In our OBX Wedding Planning recap we noted we chose The Inn on Pamlico Sound for our wedding reception venue. We chose The Inn because we wanted a beach wedding that still had traditional reception elements. We especially wanted a true first dance and a seated dinner. The Inn boasts a large covered pavilion, perfect for a dance floor. As for food, the Inn is rated as the best food on Hatteras Island, so we knew dinner would be fantastic. The Inn’s grounds and seasoned staff could accommodate everything we wanted. And, because it’s an Inn, there was also enough lodging to house our wedding party and immediate families for a care-free wedding weekend.
While The Inn already benefited from the spectacular backdrop of the Pamlico Sound and the splendor of The Outer Banks, I knew I still wanted to make the space our own for our wedding day. Fortunately, The Inn team, headed by Event Coordinator, Gina Williams, had a few ‘decor package’ options to chose from, and were willing to make it happen with the other ideas I had.
There were four primary spaces I knew we’d be focusing on with decorations for our wedding;
- Dining Area (Deck)
- Grand entrance
- Dance Floor
You can’t possibly decorate every inch of a wedding venue, especially not when you basically are taking over the whole place for the weekend, so focusing on areas where you can get the most bang for your time and efforts is key.
There was actually a great deal of detail – and more importantly, DIY – that went into each of these four areas, so we’re going to break out the Pool and the Grand Entrance into separate posts – but trust me. When you see the awesome styling we did and the efforts that went into each, you’ll get why!
1 – The Dining Area
This is really the most obvious in what sort of details would be planned. Your main dining area components are tables for guests to sit at, some sort of center piece, table numbers, and whatever linens fancy you. As part of The Inn’s wedding package, white linens and the tables and chairs are already available. To add some more color to the dining area, we opted to rent teal fabric napkins from Ocean Atlantic Rentals. We opted to rent because it was actually cheaper than buying them, and we were able to save on a delivery charge because they were kind enough to ship the napkins to their Avon location for pick-up. Drop off was easy and right on the way as we left town.
The chevron table runners were a snag from another bride, who’s mother hand-made them for her wedding. (Also, they’re FOR SALE!) It’s actually the same decorator fabric I used for throw pillows and our chevron back-tab curtains I sewed for in our apartment, so naturally it was love at first sight when I found them. They were just enough color on the table without being too dizzying like chevron can sometimes get.
Our table numbers were quick and easy to create using the same chevron I created for our semi-DIY wedding invitations. I used the same script font I used for our wedding invitations and spelled out each number. Then I popped them into 5×7 frames from Dollar Tree that had a weathered, beachy look to them. $10 and I had table numbers done! (They’re for sale too!) I created a number of wedding signs that related back to our wedding invitations – more on those in another post! (Like our I spy game you’re getting a peak at in the above photo– More on our wedding signs and graphic design HERE!)
For centerpieces, I spent 18+ months leading up to the wedding absolutely scavenging milk glass vases. Actually… it was more than 18 months judging by my previous posts about milk glass. In any case I searched every goodwill, ReStore, and yard sale for pieces, refusing to pay more than 50 cents a vase. Most of them were 25 cents or less. In the end I spent maybe $15 total for about 35 vases, which I dropped off to our florist when we visited OBX in May for Memorial Day weekend. We selected Sydnee of Sun Flowers Hatteras, and she was a wonderful character to work with. She clearly has a great eye for floral design and had perfect suggestions for our Wedding. She also took $200 off the price because we provided the vases!! If you hire her, ask her how her Rooster pal is doing. (No, seriously…) Our flowers turned out BEAUTIFUL and considering it was 86 Degrees, they held up wonderfully too. I picked anemone flowers because their black and white contrast remind me of the Cape Hatteras Light, and there was the perfect blend of roses, eucalyptus leaves and other flowers. Perfect!
annnd now we’re gonna skip to
3 – The Dance Floor
When we closed our eyes, Bill and I both wanted that moment turning on the dance floor together. One last – albeit very public – moment to savor before the rest of the day is fast-forwarded away from us. So when we saw the covered pavilion at The Inn, we knew it was the place. But how to make it ours? I’ll admit, I essentially stalked The Inn via social media for inspiration.
I scoured Instagram and followed other Brides’ wedding hashtags to view real-life weddings that had occurred at The Inn. The Inn also shares some of their weddings on their Facebook page, so there was some inspiration to be found there too.
If you check out our Pinterest page, you’ll see a lot of our inspiration – including these photos in this screen capture from an Inn wedding that was captured by Courtney Hathaway.
That beautiful draping in Meg & Eric’s wedding photos above are actually a decor option the Inn offers. I loved how dreamy the drapery looked and how it softened the pavilion. But I wasn’t sold on the chandelier – it felt a bit too classic, and a little too glam for our style. Enter the perennial wedding favorites – paper lanterns!
While certainly not original, paper lanterns were a great way to cast light and incorporate our colors (already established with our wedding invitations) while still keeping things simple. I specifically ordered 16″, large lanterns for this so they wouldn’t look like they were swallowed up by the huge space of the pavilion. I think it turned out pretty good!
There are some handy pre-packaged options for lanterns if you’d like to create a similar look for your wedding. Try these on for size:
In the end it made just enough of a statement for our wedding day, and helped make the perfect first dance moment we dreamed of.
We’ll be back with the full recap on our grand entrance, our wedding favors, and more!
Questions about Weddings at The Inn? Ask away!
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