Here in the South, there’s no shortage of spectacular historic estates that are perfect for hosting a magnificent event. But there’s something truly special about Old Wide Awake Plantation, just 45 minutes outside of Charleston. Maybe it’s the long, tree-lined driveway leading up to the historic manor house or the sprawling grounds rich with trees, gardens, and water features. Perhaps it’s the rich history of the property and its legacy of hospitality. Whatever it is, an Old Wide Awake Plantation wedding is a truly unforgettable event.
Old Wide Awake Plantation has a long history of hospitality. In its earliest days at the start of the 19th century, the historic old home served as a 24-hour convenience store for the then-popular Stono Ferry. The 24-hour ferry escorted visitors from the mainland to Johns Island and back. Once the ferry stopped operating, the convenience store likely closed shortly thereafter. However, the property changed hands multiple times in the years that followed. In 1974, it was purchased by William Jarvis, founder of Jarvis Telephone, for him and his family to use as a weekend getaway.
After Jarvis passed away, his children divided the property into parcels so several of them could sell their portion of the land. The part of the estate on which the historic home sat was sold, and the new owner announced intentions to demolish the home and build a modern residence in its place. Two of the Jarvis sons made a deal with the property’s owner to buy the house for $1. With the help of a team of engineers, they moved the entire home to its present location, still on the original plot of land their father had purchased several decades earlier.
Ultimately, the new owner of the property recognized the significance of the land, changed his mind about building a new home, and donated the property to the Town of Hollywood. Today, that parcel of land is Wide Awake Park.
When the house moved in the early 90s, several renovations occurred to the property to make it more appealing as an event space. Subsequent additions and expansions were made in the years following, making it the fabulous venue that it is today.
Photo from The Knot
Old Wide Awake Plantation is a gorgeous venue with plenty of outdoor spaces for a stunning wedding.
Begin your wedding day by preparing for your big day on the second floor of the historic home with your closest friends and family. Their two getting-ready rooms are flooded with bright, natural light, perfect for hair and makeup artists – and photographers! Fun decor and colorful wallpaper make for beautiful backdrops in getting ready pictures and bridal portraits, too.
Your ceremony can occur in one of two spaces. Exchange your vows on the beautiful steps of the historic home, known for its signature green ivy facing. Framed by white columns and a vintage balustrade, it’s a stately aesthetic for a momentous occasion. Alternatively, you can say “I do” standing in front of their charming pond. A picturesque fountain sets an elegant scene, surrounded by lush green trees and blossoming landscaping.
Of course, their gorgeous property offers a variety of quaint, beautiful spots that are perfect for an intimate ceremony. If you see a site that speaks to you when you visit, be sure to talk with their events team about the potential to exchange your vows in a spot you love!
Celebrate your beautiful new marriage on a beautiful travertine patio just outside the plantation house. You can either dine and dance al fresco under the stars or rent an elegant tent for a little extra security from any unexpected weather. Whichever option you choose, your guests will get to enjoy the splendor of the lovingly maintained grounds and the backdrop of the stunning white house. The porch of the house provides an informal bar area to save even more space beneath your tent for seating and entertainment.
If you plan on having a more intimate event, the expansive wrap-around covered front porch with its ivy-covered archways is perfect for long tables. Your guests will be able to survey the surrounding grounds from above as you enjoy your first meal together as a married couple, gathered with family and friends.
Old Wide Awake Plantation is an incredibly beautiful property that offers many opportunities for spectacular wedding photos. One of the most iconic photo sites is the front steps of the main house, lined with lush green ivy. This unique backdrop is great for individual or couple portraits or even larger wedding party shots. The flourishing fountain in the pond sets a dramatic scene for pictures. When the sun reflects off the water just right, it’s simply magical. We can also wander the main drive up to the house, lined with majestic trees, for gorgeous pictures that exude Southern charm.
Then, at Golden Hour, the entire property comes alive with a stunning sunset glow. We’ll be sure to find time at the perfect moment to take gorgeous photos that are effortlessly romantic. These are some of the pictures you’ll treasure for the rest of your lives.
When you have your wedding at Old Wide Awake Plantation, you have plenty of freedom to curate your dream event. However, with a blank slate, you’ll need to provide or rent a lot of your own equipment and provisions. For example, you are responsible for providing your own tables, chairs, and linens. However, they can recommend reputable rental companies for you to use.
You’ll also have full freedom when it comes to caterers and bartenders, a huge perk for many couples. As with most venues that allow you to serve liquor, you may need to follow some state regulations, but you’ll have a lot more say in what you can serve! Let your imagination wander with fun signature cocktails or grand Champagne toasts.
The vision of an Old Wide Awake Plantation wedding inspires images of ivy-covered staircases, historic Southern charm, and sprawling grounds. Your wedding can be another beautiful story in the legacy of this estate.
If you’re looking for an experienced South Carolina wedding photographer who can help you harness the beauty of this fantastic estate, you’ve found her! I’d love to talk to you about how I’ll use my expertise and love of all things Southern to create a wedding album you’ll treasure forever. You can reach out to me here – I can’t wait to talk with you!