January 22, 2021

how to elope in charleston, sc

more and more people are starting to turn to elopements and intimate weddings instead of big traditional weddings, and for good reasons! not only is a global pandemic making people get creative with their wedding day, a lot of couples are also looking to get married in a more authentic way. elopements aren’t just for running away and getting married in vegas, anymore. they’re a thoughtful and intentional choice to have an intimate ceremony that’s completely focused on the couple.

charleston’s a huge destination wedding location, and is a great spot to elope as well. i mean how can you beat having a beautiful historic town and gorgeous beaches in one spot?? luckily, it’s super easy to elope here, and i’m about to walk you through just how to elope in charleston, sc.

bride and groom kissing while eloping on a sailboat in charleston, sc

decide the where and when

okay, picture your perfect elopement day… are you surrounded by beautiful angel oaks? at a beach? running around downtown? maybe you wake up by the beach and have a slow day before exchanging vows in a park, then you hit downtown and celebrate with drinks!

another fun idea is renting out an airbnb and getting ready and celebrating there! you can find super adorable historical buildings, or beach houses with gorgeous views.

once you have an idea of where you want to elope, think of what time of year is best. if you already have a date in mind then great! but for those who don’t, keep in mind how hot and humid it gets in the summer. also consider days where popular locations might be super busy, like holidays.

get those permits and permissions

once you know where and when you’re wanting to get eloped, you can start to figure out if permits are necessary for your wedding.

depending on how large it is, many beaches and parks require an application or notice of your wedding. if you’re eloping in an airbnb, be sure to ask for permission from whoever you’re renting from! you don’t want your wedding to get interrupted by an upset host…

also be sure to check out any rules at the location where you decide to elope! for example, folly beach doesn’t allow alcohol and glass, so it’s best not to pop champagne on the beach!

quick links for wedding requests:

folly beach

sullivan’s island

kiawah island

angel oak park

make sure it’s legal

in order to get a marriage license in south carolina, both you and your partner need to appear at an office of an sc probate judge. south carolina residents and non-residents are able to get a sc marriage license, but it must be used in state within 6 months. a qualified officiant must reside over your wedding, sign the marriage license, and return it within those 6 months. qualified officiants include judges, ministers, rabbis, and spiritual leaders of a north american indian entity. in order to get your license, be sure to bring:

  • a completed application
  • your driver’s licenses or valid id
  • social security cards
  • payment for a possible fee, depending on which county you’re in

the charleston county probate marriage license division can be found here.

do the thing!!

now that you know the requirements, it’s time to get freaking eloped!! with the legalities, permits, and location in mind, it’s easier to start planning and executing your dream elopement day! if you’re looking for someone who can both capture your day and help plan it, don’t hesitate to reach out to palm to pine photography!!

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