A Handmade Outer Banks Wedding: Rachael + Steve

Sometimes the weather doesn’t cooperate the way you’d like it to, but you know what – you can’t control that one, so don’t let it get you too worked up! Today’s couple – Rachael + Steve – were dreaming of a wedding on the beach in North Carolina (a location that had special meaning to them), but a big storm had different ideas. The day of their wedding, they moved the ceremony to their backyard and a large tent and had the time of their lives! Thanks to Red White and Green Photography for the lovely photos and to Rachael + Steve for sharing some details into their day.

lavender and rose bouquet

bicycle invitation


From Rachael, We wanted our wedding to be rustic with vintage and recycled elements with pops of whimsical DIY details. We met in North Carolina at art school. Steve was studying Culinary and I was studying Visual Merchandising. We have been traveling with work since we graduated from North Carolina to Virginia to Hawaii and now reside in San Francisco. We really wanted to come back to the Outer Banks of North Carolina to have the wedding because it was the first place we moved together and where Steve spent majority of his youth. I’m a Visual Merchandiser and Jewelry Designer, so I was dying to get in over my head with DIY projects. If I couldn’t create it, I wanted to try and have as much as possible to be handmade or recycled. I made all my bridesmaid’s, Mom’s, and Grandma’s jewelry. I wanted them all to be different so that they were personalized for each of their unique styles. My dress was handmade by the ever so talented Sarah Seven. I waited 6 long months, but so worth it!

polka dot grooms socks

lavender boutonniere

bride and groom on the beach

bride and groom on the beach

bride and groom on the beach

bride and groom on the beach

groomsmen on beach

bride walking down isle

bride and goom kiss

bridal party

sage ballet shoes

mason jar mugs

 To incorporate Steve’s love for food and his southern roots we choose Carolina BBQ, corn salad wrapped in corn husks, and a Pie bar instead of cake from Mom’s Pies in Virginia (the best flippin pies Rachael had growing up!). We couldn’t forget to include our love for Califonia’s wine, so we shipped wine from our favorite winery Benziger in Glen Ellen, Ca. 

succulent flower centerpieces


dessert bar

bride and groom dance

Any advice for those planning right now? One word of advice: make sure you have people around you that are willing to get in over their heads too! I was super happy I had such rad bridesmaids and family help me with all my projects. With a destination wedding it gets crazy shipping and creating everything within a couple days before. Doing my own flowers was something that was decided last minute and this would be the one thing I wish I didn’t do myself. Unfortunately a lot of local florist fields were ruined during Hurricane Irene and they lost their fields due to the major flooding. Gratefully I was hooked up with an amazing florist in San Francisco, Desiree’ DeLara, she took me to the San Francisco flower mart (apparently one of the best in the world!) and helped me make my vision come to life! The end result of the flower displays, to the boutonnieres, to the bouquets, and corsages were better than I could have ever imagined! 

Another thing to consider, it may rain during your beach wedding. Although you try not to think about it because it WILL make you go crazy, be prepared for it! Since there was a tropical storm the day before, me and my girls set up all the decor in tent the day of the wedding, I was up on a ladder handing all the lights, garland, and puff balls in record timing! And yes, my dream of having a beach ceremony became a back yard ceremony within 15 minutes of the start time. Fortunately I bought fun matching umbrella’s from H&M for all my bridesmaids just in case and my Dad ended up carrying one while he walked me down the isle. Another rainy dilemma, the outlets outside got wet and the electricity went out in the tent! We eventually got it back on and decided it was more fun dancing in the dark. We danced the night away with sparklers, candles, and battery operated christmas lights that were originally tucked in mason jars intended to act as lanterns on tables. They somehow managed to be taken out of the jars and ended up wrapped around all of us on the dance floor by the end of the night! What we thought was a damper at the time turned into a great photo op and lots of laughs later!

vendors + details:

photography: Red White and Green Photography // wedding dress: Sarah Seven // bride's shoes: Seychells // bride's ring: vintage 1930's // groom attire: Custom 3 piece suit from Calibrate // flowers: purchased through Desiree' De Lara (San Francisco) // earrings: handmade by Rada from BHLDN // groom socks: happy socks // groom ring: Kauri wood inlayed on titanium, handmade by Rob&Lean // bridesmaids necklaces: Rachael // Pies: Mom's Pies