"Sitting at your work, your mind wanders to the excitement of planning this wedding. Date and location are the two most important things to start with and you have the date. So your mind searches for a romantic place that is fun and practical for your guests, but is not the same-ol’-same-ol’ as your sister’s, or mother’s weddings. Hmm…what about a destination wedding in a place that has it ALL!?
"Brides and mothers may ponder: somewhere different but not wildly bizarre, impressive but not outrageous, romantic, entertaining, and affordable. That leaves out Greece, France, Hawaii, Monte Carlo, Bali and Japan. But we’re seeing a pattern here…the coast is a popular destination for weddings. The number one draw of a destination wedding is the very attractive benefit of vacation amenities. Also, the romantic escape to another city with your love. Celebrating for several days instead of just one. Living like a V.I.P. and the excitement of new and fascinating things, places and people! Well then, welcome to Wilmington!
"Wear that gorgeous dress with bare shoulders in the golden southern sunset. Watch your sweetheart bury naked toes in the soft sugary sand beside you. Feel the warm breeze on your face and hear the curling waves murmuring in your ear. Laugh together as you write “Just Married” in the sand and pose there for a wonderful photo. Take home seashells and memories of salty kisses too.
"Hold on…what if the risk of sandy sunburns is not appealing? Then grab some awesome indoor ocean ambiance at the NC Aquarium, or in a beachfront hotel with plate-glass windows overlooking Neptune’s watery Kingdom. The beach bar scene along Wrightsville Beach is legendary!
"For the hardcore city boys and girls in your wedding party, venture to Wilmington’s popular and historic cobblestone downtown Riverwalk and the 1920’s Cotton Exchange on the Cape Fear River. Ride the street trolley and see it all! Check out the nightlife in Wilmington and you might see celebrities like John Travolta, Tony Hawk, Chad Micheal Murray, Robin Wright, Sophia Bush or Andy Griffith…this is a popular filming location and is called “Hollywood East.” Or try the delicious award-winning restaurants, art shows, boutiques, uncommon shopping, bars, music, shows…a gorgeous place to have your extraordinary reception—a dynamite vista of the sparkling river with amazing food and music that impresses all your guests. Or knock their socks off with a nostalgic and unique riverboat or steamboat ride with dinner and dancing onboard.
"Picture yourself in horse-and-carriage clip-clopping over the cobblestones, or luxurious pampering at the 4-star spas and salons in this city. Want 5-star classic Southern service fit for Scarlett O’Hara? We have that too in our unique B&B’s, genuine antebellum mansions, resorts and inns which are also amazing and unique places for your wedding!
"Need entertainment for the outdoorsy types? Charter a riverboat ride or hop a kayak for two! Like deep sea fishing, surfing, wave riding and other water sports? Wilmington uniquely offers both fresh water and saltwater options. Send your sports fans to the many golf links, tennis courts, and exciting sport teams events here too!
"Thinking of your future mother-in-law from Ohio, a shopaholic? Or Dad is more of a history buff? Visit to Fort Fisher, then take the ferry boat past the oldest lighthouses in NC to the historic and picturesque town of Southport. In Wilmington proper, soak up the charm of more than 543 acres of charming and famous gardens for your wedding, historic soaring churches, parks and a large variety of amazing museums. Sample North Carolina’s oldest winery, or the 5-star-rated haunted Wilmington tours (Blackbeard was here…as were several American battles in this old port city). Prefer collegiate level entertainment? Liberal arts school UNC-Wilmington is here too.
"Your family like the food, music, artistry and excitement of festivals? Wilmington area is THE place for fun and impressive festivals, especially the nationally famous Azalea Festival in April! Also choose from beach music festivals in June-July-August, shrimp festival in August, bluegrass festival in September, Riverfest and Seafood in October, or the film festival in November. Celebrate with free glittering fireworks shows, free summer concert series, and a variety of street fairs, music and food, too. Or come enjoy horse shows, races and real southern pageantry that this port city offers.
"Entertaining children and family? This is kids-ville too! We have a large children’s interactive museum, many theatres, various animal parks, the NC Aquarium, tour the famous battleship USS North Carolina, several family-style fun restaurants, movie houses, laser tag, mini-golf, water parks, go-carts and sports teams. And don’t forget the nineteen top-rated beaches, fishing and myriad of water sports offered! SO much fun stuff to do!"So, what else does a romantic and truly fun and fabulous wedding need--a fabulous cake, sumptuous flowers, a talented photographer, wedding rings and of course you need a perfect wedding minister or officiant. World-class, award winning bakers, florists, jewelers and wedding experts reside in this wonderful metropolis of Wilmington and they are here year-round waiting to wait on you! Read more about all the incredible offerings of these professionals in this pages of this publication. Would a short, fun preview of Wilmington be ideal for your planning? Then, you are invited to let us spoil you at the Wilmington's Wedding Showcase on Sunday, March 4, 2012 at the Holiday Inn Resort on Wrightsville Beach. Coming sooner? Consider the Cape Fear Wedding Show October 30, 2011 or the Bridal Expo on January 15, 2012 for more answers and ideas! Wilmington welcomes you!"