Charleston gets a lot of hype and hoopla in travel magazines as a top wedding destination, and deservedly so, but you would be remiss to overlook surrounding areas like Folly Beach. Not only are there beautiful beaches and pristine marshlands, there are plenty of places for your guests to stay and more affordable options for renting out wedding and reception venues.
Stunning backdrops for wedding pictures
Picturesque photo opps can be found almost anywhere along Folly, from the Morris Island Lighthouse to spectacular coastal sunrises and sunsets. And if you want to plan a memorable outdoor wedding party adventure, you can book kayaking or boating tours through local outfitters, some of which offer professional photo packages where for an additional fee you can document your group’s experience in custom action and portrait images.
Wedding on the beach
It’s fun. It’s casual. It’s gorgeous. There’s really nothing quite like a wedding on the beach. On Folly, city permits are not required for weddings on the beach, regardless of size. However, it is important to note that municipal rules do prohibit wedding receptions on the beach and the consumption or possession of alcoholic beverages.
Large rental houses, hotels and B&Bs
Naturally, you will require accommodations to host your wedding party and guests, and Folly Beach has myriad vacation rental properties to meet your needs from houses to condos, as well as hotels and bed and breakfast options. Some of the hotels and B&Bs, such as Tides and the Regatta Inn, actually double as potential wedding venues, allowing you to book a ceremony directly through them to plan your special day.
Wide selection of restaurants/venues for rehearsal dinner
Avoid the parking and traffic nightmare that can be downtown Charleston on a busy weekend evening and host your rehearsal dinner/ reception on Folly. You’re still eating fresh local seafood, minus the hassle and inconvenience of finding transportation to convoy everyone off the island and back. Tides has 4,000 square feet of event space for hosting wedding rehearsal dinners or receptions, and offers full service catering where you can arrange anything from a casual buffet to a formal meal.
The Pelican Watch Pavilion
The Pelican Watch Pavilion at Folly Beach County Park is the only public beachfront rental facility in the Charleston area. You can hold your wedding on the beach here while also having access to a covered, open-air reception space. The beach is accessible directly from the 1,200-square foot, two-level shelter, and there is a 200-person capacity, water and electricity access, restrooms, grills and horseshoe pit. Prices vary depending on the season.