Frequently Asked Elopement Questions
Updated: Jan 5
Here are the most common questions we are asked. If your question is not covered here, send us an email so we can answer your question!!
What type of ceremonies do you offer?
As you look through the sample ceremonies you will see many different types of ceremonies that you can choose, or mix them together to make your own ceremony. You can include a special reading or bible verse if you want! We can help you with the placement of any additions if you are not sure where to place it. Send us an email with your thoughts, and we will be glad to help you! We truly want the wedding ceremony to reflect your love and personalities!!
Do we have to write our own vows?
If you want to write your own vows, that is fine! You can choose vows from any of the samples, or you can have what we call secret vows! Here are some tips on writing your vows! We also can look at both of your written vows to make sure they are about the same length!
What are secret vows?
This is where you would choose vows from whatever ceremony, and he would choose vows from whatever ceremony, and you would each let us know separately. For example, say you like ceremony sample 4, and then you tell me that your vows are from sample 3 but you are doing secret vows. We will not put the vows in the ceremony that we are working on, but mark the file. He would then email us which vows he like... say sample 7. Then when its wedding time you get the surprise of not knowing what the other person will say without the stress of writing your own vows. As always, the choice is yours!
What is the elopement like?
We believe that every wedding is unique and special. We take the time to get to
know You! We believe weddings are a joyous occasion, and we are going to be smiling and having fun! We want the ceremony to reflect the couple’s personality and capture the love they share with a personalized wedding ceremony. Couples say they hired us because of our personality, passion, and positive reviews from previous couples. We honor and respect the couple’s traditions and needs without judgment and look past any differences in race, sex, creed, situation or circumstance. Yes, we support same sex and gay marriage!
How long is the wedding ceremony?
Each ceremony is personalized to the couple. Average time is 10-15 minutes, depending on what the couple chooses to include in their ceremony. The length of the ceremony depends on many variables such as: will someone read a poem or sing a song; how many people in the wedding party, specialty ceremonies, etc.
Does the photographer only take the selected number of photos?
The photographer removes all of the test shots where they’re checking lighting,
focal length, etc., as well as any that might be out of focus or have images of the
bride or groom with eyes closed of making unintentional weird faces. The
photographer takes multiple clicks of each pose to capture the best moment.
All images will be edited and released to you in a gallery. You can then choose which photos you would like. You will receive full resolution digital images in the specified number. You will also have the opportunity to purchase additional images if you would like.
What photos will be taken?
Depending on your photo package; individual portraits of the bride and groom will be taken, the ceremony photos, group and family photos, and then newlywed photos around the area.
When will I receive my photos?
Photos are retouched and edited usually with one week. During busy season it could be two weeks. You will always receive a couple of photos within 24 hours as a sneak peek and to start sharing.
Can we request certain poses?
Of course! If you saw something on Pinterest, or have an idea of your own, we enjoy doing different poses!
Bouquets and Boutonnieres
Can I choose my own flowers?
We love photos of bouquets, and will use them as inspiration, however flowers are natural. The colors or shape may not be exactly like the photo. For example, nature does not understand the color “Coral”. Sometimes it comes in more peach, pink, red, or orange. We will honor any flower to be avoided, and stay within the colors you chose. We will try to honor any specific flower requests, but cannot guarantee any particular flower.
When are flowers ordered?
Flowers are ordered 3-4 weeks prior to your wedding for the best chance of receiving your flowers.
Can I make changes to my package?
Absolutely! Rarely does the package stay as contracted. Whether extra guests are added, or you decide you want to add a detail you previously thought you didn’t want (like hair and make-up), changes are very common! Let us know as soon as possible and we will add (or remove) whatever items and adjust your balance accordingly.
When is the package considered final?
Around one month prior to your wedding, we will email you a long detailed email to include all the details of your wedding. You have 1 week after this email to make any last minute changes.
When is final payment due?
One week prior to the wedding (unless your contract states different). You will be reminded of the balance two weeks prior to the ceremony.
Who receives gratuity or tips?
Any of your wedding vendors performing a service should receive a tip if you are happy with their service. Vendors included would be officiant, photographer, coordinator, musicians, hair and make-up artist, dj, and caterer. Proper tip is 10% but you can tip any amount according to the vendor’s performance.
Do you provide an arbor or arch, chairs, or other decoration?
No. We do not have the means to transport these items. There are also liability issues associated with these items, such as the arch blowing over, or a chair breaking and a guest gets hurt. Therefore, we do not offer this as part of our packages. We will recommend rental companies that you can contact and set up the delivery and setup of your items.
Do you reserve the venue or ceremony location?
No. Although we can recommend locations to have the elopement you envision, you are responsible for contacting the location to reserve and pay any fees they require. We will advise if the location you choose requires a permit or has a fee. If your package included a coordinator, we will obtain the permit for you and add the price of the permit to your balance.
Why do you limit the amount of guests?
We specialize in elopements. An elopement is up to 6 adult guests. We offer a discount when it is the couple only. Some packages allow up to 12 guests. On rare circumstances, we will approve up to 15.
Why do you charge additional fees for extra guests?
Additional guests = additional work. It has been our experience, when there are over 6 guests, that the ceremony rarely starts on time, as someone is running late, or is lost (stuck in traffic) ect. Gathering guests for the ceremony, followed by the additional time to gather everyone for photos. For some reason group photo of everyone, needs to be repeated specifically to 1-2 individuals that are hanging back. Then in the other group photos, someone has wandered off, and we have to yell, or send someone after them. These are just some of the most common examples.
What happens if you cannot perform a wedding ceremony due to an emergency? Every one of your vendors should have a contingency plan! As we all know, life happens! Once Charleston Elopement Packages has been booked by the contract, we are bound to perform the ceremony. Having a team of officiants working for Charleston Elopement Packages, this is not a concern! A bride saying her officiant/minister cancelled out on her with a week’s notice often contacts us. If for some reason all of us cannot perform your wedding, we will arrange for another trusted officiant to take our place. In fact, in their emergency situations, other ministers often rely on us.
Do I need a SC marriage license?
You will need to obtain a SC marriage license. You can get one from any county in the state. The main consideration is the 24 hour waiting period. If you apply for your license at 2 pm on Thursday, you cannot pick up your license until 2pm on Friday.
You can get this at any time as it does not expire. Each county has its own price and required documentation. Charleston County Probate is located at 100 Broad Street in download Charleston. Here is more information on the marriage license.
What happens if it rains?
Shh, we don’t like to use the R-word!! I know, rain happens… First thing we check is when is the rain. The general weather may say 60% chance of rain, but if that is in the morning and you have an afternoon wedding, no problem! Next we check the where. It could be pouring in Mount Pleasant, and not a drop in Charleston, or Folly Beach. How flexible are we with timing? If it is an elopement it is easier to say afternoon storms, so let’s do the wedding at 2 instead of 6pm. If we have 30 guests, it is harder to change time. In most locations, there is a covered area close by. We also check to see ifwe can use a space at your accommodations. Often I hear from brides, “we don’t care if it’s raining, we are going ahead with the ceremony!” I understand that thinking, however, if it is thunder and lightning, for safety, Charleston Elopement Packages and any vendor contracted under Charleston Elopement Packages will not be out in the weather. If it is a soft rain, the officiant can still perform the ceremony, but most photographers and musicians will not allow their equipment in the damaging weather.
Life happens, and something could prevent your wedding from occurring as planned. Your contract will lock in Charleston Elopement Packages to your date and time of ceremony; henceforth blocking Charleston Elopement Packages from booking another Couple on same date and time. For this purpose; if for any reason a decision is made not to use the services of Charleston Elopement Packages after retaining by deposit, the Couple must inform Charleston Elopement Packages in writing at least 30 days prior to the ceremony date to release the Couple from the contract. The Couple will be able to reschedule using the monies paid for 6 months after the cancellation date. No refunds will be issued.
If Charleston Elopement Packages is unable to perform your wedding due to an unforeseeable event (hurricane, virus pandemic, zombie attack, etc) a choice will be given to the Couple. The Couple can choose to reschedule to a later date, keeping the package at its agreed upon rate, or receive a refund minus any fees incurred. The refund option is being given as Charleston Elopement Packages is unable to perform the services on the contracted date and time. For example, if we are under evacuation due to a hurricane.
I hope this has answered some of your questions. If not, shoot us an email so we can get you the answer!