Charleston Wedding Locations: The Angel Oak Tree

As a wedding officiant and coordinator, I am asked for location recommendations all the time from many destination brides that want to have an intimate wedding outdoors. One of the characteristics of the Lowcountry is the large oak trees. I often here, “I want to get married by (or under) the oak trees!”. Well the Angel Oak Tree on John’s Island will amaze you! Check out the quick photo blog here.

Photo by Reynolds Treasures

Located at 3688 Angel Oak Rd on John’s Island, is only 12 miles from downtown Charleston. There is a gift shop and picnic area. 

Photo by Reynolds Treasures

The Angel Oak is thought to be one of the oldest living things east of the Mississippi River (possibly the Rockies!!). Angel Oak is a live oak tree aged approximately 1,500 years. It would have sprouted 1000 years before Columbus’ arrival in the New World. It is difficult to pinpoint the exact age of the tree due to the tendency of live oaks to develop heart rot, a condition which makes it impossible to obtain accurate core samples.

Photo by Dream Shots Photography

Recorded history traces the ownership of the live oak and surrounding land, back to the year 1717 when Abraham Waight received it as part of a small land grant. The tree stayed in the Waight family for four generations, and was part of a Marriage Settlement to Justus Angel and Martha Waight Tucker Angel.

Photo by Magnolia Studios

Live oaks generally grow out and not up, but the Angel Oak has had plenty of time to do both, standing 65 feet high and with a canopy providing 17,000 square feet of shade. Its limbs, the size of tree trunks themselves, are so large and heavy that some of them rest on the ground (some even drop underground for a few feet and then come back up), a feature common to only the very oldest live oaks. Today the live oak has a diameter of spread reaching 160 feet, a circumference of nearly 25 feet, and covers 17,100 square feet of ground It has survived countless hurricanes, floods, earthquakes and human interference.

Photo by Dream Shots Photography

This property was acquired by the City of Charleston in 1991. Many fear that the extensive residential and commericial development approved by the City will jeopardize the trees safety and survival. Check out the website Save the Angel Oak to learn ways to help save this wonderful tree.

Photo by Magnolia Studios

Although the Angel tree is not in danger of being cut down, there is a threat of development and destruction of the surrounding forest. Arborists caution that the surrounding forest protects the tree’s gaint root system, provides protection from the storms, and affords it adequate moisture and drainage. It also filters harmful pollutants before they reach the trees roots, bark and leaves.

Photo by Reynolds Treasures.

If you want an intimate wedding ceremony (or vow renewal) by this magnificent tree, contact me today!   Call or text 843-460-3565, or email  

Some considerations if planning a wedding here are the park hours of 9-5 Monday through Saturday and 1-5 on Sunday.  You will need a permit ($200).  You cannot get married under the tree, but need to be in the picnic area with no more than 25 people. As of 2014, they now will not allow any decorations or chairs.

Check out the quick photo blog here. Please share your Angel Tree moments in the comments below!!!

Written by: Penny Reynolds with Reynolds Treasures

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Written by Andrea