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 St. Matthews, 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 St. Matthews, 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 St. Matthews 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 St. Matthews'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 St. Matthews.
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 St. Matthews, 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 St. Matthews, 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 St. Matthews, 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 St. Matthews, 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
A 54-year-old St. Matthews man is accused of pocketing deposits for fiberglass swimming pools instead of passing the money to the manufacturer. His attorney blames supply chain issues.Thomas Wayne Riley, who goes by Wayne, of 839 True Blue Road, is facing eight counts of breach of trust with fraudulent intent valued over $10,000 each.Warrants accuse Riley of using the deposits for personal use such as tuitions for his children at Clemson University and Calhoun Academy, as well as airline tickets and fishing trips to Alabama and...
A 54-year-old St. Matthews man is accused of pocketing deposits for fiberglass swimming pools instead of passing the money to the manufacturer. His attorney blames supply chain issues.
Thomas Wayne Riley, who goes by Wayne, of 839 True Blue Road, is facing eight counts of breach of trust with fraudulent intent valued over $10,000 each.
Warrants accuse Riley of using the deposits for personal use such as tuitions for his children at Clemson University and Calhoun Academy, as well as airline tickets and fishing trips to Alabama and Louisiana.
The alleged offenses occurred between June 3, 2021 and June 8, 2022 when Riley was operating as Lowcountry Fiberglass Pools LLC.
Accompanied by his attorney, Ian Duggan, Riley surrendered to the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office on Thursday morning.
He appeared in bond court before Calhoun County Magistrate Jeffrey Bloom a couple of hours later.
Some of those who claimed to have been fleeced by Riley spoke during the bond hearing.
David Lilly, of Bluffton, told the court he’d paid Riley to install a pool for his wife. Lilly’s wife planned to use the pool for therapeutic purposes following multiple surgeries.
Lilly said the $16,518 check he paid to Riley on Sept. 14, 2022 was cashed the next day.
The couple’s pool was never installed, he claimed.
Greg and Marye Jo Hartley, of Beaufort, told the court about their alleged experience with Riley’s business.
The couple said they paid Riley a deposit of $11,110 on Sept. 16, 2021.
They claim the pool was never installed and, despite numerous calls to Riley, their money wasn’t returned either.
“He hid like a coward and would not come forward,” Marye Jo Hartley told the court.
In late December 2022, she left two messages for Riley. In one, Harley said “Wayne, we know something’s up. We’re not angry. We’re not upset, but we need to work together. We need to know how we can correct this and move forward.”
She claims he never returned those phone calls.
She’s started a Facebook page so anyone else who claims they had similar experiences with Riley’s business can discuss concerns.
The grand total of money Riley allegedly pocketed, based on the eight charges he currently faces, is around $150,000.
Bloom said in court, “Bank records show Mr. Riley was using other people’s money to pay for what was obviously non-business expenses.”
“Paying your child’s tuition at Clemson with someone else’s pool money is not a valid expense. Paying your children’s tuition at Calhoun Academy is not a proper business expense. Fishing trips to Louisiana and Alabama are not proper business expenses,” Bloom said.
Duggan told the court that the customers ordered the pools during the COVID-19 pandemic and there were delays in production during that time.
Bloom noted that investigators have reached out to the Georgia-based pool manufacturing company. The company told them there weren’t any supply chain issues during that time, he said.
Bloom set Riley’s bond at $80,000 cash or surety.
As part of Riley’s bond conditions, Bloom stipulated that if Riley continues in self-employment, he must report every business transaction to the sheriff’s office.
He also ordered Riley to report to the sheriff’s office copies of any new corporations he may file with the S.C. Secretary of State’s Office.
The investigation is ongoing.
If Riley is convicted, he faces up to 10 years in prison on each of the charges.
Over the weekend, our news outlet ran a post entitled “The Decline Of Western Civilization As We Know It: Orangeburg, SC Bojangles Edition.”The post got a lot of traffic, and has prompted some submissions from our non-grammatically challenged readers.One such submission? A sign for “Miss Delivered Mail” at the U.S. Post Office in rural St. Ma...
Over the weekend, our news outlet ran a post entitled “The Decline Of Western Civilization As We Know It: Orangeburg, SC Bojangles Edition.”
The post got a lot of traffic, and has prompted some submissions from our non-grammatically challenged readers.
One such submission? A sign for “Miss Delivered Mail” at the U.S. Post Office in rural St. Matthews, South Carolina.
(Click to view)
To be fair, “misdelivered” is not the easiest word to get right. Seriously, to hyphenate? Or not to hyphenate?
We actually had to look that one up … (you don’t hyphenate, by the way).
But “Miss Delivered?” Two words? Score yet another one for South Carolina’s worst-in-the-nation government-run schools, people.
Our source for the photograph chose to remain anonymous, citing the Latin phrase esse quam videri – “to be, rather than to seem.” Or perhaps they meant esse non videri, “to be, not to seem.”
Either way, pretty cool …
As noted in our last post, in general relativity the “event horizon” is a boundary in spacetime beyond which an object is unable to escape the gravitational pull of a larger object (or a black hole). It is, literally, the “point of no return.”
As the United States continues clumsily navigating a steepening downslope on the wrong side of history, where is our nation’s event horizon?
Check your rearview mirrors people … while you await your “Miss Delivered Mail.”
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The Calhoun Times, the small weekly newspaper in South Carolina that announced its own impending death last month, is back among the living.The Times, based in St. Matthews, South Carolina, s...
The Calhoun Times, the small weekly newspaper in South Carolina that announced its own impending death last month, is back among the living.
The Times, based in St. Matthews, South Carolina, said in its Jan. 12 issue that the Feb. 2 edition would be its last. But the Times has been acquired by another newspaper, The Aiken Leader of Wagener, South Carolina. The Times will continue to publish each week.
According to a press account of the transaction, members of the Morris family, which had owned and operated the paper since the 1920s, will continue to work at the paper.
Edwin C. Morris Jr., the third-generation publisher of the Times, will continue in that role. His 87-year-old father, Craddock Morris, had been editor; he now will be a free-lance writer for the paper.
Andrew O'Byrne Sr., owner and publisher of the Leader, will become the owner of the newspaper, which will be renamed soon as the Calhoun Times Leader.
"A newspaper is important to the health of a community, and we are happy that we will be able to keep a paper in Calhoun County," O'Byrne told The Times & Democrat of Orangeburg.
"A local newspaper facilitates dialogue between local government and the citizens, and we are committed to bringing the community the news it has relied on for so many years from The Calhoun Times," he added.
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Wagener is about 40 miles west of St. Matthews, has about 800 residents. It is about 40 miles west of St. Matthews.
The Leader has a weekly circulation of about 10,000, according to the South Carolina Press Association. Presumably it serves all of Aiken County, which borders the state of Georgia and is part of the Augusta market.
The Times, located in Calhoun County, is in the center of the state is a part of the Columbia market. Its current circulation is about 1,500.
The name change will be one sign of new ownership; O’Byrne didn’t articulate what others might be in the press coverage of the transaction.
At this point, neither the Times nor the Leader has a website. The Leader is a free giveaway newspaper that presumably makes its money on advertising or other types of promotions. The newly minted Times Leader could follow that model.
The Morrises have been the newspaper family in St. Matthews since the late 1920s. Small-town papers rely on stories about local sports teams, town expenditures, booster organizations and their projects, and other staples of day-to-day living. Such a paper relies on local people having trust and confidence in a paper’s reporters and editors, so there is business sense in keeping the Morrises on the payroll of the new Times Leader.
In an interview about the transfer in ownership, Craddock Morris said, "We have tried to serve the public with good news and trying to keep the public informed on everything by trying to cover all the activities, schools, organizations and clubs."
Spoken like a true small-town journalist.
The Coterie Club of St. Matthews, founded in 1956, held its Holiday Debutante Ball on Friday at the Orangeburg Country Club. Members and guests were greeted in the ballroom by Mrs. Alec Boyd McLeod III, pr...
The Coterie Club of St. Matthews, founded in 1956, held its Holiday Debutante Ball on Friday at the Orangeburg Country Club. Members and guests were greeted in the ballroom by Mrs. Alec Boyd McLeod III, president of the Coterie Club, and her husband, along with the sponsors of the debutantes.
Seven daughters of Coterie members made their formal bows to society:
Virginia Gray Edmunds, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Blake Edmunds Jr., was escorted by Mr. James Joseph Union IV of Orangeburg.
Caroline Blake Gantt, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Frederick Hay Gantt III, was escorted by John Austin Watts of St. Matthews.
Isabella Catherine Reed, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Eric Reed and of Ms. Kimberly Wood Reed, was escorted by William Weimortz Sutcliffe III of Columbia.
Mary Ruth Rickenbaker, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. David K. Rickenbaker, was escorted by William Alexander Clarkson of St. Matthews.
Lauren Elizabeth Roland, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Christopher Lee Roland, was escorted by Andrew Charles Gatch of Columbia.
Julia Taylor Smith, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Mark Taylor Smith, and granddaughter of Mr. and Mrs. Wilfred Marion Smith, also members of Coterie, was escorted by Wyatt Jeffcoat Rucker of St. Matthews.
Elizabeth Daisy Williams, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Patrick Christopher Williams, and granddaughter of Mr. and Mrs. Patrick Joseph Williams, also members of Coterie, was escorted by Aaron Calhoun Strickland of Orangeburg.
Four granddaughters of Coterie members also made their formal bows to society:
Elizabeth Bailey Conger, granddaughter of Mr. and Mrs. William George Peterkin III and daughter of Mr. Allen Willard Conger and Ms. Amy Elizabeth Peterkin, was escorted by Hunter William Carson of Cameron.
Sara Elizabeth Culclasure, granddaughter of Mrs. Thomas Percy Culclasure, niece of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Percy Culclasure Jr. and daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William Todd Culclasure, was escorted by Thomas Jack Round of Simpsonville.
Alexandra Warren DuBose, granddaughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Gressette Felder Sr. and daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Terrence Edmundson DuBose and Mr. and Mrs. John Gressette Felder Jr., was escorted by Matthew Tucker McGee of St. Matthews.
Kailee Kissam Flinton, granddaughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Woods Flinton Jr. and daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Michael Stier Flinton, also members of Coterie, was escorted by Justin Dean Hood of St. Matthews.
Four sons and one grandson recognized as attending their first Coterie Debutante Ball were Jackson Kenneth Fleming, son of Mr. and Mrs. Joe Kenneth Fleming Jr., accompanied by Miss Shannon Elizabeth Julian; Matthew Tucker McGee, son of the Honorable and Mrs. Randall Edward McGee, accompanied by Miss Alexandra Warren DuBose; William Cooper McGee, son of the Honorable and Mrs. Randall Edward McGee, accompanied by Miss Madison St. Clair Rhame; Gregory Marion Smith Jr., son of Mr. and Mrs. Gregory Marion Smith and grandson of Mr. and Mrs. Wilfred Marion Smith, also members of Coterie, accompanied by Miss Sarah Kathryn Clark; Gressette Loadholt Felder, grandson of Mr. and Mrs. John Gressette Felder Sr. and son of Mr. and Mrs. Lee Carroll and Mr. and Mrs. John Gressette Felder Jr. accompanied by Miss Kelsey Lynn Crawford.
A large number of family and friends were invited to the 60th annual Coterie Club Holiday dance:
Mr. and Mrs. Charles Joseph Coble Jr., Miss Catherine Moore, Mrs. Allison Townsend Reaves, Miss Joesy Lane Ott, Miss Abby Miles, Mr. and Mrs. David Hooper, Mr. and Mrs. John Bishop, Miss Jordan Kahn, Mr. Matt Hawse, Mr. and Mrs. Richard Weeks Stroman, Ms. Bennie Wooten, Miss Julia Gossett, Mr. Dawson Abrams, Mrs. Vicky Ware, Mr. Eddie Lee, Miss Emily Peterkin, Miss Savannah Barker, Mr. and Mrs. Scott Trent Ziemke, Dr. and Mrs. John B. DuBose, III, Mr. and Mrs. Richard Hampton Thornton, Mr. and Mrs. Barry Dean Hood, Miss Lauren Betts Culclasure, Mrs. Gerald Sage Bradshaw, Mr. Gene Gibbon, Mrs. Rebecca Turberville, Mr. and Mrs. Miles Loadholt, Mr. and Mrs. Joe Fleming, Sr., Mr. and Mrs. Hank Rhame, Mr. and Mrs. George Laing.
Co-chairman of the Coterie Ball were Mr. and Mrs. Joe Kenneth Fleming Jr. and Mr. and Mrs. Gary Porth; debutante committee chairman was Mrs. Jonathan Daniel Mangum; and debutante figure was Mrs. Thomas Jefferson Goodwyn Reid Jr.
St. Matthew Baptist Church, 749 Longtown Road in Lugoff, recently celebrated its 150th anniversary. Established in 1873 by former salves, members at that time gathered under a brush arbor for worship. Later that same year, Gordon and Grady Bell of Lugoff granted the members 2 acres of land for a church to be built.Services were held each Sunday with additional prayer services held during the week. The building was later destroyed by fire, and in March 1939, services continued in the Parker School building.On May 21, 1956, membe...
St. Matthew Baptist Church, 749 Longtown Road in Lugoff, recently celebrated its 150th anniversary. Established in 1873 by former salves, members at that time gathered under a brush arbor for worship. Later that same year, Gordon and Grady Bell of Lugoff granted the members 2 acres of land for a church to be built.
Services were held each Sunday with additional prayer services held during the week. The building was later destroyed by fire, and in March 1939, services continued in the Parker School building.
On May 21, 1956, members purchased land on S.C. 5 (Longtown Road) to build a new church. In 1958, the members moved into the new sanctuary. Old time hymns, accompanied by the clapping of hands and stomping of feet, along with shouts of praise echoed throughout each service.
Baptisms were held outdoors before an indoor baptismal pool was built. Members would fellowship with each other after services knowing that it would be a week or more before they could see or talk to each other again.
Electronic communication was not available. This building now serves as the church’s family life center.
Throughout its 150-year history, St Matthew has been under the leadership of several pastors, each providing spiritual guidance to the congregation, leadership and improvements to the physical structure of the church. Each pastor worked hard to achieve the goals established during his tenure. In the fall of 2006, construction began on the current sanctuary. It was dedicated in April 2007 during a morning service.
The congregation’s goals for the future of St. Matthew are to continue to provide services through the offering of programs of benefit to the members as well as the surrounding community.
These include educational programs and workshops that focus on health awareness, tutorial services, and parenting classes.
Providing recreational activities for senior citizens and youth, the development of an outreach ministry, seeing an increase in membership, offering a scholarship program for students to continue their education beyond high school, continuing its monthly foot giveaway, and increasing the involvement of youth in the functions of the church all remain a priority at St. Matthew.
The sesquicentennial culminated with a banquet held at the Bethlehem Family Life Center in Lugoff. Michael Cummings, Eugene Walker, and Russell Perkins provided music. State Sen. Penry Gustafson, along with former Kershaw County Council member Bobby Gary, presented the church with proclamations recognizing St. Matthew for its long history and contributions to the community. That Sunday’s church service concluded with dinner in the fellowship hall.
St. Matthew Baptist Church was built on God’s guidance, faith, the hard work of the congregation’s forefathers, and its dedicated church members. Its mission is to save souls by glorifying God, spreading His Holy Word, supporting fellow believers, and to be a guiding lot for the community.
“As we enter a new era in the history of St. Matthew, we trust that God will enable us to live out the true meaning of our mission statement,” congregants said.