Barr Mansion is USDA Certified Organic

Archive for the ‘Planning Tips’ Category

Crafty Cocktails

Posted on: August 25th, 2014 by admin No Comments

We love signature drinks! We love when couple’s choose to highlight their favorite drinks or incorporate the cocktail into their theme or color scheme.

Guests love signature drinks! They love to see the colorful, ice cold drinks. They love to sip new concoctions while chatting with their friends.

Crafty Cocktails

Below are a few of our favorite crafty cocktails (and don’t forget to use local liquors!):

The Greyhound: Grapefruit Juice and Deep Eddy Ruby Red Vodka, served over ice with a slice of lime (or a sprig of Lavender)

Mint Margarita: St. Germain, Herradura Silver Tequila, fresh lime juice, club soda and mint sprigs

Frosty Lemon Martini: Lemon vodka, lemon juice, sugar and lemon peel, shaken and served in a martini glass

Limoncello Raspberry Proseco: Proseco, limoncello liqueur, raspberries, served over ice with mint sprigs

Moscow Mule: Tito’s Vodka, Ginger Beer, lime juice, served over ice with a slice of lime (or check out this Melon Mule recipe)

Vodka Mint Lemonade (or Limeade): housemade Mint Lemonade, Dripping Spings Vodka, served over ice and with mint sprigs

Sudden Blush Cocktail: Dolce Vida Anejo Tequila, Cantaloupe Melon syrup, fresh squeezed lime juice and serrano pepper seeds

Ginger Beer Margaritas: Reposada Tequilla, Ginger Beer, Triple Sec, fresh squeezed lime juice, served over ice with a salt rim and slice of lime.

Follow our Crafty Cocktail pin board on Pinterest for more ideas and  thirst-quenching recipes.

 

 

We answer “10 Questions To Ask Your Venue Before Booking”

Posted on: August 18th, 2014 by admin No Comments

Most planning resource websites, blogs and magazines include a checklist of things to ask your venue prior to signing the contract. We have answered these questions for you – all specific to your Barr Mansion rental. These 10 questions were lifted right from Oh Lovely Day’s post “Finding Your Wedding Venue”.

1. Do you have a cut off time or a time limit? Lots of places make you cut off the music by 10 pm or give you 4 hours for your reception, and if you want to party to the wee hours this is important to you.

BM: We do not have a noise ordinance or curfew. Amplified noise outside at any time is fine. We do price our packages at 4 hours (from start of party to end of party, with an additional 2-hours of access time prior to start of party), but you can add time on at an additional cost (depending on guest count). So you can go as long your feet or budget will let.

2. Do you cater on site, have rentals, etc. or do we have to bring everything on site ourselves?

BM: We do require that you use our catering and all our food is prepared on-site (some of it even grown here). We also include the bridal’s cake and the groom’s cake (but if you have a real hankering for an outside baker, we can make an exception on the dessert). We also have a whole slew of in-house rentals that are part of your party package (ceremony and reception chairs, guest tables,  food and cake tables, all auxiliary tables, linens, dinnerware, silverware, and barware). By 2015, we will have a warehouse of additional rentals that you can rent to set up cocktail reception, lounge seating and even farm table seating.

3. What is the parking like for your guests?

BM: Our parking lot is gravel and non-descript. We don’t require a parking attendant or valet and it’s never been an issue for our clients. However, 60% of our couple’s provide some sort of transportation for their guests in order to give them the opportunity to enjoy themselves and make it home safely.

4. What are the bathrooms like for your guests? (this is important! you don’t want porto-potties for your guests right?)

BM: We have a total of 9 stalls on property. They are all enclosed in buildings with electricity and running water. (No porta potties here!)

5. Can I bring my own alcohol on site? (this is a gem and can save you a lot of money)

BM: Yes! We provide the certified bartenders, the barware, the ice and the mixers (if you are doing a full bar or signature cocktails), but your provide the alcohol. We agree, this is a gem of an option. You can pick your own bar menu. We can also refer some great vendors who deliver and pick-up any returns.

6. Where will the guests eat, dance, have cocktail hour, sit for the reception (if applicable)? You want to be sure there is room for the number of guests you have in mind at each location.

BM: We consider our 7-acre property to have venues inside venues. We have the Barr Mansion which is a great place to host your bridal party and family prior to photos or the processional. The ornamental gardens provide many different backdrops for an outside ceremony and we have had over 600 people on our lawns. The Artisan Ballroom,  with it’s climate control and spacious floor plan, is perfect for dinner and dancing. Capacity of the Ballroom for a seated dinner and dance floor is 200 people. The newest addition, The Farmstead, will be a perfect host for ceremony, cocktail hour or reception and will comfortably seat 250 people.

7. Can we use any vendors we want? Do you have any vendor requirements or restrictions?

BM: We provide a well-vetted Preferred Vendor List to all our booked couples. The list is extensive and covers everything from babysitters to transportation. However, it is strictly a resource and not a requirement to use the PVs. You can bring in any vendor you want or DIY the whole thing, it’s really up to you. We do say there are 5 additional vendors you would want to bring in for a well-rounded wedding: photographer, flowers/decor, alcohol, officiant and music/entertainment. Otherwise we are the venue, rentals, food, cake, staff and coordinator.

8. What are the extra fees or hidden costs? Sometimes ceremonies cost extra. There is a fee if you go over a certain number of people.

BM: We have three categories we price out for every wedding: Ceremony, Reception and Bar Service. Yes, having your ceremony on-site is an additional cost and that covers the ceremony chairs, 2-hours of access time, use of Bridal Suite and Groom’s Room, 1-hour rehearsal on day before and rehearsal coordination.

9. Do you have a minimum cost that we must meet? Many venues do, and while they are usually easy to meet, if the minimum is $20,000 and that is more than your budget, that is not the venue for you.

BM: Yes, we do have minimums. Saturday nights in April, May & October: $15,000. Other Saturday nights: $10,000. Other nights and daytimes: $5,500. They are not hard to meet when you factor in all the services we provide. We agree with OLD, if the minimum is outside of your total budget the Barr Mansion may not be a good fit.

10. What other restrictions do you have, if any? Some of these could be a noise restriction (could prevent you from having the band or DJ you want), decoration restrictions, etc.

BM: We don’t have a lot of decor restrictions. Probably the biggest one is no petroleum based candles, because they ruin our organic linens. But LED, beeswax or soy candles are a great substitute. Other restrictions: no artificial petals, glitter, confetti, rice or bird seed can be thrown on our property. See above, but we don’t have noise restrictions.

No Sashes or Chair Covers Needed

Posted on: August 10th, 2014 by admin No Comments

Our artisan crafted iron and harvest wood chairs are one of a kind…literally. A local Austin craftsman welds and builds each one by hand. You won’t find anything similar in other venues. These chairs beautifully fit our ballroom aesthetic. And provide great support and comfort for your guests.

Barr Mansion Iron Chairs

 

Rethink Wedding Chicken

Posted on: July 8th, 2014 by admin No Comments

Wedding chicken has a bad rap. Rightfully so. It’s so bad it’s a listed term on Urban Dictionary.  UD’s description conjures up an unsettling image: “composite chicken masquerading as chicken breast and typically smothered in gravy or some kind of sauce to hide the fact that it is both bone dry and disgusting.” Ouch!

We here at the Barr Mansion pride ourselves on serving a delicious chicken dish that doesn’t include the typical adjectives used for “wedding chicken.”  First, we buy our chicken from Blackwing Meats.  They source organic, free range birds who are harvested to assure tenderness.  In the kitchen we use brining to enhance the flavor of the meat and make sure each piece is juicy (like real juicy).  Next, we slow cook the chicken in our house-made stock, adding another level of flavor.  Because we use a high quality bird and a slow cook method, we don’t need to over season (or drench in sauce). Honestly, any additions would detract from it’s great taste. The final outcome: instead of bone dry “wedding chicken”,  your guests are treated to real chicken they will rave about for weeks to come. It’s just what we do – great food!

Barr Mansion organic wedding chicken

Barr Mansion: high quality, organic chicken.

Six out of ten of our brides choose chicken as an entree option.  If you are choosing one protein entree, chicken is the best bet to meet the majority of your guests taste preferences. Some guests won’t eat red meat or are particular about how it’s cooked and to what temperature. Choose chicken and you eliminate those concerns.

Compliment your chicken with great side dishes.  Depending on the time of year you are hosting your wedding, the Barr Mansion menu provides many satisfactory side dishes for any meal. Make it a hearty meal and pair your chicken with a side of Roasted Red Pepper Mashed Potatoes or a lighter meal paired with a fresh from the garden Leafy Green Salad with berries and nuts.

Worried about your guests options? Round out your food menu by offering a delicious Pulled Pork Slider with Sage Aioli or a BaconWrapped Shrimp in Romesco Sauce during cocktail hour. We have many other appetizers and starters that would provide your guests with different meat options and an opportunity to taste the spectrum of our delicious fare.

Don’t forget the Bride and Groom are the VIPs.  Do you and your guy love roasted chicken? Then serve it. 

If it tastes good, nobody will mind!

How Sweet It Is!

Posted on: May 27th, 2014 by admin No Comments

When we say inclusive -we mean even your cake is created in house from scratch by our very own pastry chef.  Let our  rich buttercream with spice cake, cream cheese on carrot cake, vanilla chiffon with lemon curd, decadent chocolate ganache on top of chocolate begin to temp your deserving tastebuds as you plan your big day! View our full gallery.

wedding cakes barr mansion

We make and bake it all. Our cakes are delicious.