Many people first think of the Myrtle Beach area for golf or a great family getaway, but it’s fast becoming one of the most popular destination wedding locations in the nation. Destination weddings have increased in popularity over the past several years. No longer are couples returning to the bride or groom’s hometown for their wedding, rather, couples are choosing to have their weddings elsewhere so family and friends can combine attending the wedding with an extended weekend or vacation. The Grand Strand has much to offer for any perspective couple planning a destination wedding. Whether the wedding has traditional, historical or a contemporary flair, there’s an appropriate venue for the wedding of anyone’s dreams.
One of the incentives to getting married in South Carolina is how easy the laws are compared to other states. A marriage license may be obtained in any county courthouse within the state for approximately $50. A photo ID and social security number are required and the license is good for the entire state and has no expiration date. There is only a 24-hour waiting period and no blood test, divorce papers or physical exam is required. The Conway office closest to Myrtle Beach is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. For more information call 843-915-5370.
The Beach Wedding
With 60 miles of beach making up the Myrtle Beach area coastline, your party is bound to find the right spot just for your special ceremony. It’s important to do your research first though, since depending on where you are on the beach, there may be restrictions on how elaborate the ceremony can be. If you are on a public beach, which is managed by a municipality, you can still have your wedding but it can’t be commercial (meaning no tents, chairs or commercial equipment allowed). There are private portions of the beach, especially some oceanfront lots that extend to the high tide line where there are no restrictions on commercially produced weddings.
Whether planning a large or small wedding, the tranquil and natural settings of the area’s two state parks are a perfect place for a special day. Myrtle Beach State Park allows beach weddings and has an abundance of room and shelters to plan for rain or shine. Adding some history to the mix, Atalaya Castle at Huntington Beach State Park is a unique and picturesque location. Originally built as the summer home of Archer and Anna Hyatt Huntington, founders of Brookgreen Gardens, it displays a castle-like architecture. This oceanside “castle” and its courtyard have been the site of many weddings and receptions.
With an array of beautiful sculptures and gardens, this venue provides numerous impressive locations for any special day. Brookgreen is listed as a national historic landmark and was founded in 1931 by the Huntington’s as a non-profit garden museum to preserve the native flora and fauna as well as displaying art and sculptures in a natural setting. Wedding and reception locations range from a small southern cottage house to saying “I do” under a 250-year-old live oak tree alley.
Historic Plantations & Other History Spots
An outdoor wedding in a historical setting is the fantasy of many brides and grooms. Litchfield Plantation located in Pawley’s Island is a wedding site many couples choose to make their dreams a reality. The former rice plantation continues to create customized intimate weddings for just the bride and groom, as well as gala-styled receptions in the truest sense of the old South. Other historical plantations and homes, which offer space for weddings related activities include Hopsewee Plantation (Circa 1740), Mansfield Plantation (Circa 1718; honeymoons, afternoon teas only), the Cooper House (Circa 1908), and Pine Lakes Country Club (Circa 1927, Birthplace of Sports Illustrated). All Saints Church (Circa 1916) in Pawley’s Island also serves as a great location for a memorable historical southern church wedding.
Looking for something completely different for a wedding to remember? Some couples have chosen a few unique locations, such as the tunnel at Ripley’s Aquarium, which offers the illusion of an under-the-sea wedding. There’s also the oceanfront Myrtle Beach SkyWheel where couples have been engaged or wed in a gondola nearly 200-feet above the ground. Many other contemporary oceanfront or Intracoastal Waterway hotels and resorts can accommodate beachfront weddings and receptions. It’s best to start with an accommodations search at VisitMyrtleBeach.com to find the best hotel for your needs. Beach homes have also become popular locations for all-in-one functionality as the weddings, reception and accommodation venue. There’s also The Dunes Golf & Beach Club’s oceanfront lawn, which is well-known as a premier location for wedding ceremonies. The Dunes Club’s Ballroom’s offers a spectacular ocean view displayed through picture windows along its east wall.
These links have plenty of additional information to help plan a perfect weddings day:
For additional information on the Myrtle Beach Area, visit www.VisitMyrtleBeach.com or call 1.888.Myrtle1.