It’s no secret that Myrtle Beach is filled with a variety of amazing wedding vendors to help you style and plan your big day. This year I plan to feature some of my favorite vendors that I have worked with many times over the past decade. They produce consistently incredible results every time and get the Crystal Lee seal of approval.
I couldn’t think of a better person to start this series off with than Eric Hunt, the face behind Myrtle Beach Wedding Officiant. With over 300 reviews on WeddingWire and a page full of accolades, Eric is most certainly one of the best in the biz. His positive energy is absolutely contagious, it’s impossible not to smile when you’re talking with him! He genuinely enjoys what he does and it was an honor to interview him.
How did you get started in this business?
What started as dinner conversation with friends turned into passion for weddings. I have a very diverse professional background, but I have always been in the business of serving others. Many people do not know that I am a licensed funeral director and embalmer, back in Virginia I managed a funeral home for six years. Around 12 years ago my wife and I were out at dinner with our friends Justin and Sarah who were planning their wedding. As we discussed their wedding plans they shared their disappointment that our current minister was not willing to perform their wedding, as the bride-to-be had been previously married and was divorced. To lighten the mood, my response was, “Well, I bury people, I guess I can marry you!” My joking comment turned into a serious conversation as they said they would absolutely love for me to celebrate their wedding day. Now, I had no idea how to make this happen at the time, but started researching how to be able to legally perform their wedding ceremony. Every state differs in their requirements and Virginia is one of the most finicky. In order to be appointed I had to petition the circuit court and meet all the court’s requirements for approval. After the lengthy process I was appointed as a Marriage Commissioner and was able to celebrate with Justin and Sarah. Following their wedding I filed their marriage license and marked the experience down in the memory book as bucket-list item I never thought that I’d do. Little did I know this would only be the beginning as unbeknownst to me since I was appointed through the court the clerk’s office began giving my info out to couples when they applied for their marriage license. Random couples started reaching out asking me to perform their weddings and the rest is… well, you know what they say.
I performed weddings their in Virginia for around two years and then we decided to relocate to Myrtle Beach, of course I immediately knew I wanted to continue celebrating weddings at my favorite place, the beach. I went through process of fulfilling the legalities to be able of officiate weddings here in South Carolina and over the years have since been ordained as well. My practice as a professional wedding officiant has grown over the past 12 years to more than I could’ve ever imagined. Looking back and the beginning to where I am today it’s really hard to believe, but I am so very blessed to be able to serve and do what I love each and every day!
How many weddings do you do in a year?
On average I serve around 350 couples each year. To date I have performed over 1500+ weddings.
What do you love most about celebrating weddings?
Celebrating weddings allows me to be part of one of the greatest moments in a couple’s relationship. I love being able to be part of these life moments, to share in the laughter, tears and spiritual intimacy the wedding ceremony brings. I also get to work in the most beautiful settings and venues with some of best professional vendors in the industry.
What’s your favorite or most memorable wedding story?
It’s so hard to pick just one as over the years I have had so many and each one is special, but one of my recent favorites was on stage at CCMF where country music star Brett Young decided to crash the wedding mid-ceremony!
The selfie challenge… I absolutely love seeing these come across my facebook feed! How did this tradition start for you?
This is one of my favorites! I was talking with another wedding vendor about our weddings and the topic of pictures came up, I took a selfie with the couple that day and it became my thing.
From a vendor’s perspective, what is the one best piece of advice you can offer to engaged couples?
This is YOUR day and your wedding day should reflect who you are as a couple. Be sure to research your options and especially your vendors.
What do you like to do when you are away from work?
I am a husband and father first, when not working I’m spending time with my family. I am a “Parrotthead” – Jimmy Buffett Fan, Beach Bum, and love to travel. I am a huge foodie and love trying new places, honestly anytime I travel one of the most important things I research is the food scene.
How far in advance should couples book your services?
I always say as soon as you pick a date and set your venue, we should talk. It really depends on each couples’ plans, but for traditional wedding dates I typically begin booking around 10-12 months out.
Eric also has a really fantastic and informative page on his website about how and where to obtain your South Carolina marriage license. This is a must read for any couple!
If you’d like to see Eric in action, check out this video from my own wedding, filmed by the always-amazing A Thousand Cranes Productions.