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Non-traditional "Austiny" venue for wedding ceremony and reception

My fiance and I are looking for a very "Austiny" type of venue for our upcoming wedding in April 2011. We are both (almost) natives of Austin and want to have a casual-elegant wedding for our friends and family. Particularly interesting in having this out doors, but preferably a contingency for rain. Approximately 100 guests. Does anyone have suggestions for restaurants, coffee houses, wine bars, etc. that can accommodate this number of guests and has a nice outdoor area to give the Austin feel?

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  1. Went to a great outdoor evening wedding and reception at the Salt Lick's Pavillion near the restaurnat in Driftwood.

    Very elegant decor with flowers, lights and candles and the reception was under a covered building.

    Nicely done@

    2 Replies
    1. re: amykragan

      Thank you! I was (am) initially trying to stay inside of Austin, but this is definitely an Austin insitution and worth looking into. I appreciate it!

      1. re: amykragan

        Yep, that's the first place I thought of too. I went to a reception there and it was really really nice.
        D

      2. I've been doing similar research for an event in the same time frame. are you looking for a venue or a turn-key, restaurant-type-deal?
        checked out city of austin venues yet? there's a lottery system in place which may rule out an april date, but the mayfield house and zilker clubhouse are about the right size. the allan and caswell houses are pretty too, and centrally located. however, these are all just venues, with no onsite food service.
        If you're looking for restaurants, mansion on judge's hill is surprisingly cost-effective, as is the austin club. snack bar on s.congress has a great covered patio, and casual light fare (the owner is terrific). paggi house might also work, but not sure about capacity. la condesa is *super* chic, and does private events.

        4 Replies
        1. re: zenshine

          Be aware Caswell House is VERY strict and has lots of rules; wouldn't call it casual by any stretch.

          Went to a party at the Zilker Clubhouse one spring (you have to have it catered in) and the view off the patio was wonderful, but I found the interior kinda dark and dank.

          What about the One World Theater in Bee Cave. Spectacular view of the hill country and I've heard the food is fantastic.

          1. re: amysuehere

            amysuehere: agreed on caswell house — it's a faithful victorian restoration, aesthetically. definitely formal, but they have two huge kitchens, an elevator, and plenty of indoor space for 100 (and if I were a non-profit renting out my house to a bunch of partiers, I'd probably insist on tabc certified bartenders, too). allan house only seats 75 *inside,* but is a lovely modernized restoration. it's also substantially pricier.

            smrsmr: not sure how closely our events align (april, casual-elegant, nontraditional downtown), but the venue we settled on is owned by the german-texan heritage society. they're relatively new to the venue-rental scene, but dealing with them has been really great. their space has a caterer's kitchen downstairs and a smaller kitchen upstairs (no food service of their own). near the capitol (10th @ red river). beautiful shady garden. very reasonably priced. it will be cozy inside for 100, but probably do-able.

            the gths website doesn't indicate rental availability, but there's an email listed on their site.
            good luck!

            1. re: zenshine

              What is the name of the venue owned by teh German-Texan heritage society? That sounds very interesting!

              1. re: smrsmr

                the building is called the german free school. there's not much of a web presence, but if you google it, a few exterior/garden photos come up.

        2. I got married at Star Hill Ranch, just outside of Austin at Bee Caves. It's a venue and not a restaurant/coffee house, but it otherwise matches a lot of the criteria you mention.

          http://www.starhillranch.com/contact.htm

          1. While it's not a restaurant/bar/etc., Mercury Hall, just off of South 1st is indoor/outdoor, casual and, if things haven't changed too much in the last 11 years, none too pricey.

            1 Reply
            1. re: ret3

              mercury hall it's about 4 grand now, for a high-season saturday night. that's just for the roof and floor. and the kitchen is reputedly troublesome, from a caterer's perspective.

            2. We had our reception at Z-Tejas on west 6th. They have a completely separate carriage house for receptions so your are not mixing with the other restaurant goers. Then we got married at Umlauf Sculpture Gardens. the Z Tejas reception was nice, but the Umlauf wedding was incredible. Just a beautiful pavillion and great grounds.