We had our wedding reception at the Driskill Hotel downtown. It was really nice, but NOT cheap. Their coordinator person was awesome to work with, and that really made it feel worth the money for us. We did a buffet at our reception and I have never heard anything but compliments about the food. Christi and Liz can give you their impressions, too, if you want to know what the guests thought. One of the reasons we chose it was that we were looking for somewhere that didn't just feel like a generic big room that was decorated for the wedding. We wanted somewhere with some "pizzazz" of its own. The Driskill definitely fit that bill. :)
The Barr Mansion is one of the sites we looked at (as its location is very close to my parents' house and they had been driving by it for years). They had some nice-looking reception facilities behind the mansion, but the mansion itself was a real let-down. It wasn't very well-kept-up and was extremely musty inside. Definitely not what I wanted for my wedding reception/private hang-out spot. (Disclaimer: we got married over 7 years ago, so who knows if it's been fixed up since then.)
Edited at 2009-01-26 09:04 pm (UTC)
Hmm, the wedding ceremony itself would probably be pretty darn far south anyways, so the Driskill wouldn't be too far. Was the buffet through the hotel itself? How big was your wedding (# of people wise)?
Yes the food (omg the food.....sorry) was through the Driskill, except for the cakes I think. Wedding was around 100ish people.
Were there really 100ish there? (I honestly can't remember....though I'm thinking we invited 100ish but less than that showed up.)
Yeah, the buffet was through the hotel. You meet with their chef to do a tasting ahead of time and pick out your menu. We got our cake elsewhere, though (though I have forgotten where, though.....I can check with my mom if you really want to know). The groom's cake was cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory.
Our wedding was pretty small. I'm wanting to say in the range of 50-60 people, but it's been long enough now that I wouldn't swear to that number. However, I'm sure the Driskill could handle something much larger than that; they'd just put you in a bigger room than we were in.
Jess and Wong were looking into the Driskill, and their prices apparently take a big jump at 100 people because that's when a bigger room is required.
I went to a wedding at the Barr Mansion four years ago and enjoyed myself. It was in the "Artisan Ballroom" which is not connected to the mansion. It did feel kind of rustic, but not in a run-down kind of way. It definitely had a different feel from regular ballrooms with its timbered ceiling vaults and impressive glass wall in front. The food was good, too, and they apparently bill it as "conscious cuisine," an organic alternative.
The ballroom was nice (though I seem to recall it not quite being 100% finished at the time we were there), but it was the mansion that attracted me there in the first place. The fact that the mansion itself was a real let-down was enough to kill the whole venue for me.
For myself - got a suggestion from Facebook for Green Pastures, 811 Live Oak, Austin, TX 78704. (link
There's where the Haunspergers had their reception, if you remember that.
I do - cool! The place seemed relatively nice from the little I remember.
I can't give advice because I've only been to 2 weddings in austin. One was at a place I wouldn't recommend, and the other was at the groom's parent's house out in Elgin.
But I will say this, if you guys do the castle place there better be jousting or at least a guy in a suit of armor or I'll be upset.
Chateau on the Creek on Sam Bass Road was the name of the place I wouldn't recommend. It just seemed 'meh'.
There was also the french legionnaire thingy over on the east side of 35. You can hear highway noise from there. And it's outdoors. Just terrible.
1) The castle place: I've been there. It's owned by a friend of a friend (my friend being a Weissman & AMD fellow). My friend & the owner had a join Halloween party there a couple of years ago, and it's really neat. Definitely something unusual & memorable. I would say that a requirement would be holding it during good weather because 1/2 of the fun is wandering the grounds.
2) Driskell - I hate to say it, but I wasn't overly impressed. Loved the Harpers wedding and had a blast, but once we were in the main reception room, it was pretty generic banquet hall. The "going away" bit was cool though - down the marble stairs and all. I don't remember the food much, but they did do well w/food allergy issues (since you'll have at least one gluten free person to worry about...)
3) Can't remember the name, but where the Gregorys had theirs was nice, but far away (off Lake Travis, I think).
4) Green Pastures - I liked it a lot. Nice grounds. Nice buildings. Conducive to being indoors & out.
5) Wildflower Center - neato outdoors & nice indoor spaces too. Expensive & no smoking anywhere on grounds (not that that would be much of an issue...)
Mercury Hall would be another suggestion. It's south-ish (north of 71, barely), looks like and old church with small steeple and stained glass windows, and has really nice grounds. My friend Phil got married there 2 years ago and we really enjoyed it.http://www.mercuryhall.com/
Sadly, I've never been to Austin. But you should be able to whittle down your 300 search results a great deal by considering other parameters: time of day, day of week, # of guests, catering or lack thereof, price range, etc. A wedding magazine specific to the city, that lists the various reception sites and their attributes, would be a good starting point.
I don't know jack about Austin, but have fun with the reception planning! Yay!
We had our reception at the Hyatt (on the lake) in their larger Foothills ballroom. It held 80 guests, and the price included a buffet (of which you make choices from tiered pricing menus). We brought in our own cake, our own "DJ', and they did the rest. They even decorated the tables with simple centerpieces (we would have been allowed to bring our own, but I didn't see the point). It was a beautiful view over downtown (18th floor), and we were able to have alcohol served. I think the reception was around $5K all told, but don't hold me to that (also, that was 11 years ago!) We loved the space, and we had a lot of compliments on the view. :)
If I were to do an Austin wedding, I'd love to do something in hill country by the Salt Lick BBQ... just a thought. The river and country out there is really beautiful.
Actually, the Salt Lick has a mansion under its control. Nice place, maybe recommendable, but a little hard to find at night. Also, they obviously serve Salt Lick barbecue, which is quite yummy, but also messy for a formal occasion (although that obviously doesn't keep people from doing it).
SQUEEE! Dunvegan Keep is awesome! We had our engagement pictures done there. It's in the owner's backyard down south and he made every inch of it himself - laid the stonework, put together the stained glass, painted the murals. It's amazing, and has gotten much bigger and more elaborate since we were there 7 years ago.
I would love an excuse to go back ;)