Wedding at the Pawleys Island Chapel with a reception at the Pelican Inn

The Pelican Inn is a bed and breakfast built in the mid-1800s in the beautiful Pawleys Island, SC area. While the house itself is not very impressive looking from the outside, it’s in a perfect location between the salt marsh and beach, surrounded by old oak trees and greenery. It’s a unique spot, and I don’t know of any other wedding location in the area quite like it. The inside of the house has a very rustic look but is clean and air conditioned. The wedding decorations and guest’s tables are set up on the large porch surrounding the house, and the lawn out back can be used as well. The bride has a private downstairs room in the inn where she can do her wedding preparations.

I met Sarah and Ryan, this bride and groom, well over a year ago when I took their engagement pictures with their two dogs. I started out taking getting ready pictures with Sarah and her bridesmaids at the Pelican Inn. Because the guys were getting ready in another location, we were able to go out on the marsh boardwalk and take some pictures with just the girls. At the end of the private boardwalk, there is also a small boat dock. Here, we had some nice shade for group pictures, and pictures of Sarah with each individual bridesmaid as well.

The wedding ceremony was being held at the nearby Pawleys Island Chapel on the Marsh. This is another rustic and beautiful location on the salt marsh, which I’ve featured in blog posts before. Because I was shooting this wedding by myself, I just met up with the guys about 30 min before the ceremony to get some pictures with them together. It was a little difficult wrangling the groomsmen together for pictures before the ceremony, I think they had a few more drinks than they should have. But everything worked out fine and we got some nice shots around the chapel and nearby boardwalk. It’s always a little difficult in a small chapel to get close-up pictures of the faces of the bride and groom during the ceremony. I don’t want to be too distracting, but I managed to work my way over to the front sides and got some great shots of their expressions during the vows. It’s also difficult here because of the backlighting from the windows. I used my Godox AD200 flashes to help brighten the interior of the chapel to match the light from the windows better.

After the ceremony, I took the bridal party down for some pictures on the beach behind the Pelican Inn. That is what is so unique about this area. It is so accessible to both the beach and the salt marsh. Sarah and Ryan had to get a shot with the “Keep of Groin” sign on the beach. I have a feeling no one obeys that sign. I got my feet completely soaked during the pictures, but it was worth it, getting some great shots of them surrounded by the ocean. One of the bridesmaids also helped us get some beautiful shots of Sarah’s veil blowing in the wind. After the beach pictures, we went to the marsh for some sunset pictures, surrounded by the grass on the boardwalk. Because of the recent hurricane, many of the boardwalks out onto the marsh are falling over or broken. You can see some of the wood twisting into the marsh behind the bride and groom in the background. Thankfully, the boardwalk for the Pelican Inn is well maintained and in good condition.

I only stayed for a short time at the reception, but I got a lot of fun dancing and some great shots of the bouquet toss. Everything went smoothly thanks to the planning of Willow Event Designs and DJ Butch Barnes. The Pelican Inn has a nice outdoor dance area that is surrounded by string lights hanging from the trees. It’s also fun being able to walk up the steps and get some overhead shots of the dance floor. I hope you enjoy the pictures below, if you are considering the Pelican Inn as your wedding location, let me know and I can give you some extra thoughts about it.

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