In September of 2013, two of Hollywood’s biggest and brightest stars, Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds, tied the knot at the historic Boone Hall Plantation. In their top secret, tight-lipped Southern wedding, the couple embraced the style of their location just outside of Charleston in Mount Pleasant.
The historic plantation lent the power couple a location that told a story of Southern romance but also intimacy and privacy most celebrity pairings desire. Couples looking to emulate Blake and Ryan’s wedding don’t necessarily have to set their sights on the same well-known plantation in the South.
Creating the romantic feel of a grand manor home in the Deep South often boils down to the style of your location. It merely needs a suggestion of Gone with the Wind and a few moss blanketed trees for the same Southern suggestion as the Lively-Reynolds wedding. You can recreate the look and atmosphere of this star couple’s wedding at several other spaces south of the Mason-Dixon Line.
To recreate Blake and Ryan’s wedding in South Carolina, the engaged couple must seek out a property with a touch of old Southern charm and also history. Up to the task of filling both demands, Winston Place sets up in Valley Head, Alabama. Perched at the base of Lookout Mountain and two miles from downtown Mentone, the estate hails from 1831 and has been deemed a National Register Property. Winston Place also appreciates a central location between Birmingham, Atlanta and Chattanooga, making it possible for out of town guests to fly in for the wedding from a variety of locations.
Originally the home of the Winston Family from England, the setting of this Southern estate is very much in keeping with Blake and Ryan’s special day location. The mansion comprises of large verandas, expansive garden lawns and even a place to stay for the night. Winston Place has that certain Southern elegance and grandeur with its wrap-around porches. It also adds that dash of history, creating interest and memory for your wedding day location, not unlike Blake and Ryan’s historic wedding setting.
Straddling the border of Mississippi and Louisiana, Desert Plantation also provides Southern elegance through its location alone, right in the heart of the Southern United States. With its rolling countryside along the edge of the Tunica Hills, Desert Plantation appreciates a large patch of land for weddings and receptions.
Possessor of a rich history, Desert Plantation parallels that of Blake and Ryan’s plantation wedding location in South Carolina. The property’s history began with its completion in 1812, originally laid out by Colonel Robert Semple and his wife Isabelle Turnbull. It was used as a cotton plantation but deteriorated by the turn of the century, hence its name “Desert Plantation”. It wasn’t until Daniel Fielding Merwin bought the plantation in 1900 that renovations would take place to restore the site to its former glory.
Blake and Ryan selected the right space to have their secret wedding as they could close off the rest of the world due to the large acreage on site. The same can be said of the Desert Plantation. Its name is no misnomer. The estate lords over 1,000 acres, making it similar to Blake and Ryan’s wedding location for its acreage and detached charm. The Desert Plantation also sits close to plenty of spaces to get away from the rest of the world like Clarks Creek Natural Area or even Fort Adams, a Civil War battle site. Desert Plantation keeps up its Southern style not just with draping Spanish moss decorating its trees but also with its detailed décor and antique furnishings. Guests can easily experience the timeless appeal of the antebellum home.
For couples looking to mirror the Southern charm of Blake and Ryan’s wedding location, they don’t necessarily have to invite their guests to the heart of the South. A Virginia alternative that lurks a little bit closer to the northeast is Boxwood Farm. Located close to the Potomac River, Tyson’s Corner and Reston areas, Boxwood Farm spreads out on 6 acres for wedding use. Its white Roman-inspired columns lend the grandeur of the South without being too overdone. Boxwood Farm also has its head on its shoulders. Despite having a grand style mansion on site, the grounds offer an all American countryside tone that isn’t overly stuffy.
Lone Star Mansion
While arguably not a state but its own way of living, Texas fills will plenty of sites that fit the bill of Southern style wedding location, one of which being the Lone Star Mansion. Settled into Burleson, just a 15-minute drive from Fort Worth and around 40 minutes from Dallas, Lone Star Mansion appreciates 18 private acres. With a focus on privacy, the wedding location makes it possible for couples to enjoy their day away from prying eyes, similar to Blake and Ryan’s wedding location.
Despite appearances, it isn’t all old world at the Lone Star Mansion. The 10,000 square foot mansion fills with traditional and modern conveniences such as an elevator, Crystal Ballroom, fully equipped Man Cave and even swans swimming in its pond. The plantation style property lords over a hilltop, glimmering in white just like the brides who frequent the space.
Many engaged couples turn to their favorite celebrity weddings for ideas and inspiration on their own big day. It is no wonder that with the style and star power of Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds, many want to host their special day in a similar Southern location. However, you might want to mirror the style of your favorite celebrity’s location but still have your own big moment. Luckily the woods of the South are full of historic plantations, old manor homes and plenty of acreage to recreate and carry out your own Southern shindig.
Which Southern Estate would you like to see a wedding at? Share your choice and reason why with us in the comments below…
About the Author
Suzy is a freelance writer, largely penning travel and lifestyle pieces for a number of online publications including the Estate Weddings and Events blog. With a redheaded temperament she travels the globe in search of sarcasm, stories and travel tips to share with anyone willing to listen. You can connect with her via LinkedIn or Google+.