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9 Charleston Wedding Venues that Wow With Lantern-Lit Courtyards & Historic Ballrooms

Kiawah Island Resort | event planner: WED | florist: SYG designs | photographer: Marni Rothschild Pictures

Charleston may still have the picturesque cobblestone streets and horse-drawn carriages from its founding in 1670, but this vibrant city rivals the best of America’s modern metropolises. From gourmet dining to premier outdoor recreation, there are plenty of reasons to flock to “America’s Most Friendly City.” These Charleston hotels encapsulate the beauty and prestige of everything the historic town has to offer. Say “I do” on a sandy beach or enjoy passed hors d’oeuvres in a private lantern-lit courtyard. When it comes to dining and dancing, choose from historic ballrooms to tented celebrations under the stars. No matter the event, there are perfect Charleston wedding venues or hotels awaiting your next exclusive celebration.

Hotel Bennett

Light pink lit room at the Hotel Bennett in Charleston
Hotel Bennett

Overlooking the historic Marion Square, Hotel Bennett is at the epicenter of Charleston’s architectural and cultural treasures. Inspired by classic European design as well as by local Southern charm, this chic venue offers a luxe setting for your next celebration. For large-scale celebrations that can easily accommodate over 500 guests, Crown Ballroom offers 7,000 square feet of divisible space. Host a more intimate gathering in Camellias, Charleston’s leading Champagne bar. Exquisite pink marble, reclaimed from the original county library, adorns the bar and tabletops. Cascading crystal chandeliers and an etched-mirror ceiling create a gem-like shimmer without the need for uplighting or candlelight. It’s no wonder this egg-shaped room was inspired by the famous Faberge jewel boxes. Hotel Bennett also offers several outdoor Charleston wedding venues for those who want to indulge in the beauty of this city’s historic surroundings.

Camellias Capacity: 40 (seated) – 92 (standing)

Pooldeck & Cabanas Capacity: 280 (seated) – 300 (standing)

Grand Ballroom Capacity: 610 (seated) – 670 (standing)

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Belmond Charleston Place

Gold decorated room with large chandeliers at the Belmond Charleston Place
Belmond Charleston Place | photographer: Marni Rothschild Pictures

Located in the historic district of downtown Charleston, Belmond Charleston Place mirrors the 17th-century grandeur of its surrounding architecture. As soon as guests enter the grand lobby, they’ll want to reach for their cameras. With a dramatic bronze fountain and a Georgian open-arm staircase, the lobby is the perfect setting for a first look. The Grand Ballroom includes five distinct spaces that can be mixed and matched to easily accommodate your guest list. The adjacent Grand Hall boasts recessed crystal chandeliers and 12-foot picture windows overlooking King Street, so guests can enjoy a cocktail reception in high style. For an intimate wedding ceremony, we especially love the indoor gazebo. The hotel’s Riviera Theatre is a registered Historic Landmark featuring an Art Deco amphitheater, ballroom, and rooftop terrace. The one-of-a-kind floor-to-ceiling murals and hand-painted crown moldings create an opulent backdrop for any type of soirée, from weddings to milestone birthday parties, corporate parties to Bar and Bat Mitzvah celebrations.

Gazebo Capacity: 75 (standing)

Grand Hall Capacity: 350 (standing)

Grand Ballroom Capacity: 1,120 (seated) – 1,700 (standing)

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The Dewberry Charleston

Chic boutique hotel with various plants at The Drewberry Charleston
The Dewberry Charleston | Fox Events

Once the landmark L. Mendel Rivers Federal Building, this boutique hotel owes its existence to preservationist John Dewberry. Dewberry’s commitment to historic preservation is evident in the  hotel’s period furnishings and decorative hand-crafted metalworks. Celebrations in the Ballroom capture Charleston’s Southern glam aesthetic with a Viennese cast-brass palmetto chandelier and oversized gilded antique mirrors. White oak parquet floors and artwork by Charleston artist Douglas Balentine are some of the unique details that attest to Dewberry’s monumental vision. For an equally impressive pre-function space, Swanston Room showcases 22 gilded panels hand-painted by artist Thomas Swanston. Guests will love posing for photos in front of the glittering likeness of the sandhill crane migration in silver, pewter and 22-karat gold. For a memorable outdoor celebration, we recommend the Walled Garden, which was the setting for vows in this chic ceremony. With live oaks and English ivy-draped brick walls, guests can wine and dine in their very own enchanted garden.

Swanston Room Capacity: 50 (standing)

The Ballroom Capacity: 120 (seated) – 150 (standing)

Walled Garden Capacity: 160 (seated) – 150 (standing)

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Kiawah Island Golf Resort

Seaside Kiawah Island Resort on golf course
Kiawah Island Resort | photographer: Jennings King Photography

Just 21 miles outside of Charleston, you’ll find a 10-mile stretch of sandy shoreline, champion golf courses, and 5-star accommodations. With 35,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor event spaces, the options are endless at the luxury Kiawah Island Golf Resort. We especially love celebrations at The Sanctuary Hotel, a grand seaside mansion. The resort boasts The Sanctuary Hotel with a Grand Lawn offering dramatic views of the Atlantic Ocean — the ideal place for an awe-inspiring wedding ceremony. We’re eager for the spot’s expansion to include the Sanctuary Chapel showcasing stained glass created by local artists. Kiawah Island Golf Resort offers three stylish clubhouses overlooking the resort’s world-renowned golf courses. We’re obsessed with this romantic white wedding on the shoreline. Home to the resort’s perennial Oyster Roast, Mingo Point features decking for live bands and bonfire pits for an outdoor celebration in a picturesque marsh setting.

Osprey Point Clubhouse Capacity: 180 (seated) – 200 (standing)

Mingo Point Capacity: 300 (standing)

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Wild Dunes Resort

Situated on the picturesque Isle of Palms, Wild Dunes Resort offers easy access to South Carolina beaches, signature golf courses and award-winning cuisine. Exchange vows as the sun sets over the Atlantic or in a scenic covered gazebo at The Grand Pavilion. For dining and dancing, we love Palmetto Hall. With an open floor plan that easily extends outdoors, there’s plenty of additional space for a pre-function cocktail reception. For tented celebrations, Croquet Lawns offer palm trees and dramatic seaside views. Outdoor soirées are also exceptional at The Boardwalk Inn Pool where guests can take in colorful views of the boardwalk leading down to the beach.

The Boardwalk Inn Pool Capacity: 60 (seated) – 100 (standing)

Croquet Lawn Capacity: 200 (seated) – 400 (standing)

The Grand Pavilion Capacity: 600 (seated) – 700 (standing)

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The Restoration Hotel

Wedding at The Restoration Hotel with vibrant sky
The Restoration Hotel

The Restoration Hotel may reside in a building that dates back to 1863, but this luxury boutique hotel is as hip and eclectic as they come. After grabbing a cup of locally roasted coffee at The Rise Coffee Bar, guests can head to the Culture Library where they’ll find rare books, local artwork, and Amish furniture. Celebrations are always vibrant affairs in The Observatory located atop of The Restoration’s main building. Floor-to-ceiling windows provide panoramic views of the city and Charleston Harbor. The Observatory Terrace lets the celebration continue outdoors. The Exchange Suite can be combined with connecting Grand Residential Suites to accommodate a large scale celebration. The wood-paneled ceiling and exposed brick accentuate the vibrant blue accents found throughout the room. There’s also the Historic King Street Rooftop for a celebration with a 360-degree view of the Charleston skyline.

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The Mills House

The Mills House elegant ballroom with pink facade
The Mills House

After opening its doors in 1853, this historic downtown hotel experienced a vibrant history before eventually falling into decline. While its new owners were unable to salvage the original building, The Mills House was rebuilt with a pink facade faithful to the original. The antique gold mirrors and glittering chandeliers in Signer’s Ballroom evoke the elegance of bygone days when President Theodore Roosevelt stayed at the hotel. For a more intimate gathering, we love Planter’s Suite. Guests can enjoy views of downtown Charleston from a balcony that features the hotel’s original ironwork. Host a stunning outdoor celebration in Fountain Courtyard — its coral walls, fragrant trees, and ornate fountain create a sensational backdrop for a ceremony or reception. Guests will also love the Pool Deck with its iron archways, lavish flowers, and brownstone bricks.

Planters Suite Capacity: 80 (seated) – 130 (standing)

Pool Deck Capacity: 150 (standing)

Signer’s Ballroom Capacity: 170 (seated) – 350 (standing)

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Planters Inn & Peninsula Grill

After 175 years, Planters Inn & Peninsula Grill is still one of Charleston’s leading luxury hotels. The boutique hotel is a proud member of the exclusive Relais & Châteaux collection and the only hotel in the country to be furnished entirely with Baker Historic Charleston Collection décor. Surrounded by historic mansions and located in the center of the Historic District, Planters Inn offers picture-perfect moments before you even step through the doors. Once inside, guests will immediately want to discover the famous Garden Courtyard. This hidden sanctuary, replete with ornamental boxwoods, wrought iron gates and palmetto trees, is the perfect setting for everything from an intimate supper to a lively cocktail reception. Gas carriage lanterns are lit by hand each evening to complement the candlelight and twinkling bulbs strung throughout the courtyard. For indoor receptions, we especially love the Garden Room. This 1,400-square-foot space boasts historic reproduction sideboards, antique mirrors and floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the Planters Inn Courtyard. For a once-in-a-lifetime celebration, you can even host an intimate gathering aboard Wishing Star, the hotel’s classic wooden yacht.

The Charleston Room Capacity: 32 (seated) – 50 (standing)

The Garden Room Capacity: 80 (seated) – 120 (standing)

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The Beach Club at Charleston Harbor Resort & Marina

Seaside dining with nautical ambience at Charleston Harbor Resort & Marina
Charleston Harbor Resort & Marina

This grand seaside resort offers everything from private beaches to a life-size outdoor chess board. With an onsite movie theater and several premier dining experiences, guests are tempted to visit this idyllic resort all year long. Beach Club at Charleston Harbor Resort & Marina also offers ten unique event venues to choose from, making it a leading destination for private events. For an indoor celebration, we recommend The Yacht Club. With more windows than walls, this 2,100-square-foot space offers unobstructed views of the downtown skyline and Charleston Harbor Marina. Drop ceilings with stained wood beams and reclaimed-wood plank floors create a nautical ambience that perfectly complements the scenic surroundings. The Bridge Bar, an adjacent open-air bar on the Charleston Harbor, can be used in combination for additional space. Between Mariner’s Walk Pier, Sunrise Terrace & Deck and Lookout Pavilion, there’s a myriad of outdoor venues for an unforgettable seaside celebration. With striking sunset views and glimpses of the occasional dolphin, guests are bound to feel enchanted.

The Yacht Club Capacity: 120 (seated) – 80 (standing)

Sunrise Terrace & Deck Capacity: 150 (seated) – 180 (standing)

Lookout Pavilion Capacity: 350 (seated) – 1,000 (standing)

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