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 Bishopville, 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 Bishopville, 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 Bishopville 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 Bishopville'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 Bishopville.
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 Bishopville, 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 Bishopville, 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 Bishopville, 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 Bishopville, 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
COLUMBIA — About $160 million in state aid will help build new schools in four of South Carolina’s poorest counties, launching what many lawmakers hope is a yearslong effort to replace dilapidated facilities in rural areas that struggle just to maintain what time says are antiques.The counties getting the biggest chunks of aid in this round are Clarendon, Dillon, Lee and Saluda, as decided by the state Department of Education following evaluations of schools in the 20 poorest districts.Their allocations come from $1...
COLUMBIA — About $160 million in state aid will help build new schools in four of South Carolina’s poorest counties, launching what many lawmakers hope is a yearslong effort to replace dilapidated facilities in rural areas that struggle just to maintain what time says are antiques.
The counties getting the biggest chunks of aid in this round are Clarendon, Dillon, Lee and Saluda, as decided by the state Department of Education following evaluations of schools in the 20 poorest districts.
Their allocations come from $100 million in one-time money legislators approved for rural schools last year, combined with $40 million the state agency put toward the effort from its share of federal COVID aid, and $20 million in this year’s not-yet-finalized state spending plan.
Announcements on round two are just weeks away.
Final decisions are awaiting approval of the state budget that takes effect July 1, state Superintendent Molly Spearman told The Post and Courier as budget negotiations between the House and Senate continued.
A compromise spending plan tentatively agreed to June 10 puts $140 million toward rural school construction, $20 million of which is already designated. The Legislature is set to return June 15 for a special session to vote on the nearly $14 billion total spending plan for 2022-23.
Funding approved so far represents the largest single-year sum spent on K-12 construction in decades, but the need is far greater. Further shrinking how far the money will go are skyrocketing construction costs in the past couple of years that have doubled some estimates.
“That’s been the sickening part,” Spearman said.
Even in districts receiving money this round, the aid is going toward only the highest-priority projects, according to a review of the evaluations.
“We’re trying to take care of their most pressing needs, not all of their needs,” she said.
Spearman, who will leave office in January, is asking legislators for an annual commitment.
“The No. 1 responsibility of the state is to educate our children in a safe environment, and these local communities do not have the means to make that happen,” she said. “My plea has been to put every dollar you possibly can to this project, and it has to be recurring to get it done.”
Addressing critical needs in the poorest districts will cost more than $1.5 billion, according to the assessments independently conducted by three architectural firms. And those tallies could be underestimated due to inflation. Their recommendations factored in not only the age and condition of existing schools but enrollment trends and future maintenance costs, often resulting in conclusions to close and consolidate schools.
The state aid is contingent on districts following the recommendations.
The $38 million awarded to Lee County, for example, will go toward a new, centrally located elementary school to replace three where enrollment has dropped by 30 percent in the past five years. Renovating and maintaining three separate schools with lots of excess space doesn’t make good financial sense, according to the assessment completed in February.
The oldest of the three, Dennis Elementary in Bishopville, was partially spruced up several years ago. Last August, the roof collapsed over an abandoned wing that wasn’t. The district waited until the Christmas break to demolish that section so the noise and asbestos removal process didn’t interfere with instruction, said Lee County Superintendent Bernard McDaniel.
“We’re constantly doing repairs,” but children aren’t being educated in a modern facility that can support the technology they need until they get to sixth grade, he said. “It’s sad.”
With the state aid, he said, “I’m excited about the possibilities for children in Lee County. I don’t know when we’d be able to build a new elementary school with our limited industries here.”
The county’s 700 K-5 students will also benefit from the district no longer having to divide its limited resources for them, and the new school should help with recruitment and retention of good teachers, said Rep. Will Wheeler, D-Bishopville.
The district “can focus on all the kids in one school,” he said. “It creates a better, safer learning environment, and increases the ability to staff schools. That’s a huge gain. I’ve very, very thankful.”
Like Dennis Elementary, many of the schools the evaluations recommend replacing date to the 1950s, when the state initiated a sales tax, at 3 percent, to fund hundreds of Black- and White-only schools in a failed effort to thwart desegregation. South Carolina hasn’t embarked on a major school building project since.
But funding school construction through local property taxes means for poor rural districts the burden falls almost entirely on homeowners. And that means borrowing for even relatively small building projects costs them far more than residents in wealthier districts pay for college-like campuses. So the poorest districts patchwork problems instead.
The state should help those districts build schools, said Senate Majority Leader Shane Massey, R-Edgefield.
“It’s true that it’s not all about the building itself but what goes on inside,” he said.
But when buildings are so old they don’t support technology upgrades and leaking roofs create health hazards “children aren’t getting the same opportunities, and that’s a problem,” Massey said.
His district includes part of Saluda County, which is also slated to receive $38 million to build a new elementary school, closing two that date to 1949 and 1957. As with the Lee County project, the total cost is expected to exceed $50 million.
The other big chunks of money for this round include:
• $38 million to Clarendon County, which will become a countywide district July 1, to replace Walker-Gamble Elementary in New Zion, a school built in 1954.
• $15 million to Dillon County, most of which will go toward a new elementary school to replace three in Dillon, the oldest built 96 years ago. A middle school in Latta will also be closed, and its students will go to new wings built at the elementary and high schools.
• $10 million to Williamsburg County, where C.E. Murray High’s 230 students will transfer this fall to Kingstree High, which houses 500 students in a building designed for three times that number. C.E. Murray will then be renovated to house third- through fifth-graders from an overcrowded elementary school nearby.
In Dillon County, officials have been socking away money for years toward the effort. The state award, combined with some federal COVID aid, should complete the funding. A groundbreaking is already scheduled for this fall, said Rep. Jackie “Coach” Hayes, D-Dillon.
“Students shouldn’t be held accountable to what ZIP code they live in” and what industries exist there, he said, advocating for annual designations in the state budget. “If we’re going to level the playing field around the state, this is something we’ve got to do.”
While Dillon County is contributing the most toward its projects, all receiving districts must share some of the cost locally. How much they have available is part of districts’ application for state aid.
“Even the ones who say, ‘We have no money,’ they’ll have to put up something,” Spearman said.
Sen. Kevin Johnson, D-Manning, called the state aid for construction a “game changer” for rural districts like his, which he believes must continue.
“A couple hundred million dollars sounds like a lot of money, but when it comes to building schools, it’s really not. But it all helps,” he said, adding “We’re not talking about Taj Mahal-type schools.”
To cut back on architectural costs and time, districts will select from several prototype designs, which will be retrofitted to the specific school site. Districts will not receive a lump payment. Oversight efforts involve districts receiving money as the project progresses, Spearman said.
LEE COUNTY – Animal shelters all across the country are overcrowded and Lee County animal shelter in Bishopville is no exception. The shelter was previously a low-kill shelter, but all that is changing since County Administrator Alan Watkins updated the county policy as of Feb. 3, 2023, to alleviate overcrowding by euthanizing those dogs and cats who have been at the shelter the longest.In response to the revised policy, Lee County volunteers are asking for citizens, even in neighboring counties, to adopt or volunteer at the she...
LEE COUNTY – Animal shelters all across the country are overcrowded and Lee County animal shelter in Bishopville is no exception. The shelter was previously a low-kill shelter, but all that is changing since County Administrator Alan Watkins updated the county policy as of Feb. 3, 2023, to alleviate overcrowding by euthanizing those dogs and cats who have been at the shelter the longest.
In response to the revised policy, Lee County volunteers are asking for citizens, even in neighboring counties, to adopt or volunteer at the shelter.
The shelter was built in 2015-16, at a cost of $600,000 to accommodate 24 dogs and 30 cats at any given time, and the policy changes are intended to enforce those numbers.
As of Tuesday, there were 63 dogs in the kennel, 39 over the policy’s euthanasia limit.
“This not anything we want to do,” Watkins said. “We have more animals coming in than going out. We’ve waived fees, bought a van to help transport them to other places, and done everything we can to move cats and dogs to forever homes. We’re hopeful we won’t have a drastic increase in euthanasia.”
Watkins said there are several reasons for the growing overcrowding.
“There’s been a slowdown of animals being transported to rescues in the Northeast,” he said. “During the pandemic a lot of people adopted animals and when they went back to work, returned the animals to the shelter.” He says people don’t get their pets spayed and neutered and the same people bring in multiple litters of puppies time and time again.
Under the new policy, cats and dogs exceeding the 24 dog and 30 cat limit will be euthanized after a maximum period of 60 days (after the 7-day mandatory hold period expires.) Those animals who have been at the shelter the longest will be euthanized first.
Watkins said it’s hard to keep the animal shelter clean and animals fed when the shelter is overcrowded. Watkins, himself, has pitched in to help.
“When a former director went on maternity leave and two staff members left at the same time, I, the County Finance Director, HR Director and a few others helped out for two to three weeks until more staff could be hired,” he said.
A volunteer day is set for Feb. 25 to help socialize the dogs, and clean, and organize the shelter. If you can’t come in person, but still want to help you can donate some cleaning and organizational supplies, as well as dog and cat food. The shipping address is 222 Airport Rd Bishopville, SC 29010. Monetary donations can be sent through PayPal at Leecountyshelter.
The trial of Alex Murdaugh has come to a close, and after three hours of deliberation, the former lawyer was found guilty of the murders of his wife Maggie, and youngest son Paul. Alex has since received two life sentences without the possibility of parole, and will likely have more years added on due to charges of financial frau...
The trial of Alex Murdaugh has come to a close, and after three hours of deliberation, the former lawyer was found guilty of the murders of his wife Maggie, and youngest son Paul. Alex has since received two life sentences without the possibility of parole, and will likely have more years added on due to charges of financial fraud.
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Following sentencing, a new mugshot of Alex became public, in which he is wearing a yellow jumpsuit with a newly shaved head. Social media erupted after the photo was released, but law officials confirmed to TMZ that it was standard operating practice.
Now that official conviction preparations have begun, it is time for Alex to get comfy in where he will be spending the rest of his life behind bars. So where is that?
Prior to the trial, Alex had been in jail in South Carolina after a judge requested he be held without bail. After receiving his sentence, his official remand began the moment they shaved off his hair and changed his jumpsuit.
Before he can move to a permanent prison, Alex must stay at the Kirkland Correctional Facility in South Carolina and undergo several tests. The facility will also be getting more background information on him, but it is unclear what parts of Alex's background they'll request.
The South Carolina Department of Corrections (SCDC) released a document confirming all that will be happening, explaining that Alex will be receiving the same treatment others would in South Carolina. "Like all inmates he will undergo medical tests, mental health and education assessments, and SCDC will gather other additional background information," confirmed officials.
Officials also confirmed that Alex will be transferred to a maximum security prison in 45 days following his test results, "like all new inmates serving life sentences."
As of this publication, the testing process is only in its early stages, and Alex will remain at Kirkland until all is completed. He is also awaiting trials regarding his cases of fraud and embezzlement, and it is unclear if these trials will play a role in where he will be located.
One of Alex's only supporters left is his eldest son Buster Murdaugh, who had no emotion following the court verdict and his father's sentencing. However, one of Alex's final actions before being led away after his sentencing according to the Independent was turning to Buster and mouthing "it's okay."
Nearly a third of shops in downtown Bishopville are vacant. City leaders are planning to revitalize the area, starting with building renovations.BISHOPVILLE, S.C. — City leaders in Bishopville are looking to revitalize the historic downtown district.There are around 53 buildings in the district and 18 of them are vacant, according to Councilman Wayne Hancock."It was busier when I was growing up and that was in the 90’s," said Bishopville resident Hailey Garrett. "Any place can go through a time...
Nearly a third of shops in downtown Bishopville are vacant. City leaders are planning to revitalize the area, starting with building renovations.
BISHOPVILLE, S.C. — City leaders in Bishopville are looking to revitalize the historic downtown district.
There are around 53 buildings in the district and 18 of them are vacant, according to Councilman Wayne Hancock.
"It was busier when I was growing up and that was in the 90’s," said Bishopville resident Hailey Garrett. "Any place can go through a time when some businesses go through a downturn, but I think it has the potential to grow for sure, especially since a lot of people are moving to South Carolina."
Hancock said the city plans on revitalizing old buildings and streetscaping with grant funding.
"There’s certain buildings down there now, that the roofs are falling in and there’s been no attention and we’re going to address those," said Hancock.
RELATED: Officials eye future of historic downtown Bishopville
In February, the City received $900K to revitalize the former railroad depot. City and county councils worked with the their legislative delegation to secure $450,000 in funding through a direct state appropriation.
A $450,000 grant from the Department of Commerce for economic development was also obtained with the assistance of the LINK, the County's economic development partnership with Sumter County.
There is no set date on when construction will begin or when they hope to have the revitalization and restoration complete. Meanwhile, Hancock told News 19, council members are prioritizing what needs to happen first.
"Stabilizing the buildings first," Hancock said. "Assisting current business owners so they can continue operating, and then try to address increasing the amount of retail businesses that come downtown so we can run more foot traffic."
RELATED: Bishopville to receive $1.5M in federal coronavirus relief money
City Council is creating a plan and budget to fix the area by the new fiscal year in July.
Lee County Administrator Alan Watkins said Bishopville is vital to the county's economy.
"Lee County has always traditionally been basically an agricultural rural community, and we're trying to transition, we've been working on it for a number of years, to a little more industrial commercial job-based," Watkins said.
Watkins said with a more vibrant downtown area, more people will come visit and want to do business. In an effort to achieve that goal, the county is working with the city to secure more state and federal grants.
"These are all expensive projects and so we’re working very closely with the city of Bishopville making sure, anything that we can do to help to facilitate their plans downtown, we certainly want to be apart of that," Watkins said.
Both the city and county hope they receive enough grants so no residents will face a tax increase. Watkins said in the past 10 years, there have only been two increases.
As homelessness rises in the Midlands, Lee County Shared Hope is trying to help by opening its first physical shelter to provide a safe place for people to sleep.BISHOPVILLE, S.C. — As the homeless population increases across the Midlands, the only homeless shelter in Lee County is getting ready to open. Lee County Shared Hope, Inc. will be renovating its first physical location ...
As homelessness rises in the Midlands, Lee County Shared Hope is trying to help by opening its first physical shelter to provide a safe place for people to sleep.
BISHOPVILLE, S.C. — As the homeless population increases across the Midlands, the only homeless shelter in Lee County is getting ready to open. Lee County Shared Hope, Inc. will be renovating its first physical location to expand its services.
Peggy Mixon struggled with homelessness a year ago.
"I’m 67 years old," she said. "If you don’t have a place to live, you might just give up and die."
Now, Mixon says she's doing good and has a safe home. She found Lee County Shared Voices and connected with board president Luke Giddings. Giddings has helped many other people like Mixon.
RELATED: Midlands organizations helping children facing homelessness, neglect
"To date, we have assisted over 388 individuals in Lee County in the last year," he said. "And that’s without having a facility open."
That all is changing this week. Shared Voices is transforming a building into a homeless shelter, which will provide a place to sleep for 20 people.
"Lee County was founded in 1903, and ever since then we’ve never had a homeless shelter," Giddings said.
Frances Drayton, who founded the nonprofit, is excited to be expanding services. In 2015, Drayton saw that there was a problem in her community. Along with a local church, she started the nonprofit. Since then, she has seen the impact it's made.
"There’s so much need, and the people know somehow that they can trust us," Drayton explained.
In about two months, Drayton says this new physical shelter will be open.
Bishopville Mayor Grady Brown says this is coming at the right time, as the homeless population is increasing throughout the county due to factors like inflation and the COVID-19 pandemic.
"It’s something that every community needs and needs to be aware of," Brown said.
RELATED: Lee County decides how to spend COVID relief funds
After the renovations on the main building are finished, Giddings explains the next steps is to tear down this building right here. He says in its place, the nonprofit will work with Clemson Extension to plant a garden, which hopefully will grow produce for residents.
In the meantime, he is looking for more community support.
"Even though we’re almost nearing the final completion of the building, it’s going to take a lot of funding to keep this going," Giddings said. "So every penny counts, and every person who wants to donate their time counts."
In the past, Giddings said funding has been the reason that other permanent shelters haven't opened. With community assistance, however, he hopes Shared Voices will last for a long time.
Drayton says she has already seen support from the local community.
"The people of Lee County and Bishopville have accepted our idea so well," Drayton said. "They’ll come up to us on the street and say ‘I know what you’re doing. I like what you’re doing.’ They agree and we’ve had good, good results from that."