Couple of options....
Rent a house on Folly or the Isle of Palms.
Check Mount Pleasant Memorial Pier. Thye have a nice room there and while it's not the beach, it is on the water.
The best bet for an affordable wedding is Folly Beach. IOP is too expensive with too many restrictions. Folly is also closer to downtown Charleston and all its attractions,etc. Most reputable wedding planners know the rental housing and wedding venues. I would suggest W.E.D. (www.charlestonevent.com). The County has a nice beach-front park (www.ccprc.com) there and a large shelter with enough space to place a tent adjacent to it. $450 rental for a facility which will hold 200 people.
I know this is not on the beach but there is a large tent on the Charleston Harbor with a view to die for!
Just click on this link to see.
One idea would be the county park at folly beach - it has a nice two-story shelter right on the beach. Here is the link: http://www.ccprc.com/index.aspx?NID=365
Boston Mom, this is so funny! I am a Charleston girl living in Boston who got married in Charleston too! SO...yes, Wild Dunes is way too expensive. My cousins did a beach wedding at Sullivan's Island, and I thought their idea was PERFECT - they rented a beach house with a big backyard (on the beach) and then they and their family stayed there the week of the wedding...they had a tent on the lawn for the reception, it was beautiful. All the guests took romantic walks onto the beach, just steps away! And they had beautiful pictures with the beach in the background. Other plus - they had this good size house they could have used in case of rain.
Two other options if they're REALLY committed to a beach front professional venue - the Citadel Beach house (which a lot of people use so might be expensive, and you might have to have some kind of connection to a Citadel person) or the Sand Dunes club on Sullivan's Island. Beautiful place, with a pool, LOTS of porches, and also has a beach path. They could get married on the beach and have the reception in the club, or do both in the club, with walks on the beach for their guests. I considered this venue for my own wedding, it's lovely.
I assume she's not interested in just a simple beach wedding, and the venue somewhere else, which would require just a beach permit for the wedding.
Don't stress, it'll work out. I agree with several above Folly Beach is lovely, with a very laid back casual feel. And Patriots Point is lovely too. My comment isn't venue related, but I am a photographer, and also an Army veteran. If you don't have the photographer yet, when you get to that point I'd love to give you a price for coverage. It would be discounted from our packages listed online. All the best,
Laura - AkiPhotography
Check out the Hilton Marina at Patriots Point. I believe they have an outdoor area that can emulate a beach feel.
My wife and I were married on Folly Beach in 2009. We rented a house through Avocet properties and stayed there with our family for the week before the wedding. We set up a small altar and about 75 chairs on the beach then had the reception in the house. It was inexpensive but fantastic. Many of our guests said it was one of the most memorable weddings they had ever attended. You can't beat a sunset wedding on the beach.
This is a link to the house we rented, but there are several oceanfront homes for rent on Folly that allow events.
I have officiated at many weddings on the harbor in Mt. Pleasant. I have one negative comment. THE BUGS ARE AWFUL IN THE SPRING AND MOST OF THE SUMMER! The beaches always have a sea breeze which keeps them away most of the time.
I don't know if you've found a venue yet, but I went through this same search and I wrote about it extensively here. http://www.weddingwire.com/wedding-forums/folly-beach-sc-beach-house-weddings-my-search-for-the-perfect-beachhouse-to-have-our-wedding/58102f8994fbec8e.html
I hope this is helpful!
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