We talked to "Sarah," whose landscaping company maintains some of these properties across two Southern states. The owners, she's found, know these have become romantic destinations. "I was recently at a plantation wedding," she says. "The freshly built chapel was placed in the middle of the entire property ... A sound system blared Christian rock during setup. Yet this chapel had stained glass windows with commemorations of former preachers who've died as far back as 1885. So they'd taken something sacred and rebuilt it centrally for commercial gain. This church was only for the wedding industry."
That's the thing: It's understandable to, say, want to keep a plantation building around because it's an important historical artifact. People need to see these things. But the trick is always that our so-called artifacts are more often than not products of the present. In this case, it seems like these plantations ignore their past to the point of physically rewriting history.
They're Very Eager To Smooth Over The Whole "Slavery" Thing
If a modern plantation has an official historical house, there'll be a plaque or something about slavery, but in private plantations, the subject is usually ignored. Former slave quarters are called other things, like the "tack room." Higher-profile plantations have taken heat for this, and some are now becoming a bit more honest about the subject. Meanwhile, some people are so clueless about the racial overtones of plantation weddings that they ask black wedding planners to organize them. This sometimes doesn't go well.