Barr Mansion is USDA Certified Organic

Posts Tagged ‘wedding’

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

 

5 Essentials for Your Ceremony

Posted on: July 15th, 2014 by admin No Comments

5 EssentialsSometimes in the joy of planning your BIG special day, you may focus on the decor and forget the ceremony script. Obviously, this is an important part of your wedding – drrr! But, it’s not always the most fun or easiest task. Writing your vows and laying out the script shouldn’t be a rushed affair. Take your time and spend a few nights together (probably include some good wine) to work through what you are wanting to relay in that moment: why you have chosen each other and what your hope is for a lifelong, blissful marriage.

And then don’t forget these other 5 necessary things:

1. Microphone: do it. Just do it. Everyone wants to hear you both speak to each other in this moment. Even if you think you can project, just be cautious and ensure everyone will be able to hear and feel engaged in this special moment.

2. Music: a processional usually calls for 2-3 songs. Pick these songs as a representation of you as a couple. We have heard everything from Bob Marley to Disney soundtracks. When you choose a song that you both love, every time you hear it you will be instantly transported back to that moment when you were both brave enough to say “I do forever”.

3. Adorable children: even if you aren’t inviting children to the reception (blog post on this later!), incorporate a couple adorable kids in the ceremony. Yes, they may not execute the petal toss correctly and possibly not even make it down the aisle alone. Nonetheless, what they will do is add a touch of innocence to the event. Plus, we’ve all been the kid in the froufrou dress and those are memories for all families to keep.

4. The Kiss: do this right! Don’t be bashful, be in the moment. It’s the first kiss of the rest of your life, make it a good start!

5. Personality: just like nobody likes their chicken bone-dry (see “Rethink Wedding Chicken“), nobody wants to sit through a bone dry ceremony. Your guests are their to celebrate each of you and to be a part of  this moment in history. Make it a memorable, authentic moment. If you are a couple that laughs together, bring that to your ceremony. If you love a good serenade, include a gorgeous soloist or duet. And say real things to each other during your vows. These vows are what you will look back on and what will keep you on the path moving forward together. A perfect ceremony will include both tears and laughter!

And of course, it goes without saying but a good wedding coordinator will be the glue that keeps the ceremony moving smoothly and memorable. That’s why all of our packages include a on-site, day of coordinator.

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!

4 Reasons to Host a Sunday Wedding

Posted on: June 26th, 2014 by admin No Comments

Barr Mansion wedding

1. Discounts and Incentives
Similar to Friday weddings, many venues and wedding vendors offer discounts for days other than Saturday. The Barr Mansion offers a significant discount for Sunday evenings and daytime weddings. Other top vendors like Hyde Park Photography also offer special incentives for non-Saturday clients (and special package offerings for all Barr Mansion clients. Visit their website for details and some amazing pictures). By taking advantage of these discounts, you can stretch your wedding budget even further! And the pictures will still be stunning and no one will know your Sunday wedding cost any more or less!

2. More Fun Time With Your Family and Friends
Because there will likely be many family members and friends you have not seen in a while, enjoy a couple of days with them before the wedding. Welcome them into town with a Friday night barbecue (because when in Texas…) and a Saturday afternoon boat trip on Lady Bird Lake. Start the weekend off with these welcoming, casual celebrations and let the excitement build for your Sunday wedding.

3. Travel for Your Guests
Most guests who are traveling to attend your wedding will have to take at least one day off of work. For a Saturday wedding, a typical travel schedule may be to leave on Friday, attend the wedding on Saturday, fly home on Sunday. For a Sunday wedding, the number of days is no different, it just shifts from taking Friday off to taking Monday off instead. Why not take advantage of the cost savings associated with a Sunday wedding? Your guests will not mind which day they take off for your special day as long as they can be there to celebrate!

4. More Availability for Barr Mansion and Other Top Vendors
The Barr Mansion books up Saturday weddings 12-16 months in advance. Most of our Spring 2015 Saturday evening slots have been filled. We only have a few left. If you love our venue, Sunday is a great option! The same is true for other great vendors.

Of course, there are reasons why Saturday is more popular. Saturday evenings provide a better opportunity for a more formal nighttime affair. If you are envisioning ball gowns and pearls, Saturday may be more appropriate. If you have a large percentage of guests who are residents of Austin, they may want to be home early on Sunday in order to prepare for Monday.

Don’t miss out on additional discounts for daytime events! Our gardens and grounds are a perfect backdrop for mid-day weddings. Daytime weddings are becoming more and more popular, especially during our Spring and Fall seasons. Plus, our brunch menu is truly decadent (powdered donut holes drenched in maple syrup and served with bacon, anyone?!).

What do you think about hosting or attending Sunday weddings?

Featured in the Knot Magazine: Stephanie & Sean

Posted on: January 12th, 2014 by admin No Comments

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Featured in Brides Magazine, as one of “America’s Most Romantic Wedding Venues”

Posted on: December 17th, 2012 by Adele 1 Comment

The Barr Mansion was featured in the current Winter issue of Brides Magazine as one of the top venues in the nation;  we’re incredibly honored and excited to be recognized by such a prestigious magazine.

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Gardens in Bloom: October

Posted on: November 1st, 2012 by Adele No Comments

One of our favorite blooms from the garden right now is Ageratina altissima — which is more commonly known as White Snakeroot.  Its tiny, delicate white blooms are in full force and are attracting loads of butterflies…

Thanks to our head gardener and horticulturist, Amy Jones, for sharing (and for keeping this plant so happy!).

 

Pinterest Monday

Posted on: October 29th, 2012 by Adele No Comments

Would you consider a Halloween wedding?   October 31st falls on a Friday night in 2014, so if you’re newly engaged and considering it…   just saying.

Here’s a little inspiration for you, via our Pinterest.  One of these weddings actually was the wedding I fell in love with aesthetically, and ended up using as inspiration for my own wedding decór (which took place  nowhere near Halloween!).

 

Featured: Kristen & Andrew

Posted on: September 21st, 2012 by Adele 1 Comment

Kristen and Andrew were married on a lovely day in June.  More recently, their wedding was featured on Elizabeth Anne Designs & photographer Taylor Lord’s blog.  We’re finally getting to this beauty, but it was certainly worth the wait!

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