Wedding Favor….Yes Please! This wedding season Brides are coordinating their “thank you” favors with their wedding themes, and in all honesty we are saying “thank you”. Often favors are thrown to the wayside and most often forgotten amongst the many “to-dos” of a wedding, or some Brides simply do not give favors much thought at all! A Wedding Favor is a great way of saying “hey, thanks for coming and sharing our special day with us” here is something fun and sweet in return. In the past, favors were typically those little pastel colored mints, wedding belle shaped chocolate or bubbles wrapped in tulle. Well not anymore! The modern Bride is breaking that mold with new fun and creative favor like, sunglasses, jars of honey, soaps and more! Let’s take a peek at some of the favors that we found and LOVE!

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u35LdP3RrgFw4VXaXIJ-AXwnPLKADrEFjEji-hOn4uQ   Zena and I were ecstatic with Alex and Sam ( a Bluewater Weddings Couple), they made their own wine! They bottled it up, slapped an adorable monogrammed sticker on it, had guests names printed on the tags and had them displayed on the guest book table! How clever is this! Kudos Alex and Sam!

favor plant

Succulents are a big thing this season, Brides are decorating with them, adding them to their Bridal Bouquet, creating centerpieces, and handing these delicate little plants as favors! We could just eat them up!

favor jam  Jars of homemade jams and jellies are becoming more frequent in the wedding favor scene. Nom Nom! And you can get adorable little labels customized for your wedding!

favor sun

“LOVE” these little tags for sunglasses favors!

guest gift Here is another one of our FAVORites….our Bride Mandy bottled up two different types of olive oil and had her web designer friend design adorable labels for them! “Olive Our Love” too cute!

favor trees

This tiny sapling favor makes my heart swell!

favor honey  This is one sweet gift. If you know a local bee keeper or by chance you are one yourself, then a honey favor could be just the thing for you!

favor biscut

 Nothing like good ol’ biscuits and honey for a traditional southern wedding favor!

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Now that we have shared a little bit of what inspires us, please share with us what inspires you! We’d love to hear from y’all! And since honey is typically something that we southerners smear on our biscuits, we have a little “bee” advice for our Brides that we simply must share!

bee calm

Remember. “Bee” calm and things will fall into place.





An Alter or an Arbor is the pivotal point of the ceremony, with one quick passing of the hand, the Mother and Father’s duty to their daughter is handed over to her Love. It’s where one phase of a Bride’s life comes to an end, and where a new one begins. In this spot she succumbs to many responsibilities. She becomes the woman of the house, the caretaker of his heart, the foundation of their newly made family. This too is a place where two families become one, as their children are united at the Altar. So with this being said, wouldn’t you want your ceremony site to be one that creates a memorable moment in the lives of your guests as well as family? So do we! So here are some wonderful examples of how you can DIY all the way to the Altar! Brides are letting their personalities show this season with some out of the ordinary ceremony sites! Brides this season are proving that the traditional Arbor is not always the way you have to go!  Let us begin shall we!


altar octo

We want to begin with one of our very own weddings! This was from a wedding at the Octagon House last December. This was our Bride Blakely’s Altar, the old southern live oak stood at the edge of the water, and hung from the tree were sweet signs and candle lit lanterns, which added a rusticly romantic touch to her ceremony.

altar rustic

We  love this romantic rustic alter, if you have a carpenter in the family they just might come in handy for this one! If you are a bargain hunter this dresser could easily be found at your local flea mall or antique store, and with a little love and some paint it could be your centerpiece for your altar!


 This altar is simple and sweet, the hanging lanterns creates a glowing warmth of light, which sets the perfect ambience as well as great lighting for photographs! These lanterns are an easy find, all you need is a ladder and some luminaries. And viola! Instant romantic setting!


This little table altar is both cheerful and easy peasy lemon squeezy to do! All you need is a perfect little table find, some recycled old bottles and a few fabulous florals! Sweet and simple.

altar sat

This picture was taken last weekend from another one of our Weddings in Emerald Isle. This Bride chose to use driftwood and standing lanterns as her altar. We think this was both creative and crafty, considering that she and her Groom scooped the driftwood up from our local waters! (we apologize for the not so wonderful pic, we were working with an iPhone not a pro camera) 😉


Two words. Vintage Doors. We LOVE them! It creates a symbol of opening the door to your future as husband and wife.  


The naturalists in me is gushing over this simple rustic set up! If you have an amazing backdrop to work with, i.e. the mountains, the beach, or garden.  We would suggest creating something simple and romantic like this that will not take away from the beauty of your surroundings, but simply add to it.


Many Brides are going in the direction of utilizing Mother Nature, she’s all around us, so why not? With low-lying trees you can hang lanterns, bunting, market lights, ribbon streamers, flower balls, and crafty decorations like the folks pictured here! The possibilities are endless! So let’s embrace Mother Nature shall we?


This altar sets the “stage” for the perfect ceremony! We love how the curtains draped resembles a stage set for love! This too can be an easy DIY project, all you need is some reclaimed wood, a hammer, some nails, the perfect fabric and there ya go! Instant backdrop. 🙂



Now that you have gotten some inspiration, get out there and starting building your Altar for your Sensational Ceremony Site! Let us know what you think, we love to hear opinions!

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This 2013 Fall season you will not see a lot of the typical primary orange, yellow and burgundy! Oh no! Not this year! Those practical primaries are being upstaged by the new kid in town. A new  trend has hit the wedding scene and it goes by the name…Rustic! Now even though we all appreciate a few pumpkins here and there, because they obviously signify fall.  Today’s brides,  are changing things up a bit, by incorporating more of the not so traditional fall attributes into their theme. The “Rustic Brides” are trading in the pumpkins, mums and burgundy overlays for apple cider bars, burlap and craspedia! We are noticing that this seasons trends have more of an “organic” fall feel. We are seeing that Brides are choosing to incorporate nature more into their fall theme. They are using tree stumps, feathers, old barns, burlap, wool, wheat, crates, and even hay bales to complete their visions of a perfectly decorated wedding.  We love the fact that the trends are sticking with the “fall colors”, but just in a few shades lighter than the  traditional palette. Paler shades of orange, yellow and burgundy are being paired with green, beige, chocolate-brown, and mint!    So let’s get this on the way shall we? Get ready to be inspired! Because these images are going to rock your cozy wool socks off!

Let’s Talk Bars…Apple Cider Bars!

fall apple

fall bar

ok…ok…one more! We can’t get enough of these Cider Bars!

fall cider bars

Zena and I just love the little personalized cinnamon sticks, these tiny touches will go a long way with your guests.

Rustic bouquets are all the rage!

fall boquet

The lighter shades of orange paired with the quail feathers, keeps this fall bouquet from looking too traditional.

fall flow

 We LOVE this non traditional fall floral! The flowers are combined with wild grasses and wild daisies, it looks as though she walked through a field and scooped these up!

fall paper

This Bride chose to add paper roses (which we applaud her for) to her bouquet, along with the pale orange roses, and added just a hint of traditional fall burgundy to keep it earthy and romantic.

fall bohemian

This is by far my personal favorite! The hippie in me adores the earthy bohemian essence that her dress and bouquet exudes! This is a fresh take on the rustic fall theme.

fall crasp

Please allow us to introduce you to this sunny little flower….Craspedia! Or otherwise known as Billy Balls! This little darling of a flower has taken the rustic wedding scene by storm! They have sent those old mums packing! And we are just fine with that! This little guy adds just a pop of autumn color to your wedding, not too little and not too much.

What’s a Fall Wedding without a Rustic Venue?

fall rust

This rustic barn venue gives off a warm, friendly and inviting feeling. We love the curtains added to the entrance of the barn, as well as the wheat grass! kudos for being creative and utilizing the space!

fall trend

Having a Fall Wedding does not mean that you have to incorporate the traditional fall colors into your vision. The rich wood, chocolate browns, bare twig birds nest tied in with the romantic lilac, gives this wedding a rustic fall feel.

 fall table

We can’t get over this DIY embellished fabric and wood table number!!

fall rustic

Tell us what you think about this festive fall setup? We love love love the amber notes of color in the preserves and the honey!

fall bride

Is this not adorable!? This DIY Bridal place mat is the perfect color paired up with the fall burgundy’s and reds!

fall beach

Since Zena and I are down here in the NC, nestled right here on the beach, we do not get much for “fall foliage” scenery. But that doesn’t mean we can’t incorporate fall attributes right here on the beach! We love this image because it is a great example of how you can use burlap and driftwood to achieve the “rustic fall” feeling for the beach! Actually, the fall season here in Emerald Isle is PERFECT weather for a Wedding!

What’s a Bride without her Groom.

fall grrom

We can NOT get over this non traditional “rustic fall” Groom! Blue is not typically a color you think of when you think “fall”, but we do not care one single bit! We love this! The Flannel, wool vest, wool bow tie and tiny leaf boutonniere makes this one sharp dressed man that we can “Fall” for!

fall cotton

Here in the Carolinas, it ain’t Fall until you see the cotton fields bloom, and my oh my how they have bloomed on these Fellas! Don’t ya’ll just LOVE how each and every boutonniere is different!? If you by chance know a cotton farmer, then he/she just might let you make off with some of their cotton to make some crafty cotton boutonnieres for your man! If not, they most certainly sell it in your local craft store.

fall cardi

This Bride decided to use turquoise as her little pop of color! Now, we feel this would work for a rustic fall theme because she has chosen to incorporate rich leathers and a flannel tie for her Groom.

 fall tweed

Mixing things up with a tweed jacket ,paired with flannel and a bow tie makes your Groom fall fashion ready!

Now that we have enamored you with inspirational images and helpful hints, tell us what you think! Let us leave you with a little “fall” inspired quote.

“A successful marriage requires falling in Love many times, always with the same person.”

-Mignon McLaughlin

recpt buntinBunting: Strips of cloth or material used especially as drapery or streamers for festive decoration.

This Wedding season we are seeing more and more of this fabulously festive form of decor! Brides are choosing to drape this as an overhead attraction, they also are placing teeny tiny bunting flags on top of their cakes in lieu of “traditional toppers”, they hang them on the backs of chairs, or simply just let them cascade down, serving as a backdrop of the altar. No matter how they do it we are infatuated with this sweet little sentiment!  Bunting is an easy and budget savvy way for filling space and tying things together! You can make bunting out of ribbon, burlap, lace, patterned paper, or fabric! All it requires is a little bit of time, a sewing machine, or a hot glue gun if your sewing skills never quite developed. Either way you can’t go wrong with this festive flag!

jens cake

This is my little sisters cake from her Wedding last October! I loved her miniature burlap bunting, it added a touch more sweetness to her cake.

cake bunting

Shown here are two different types of bunting, the flag bunting as well as the ribbon style. Both are too precious!

Ribbon Bunting.

stream buntin

streamer bunting

Ribbon bunting can be used as a colorful backdrop for display behind the cake or on the altar. You can have fun with this and choose a variety of patterns in the same color scheme of your Wedding! This can be done using Ribbon (which can be on the expensive side), or you can choose to go fabric bin diving at the local fabric store, and find the bargain fabrics that go along with your color scheme! We love Bargain Buntings!

Different Textiles for Bunting.

lace bunting

Burlap and Lace.

floral bunting



Paper/Card Stock.

This couple, Gwen and Pat, were one of our couples this summer! Gwen had the right idea when creating this adorable bunting to use as a photo prop!

Here are a few more examples of how you can spice up your Wedding decor using bunting! Whether it’s used as a “cards” banner, on the back of your ceremony/reception chairs, as a cake topper, on your alter, as a photo prop, or just hanging up above! Buntings are Blissful anyway you put it!

card bunting

Cards Bunting.

recept bunting

Reception Bunting.


Swagged Bunting.

chair ribbon

Chair Bunting.

cake buntings

Cake Bunting.

Until next time……Let Your Bunting Fly!!


Patterns Patterns over there, Patterns Patterns under here, Patterns Patterns EVERYWHERE! This wedding season was boasting with colorful patterns and we LOVE it! The trend of patterns is taking off this year and we are along for the ride! Patterns can be fun and quirky, romantic and personal, and if placed just so, it can be the catalyst that brings your Wedding together. Brides are stepping out of the box this season and choosing patterns on their cakes, BM/MOH dresses, decorations, invites, straws even! Chevron has made a HUGE appearance in the past year, not only in the fashion scene but most definitely in the Wedding World! We like to believe that it was the “pioneer pattern” for the rest to come! From polka dots, to stripes, floral, to chevron, this season has it all! So we ask you, what’s going to be your pattern of choice? Here are some great ideas to help you along with your decision.

Vintage Floral Patterns seem to be making a big appearance! We LOVE LOVE LOVE these Brides Maids dresses!
pattern bm

bm dresses

Brides are getting fun and quirky with their cakes this season, Zena and I love these patterned cakes. With the cake being one of the centerpieces of your Wedding, a patterned cake will help liven things up a bit!
pattern cakes

pattern cakes1

Decorations help create the “theme” of your Wedding, from wedding favors, mustaches, to bunting flags, and straws! Creating a modge podge of patterned goods will shake things up a bit! We just adore these little touches!


What do you think about these patterned table cloths? We could just eat them up! You can find patterned fabric at your local fabric store, Hobby Lobby or online! If your budget is a little bit more tight when it comes to the decoration department, then try online shops that re-sell used Wedding decorations. Or hit the road to some of your fave flea malls, and antique stores! You can get quite the bargain on vintage tablecloths!
pattern table<a

pattern runner

printed table runner

We hope we have inspired you to mix things up a bit for your special day, we believe that your Wedding should reflect both of your personalities! It’s a joyous day, so why not make it fun with doing things a little out of the box, you can achieve this by adding patterns and pops of color! Go ahead, have fun with it! 🙂

The Crystal Coast Tourism Board teamed up with Belk and Bluewater Vacation Rentals to put together a FANTASTIC sweepstakes! Couples were asked, in 50 words or less, to tell us why they deserved to win a Dream Wedding, all expenses paid! They would receive accommodations in an Oceanfront home for a week on the Crystal Coast of NC, a full wedding planning package along with a $2000 gift card to Belk. They would also receive $12,000 to spend as they saw fit for their BIG DAY!  The response was overwhelming. We had over 1500 entries!! We read every single one of them and it was very hard to choose just one winner…but we did!

 Fallin and Cory are great! Here is a little about them!

Fallin is currently enrolled at The University of Georgia while Cory is deployed, returning home in late July. We contacted Fallin first, giving her the news of the dream wedding they had won. Fallin extend the celebratory news to Cory from thousands of miles away, via Skype. It was so touching to hear their enthusiasm and gratitude upon being awarded the wedding of their dreams, right here on the Crystal Coast! I asked for them to send me a little about “their story”… she insisted that he write it, saying “he tells it way better than I do!” Here is their story, in his words:

“Our story is amazing and kind of awkward in the beginning. I was going through a divorce and Fallin was recently out of a semi-serious relationship. A mutual friend of ours was having a Christmas party, which is where we first met. It almost didn’t happen. I was there with my sister who had a little too much to drink, so I had taken her home and came back to say my goodbyes. As I was walking out the door Fallin walked in with a few of her friends. When I looked over at her It was the sensation that seems like its only felt in the movies. I actually caught my breath. I asked my buddy who she was and normally am not the kind of guy that approaches women but I had to meet her if only to say high and introduce myself. So I did just that, she started walking in as I was walking out, I stopped her in the kitchen told her that my name was Cory and that I was leaving but I had to meet her and get her name. We shook hands and that was it, she stayed for the party and I left. For the next three weeks my friends and I practically spent every spare minute at the restaurant where Fallin worked. It was obvious she didn’t remember me so I figured my first impression wasn’t a lasting one and reverted back to the guy that doesn’t approach women. After three weeks of Fallin not saying a word to me I figured me stalking her was probably futile. In my mind if she wasn’t interested by now, me spending countless dollars on beer and not so great food wasn’t going to change her mind. So my friends and I stopped going to the bar, however, a few days later a buddy and me were going to the airport to pick up a friend and stopped for a quick bite and drink. As we were sitting there Fallin, out of nowhere comes up, sticks her hand out and says “Hi, I’m Fallin, you’re Shawn’s friend right”. I almost choked on my food. I stuttered a yes and shook her hand. She said she had saw me in there a lot and wanted to meet me. Then she went back to work without another word. My friend and I stared each other in awe. After so long of pathetically trying to meet her, she says hi on a day we stopped by for a quick sandwich. I told her it was nice meeting her and headed out the door. Later that week my friends and I invited her and her friends over for some drinks. They came over and that night started a month of awkward moments and dates. I’ve never saw two people so uncomfortable with each other; it was like neither had ever dated before. This was the first time I had dated in about a decade so to say I was nervous was a gross understatement. So after a few troubled dates and seeing the inevitable end of our short relationship, one day I dropped Fallin off at her car after a movie. As I was walking back to my truck I knew it was now or never. I stopped, turned around, and walked straight back to her. She was about to get in her car when I said her name, when she turned around I kissed her. At that moment I think we both realized that we were both exactly where we were supposed to be. It was like instant love, knowing that you found “The One” without knowing yet how perfectly you fit together. I’m about 9 years older than Fallin but I truly believe that she was made for me. She is an amazing woman. She has taken my two boys into her life as if they’re her own and loves and cares for them as such. As well, they love her…to the point that when I took her home to meet my family, while at the movies watching Magic Mike with the women of my family, Tristan, my oldest son picked out her engagement and wedding rings. He has very expensive taste but I honestly believe no other ring would look as good as that one does on her hand. She challenges me emotionally and intellectually and because of her I am the best version of me. We have our struggles; her being away at school and me still in the military and having to deploy but our love for each other hasn’t wavered the slightest bit. We are strong for each other and we are blessed. To answer your questions, Fallin is from Nashville, GA, and I am from Boonsboro, MD. She is currently attending University of Ga and I am in the Air Force and have been for 16 years. We’ve been together for a little over two years now. We have two boys, from my first marriage, Tristan and Canyon.”

Fallin and Cory recently made a trip down to meet with me, Zena, along with some of their vendors for their wedding. They are so sweet! They were also able to meet with their photographer, Casey Futrell, for a quick engagement session! Here are a few photos from that session! We are so excited and looking forward to their small, romantic ceremony on Monday October 28th!


Downtown Swansboro NC is a wonderful coastal location for photos!


They are SO in LOVE!!


Cory has two sons, they were so cute and are very, very excited about the upcoming wedding!

Stay tuned for further updates from this very special couple!

We LOVE a tented reception! There is just something about being out under the stars, able to feel the breeze on your skin but being able to be covered if needed for weather! The ambiance outside on a nice night is just so romantic on it’s own, but add in candles and paper lanterns and it morphs into something spectacular! Here are some photos of tented receptions we found while browsing Pinterest…that we just adore!

We have several venues where a tented reception is possible! Browse through our online galleries on our website and you can see some of our own examples!  http://www.bluewaternc.com/CrystalCoast/Weddings/WeddingGallery/

…in the meantime, here are some inspirational Pinterest finds!


The tent drape, the fabric liner that covers the poles, really makes a BIG statement! Just beautiful!!


We love the twinkle lights draped like this! Isn’t it so pretty?


Really cool idea!! A double tent, with the dance floor in the middle!!


Love the flag/light combo here!


This one is different, casual and has a great color scheme! Very relaxing!


What do you think? Do you like a reception outside under a tent? Or an inside space like a banquet hall?

Gwen and Patrick tied the knot on the beach at The Islander Suites in Emerald Isle. This was such a fun, dancing group! These two were so sweet and in love!! The whole group burned up the dance floor! The simple and clean decor was light and refreshing on this hot summer day! Light blue, white and pops of yellow accent! Very nice! The bride’s mother surprised everyone with an Elvis impersonator, a childhood favorite of the bride’s! She LOVED it!! So fun!Image





Bluewater Weddings & Events is a fabulous department that is within Bluewater Associates of Emerald Isle , a Property Management Company. Bluewater builds, insures,  manages and rents Vacation Rental properties as well as an Oceanfront Hotel in Emerald Isle and surrounding communities.

Bluewater Weddings offers beautiful venue options in the area as well as full service Coordination and Planning Services to help keep your event totally stress free! Check us out online!   www.BluewaterWeddingsandEvents.com

Now, let us introduce ourselves!

My name is Zena and I am the Event Director, I am originally from Emerald Isle. I have worked at Bluewater for over 6 years now, and I love my job! I love this industry because it is a happy time and I meet some of the best people!  My right hand, assistant, Mel is originally from Mississippi but spent most of her time growing up here in Eastern NC. She is very creative and has a great eye for design. We make a wonderful team! We really enjoy what we do and I think it shows when we are there on your special day. We get our jobs done, help make dreams become realities…and have fun while we do it!


One of the worst things that can happen on your wedding day…,Mother Nature gets angry!! This was the case for Rachel and Andrew’s big day in June. They had a beautiful wedding planned at the oceanfront beach house, Dream Maker, but Tropical Storm Andrea forced us to come up with a plan C…fast! We were able to totally transform The Twin Palms Event Room at The Islander Suites into a beautiful and elegant space for the ceremony and reception! In the end, it all worked out great! Take a look at some of the transformation photos I snapped throughout the day!

This bride recently wrote a little testimonial for our website and it really made us smile! We love what we do!!!

“I was very upset when I learned the day before my wedding that I would not be able to have it as planned at the beautiful house we had rented for the week because of tropical storm Andrea. Zena was immediately on the phone with myself, my vendors, and different possibilities for venues. In the end we were able to move everything to the Islander. Zena and Mel were able to transform the room so it was beautiful and sophisticated. They made sure everything ran smoothly and my husband and I created amazing memories on our wedding day! Zena and Mel saved our wedding day!”



Twin Palms Event Room, before we got started!







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Amazing photos courtesy of Casey Futrell Photography, Common Dove Photography, Cynthia Rose Photography, Love by Serena, Chad Winstead Photography, Jim Colman Photography