Picturesque McClellanville is a wonderful setting for a wedding with our old live oaks with Spanish moss gently dangling off their limbs, the majestic shrimp boats at the end of a winding marshy creek, historic homes and sleepy little roads at every turn. It all reminds you of something out of Gone with the Wind, or maybe something more modern starring Sandra Bullock or Reese Witherspoon standing in a white wedding dress under a cute little lattice archway under a beautiful canopy of trees in front of their 50 closest friends and family.
We’ve had the pleasure of being involved with many rehearsals, weddings, and receptions over the years that took place on the ground of our rental properties. We work diligently with brides, grooms, their parents, future in-laws, and all of their family and guests to make the experience as trouble-free as possible so that guests can simply focus on having a great time and building fabulous memories.
Here are some things that you should know:
In a perfect world, you’ll pick a weekend at least 6-months into the future in order to allow for not only your wedding venue availability but also guest accommodations. I recommend choosing your date based on what’s available, because you may find that things are already booked up and your guests wind up staying in hotels 30 minutes away. Fall is a lovely time of the year, but September and October are also our busiest times due to the best fishing and shrimping. At the same time, please understand that over a year out is too soon for us to lock in some homes that may be listed for sale or owners are unsure about future use. We can always pencil you in on our calendar and give you first right of refusal on dates, but just can’t guarantee certain properties. We can try to be as flexible as possible with our policies, but understand that booking a weekend stay one year out in the middle of summer when homes typically rent for a week or longer is not to the owner’s advantage. We will not rent for stays shorter than 3 nights, so for a Saturday wedding plan on guests coming in on Thursday afternoon and staying through Monday morning. If they want to leave early that’s fine, but Sunday morning check-outs have been disastrous for us because people stay up late and then sleep-in not leaving time to pack and clean-up.
While McClellanville is home to numerous beautiful churches, it has been my experience that they are in the habit of declining requests from members outside of their congregation to get married on their grounds. This is certainly their own decision to make and one which I respect, but it doesn’t leave many options for people wanting an inside wedding as there are no local halls for rent. As a result, the vacation rental homes that I manage are the only properties which I know to recommend. Please understand that for the purpose of events, you are renting the grounds only and that no guests other than those staying at the home are permitted inside the residence.
Any time you are going to be outside in McClellanville there is going to be a chance that bugs can be bad. Whether it’s the “no-see-ums” or mosquitoes, they are almost a year-round nuisance that we’ve all grown used to, but admittedly can be pretty rotten wedding crashers. The good news is that eco-friendly pest controls exist that produce remarkable results. I’ve been to weddings when the mosquitoes were at their height and we had the yard treated and not a person was slapping mosquitoes all day long. I can’t wave a magic wand and make it sunny and bright on your wedding day, but I can try my best to keep pests to a minimum if you are concerned.
One of the biggest criteria for your wedding and any rehearsal party or reception is the size of your party. Large venues are designed to accommodate lots of cars, foot traffic, and bathroom visits, but again these homes were built for a single family. Not only do we not want to cause a parking nuisance for neighbors with too many cars up and down the street, but my biggest concern as a property manager of homes that are all on private septic tanks is that these systems simply were not designed to have the toilet flushed 50-100 times in a 3-hour period. As such, we require you to rent portable toilets at our events. The good news is that there are more pleasant alternative designs for nice occasions such as this than the traditional ugly port-o-potty that you might be envisioning. Outdoor restroom solution is that it also limits traffic inside the rental home which lowers the renter’s liability of accidental damage and wear and tear.
As previously noted, the homes that I manage are in residential neighborhoods and while some may be are large private lots, they still have neighbors with lives of their own and work in the morning, so I respectfully require night-time activities to end at 9pm. People who haven’t lived on the water may not realize it, but sound travels and can actually be amplified across the water, so that even guests talking loudly in a waterfront yard can be a nuisance to all residents within a mile of the property up and down the creek. I want the bride and grooms day to be special, but it’s not worth upsetting the residents of the area over.