Intimate Courthouse Wedding Charleston, SC | Kavya & Kenai

Man and woman hugging in wedding attire at courthouse in Charleston.

Want to get married in South Carolina’s oldest city but not looking to have a big wedding? Want to do something quick & simple? Then a Charleston courthouse wedding is for you! Read on to find out more about how Kavya & Kenai made the most of their special day and how you can do the same.

Charleston Courthouse Wedding

Man and woman laughing and looking at each other in wedding attire at courthouse in Charleston.

Kavya & Kenai were having an Indian micro-wedding to celebrate with friends and family. But Kavya REALLY wanted to have the whole white dress, intimate experience with Kenai. Cue the Charleston courthouse wedding of their dreams!!

Man and woman running up courthouse steps in Charleston in wedding attire.

Between Kavya wearing Kenai’s grandmothers ring, them calling each other “bubby” and their LIVE painter, their day truly was so special. They laughed and loved on each other the WHOLE time! It was so much fun and I feel so grateful that I was able to capture their love in such a beautiful way.

Timeline for your Charleston Courthouse Wedding

Man and woman walking across steps at courthouse while holding hands in wedding attire.

So you may be wondering, what does the timeline look like for a Charleston courthouse wedding? Let me give you an example of what it could look like for you!

Example Charleston Courthouse Wedding Timeline:

  • 7:00am – have your photographer meet you at your Airbnb for getting ready/detail photos
  • 7:45am – head to the US Custom House
  • 8:30am – ceremony/vows on US Custom House steps
  • 9:00am – sign marriage license
  • 9:15am – couples portraits & first dance
  • 10:00am – explore the area (rainbow row, the market and/or grab pastries/coffee)
  • 11:00am – take the rest of the day to celebrate with just you two or add on another adventure (sailboat excursion, dinner, etc) and have your photographer join you for EPIC photos

Man and woman holding hands and dressed in wedding attire.

Here are some tips for your Charleston courthouse wedding timeline:

  • make sure to start early because it will get busy and you don’t want to feel rushed
  • build in time to explore because Charleston is FULL of awesome spots!
  • a week day will be best if you don’t want to fight large weekend crowds
  • the US Custom House is not where you turn your marriage license in at so if you want iconic photos like these, keep that in mind. You’ll have to drive to the Probate Court to turn it in or you can mail it in! (don’t worry, I can walk you through this process)

How to obtain a South Carolina Marriage License

Man and woman kissing underneath a tree and dressed in wedding attire.

The first step to obtaining your South Carolina Marriage License is by filling out the marriage license application, you can do that online >> HERE <<. When you get ready to do this, be prepared to upload a form of identification and pay the marriage license application fee.

Man and woman holding hands and flowers.

Two days after your application submission, you will receive your marriage license by email. You will need to be prepared to print this. Your marriage license will come with instructions on how to proceed. There will be 3 copies of the marriage license that will need to be signed; one for you (this will be for changing your name and for you records), and two for the Probate Judge. You will return those two copies into the Probate Court at their physical drop box or you can mail it in.

Man and woman in wedding attire leaning on columns at courthouse looking at each other.

You will need an authorized person to complete the wedding ceremony for you. In South Carolina, this can be an Ordained Minister or South Carolina Notary. For more information about the marriage license process, visit the Charleston marriage license website.

Your Charleston, SC Elopement Photographer

Man and woman in wedding attire kissing in front of courthouse in Charleston.

Hey y’all, I’m Tessa! I’m an East coast photographer who is OBSESSED with this incredible area, and helping couples turn simple weddings/elopements into mini adventures. I offer Charleston wedding photography packages for every couple’s unique love. I am also a South Carolina Notary and can preform your Charleston wedding ceremony for you!

I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to hang out with and capture Kavya & Kenai on their Charleston adventure and I’d love to photograph your Charleston courthouse wedding, too! Reach out here and let’s get y’all booked!

If you enjoyed this read, you may also like reading about this Engagement Session at Sunset Rock in Highlands, North Carolina!!



I'm a micro-wedding and elopement photographer in Upstate, South Carolina. My style is documentary—I love capturing the in-between, unposed moments between you and your love. I strive to know you and capture you at your most authentic.