It’s not difficult to see why newly engaged couples are drawn to the Lowcountry. With its warm, coastal breezes and Spanish moss draped across live oaks, the region is saturated with undeniable charm and beauty.
If you’re planning an outdoor wedding in the Lowcountry, you’ve got some important things to consider. Even locals can forget a few critical details that can have a big impact on their upcoming nuptials.
To ensure that your big day goes off without a hitch, here are a few things to keep in mind:
Avoid the Hot Season
There is a good reason why most Lowcountry couples choose to have their weddings in the spring and fall. Both these times of year provide the most ideal backdrop and temperature for weddings.
It’s worth mentioning that in the summertime, this area can become unbearably hot and humid. Booking your outdoor Lowcountry wedding anytime between late June and early September is practically guaranteeing that your guests will be drenched in sweat.
Of course, you’ll want to take hurricane season into account as well. The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June to the end of November.
Have a Backup Location
Even if your wedding is planned for the best time of the year, don’t expect the weather to cooperate. Afternoon showers and storms are common during the warmer months and can ruin a perfectly good wedding.
Having a backup tent at the very least is a smart idea for your outdoor Lowcountry wedding. You’ll rest easy knowing that a little rain won’t get in the way of your big day.
Take Care of Bugs
One of the few downsides to living in the Lowcountry is dealing with pesky mosquitos during the warmer months. If you are having your wedding near water, they can be especially bothersome.
If you have the budget, consider hiring a professional exterminator to spray for bugs a month prior to your big day. Another good idea is to have bug spray available for guests at the wedding.
Burning citronella candles can help keep bugs away as well. An added bonus to citronella candles is that they bring a romantic air to your outdoor wedding.
Lowcountry Venue Ideas
From saying “I do” on white sand beaches to tying the knot under a mossy live oak, there is an outdoor Lowcountry venue for every newlywed couple. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
The Lowcountry offers miles and miles of pristine beaches that make the perfect backdrop for your wedding. If you’re worried about crowds getting in the way of your wedding, check out the gorgeous Beach House at Hilton Head.
The private beachfront resort offers a variety of wedding packages to couples, from simple elopements to extravagantly grand affairs. Once you’ve exchanged vows, you can take the party to their Sky Room for an unforgettable reception under the stars.
The South is ripe with historic plantations that now function as popular wedding venues. Full of gorgeous gardens and blooming flowers, these historic plantations are perfect for any Lowcountry couple.
For a particularly enchanting plantation wedding, consider Boone Hall Plantation (the venue is also where Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds tied the knot). Located in Mount Pleasant, S.C., Boone Hall is home to the famous Avenue of Oaks and offers a variety of venue options for couples.
Another lovely Lowcountry plantation is The Oaks Plantation in Beaufort, S.C. From small, intimate weddings to large celebrations, The Oaks Plantation provides a stunning backdrop of live oaks draped in Spanish moss.
Historic Homes and Mansions
When Southerners aren’t getting hitched in a church, their next favorite venue is a historic mansion or stately home. For example, the Legare Waring House in Charleston, S.C., is steeped in historic charm and promises some incredible wedding photo ops for your big day.
Also in Charleston is the Governor Thomas Bennett House, a magnificent home and one of the finest in the Holy City. In addition to its beautiful architecture, this venue offers a key benefit to outdoor weddings — it features an in-ground mosquito spray system to keep bugs away!
Essentials for Your Lowcountry Wedding
The final touches are arguably the most important for a successful Lowcountry wedding. Whether it’s a grand affair or small and casual, the right details can make all the difference.
You’ve probably heard it said that guests will remember the food at your wedding above all else — because it’s true!
A Lowcountry wedding isn’t complete without a few classic Southern dishes, such as shrimp and grits, oyster broils, pimento cheese sandwiches or macaroni and cheese. No matter how fancy your wedding, Southern comfort food is expected.
A Nod to Tradition
The Lowcountry is steeped in tradition. Why not incorporate a few regional traditions in your wedding?
One regional tradition your groom is sure to love is the groom’s cake. This tradition dates back to the Victorian era and offers a fun opportunity for the groom to make one detail of the wedding strictly about him.
Fresh-cut flowers that are iconic to the South are a must-have in any Lowcountry wedding. Beautiful blooms such as azaleas, hydrangeas, camellias and gardenias are commonly found in wedding bouquets and floral arrangements across the Lowcountry.
Comfortable Guest Accommodations
Lowcountry locals always embrace Southern hospitality. Whether you’ve booked a vacation rental for your guests or you’re having them stay at a luxurious townhome in Historic downtown Charleston, keeping them comfortable is essential.
When planning your Lowcountry wedding, be sure to consider transportation for guests, special group rates for accommodations and entertainment they might enjoy leading up to the big event. It also doesn’t hurt to have a wedding welcome bag waiting for them when they arrive.
Your Big Day the Lowcountry Way
Although Southern hospitality is essential to any Lowcountry wedding, this doesn’t mean you should give into everyone’s demands. Remember that this is your big day.
Find the right balance between your needs and the needs of your guests. By doing so, you can pull off an enchanting outdoor Lowcountry wedding that no one will forget.