Real Wedding: Kristen & Danny

Few things will make a bigger visual impact for your wedding than a stunning venue. The Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse on North Carolina’s Outer Banks is just such a place, and it’s where Kristen and Danny opted to tie the knot.

Bridesmaids were asked to wear a little black dress of their choosing.

The couple’s favorite part of the day?  “Right after the ceremony, as we walked back down the pier together,” says Kristen. “I remember looking at Danny and both of us breathing a sigh of relief and laughing together. The nerves build to such an extreme high throughout the day, and that moment of relaxing together really sealed the deal – it was finally time to party the night away, and start our new life together.”

Kristen and Danny wanted their wedding to have both a relaxed beach feel as well as a classic lounge vibe…

Kristen shared some details with us about the day…

Why did you choose this location for your wedding?  We have both vacationed in the Outer Banks for years with our families, and for the last five years together as a couple – it’s our favorite place to unwind and have a good time.

What inspired you when you were planning your wedding?  We wanted things to be personal and meaningful, so we were careful to spend our budget on things we cared about and cut corners on things that we felt we’d never remember years later. Mostly, we wanted people to kick off their shoes, celebrate and dance. I think we succeeded!

Do you have any budget tips for other brides?  Etsy should be your best friend! And don’t be shy about asking family members and friends to pitch in their time and skills – you’ll save money and save your sanity.  My grandmother made the table runners when we couldn’t find ones to rent in the right shade of blue, and she still beams from ear to ear when someone mentions how lovely they were.

Did you include any traditions in your wedding?  Not so much traditions as tributes. The groom’s family has roots in Wisconsin, so to honor his late grandparents we brought in varieties of Wisconsin cheeses for one of our appetizer stations. I wore my grandmother’s vintage Mikimoto pearl necklace. My father and I danced to “You Are So Beautiful To Me” by Joe Cocker as a tribute to my late grandmother, who was known for singing this to all her children and grandchildren.

What advice do you have for other brides?  It is truly just one day, so make sure you spend your time and money on things that really matter to you. Don’t be afraid to leave things out if you don’t care about them. Don’t be afraid to start your own traditions. One thing you should spend your money on? A fantastic, reputable photographer. At the end, you’ll have a new husband and hundreds of pictures that will become your memories, so choose your photographer wisely.



Photography: Gabe Aceves / Planning: Platinum Party Planning / Ceremony venue: Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse in Manteo, North Carolina / Reception venue: 108 Budleigh / Bride’s dress: Moni’s Bridal Boutique / Bride’s necklace: vintage Mikimoto / Groom’s suit: Joseph Abboud / Flowers: Renee Landry / Stationery: Wedding Paper Divas / Rentals: Metro Rental


  • Such a lovely wedding, Gabe did a wonderful job as always. Manteo is one of my new favorite places!

  • Lisa says:

    What a beautiful post! I agree that Etsy is the best place to get meaningful and often very well priced items for your wedding. Our photog was one of my favorite vendors by far. Great advice in this post!

  • Just want to say thanks to Kathryn for featuring this wedding today. It meant the world to me to photograph it and I think this is the perfect place to share it with so many people.


  • I would love to know what things the happy couple decided they could live without. I’m in the planning process and would really appreciate their vision in hindsight. I’m sure it’s not the same things for every couple, but it’s so easy to be pressured into thinking you have to have certain things that might not really matter to you later on.

  • Kristen (& Danny) says:

    Hi! I’m the bride! Thanks so much for posting our wedding – it was THE BEST DAY and we’re so happy our awesome vendors are getting some well-deserved recognition.

    The shoes from Etsy were from the vendor Parisxox – she died our shoes a color based on the invitations we picked. Then I ordered black shoe clips for the bridesmaids and white for me, from the vendor SunshineandCarousels.

    Kalanicut – some things we did without… it’s hard to tell in these pictures, but there were NO FLOWERS at the ceremony or reception (aside from bouquets and boutonnieres)!! We rented coral pieces and collected shells throughout the year of our engagement for all of the decor. And used loads of candles! This saved us TONS!
    I knew I could live without a traditional bridal shower, so instead our family and friends threw us a “Stock the Bar” couples shower. We ended up with over 30 bottles of liquor, and barely had to buy anything for the reception except the wine and beer! As far as the all-important wedding gown… I fell madly in love with a dress that was way over budget. It was torture. Instead of splurging, I looked around for a bridal store that had an in-house designer, and she was able to make a dress that was almost exactly the same for less than 1/3 of the price! :)

    Congrats on your engagement! Enjoy! It goes by oh-so-quickly!

  • Paige says:

    I loved this wedding! Those blue shoes were perfect, the venue was GORGEOUS and I love how practical and easy the bride (Kristen) was about choosing the important things – it’s easy to get caught up in all the DIY and little details. Also, the idea of a “Stock the Bar” shower is genius! Congratulations!

  • Absolutely gorgeous. I love the picture of the kiss…it looks like a real deep passionate kiss which everyone loves to witness.

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