Know the Rules About Wedding Locations

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina Wedding Locations

Boasting spectacular vistas of the Atlantic coastline, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, beach wedding locations offer more than just romance, they offer memories that will last a lifetime. A variety of options to serve as the backdrop to you nuptials can also mean a variety of rules and regulations. A Myrtle Beach area wedding planner can help you decipher what paperwork you may need, along with any location rules, but if you want to plan it on your own and on public property within the City of Myrtle Beach, here are some things to know:

Myrtle Beach Weddings Rules

Weddings on Public Property within the City of Myrtle Beach

(info courtesy of the City of Myrtle Beach)

City of Myrtle Beach public beach: Commercially produced weddings are not permitted on the public beach. Non-commercial weddings are allowed on the public beach.

City of Myrtle Beach private portions of the beach: Only a handful of oceanfront lots extend to the high tide line, and the city has no jurisdiction for either commercially produced or non-commercial weddings on those few lot extensions.

City of Myrtle Beach public parks in commercial areas, with reservation: Commercially produced and non-commercial weddings are permitted in public parks in the commercial areas of the city, with an approved Facility Use Permit. Contact City Hall at (843) 918-1008.

Shelter rental is required if a shelter exists at the park ($25 for city residents; $42.75 for non-residents). For commercially produced weddings, if the Facility Use Permit is in the name of a company, insurance certification is required. Insurance certification is not required if the Facility Use Permit is in the name of the bride or groom.

City of Myrtle Beach public parks in commercial areas, without reservation: Commercially produced and non-commercial weddings are permitted without a Facility Use Permit. Other park users cannot be required to leave the park.

City of Myrtle Beach parks in residential areas, with reservation: Commercially produced weddings are prohibited. Non-commercial weddings are permitted with an approved Facility Use Permit. No insurance certificate is required. The city may deny a Facility Use Permit based on any factor, including traffic and neighborhood impact. Shelter rental is required if a shelter exists at the park ($25 for city residents; $42.75 for non-residents).

City of Myrtle Beach parks in residential areas, without reservation: Commercially produced weddings are prohibited. Non-commercial weddings are permitted with an approved Facility Use Permit. No insurance certificate is required. Other park users cannot be required to leave the park. Here is a list of city parks in commercial areas:

  • Hurl Rock Park, Ocean Boulevard at 20th Avenue South
  • Nance Plaza, Kings Highway at Ninth Avenue North
  • Justin W. Plyler Boardwalk Park, Ocean Boulevard at Mr. Joe White Avenue (11th Avenue North)
  • Chapin Park, Kings Highway at 16th Avenue North
  • Anderson Family Park, Ocean Boulevard at 20th Avenue North
  • Cameron Park, Ocean Boulevard at 27th Avenue North
  • Woman's Club Park, Ocean Boulevard at Haskell Circle
  • Futrell Park, Mr. Joe White Avenue and Dunbar Street
  • Park at the former Air Force Base, Farrow Parkway or Myers Avenue

Wedding on Public Property within the City of North Myrtle Beach

(info courtesy of the City of North Myrtle Beach)

We want nothing more than for your North Myrtle Beach wedding experience to be a positive one. You can help us achieve that goal by being aware of and following our laws. These are the same laws that apply to all North Myrtle Beach visitors and residents.

  • Beach walkovers and beach access points are for all to enjoy. Please do not hold your wedding ceremony on a beach access walkover or block the beach in front of a walkover.
  • Please stay off the dunes and avoid picking sea oats and other dune vegetation. While certainly photogenic, our dune system is a fragile one. We rely on it for protection from storm surges and for the good health of the beach you like to visit.
  • Alcohol and glass containers are not allowed on the beach.
  • Public beaches are for all to enjoy. If someone is already enjoying the particular beach location you wish to hold your wedding ceremony, you may certainly ask them to consider a temporary move while you hold your ceremony, but they are not required to comply with your request.
  • Park only in designated parking areas. Parking along the oceanfront is at a premium. You may have to arrange for group transport to the beach. Another option is to stay at a property that offers direct access to the beach or a short walk to the beach.
  • Rice is not prohibited, but we strongly discourage its use as it is dangerous to birds that cannot digest it. Confetti also poses a danger, particularly to small sea creatures. Consider rice-free alternatives, such as bubbles, birdseed, or bells (to ring).
  • Chairs and archways are permitted on the beach but must be removed immediately following the ceremony.

Shading Devices

  • May 15-September 15: Only umbrellas with a circular canopy of up to 9 feet in diameter may be used on the beach. NO tents, tarps, cabanas, pavilions, sport-brellas or similar devices, or any other material mounted on supports.
  • Shading devices no larger than 31 inches in height, 31.5 inches in width and 38 inches in depth may be used year-round on the beach to shelter persons 18 months or younger only.
  • No shading device on beach before 8am daily and remove before 7pm daily
  • Locate all shading devices at least 25 feet seaward of dune line
  • Do not place within 10 feet of lifeguard stand
  • Cherry Grove Oceanfront Park (at Towers on the Grove) is a city park, not a private park. It is a popular wedding location but it is also a public space. While you may ask users to consider making a temporary move from the park while your wedding ceremony occurs, they are not required to leave. Note that the public has the right to walk through or settle in the park during your wedding ceremony. Note that the passage through the beach walkover must be kept open.
  • Share the beach. If you arrive at the location for which you wish to hold your wedding and discover another wedding party is already there you can either move to another location along the beach or wait your turn at that location.
  • Professional wedding planners, like any business, must have a current Business License from the City of North Myrtle Beach to do business in the City, even if located out of town or if the wedding does business via the internet. Any other paid services employed on behalf of a wedding party must also hold a Business License from the City of North Myrtle Beach. For more information, please contact the Business License Division at (843) 280-5585.
  • Managing your own wedding. If managing a wedding on your own, be aware that any professional services you use, other than a minister, must also have a City of North Myrtle Beach Business License. This includes a professional photographer, a caterer, or any company or person to whom you pay a fee in return for a service. For more information, please contact our Business License Division at (843) 280-5585.

Weddings on Public Property in Horry County (not in city limits)

Most beach weddings will not require the issuance of a Special Event Permit. However, it is conceivable that a wedding could exceed the Special Event Permit threshold, and a permit would be necessary. The threshold for requiring a Special Event Permit is listed below:

  • Weddings with 500 or more participants
  • Weddings with 101 or more chairs
  • Weddings utilizing a tent
  • Weddings that do not meet the standards listed below

General guidelines for wedding requiring no permit are as follows:

The beach is considered a public area, and no one has exclusive use of any section of the beach. With this in mind, the following location issues are applicable:

  • No activities are allowed on the beach dunes
  • No activities are allowed to block an emergency beach access
  • Wedding must be conducted behind any established lifeguard umbrella lines
  • Parking is allowed only in appropriate parking areas
  • During the busiest beach season, May 1 through Labor Day, the following rules apply:
     
    • Weddings without chairs or other props, such as arbors, flower stands, arches, platforms, PA systems, etc. are allowed at any other time.
    • Weddings with chairs or other props, such as arbors, flower stands, arches, platforms, PA systems, etc., are allowed after 5:00 p.m. Setup is not allowed before 5:00 p.m.
    • Amplified sound is restricted to a portable system for use in the wedding ceremony.
    • All other federal, state, and local laws and ordinances must be adhered to.
       
  • A Horry County Business License is required for anyone who performs a service within the unincorporated areas of Horry County.
  • It is recommended that you not throw rice on the beach. There is also a county ordinance about feeding wild fowl, so throwing bird seed is also prohibited.
  • The releasing of Chinese lanterns is prohibited.
  • If you have additional questions, please contact Horry County Police Beach Patrol at (843) 915-7953.