Charleston Wedding Venues

I've been a wedding photographer in Charleston, South Carolina for over 16 years now, which means I've visited a multitude of Charleston wedding venues.  Charleston is a hotspot for destination weddings and there are so many wedding venues to choose from.  If you are engaged or waiting for the ring and sneakily previewing venue options, this might leave you feeling overwhelmed!  Well, friend you can stop your scroll. I have compiled a list of my top 5 favorite Charleston wedding venues to help you narrow it down. All of these venues are very different and have their own pros for specific types and sizes of weddings. So, let's dive in and learn which one might be right for you!

I'on Chapel

The newly renamed I'on Chapel is located in Mount Pleasant. It's a perfect match if you are having an intimate micro wedding. The chapel's exterior is very charming and in the super cute neighborhood of I'on. The exterior lawn can be tented if need be. Inside the chapel, it's bright and airy. Simple gold chandeliers hang from the high ceilings, while beautifully arched windows let in a ton of natural light. This venue is an excellent backdrop if you like the light and bright style of photography.  I'on Chapel was recently featured on the Bustld blog for being such a charming Charleston wedding venue. Bonus, there is a pub named O'Brions across the street for your after-party. Click here to see a late summer wedding at this venue.

newlyweds hold hands inside chapel

newlyweds exit micro wedding at I'on Chapel


Merchant's Hall

Merchant's Hall, built in 1856, is a historic venue. This venue is centrally located in downtown Charleston across from the Charleston City Market. It consists of one large indoor room which occupies the second floor of the building. However, don't worry there is an elevator as well as very swanky bathrooms. It's a gorgeous space with multiple show-stopping crystal chandeliers and original brick walls and wood columns. There is even a quaint getting-ready room.  This Charleston wedding venue is great for midsized weddings as it can accommodate up to 190 guests. Click here to see a summer wedding of mine at this venue.


bride standing in front of crystal chandelier

Governor Thomas Bennett House

The oldest of all of the venues, The Governor Thomas Bennett House was built in 1825.  This grand historic three-story house is located in downtown Charleston. It's easily accessible for your guests staying in the many hotels downtown. This venue has a stunning garden shaded by a 200-year-old oak tree. However, my favorite spot is the large piazza overlooking the pineapple fountain. Both the wedding party and up to 200 guests can enjoy full use of the home and gardens on your wedding day.  There is also a bridal suite on the second floor and a man cave on the ground floor which provide ideal getting-ready spaces. This Charleston Wedding venue is perfect for a classic Southern wedding. In fact, Black Bride recently featured this venue as inspiration on their blog!

Pepper Plantation

The Pavilion at Pepper Plantation is honestly one of my favorite Charleston wedding venues! It's so fabulous A Lowcountry Wed blogged about this dreamy venue! Pepper Plantation is located north of Mt. Pleasant in Awendaw. It has some unique features on the large property including horses, a big modern barn, and a lakeside oyster tabby patio. Additionally, I love the waterfront view of the lake and dreamy gazebo from the lawn. A cottage on the property can be rented to use as a getting-ready space if you want to stay on-site. Otherwise, I highly recommend getting ready at the close by White Room.

The main hall can hold up to 200 guests very comfortably. Moreover, your guests will never feel on top of each other since there is so much outdoor space.  Speaking of outdoors, this is the perfect wedding venue during the colder months because there are built-in propane heaters, two huge fireplaces, and a large firepit that will help your guests stay warm and toasty. As a result, think yummy s’more stations!

Gadsden House

Last but not least of my top 5 favorite Charleston wedding venues is the gorgeous Gadsden House.  This iconic property in downtown Charleston was built in 1798. It was recently revitalized to blend the historic character with contemporary elegance for private events. Think chic, black-tie, sit-down dinner at this popular Charleston wedding venue.  The Gadsden House is a 3-story house complete with two piazzas on separate floors. The getting-ready suite on the top floor is spacious and filled with natural light. Ground level there is an oyster patio large enough to hold your ceremony, cocktail hour, and a dance floor. All guests are welcome inside the house where you can even serve dinner in the comfort of air conditioning!! This is most important in the hotter summer months in Charleston!!  Swoon over the stunning floral displays at my most recent wedding I photographed there!

Exterior photo of The Gadsden House on East Bay Street

long farm table outside decorated with tall vases of roses and place settings

overview of outdoor wedding reception setup on oyster tabby patio

Wedding reception details of florals, head table and cake inside at the Gadsden House

First look between groom and bride inside Gadsden House

Outdoor wedding ceremony set up at the Gadsden House courtyard

Overhead view of wedding reception dance floor with guests dancing Gadsden House

Click here to chat all things Charleston Wedding Venues & Photography

Photography: @leighhaywardphotography


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