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College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management

Image of a lovely young couple marrying in an outdoor setting.

Love Story Wedding

The University of South Carolina's College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management is looking for one lucky couple to receive a free wedding this fall!

One lucky couple

Jillian Owens and Brad Morris sit on a bench together after the announcement that they've won the Love Story Wedding contest.

Congratulations to Jillian Owens and Brad Morris for winning the 2019 Love Story Wedding. The couple will be awarded a free wedding planned by the College of HRSM's wedding planning class.  Read their story here. 

The application period for the 2019 Love Story Wedding has now closed.


Students in University of South Carolina's wedding planning class gain hands-on experience in event management by planning and implementing a free wedding for one lucky couple. 

From rings to dresses and tuxes to rehearsal, reception and honeymoon, the bride and groom need not spend a dime. In exchange, the bride and groom turn over all decision-making for the wedding to the students. The couple is invited to attend classes and their wishes are taken into account, but the student event planners make all the calls.

The free wedding is possible only thanks to the generosity of local businesses, who donate everything needed. Part of the students’ responsibility is seeking out those donations as they work, under the professor's direction, to plan every detail.

The Fall 2019 ceremony will be the 40th UofSC Love Story Wedding. The class is part of the hospitality management degree program at South Carolina. 

How to apply

To apply, send your love story in the form of a 500-word essay or 3-minute video to Please include your name, fiancé's name, city of residents, and why you and your soon-to-be spouse deserve a love story wedding. For video entries, please email a link (YouTube or other) to your video entry. Please read all eligibility requirements and judging criteria before entering. 

Deadline to apply for fall 2019 is 11:59 p.m. on August 26, 2019


  • Must  be at least 18 years of age
  • Must be engaged to be married at the time of application
  • Must be a legal resident of South Carolina
  • University of South Carolina employees and their fiancés are not eligible
  • Must be willing to allow the student planners to make all wedding-related decisions, including the date and venue

Judging Criteria

Students in the wedding planning class will pick the winner and two runners up. The runners up may be called upon should the first place winner not be able to participate in the wedding. The students will evaluate the entries based on:

  • Quality and emotional impact of the love story essay or video
  • Demonstration of need for a free wedding
  • The couples tie to or love for the University of South Carolina

Prize Details

The free wedding includes the following elements:

  • A wedding dress and tuxedo for the bride and groom
  • Wedding bands
  • Dresses and tuxedos for up to three bridesmaids and three groomsmen 
  • Dresses or suits for one flower girl and one ring bearer
  • Wedding and reception venue 
  • Cake and refreshments
  • Flowers
  • A honeymoon


The winning couple understands and agrees that they (1) relinquish all wedding planning decisions to the students, (2) grant the University of South Carolina and the College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management, in perpetuity, the right to record (both audio and visual) and publicize or otherwise make use of, in any manner and in any medium, the names, images, likenesses and history of the winning couple, and all aspects of the event, including pre-wedding planning through wedding day celebration (“Wedding Event”), and (3) waive any and all claims against the University of South Carolina and the College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management, their employees and agents, arising out of or resulting in any manner from the winning couple’s participation in the Love Story Wedding.

The College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management does not guarantee a minimum value or quality of the wedding and reserves the right to cancel the wedding in its sole discretion.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.