that could offer you all the best menu and atmosphere for a rehearsal dinner,” I reasoned. But no. “Mom… you make the best lasagna there is and that is what we want.” The wedding house also became our rehearsal dinner venue.
I decided I could put on my big mother-of-the-bride pants to make this dinner. But then my sister-in-love, Kelly, had a brilliant idea! Kelly is the culinary teacher at Topsail High School in Hampstead! She thought her class could make it for me under her supervision. Kelly is the best cook I know and she and her students are always catering meals for teachers and events at the school. She could make the lasagna and save me a ton of work!
Then, I got another idea. Why not get Baked Pizza in Sneads Ferry to make me a vegetarian dish of Baked Ziti? Their pasta dishes were amazing. Plus, they could make our salad and desserts — homemade cheesecake and limoncello mascarpone cake. I got on the phone and in five minutes, I had ordered the other half of our wonderful Italian dinner. I was thrilled with the plan and when we actually executed it, it was delicious and headache free!
The third and very important decision we had to make was who would cater the wedding reception dinner. Natalie wanted her Chicago born husband and his family plus their Nashville friends to experience a good, ole Eastern North Carolina ‘Pig Pickin.’ She remembered our family having them when she was young and she had never forgotten the fun and good food. I called Guy Royal at Surf City BBQ and set up a time to meet with him.
Guy was the sweetest and most down to earth fellow! He helped me plan the perfect Pig Pickin’ for our size group. He told me how to avoid unnecessary costs and pitfalls concerning our dinner. I felt like our reception was in good hands.
On the evening of our Topsail Island wedding, Surf City BBQ had its trailer and cooker at the house. They set up while the wedding ceremony was being performed down on the beach. Within an hour or so, the guests had eaten and Guy and his people had taken away the food and put the leftovers in the refrigerator. His crew was gone before the after dinner party started!
The Wedding Cake and More
Other than the bride and groom being the stars of the reception, what is the other important centerpiece? The wedding cake! Once again, Kelly, her daughter Emily and her stellar Topsail High School culinary arts students came through for us! They made us a lovely, tiered wedding cake and cake pops for dessert. Natalie and Alejandro were thrilled with it and it was so pretty in the wedding pictures. The cake pops were a huge hit!
Another important decision we made was to use Shoreline Party Rentals in Holly Ridge for our tables, linens and chairs. Becky, a sweet southern lady, knows a thing or two about making a wedding happen! You bring the bride and groom and she has everything you could possibly need to make a wedding a reality. Becky had the tables and things we needed delivered well in advance so that we had plenty of time to set up for the reception. The morning after, the company truck was there to load those things up and take them away. It was so easy! I’d recommend Shoreline Party Rentals for all of your event rentals.
We ordered our Topsail Island wedding flowers from Sam’s Club in Jacksonville, NC. As an out of town bride, Natalie wasn’t here to shop our local floral shops and choosing them online was easy for her. The flowers were sent to my doorstep a few days before the wedding and they were stunning. We were so happy with them.
Natalie’s aunts hosted a bridesmaid’s luncheon at Sears Landing in Surf City. What a beautiful setting for a coastal lunch. The staff was wonderful and friendly and all of the guests were able to order off the menu. You can’t go wrong any dish at Sears Landing and the Mimosas were festive and refreshing.
Oh yes… speaking of alcohol! We got our spirits from The Swing Bridge Beer and Wine Shop in Surf City. The folks there were wonderful to work with and the store’s location was so convenient. We ordered several kegs of beer from them and also got a lot of wine. Needless to say, everyone was happy and celebratory by the end of our wedding reception!
I guess you can understand why I said, “It takes a village.” When we pieced a wedding celebration together, the businesses on and around our beautiful island came together to make our wedding a wonderful success. If you’re thinking about a Topsail Island wedding, I say, “Go ahead! Do it!” We have enough wonderful businesses and willing folks to give you the wedding of your dreams!
Planning your own Topsail Island wedding? From wedding rental homes to wedding vendors, learn more about options for North Carolina beach weddings.