Charleston Destination Wedding – Visitor Guide
Charleston is known for its gorgeous weather, making it an ideal location for a Charleston destination wedding. If you are not from the south you might not be prepared for the summer heat. Outdoor weddings without climate control are not recommended June through to September. As Charleston is a coastal community, the temperature can vary greatly in a short period of time. The temperature can drop 20 degrees in just a day.
January 48F/9C July 82F/28C
February 51F/10C August 81F/27C
March 58F/15C September 76F/25C
April 65F/18C October 67F/19C
May 73F/23C November 58F/15C
June 86F/26C December 51F/11C
Degrees in Fahrenheit & Celsius
Hurricane season in Charleston goes from June to December, which is more than half the year. Brides, especially those who choose outdoor weddings may wish to consider special event insurance for a Charleston destination wedding.
Items to pack: Sunglasses. Even in December it can be bright enough for sunglasses. Sunscreen can also be required year round. Bug spray is also recommended for all outdoor ceremonies.
Peak Season for a Charleston Destination Wedding
Peak Wedding season in Charleston is completely dictated by weather with March to May and September to the beginning of November being peak season for a Charleston destination wedding. May and October are by far the most popular months for weddings. Brides with wedding dates in these months are advised to consider making venue selections a year or more in advance.
Brides can get great venue discounts in low season. Some vendors will also offer low season discounts. If you refer to the event schedule below you will notice that there are no major events held in Charleston in June and July, primarily because of the hot weather. While you may not want to feel the heat of an outdoor ceremony, you can get great venue discounts with an indoor ceremony.
Pricing for a Charleston Destination Wedding
Charleston is one of the top 3 locations for a Charleston destination wedding in the entire USA, however it is not one of the largest cities so brides may find they are competing for prime dates and venues. As a prime destination location you can expect that the historic and scenic venues may carry a hefty price tag. Beach locations with accommodation and venue space, as well as historical sites and venues with scenic views are in very high demand.
Charleston International Airport
5500 International Blvd, #101
Visitors from other countries are highly encouraged to exchange their money before they arrive in Charleston as there are very limited currency exchanges with true bankers hours. A visitor could find themselves stranded over a weekend without being able to exchange their money.
Charleston’s Top Tourist Attractions:
1. Old City Market
2. Rainbow Row
3. Downtown King Street
4. South Carolina Aquarium
5. Gibbes Museum of Art
6. Carriage rides downtown
7. Fort Sumnter Tours
8. Battery Park/Whitepoint Gardens
9. Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry
10. The Charleston Museum
11. Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon
12. Middleton Gardens
13. Magnolia Garden
14. Drayton Hall
15. Boone Hall Plantation
16. Patriot’s Point Naval & Maritime Museum
17. Riverfront Park
18. Angel Oak
19. Fort Moultrie
20. Folly Beach County Park
Lowcountry Wedding Traditions for a Charleston Destination Wedding
Many brides choose Charleston for their wedding because they want a romantic destination wedding complete with all the southern charm they can muster. If you are one of those brides here are some traditions that can help you achieve that.
1. Locals call Charleston the lowcountry, because well it’s rather flat. Catering companies to photographers will have lowcountry in their names and packages.
2. Food – We have to start with a lowcountry boil of course. The boil consists of shrimp (shell on), sausage, corn and potatoes. With the shells and corn on the cob it is a finger food and a fairly messy one at that. More popular food options: shrimp and grits, fried green tomatoes, crab cakes, she-crab soup, frogmore stew, mac and cheese, hoppin john, hushpuppies, grouper
3. Desserts – benne wafers, key lime pie, red velvet cake, pralines
4. Grooms cake – a cake dedicated to the groom often designed with a particular hobby in mind such as golfing or fishing. Traditionally it is chocolate. It is usually served at the wedding although more couples are opting to serve it at the rehearsal dinner so there is cake for both events.
5. More on food – the preferred food style for weddings is by far stations, either chef attended or not. Some brides also do buffets during a Charleston destination wedding.
6. Beverages – sweet tea is a must. You have your unsweetened sweet tea and your sweetened sweet tea, which is just confusing until you get used to it. If you order tea and do not specify hot tea you will be served sweet tea. Here in SC there is also alcoholic sweet tea called Firefly. It is delicious, you guessed it, with sweet tea.
7. Flowers – Magnolia is the state flower. Hydrangea, freesia and gardenia are also extremely popular for a Charleston destination wedding.
8. Bridal portraits – Most southern brides will have bridal portraits done prior to their wedding. These are photos of them by themselves in their wedding dress, complete with bouquet. They are often displayed at the wedding and in their parent’s homes.
9. Trash the dress – Another photo tradition where the bride literally trashes her wedding dress often by swimming in it. Some brides, especially destination, may do this on their wedding night while some prefer to do this after the wedding.
10. Carriage rides – particularly popular in downtown Charleston, there are some companies that offer beautiful carriages for weddings.
11. Sorority Sing – On a bride’s wedding day, sisters of many sororities show their love through different traditions often giving their gift to the bride and her new husband right before the guests send them off on their honeymoon. Often done at the reception if there is not a traditional sendoff, the sisters present the bride with a flower and serenade the bride with a song that they had sung together many-a-time.
12. Dancing – southern brides enjoy a variety of music, but the state dance is the shag. Yes, the shag. It’s a little surprising if you haven’t heard the term before. The first dance, father daughter dance and mother son dance are still included in most receptions, with brides favoring the first dance as the first scheduled activity.Tanis Jackson Accredited Bridal Consultant www.tanisjevents.com
Call us today if you need help planning your Charleston destination wedding!