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Wedding Venue Shopping

In East Texas

I am the most decisive indecisive person you will ever meet. During the month my grandmothers, fiancé, my fiancé parents, and myself went to look at several wedding venues. Let me tell you, if I was not straight out of college and had an excellent paying job with a good savings account, the choice at hand would be so easy to make. Like most people getting married, you have a budget and you need to stick to it as close as you can. And like most people you don’t want your wedding to be your family’s financial burden. East Texas has beautiful wedding venues, the ones we toured over the month were. Lake Tyler Petroleum Club (Lake Tyler), Wildflower wedding venue (Emory, Texas), Stone Oak Ranch (Murchison, Texas), Miss Mary’s place (Longview, Texas), The Dove Hollow (Longview, Texas), and The Folmar (Tyler, Texas). All of these had details that were so lovely. I wanted to highlight and describe each one that I found different from the pictures online.

 

Lake Tyler Petroleum Club, my Fiancés favorite, since he wants to be married on the lake. The pictures online do this venue justice, it is amazing. We have been to this venue two times once during an open house and another time on a tour where Haley showed us around. The venue has two venue locations that you can choose from, or if you want both it is an additional $2,500. The smaller venue (Lakeside Clubhouse) is sized to fit 120 people comfortably (shown in the first photo), and the larger venue (Harbor Landing) will fit 200+ (5th and 7th Photo). The venue can have two wedding on the same day, but I was assured that they never interfere with each other. The allotted time for your ceremony and reception is only 5 hours with each additional hours being $300, which is disappointing but is reflected in the price, I think. It does have round tables, white chairs for the ceremony, and gold chairs for the reception provided. They also have a page full of table cloth options, which I really like because most venues only allow you 4 color options to choose from. There is a bridal suite for each location, both equipped with a shower and sitting areas. The bridal suite at the Lakeside Clubhouse did have more areas to hang out and have guests in. In case of bad weather, you have the option to do a full flip at the lakeside clubhouse and have the deck tented. At the Harbor Landing location, you will have to tent the outside deck. The venue provides golf carts and staff to pick up your guests from their cars in their wedding package. They do have a lot of rental décor but it is a little overpriced, in my opinion. The club has 3 wedding packages: Venue only, All Inclusive, and extra nice all inclusive. The Price is based on the number of guests you have and what day your wedding is. For Saturday with a guest count of 100, 150, 200, and 250 guests the prices are $4000, $4200, $4700, and $4900, respectively. For Sunday or Friday with a guest count of 100, 150, 200, and 250 guests the prices are $3500, $3700, $4200, and $4400, respectively. They also have a day of coordinator that will be $500 more, which I think is a great deal because the coordinators that I have a price are $1000+. The Lake Tyler Petroleum Club does their own bar service where they furnish all the bar necessities. For 100, 150, 200, and 250 guests the prices are $500, $750, $1000, and $1250, respectively. The number of guests you have is the minimum they have to charge, but if the tab at the end of the night is less than the price you paid you will get the difference back. On the other hand, if the amount you paid is reached before the party is over you have the option to shut down the bar or offer a cash bar. For the price, this is an ideal wedding venue!



 

Wildflower Wedding Venue, this place is amazing. It is the first place my Fiancé and I agree on, but it is the priciest of the bunch. Mrs. Debbie and Mr. Kevin were so sweet and inviting when we booked a tour to come see this venue! The bridal sweet is so beautiful, and the new addition of the silo makes the space even larger. There are hangers on either side of the silo for your bridesmaids to hang their dresses on and an additional hanger that says "wildflower bride" to hang your dress on. The men's area to get ready is a small room filled with couches and chairs to relax on. The reception space is huge with grand ceilings. There is a bar to the left side that also opens to the back porch so your guests can get drinks where ever they are. There is outdoor space on the back porch for your guests to hang out before the ceremony. Mrs. Debbie said since there is no foyer for your guest to hang out in before the ceremony the event staff will direct your guest through the fence to the back porch so you can preserve your reception space. The venue does NOT have a coordinator, but Mrs. Debbie assured me the girls would be there for whatever you needed. With only one ceremony location (by the pond), but I’m sure if you wanted to get married by the tree or in the field they would allow that. In case of rain, the venue could do a full flip of the inside for ceremony and reception. They even went on to say that three of the back doors can be opened so you can still have the outdoor ambiance. There are also two llamas that roam the grounds, and if you are lucky you can get glimpses of them when you are there. The Rental time is from 9 a.m. - midnight. The Price for this Venue is $5,800 for Saturday, $4,950 for Friday, and $4,800 for Sunday. They also have a decor barn that you could rent for an additional $150 and a Camper Photo Booth for $400. (If you want to see what is in the decor barn message me and I can send you pictures!)



 

Stone Oak Ranch, this venue was also so amazing. The owner, Mrs. Rhonda, seemed VERY easy to work with and wanted you to have your perfect wedding. This location has three places for the ceremony, and they are all equally beautiful. There are so many photo ops on this property. This venue is an older style barn, with dark wood, although Mrs. Rhonda did say one of her ideas was to add more windows to the front of the barn. There is a list of decor on the property that you can use for free! There is an area on the property for outdoor games for your guest to use while you are taking pictures after the ceremony. The venue does have their own bartender but they have a recommend bartender for you and they do not allow tipping, which I thought was different. You also have to pay for officers if serving alcohol. She also suggested putting your honeymoon fund on the bar, which I thought was a brilliant idea! The package also includes tables, tablecloths, and chairs. Your tablecloth choices are limited but you upgrade for a small cost. On your wedding day, you have a coordinator with you throughout the day, and this is included in the price! The prices are based on the day you choose and the number of guests. For the prices of the packages and what is in each package go to https://www.stoneoakranch.com/packages.html. With everything you get at this venue, the price feels so low! This is a GREAT venue.



 

Miss Mary’s Place, this venue was our least favorite. It seemed very strict very a lot of hidden costs. The “bridal suite” was a good size building but not really a suite, it was more like a smaller reception area. The groom’s area was in the reception area, a very small room, which was not ideal because the men would probably get in the way during décor time. Unlike Stone Oak Ranch, every prop Miss Mary’s had, you had to rent for additional fees. The hour you can start decorating on a Saturday is 12 p.m., so if you want to do an early wedding this is not the venue for you. They don’t have set prices on their website, so when you go they will ask questions about how many people and what day you want and then they will give you a quote. On a Saturday with 150 people, I was quoted a $450 security deposit, $4,400 for the venue rental, and $30/hr. if you serve alcohol for the police officers. Not special enough for pictures.

 

The Dove Hollow, love love love. The large openings are amazing. When I first started the wedding planning process I did not know if the barns were my venue style, but I really like the open floor concept with high ceilings. The Dove Hollow the bridal suite was a simple room with a beautiful velvet couch. The grooms changing area was right across the hall, also simple but very nice. There is also a small balcony overlooking the venue space where the multi-shape windows are for fantastic pictures. The only thing I was hesitant about was the ceremony space. I wish there was a green grassy space to have a ceremony, and not on gravel. Even though my fiancé is not wanting this venue for the wedding if I take bridal pictures I will 100% come back and use this venue for them. But they do charge $100/hr. to use the space, unless you choose them for your venue. They have 23 - 60” round tables, 4 rectangular farmhouse tables, and 225 chairs that are available for you to use. The price is based on the time of year and day you choose. March-July & September-December: Weekday-$3000, Friday-$4500, Saturday-$5500, Sunday-$4000. January, February, and August: Weekday-$2000, Friday-$3500, Saturday-$4500, Sunday-$3000.



 

The Folmar, If you have a smaller wedding and would like an outdoor reception and don't mind spending a lot of cash, I would 100% recommend the Folmar. The bridal suite and “man cave” is the best I have seen so far. The Folmar has a beautiful chapel; it is on the small side, it fits less than 80 people. The reception area is an outdoor reception area, although there are screens that pull down and air conditioning in under the pavilion. There is a shed behind the bridal suite and man cave to have a cocktail hour. The prices are based on the number of people and seem a little high for what you are getting. 125 People $5,450 and 150 People $5,700. There is really nothing extra you will be getting, the price mostly just includes tables, tablecloths, and chairs. I did not take pictures at this venue because we were just doing a quick walk-through.


Thank Y’all, for taking the time out of your day to read this post! I hope you have an amazing day!

Love, Shelby ♡

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