Will Hallwig and Casey Demkowski had to make some major adjustments to their original wedding plan. Instead of saying “I do” at a venue, they shared vows in an intimate backyard wedding ceremony at Casey’s parents house in Chesapeake, VA. The revised wedding day went perfectly and Casey says she wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. Due to COVID-19, the newlyweds had to cancel their honeymoon – four days in Venice followed by a week-long cruise around the Greek islands. Nonetheless, Casey and Will were determined to have an amazing post-wedding vacation. They chose a mini-moon in North Carolina – one week in Emerald Isle and one week in Asheville.
“We chose Emerald Isle because Will grew up going on summer vacations there and really wanted to go back,” Caseys says. “Our two favorite places are the beach and the mountains and we got the best of both on our mini-moon. We did plenty of hikes in Asheville and this honeymoon was even better than the original because our dog got to come!”
How to Make Your Mini-Moon Special
Go local – Pick a city that is near your wedding location. Luckily, North Carolina offers beach cottages, mountain villas and everything in-between! Choose a place that gives you that whimsical, getaway feel – whether it’s a brewery tour of Charlotte or a boutique hotel experience in downtown Durham. Click here to view our favorite NC destinations.
Explore – You might have grown up vacationing on the coast of NC as a child, but have you ever gone on an adventure tour to see the wild horses on the Outer Banks? Or released sea turtles under the moonlight at midnight? Wineries, spas, hiking and shopping are always on the table. Plan activities that are out-of-the-box for you and your soulmate to have fun and make new memories together.
Wine and Dine – Save cooking for the rest of your married life together. Taste the best local eats on your mini-moon, or better yet, have the chef come to you! Casey surprised her husband Will with a private dinner prepared and served by Chef Andrea of Plated Love.
Photo Session – While Casey and Chef Andrea emailed about dinner, the idea of hiring a professional photographer for a honeymoon photo session came up in conversation. Coincidentally, Andrea’s brother is NC wedding photographer Richard Barlow Photography! Whether you choose an international or local honeymoon, hiring a photographer to capture that newlywed glow is a decision you will never regret.
“I planned for us to go to the beach to take photos while Andrea was back at the house setting up a romantic table and cooking up a delicious dinner,” Caseys says. “Will had no idea the dinner was there when we got back and we got absolutely amazing pictures out of it!”
Mini-Moon Photo Session by Richard Barlow Photography
Nothing will ever top your wedding day photos. However, we love the idea of a mini-moon photo session because they showcase a more intimate and relaxed side of you and your soulmate. Instead of being decked out from head to toe in wedding formal attire, you can opt for a sexy sundress or a light pair of cotton slacks. In contrast to wedding day photos, honeymoon portraits radiate love in a more natural way. These photos serve as time capsules – forever memorializing that post-wedding glow. Casey and Will used their mini-moon photo session with Richard Barlow Photography as a time to let loose and have some fun.
“For your wedding and engagement photos you’re so busy and have certain photos you have planned and want to get done,” Casey says. “Will and I are big winos. We decided for this shoot to be more relaxed and do some of what we love. So we took our new wine glasses and a bottle of wine from the wedding and went down to the beach and just drank wine. The pictures turned out great!”
NC Beach Wedding Planning Resources
Need more help planning your next visit or wedding on the coast of NC? The Outer Banks Wedding Association (OBXWA) and A Seaside Weddings & Events with Emerald Isle Realty are both excellent local resource guides. OBXWA offers a website and magazine to help you find and book the best OBX wedding venues, planners, florists, caterers, hotels and more.
Fun Fact: Emerald Isle was voted Best North Carolina Beach by USA Today Readers’ Choice Awards in 2018.
In addition to the vacation rentals, Emerald Isle Realty offers support to couples who are planning weddings and events. A Seaside Wedding & Events is the wedding and event side of Emerald Isle Realty. Weddings can be tedious, but the Seaside Weddings & Events team is experienced in destination wedding planning and has helped hundreds of couples plan their dream destination wedding in Emerald Isle, North Carolina, both large and small.