Charleston is the perfect setting for a wedding, offering brides-to-be four different but equally wonderful seasons to choose from. To help you nail down the best date for Charleston nuptials, we’ve put together this four-part seasonal wedding guide.
For each season, we’ve compiled all the need-to-know information, including:
Discover the best Charleston has to offer for spring, summer, winter, and fall weddings.
Spring marks a time of new beginnings – perfect for celebrating the next chapter of your life.
If you love the beauty of this budding season, spring may be ideal for your wedding. Not only will you enjoy potentially warm weather, in-season florals, and fresh menu ingredients, depending on your location, you may also experience fewer scheduling conflicts and lower prices compared to the late summer bridal wave.
Let your wedding planning bloom by checking out our key considerations for spring weddings. With our guide, you’ll get a better sense of whether this time of year fits with your wedding vision.
During spring, nature awakens and becomes a romantic backdrop for any wedding. Budding flowers and gorgeous colors are just the start.
However, the exact weather conditions will depend on your location in the U.S. While the south may be warm and pleasant, the north may still experience chilly temperatures. Rainy days may also be a concern for outdoor venues.
In Charleston, spring is a lovely time of year, with warm temperatures ranging from 50-75°. However, be aware that March is the rainiest month of the year, with over 4.3 inches of rainfall on average. If you want to take advantage of these stellar spring days, just be sure to plan a backup for a rainy day.
Spring lends itself to a variety of color schemes. You’ve got plenty of options in spring, whether you’re keen on bold or nuanced shades. Some popular choices include pastels, corals and pinks, splashy vibrant colors, or shades of green. You’ll want to coordinate colors with the wedding party and the venue decor for a consistent look and feel.
For spring weddings, you absolutely need a backup plan for the weather. It’s possible that you could have a rainy or chilly day, so be sure to look into typical weather and temps for your ideal wedding destination.
If you’re hoping for an outdoor venue in Charleston, you can prepare for any inclement weather by adding rustic tents just in case or ensuring a plan B that can be rolled out day-of in case of rainy weather. Conversely, you may want to consider a venue that has permanent covered structures, like Waterfront Park in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina, so your guests can stay dry in the event of inclement weather.
In addition, remember that the Charleston venue is typically the #1 most expensive item in a wedding budget. You can save on your venue by choosing more off-season dates, reducing the guest list, or looking for venues in less trendy areas.
Pro tip: One great idea is to buy cute personalized umbrellas that you can use in wedding photographs and in case of a rainy day.
Spring decoration can be especially lovely, as flowers are beginning to bloom. This isn’t just good for choosing the best floral arrangements – it’s also a plus for your wallet.
In-season local flowers are much less expensive than out-of-season flowers that you may need to ship from abroad. Some fresh flowers that may be local and affordable include:
In addition to these budding beauties, you can opt for rustic decoration that’s easy and low-budget to prepare, such as plants and branches, twinkle lights, or candles.
With fresh produce on hand, you can prepare truly mouth-watering appetizers and meals. Lightweight fruits and veggies can be easily incorporated into your dishes for zest.
In addition, you might try spring-friendly ideas such as fish, chicken, seafood, roasted veggies, eggs, and fruit-packed desserts. Overall, you have a variety of yummy possibilities to choose from.
Spring wedding cakes tend to involve light, fruity flavors such as lemon or raspberry. (Typically, you’ll want to avoid heavier flavors such as dark chocolate.) You might even choose spring colors and add fresh fruit or flowers for decoration.
Also, a fun trend is to have a “naked cake,” which doesn’t have any icing and gives a rustic flair. Naked cakes are great for spring weddings, as you can make use of fresh decor and seasonal fruits to enjoy a lighter and unique dessert.
Your options are limitless with spring beverages. You can opt for light and fruity cocktails, lemonades, champagnes, white wines, classic margaritas, juleps, cosmos, and sangrias.
For a chillier spring date, you could select red wines, or cocktail flavors such as apple or ginger to treat your guests.
By far one of the most popular wedding seasons, summer is a magical time when nature is in full bloom.
During the summer months, you can make the most of gorgeous weather, in-season florals, fresh menu ingredients, and open scheduling. However, early and late summer weddings (in June and late August) are often the priciest, as vendors are in high demand.
Achieve a picturesque summer wedding by looking in-depth at the key considerations for this season. We’ll go over must-knows so you have a better idea of how to plan a flawless summer wedding.
Summertime is a stunning season for getting married. Think blue skies and lush greenery for an overall incredible outdoor atmosphere.
Of course, you’ll have to think about temperatures getting too hot, especially for older guests. In Charleston, summer temps typically range between 74-90°. Try to avoid scheduling your ceremony at peak times of the day such as 12:00-2:00 p.m. And if there isn’t shade already, set up a tent or covered area.
In addition, check that your venue’s indoor spaces are air-conditioned for maximum comfort. Having an indoor lounge for guests to cool off and get refreshed is always a good idea as well.
June, July, and August are some of Charleston’s rainiest months, with August averaging 7.13 inches. If you’re having an outdoor ceremony, have a rain back up plan in place in case of inclement weather.
Color schemes in summer tend to be bold, though you can also opt for subtle shades. Some adventurous color schemes include daisy yellow, classic blue, violet, or gold. Or if you’re looking for something airy, you might try pistachio, blush, apricot, or sage. Summer gives you a range of options to achieve an eye-catching look.
Early and late summer are when outdoor venues truly shine, as temperatures can get uncomfortably hot in July. Say yes to gorgeous open-air ceremonies with romantic backdrops such as an ocean or historic building. Guests can see splendid sunsets and get their groove on into the night. If you’re looking in and around Charleston for a summer venue, consider Magnolia Plantation for a perfect combination of whimsy, historical charm and various options to fit your style.
For any summer wedding, you’ll want to plan for heat and rain. Choose your indoor venue wisely by looking for shaded patios, air-conditioned lounges, and the ability to set up tents or drapes. Having refreshing drinks and bug spray on hand is also a plus for hot days.
Don’t forget about a rain plan, just in case. Your venue provider can help create a fool-proof backup in case it rains during the celebrations. Though hiring a wedding venue at peak season is likely more expensive, it may be well worth it! You can always reduce the guest list if you’re trying to save.
Pro tip: For the ceremony, consider handing out personalized fans or parasols as a wedding favor to beat the heat.
Lean into the beauty of this season with décor out of a midsummer’s dream. Get a lovely look with ideas such as a flower wall, lantern walkway, or light canopy. You might also jazz up your centerpieces with multi-colored candles, succulents, or airy draping. Sparkles also give off a romantic feel towards the end of the night.
Summer florals are some of the most stunning and whimsical. Many blooms you can find in season too, which can help save on your floral budget. Some top picks include:
Summer means juicy fruit, farmer’s market veggies, and the sizzle of the grill. You can wow guests with light delectable dishes. You might opt for seafood such as fish, oysters, lobster, or crab. Or enjoy tender meats with skewers, mini burgers, or BBQ-style cuts.
Trendy salads such as a watermelon feta salad or crab mango salad can be nice and refreshing. Appetizer favorites such as lobster rolls or sushi are quite tasty, too. And don’t forget about ice cream! Hiring a vintage ice cream cart can be a special little surprise for guests.
Summer wedding cakes can be as splashy or subtle as you wish. Flavors are typically light and fruity, such as vanilla, lemon, or berry. For décor, you might go bold with two-tone or watercolor cakes, or make use of big blooms, tropical fruits, or glitter icing.
In contrast, some couples may choose a white-only look with a flower or fruit topper, or a simple drip color. Naked cakes are also a nice choice for rustic summer receptions.
Cool, refreshing drinks are the name of the game in summer. Anything fruity or sparkling will be popular, including flavors like cucumber, mint, berries, and herbs. You might also offer margaritas, a lemonade stand, or pineapple rum punch. Don’t forget to stock up on champagne, too!
If you want to do something totally unique, Prosecco popsicles can be a hit. Whatever you choose, make sure it’s nice and cold for guests to stay refreshed.
Fall isn’t just a season of change – it also has spectacular autumnal colors and textures that can make any wedding wow-worthy.
If you’re head over heels with the rustic feel and beauty of this season, you might consider a fall wedding. You’ll enjoy stunning seasonal venues and décor, plus cooler weather.
To help you out, we’ve put together a guide to the key considerations to plan a fall wedding that’s as whimsical as your vision.
Autumn has near-perfect weather across the country, with mild temperatures, little rain, and Mother Nature’s finest color palette.
Remember that some locations may be colder than others, so you should check historic temperatures for your ideal wedding date. In Charleston, you can expect warm days around 70-80° in September, but a steady drop in temperature by October and November. For example, average temperatures for November hover between 53-67°, which could be fairly chilly for an outdoor ceremony.
In particular, if you’re leaning towards an outdoor ceremony, you’ll want to plan for cold temperatures with heaters, blankets, or some type of insulation. Check with your venue provider to see what kind of cold weather preparations they can set up.
Fall is the most splendid season for color schemes. You can take advantage of harvest favorites, such as orange, gold, cranberry, purple, and earthy tones. For example, you can lean into bold autumnal combinations such as mustard yellow and red, or orange and teal. Or, if you’re looking for something more subtle, try dusty blue, blush, or sage.
This season also has brilliant textures that you can use for wedding party outfits or decor, such as plaid, leather, tweed, or velvet.
For fall weddings, keep in mind the great variety in weather. Start by checking historic weather patterns for your location and date. If you’re worried about a rainy or chilly day, be sure to have a backup plan in place, such as a tent or an indoor alternative.
You should also pay attention to the time of day when scheduling your ceremony and reception. You may also want to take advantage of gorgeous autumn sunsets for your ceremony. In this case, keep in mind that the sun sets in Charleston at about 7:30 p.m. in September, 6:30 p.m. in October, and 5:15 p.m. in November. Also, choosing a venue that compliments your theme is key: if you enjoy classic Fall colors and rustic accents, take a look at Runnymede Plantation in Charleston, South Carolina.
Also, if you’re not sure if the temperatures will dip for your outdoor ceremony, have blankets or shawls available for guests to stay cozy. Choosing a fall outdoor venue can be beautiful, but cover your bases so that you don’t face any surprises on your wedding day.
Spice up your fall wedding décor with all the cheer of the season. To start, you can achieve layered textures in your decoration using items such as foliage and branches, feathers, metalwork, and pumpkins. Other autumnal favorites include candle-lit lanterns and flower wreaths for the tables.
Fall flowers have gorgeous hues to accent your wedding as well. You might make a floral archway, or simply bring together arrangements with beautiful blooms. Plenty of flower varieties are in-season if you want to save on your floral budget by buying seasonal options. Our favorites for fall include:
In particular, autumnal flowers have excellent tones and textures that can add a harvest look to your arrangements. Even unusual flower filler such as hops can look lovely in a bouquet.
You can’t go wrong with the comfort food of fall. For your wedding menu, consider cuts such as braised ribs, Cornish game hen, or pork loin. Enjoy a harvest variety of vegetables for side dishes, such as sweet potatoes, candied carrots, and herb mashed potatoes. Guests might like healthy yet heartier options such as butternut lasagna or wild mushroom risotto, too.
Dessert is divine in the fall season as well. Opt for beautifully baked pies, carrot cake, cinnamon-sugar donuts, or something festive such as make-your-own s’mores. Add a hot apple cider bar and your wedding will be sure to amaze!
Cakes vary according to the style of the fall wedding. If you’re hosting a rustic wedding, you might love the idea of a naked cake, or a simple cake with fall fruit décor such as figs. Cascades are especially common in fall using flowers or fruits.
As for flavor, it’s up to you! You can get away with doing a heavier flavor such as dark chocolate or red velvet. Or staying light and airy can make the cake an elegant focal point, too. Even a simple white cake with a gold drizzle can stand out.
Fall has scrumptious seasonal flavors that can do wonders. Hire a bartender who can whip up hot cider, Irish coffee, apple sangria, cinnamon old fashioned, Moscow mules, or herb-infused cocktails. Anything pumpkin is likely to be a hit, too!
Don’t forget about craft beer either. Fall is the perfect time of year to enjoy an assortment of local craft beer brands.
Winter is an enchanting time of year that inspires cozy, heartfelt ceremonies. Imagine rich color palettes, warm drinks like mulled wine and an intimate indoor ceremony as snow twinkles in the window. Not to mention that winter wedding prices are often reduced, so you can save on your wedding budget.
Plan a lovely winter wedding by understanding key considerations for this time of year. In this guide, you’ll get an overview of what to expect if you’re keen on a winter wonderland wedding.
Though certainly the coldest time of year, winter has its own unique beauty. Wintery backdrops, the joy of the season, and the comfort of a roaring fireplace offer a one-of-a-kind setting.
However, you’ll have to be cautious about potential inclement weather. In the south, you’ll likely have more leeway with the weather, though an indoor venue is still a must. Be aware that snow or sleet could make travel challenging for guests.
In Charleston, winters are typically mild, with temperatures ranging between 43-61°. While snow is uncommon, you’ll want to make sure your guests stay nice and cozy inside. This is especially true if your guests have to brave the cold to get between your ceremony and reception.
Winter color schemes can be exquisite and romantic. Some popular dark winter colors include burgundy, forest green, dark navy and gold, and chocolate brown. You may also be drawn to lighter, expressive colors such as dusty blue, pink blush, silver and gray, and copper and white. Whichever way you go, winter can create a range of moods through intricate color combinations.
For winter weddings, you’ll need the perfect indoor venue. Even if you’ll be staying inside for the ceremony and reception, scope out the outdoor spaces of your favorite Charleston venue, too. You’ll likely want beautiful bridal portraits taken outside with natural light and backgrounds. A venue like Merchants Hall in Charleston, South Carolina gives you security from fickle winter weather as well as providing blank canvas space that lends itself to any event’s design.
In addition, you should also check with your provider about what happens if snow impacts your wedding. Some venues may offer rebooking or refunds for bad weather.
If your wedding location typically has chilly temps, you should plan transport between your ceremony and reception. It may be best to have an all-in-one venue that doesn’t require guests to move around or to provide limos or vans to transport guests.
It’s important to consider your dress, too. A long-sleeve dress may be an excellent choice for a winter wedding, as well as a cape, muffs and/or boots to trek outside. These accessories can also make your wedding photos look straight out of a storybook.
Pro tip: Getting winter capes for your bridesmaids can create a lovely, outdoor look. For a southern state wedding, ivory gloves are also a classic choice.
Winter decoration may be simple, but it builds a cozy, charming look for your wedding. You might go for white candles, branches, pine cones, red berries, dried flowers, miniature wreaths, glass orbs, velvet draping, and seasonal centerpieces. An arch or tree may be wrapped in string lights for a dazzling entryway.
Winter florals also do their part to build the mood. Though there aren’t as many in-season flowers to choose from, you might consider options such as:
Winter encourages heartier fare, such as hot soups and seasonal picks. You might want to recreate a family stew or offer a tried-and-true holiday catering recipe.
You can take advantage of seasonal vegetables such as sweet potatoes, squash, pumpkin, brussels sprouts, and more. In addition, main courses can be richer than summer wedding foods, including traditional favorites such as Beef Wellington or a baked Christmas ham. And wow guests with appetizers such mini soup shots, seasonal bruschetta, and baked brie.
Winter wedding cakes can be truly divine. You might try deep flavors such as molten chocolate or red velvet. Don’t forget about moody, romantic colors such as red, gold or black for your color scheme.
This time of year also lends itself to simple, elegant cakes. For example, consider a white frosted pattern, a gold drip, a seasonal stand, or rustic decor such as holly or pinecones.
Winter wedding drinks are often warm or seasonal. For example, you might try a holiday bourbon bar, mulled wine, white Russians, or lava lamp cocktails. Consider expanding your red wine selection, too.
What’s more, you can create a cheerful atmosphere with options such as cider, peppermint coffee, or hot chocolate for younger guests. These can be jolly (and cheap) additions to your drink menu.
No matter the season, every Charleston wedding has the potential to be a gorgeous event. To ensure your nuptials go off without a hitch, it helps to work with an experienced caterer like Duvall Catering & Events.
We’ve been helping brides plan their catering, florals, decor, and bar service for over four decades. As one of the oldest caterers in Charleston, we know the city like the back of our hands and can make recommendations that will take your wedding to the next level.
Start planning your Charleston wedding today with a free consultation. Contact us online or call us at 843-886-1626.