Best Wedding Venues in Charleston
Hello and welcome to the Justin and Lauren Photography blog! We are Justin and Lauren, photographers based in Charleston, South Carolina. Our journey began in 2015 when we met during training to become photojournalists for the U.S. Air Force. Our passion for photography has only grown since then, which led us to start our own business. We’re your photographers for all kinds of events– Weddings, engagement and couple photos, branding, and more! If you’re interested in learning more about us and what we offer, visit our website! We love taking photos in unique locations, so if you’re up for traveling to a beautiful, secluded and peaceful location, we’re going to get along just fine! As your photographers, we are dedicated to providing you with the best of the best in images and an unforgettable experience. Candid photos are some of our favorites to capture. We pride ourselves on being raw, real, and authentic. We also provide prints, canvases, and albums. Contact us today so we can help bring your dream photoshoot to life. We can’t wait to meet you!
Our last article talked about bridesmaid and groomsmen gift ideas. Including a gift for your wedding party is a thoughtful way to tell them thank you for standing by your side on your wedding day and showing them that you care. We often get asked by our couples about what gifts we have seen done before, so we decided to put together a list of our top 6 favorite gift ideas, all from Etsy! We encourage you to check out our last post if you are in need of gift ideas!
Today, we’ll be talking about some of the best wedding venues in Charleston! Choosing your wedding venue is arguably one of the most important decisions in the wedding planning process. After all, your friends and family need somewhere to gather! There are so many options to choose from, which can make it difficult to narrow down your options. One thing you’ll want to keep in mind is your vision– What does your dream wedding look like? What is the setting? This can help you determine what kinds of venues to look at. As photographers, we’ve had the pleasure of shooting weddings at various venues! Here are just a few of the most gorgeous venues in the Charleston area.
The William Aiken House
This Southern Gothic mansion is one of the most popular venues for weddings and private events with both indoor and outdoor spaces. Dating back to 1807, the space blends history and modernity with private gardens and two elegant courtyards. This National Historic Landmark has room for up to 500 guests and features first and second-floor ballrooms, two formal dining rooms, a pergola and reflection pool, and so much more! Expansive piazzas overlook the grounds, which is bound to take your breath away. The dining rooms and parlors feature museum-caliber artwork and antiques. Also located on the property is the Carriage House, which features two beautifully-restored duplex suites. These suites are great for getting ready the morning of your wedding, or for staying overnight.
South Carolina Aquarium
Looking for a unique wedding venue? If you’re an animal lover or marine-life lover, the South Carolina Aquarium just might be the perfect venue for your special day! The aquarium allows you to use their Great Ocean Tank or Charleston Harbor as the backdrop for your celebration (and photos!). You and your guests will have access to the aquarium’s indoor exhibits, featuring over 4,000 animals. There are also add-on packages available to greet your guests with special animal encounters, a stingray touch tank, and more. This is the perfect, unique space for you to celebrate your big day and maybe even fulfill your childhood dream of being a mermaid!
Another unique venue, the American Theater features regal Art-Deco architecture and vintage Hollywood glamor! This theater opened in 1942 and features 8,000 square feet of event space, including a luxurious ballroom and entertainment stage. Live out your Hollywood dreams at this sophisticated and stylish venue, featuring vintage movie posters and handmade chandeliers, as well as a customizable marquee overlooking King Street– Yes, that means you can display your and your partner’s name on the marquee! And, of course, a state-of-the-art cinema with stadium seating. As if we couldn’t love this location any more, it was also used as the site of Noah and Allie’s date during the shooting of The Notebook. Talk about romance!
A National Historic Landmark, Middleton Place is a beautifully preserved plantation located across from the Ashley River. It is estimated that building began in the 1730s, with restoration happening around 1916. With unmatched elegance and Southern charm, Middleton Place features French-inspired formal surroundings. There are 10 different areas that can be used as a venue on this history-rich land, depending on your event– Whether it is a venue for your ceremony, rehearsal dinner, or cocktail reception, you are sure to find an absolutely stunning area that suits your needs. There is also an inn on the property, which is the perfect place for you and your guests to have an exceptional getaway before and after celebrating. Middleton Place offers gorgeous scenery for a fairytale wedding!
Wild Dunes Resort
Located on the Isle of Palms, this waterfront resort is an absolutely beautiful choice for an outdoor wedding and offers a variety of ways to do so. The space offers the Lowcountry’s first and only oceanfront rooftop ballroom, as well as 15 unique spaces including indoor and outdoor venue options. Wild Dunes Resort is open to helping couples customize their experience from elegant to laid-back, beachy vibes and everything in between. You can even mix and match venues to create the ultimate wedding experience. Whether you use the white sands as your backdrop or say “I do” on a rooftop overlooking the sparkling waves, this oceanfront space is perfect for your dream beach wedding!
This 170-acre preserve was originally part of a plantation, and is now a beautiful place for strolling, taking in the views, and weddings! Weddings can be held in the gardens, on the lawn, or in a gazebo. The space offers a variety of activities that are sure to keep your guests entertained while they are visiting! One such activity is the Swamp Boat Adventure, which is a boat ride offering a unique view of the garden landscape. This adventure through the swamp allows you to see wildlife such as birds, turtles, and even alligators! If this idea seems familiar, it’s because it was also featured in The Notebook during the romantic lake scene. So, why not take one of the little white flat boats and create your own romantic scene with your partner?
This waterfront estate was built around 1786 and is sometimes known as “The Grove” or “Grove Farm.” Located on the historic Ashley River, it is surrounded by 14 acres of live oak groves. With breathtaking views of the river, Lowndes Grove features a grand lawn and Main House with period furnishings, as well as a glass-enclosed portico and piazza overlooking the oak grove. This venue is perfect for both indoor and outdoor events and carries elegance for weddings of any scale. With a private dock extending 700 feet into the river allows for truly amazing views and a gorgeous, historic manor as your backdrop, this is sure to be one of the most beautiful wedding venues around.
As you can see, the Charleston area offers countless unique wedding venues! Whether you’re looking for a more laid-back and intimate experience, or an over-the-top and elegant one, there is something for everyone. We hope you found this article helpful, and we hope to see you back on the blog soon! If you have any questions or want to book a session, please reach out to us! We would love to meet you and we would be honored to capture these precious moments for you to look back on.
At Justin and Lauren Photography, we dedicate ourselves to capturing the unique beauty of those special moments in your life. We are located in Charleston but are available to travel– In fact, we have tons of places we just have to see on our bucket list. Let’s have an adventure together! If you have any questions about our services or would like to book a session, reach out to us today so we can meet in person or over Zoom to talk about your ideas and help bring them to life. We would love to connect with you!