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
Lee County and the City of Bishopville received $900K to revitalize their historic downtown area.BISHOPVILLE, S.C. — Lee County and the City of Bishopville received nearly a million dollars in grant funding to revitalize their historic district.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 Econom...
Lee County and the City of Bishopville received $900K to revitalize their historic downtown area.
BISHOPVILLE, S.C. — Lee County and the City of Bishopville received nearly a million dollars in grant funding to revitalize their historic district.
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).
"We were flourishing, we were good," said Bishopville resident David Wiley. "And now, everything is no good, man. It’s no good, man."
Wiley has lived in Bishopville for more than 40 years. He said since the 1970s, the city has turned into a ghost town.
"We need help, and we need a change, man. We need change, we really do,"Wiley said. "That money and funds that they got, I hope they do the right thing with it."
Bishopville city administrator Gregg McCutchen said the grants will help turn old vacant building into new spaces that can be used.
"It’s gonna help in the fact that we won’t have to use any local money to do this with," McCutchen said. "And therefore, we can go ahead, rather than do it in phases, we have enough money that we can initiate the project and rapidly get through with it."
McCutchen says the goal is to bring more businesses into the area. "Just anything that will survive, businesses, something that will help people."
The city is also planning to restore the former railroad deport on North Main Street and East Cedar Street, and convert it into a farmers market or a similar type venue.
Lee County administrator Alan Watkins said the former railroad deport was built and used in the late 1800s and early 1900s.
"Rail was the vital way of transportation for many decades. Lee County was a major agricultural county," Watkins said. "The railroad depot was used to bring in materials, as well as take out things like cotton and other agricultural goods that were made in the community."
He explains the depot played an important role in building Bishopville—bringing supplies that were needed for residents in the city.
"It helped paved the way for the development that came later," Watkins said. "We want to try to salvage that building."
Over the decades, the depot fell into disrepair, becoming a dilapidated building taken over by overgrown bushes.
"I’ve lived in this community for over 50 years in my life, and I have seen a single rail car come through that area," Watkins said. "So, it has not been used in many decades."
The funds are also intended to provide opportunities for community activities like a green space for outdoor recreation, concerts, or festivals. City and county leaders also plan on creating more parking spaces, and a lighted sidewalk in for people to use.
McCutchen says there is no set date on when construction will begin or when they hope to have the revitalization and restoration complete.
The county hopes it will draw more people to stop by and shop and also make residents feel safer while walking and biking.LEE COUNTY, S.C. — A brighter path is on the way for Exit 116 in Bishopville as the county prepares for a new project that will add lighting and a new sidewalk from downtown Bishopville to the interstate.The majority of the work will be completed along Sumter Highway (US-15) near the I-20 exit and entrance ramps.Alan Watkins, the ...
The county hopes it will draw more people to stop by and shop and also make residents feel safer while walking and biking.
LEE COUNTY, S.C. — A brighter path is on the way for Exit 116 in Bishopville as the county prepares for a new project that will add lighting and a new sidewalk from downtown Bishopville to the interstate.
The majority of the work will be completed along Sumter Highway (US-15) near the I-20 exit and entrance ramps.
Alan Watkins, the Lee County administrator, said it's a big deal for the busiest part of their county.
"About 60% of our retail sales in Lee County happen right here at this interstate interchange," he said.
"We were awarded what's called a TAP grant, a Transportation Alternative Program grant, and it's through SCDOT," Watkins said. "Our idea was to try and improve the lighting and accessibility to exit 116. When you travel on the interstate you see a lot of interstate exits are well lighted because we do think that does encourage travelers to pick this exit."
It's also to help those who live in Bishopville to safely commute to the businesses out near the interstate, as some of the workers walk or bike to the shops.
"There are probably 250 to 300 jobs out here, in total, between all the restaurants and the two truck stops so it gives the people the opportunity to access this in another way if they're seeking employment," Watkins said.
Several residents who live in Bishopville agree it's a plus for the community.
"There's a lot of people who walk at night," Allison McElven said. "It will make me feel safer personally driving just to make sure you can see everybody and there are quite a few who use wheelchairs, and bikes so it will be better for everybody."
Daryl Simmons also lives in Bishopville and regularly drives to the gas station near Exit 116 and is happy to hear about the changes, "Some people I see every morning here riding a bike to work so I think it will make it safer for them."
Watkins added that SCDOT is about to start looking for contractors for the project. Duke Energy will be responsible for the lighting.
He also said he anticipates the project to be completed not long after the first part of the year.
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.
"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.
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."
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.
The hole in a Lee County school roof has frustrated the community for 5 years. But school officials and state records show nearby structures are safe for students.BISHOPVILLE, S.C. — A Lee County school has a giant hole in its roof that's raising concerns among the community. But school officials say they're making do with the surrounding structure - and that areas still being used are safe.Inspection records give new insight into why learning is still taking place in other parts of the building.News19 first brough...
The hole in a Lee County school roof has frustrated the community for 5 years. But school officials and state records show nearby structures are safe for students.
BISHOPVILLE, S.C. — A Lee County school has a giant hole in its roof that's raising concerns among the community. But school officials say they're making do with the surrounding structure - and that areas still being used are safe.
Inspection records give new insight into why learning is still taking place in other parts of the building.
News19 first brought you the story of the sizable hole in the roof of Dennis Elementary in Bishopville on Thursday, after a concerned citizen contacted us. That caller also raised questions about the safety of the students and faculty members who are in the building each day.
We found that the hole had been in the roof for at least 5 years—which was when the district renovated a part of the Dennis building so students could receive their education there. This move happened due to problems with space and the structure at the old elementary school.
While the district agrees that the roof itself looks bad, in an interview Thursday with WLTX, the superintendent said there’s no immediate danger to the students and staff in the building.
“It’s unfortunate that students are being educated in a building here, with that attached to it. I grant you that," Superintendent Bernard McDaniel said. "We’re working on a plan to address that. But we do not have a surplus of funds to just address things like that.”
According to an inspection record News19 obtained from the State Department of Education, this past July, the state fire marshal’s office and state education officials agreed that there was “no immediate concern as the safety measures implemented to date are adequate.”
They also noted that the occupied portion of the building is a "separate and safe 'building/fire area,'" making the observation that the abandoned portion is at the rear and physically away from the normal operations of the school.
“My thought is I just pray for their safety and to make sure they don’t come home being sick," said Kanisha Davis who has a daughter who attends Dennis Elementary.
She doesn’t trust the building.
“They have it where one side is, like, decent but I still don’t trust that because there’s a big hole and mold and anything could have been all in that school, could be in that school," Davis said. "They built a high school, they built a new middle school, why not build a new elementary school for the kids? That’s what I would love to see done."
District officials said they are doing what they can until they have the money needed to make that happen.
“We know that our students deserve a better facility than this. But until we can get the funds, until the state provides the funds, the county provides the funds, the community vote if there is a referendum to build a new school to improve, we’ve got to do what we can to make sure that it’s safe and it's cosmetically pleasing to our students with what we have. And that’s what we’ve done," McDaniel said.
In the inspection from the Department of Education, they recommended a chain-link fence to surround the building with trespass warnings. The state agency also recommended that the district contact the S.C. Department of Education Office of School Facilities regarding funding possibilities.