Texas-Dallas and Ft. Worth

Venue Help: Outdoor Wedding Under the Trees

jennykay85jennykay85 member
First Anniversary First Comment
edited April 2014 in Texas-Dallas and Ft. Worth
I'm posting because I really need help compiling a "short list" of venues to consider.

Vision and Basics:
I have a vision of getting married somewhere outside under the trees. I've always loved venturing off the paved path at walking trails, because that's where I find the true beauty of outdoors. For instance, the Dallas Arboretum is a lovely place, but with the exception of the stream through the middle, it's too manicured.
Guests: 50
Budget: Undecided, I'd like max $10k

The second factor, I work as a event planner for a corporation. Previously, I WAS the onsite staff at an event venue. I'm very accustomed to doing whatever I like in venues. For example, even up to doing the BYOB legwork for guests, only paying for servers licensed to pour. As you might imagine, this makes me seriously dissatisfied when looking at the "all inclusive" venues that seem to have a choose-your-adventure type checklist. (Only 5 caterers to choose from? They're going to price gouge me!) To contrast, the thought of Big Thicket on White Rock where I think we'd have to rent every stick of furniture and mop the floor when done.. would prefer something a tad less DIY.

Combining the vision with practicality, I'd like to have a wedding and reception outdoors under the trees, but at a venue with indoor space that has either lots of windows/doors that open out or a large covered awning area. Just in case weather doesn't cooperate. (Tenting seems to be a $$$$ extravagance I'm not ok with) 

Why am I asking for help?
All of my experience is with indoor spaces fit for either intimate groups or 100s of people. Completely unhelpful in this instance. So I have this completely impractical urge to spend days searching google/knot and looking at every detail of each possible wedding venue in DFW, like I'm studying up for work. There is absolutely no reason I should do that! But I WANT TO! Please stop me, help me make a "short list" of venues to research.

Re: Venue Help: Outdoor Wedding Under the Trees

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    Have you checked out the Trinity River Audubon Center? That is what came to mind when you mentioned an indoor option with lots of windows, and they do have space outdoors as well.

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    Thanks Court! We went out to the Trinity River Audubon on Saturday. They have a beautiful wooded trail on the west side, we really enjoyed sitting and listening to the birds there. The building is mostly near a "prairie" and "wetlands" area though, kinda sparse.  Definitely a location for bridal photos though!
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    jennykay85jennykay85 member
    First Anniversary First Comment
    edited April 2014
    So I just ran across Ashton Gardens in Corinth via pictures, and it looks absolutely stunning. Took my breath away, the views outside are exactly what I've been looking for.

    However, reviews seem to say you're total wedding and reception time can't be more than 4 hours? More than one reviewer said a wedding started in the chapel at 5:30 and moved along to reception so the next can start at 7:30.

    Is it even possible to have a ceremony and reception in 4 hours?
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    I've heard that Ashton Gardens, while beautiful, is like a 'wedding factory'. They churn out weddings pretty quickly throughout the day. It's definitely possible to do the ceremony and reception in a 4 hour period of time, but it really comes down to the couple and what length of reception they want. If you are set on a night including dinner and a big party, that probably won't be the best location due to the time constraints (unless you're able to extend the time block for an extra fee). Unless you're doing a full mass, the ceremony really only lasts 20 minutes. If you do a majority of the pictures prior to the ceremony, it opens up more time so that you could potentially go right over to the reception area after post-ceremony pics are complete.

    My venue (Addison Event Center) had a four hour block as well. We only had the reception there, but I was convinced that we would need more time. The cocktail hour began at 6, so the reception was set to end at 10. I KNEW we would go longer than that and my mom, DOC, and the owners @ AEC were all telling me there was no way on earth we would be up for more partying. I didn't back down--I know my family and friends, and our goal was a big party--so I put us down for the extra time anyway. And surprise, we used the extra time then still went out in Addison to extend the night.

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    The Nest in Melissa, it's small and has an outdoor area for ceremony with a Gazebo and lots of trees.
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    Idk what year you wrote this in but you should check out Marie Gabriele
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