looking for texas wedding venue
January 13, 2008 7:35 AM   Subscribe

I live in Austin Texas and just got engaged. I am trying to find a venue that offers an outdoor ceremony site and an indoor or covered reception area. My budget is no more than 2,000 dollars.

Our ideal setting offers seating for 80 people, allows us to bring in our own vendors and use decorations. I would also like something that either offers camping, cabins or is close to lodgings. We really want a country or hill country setting and recently I thought how cool it would be to have it in an old train depot or church or even abandoned old building with great architecture. There are alot of places listed online, but I am looking for something more unique, less fancy, less run of the mill. Does anyone have any ideas about cool buildings or locations that might be open to hosting a small wedding???Or know of any state parks with cool event halls? Thanks!
posted by madmamasmith to Grab Bag (11 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
The Mercury Hall is worth checking out, even though it isn't near camping. Ms. umbú and I got married there, and everything was terrific. It's an old 19th century country church building that Richard Linklater found 80 miles out of town and moved it into South Austin.
posted by umbú at 7:55 AM on January 13, 2008

Mercury Hall

Aiigh. Moved into South Austin, I mean. I need to proof my posts.
posted by umbú at 7:58 AM on January 13, 2008

I don't live in Austin, but I found our wedding site and many other less expensive vendors on the indiebride forums. Doing a cursory search I see there are lots of brides talking about all things Austin, so it might be a good place to start looking.
posted by wowbobwow at 7:58 AM on January 13, 2008

The Dabbs Railroad Hotel in Llano is popular for weddings.
posted by freshwater_pr0n at 8:02 AM on January 13, 2008

I second Mercury Hall. I went to a wedding there last year and it was quite nice.
posted by nimsey lou at 8:06 AM on January 13, 2008

I don't know that any location in the Austin area has everything you want, but here are some possibilities.

Check out the Travis Post 76, which is an old private home converted for public use. It overlooks Town Lake (aka the Colorado River), and costs about $200 to rent for the evening -- but, fair warning: because it's so affordable, it's very hard to get your ideal date. You can use the front lawn for the ceremony and then move inside for the reception. There is a full kitchen downstairs, along with a bar area and a couple of nice sitting areas, and then upstairs is a big ballroom. You can bring in all your own vendors and decorations, although there are a few restrictions relating to preserving the house, safety, etc. As venues go, it's definitely unique. The Texas car from the Merci Train sits on the grounds, just west of the front lawn. The building has a very colorful role in Austin's history.

You might also look into the Salt Lick Pavilion, down in Driftwood. I don't know its price range, but it's a very Hill Country setting, and Camp Ben McCulloch is just nearby and I presume they have campsites since they host the Old Settlers Music Festival there.

Mercury Hall is a restored church turned event venue, in South Austin. But, the last time I checked into it (3 - 4 years ago), I remember thinking it was fairly pricey. Worth a look though. I do believe they require you to use their approved vendor list.

And, definitely check out the City of Austin's various facilities. I've been to (although never hosted) parties at Fiesta Gardens, Mayfield House and Zilker Clubhouse, and all are gorgeous -- authentic, usually historic sites converted, very "Austin-y." (Also in this list would be Laguna Gloria, but I'm not recommending it because it's very expensive.) With these, you again get the benefit of cheap-to-rent, but the drawback of hard-to-get because they are both lovely and affordable.
posted by pineapple at 8:10 AM on January 13, 2008

I was just at a wedding at the House on the Hill and it is a facility that I would highly recommend. The wedding I attended hosted about 100 people and there were extra rooms for guests to stay overnight (including us!), a cabin for the parents and a cabin for the newlyweds. There are a few spots for ceremonies, including in front of a fountain and an outdoor pavilion. The reception was indoors and the facility was quite nice, with hardwood floors, a view of the valley below, and a big kitchen so that the families of the bride and groom could do the catering themselves. The best part was that the staff left everyone alone so that we could decorate and rearrange the house as we pleased. Sunday weddings are extra cheap and the whole place can be had for $1200 for six hours.
posted by Alison at 10:42 AM on January 13, 2008

I got married in the Barr Mansion ballroom in in NE Austin and it was glorious. No lodging nearby, might be out of your price range, but the facilities are beautiful and they were good to us.
posted by liet at 11:22 AM on January 13, 2008

I went to a wedding at 12 Oaks Ranch which meets some of your criteria. I'm not sure about lodgings or price, but it's got a beautiful, Hill Country setting.
posted by Durin's Bane at 11:25 AM on January 13, 2008

You might try the Zilker Park Clubhouse. It's really nice, and (I think) well within your budget, but demand is exceedingly high for it—I think reservations are given by lottery.

I got married at the Caswell House downtown. It was a little above $2K, but let us do our own catering and was very satisfactory.

There's a field house at Bastrop State Park that can be reserved for weddings. I've been to one there and it was nice, and obviously good for camping. But a bit far afield. I wonder if McKinney Falls has an equivalent.
posted by adamrice at 11:58 AM on January 13, 2008

Saw this earlier and left it open in a tab that got forgotten, but I think that the Umlauf Sculpture Garden fits the bill. I went to a wedding there not too long ago and thought it was pretty nice. Hope I'm not too late.
posted by hue at 9:25 PM on January 14, 2008

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