Beach Brides

January 2014
Written By: 
Lindsay Falberg
Photographs by: 
Gillian Reinhardt of Carolina Studios

Dreaming of an outdoor wedding by the sea? Here are some rules and regulations you need to know.



Many couples dream of a beach wedding, and the Grand Strand has some of the most beautiful in the world. But before you plan that lavish outdoor event, you’ll need to know the rules and regulations for beach weddings.

For all weddings, a marriage license is required. Licenses are issued at the Horry County Probate Court Office in Conway in the County Courthouse at 1301 Second Ave. Marriage licenses are issued between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. To receive a marriage license, you’ll need to file the application; file a statement, under oath or affirmation, that the persons seeking the contract of matrimony are legally entitled to marry, together with the full names of the persons, their ages and their places of residence; pay the appropriate fee; and observe the 24-hour waiting period.

Each city has its own rules, and we’ve outlined them below. For more information, contact each of the municipalities.
Myrtle Beach
Myrtle Beach has the strictest rules when it comes to getting married on the beach. Commercially produced weddings are not allowed, but non-commercial weddings are permitted. Commercially produced weddings are when you pay for any of your services, including wedding planners, photographers or officiants. For more information, go to

North Myrtle Beach
North Myrtle Beach has very few restrictions on beach weddings. The city’s one requirement is that any paid professionals at the wedding have a North Myrtle Beach business license. For more information, go to

Surfside Beach, Pawleys Island
Surfside Beach is the most lenient of the group concerning beach weddings. Chairs and tents are banned, and the ceremony is not to disturb fellow beach-goers. Chairs are allowed on Pawleys Island, but they must be removed from the beach immediately following the wedding.

Huntington Beach State Park
The state park allows weddings on the beach and in the historic Atalaya Castle. The castle is available after park hours beginning in March and ending in October. You are free to choose your own catering, decorations and other details. The cost is $2,400, which includes two large courtyards, indoor and outdoor studios, several smaller courtyards, restrooms and the park admission of your wedding party and guests. A special permit application must be filled out. For more information, go to

Lastly, one of the most important things to consider when planning a beach wedding is when the tides are low and high. Ideally, the perfect time for a wedding is close to low tide. For the daily schedule of high and low tides, go to