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Think Past COVID-19: Plan Your 2021 Wedding In Charleston SC

11 April 2020

For the sake of word economy, I was not able to title this post "Try To Think Past COVID-19", but I am sure you will get my point. The Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic has all but completely shut down the entire spring wedding season here in Charleston, SC.  This past month here in Charleston has been the longest one of any wedding vendor's life. No matter how long you've been working in the Charleston wedding industry, or in any size wedding market, I can almost guarantee with a truckload full of $100 bills you never planned for a pandemic.  I was in Charleston in 1989 during Hurricane Hugo. Hugo was a Category 4 hurricane. This Coronavirus literally feels like a relentless Cat 4 hurricane eye that is stationary over all of Charleston. At the time of the publication of this post, it's been 30 days since my last wedding and it feels more like 5 years. Time has not gone by this slow since I was a teenager.  The uncertainty is killing us all, but I wanted to take this time to change the negative narrative and feed in your social media platforms while you are in quarantine.  If you are recently engaged, being in quarantine with someone you are about to walk down the aisle with sounds like a splendid idea. Doesn't it though? I think so. Being one of the top wedding DJs in Charleston, I wanted to take advantage of my platform and begin to get people to think about our lives after quarantine and when the threats to our lives from COVID 19 will be much less.  Plan Your 2021 Wedding In Charleston, SC.

While we might be putting the rest of 2020 in a "to be determined" status, I'd like to think about you planning your destination wedding in Charleston, SC in 2021. I know what you are saying. "Mike, a wedding? Really? we are in the midst of a pandemic that is killing thousands of innocent people". While it's still surreal to see words on a computer screen about a pandemic wrecking hundreds of wedding plans across Charleston,  your love for one another was created before this pandemic and will be present "after" this pandemic.

 Let's face it. 2020 has already been one of the worst years ever in modern history. January and February were tolerable, but March seems like a decade. I know it sounds completely ridiculous, but if you did get engaged over the holidays and have yet to secure a date or location for your nuptials, you should strongly consider Charleston, SC.  As of 2019, Charleston, SC has been named a top city in the world for the 9th straight year by Conde Naste Traveler.  And the awards don't stop there, Travel & Leisure magazine named Charleston, SC the best small city in America for the 7th straight year back in 2019. With these accolades, the interest in Charleston, SC being a top wedding destination has grown and brought together some of the best wedding vendors and most beautiful wedding venues over the past decade. When you put all this together, you've got one beautiful place to get married. So, while you might be an engaged couple who all of a sudden had their wedding plans put on hold for a global pandemic, I think being stuck in quarantine together is a perfect time to dream about Charleston, SC.   First things first, go to your web browser and do a Google Search for Reasons To Get Married In Charleston, SC.  I published an article close to 2 years ago that has gained a lot of traction.  The next thing you and your fiancee should do is do a web search for Charleston Wedding Venues.  

Obviously air travel and "travel" all together has been put on stand still, but I've seen some venues offer some virtual tours. One of the large venue and hospitality companies in Charleston, SC,  Patrick Properties Hospitality Group was getting into "COVID-19" mode by offering virtual tours of their properties.  Click the link up above to be taken over to their website to contact about their management as to when they will be doing this again. 
Charleston Waterfront Park

Choose A Date For Your 2021 Wedding In Charleston
For Charleston, the weather is spectacular in March, April, and half of May. During the second half of May and going into June, the weather patterns in Charleston change into a more subtropical air mass, with greater chances of afternoon and evening thunderstorms. By mid June and going through September, the frequency of these showers and storms picks up. While summer weddings are more popular over the past few years, you've got to add in a Plan B with your day. If you are looking for the tunes on a rainy wedding day, I've got you covered on my blog, as well as Spotify. As we move into October and November and December, the temperatures get to be more tolerable, but in recent years, Charleston has seen some hurricane threats in October. In an effort to avoid the hurricane threat, consider planning your wedding in the middle - latter part of October or November. The last day of hurricane season is November 30. December can be awesome in Charleston for at least the first half of the month. The average high in January in Charleston is around 60, so even in winter, Charleston has temperate weather, especially if you are coming from New York City, New Jersey, or Philadelphia.
Charleston Best Small City

 Picture Yourself In Charleston, SC With Your Family And Friends
I don't expect you to make up your mind in one sitting about which venue you'd like to get married at, but I gotta be honest with you, a lot of the wedding venues have done such an excellent job on their websites, "selling" just how beautiful their venue is. Be prepared to fall in love with so many of these very fine venues.  Since we are talking 2021, we've got a good year before the 2021 spring wedding season would be kicking off, so pick a few venues you love and contact them. For other ideas on some most beautiful wedding venues in Charleston click this link. For some of the wedding venue spotlights I've published over the past few years, check out some of the links down below.
Cannon Green
The Cedar Room
Merchants Hall
Seabrook Island Club

The Legal Stuff About A Wedding In Charleston
So you've picked a wedding venue that you and your fmaily and guests are going to be over the moon for, now you need to research the legal stuff about what it takes to get married in Charleston. In order to get married in South Carolina, you and your fiance both need to bring your drivers license and need to be 18 years of age or older without any parents consent. In the event that you need to postpone your wedding, your marriage license will not expire after you receive it. However, when you pick your date and determine when you'll be arriving, make sure you get to Charleston and allow yourself enough time to secure your license because there is a 24-hour waiting period after you apply before you can pick up the license.  For more information about where and how to get a marriage license in Charleston County, click this link.

Charleston SC Charming City For Weddings

Make A Guest List And Send Out Invitations
Since you are not getting married locally, you'll want to get  a headstart on getting your guest list together because people will need to set aside your wedding date and allow travel to Charleston.  You should try to send out invitations 2-3 months earlier than if you were planning for a local wedding.  

Destination Bride Groom White Point Gardens
Destination bride and groom at White Point Gardens | Charleston

Hire A Wedding Coordinator Or Planner
Depending on what your exact vision is for your wedding day, you should hire (at the very least) a month of coordinator. For a more detailed service, you should consider a full service wedding planner.  The best wedding planners know the lay of the land in the Charleston area. They have at their disposal a listing of some of the top wedding florists, caterers, DJs, and bakers for your delicious cake. Hiring a wedding planner will save you many "lunch hours" of being on the phone or the web trying to find the perfect wedding vendors. As you would do for any large investments, check out each vendor's website and reviews for a great snapshot of their body of work. Set up a Skype / Facetime / Zoom call to do a quick meet and greet. If a wedding vendor is truly professional, you should be able to make a pretty judgement of their professionalism over the phone or on a video conference.  Be sure to check out my preferred wedding vendors page for some of my favorite wedding coordinators and planners.
The Battery In Charleston
The Battery on the peninsula of Charleston

Plan A Trip To Charleston To Meet Your Vendors And Visit Your Venue
Perhaps you've been scoping out venues and want to take a tour of them before you secure the date, it's a good idea to plan (at least) one weekend, and possibly two weekends to the Holy City. When you've got a date in mind, plan accordingly so that you can also make time while you are here to meet your prospective vendors. If you've already hired them, make a meeting with them. For me personally, I would NOT feel right doing any wedding without meeting my clients. While a lot of my clients have secured me from a distance, I always make an effort to meet them in person for about 30 minutes just to go over any last minute details. Ever since Day 1, I've always conducted my business this way because it just feels like the right thing to do. When you do plan your trip to Charleston weekend for planning your wedding, check out this playlist. It's also available on Spotify. Just search for DJ Mike Bills.

Lovers In Charleston SC
Go On A Romantic Photo Shoot Around Charleston

What Are You Guys Waiting For?  Come To Charleston And Get Married!
I hope you enjoyed this blog post designed to get modern brides and grooms thinking about possibly getting married in Charleston in 2021. Like all of the content I've created for my website, it's truly an honor  it's a Friday night and I am stuck inside (and tomorrow is the 2nd Saturday in April and there will be NO weddings in Charleston.  It's a sobering because we are in the height of spring where lovers come here to get married and have the time of their lives. No one knows when this will end or when we will be able to have weddings again. I hope it's sooner, rather than later but there are some serious adjustments to lives we are also looking at putting into effect in our lives as well.  You only are planning on getting married one time so why not take a chance and make it big! Be sure you click on the link up above to fill out a contact form to tell me a little more about your big day. I'd love to talk to you about your music.