Looking for Charleston SC Elopement Packages where you can enjoy all the lovely places in and around this romantic southern city? Read on!
How We Create Adventurous Charleston SC Elopement Packages
Maybe you’ve thought of eloping in Charleston as a just having a ceremony somewhere in the area with a few photos to document your day. We’d love to show you how your experience can be so much more! Our job as elopement planners and photographers is to create a day that resonates with the two of you, a day where you can take the time to relax and focus on your relationship & without any of the worries of planning a big wedding.
We don’t force you into the mold of “All-inclusive” Packages
The vast majority of Charleston SC Elopement Packages out there are based on the assumption that couples who choose to elope all want the same thing. We believe this couldn’t be farther from the truth! Every couple – whether they choose a large, traditional wedding or an elopement style day – deserves to customize where, when and how they get married. We are here to help you go from a vision in your head to the adventurous day you’ve always dreamed of.
Our Packages are Personalized
How do we create this personalized experience for you? Here’s the major planning steps below:
- Planning Questionnaire. Planning doesn’t start without being intentional about your needs and wants. This is where we document what is important to you.
- Season. What time of the year would you enjoy the most?
- Locations. We take your input from your Questionnaire and curate the many possibilities in the area!
- Rental properties. Not to be overlooked! Having an awesome place to stay that is convenient to your elopement locations & fits your vibe is a key part of your day.
- Activities to enjoy. What do you enjoy doing together? Incorporating these into your day is how you can experience the day to its fullest.
To summarize our elopement planning philosophy in a phrase, we like to put it this way:
Imagine the most beautiful & romantic day together. Think of all the things you love to do as a couple. Now imagine you happen to be all dressed up & you get married as part of it too. That’s what we call an adventure elopement!
Planning Questionnaire – learning your “why”
This is where the excitement of planning begins! By starting here, we learn about you as a couple & about your needs for the day. Just as no two couples are alike, every elopement day is different. In fact, we believe that every elopement should be different and unique. There is a reason you don’t find pre-built timelines on our website for elopements, because you deserve a day which is unique to you.
Have you dreamed of kayaking together in a tidal marsh and seeing the dolphins together? Exploring on your own chartered sailboat cruise to secluded islands? Feeling the sand in your toes as you picnic on the beach, sipping champagne and watching the sun set?
These ideas are only the beginning. Our questionnaire is designed to help you see all the possibilities to an amazing day in and around Charleston together!
What Season for Your Charleston SC Elopement?
Charleston, as part of the South Carolina Lowcountry, is where you can experience mild winters, warm summers and a very comfortable spring and fall season. Here’s a few more tips on choosing a season:
- Winter: Usually daily highs are in the 50s and – especially when the sun is out – this is a great time of the year to escape cold and snow to the north. If you don’t like breaking a sweat, this is a great time of the year and slow tourist season to where you can have many locations to yourselves!
- Summer: Definitely the warmest part of the year, with 80s and 90s possible, but it might not be as hot as you’d think. Coastal temperatures tend to be 5-10 degrees cooler than interior parts of the state & there is usually an ocean breeze to enjoy. While we wouldn’t plan a mid-day ceremony on the beach, there are great options to stay in the shade and take advantage of the cooler parts of the day! Also consider that this is peak tourist season, so rental properties are in high demand.
- Spring: One of our favorite times of the year. 60 and 70 degree weather along with blooms in the many gardens make this a beautiful season to elope in Charleston. Just be careful with finding a place to stay; Spring Break is across March and April. Because of this many of the best places to stay book up nearly a year in advance.
- Fall: This time of the year is very similar to Spring, except there are less crowds. The ocean water is still warm while the weather has cooled off from the heat of summer. We love fall at the coast!
Free Download: Elopement Budget Spreadsheet
Charleston SC Elopement Packages | Locations
Planning an elopement gives you much more flexibility on your ceremony as compared to a big wedding. You aren’t locked into specific wedding venues, or having to find a large place to rent. There are beautiful public places that are completely free (some may require a permit). Or some of the larger, traditional wedding venues offer lower elopement pricing for the use of their grounds.
When thinking about location, it’s also important to think about time of day for your ceremony. The great thing about free public places is the affordability, but that usually means it’s best to have your ceremony as early as possible in the morning to avoid the crowds of tourists. If you want more time flexibility, booking time on the grounds of a private venue is a great option.
Popular locations for Charleston SC Elopement Packages
You may have already been looking around at Charleston locations for your elopement – and two of the most popular spots are White Point Garden, and the lovely Angel Oak on Johns Island. These aren’t on the top of our list for recommendations, and we feel you should know why.
White Point Garden
Located on the Charleston Battery, next to Rainbow Row and just a few blocks away from Market Street, White Point Garden definitely has a great location for the classic peninsular Charleston experience. The large gazebo in the middle of the park is a beautiful spot for photos and possibly a small ceremony too:
However, we would be careful with choosing White Point Garden given that it is so close to the city center. Many events happen here and in other times the general public has the walk of the place, so if you’re after privacy you might want to choose another location for your ceremony. Our suggestion if you like the looks of the park is to plan it as a photo stop and have your ceremony elsewhere.
The Angel Oak
There is no doubt as to the beauty of the Angel Oak tree. As an elopement backdrop it captures the essence of the Lowcounty in one shot – gorgeous live oak and Spanish moss:
But we would be careful planning your special day at such a popular spot to visit. Even during the week, many people are stopping by and walking all around the tree. It is lovely … but would you want to be saying your vows in an open space with the potential for others walking by?
This is what the area around the tree actually looks like during a typical weekday. On weekends, there are sometimes lines around the building to see the tree:
Also a consideration is available parking. During busy times there are tour buses dropping off people and it’s difficult to find a parking spot. This photo shows about 1/3 of the available parking spots:
While these locations may be lovely spots for a photo stop during your elopement day, we feel there are other locations that are better for your overall experience.
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Charleston SC Elopement Packages | Locations for more Privacy
Many of our couples choose to elope for the experience of getting away from many different things, including crowds of onlookers. That’s why we don’t really recommend either of the above, as they are popular tourist locations (inside a popular tourist city). We’d rather you be able to find a quiet, intimate setting to yourselves. Additionally, the more space a location has, the more options you have to avoid groups of people even in busy season.
Our secret to more privacy: choose a location that has an admission fee. There is a drastic difference in tourist traffic between “free” places and where there is a charge to get in!
Magnolia Plantation and Gardens
One of our favorite places for a Charleston SC elopements is Magnolia Plantation and Gardens. They are very elopement friendly and have special pricing just for elopements! They have a very large property which has so many beautiful options for your ceremony and photos together, and you can even book the assistance of a golf cart for getting around. If there happens to be rain on your day, there are a couple of covered gazebos you can duck under until the showers pass. There are times when it is not completely private as it’s open to other visitors during the day, but we’ve never found it crowded. Magnolia is a great option for your elopement!
Read more in this post about a recent Magnolia Plantation Elopement!
Charlestown Landing State Park | Legare Waring House
This State Historic Site is a gem of a natural area tucked away in the middle of urban Charleston! Charlestown Landing Elopements are straightforward for permits and the pricing is very much worth it to get away from the more popular, public places. On the property is the Legare Waring House too! While an elopement permit doesn’t allow you to go into the house, there are certain times of the day which you can use the surrounding grounds as long as there is not a wedding going on in the same place.
There are many beautiful spots on the property! A point looking out over the marsh, an historic boat, the gardens, the house, and live oak lined pathways just to name a few!
Located less than an hour from the city of Charleston, Cypress Gardens is managed by Berkley County and is a great alternative to the “busy-ness” of Charleston in general. There are many arches around the property, open lawns, gazebos and a few buildings available to rent for a small reception as well.
In one spot you can even arrive by boat to a special dock right next to a wedding gazebo!
Just a short drive away from Charleston, Folly Beach has a personality of a small beach town – and of course plenty of sand to explore! You may choose to rent a place on the beach (the best option for privacy) or Folly Beach County Park is a good option as long as you’re not in the busiest time of the day. There is so much space on the beach and the parking lot is much larger than it used to be. Usually lots of room to be able to get a little space all to your own!
Our recommendation if Folly is on your list is to rent a place (and book well in advance) if you want your ceremony on the beach. If not, we would use the County Park during early morning or late evening, or go to another more private location around Charleston for your ceremony and then come to the beach for fun photos afterwards!
Where to Stay
Once you’ve decided on places to visit during your elopement day, where to stay is next on the list. We help match you with the right places to fit the vision for your day. For example, you might want a downtown feel and want to stay in a classic Charleston style house. Or a beach resort with ocean views and a waterfront pool might be your thing. Maybe you want a low key “beach town” experience where you can walk directly from your house to get your toes in the sand. So many great options!
Another important thing to keep in mind is Charleston traffic. Especially in peak season, there will always be delays – we plan an extra 15 minutes for every 30 minutes of drive time (yes, traffic can be that bad!). For that reason it’s best to book a place to stay as close as possible to your location choices, otherwise you’ll spend more time than you like sitting in traffic.
One more note about booking a rental property – read the fine print. Some properties are run by larger commercial operations, and they might exclude the use of the place for photography. Sometimes – if you can get in touch with the management company – you can get permission for us to be there, but we generally avoid places which have this fine print. Documenting where you choose to stay and your getting ready moments are very important, and we recommend choosing a place that will be elopement friendly! One of our favorite places to stay: Guesthouse Charleston.
Charleston SC Elopement Packages | Activities to Enjoy
You’ve decided on where to have your ceremony, more beautiful places for photos together around Charleston, and you have a place to stay. Some may stop there, but we love making your day “that much more” intentional by including things you love to do together. Have you always wanted to dance on the beach? Or want to experience Market Street and a fine dining experience? Take a surfing lesson the day of, or the day after? For a beautiful elopement day together, adding in these details are like icing on the cake (maybe that was a bad pun, ha ha). They are what make your day even more memorable!
What do Adventurous Charleston Elopement Packages really look like?
This is how it all comes together. After our detailed planning process to create your personalized day, and all the details we handle for you, it’s time to enjoy your epic day! Have a look at one of our most recent elopements in Charleston to see how a truly adventurous day comes together.
Let’s create your personalized Charleston Elopement Package!
It is our sincere hope that this Guide to eloping in Charleston is helpful to you – and equips you to take the leap into your greatest adventure ever!
Let us hold your hand and show you the way – we promise you’ll soon realize it was always meant to be. Reach out to us today so we can get started creating your awesome day together!
Mark & Carolyn