If you are looking for a southern venue steeped in history for your wedding, the southeast is filled with former plantations, homes and hotels that have been updated with modern 21st century comforts, but still retain their historic look and feel. Following are just a few gems that provide a memorable backdrop for your special day. They are perfect for couples planning destination weddings and locals who want a beautiful wedding at home.
Atlanta, Georgia – The Estate
The Estate, built in 1797, sits on three acres of land in the Atlanta suburb of Buckhead, which is known worldwide for its upscale shopping and hotels. The Estate makes a wonderful venue for anyone who envisions an elegant southern wedding. The property retains an old southern charm, but has been modernized to accommodate any event with style and comfort. Some of the “new” elements are actually very old. As part of the renovation, rooms that had previously been closed off were opened and 200-year-old balusters, which were found up in the attic, now adorn the stairways.
The Estate has been redesigned to provide a variety of intimate spaces, including salons, sitting rooms and even wine cellars that have been converted into lounges. One of its hallmarks is the grand ballroom that opens out onto a terrace. It is perfect for just about any size wedding, from an intimate affair to one with a full dinner for 200 people. The outdoor event spaces include a courtyard and terrace that reflect the antebellum history of the property and provide a place for guests to enjoy the gardens and trees. The Estate has award-winning Atlanta catering, floral and design teams who work with clients and their wedding planners to make the day perfect.
Asheville, North Carolina – The Biltmore Estate
George Vanderbilt built his estate in the breathtaking Blue Ridge Mountains during the late 19th century. His daughter Cornelia Vanderbilt, who herself had her 1924 wedding there, opened the Biltmore Estate to the public in 1930 to help tourism during the Depression. The 8,000-acre estate is now one of the most popular attractions in North Carolina.
The Biltmore Estate offers spaces of every size and style to accommodate wedding ceremonies, receptions and other activities for groups of 10 to 500. Weddings can be held outside on the front lawn, the gardens, in the conservatory or at the Inn on Biltmore Estate. The Inn includes ballrooms as well as smaller spaces. It also makes the perfect location for your wedding guests to stay and explore the area.
Charleston, South Carolina – William Aiken House
There are larger locations in this iconic southern city for a wedding, but the William Aiken House offers an elegant, yet intimate venue. The National Historic Landmark has been restored to its 1810 design, complete with period antiques and artwork. It offers indoor and outdoor spaces, including two ballrooms, sitting rooms, dining rooms and piazzas overlooking a garden and courtyards. The house can accommodate intimate weddings, but larger ones up to 500 people as well.
The William Aiken House is nestled in Charleston’s Upper King Design District and includes two luxurious suites in the renovated carriage house. Wedding catering includes specialty wedding cakes, as well as chef stations, raw bars and plated meals.
St. Pete Beach, Florida – Loews Don Cesar Hotel
If a beach wedding is more your taste, the Loews Don Cesar Hotel on the Gulf Coast provides 1920s style that will take you back to the jazz age. Known as the “Pink Palace,” this landmark has been a destination for the rich and famous from around the world since the “Roaring Twenties,” when it played host to such luminaries as F. Scott Fitzgerald and Clarence Darrow.
The hotel’s wedding caterers and specialists can handle every aspect of the event. They are even licensed to officiate the wedding. You can choose to hold your ceremony and reception in a beachside pavilion, the ballroom or one of their courtyards. As with all Loews hotels, it has special programs for child and pet visitors, which makes it great for the whole family.
Williamsburg, Virginia – The Williamsburg Inn
If you are looking for a wedding location older than the country itself, Colonial Williamsburg will truly take you back in time. Thomas Jefferson once walked the city’s cobblestone streets as a student at the College of William and Mary.
The luxurious Williamsburg Inn, built in 1937 by John D. Rockefeller Jr., is considered the “crown jewel” of Colonial Williamsburg hotels and has everything you need for a modern wedding of any size. Rockefeller Jr. wanted to provide guests with a first-class European-style experience.
The hotel has been extensively renovated to provide 21st-century amenities with a whitewashed brick exterior and interior design reminiscent of a southern country estate. Guests can stroll down Duke of Gloucester Street or enjoy golf, tennis, croquet and afternoon royal tea at the inn.
Whether you decide to celebrate your wedding in one of these special locations, or decide to go with another choice, the South provides no end of elegant, historic locations to make the event memorable for you and your guests.
Dave Lishness is the president of A Legendary Event. Formed in 1997, A Legendary Event has grown into a multi-million dollar full-service event enterprise, including Atlanta catering, event design, floral and event venues. CEO and Founder Tony Conway is admired by top CEOs, celebrities, politicians and world-class galas for his attention to detail and penchant for providing fresh, trend-setting and uniquely presented fare, always with the client in mind. Learn more at http://www.legendaryevents.com/