Best Places for Wedding Photos in North Carolina

Here’s where the pros think you should take your pictures in the Outer Banks.
by Carrie Chambers

We know your search for the perfect place to take your portraits can be as stressful as your reception venue hunt, especially when you've got so many options available. That's why we talked to our favorite Outer Banks-area photographers to narrow down your options. Whether you're looking for sweet Southern charm or a beachfront destination vibe, we've got you covered -- plus what you should know before you plan a session there.

The Sanderling in Duck

"They have everything you come to the Outer Banks for…the beach, beautiful sand dunes, and amazing sunsets over the water. It's a photographer's dream! If you get married on the deck, you can have shots from the balconies above with the dunes and ocean in the background, as well as you and all your guests!" -- Brooke Mayo, Brooke Mayo Photography,

Bodie Lighthouse in Nags Head

"This is a great space; it's surrounded by a lot of green, which really pops in photos. This can be a nice contrast to your ceremony photos if you got married on the beach. There is no fee to take photos at the Bodie Island Lighthouse; the best time to go would be after the gift shop closes when there are apt to be less people around." -- Elizabeth Zongolowicz, Blue Peacock Photography, Kill Devil Hills,

The Elizabethan Gardens in Manteo

"The Elizabethan Gardens has so much variety in lighting, background, and even elevation it makes shooting there a dream. The fee charged to the bride now covers photographers at the event. The dappled light on bright days or the open shade on softer days lets a photographer catch a bride with eyes wide open -- a beach rarity." -Biff Jennings, Shooters at the Beach, Nags Head,

Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse in Manteo

"This is a fun and interesting place to shoot. This lighthouse is much shorter than the others and right on the water on the Manteo Waterfront. There's also a nice little park that's ideal for photos. There is no fee to shoot here, but if you plan on having your wedding at the lighthouse or the park, you must submit a request in writing to the town of Manteo." -- Elizabeth Zongolowicz, Blue Peacock Photography

Coquina Beach in Dare County

"The beach is extremely wide with high dunes covered in sea oats. Photo opportunities are endless. The access itself has a nice bathhouse with showers and restrooms -- great for family and guests (think grandparents and small children!). There is also plenty of parking." -- Genevieve Ferris, Moving Art Productions, Nags Head,

Freedmen's Colony on Roanoke Island

"This white sand beach faces west into the sunset over the sound with calmer waters than the ocean and has spectacular highlights starting a couple of hours before sundown. A brief trip up the road (from the Elizabethan Gardens), while guests relocate to the reception allows for spectacular portraits. It has a hard sand parking area, black water pond and nice quiet beach." -- Biff Jennings, Shooters at the Beach

The Whalehead Club in Corolla

"They have a beautiful old bridge you and your bridal party can walk over to enter or exit your ceremony. You can set your ceremony up to face many different directions…the possibilities are endless! It's also right by Corolla Village so you can frolic around the old buildings, gardens, walkways, nature trails and lighthouse for fun photos!" -- Brooke Mayo, Brooke Mayo Photography, Corolla

Currituck Beach

"The beach there is very wide and there's a cool blue lifeguard stand, nice dunes, and a long walkway to pose on/next to. You'll have more tourists around since it's a public access, but it's such a wide beach that there's still plenty of space, especially if you get married closer to sunset. The blue lifeguard chair is a nice pop of color for your photos and the dunes with their grass and wooden fences are classic Outer Banks." -- Elizabeth Zongolowicz, Blue Peacock Photography

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse on Hatteras Island

"Parking is plentiful and the lighthouse is a perfect backdrop! At all costs, try to avoid scheduling your ceremony between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. During this time of day, there are crowds of people on the beach to get in your way and show up in your pictures. Also, bright sunlight is not favorable for photography. Squinting eyes and harsh shadows make for unflattering family portraits. Sunrise ceremonies can be perfect for more intimate gatherings with family who don't mind waking up early." -- Genevieve Ferris, Moving Art Productions

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