Most beach weddings will not require the issuance of a Special Event Permit. However, it is conceivable that a wedding could exceed the Special Event Permit threshold, and a permit would be necessary. The threshold for requiring a Special Event Permit is listed below:
- Weddings with 500 or more participants.
- Weddings with 101 or more chairs.
- Weddings utilizing a tent.
- Weddings that do not meet the standards listed below.
General guidelines for wedding requiring no permit are as follows:
- The beach is considered a public area, and no one has exclusive use of any section of the beach. With this in mind, the following location issues are applicable:
- No activities are allowed on the beach dunes.
- No activities are allowed to block an emergency beach access.
- Wedding must be conducted behind any established lifeguard umbrella lines.
- Parking is allowed only in appropriate parking areas.
- During the busiest beach season, May 1 through Labor Day, the following rules apply:
- Weddings without chairs or other props, such as arbors, flower stands, arches, platforms, PA systems, etc. are allowed at any other time.
- Weddings with chairs or other props, such as arbors, flower stands, arches, platforms, PA systems, etc., are allowed after 5:00 p.m. Setup is not allowed before 5:00 p.m.
- Amplified sound is restricted to a portable system for use in the wedding ceremony.
- All other federal, state, and local laws and ordinances must be adhered to.
- A Horry County Business License is required for anyone who performs a service within the unincorporated areas of Horry County.
- It is recommended that you not throw rice on the beach. There is also a county ordinance about feeding wild fowl, so throwing bird seed is also prohibited.
- The releasing of Chinese lanterns is prohibited.
- If you have additional questions, please contact Horry County Police Beach Patrol at (843) 915-7953.
Marriage Licenses – A South Carolina marriage license can be obtained from Horry County Probate Court. They can be reached at (843) 915-5370 or visit them at http://www.horrycounty.org/Departments/ProbateCourt.aspx.