Ultimate Guide to Eloping in Charleston: Top Tips and Venues for Your Intimate Celebration

With a combination of live oaks, pristine beaches, Spanish Moss and palmettos, Charleston has one of the most romantic ecosystems in the country, perhaps even the planet. 

This, along with it’s vibrant food scene, make it an ideal place to get married. 

elopement in Charleston, SC

After Covid, more people than ever are steering away from expensive weddings filled with strangers and frenemies, that’s why we’ve composed this guide on how to elope in Charleston!

We will cover everything including low-budget venues (parks and beaches), creative catering ideas, vivacious vendors and after parties where the whole town is invited (bars and clubs). On top of that, we also include the not so boring basics of transportation and lodging.

This is not a list of rules or steps, as every elopement is unique. Some people might want to go all out on the catering with oysters and caviar but not need a florist, while others might love flowers but could care less about where people stay. 

That’s why this guide includes a variety of vendors and ideas, so hopefully everyone can gain insight for their nuptials. Last but not least, we recommend our Charleston party bus for anyone who wants to take their transportation up a notch, while keeping the cost surprisingly low!

Best Charleston Venues for Eloping

Finding the perfect setting to trade your vows is crucial for any wedding ceremony, but even more so for an elopement. 

Here are some of our favorites that are also extremely budget-friendly:

White Point Garden

Also known as Battery Park, this area is located at the Southern edge of the Peninsula and is one of the most popular places to elope in Charleston. There is a stunning gazebo that can be reserved through the City of Charleston with permits typically costing under $200! 

You can also get great pictures on the waterside!

Charleston affordable wedding

The Beach

There is nothing quite like a beach elopement and Charleston is the perfect place for one!

We recommend Isle of Palms or Sullivan’s Island, as they are typically a lot less crowded than Folly.

Beach elopement

Washington Square

This small park located in Downtown Charleston has many iconic elements including mossy oaks, cobblestone pathways, wrought iron fencing and beautiful lighting.

All of these features will help create timeless pictures for your special day.

Washington Square Charleston, SC


We may be biased but we believe transportation can be the make or break factor in an elopement.

Charleston Party Bus

A Charleston party bus rental is the best option for an elopement because they are often the perfect size for wedding parties.

There is no other option where everyone can ride together while blasting their favorite tunes and putting back a couple of celebratory libations. 

Charleston party bus for elopement

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If budgets are extremely tight, then Ubers can be the best option. However, it is not uncommon to wait 20 minutes for an Uber in Charleston. Which can feel like years on your wedding day!

Charleston Wedding Photographers

Photographers are arguably the most important vendor when it comes to elopements. That doesn’t mean they have to cost an arm and a leg! Here are some of our reasonably priced favorite photographers in Charleston:

Lily & Lime – We love vendors that let us create our own packages for a price that works for us and that’s what Lily & Lime specializes in. With packages starting at $1,195, there are options for most wedding parties!

Evo Photography – Founded by a veteran, EVO offers beautiful photos at a fraction of the typical cost. They are also about as local as you can get!

nathan dumlao 5BB atDT4oA unsplash

Catering Options in Charleston

We believe traditional catering is inherently too expensive for small elopements.

Instead, we recommend having guests figure out breakfast on their own and then going to a restaurant after the ceremony. Although, not every restaurant is able to accommodate large groups of people.

That’s why we recommend checking out our other article, Best Charleston Restaurants for Large Groups.

Oysters and drinks

After Party

Many of us at Double Black believe that the after-party is just as important as, if not more important than, the wedding itself. Luckily, Charleston has a plethora of great bars and nightclubs that are ideal to bring a group of your 20 closest friends and family.

Republic Garden & Lounge – Republic specializes in wedding tables to the point that you are almost guaranteed to see one if you go there on any weekend night in the Spring or Fall.

They will bring bottles of champagne and a fun sign to your table that is ideal for pictures.

lounge interior

Ritual – has a beautiful rooftop patio that is great for large groups. They also only allow 25 and older guests, so you don’t have to worry about your special night being overruled by college kids.

Trio – As Charleston’s only true electronic nightclub, Trio hosts the biggest DJs when they visit the Lowcountry.

Nowhere else in Charleston will you get a chance to see Diplo or Dom Dolla play!

Conclusion – Now you know how to Elope in Charleston

We hope we provided you with some good starting points for your celebration!

While every elopement is inherently unique, we believe these locations and vendors can make your ceremony one-of-a-kind without breaking the bank!

Charleston wedding

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