Brimming with southern charm and romantic scenery, South Carolina is the perfect place to tie the knot. Getting married in South Carolina presents a fantastic opportunity for a couple to entertain and impress family and friends with a memorable ceremony and reception. The Palmetto State has plenty to offer when it comes to setting the mood for romantic celebrations. Imagine carriage rides along cobblestone streets and elegant historic wedding venues in Charleston to get an idea of what to expect. Destinations in South Carolina are renowned for their beautiful gardens, trendy restaurants, and breathtaking riverfront views.
While couples can always count on southern hospitality to add a certain charm to the occasion, it never hurts to do some extra planning to ensure that everything goes smoothly on the special day. To help make the event a success, here are a few tips for couples getting married in South Carolina:
Remember to Obtain a Marriage License
Getting married in South Carolina requires a marriage license. It may be hard to believe, but some couples can become so caught up in planning the details of the occasion that they forget to make arrangements to obtain a license. Couples can avoid this mistake by applying for a license as the first step of their marriage preparations.
Certain requirements must be met in order to obtain a marriage license in South Carolina. Couples planning to get married must apply together at the office of a South Carolina probate judge. In addition to an application form, couples must present valid identification to the judge. Some judges also require couples to have social security cards. Licenses also require payment of a fee, the amount of which varies between counties. Couples are not required to be residents of South Carolina to obtain a license.
Licenses remain valid for six months after they are issued. Within these six months, couples must get married in a ceremony presided over by a qualified officiant. Qualified individuals include judges, ministers of the gospel, rabbis, and the chiefs or spiritual leaders of North American Indian entities recognized by the South Carolina Commission for Minority Affairs.
Choose a Memorable Location for the Ceremony and Reception
When it comes to celebrating a marriage, the event’s setting can make all the difference in creating a memorable occasion. South Carolina has many gorgeous locations to choose from as the perfect backdrop for ceremonies and receptions. There are a diverse variety of settings to suit the tastes of any couple. Nature lovers can gather outdoors with family and friends in a mossy oak grove, while couples who like to entertain in high style can host guests in mansion wedding venues in Charleston. A number of historical buildings in the area cater specifically to couples getting married. Imagine serving guests lavish southern dishes in a formal dining room decorated with elegant period furniture and then dancing over the antique hardwood floors of a traditional ballroom.
Determine whether or not the ceremony and reception will take place in separate locations. Traditionally, couples performed the marriage ceremony in a church or other religious building before heading to another location for the reception. Many couples now choose to carry out the ceremony and reception in the same place. Hosting both events in the same location can make the occasion easier for guests to navigate. It also cuts down on costs, since it is less expensive to rent only one space.
Apply for an Event Permit if Necessary
Some locations require special permits before they are used as a setting for a large ceremony or reception. Couples should check if they need to apply for a permit to host events at outdoor spaces, such as municipal or national parks, beaches, and historical sites. Those planning to include fireworks or other special displays in the festivities may require a special permit to do so.
Help Arrange Accommodations for Guests
Be sure to confirm that all guests have a place to stay. Encourage guests from out of town to book rooms ahead of time, especially during the busy tourist season. It can be a good idea to reserve blocks of rooms in advance. Not only does this ensure that everyone has a room, but it can be fun for friends to stay in neighboring suites.
There are plenty of fantastic accommodation options available in South Carolina. While big hotels excel at accommodating a large number of guests, a historic inn in Charleston may be preferred by people who want to experience all the charms of classic southern hospitality. A number of historic wedding venues in Charleston provide accommodations; some offer packages that reserve every room in the building for guests.
Serve Local Cuisine at the Reception
No marriage reception is complete without a fantastic feast for everyone to indulge in together. Getting married in South Carolina is a great opportunity to savor the best of southern cuisine. South Carolina is renowned for its exceptional shellfish, such as oysters and crab. One local seafood dish that is a favorite at celebrations is she-crab soup, a cream-based crab soup embellished with orange crab roe. Rice is central to many traditional dishes in South Carolina, as this grain was once the state’s staple crop. A big barbecue feast can be a festive choice for casual outdoor receptions.
Certain reception locations include an in-house banquet in the package. If a location does not provide a banquet, find a caterer specializing in regional recipes that incorporate local ingredients. Historic wedding venues in Charleston often work with recommended caterers who can prepare fabulous meals for guests.
South Carolina is home to many ideal settings for couples getting married. Whether the occasion is a formal soiree in a ballroom or a casual picnic in a park, the most successful events are those that are planned well in advance. If the budget allows, the services of professional planners are available for hire.