Their website boasts about being "America's Most Photographed Plantation", and immediately after you go through the gates and begin your trek back into the grounds, you'll see why as you coast through the Avenue Of Oaks. On the eve of what would become Charleston's brush with Tropical Storm Michael last week, I stopped in and took a a quick walk around the area in between the tropical downpours of the afternoon. I met up with Natalie Knox, who you'll be speaking with after you read this post about booking your wedding at Boone Hall Plantation. I'll get into my conversation with Natalie in a bit, but as I was driving back into the plantation, I was approaching the famous "Avenue Of Oaks", and immediately my mind drifted back to a TV series that aired back in the mid 1980s when I was in middle school starring the late Patrick Swayze, as well as Kirstie Alley, and the late Hal Holbrook. "North & South" was filmed at numerous locations around Charleston, including Boone Hall Plantation.
The iconic "Avenue Of Oaks" at Boone Hall Plantation
For a more recent view of Boone Hall Plantation in a movie, you probably remember that famous scene where Rachael McAdams and Ryan Gosling are biking down the road where the Avenue Of Oaks are in "The Notebook". Let's not digress though too far from the topic at hand :) That, of course is having your wedding out at Boone Hall Plantation. Of course now I've probably got you even more interested about Boone Hall that you'll want to binge watch "The Notebook" on Netflix tonight. It's hard not to think about romance when walking around Boone Hall Plantation. Perhaps you saw "The Notebook" and might have been inspired to have your own "bike scene" down the Avenue of Oaks? Before we get into some of the details about having your Charleston wedding out at Boone Hall Plantation, let's dabble a little about the history of this iconic Southern plantation.
Famous Bike Scene: "The Notebook" | 2004 | Photo Credit: New Line Cinema
The Beautiful Beginnings Of Boone Hall Plantation
John Boone would be the one to establish Boone Hall Plantation back in 1681. He would actually receive the land for Boone Hall as a wedding gift. Over 80 oaktrees have been planted since the establishment of the plantation and you can see alot of those when you drive slowly down the Avenue Of Oaks and take in it's truly beautiful sight. As was with a lot of southern plantations in the early 1800s, slave labor was introduced and it was those slaves who were used in the harvest of rice, cotton, and indigo. By 1817, the Holbreck family purchased Boone Hall and started a brickyard. Slaves would make brick that would be used to build some of the oldest buildings in downtown Charleston. Also, when you tour the plantation, you'll be able to see the original slave cabins and learn more about the daily lives of the slaves back during this time.
The current owner's of Boone Hall are the McRae family, who purchased the plantation back in 1955, and opened it up to the public in 1957. The plantation started out at a total of 470 acres and has since grown to 738 acres today, and is still a "working" plantation that grows strawberries, peaches, pumpkins, and whole host of vegetables. In addition to it being one of the most popular places for Charleston weddings, there are numerous social events held through out the year at Boone Hall Plantation. These social events include concerts, the Pumpkin Patch, Wine Under The Oaks, oyster roasts, and so much more.
Have Your Charleston Wedding At Boone Hall Plantation
Let's get into my conversation with Natalie Knox out at Boone Hall Plantation. She is ready to talk to you if you have not secured a wedding venue for your Charleston wedding, but prime dates are quickly booking, so you need to contact her soon.
What all is required to book your wedding at Boone Hall Plantation? Pricing information is available on our website by clicking this link, but a signed contract will be required and 50% deposit. Due to a high demand in Boone Hall Plantaiton, couples are only given a week to hold their date without any deposit.
Can a bride and groom bring their own wedding vendors or are they required to use vendors on your preferred vendors list? The only vendor that Boone Hall requires is for the catering and bar, but there are 5 of the finest caterers in Charleston on their list, so you will have a lot of different options.
Tasteful Lighting At The Cotton Dock | Photo Courtesy: Charleston Uplighting
Does Boone Hall Plantation require couples to have insuurance for their wedding? Yes! Couples will need to purchase a general liability insurance package prior to their wedding date. Most venues require at least $1 million in coverage.
Photo Credit: Clary Pfeiffer
What do couples get when they book their wedding at Boone Hall Plantation? The venue itself. Basically all the beauty of Boone Hall comes to each bride and groom as a blank slate, so everything has to be brought in separately, which is perfect for the couple because they can pick and choose what they like and customize to their personalities.
The Cotton Dock at Boone Hall Plantation backs up to the water for an amazing experience for your wedding reception or private event.
The Dock View Of The Water At The Boone Hall Cotton Dock
Do couples require a planner / coordinator on contract when booking their wedding at Boone Hall? Like most of the popular wedding venues in Charleston, at least a "day-of" coordinator is required when you book your wedding out at Boone Hall. If couples really want to go the extra mile and get an even more custom experience, they'll want to hire a full service wedding planner to assist in transforming that "blank slate" that was mentioned up above into one of the most beautiful and memorable experiences of their life.
Photo Credit: Clary Pfeiffer
What are some of the features that separate Boone Hall Plantation from all the other amazing areas to get married in Charleston? The grounds themselves! They are one of a kind. You come down the Avenue Of Oaks and you'll get chills when you see it for the first time. Brides and grooms get the traditional southern plantation feeling. Then, after your wedding ceremony, you and your guests make their way down to the Cotton Dock, which is a fun venue right on the water, which brings in a coastal element. It gives the couple and their guests the best of both worlds.
How many people can Boone Hall Plantation accomodate for a wedding? It really depends on many different facotors like whether the couples wants to have a sit-down (plated meal) versus a buffet stations style reception. The Cotton Dock can hold up to 300 guests, and the Back Lawn venue can hold up to thousands for a reception.
How many areas at Boone Hall are available to hold a wedding ceremony / reception? We have about 4 different venues, says Natalie, that can be used in many different ways. The Side Lawn (Avenue Of Oaks) may be used for a ceremony, the Front Lawn may be used for ceremonies, the Cotton Dock may be used for their wedding ceremony and reception, and the Back Lawn for ceremony and / or reception. Many different options are available to cater to lots of different needs and visions.
Photo Credit: Clary Pfeiffer
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