Your wedding day. Without a doubt, it's one of the most significant events you will ever experience - when you and the love of your life officially seal the deal and get married. On this day, your friends and family will gather to celebrate the next step in your life. Photographers will be running around snapping photos, catering plates delicious food for guests to enjoy, and the DJ sets the mood for a night of fun and libation. You've worked extra hard to make everything look perfect and run smoothly. You have examined every moving part down to the tiniest detail. At the center of all your effort is your wedding venue in Aiken, SC.
Your event space can mean the difference between an unforgettable event and an average occasion. Capturing your uniqueness as a couple is paramount to a memorable wedding. But, without the right venue location and staff, your unforgettable event can turn into a painfully average occasion. Fortunately, at Abney Hall, you won't ever have to worry about dingy reception spaces and crummy chow halls.
Constructed in Aiken, SC, in 1962, Abney Hall is 15,000 square feet and sits on 500 acres of land, making it a large wedding venue unlike any other. Abney Hall was originally the home of Mrs. Josephine Abney, a Aiken native who was a lifelong philanthropist. Mrs. Abney devoted much of her time and effort towards supporting charities, educational institutions, hospitals, and other noble efforts. Today, Abney Hall stands tall as a symbol of love, both in our community and for the couples who choose to get married here.
Abney Hall is an exclusive event experience unlike any other, surrounded by verdant forests and sparkling ponds. Our venue is a natural fit for several occasions, including:
The beginning of your life starts at Abney Hall. With our team by your side, we can create the fairy tale wedding you have dreamed about since childhood. Whether you have 100 guests or 1,000, our waterfront ceremony locations and French-inspired courtyard are perfect for your big day. Celebrate in luxurious style surrounded by shady magnolia trees, a private forest, large ponds, and the beauty of Mother Nature. While our venue location and aesthetic have been praised far and wide, so too have the practical aspects of Abney Hall. Looking for a relaxing, comfortable spot for your bridal party to get ready in? We offer an entire floor in the Abney Hall residence to get the bridal party ready. Want to make your groomsman feel extra-special too? We've got a private, plush house just feet from a sparkling pond that is a proper hangout spot for the guys in your group.
To make life easier on you, we also offer Abney Hall as your go-to spot for rehearsal dinners. Why book an expensive restaurant or travel to another location when unmatched beauty and convenience are right at your fingertips? Abney Hall is just the place for that very important dinner the night before your big day. We are also happy to host your bridal shower at Abney Hall. Our venue makes for one of Aiken's most unique bridal shower settings, where your family and friends can gather to give gifts and be merry before you walk down the aisle.
With such a large, magnificent house and a vast property, Abney Hall also makes for an unforgettable location for your bridal portraits and other wedding-related photography needs. Don't take our word for it - book a tour and see for yourself why so many new brides and grooms choose Abney Hall as their wedding venue in Aiken.
You've already found the person you want to spend the rest of your life beside. The next step? Finding the perfect wedding venue for your ceremony, reception, and celebration of your lifelong commitment to one another. Remember, the backdrop for photos, dancing, eating, and all other activities will be at your wedding venue. That's why we work so hard to set Abney Hall apart from our competitors - so you and your guests can focus on love and living your new life while we work with your vendors and photographers to make your magic night a reality.
Here are just a few reasons why guests choose Abney Hall as their wedding venue in Aiken, SC, along with some helpful tips from our experienced wedding venue staff:
Choosing the appropriate-sied venue for your desired guest count is a critical decision. A venue's capacity affects the number of people you need to consider having at your ceremony and reception. As you're first starting out, we recommend having a guest count in mind as you're searching for the right venue. Try to stick with that number. You may fall in love with a particular venue, but if its max capacity can't accommodate your guest count, it may be time to cross them off your list.
Keep in mind that this is your big day. You shouldn't feel obligated to invite the college roommate you shared a dorm with for one semester. At the end of the day, your wedding venue should be one that can accommodate those closest to you. Abney Hall is equipped for both small and large weddings, consisting of 500 acres of forest, ponds, and lush natural beauty. Whether you want an intimate wedding with only your best friends or a grand ceremony with hundreds of people, we have the right amount of room to make you comfortable.
On your big day, you're likely to have friends and family traveling in from other parts of the state or country. These folks will need a place to stay during and even after your wedding. Accessibility and ease are important factors when it comes to choosing your wedding venue for both you and your guests.
Located in Aiken, SC, Abney Hall is situated in a memorable, natural setting, giving your wedding a private vibe in the midst of Mother Nature. While we pride ourselves on having a secluded wedding event space, our venue is within an easy driving distance of hotels and vacation rentals.
When you contact us for a tour, make sure to speak with our experienced venue manager about nearby hotels and shuttle service options. We understand that your guest's comfort and convenience are important, and we're happy to work with you to figure out the best way to get your guests to Abney Hall.
At Abney Hall, our staff has earned its reputation as one of the industry's most friendly, accessible teams. We will provide you with a purpose-minded point of contact that can help answer questions relating to timelines, preferred vendors, and every aspect of your wedding. When you tour our wedding venue in Aiken, SC, for the first time, we want you to feel like you have all the information you need to make an informed purchasing decision.
At Abney Hall, our goal is to be your first resource when it comes to setting up and coordinating the details of your wedding day.
When it comes to your wedding's decor, you probably already have a few ideas in mind. We love it when our brides and grooms have a vision in mind because one of our greatest joys is turning that vision into a reality. At Abney Hall, our team is available to help you and your decorator fit, accent, and accommodate your fairy-tale wedding - whatever that may be.
Are you looking to dress up your wedding with decorations galore? Just want to add a few accents that tie into your preferred color palette? Abney Hall is versatile and ready to help however we are able.
If you're thinking about bringing in your own greenery, lighting, floral pieces, and more, we recommend discussing your vision with us on your initial tour of our event space. That way, we can get a head start on making your big day exactly how you envision it.
10 years from now, when you and your spouse are celebrating your anniversary, you will pull out photographs from your wedding and will reminisce about the unforgettable time you spent at Abney Hall. Your wedding photos will be with you forever, and as such, we work closely with you and your photographer to suggest extra-special photo op spots that you can only find on Abney Hall grounds.
From the grand staircase and French-inspired courtyard to our manicured gardens and lovely pond, there is no shortage of photo-op locations for your photographer to choose from. As one of the most popular wedding venues in Aiken, SC, we have worked with dozens of photographers over the years.
Our experience has allowed us to cultivate a list of preferred photographers - all of whom have the talent to take your pictures to the next level in a setting they're familiar with. We encourage you to check out our gallery to get a sense of the scope of our wedding venue and gain inspiration from other happy couples.
The gallery on our website is extensive but be sure to check out our Facebook and Instagram pages as well. We keep our social pages updated with recent wedding photographs, giving you an incredible resource that you can use for your own photography purposes.
Abney Hall is known across the United States for our stunning weddings, but we also play host to some of the largest corporate events in South Carolina. Why choose a bland, lifeless meeting space when you can enjoy the beauty of Mother Nature coupled with a professional atmosphere? If you have an important team-building event or corporate conference that you have to coordinate, look no further than Abney Hall.
The epitome of class and style, our corporate event space is large, lavish, and chock-full of onsite amenities for you and your co-workers to enjoy. If your team needs a morale boost, don't bring them to the local Olive Garden for a cheap lunch. Treat them to a refreshing experience in our main dining room, where we can work with you to incorporate your catering options with the goals of your event.
When the hard work is done, and your team needs a breather, what better way to relax than with a quick dip in our pool? To burn off a little steam, head over to our brand-new tennis court - the perfect place to get some exercise in an ultra-private setting while you enjoy the sights and sounds of nature. Don't forget to bring your fishing poles for a couple of hours of fishing. There's even an opportunity to go hunting if you wish.
If you're ready to learn more about Abney Hall as your wedding venue, don't hesitate to reach out. We would love to hear more about your plans, your vision, and your needs. We know that planning a wedding isn't easy. It takes time, attention to detail, and a whole lot of patience. Our goal is to help provide you with all the info you need to learn more about our venue. Once you decide on a date, we'll work closely with you and your vendors to craft a wedding experience that you will treasure for the rest of your life.
Our available dates for your big day are going quick, especially during peak seasons like spring and fall. We look forward to hearing from you soon!Contact us today for a FREE initial consultation
AIKEN, S.C. – After a national search, the University of South Carolina Aiken is pleased to announce Todd Wilkinson as the Director of Athletics.Wilkinson will assume his duties on Feb. 1, 2023."Todd Wilkinson brings to USC Aiken nearly four decades of highly successful NCAA experience as a player, coach, and administrator," USC Aiken Chancellor Dr. Heimmermann stated. "We are thrilled to welcome Todd and his family to Aiken and look forward to his leadership of Pacer Athletics.&quo...
AIKEN, S.C. – After a national search, the University of South Carolina Aiken is pleased to announce Todd Wilkinson as the Director of Athletics.
Wilkinson will assume his duties on Feb. 1, 2023.
"Todd Wilkinson brings to USC Aiken nearly four decades of highly successful NCAA experience as a player, coach, and administrator," USC Aiken Chancellor Dr. Heimmermann stated. "We are thrilled to welcome Todd and his family to Aiken and look forward to his leadership of Pacer Athletics.
"I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to Angie Osbon and the AD Search Committee for their outstanding service and to Cam Reagin, Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration, for his exceptional leadership of Pacer Athletics during this interim period."
Wilkinson has 37 years of coaching and administrator experience, including 30 years spent at Barton College.
"I am grateful to receive the opportunity to be the Director of Athletics at USC Aiken," Wilkinson said. "I want to thank Chancellor Heimmermann, the Chancellor's Cabinet, Search Committee Chair Angie Osbon, the Search Committee, and all the other USCA professionals engaged in the search process for selecting me to lead the Pacer Athletic Department. My wife (Lindsey) and I are overjoyed to be joining the Aiken and University community and becoming fully engaged soon.
"Joining the athletic and university team in place is exciting and I am anxious to begin collaborating with everyone to be the best version of the USC Aiken and Pacer Athletics that we can be. Excellence will be the standard and the exciting results we achieve will be outcomes from all the stakeholders passionate about USCA being aligned as one in serving our students. Pacer Athletics will work to put our product in front of the Aiken community as family friendly entertainment that showcases the best of the Division II student-athlete. We will work to create the excitement that draws the USC Aiken student body to support their school and feel the pride! I cannot wait to get started with Pacer Nation and the Aiken community!"
Wilkinson spent the last eight years as the Director of Athletics with Barton. During his time as the Director of Athletics, he supervised over 50 staff members and oversaw 690 student-athletes while adding several athletic teams, including football, men's and women's lacrosse, men's and women's swimming and cheer/dance.
Since 2015, Barton captured 17 conference championships, registered 12 runner-up spots, sent eight teams to the NCAA Championships and garnered nine individual All-America accolades. Additionally, the GPA of the student-athletes ranged between 3.1-3.2.
Wilkinson serves as the Conference Carolinas baseball liaison and participates on the Regional Advisory Committee for NCAA Division II baseball. Wilkinson was appointed as the one Division 2 Administrator to the NCAA Baseball Rules Committee in 2020 and will serve as a member of this prestigious group through 2024.
Prior to his role as the Director of Athletics, Wilkinson served three years as Assistant Athletic Director and Compliance Director for three years. His responsibilities included game management, operations management, transportation management and facilities oversight of Wilson Gymnasium and the Outdoor Athletic Complex.
Wilkinson has a solid coaching background as well. He was hired as Barton's baseball coach in 1988 and became the winningest coach in school history, tallying a mark of 496-447-3 over 19 seasons. Wilkinson led his squad to league championships in 1993, 1995, 2002 and 2006 while picking up league or district Coach of the Year honors four times. His hard work and dedication to the Bulldogs was recognized with his induction into the Barton College Hall of Fame on Oct. 18, 2019.
A native of Plattsburgh, N.Y., Wilkinson attended the University of North Carolina where he was a catcher and an outfielder for the Tar Heels for four years. As a senior, he hit three home runs against Wake Forest in the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament – a record he still shares – to earn Tournament MVP honors. He was an all-ACC outfielder and All-ACC Academic selection his senior campaign.
Following college, he was drafted by the Montreal Expos and played outfield and first base for Jamestown in the N.Y.-Penn League. He was named Expos Minor League Player of the Month in July of 1984. Wilkinson was invited to the Expos winter instructional league and attended spring training in 1985.
He returned to UNC as an assistant coach in 1985, where he served until he joined the staff at Atlantic Christian (now Barton) College in 1988 at age 26. Wilkinson made an immediate impact on the baseball program, posting an overall record of 217-163-2 and conference mark of 86-56 over the first eight seasons.
Wilkinson left Barton in 1995, serving three seasons as assistant baseball coach at UNC Wilmington and two years as assistant director of the North Carolina Baseball Academy in Greensboro, N.C., before returning to lead the Bulldogs beginning in 2000-01.
In addition to earning his bachelor's degree in education from UNC, Wilkinson received his master's in education from East Carolina University.
As the music director and conductor of the Aiken Symphony orchestra, Dr. Scott Weiss has three priorities.They include having “the highest quality orchestra we possibly can,” he told the Rotary Club of Aiken on Monday at Newberry Hall.The others are “to provide the best entertainment value we possibly can” and “to play the greatest symphonic music ever written,” Weiss said.In his opinion, the orchestra’s performances are something that anyone can appreciate.“Classica...
As the music director and conductor of the Aiken Symphony orchestra, Dr. Scott Weiss has three priorities.
They include having “the highest quality orchestra we possibly can,” he told the Rotary Club of Aiken on Monday at Newberry Hall.
The others are “to provide the best entertainment value we possibly can” and “to play the greatest symphonic music ever written,” Weiss said.
In his opinion, the orchestra’s performances are something that anyone can appreciate.
“Classical music in some regards has sort of scared people off, with rules and by being sort of esoteric in terms of what they do,” said Weiss, who has been with the Aiken Symphony Orchestra since last July.
Some people think that “if you don’t understand it enough, you’re not going to enjoy it,” he continued. “But that is absolutely 180% against what I am. What I want the Aiken Symphony Orchestra to be is an orchestra that anybody, regardless of their background in classical music or symphonic music, can come and enjoy without having to know very much about it at all.”
To explain how such an appreciation is possible, Weiss mentioned examples from his own life.
“I love art, but I know very, very little about art,” he said. “I’m actually quite blissfully ignorant. I kind of enjoy not knowing that much about it because I can just decide whether I like it or not, and it doesn’t have to be informed by anything other than that.”
Weiss also loves wine even though his knowledge is limited.
“And this is how I feel about symphonic music,” he said. “You don’t have to know why you like it, you can just like it.”
To improve the Aiken Symphonic Orchestra’s quality, “we were able to acquire some free agents in the offseason,” Weiss told the Rotary Club. “The players in the orchestra come from Aiken, but they also come from a far-reaching geography beyond Aiken as well.” Among them are members of the Charleston Symphony, South Carolina Philharmonic, Greenville Symphony and Asheville (North Carolina) Symphony.
The Aiken Symphony Orchestra boosts its entertainment value with “world-class guest artists,” Weiss said.
During the current season, they include cellist Jonathan Swensen, who will perform with the orchestra Feb. 12 and Broadway star Aisha de Hass, whose appearance in Aiken is scheduled for May 14.
Swensen “is an up and coming cello superstar,” Weiss said.
Looking ahead to the Aiken Symphony Orchestra’s 2023-2024 season, he said the group would be “playing music that is not difficult to get your arms around.”
For more information, visit aikensymphonyorchestra.com.
The recent performance by Luke Combs at the Grammys had an Aiken connection.Combs performed his newest single “Going, Going, Gone” that he wrote with James McNair III, who is from Aiken, and Ray Fulcher. Seeing a song he co-wrote performed on live TV at the Grammys was “unbelievable,” McNair said.“Everything in this business or in life or in anything that you do, you always want to see that you’re progressing, and we get stuck in a bubble here in Nashville and I have my head so close to the p...
The recent performance by Luke Combs at the Grammys had an Aiken connection.
Combs performed his newest single “Going, Going, Gone” that he wrote with James McNair III, who is from Aiken, and Ray Fulcher. Seeing a song he co-wrote performed on live TV at the Grammys was “unbelievable,” McNair said.
“Everything in this business or in life or in anything that you do, you always want to see that you’re progressing, and we get stuck in a bubble here in Nashville and I have my head so close to the paper that I don’t look up a lot,” McNair said.
After having a song performed on the Grammys, McNair said his next goal is to win a Grammy.
“I’m putting that out in the universe,” McNair said. “I’m a big universe and God guy and I believe everything happens for a reason, so maybe that’s the next step.”
McNair’s passion for music began when he was young because his dad, Jim McNair Jr., was into music and had a big vinyl collection that he would listen to, and he became hooked. Some of the artists he grew up listening to included Bruce Springsteen, Led Zeppelin, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Earth, Wind & Fire.
Growing up, McNair played in a band with his friends and he would write songs. He eventually started looking into how to do that professionally. After a visit to Nashville, he fell in love with the city and decided that’s where he needed to be. So he made the move on March 1, 2013.
“(I) got a job in golf in Nashville doing the same thing (he did at Aiken Golf Club), basically just on the maintenance crew at Brentwood Country Club,” McNair said. “I did that in Nashville and also just networked and read a lot and just met a lot of people that were at the bars at the time trying to do the same thing I was doing. Fast forward to now you know it’s, I’m a hit songwriter which is crazy to think about. A lot of years and sweat equity in that.”
McNair primarily writes country songs because he likes the storytelling that goes into it.
“What I enjoy about it is being able to tell a story and be descriptive and also be vulnerable and talk about real life issue,” McNair said. “Also being able to have fun. Some songs people don’t want to cry about, people want to go party on a Friday night. So to be able to have that avenue to write a song about a breakup or a song about a death in the family, but also turn around and write the dumbest beer drinking song ever and that can be equally as big, depending on who the artist is, I think that’s why I chose to write country music.”
He’s written a lot of songs with Combs, who he describes as a good friend. In fact, his first No. 1 song, “Lovin’ on You,” was with Combs. He’s also written songs for Morgan Wallen, Florida Georgia Line, Keith Urban, Kane Brown, Scotty McCreery and more.
As for if he has a favorite song that he’s written, McNair said he has two. First is “Used to You” that he wrote with Combs and it is his favorite from his heart. But the favorite from his head is “Going, Going, Gone” because it’s close to going No. 1.
McNair doesn’t just write songs. He also plays music and has been hard at work on his first album. His song, “Fly on the Wall” that he wrote with HARDY is coming out on Valentine’s Day. It’s one of 12 songs he’s recorded that will be released along with an album later in the year.
As for any advice he has for upcoming songwriters, McNair said to write from the heart and write about what you know.
“Most of my success has been writing about true feelings and true places and stuff that I’ve done,” McNair said. “That’s always suited me well. Another thing I would say for aspiring songwriters is to go out and network, play a lot. You never know who you could find that you could write magic with.”
He also encourages people to surround themselves with like-minded people and people who will encourage and support them. McNair said his final piece of advice is to keep writing.
“I met a guy when I first moved into town and (he said) write a thousand songs, throw them away, write a thousand more and you’ll get a hit,” McNair said. “I used to roll my eyes and was like, ‘that’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard.’ I don’t think I had my first radio big hit until I wrote about 1,000 songs ... at the time it feels like so much work and effort, but it does take that long.”
A full list of songs McNair has written can be found on Spotify or at https://linktr.ee/JamesMcnair.
AIKEN, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) - A national organization has worked for years to find solutions to some very difficult problems facing law enforcement.Since 1976, the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, also known as NOBLE, has served as a conscience for law enforcement.And for the first time, they are opening a chapter in South Carolina.We sat down with their recently sworn-in secretary, Aiken Department of Public Safety Captain Aaron Dobbs.He says he’s happy his goal to help others through ...
AIKEN, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) - A national organization has worked for years to find solutions to some very difficult problems facing law enforcement.
Since 1976, the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, also known as NOBLE, has served as a conscience for law enforcement.
And for the first time, they are opening a chapter in South Carolina.
We sat down with their recently sworn-in secretary, Aiken Department of Public Safety Captain Aaron Dobbs.
He says he’s happy his goal to help others through this organization is finally coming to light.
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Equity in the administration of justice is one of the main goals of the organization and part of why Dobbs is passionate about his position.
“My parents have always told me that if you’re willing to work and you’re willing to learn, you can do anything,” he said.
A graduate of USC Aiken, a husband, and a father, he’s been in law enforcement for 18 years.
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When it comes to one of the core values of NOBLE, Dobbs says it is all about trust and community engagement, something he says the Aiken Department of Public Safety strives for every day.
“Making sure that we have that equal representation within the community and that we also make sure that things are being practiced in a fair and safe manner and that people understand that we can only operate in law enforcement with the support of the community,” he said.
While the organization has about 50 chapters and 3,000 members, Dobbs hopes the South Carolina chapter’s impact will reach past state lines.
“I’m just excited to see where the organization can go to. Like I said, not just in South Carolina, but how we can help network and find opportunities across the nation,” said Dobbs.
Dobbs tells us they’re working on getting a charter website up, recruiting more members from various law enforcement divisions throughout the state, and setting up some of the national programs the organization has for community impact.
Copyright 2023 WRDW/WAGT. All rights reserved.
But before you get rid of yours, we check out the tree exchange offer from the City of Aiken.AIKEN, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) - There are trees in Aiken causing problems, and now the city wants you to get rid of yours.Bradford pears have an iconic pungent smell. They are also the worst invasive plant species in the South and break easily during storms.Starting in October of next year, new plantings will be banned in South Carolina.But before you get rid of yours, we check out the tree exchange offer from the city of Aiken....
But before you get rid of yours, we check out the tree exchange offer from the City of Aiken.
AIKEN, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) - There are trees in Aiken causing problems, and now the city wants you to get rid of yours.
Bradford pears have an iconic pungent smell. They are also the worst invasive plant species in the South and break easily during storms.
Starting in October of next year, new plantings will be banned in South Carolina.
But before you get rid of yours, we check out the tree exchange offer from the city of Aiken.
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City officials in Aiken tell us the trees tend to divide and conquer, invading nature in the areas where they are planted and creating huge economic and ecological issues.
Retired teacher and nature lover Fiona Pike tell us she got rid of her Bradford pear trees two years ago once she learned how invasive they can be. She says she’ll be glad to see and smell, less of the tree when she visits South Carolina.
“I don’t think many people realize or know the difference about how Bradford pear trees are not native to our area. They came from China. So, I don’t know how sustainable they are,” Pike says.
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From stopping the growth of plants around them to being difficult to dig up, the troublesome nature of the Bradford pear has South Carolina lawmakers saying enough is enough, banning all sales and planting of the trees come October of 2024.
Aiken city arborist Aaron Campbell says officials are partnering with Clemson University to round up the Bradford pear trees and bring in new native trees across the city with their program.
“It allows homeowners to remove Bradford pears from their property and you take a selfie with it, you take a picture, you bring it in, you can bring up to five pictures and we will give you a tree for each one, a native tree, that you take out,” Campbell said.
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As for Pike, she says she hopes to see something like this on both sides of the river.
“Yeah, I’d like to see Georgia make a move like South Carolina’s doing,” Pike says.
If you already have Bradford pear trees on your property, you don’t have to worry if you don’t want to get rid of them. The law that goes into effect next year will only apply to new purchases and planting of the trees.
Copyright 2023 WRDW/WAGT. All rights reserved.