A Casual, Backyard Beachside Wedding at Sanderling Resort in Duck, North Carolina

When their wedding planning began, the only request from Megan Donoghue (29 and a purchasing manager) Andrew Arnold (32 and a sales manager) was that their wedding feel less like a wedding and more like a laid-back beach party. Getting married on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, where their engagement began, was an integral part of making Megan and Andrew’s big-day dreams come true. The ceremony took place on a rustic seaside observation dock under a birch tree arbor adorned with loose fabric. Vines and fresh flowers were added, as well as a handmade dream catcher. The wedding party perfectly accentuated the wild beauty of the shoreline, highlighting the various hues of nautical blue. The bridesmaids were unconventionally dressed in mismatched flowing floor-length gowns of their choosing. The men kept it casual yet sophisticated in tieless postman-blue suits. Cocktails were sipped at sunset on the long dock and in the gazebo facing the sea, where Andrew had proposed to Megan. The reception, however, was at the resort’s pavilion with dramatic vaulted ceilings and flooding natural light. To enhance the space and encapsulate the laid-back bohemian aesthetic that was so important to Megan, the installation of distressed windows were hung from the ceiling and bright flowers were added. Megan looked stunning yet natural in her one-of-a-kind boho-inspired gown with delicately beaded sleeves. Sweet flower crowns tied together with bits of lace and ribbon were handmaid by the bride herself for the flower girls, while she and her bridesmaids added baby’s breath to their hair. Organic just-picked-looking bouquets were breathtaking against the rustic-chic decor of the Sanderling Resort. Personalizing every aspect of their big day to reflect their journey as a couple is what made this wedding so loving and sweet. “The best advice you need to keep in mind is to be absolutely sure that your entire wedding clearly reflects your personal style,” Megan says assuredly. —Juliette Cheatham