Weddings by the Sea

Local Wedding Planners open quaint boutique space for brides & grooms
By: Ami Brown
Jody Britton and Gail Bramble are the brains behind Weddings by the Sea. Based here in Southport, they now have a boutique space for brides. Join them in their open house – Feb 7th, from 4-7pm, at 116 A North Howe St to find out more about their services.

1 – What makes Weddings By the Sea different than any other wedding planning service? (What is your “Stand out” feature) I think what makes us a little different than other wedding planners is that everyone that works on our team started out as either family or a friend. We all work well together and we trust in each other’s skills. For instance (this happens a lot) I will have an idea of how to do something. I communicate this idea to Gail and she takes it to the next level. Adding a little more fluff or an extra little sparkle!
We also take pride in really listening to what the couple wants for their wedding. Sometimes what isn’t said, speaks louder than what is said. We have to be able to read between the lines. Our ultimate goal is for the bride and groom to have had the best day of their lives by the end of the night! If anything went wrong, we want to take care of the problem without the couple ever knowing about it. I feel like we really do a good job at that too!
2 – What is your favorite Wedding theme? The beach themes are, of course, the most popular request we receive. We have beach weddings down pat! Other than that, I’m not sure I have a favorite. Every time we finish one, Gail and I say “That has to be one of our favorites!” No two weddings are alike and we do like “out of the box” ideas. We have one requesting a Star Wars theme for 2019!
3 – How much notice is ideal when it comes to planning a wedding in this area? We can get a small wedding put together in less than a month, however 1 year would be ideal.
4 – Tell us about an interesting wedding you planned….. One of my best friends, Kelli, her sister (Krissi contacted me the beginning of 2016. She and her fiance Bill were wanting to elope near the water, but not in the sand. It would be just the two of them along with Krissi’s two daughters. Even though they wanted to elope, they still wanted their day to be filled with special details and memories. I researched several possible ceremony locations around Southport and Oak Island and came upon the Salt Marsh Boardwalk and Waterway Overlook in Southport. This 1/8th of a mile boardwalk out into the marsh, provided the perfect aisle!
Their day began with brunch at the Southport Tea House. Then Krissi and the girls met me at a cottage on the outskirts of Southport. We rented a room for the girls to get ready for the ceremony. Krissi had her hair and make-up done by Leigh Anne Britt on the back porch. It felt like something you would see in a Nicholas Sparks movie. Peaceful and relaxing. When it was time for the ceremony, The British Taxi picked the ladies up, along with the photographer (Candice Murphy), and drove them to the boardwalk where Bill was waiting for them. Their ceremony was performed by Mr. Ashley Stephenson of Bee Mine Weddings. After the ceremony, the British Taxi escorted them to various locations around town for photos. They then enjoyed dinner at Oliver’s On the Cape Fear. Their night ended outside at the Waterfront Park where Gail and I had set up their cake (provided by The Confectionary) under one of the pavilions which we decorated. This was obviously a small wedding, but it was truly one of the most memorable ones!
5 – What is the biggest mistake people make planning their own weddings? The biggest mistake people make when planning their own wedding is thinking they (or volunteered friends and family) can set up, direct and clean up everything. It’s easy stuff-right? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people say they didn’t realize the tide might be an issue. Or how hard it is to carry chairs out onto the beach. (Referring to weddings in the past that they were involved in.) I’ve had mom’s tell me they were so busy setting up, they didn’t have time to get themselves ready for the event. At venues, people don’t realize that it takes a good bit of time to set up chairs, lights, tables and decor. Someone has to be there to be in charge when deliveries are made. Or someone has to find out why a delivery hasn’t been made. Once we have worked at a venue, we become familiar with how things are done, their rules and deadlines. We can actually save couples and their families time, money and frustration.
For more info:

1 – What is your favorite “Wedding” movie? My husband can probably answer this one! If it’s on TV, I watch it! Sweet Home Alabama.
2 – Where is your dream wedding location? (to plan) That’s an easy question this year. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding at Windsor Castle! (Too bad I’m already booked on May 19th!)
3 – Dream honeymoon location? (to go) Hawaii or Italy
4 – What is number one on your bucket list? I’ve checked off a few items. Started my own business, been an extra in a movie and learned how to scuba dive. My number one use to be to run a marathon, but I did that nine years ago. I haven’t really thought much about it since then. Maybe to visit all of the 50 states. I’ve only been to 19 of them, so I have a ways to go.

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