Real Weddings

How to Style a Sophisticated Backyard Wedding on the Water


Sophisticated water front wedding

When it comes to planning a backyard wedding, having access to a waterfront location is a great place to start! The grooms family home in Nags Head, North Carolina was right on the water for their sophisticated celebration.

Shea and Chad showcased their love in style with rustic chic decor, eggplant + emerald hues, and fall fresh florals. The couples adorable three-month-old son and their two dogs also shared in on all the fun, so keep scrolling to see it all below + in the full gallery captured by Sarah D'Ambra Photography.

Bride getting ready

Purple and green bridesmaid looksBridesmaids in emerald lace dresses

waterfront backyard wedding


From Coastyle Weddings & Events: Shea and Chad's wedding took place at his family's waterfront home in a quaint neighborhood known as Nags Head Cove, Nags Head, North Carolina. After their families house was washed away in a hurricane, the family rebuilt, and decided to purchase the home next door as well. With both houses offering luscious green lawns and boasting water views, it was the perfect location for both the ceremony and the cocktail hour. Just under 100 guests were welcomed to a yard full of mix-matched wooden chairs, with a handmade arbor built by the groom's dad. After a short heartfelt ceremony to include the couple's three-month-old son Henry, guests walked over to the other lawn for cocktail hour. Acoustic music played while guests enjoyed appetizers and serve yourself cocktails from a boat cooler.

Sophisticated bridal look

Groomsmen in navy

Beautiful waterfront wedding

Rustic waterfront ceremony with mismatched chairsRustic outdoor cermemony

Ceremony decor

Rustic waterfront ceremony

Wedding family

waterfront reception


After cocktail hour, guests walked to the third location, the neighborhoods community center. The reception would take place at yet another waterfront lawn, adorned with a beautiful clear tent with cafe lights strung above. Guests could find their seats using the grooms' surfboard as a seating arrangement sign. They could snap a Polaroid picture for the guestbook, take a candle as a favor, and grab a drink from the local tap truck parked outside the tent. There was a mix of long wooden farm tables, and round tables dressed with cafe colored linens, eggplant-colored napkins, and luscious mixed florals and green runners.

Water front wedding

Surfboard seating chart

Floral centerpiece

Acrylic table number

Greenery centerpiece

Sweetheart table floralsSweetheart table decor

family affair right at home


With the groom's sister marrying in the same location 10 years before, it was yet another family affair right at home. The crisp Fall evening was perfect for guests to cozy up, enjoying a warm buffet dinner, delicious cake, and tarts for dessert. Everyone danced well into the evening.

Floral wedding cake

Wedding cake trio

Budget breakdown 

Curious what a backyard wedding like this may cost you? The bride was kind enough to share her budget breakdown with us below. 

Venue: $450
Florals: $3,500
Reception Equipment Rentals: $8,000
Ceremony/Cocktail hour rentals: $1,600
Planning: $2,500
Photography: $2,800
Catering: $4,000
Beer truck/alcohol: $2,300
Cakes: $600
Music: $1,200
Total:  $27000


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ServiceVendor
Cakes & CateringPatty Bakes
Sooey's BBQ & Rib Shack
@pattybakes__
@sooeys_bbq
CateringCorolla Tap Truck@the_beer_garden
Event Planning & DesignCoastyle Weddings & Events@coastyleweddings
FlowersHoneysuckle Events@honeysuckleeventsobx
Hair, Makeup & BeautyGlimmer Hair & Makeyp@glimmerhairandmakeup
Lighting, Entertainment & Photo BoothOuter Banks Wedding Entertainment@jeremyrussellmusic
PhotographersSarah D'Ambra Photography@sarahdambraphoto
RentalsOcean Atlantic Event Rentals
Renee Landry Events
@ocean_atlantic_event_rentals
@reneelandryevents