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Shackleford Banks Elopement in North Carolina

Shackleford Banks in North Carolina – home to a herd of wild horses, accessibly only by ferry boat, with beautiful sunsets and views, was where Tonya and Dave decided to elope to and get married!

from the photographer, Xsperience Photography: “When Tonya mentioned her and Dave were engaged on this incredible Wild Horse Island, also known as Shackleford Banks, I instantly googled the possibilities. After a few giddy messages back and forth we agreed it would be the funnest adventure to head back there for an intimate elopement. Our biggest challenge we encountered while planning was that the ferry running there from Beaufort, North Carolina ended at 4:30 pm. Ideally we would like sunset lighting with as few spectators as possible. Plus no one likes to be rushed on their elopement so stressing about missing the ferry would likely take away from the romance. Luckily Dave’s best man stepped up and rented a boat for the evening so we had the island to ourselves!!

The day consisted of getting ready in their quaint airbnb in Beaufort, a boat ride to the island, making seashell wishes on a tree, picking wood for a beach fire, vows near the water, a picnic, some fun in the water at sunset, a boat ride back with dolphins playing nearby, and then we all went out for a nice dinner to celebrate!!”

“Dave asked me to marry him last July on Shackleford Island. I love horses, he loves NC, we both love the ocean; it seemed like the perfect spot to get engaged! He wrote ‘Tonya will you marry me?’ in the sand and decorated it with seashells; I of course said yes! We knew we wanted to have an intimate elopement and when deciding on where it seemed like a no brainer to go back to Shackleford Island. I knew I needed Trisha to be our photographer to capture our special day! Dave’s best friend was a Marine buddy for years when they were stationed at Camp Lejeune and Dan still lives in NC. It was important to have Dan standing by Dave’s side and therefore I needed a maid of honor. My 15-year-old daughter Vienna thought we were just going on a little vacay to show her NC; on the connecting flight the amazing flight attendants bumped us to first class and then once wheels up, they made an announcement over the loud speaker that special guest Vienna was on board and that she was going to be her mother’s maid of honor! Vienna’s eyes were HUGE when she heard her name over the speaker, but was super excited with the surprise!! We found a cute Airbnb in Beaufort, walking distance to get on the boat we had rented to get out to the island on the day of the elopement. The weather was beautiful and we truly couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day to start our lives together as husband and wife!” ~Tonya

Planner + Photographer: XSPERIENCE PHOTOGRAPHY
Stylist+ Florals: WHITE LOON EVENTS
Singer: HOLLY CIMENSKI | @hollycim
Dress: Lulus
Rings: Loch Jewelers
Cake: Sugarloaf Bakery in Beaufort


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