Why Hundreds of Couples say ‘I Do’ at the Oceanic: Wrightsville Beach, NC Weddings
Something old, something new
Why hundreds of couples say ‘I do’ at the Oceanic in Wrightsville Beach
If the walls at the Oceanic could talk, they would whisper the tales of those who have celebrated love, life and solidarity within the familial surrounds of this landmark restaurant and pier over the last 80 years.
“We hear so many of these beautiful stories from locals and visitors that have the Oceanic as an important part of them,” says Haley Upton, event and sales manager. “Stories like, ‘I had our first date here’ or ‘We used to work here together’ or ‘Every summer we vacationed here growing up’ or ‘My dad and I used to fish off the pier.’ The Oceanic has stood as a meaningful way for people to connect throughout time.”
The Oceanic’s tale is deeply rooted in the sands of Wrightsville Beach and by the sea it faces. The adjoining Crystal Pier was built in 1939 and the restaurant’s chapters of restored openings took place in the 1970s,’80s, 1990, and, most recently, in 2019, revealing the latest set of major renovations.
As the only restaurant sitting on Wrightsville beachfront and as the beach’s only wooden pier, it’s a beautiful combination of endless dining and event opportunities along this slip of the coast.
While still maintaining its signature Southern beach house façade, the three-story Oceanic now boasts more windows on every single floor so patrons now have a more panoramic view of the Atlantic from any seat inside, on every floor.
“We really thought about the experience for a guest coming to us for that first-time visit,” says Marianne Stokes, Signature Brands marketing manager with LM Restaurants. “And the reason people are coming to us is because of our location on the ocean: they want to be able to have that visibility and see the water and the sparkling Atlantic Ocean and see the sunsets because we’re just on that perfect spot!”
Additional interior changes include the relocation of the Oceanic’s bar from the back of the restaurant to the south end, where folks can sit back and enjoy the crystal-clear views of the surfers by the pier and the idyllic Carolina coastline. The décor is a fusion of historic-coastal-chic, with new furniture, light fixtures, beach photography by local artists, and historical photos provided by the New Hanover County Library and Wrightsville Beach Museum.
One thing that hasn’t changed at the Oceanic over the decades is its allure as one of the most highly desirable wedding venues in the area. Couples fall in love with the restaurant’s versatility, whether they choose to be married there on the sand below, with a reception on the third floor dining area, or to hold a private ceremony on Crystal Pier, followed by a reception in the restaurant’s wedding spaces. A dream of options for parties of all sizes are available here for The Big Day.
“A lot of brides also like that feeling of incorporating that ‘old and that new’ at the location they’re getting married along a wooden pier that was originally built in 1939, restored several times, but has withstood so many different hurricanes and the test of time,” says Upton. “It’s like that history and their new life, that first step, is happening together.”
Married with the appeal of the location is the Oceanic’s sustainable Southern-coastal-inspired menu offerings for weddings and special events, as well as regular brunch, lunch and dinner. Popular choices are the Oysters Rockefeller, shrimp and grits, bacon-wrapped scallops, lobster and shrimp sliders, and more. Available service options are a sit-down meal, buffet or stations, which could include the impressive cold seafood displays. Complementing the food is the Oceanic’s wine and cocktail menu, just refreshed by their mixologist to include artistic fresh blends, customized signature drinks for the bride and groom, and an innovative wine tap system.
“We want our guests, wedding guests, and brides and grooms to feel like they’re visiting our home like part of the family,” says Stokes. “We want them to have a really great time and make sure that everyone is taken care of – the epitome of Southern hospitality.”
For more information or to book your wedding or special event, visit www.oceanicrestaurant.com.