If you’ve been dreaming about a beach elopement, this is the post for you! When you think of beach weddings, you probably think of the lavish weddings at luxury beach resorts in the Bahamas that will cost as much as your first house. I’m here to assure you that you don’t need to drain your bank account to get married on the beach, North and South Carolina have the prettiest coastal towns and beaches that are free to use! Yes, free!! There are also some park-owned locations that will charge a small permit fee so that you can reserve the spot all for yourselves. Whatever you’re looking for and whatever your budget, there is a place for you. Keep reading for my top tips on planning your beach elopement and my favorite location recommendations.
Did you know that North Carolina has sand dunes?! I had no idea until I visited Jockey’s Ridge State Park. The dunes make for an incredible elopement background, especially at sunset! North Carolina State Parks require that you obtain a “Special Use Activity Permit”, you can find more information here.
Sunset Beach is located near the border of North and South Carolina, with lots of things to do nearby. There are houses for rent with beach access, so this would be a great place to elope and stay with family and/or friends. Carly & Todd got married on the beach and then we explored the nearby shops and parks for photos before joining their family back at the house for dinner. It is a public beach, so I would only recommend getting married on the strip if you’re okay with people being around. No permit is required to get married at Sunset Beach, you can read the rules here. If you’d prefer to avoid people, I would suggest choosing a location that requires a permit and has a designated area for weddings, like the gazebo in Charleston next on the list!
If you love the coast but maybe don’t love the idea of getting your feet in the sand, Charleston is the perfect place for you! Grant & Kali got married in the Gazebo at White Point Gardens, they were able to set up chairs for their friends and family and reserve the gazebo just for them. There is a limit of 25 people total for weddings at the gazebo, you can get a permit application and find more information here. They spent the rest of the day exploring the charming streets of Charleston in a vintage car, it was one of my favorite adventures with a couple!
Thanks for reading! I hope this post sparked some great ideas for your coastal elopement! I’m Erin, your elopement planning expert and photographer, here to provide you with all the resources and assistance you’ll need to plan the perfect elopement day at the beach. Click here to read more about how we can bring your dream elopement to life!
March 7, 2023