Maybe Running Away Is for You …

Maybe Running Away Is for You … | Want to elope? See how this couple lined up their perfect day in Charleston with a little Googling, a marriage license, and a park permit

Mary Murphy & Jeff Lett 

May 12, 2016

Angel Oak Park, John's Island


When Atlanta residents Mary Murphy and Jeff Lett decided to elope, they toyed with locations from their county courthouse to Costa Rica. But after talking it out, they knew they wanted something farther away—and more special—than the former but something easier to plan than the latter.

A weekender to Charleston sold them on the Holy City; a Pinterest search for Lowcountry elopements led to their photographer; a blog post on vows introduced them to their officiant; and their romantic dinner spot—Zero George hotel's Zero Restaurant + Bar—came via a mention on blog The Pursuit of Style. As for the location, they found Angel Oak Park, home to a sprawling, majestic 500-plus-year-old live oak, thanks to an online roundup of private ceremony locations. “The tree’s age and otherworldly beauty made it a perfect choice,” says Mary. “And even though there were other people in the park, they all just faded away when we started.”



Eloping 101

Get a marriage license. At least 24 business hours prior to your wedding, apply in person together at the Charleston County Courthouse Marriage License Division (843/958-5183; 100 Broad St., #469; 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. weekdays) with $70 cash, drivers licenses, and social security numbers.

Obtain a permit, if necessary. If you pick a public park, get a permit ($170 for Angel Oak) through the City of Charleston Parks and Recreation Department (843/724-7327; 823 Meeting St.) two weeks before your event.

Check out the restrictions. Some locations, like Angel Oak, limit guests to 25; don’t allow decorations or chairs; and have limited hours.



Vendor List

Images: Faith Teasley Photography,

Venue(s): Angel Oak Park,; Gibbon Carriage House,

Florals: Lotus Flower (; Whole Foods Market (; Trader Joe’s (

Beauty: Gibson Hair and Makeup,

Officiant: Mobile Marriage,

Bride’s Attire: There Is Only You and Me for BHLDN, (gown); Nordstrom, (fascinator); J.Crew, (bracelet)

Groom’s Attire: Combat Gent, (suit); Calvin Klein, (tie)