We got married at the Southport Community Oct 23, 2011. Perfect place. The feel of the beach without the sand. All of our guests were blown away by view. We had 60 people and we had lots of rooms so there's room for alot of people. Eeveryone was great to work with. It's not the place for an extremely formal wedding. We couldn't have picked a more perfect place.
Southport is a great town with a lot of charm! The Community center is perfect. Has nice deck on the water framed with live oaks and a spacious ball room. The kitchen is set up nice for minor food prep and Betsy there is wonderful! Not at all your typical community center.
For a very reasonable price, you can rent the place which also includes tables and chairs. However, you will need to rent the outside chairs if you want outside seating since they do not allow their furniture outdoors.
It is tough to get good catering in the area but coastal catering is decent. Joe is busy and you will need to be on top of him but he delivers and the food is amazing! I was a little dissapointed in a few missed details from the wait staff- they cut and served the top part of our cake, one table was left with a table cloth that was too small and the ugly metal legs were showing, some of the linens had wrinkles) Bon appetit in Wilmington was so rude and pretentious we didnt even want to bother with them and thier food is too garnished, and not at all good. Certainly not worth what they are asking.
Also tough to get good hair/makeup. i reccomend bringing in your own person, it is worth it! Especially if you plan on being outside. Ocean spray and seasalt air does not agree with wedding updoes!
Another few options could be Orton plantation- closed to tourists now but may rent the grounds, a little pricey. Also Bald head island is nice with a beautiful chapel (very small) but the island is breathtaking. You would need to take a ferry over and so would your vendors, so it can be less convenient with some added expense.
Not sure what your budget is but I listed the places above from least expensive to most. Best of luck!
We used Middle of the Island Catering in Wilmingotn and they were wonderful. Lots of options from sit down to just cocktail food. Very reasonable and the food was wonderful. The servers were very professional. We also used them to do out rehearsal dinner. We rented a house and wanted a buffet. They delivered the food and we set it up. It was great. CM is wonderful. Couldn't have been a better experience.