A Wedding In The Sand: Karen + Josh

The drive to the Outer Banks is ingrained in my mind.  I have been visiting those peaceful North Carolina shores for as long as I can remember, and for me, there is no other single place on earth which harbors as many wonderful memories.   Simply, the Outer Banks is special, and the feelings I get when I am there cannot compare to how I feel anywhere else in the world.  So, when Karen and Josh  chose to start their life together among the sand in Kill Devil Hills, it made perfect sense.  I could not think of a better venue for their “I Do’s”, and since the time I was hired for their special day, I have been eager to see how their wedding day would unfold.  And what I did see and experience on their wedding day, Saturday, May 5th, 2012 was magnificent.

It was 12:30 pm on Saturday afternoon when I made my way across Virginia Dare Trail from the Travelodge where I was staying to The Woodmere, a beach house that overlooked the Atlantic Ocean.  Inside and out of this light yellow and white house, people were engaged in a myriad of tasks.  Beneath a white reception tent, hot pink, mango orange, and black linens were being placed perfectly on round tables.  The bridesmaids were putting finishing touches on some DIY signs that Karen had prepared for her day.  The DJ was outside finalizing music selections for the ceremony.  Upstairs, Natasha, the hair and makeup artist, had begun working on the bridal party.  The groom’s uncles were on the back patio making a timeline for the food to be prepared for the reception.  Karen, organized as usual, was sitting calmly on a couch in the sun room hand-writing “Thank You” notes to her friends and family.  Everyone happily and diligently worked, for they shared a common goal–a common purpose.  And that purpose was to give Karen and Josh the wedding of their dreams.

At 4:00 pm, I stood with Karen and her bridesmaids in the one-room Honeymoon Cottage that resided just behind the main house.  Karen was full of emotion as those who knew her and loved her most helped her prepare to meet her love in the sand.  The skies were clear despite the rainy forecast, and so was Karen’s heart.  She had no doubt that this man she was about to face was the perfect man for her.  And she was ready to be his wife.  Moments later, guests descended onto the dunes, grabbing monogrammed beach mats to sit on and kicking off their shoes in the sand.  Josh, at the right hand of his best man, his father, waited for his bride.  And, as she rounded the corner on the arm of her sister and made her way down that grainy isle, Josh smiled.  He had been waiting for this moment for far too long, and his love, Karen, was about to become his wife.  In a perfectly fitting manner, Kelly, the friend who had introduced Karen and Josh years ago, was the officiant who married them that day.  And there, at the altar, Karen and Josh made a vow to be together forever.  As they were pronounced husband and wife, a school of porpoises appeared.  They were as close to the shore as I have ever seen, and they swam in circles until the bride and groom had made their way to the pier leading back to the house.  As guests moved along the wooden pier planks and under the reception tent, the clouds opened and the rain began, but it did not hinder this day, or the celebration that was to follow, in any way.  Karen, Josh, their amazing family and friends danced and laughed well into the night.  And I am fairly certain that at some point, whether it was during a toast, a special dance, or a meaningful moment, that each person shed a tear.  This was one of those weddings that was bursting at the seams with love.  Genuine love and support from those that came to share this day with Karen and Josh.

Karen and Josh, you are beyond blessed to have the family and friends that you do!  I am in awe at the way you are both loved and enjoyed every. single. moment. of the time I spent with you and your family.  Thank you for welcoming me into your world and for being such a splendid example of true love.  Many wishes for happiness, laughter, and love for many, many years to come.  M xoxo

Karen took into account every aspect of this day, and it represented her perfectly.  A little sweet.  A little spicy.  Just like Karen.

From bows to ribbons, to hot pink and mango orange sand buckets with lights in them…. The details were exquisite.


The door of the Honeymoon Cottage where Karen and Josh stayed together.

Karen chose a classic, yet elegant bridal ensamble for her day.  Sheer perfection.

At this point, I was dying to see her in her gown.  Doesn’t she already look gorgeous?!?!  Good work, Natasha!

Karen’s sister, Jenn, was her maid of honor.  Two women.  Best friends.  Both beautiful.  Inside and out.

Karen and Josh opted for the First Look, which I LOVE!  Due to our being on Beach Time, we didn’t do a great job of sticking to the timeline for the day, so this was a shorter than normal First Look.  Still, the few photos we got before the ceremony are priceless.


So thankful for no rain and perfect light.  And an amazingly photogenic couple.

How cute is THAT?  And, Jenn was Karen’s escort down the isle to meet Josh.


For the first time….Mr. and Mrs. Bland.  The guests were not pointing at the lovely couple, but at the porpoises swimming nearby.

Congratulations, Karen and Josh!

Thier first moments as husband and wife.I just love these next several photos.  They depict the many different sides of this couple perfectly!

To view more of A Wedding In The Sand: Karen + Josh, feel free to CLICK HERE to watch a slideshow.

Happy Tuesday!



12 thoughts on “A Wedding In The Sand: Karen + Josh

  1. Michelle what a beautiful tribute to such a beautiful couple. You did an amazing job catching all those intimate and special moments. It was wonderful to meet you and share in the fun.
    Susan Jett – Lisa’s cohort in decorating : )

  2. Susan! Thank you so much for the compliment. I so enjoyed being a part of this wedding and having the opportunity to meet all of you! Yes, it was a lot of fun, and Karen and Josh are wonderful! Take care, and let me know if I can do anything else for you! 🙂

  3. I just love the photos and the story and being there was just awesome. I may indeed be a little partial, but I love Karen like a daughter and of course Josh is one of my fondest treasures!!!

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