Tips & Guides

How to Plan Your South Carolina Elopement

Hey there wanderers and lovebirds! So, you’re dreaming of a magical elopement in the stunning landscapes of South Carolina? Well, hold onto your hats because this complete South Carolina Elopement guide is filled with all the insider tips you need to make your elopement dreams a reality.

Picture this: saying “I do” with the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains as your backdrop, or exchanging vows as the sun dips below the horizon, casting a golden glow over the sandy shores. Yep, South Carolina is the ultimate playground for adventurous couples looking to ditch the traditional wedding scene and opt for something a little more intimate.

But wait, before you start packing your bags and booking your flights, there are a few things you need to know. Like where to find the most picturesque spots to exchange your vows, where to cozy up for the night after saying “forever”, and let’s not forget about navigating those marriage laws – because nobody wants any unexpected surprises on their big day.

So, grab your partner’s hand, get comfy, and let’s dive into everything you need to know about eloping in the beautiful state of South Carolina. Trust me, it’s going to be one heck of an adventure!

Where is South Carolina?

Alright, let’s set the stage for your South Carolina elopement adventure!

So, if you’re not quite sure where South Carolina is on the map, let me paint you a picture. Picture the southeastern corner of the United States, nestled between North Carolina to the north and Georgia to the south. Yep, that’s where you’ll find this hidden gem of a state.

Now, let’s talk geography. South Carolina is pretty diverse when it comes to landscapes. Up in the northwest corner, you’ve got the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains, offering up some seriously jaw-dropping views and some of the best hiking trails this side of the Mississippi. Seriously, folks, you won’t want to miss catching a sunrise from the top of Table Rock or hiking through the lush forests of Caesars Head State Park.

But if you’re more of a beach bum, fear not, because South Carolina has got you covered. Head east towards the coast and you’ll find yourself surrounded by miles of sandy shores, charming beach towns, and some of the most epic sunsets you’ll ever lay eyes on. From the bustling boardwalks of Myrtle Beach to the laid-back vibes of Hilton Head Island, there’s a little something for everyone on the coast.

Major Cities in South Carolina

  • Charleston
    • Nearby elopement locations:
      • Myrtle Beach
      • Folly Beach
      • Downtown Charleston
  • Columbia
    • Nearby elopement locations:
      • Congaree National Park
      • Lake Murray
      • Harbison State Forest
  • Greenville
    • Nearby elopement locations:
      • Sassafras Mountain
      • Pretty Place
      • Cliffs at Glassy Chapel

State Parks in South Carolina

  • Table Rock State Park
  • Devils Fork State Park
  • Oconee State Park
  • Hunting Island State Park
  • Caesars Head State Park
  • Huntington Beach State Park
  • Lake Greenwood State Park

Why Elope in South Carolina?

Here’s why South Carolina is the ultimate elopement destination:

  1. Stunning Scenery: Let’s start with the obvious – South Carolina is drop-dead gorgeous. From the rolling hills of the Upcountry to the sandy shores of the Lowcountry, this state is like a postcard come to life. Imagine saying your vows with the Blue Ridge Mountains as your backdrop or feeling the sand between your toes as you exchange rings on a secluded beach. Yep, it doesn’t get much better than that.
  2. Intimate Settings: Say goodbye to the stress of planning a big, elaborate wedding and hello to intimacy. One of the best things about eloping in South Carolina is that you can truly focus on what matters most – each other. Whether you’re stealing away to a cozy cabin in the mountains or renting a beachfront bungalow, you’ll have all the privacy you need to celebrate your love in your own special way.
  3. Endless Options: No matter what kind of vibe you’re going for, South Carolina has got you covered. Want to keep things rustic and charming? Head for the hills and tie the knot in a picturesque vineyard or a quaint mountain chapel. Craving a little coastal charm? Say “I do” with your toes in the sand or opt for a romantic ceremony overlooking the ocean. With so many options to choose from, the hardest part will be deciding where to elope!
  4. Memories to Last a Lifetime: Let’s be real – your wedding day is all about creating memories that will last a lifetime. And trust me when I say that eloping in South Carolina will give you plenty of those. Whether you’re exploring hidden waterfalls, indulging in fresh seafood, or dancing under the stars, you’ll be making memories that you’ll cherish for years to come.

How to Travel Around South Carolina

When it comes to navigating through South Carolina, you’ve got a range of transportation options at your fingertips.

For those craving flexibility and freedom, renting a car is the go-to choice. With numerous rental companies scattered throughout the state, securing a set of wheels is a breeze. Whether you’re arriving via one of the major airports or other modes of transport, having your own vehicle means you can chart your own course, exploring South Carolina’s mountains, coastlines, and everything in between at your leisure.

Now, if you’re planning to stay within the city limits or prefer to let someone else do the driving, public transportation might be more your speed. While South Carolina’s public transit system isn’t as extensive as some other states, cities like Charleston and Columbia offer bus and trolley services for getting around town. Keep in mind, though, that these options may have limited routes and schedules, so plan accordingly if you’re venturing off the beaten path.

And let’s not forget about the modern convenience of ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft! In urban areas and tourist hotspots, these apps can be lifesavers for getting around town without the hassle of parking or navigating unfamiliar streets. Simply pull up the app, request a ride, and you’ll be picked up in no time. So whether you’re heading to a romantic dinner in downtown Charleston or exploring the vibrant nightlife of Greenville, ridesharing apps offer another convenient option for getting around South Carolina with ease.

For those arriving from out of state, flying into one of South Carolina’s major airports is likely your best bet. And if you’re headed to one of the coastal or resort areas, smaller regional airports offer additional flight options to get you closer to your destination.

Major Airports in South Carolina

  • Charleston International Airport (CHS) – Located in Charleston, serving the Lowcountry region.
  • Columbia Metropolitan Airport (CAE) – Located in Columbia, serving the Midlands region.
  • Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport (GSP) – Located in Greer, serving the Upstate region.

Smaller Airports in South Carolina

  • Myrtle Beach International Airport (MYR) – Located in Myrtle Beach, serving the Grand Strand area.
  • Hilton Head Island Airport (HHH) – Located on Hilton Head Island, serving the coastal region.
  • Florence Regional Airport (FLO) – Located in Florence, serving the Pee Dee region.

Best Time of Year to Elope in South Carolina

“When is the best time to elope in South Carolina?” is always a hard question to give a clear answer to, because it really depends on what kind of atmosphere you’re dreaming up for your elopement. So let’s go through what the weather tends to look like in each season; that way, you can decide for yourself which season will help you craft the day you’re envisioning!

Spring (March – May):

As the flowers begin to bloom and the temperatures start to rise, springtime in South Carolina is the perfect time for your elopement. Expect mild weather and blooming flowers, making it ideal for eloping amidst wildflowers. During spring, temperatures in South Carolina typically range from the mid-50s to the mid-70s Fahrenheit.

Summer (June – August):

Ah, summertime in South Carolina – hot and humid conditions, with temperatures often ranging from the upper 70s to the mid-90s Fahrenheit. Despite the heat, the long days and warm nights create an ideal setting for beach elopements.

Fall (September – November):

Fall sees a drop in temperatures, ranging from the upper 50s to the mid-70s Fahrenheit. Whether you’re saying “I do” amidst a sea of vibrant fall foliage in the mountains or beneath a canopy of oak trees draped in Spanish moss, fall is the ideal time to capture that cozy, romantic vibe.

Winter (December – February):

While winter in South Carolina may not bring snow-covered landscapes, it does offer a quieter, more serene setting for your elopement. With mild temperatures, typically ranging from the mid-30s to the upper 50s Fahrenheit, and fewer crowds, this season is perfect for couples seeking a more intimate celebration. And if you’re lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of blooming camellias or early cherry blossoms, adding a touch of unexpected beauty to your winter elopement.

So, whether you’re dreaming of a springtime affair among wildflowers, a fall celebration surrounded by fiery foliage, or a summertime beach elopement, South Carolina has something to offer every couple. Just remember to plan ahead, consider the weather and climate in different parts of the state, and most importantly, follow your heart. After all, your love story deserves to be told in the most beautiful way possible, no matter the season!

Top 6 Best South Carolina Elopement Locations

Alright, lovebirds, if you’re on the hunt for the perfect spot to tie the knot in South Carolina, you’re in luck! In this section, I’m spilling the beans on the Top 6 Best Places to Elope in the Palmetto State. From jaw-dropping mountain views to dreamy coastal escapes, each spot has its own special charm that’ll make your elopement unforgettable. So cozy up and let’s dive into the most enchanting places to say “I do” in South Carolina!

1. Sassafras Mountain

Sassafras Mountain, South Carolina’s highest peak, offers couples an awe-inspiring backdrop for their elopement. With panoramic views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, it’s perfect for exchanging vows amidst breathtaking scenery.

Closest airport + driving time: Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport; 1hr 20min

Closest cities/towns: Pickens

Best time of year to elope/get married: Fall

Cost: $0

2. Cliffs at Glassy Chapel

Perched atop the majestic Cliffs at Glassy Mountain, the Glassy Chapel is a captivating venue for couples seeking an intimate and picturesque setting for their elopement.

Closest airport + driving time: Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport; 45min

Closest cities/towns: Landrum

Best time of year to elope/get married: Spring

Cost: starting at $2,000

3. Pretty Place

Nestled in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Pretty Place, also known as Fred W. Symmes Chapel, is a heavenly spot for couples seeking a dreamy setting for their elopement.

Closest airport + driving time: Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport; 1hr 20min

Closest cities/towns: Travelers Rest

Best time of year to elope/get married: Spring

Cost: starting at $2,500

4. Table Rock State Park

Table Rock State Park offers adventurous couples a stunning backdrop for their elopement amidst towering peaks and cascading waterfalls.

Closest airport + driving time: Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport; 55min

Closest cities/towns: Pickens

Best time of year to elope/get married: Fall

Cost: $0

5. Congaree National Park

Congaree National Park, a hidden gem in South Carolina, with its ancient cypress trees and lush floodplains, provides a unique and enchanting setting for an unforgettable elopement.

Closest airport + driving time: Columbia Metropolitan Airport; 31min

Closest cities/towns: Columbia

Best time of year to elope/get married: Spring

Cost: $50 (special use permit)

6. Hunting Island State Park

Hunting Island State Park, with its pristine beaches, iconic lighthouse, and lush maritime forest, offers couples a picturesque backdrop for their elopement.

Closest airport + driving time: Charleston International Airport; 1hr 55min

Closest cities/towns: Beaufort

Best time of year to elope/get married: Spring

Cost: Varies

How to Legally Get Married in South Carolina

The first step to getting legally married in South Carolina is to get your South Carolina marriage license. The rules & requirements for marriage licenses varies by state, and may be different from your home state – so let’s go through what you need to know about getting a marriage license in South Carolina!

South Carolina Marriage License + Laws

Witnesses required: No
License is valid for: Varies by county (up to 6 months; some never expire)
Waiting period: 24 hours
Minimum age requirement: 18
Who can officiate: Any regularly licensed or ordained minister/priest/judge
Self-solemnization allowed? No
South Carolina residency required? No
Blood test required? No
Cost: Varies by county

You can obtain your SC marriage license by visiting a County Probate Office in-person or online. To learn more about South Carolina marriage license + laws, read my blog >> HERE <<.

Best Places to Stay in South Carolina

Whether you’re dreaming of a cozy cabin nestled in the mountains, a luxurious resort with all the bells and whistles, or a rustic campground under the stars, South Carolina has you covered. From charming Airbnbs and upscale lodges to serene campgrounds, there’s something for every couple looking to make their elopement weekend as magical as it can be. Below are some of my top picks!


Hotels, Lodges & Resorts


Activities To Do During Your South Carolina Elopement

Embarking on your South Carolina elopement adventure isn’t just about saying “I do” – it’s about creating unforgettable memories that will last a lifetime and celebrating with the people you love most (whether that’s just the two of you or you & your BFF’s)! That’s why it’s important to plan some intentional activities during your time in South Carolina, both on your actual elopement day (so I can be there to capture it all!) and on the days surrounding it, to make the absolute most out of your trip.

Luckily, the Palmetto State is brimming with exciting activities and experiences to make your elopement weekend truly special. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, a foodie at heart, or an adventure seeker, there’s something for everyone to enjoy during your time in South Carolina. So, if you’re ready to take your celebration to the next level, let’s explore some of the fun-filled activities you can add to your elopement itinerary:

  • Go hiking in the mountains
  • Kayak or paddle board on one of the many lakes
  • Do a tasting at the Chattooga Belle Farm distillery
  • Relax on the beach
  • Tour Boone Hall or Magnolia Plantation
  • Visit the iconic lighthouse at Hunting Island State Park
  • Enjoy a romantic dinner at a waterfront restaurant
  • Catch sunset at Sassafras Mountain
  • Go whitewater rafting on Chattooga Wild & Scenic River
  • Do an ATV Off-Roading adventure

Best South Carolina Elopement Vendors

Looking for the perfect elopement vendors can be a daunting task when there are SO many out there! I always recommend asking friends or vendors you’ve already hired (such as your photographer!), first, so that you can get recommendations from people you trust. Then Instagram, Google, & directories like Wandering Weddings will be your friend after that as you continue your search! Below are some rad South Carolina elopement vendors to consider hiring for your big day.

South Carolina Elopement Hair & Make-up Artist

Locks & Lashes

South Carolina Elopement Florist

Earth Blooms

South Carolina Elopement Planner

Ever After Events

Meet Your South Carolina Elopement Photographer

Woman sitting on couch with camera in her hand.

Hey y’all, I’m Tessa – your South Carolina elopement photographer, adventure buddy, right-hand woman, and lover of all things outdoors! I’m a big believer in the power of crafting an intentional elopement day that represents you & your partner in the most authentic way possible, so that’s why I’m here.

Not only will I capture the moments of your day for you to cherish forever but I’m here to encourage you to build a day that looks & feels like YOU, and no one else!

South Carolina Elopement Packages & Pricing

Now that you’ve learned everything there is to know about eloping in South Carolina & have gotten to know me a little bit, you might be wondering what it would be like having me as your elopement photographer!!

You can take a look at my South Carolina elopement package & pricing below, and then head to my contact page to get in touch about your elopement – I’d be SO honored to photograph your epic day!

4 hours to Multi-Day Coverage Includes:

  • Engagement session 
  • 60+ page Planning Guide w Vendor Recommendations 
  • Custom Location Guide
  • Timeline Planning
  • Professionally Edited, High-Resolution Images
  • Sneak Peeks within 48 hours
  • Online Gallery with Unlimited Downloads
  • Printing Rights
  • Unlimited Number of Photos
  • Travel anywhere within South Carolina

Sample South Carolina Elopement Timeline

12:00 PM: Photographer Arrival Time

12:15 PM – 12:45 PM: Getting Ready & Details

12:45 PM – 1:15 PM: Partner 1 Puts on Attire

1:15 PM – 1:45 PM: Partner 2 Puts on Attire

1:45 PM – 2:15 PM: First Look

2:15 PM – 3:00 PM: Travel from Airbnb to Ceremony Location

3:00 PM – 3:45 PM: Ceremony

3:45 PM – 4:15 PM: Group Portraits

4:15 PM – 5:00 PM: Picnic w Cake

5:00 PM – 6:00 PM: Activity Time

6:30 PM – 7:30 PM: Sunset Couples Portraits

8:00 PM: Photographer Departure Time

More South Carolina Elopement Planning Resources



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.