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How to Plan a Pawleys Island Wedding

By Marissa Polascak • February 09, 2016

Your wedding day is supposed to be one of the most special days of your life, so stressing over the details isn’t exactly ideal. Planning your special day in Pawleys Island should be exciting, not nerve-wracking, so we’ve created a guide to help give you some pointers on how to plan a Pawleys Island wedding. So, when you’re planning the big day, be sure to keep the following tips in mind to help ease the process.

Learn the Laws

Since Pawleys Island falls under Georgetown County law, then the couple intending to get married must obtain a marriage license from Georgetown County. According to the county website, in order to get a marriage license in Georgetown County the following criteria must be met:

  • Both parties are required to come together to apply.
  • Both parties must present their social security numbers or show a valid passport/visa.
  • Must bring $40.00 (cash, check, or money order).
  • There is a 24-hour waiting period after applying.
  • Only one person is required to pick up the license after the waiting period, but the license must be picked up before the ceremony, which must be held in South Carolina.

Determine Your Budget

In 2015, wedding website TheKnot.com announced that the average wedding cost approximately $28,000! While some people can afford that, others may not be able to dish out that amount of cash for a Pawleys Island wedding. Determining your budget prior to making any other decisions about your wedding. If you’re working with a smaller budget, get creative! Find a dress on-sale, choose a venue that won’t cost a fortune, recruit friends and family for DIY decorations, and much more! Also, be sure to decide how many guests you would like to invite, as venue space and catering can be affected by the number of people you invite. It is extremely important to keep your budget in mind before moving on in your planning process.

Pick Your Theme

While you can choose anything for your wedding theme, popular choices for a Pawleys Island wedding revolve around the Lowcountry setting, the beach, and the “arrogantly shabby” lifestyle. Nautical décor, monogramming, and seersucker suits tend to be quite trendy in Pawleys Island weddings as well. Be unique and take advantage of the haunting lore of Pawleys Island and have spooky wedding, have a fun pirate-themed reception, or stick to traditional Southern aesthetics. Be sure to make sure your fiancée agrees on your theme because he should be happy on your special day, too!

Buy Your Dress

Once you’ve chosen your theme, then you can move forward in your wedding planning process! To many women, buying a wedding dress can be one of the most exciting moments of her life, but to others, it can spark a feeling of buyer’s remorse. No matter what your budget is, there are tons of great stores along the Grand Strand to cater to your desires for your perfect wedding dress. Be sure to check out Fancy Frocks, which is the closest bridal store to Pawleys Island. Located in Murrells Inlet, Fancy Frocks is a one-stop-shop for wedding gowns, bridesmaid’s dresses, and other special occasion garments. And, for your soon-to-be-husband and his friends, Fancy Frocks also has a great selection of tuxedos, ties, and accessories.

Choose Your Venue

After completing the steps above, it is now time to choose your venue. The Pawleys Island area is home to several beautiful venues that are perfect for any wedding. Whether you are looking to have a wedding on the beach, under live oaks on a gorgeous plantation, or a nice ceremony at a golf club, Pawleys Island has you covered. Here are some of the most popular wedding spots in and around Pawleys Island:

  • Brookgreen Gardens: Possibly one of the most beautiful places on the east coast, Brookgreen Gardens is a spectacular wedding venue. This property used to be a plantation, and is home to sprawling, well-kept gardens as well as sculptures, historical sights, restaurants, and a small zoo. If you want to book a wedding here, you must have a membership; but it’s totally worth it. Brookgreen Gardens has several picturesque areas for your ceremony and reception, and the staff there will be more than happy to help you decide on all of your details.
  • Litchfield Beach & Golf Resort: Are you traveling from out of town, or have guests from other places coming to your wedding? Litchfield Beach & Golf Resort offers a variety of accommodation options to suit your guests’ needs. Also, this gorgeous property offers several spaces for your ceremony and reception, including the Tara ballroom and the golf clubhouse which can hold up to 300 guests!
  • Pawleys Plantation Golf & Country Club: Pawleys Plantation Golf & Country Club is a pristine property great for elegant weddings. This property offers wonderful services like a hosting bridal showers for the bride, and golf tournaments for the groom. The bride and groom will love the beautiful ceremony settings such as lush gardens, luxurious ballrooms, and a large clubhouse. The staff here will help you plan all of the details of the wedding day, including the food, which will be prepared by an award-winning chef!
  • Plus many more great places in Pawleys Island!

Choose Your Caterer

There are numerous amazing restaurants in Pawleys Island, and many of them will cater your special day. There are also multiple event planning companies that will help you plan your wedding, too! Here are some restaurants and event planning companies to consider for your wedding reception:

  • Austin’s Ocean One
  • Bistro 217
  • Carefree Catering
  • Get Carried Away Southern Takeout
  • Murray and Mike’s
  • Pawleys Island Bakery
  • and many more places!

Recruit Extra Help

If you find yourself getting stressed out, consider recruiting your friends and family members to help you with the little things. Or, if you have some extra cash to spare, hire a wedding planner! There is no reason for you to feel the pressure of planning when preparing for your big day, so be sure to keep in mind there is always the option of asking for help!