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Ready for the big reveal? Here goes: In just a few weeks' time, we're launching a Draper James southern wedding collection!
the castle at rockwell makes great southern wedding venue

Ready for the big reveal? Here goes: In just a few weeks’ time, we’re launching a Draper James southern wedding collection! Featuring wine totes, trinket trays, champagne flutes and more, it’s comprised of the perfect gifts for ushering in a bride-to-be.

So, with brides (and grooms) on the brain, we’ll be rolling out all sorts of expert advice on southern weddings. Kicking things off today: the 12 best wedding venues in the South, as chosen by our panel of bloggers, photographers, editors, and other southern wedding pros in the know.

Blackberry Farm

This ultra- luxury resort is a coveted destination any time of year, but it makes a particularly glorious southern wedding site. “With the Great Smokey Mountains as the backdrop, this 9,200 acre estate is the perfect blend of rustic and chic,” says Maggie Lord, whose blog is aptly called Rustic Wedding Chic. The Farm’s focus on hyper-local gourmet cuisine makes it an ideal destination for the foodie couple and their friends. (See our feature on Blackberry Farm here.)

southern wedding at Blackberry Farm in Tennessee

Blackberry Farm. (Photo credit: Beall and Thomas.)

The Castle at Rockwall

Blogger Lauren Spann of Southern Elle Style recently got married at this Texas venue and she wouldn’t change a thing. Located just outside of Dallas, the regal estate (it looks like a medieval castle!) is “unique, yet timeless,” says Lauren. “I knew I could look back at my wedding photos and feel the location was stylish and original, but not trendy.”

the castle at rockwell makes great southern wedding venue

The Castle at Rockwall. (Photo credit: Heidi Lockhart Somes.)

The Legare Waring House

Natural beauty, history (it was the site of the first permanent European settlement in the Carolinas), and an ideal location in beautiful Charleston, SC, make the Legare Waring House a triple threat. Liz Martin of The Charleston Weekender got married at the renowned event space and relished every minute: “The Spanish moss-covered oak trees provided enough shelter when it rained on our wedding day, and you can’t dream of more romantic Southern surroundings,” she says.

Madison Oaks Inn & Gardens

“Madison, Georgia is quaint historic town 65 miles east of Atlanta that’s full of beautiful antebellum homes and buildings. I choose one of these homes, Madison Oaks Inn & Gardens, as our wedding venue,” says Lauren Lefevre, a fashion stylist and blogger at Edit by Lauren. “The home and grounds are beyond beautiful and full of Southern charm. I loved that the entire wedding weekend took place on the grounds; it made everything so easy.”

Marco Island Marriott Beach Resort

“I couldn’t imagine a place more beautiful to be married than right on the fine, white beaches of Marco Island,” says Abbi Wilt, who should know—as the Assistant Digital Editor at Southern Living magazine, she does a considerable amount of southern wedding coverage. “This resort has something special for every one of your wedding guests: You’ll find a gourmet rum bar, a brand-new spa facility, multiple pools (including slides for kids!), and an incredible view of the water. Weddings can take place right on the beach with the ocean as the background. Plus, the temperature rarely drops below 65 degrees!”

The Ogden Museum of Southern Art

A museum dedicated to promoting the arts and culture of the American South is the perfect venue for a couple seeking to celebrate the region. “The Patrick F Taylor Library at the Ogden Museum in New Orleans is hands-down my favorite wedding spot,” says Emily Shaya of Prete a Fete, a New Orleans company that rents antique and vintage furniture and accessories for weddings and other events. “The fantastic hand-carved, vaulted ceilings make a jaw-dropping backdrop and the location (within walking distance to a number of area hotels) is ideal.”

southern wedding venue ogden museum

The Ogden Museum. (Photo by Eau Claire Photo from the wedding of Lauren Hickman and Joel Ross.)

Palmetto Bluff

“There aren’t many destinations where you can have a casual rehearsal dinner venue, a great hotel to house your guests, an adorable chapel for the ceremony, and huge sprawling lawns for reception cocktails and dancing all in one resort,” says Henley Vazquez, the Co-Founder and CEO of boutique travel agency Passported. “But this beautiful South Carolina resort has got it all. Plus, you can trade the traditional getaway for a bike (or a kayak?) built for two.” (See our feature on Henley’s visit to The Montage Palmetto Bluff here.)


“Tucked away at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains between Charlottesville and Lynchburg, Pharsalia is a historical farm with a 360-degree view of vineyards, apple trees, and floral gardens,” says Perkins Morgan of Paisley & Jade, a vintage and specialty rentals company serving DC, Virginia, and North Carolina. The naturally beautiful event space is “surrounded by small and local bed and breakfasts,” says Perkins, making it easy for your guests to find a place to stay.

Pursell Farms

Wedding guests will never get bored at this historic resort outside of Birmingham, Alabama. “The venue offers a wide range of activities for the wedding party, including skeet shooting, hunting, and a farm-to-table experience,” says Laura McCarty, proprietor of Marked, a paper and floral design studio in Birmingham. “The rolling hills and open fields are the perfect backdrop for wedding pictures, and the estate home, originally built in 1854, evokes a sense of warmth and tradition.”

Race + Religious

“When I first visited Race + Religious, it completely took my breath away,” says Sarah Becker Lillard, a wedding photograph who shoots several weddings in the New Orleans venue each season. “Nestled in between downtown and uptown New Orleans, these two incredible historic homes were built in the 1830s and have a beautiful courtyard—and pool! The owner lovingly restored the buildings, while maintaining so many charming details.” No wonder Race + Religious was named by Travel & Leisure as one of the world’s coolest rental homes.

beautiful southen wedding venue in New Orleans

Race + Religious (Photo credit: Sarah Becker Lillard.)

White Oaks Ranch

“My favorite southern wedding venue is our family ranch in Texas,” says Krystal Schlegel, a blogger and fashion consultant. “When my oldest sister got married, we built a plantation-style pavilion for her party that we now rent out for weddings. Located right outside of Dallas, it’s the perfect spot for folks looking for Southern charm under the Texas stars. (See our style feature on Krystal here.)

The William Aiken House

“Tucked behind beautiful wrought iron gates on Upper King Street in Charleston, The William Aiken House offers indoor and outdoor spaces worthy of an unforgettable southern wedding, from lush private gardens and centuries-old magnolia trees to grand ballrooms and sweeping piazzas” says Scotti Cline, whose eponymous company designs invitations and other paper goods for weddings. That it’s just steps away downtown Charleston is an added bonus.

The WSave




Welcome to the Draper James blog. My little slice of space to share the things I love most about life: people, parties, food, and fun!  It’s everything Draper James  stands for. and I hope you like it. 

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