There is an allure to a Charleston wedding. Something about those Southern Lowcountry vibes inspire you to take things slow and savor every moment while still reveling in being in one of the most beautiful places on earth. Add in centuries of history and gorgeous weather, and you’ve got the perfect recipe for a romantic wedding. The Historic Rice Mill is a stunning waterfront venue with both indoor and outdoor event options, views of a gorgeous marina, and plenty of space for a decent guest list. If you’re looking for a venue with character, beauty, and signature Charleston charm, you’ll definitely want to consider a Historic Rice Mill wedding.
The Historic Rice Mill has a long, storied history in Charleston. Originally built in 1840, the building burned to the ground in 1860. But it became rebuilt and fully operational by 1863. During the Civil War, it was occupied by the Union Army and used as a food distribution center. In the decades that followed, it continued to serve as a rice mill until it was proposed the building be reimagined as an international seaplane terminal in the early 1930s. World War II quickly shut down those plans. Though the US Navy used it through the 1950s. From 1966 – 1986, the beautiful building sat abandoned, a deteriorating but majestic beacon on the South Carolina coast.
In 1989, another fire damaged the building significantly, and Hurricane Hugo followed closely thereafter and tore the roof to shreds. The Rice Mill was leased to the Bennett-Hofford Company, who invested in a $3 million renovation, leading to the building being added to the National Register and winning awards for its restoration.
Today, the Historic Rice Mill is a spectacular waterfront venue with indoor and outdoor event spaces. The views are unparalleled, looking out over a beautiful marina and classic Lowcountry marshland. Managed by Holy City Hospitality, it has become one of Charleston’s leading venues for elegant events with style, timeless romance, and historic Southern Charm.
A wedding at the Historic Rice Mill is versatile and elegant and has endless potential to be the wedding venue of your dreams. With nearly 4,000 square feet of event space on the historic waterfront, the views alone make for a dreamy wedding.
While the space is designed for events, there are no bridal suites or getting-ready rooms. So, you may want to plan on preparing for your wedding at a nearby quaint Airbnb or a private salon. That being said, we can absolutely take final getting-ready detail shots (individual portraits, buttoning up a dress, etc.) once we’re at the venue. Just don’t plan on having private space available.
If you plan on doing a first look (and I am here for it and happy to talk it through if you’re on the fence!), there are so many beautiful locations for a sweet, intimate moment. With an exterior of historic red brick, flourishing greenery and landscaping, and sweeping marina views, we’ll be able to find the picture-perfect spot for meaningful photos.
The space itself is pretty versatile when it comes to the usage of its indoor and outdoor spaces, but it’s hard to resist an outdoor ceremony on one of the porches overlooking the waterfront. Add your own personal decorative touches to incorporate your colors and theme, but you won’t need much with the space’s preexisting beauty.
Indoors, they use 3 primary spaces for your event. The Marina Room overlooks the beautiful marina, boasting views of blue water and marshy grasses along with elegant boats. There is also an attached main dining room for hosting your guests for a delicious meal (more on that soon) and a separate space with an epic bar, an adjoining covered patio, and plenty of space for dancing and live music.
As far as your guest list is concerned, the Historic Rice Mill can accommodate 190 – 230 people for a seated reception, though you can also use the patios as additional flexible space. For your ceremony, you can accommodate up to 140 guests for an outdoor waterfront ceremony, 250 people at their “Under the Oaks” space, or a more intimate 90 guests for an indoor ceremony in the Marina Room.
The building’s historic architecture is an inherent part of its charm. Exposed brick walls, wide plank wooden floors, and large double windows all transport your event back to another era. Pressed tin ceilings are another fun detail totally unique to the venue.
Whatever the weather, your wedding will take advantage of all of the Lowcountry beauty of the Historic Rice Mill, indoors, outdoors, or both.
The Historic Rice Mill has so many gorgeous locations for photos throughout the property. From the wooden dock that runs the back of the building up against the Marina Room to the courtyards with gorgeous landscaping, there are plenty of spots for portraits. There’s also a nearby expansive dock that offers a unique waterfront perspective. The exposed brick offers a rustic option for group photos or couple shots. The marina and boats themselves offer a breathtaking backdrop, too, with plenty of signature Lowcountry charm. You’ll definitely want to make sure we carve out some time for sunset photos, too, when the entire property glows with romantic, golden light for timeless pictures you’ll treasure for the rest of your lives.
Photo taken by MCG Photography
I mentioned delicious food early, and I wasn’t lying! Good Food Catering is the exclusive caterer of the Historic Rice Mill, as well as several other Holy City Hospitality venues. From the creators and chefs of 39 Rue de Jean, Coast Bar and Grill, and Virginia’s on King, Good Food Catering knows every memorable party starts with just that – good food. Your first meal as a married couple will be a restaurant-quality feast that your closest friends and family will love.
When you host your wedding at the Historic Rice Mill, you’ll have access to the space for 9 hours: 3 hours to set up, 4 hours for your event, and 2 hours for cleanup. They do have a limited inventory of tables and chairs and serviceware for up to 150 guests (additional can be rented.)
If a Historic Rice Mill wedding is everything you’ve dreamed of and more, reach out and set up a tour to see the venue for yourself in person. You’ll fall in love with the beautiful views, intimate venue spaces, and Southern hospitality.
If you’re still searching for the perfect wedding photographer, I’d love to put my artistry, expertise, and passion for Charleston weddings to good use for you. Let’s connect so we can start talking about your spectacular wedding celebrations!