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Is there any place on Wrightsville Beach that has a garden/beachy type venue to have a wedding and reception without having to be directly on the beach in the sand?

Vicky Eckenrode

Like the romantic waves and picturesque backdrop but worried about the wind in your veil and sand in your eyes?

Heather Ivady, a wedding coordinator with A Carolina Wedding in Wilmington, said she often works with clients who want a beach wedding without all the beach.

She said the hotels in Wrightsville Beach, like the Holiday Inn Resort, Blockade Runner Beach Resort and Shell Island Resort have rooms to accommodate indoor ceremonies and receptions.

The Blockade Runner has a lawn and garden area facing the water for wedding ceremonies.

The area can hold hundreds of guests, though coordinators said it should be limited to 150 people in case rain drives the ceremony inside as a backup.

After finishing renovations this summer, Shell Island now also has an outdoor ceremony option as well as the beach.

The beachfront facility on the north end now has a grassy area extending outside its ocean-view ballroom that could accommodate about 50 people for a ceremony, said Jeanne Bua, catering sales manager for Shell Island.

The area is available for people who rent the ballroom, which has floor-to-ceiling windows looking out to the water, for their reception.

The beachfront Oceanic restaurant also rents out its pier for wedding ceremonies and a panoramic view inside for the reception. Up to 120 guests can sit on the pier for the nuptials over the waves and the sand.

There are a couple of park options available as well through the town of Wrightsville Beach.

Island Drive Mini-Park looks out over Motts Creek, and South Channel Drive Mini-Park is a smaller spot with a view of Banks Channel at the intersection of Jasmine Place and South Channel Drive.

A special-events permit is required for using the parks as well as ceremonies on the beach.

Kristen Wilt, with Wrightsville Beach Parks and Recreation, said the permit’s cost depends on the number of guests and applicants have to indicate parking plans for their guests since space is limited.

“Most people, if there’s limited parking, what they’ll do is rent a shuttle bus or trolley to take them to their reception or hotel venue,” she said.

There are several restaurants on the Intracoastal Waterway that will host wedding receptions.

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