Jennifer VanBallegooie, a South Carolina resident, got married on the beach at Oak Island in 2011. Had there been a fee to get married on the beach, VanBallegooie said she likely would've paid it. "After going there, absolutely, I would've paid to get married there because it's the most beautiful beach anywhere," she said. Wrightsville Beach charges couples a permit fee ranging in price from $125 for up to 25 participants to $350 for 200 to 400 participants. The fee is a way to keep track of what's going on at the beach, said Town Manager Tim Owens. "It's really not a profit thing, it's more to keep everybody in the loop of what events are going where so you don't have multiple people at multiple times trying to compete for the same area," Owens said. "We have events most weekends, whether it be a wedding or birthday party, there's a large volume of events on public property." In 2016 the town issued 125 wedding permits alone, said Katie Ryan, recreation program supervisor. In 2014 the town issued 170. Amy Frazier with Do Me a Favor Weddings has been a wedding planner for years. She said beach weddings are typically her favorite to plan. "I feel like people have a really intimate relationship with the beach and, outside of a church, I feel like that's the most spiritual experience you can get for a ceremony," she said.
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