Carolina Bride

Island Style

“Do you want this?” Steve said as he held up a diamond ring.

Sara Ruedy and Steve Quigley’s weekend trip to Washington D.C. was coming to an end, and while Steve had intended to propose earlier and in a more traditionally romantic way, the moment was never quite right. So, on their last night in the city before the two turned in for the night, Steve popped the question. Sara, of course, responded in the affirmative.

“It wasn’t the most romantic by typical standards,” says Sara, “But it was definitely Steve’s style!”

Avid travelers, the couple opted for a destination wedding on Bald Head Island off of the North Carolina coast. Accessible only by ferry, the island made for an intimate wedding weekend.

“There are no hotels on the island—just rental homes—and transportation is limited to golf carts, bikes, and your own two feet,” says Sara. “Our friends and families all got together and stayed in homes across the island for the weekend. By the end, everyone had made new friends.”

Sara and Steve’s ceremony was held at the island’s charming Village Chapel. The chapel’s small size limited how many guests the couple could invite, but, looking back, Sara wouldn’t have had it any other way. “It only holds 110 people, so there was no one there who didn’t care deeply about us. It was so special to look into the crowd and see the faces of the people I love most.”

The couple left the ceremony in a Rolls Royce golf cart and headed to the Shoal’s Club for the reception. Located on the point of Bald Head Island, the club boasts impressive ocean views, which guests were able to enjoy from three tiered verandas.

For reception décor, Sara opted for a decidedly modern palette of dark gray and yellow, tempered by rustic touches of burlap and twine. The cake, however, was the pièce de résistance. Designed by Sara’s sister, an architect, it was comprised of twelve spiraling square-shaped layers, all in various shades of gray and yellow. “People still tell us how wowed they were by that cake!” says Sara.

The cake, along with Sara and Steve’s coastally inspired appetizers and main dishes, provided the energy the guests needed to dance all night long. “All of the guests were on the dance floor the entire night—it was like Soul Train!” says Sara.

Her favorite memory, though, was when the DJ spun “Country Roads” by John Denver.

“Everyone circled uparms around each other singing,” says Sara. “We were in the center dancing. It was so neat to see the family making friends and coming together.”

VendorsCreative Cake Design, cake

Beautiful Bouquets by Betty, flowers

Finisterre, gown

Crown Tailors, groom’s tuxedo

Finks and Norman Silverman, rings

Makeup for your Day, hair and makeup

Andrea Trimble, Stationery and Cake Design

Active DJ Entertainment, DJ

Lime Green Photography, photography

Bald Head Island Chapel, ceremony location

Shoal’s Club, reception venue, rentals, and catering