May 19, 2020
In this difficult period of a pandemic, when the newlyweds are not able to hold the wedding in full, it is a good idea to make an Intimate ceremony in tight circle with the couple, parents and the closest people. Thus, the couple does not endanger their friends and relatives, and such a micro wedding is now easier to organize and carry out. Also, this is a great option for those couples who were forced to cancel their weddings in April, May and June and they do not have the opportunity to reschedule them at a later time. Based on my many years of experience as a wedding photographer in Charleston, I have chosen 10 venues that are great for a small wedding or elopement. I would also like to mention two wonderful wedding officiants I had the honor to work with – Cori from Charleston Intimate Ceremonies and Will from Charming Charleston Weddings by Rev Will. I am very grateful to them for such an excellent cooperation and support. And besides this, they are craft professional.
Venues are ranked in the article depending on the popularity among the newlyweds, that is, the number of weddings that I was honored to photograph in a particular place. It is important to note that to conduct your wedding in these places, you must first obtain permission from the owners or the City of Charleston administration.
White Point Garden
This is probably the most popular venue for small wedding photo session in Charleston, located on the tip of peninsula. Beautiful gardens with old live oaks, a wonderful gazebo for the ceremony (which must be booked in advance). I like this place because within walking distance it is possible to take a picture of a couple on the background of centuries-old oaks and Charleston Bay. And a few steps from the gardens are the historic streets of Charleston, on which an incredible number of beautiful houses and mansions of the 18th and 19th centuries are located. The only drawback is crowding, but if you are not against constant smiles, congratulations and compliments, then this can be considered a plus rather than a minus.
This park is a great place for micro wedding if you prefer a green background, many flowers and beautiful ponds. The ceremony usually takes place in a pavilion or next to old oaks. They are beautiful flowers all year around in the park, so any season will be great for a wedding photo session. Hampton park is located in the north of the Charleston Peninsula, which makes this place calmer and not too crowded, but the old streets of the city will not be within walking distance.
The fountain is located in Waterfront Park and is the hallmark of the city. Pineapple is a symbol of hospitality in the South, so every guest of Charleston will definitely visit this place. The park is located on the bay. The pier and seafront are great places for small wedding photo session. The park is a favorite vacation spot for both guests and locals, so the ceremony is unlikely to be private.
The square is located at the intersection of the main city streets (Meeting and Broad), but at the same time between historical buildings, which makes it less busy. Many trees and flowers make the square a great place for intimate wedding ceremony. Close to the square are the famous churches and cobblestone streets. But Washington Square in the city center makes the area remote from the bay and therefore it is impossible to take photographs on the background of water.
The Governor’s House Inn
Great ideas for anyone elope in Charleston would be to stay at the Historic Inn or Bed and Breakfasts. The Governor’s House Inn offers its guests not only a great experience of living, but also the possibility of holding micro wedding ceremony. This is a great idea in case of bad weather. And besides, this is a unique historical building in which Edward Rutledge lived, who was instrumental in the struggle for American independence, and the youngest signer of the Declaration of Independence at 26. Rutledge inhabited the home from 1776 until his death in 1800.
The Planters Inn is a luxury boutique hotel in Charleston, and its courtyard is a great place to host a micro wedding or simple ceremony. The hotel is located near the historic Charleston Market and many beautiful streets and churches. A great addition to this will be the presence of a huge number of restaurants around. The wedding photo session near this hotel will be urban.
Governor Thomas Bennett House
Built in the early 19th century, Governor Thomas Bennett House is the famous wedding venue in Charleston. Which of course means its high cost, but in off season (January and February) the price may be more affordable. This is an amazingly beautiful house, with a magnificent garden and a fountain. The interior of the house will be an unforgettable background for an intimate wedding photo session. The wedding in this venue is truly a typical southern.
The Heart Garden
Charleston is famous for ironwork, among the masters of which the first place takes Philip Simmons. His works are located all over Charleston. But one of the most famous is The Heart Garden. This place can be entered from Anson Street or from Menotti Street through the double heart gates. This gate, it is absolutely the perfect background for elopement wedding ceremony. In addition, next to the garden is one of the most beautiful streets of the city – Anson Street.
Dock Street Theatre
This is the first building in the United States, built specifically for the theater in 1736. Located in the French Quarter and near the beautiful St. Philip’s Church. The theater is the hallmark of the city and its cozy courtyard can be a great place for a small wedding ceremony.
This alley is one of the most romantic places in the city. It can be found between Queen Street and Cumberland Street. This is a very peaceful place near the main attractions of the city and especially beautiful houses on Queen Street. The facades of these houses are very elegantly decorated with lots of flowers under the windows would be perfect venue for elopement ceremony. The marina and bay will be within walking distance.
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Dennis A. / Lead Photographer