South Carolina is a state that is full of history, beauty, and hospitality. It’s no surprise that it’s an incredible destination for weddings! While the state is home to various gorgeous estates and gardens, nestled into the heart of Charleston is a true historical gem. The South Carolina Society Hall has been a beacon of community and charity for centuries, and today, it welcomes gatherings and celebrations of all sizes. A South Carolina Society Hall wedding could be the perfect fit if you’re looking for a Charleston venue with history and heart.
South Carolina Society Hall is regarded as one of the country’s most historic and stunning buildings, let alone in Charleston. While its construction ended in 1804, the story of how it came to be goes back another 70 years. In the mid-1730s, a French tavern owner was struggling with his business. A few friends, also Frenchmen, came together to help, donating two bits, or sixteen pence, a week to help keep the tavern afloat.
Eventually, the tavern no longer needed help, and the group of supporters (now known as the “two-bit society”) decided to become an official organization dedicated to charity. They chose education as their primary mission, and on December 20, 1752, King George II officially confirmed The French Society. Soon after that, they changed their name to the South Carolina Society.
The South Carolina Society first built a school for orphan boys, eventually gifting it to the city of Charleston and moving it to Rutledge Avenue, where it became the High School of Charleston. Then, they built the South Carolina Society Hall at its current location, 72 Meeting Street, as a school for female orphans and indigents. The first floor of the building served as the school, while the second floor served as a beautiful ballroom designed for social purposes. Once the school closed in 1841, the building became a gathering place, hosting weddings, Cotillions, business meetings, and other significant celebrations.
Today, this iconic building continues to host elegant gatherings. Its historic charm, community roots, and beautiful spaces make it a popular venue for weddings of all sizes, a beautiful blank canvas for any dream-worthy event.
The South Carolina Society Hall has all the space you need for a unique wedding for up to 120 guests (with dancing – 150 if you don’t intend to include a dance floor.)
Begin your day in their beautiful women’s powder room, nestled between the first and second floors. The room has a long vanity and several mirrors, perfect for hair and makeup application. Windows let in plenty of natural light, perfect for photographers who capture intimate getting-ready moments with you and your closest friends and family. While there isn’t a specific spot for your partner and their party to prepare onsite, I recommend having them get ready nearby and join you for some extra pictures downstairs that will look cohesive with yours. (Side note: another thing to be aware of is that the powder room is inaccessible by elevator. If you have someone in your party who has trouble climbing stairs, you’ll want to take that into consideration.)
In the heart of downtown Charleston, the South Carolina Society Hall is close to various beautiful churches, parks, and other facilities for hosting a ceremony. That said, the first floor of the South Carolina Society Hall is an excellent choice for a wedding ceremony. If it’s a little too cramped, host your ceremony in the ballroom upstairs and have your guests mingle in a few connecting rooms downstairs for cocktail hour as your coordinating team flips the ballroom into your reception.
The first floor consists of two beautiful rooms with sage green walls, white wainscoting, and elegant fireplaces. The room at the front of the building also has magnificent floor-to-ceiling arched windows, historic molding, and a crystal chandelier. You can say “I do” in front of the fireplace with a mantle draped in your signature florals for an extra special touch. These first-floor rooms are also ideal for smaller receptions; dine in one room and dance in the other!
When you climb the stairs to the second floor, you’ll find yourself in a beautiful landing room with another fireplace and chandelier. Wide double doors lead into the hall’s beautiful ballroom. This large open space is perfect for grand ceremonies and receptions. At the far side of the room is a beautiful feature in front of a gorgeous Palladian window with four stately columns. This is the perfect spot for a vow exchange or a sweetheart table for the couple of honor.
The ballroom features two more gorgeous fireplaces, grand chandeliers, and warm, inviting hardwood floors. A wall of windows let in beautiful natural light during the day. Throughout the Hall are portraits and plaques acknowledging honorable donors, dating back to when contributions were made in British pounds. History buffs will love the unique feel of this venue, as its legacy is prominent in every room.
Photo from Party Slate
The South Carolina Society Hall is an iconic South Carolina building. Its grand front entry, split staircase, ornate wrought iron railings, and formal columns make a great backdrop for dramatic pictures. The interior of the building has so much natural light and unique architectural features that come to life in pictures.
The column feature in the ballroom is epic for full-body portraits that show off you in your wedding attire or sweeping romantic portraits. Plus, you’ll be in the heart of downtown Charleston! We can hit the streets for some stunning pictures on beautiful streets nearby for incredible outdoor shots.
When you host your wedding at the South Carolina Society Hall, you’ll have the freedom to choose your own professional vendors for all of your wedding needs. They do have a preferred vendor list, but you don’t have to use it if you have other vendors in mind. The venue also highly recommends that you have a professional event planner for your wedding. While it’s not required, it will allow for a more seamless event experience, and you and your partner can enjoy feeling present rather than trying to ensure everything runs smoothly.
A South Carolina Society Hall wedding is a beautiful event with history, refinement, and heart. See the potential for yourself by scheduling a tour!
Then, when you’re ready to discuss how we can use the gorgeous Hall for your wedding, let’s start a conversation! I’d be honored to be a part of your wedding day as your photographer.