By Laura Samuel Meyn
You can’t set the date until you have a place to celebrate; read on for three new wedding venues that offer city, country or garden settings.
640 Taylor St., Fort Worth, 682-785-8875, palmwoodevents.com
Back story When the owners of downtown’s Frost Tower Fort Worth set out to create a fresh, modem event and conference center with clean lines and phenomenal views, they found the perfect space for the venture inhouse. PalmWood, which opened in Frost Tower in May 2018, is named for the petrified palmwood that is Texas’ official state stone.
Location The new event and conference level for receptions is 13 stories up. Just below, on the Sky Lobby level, an outdoor event terrace provides a dramatic ceremony setting.
Style and setup The main reception area, the Anthracite Room, has floor to ceiling windows looking out onto sleek city buildings. With the best vista to the west, it also offers dazzling sunset views.
Capacity The Anthracite Room can accommodate up to 320 guests for a seated dinner with room for a dance floor. Using additional spaces, the venue can accommodate up to 800 for cocktail receptions.
Food and drink PalmWood chef Mel Aguilar uses local produce, organic chicken and certified Angus beef – and collaborates with clients to customize menus, including incorporating a family recipe or two. Beverage director Sur Easley handles wine selection and creates craft cocktails. Wedding cakes may be brought in by the baker of your choice; pies, tarts and other desserts are available in-house.
Bonus While valet service can be arranged, Frost Tower Fort Worth’s parking garage with hundreds of spots makes self-parking easy, too; the high-speed touch-screen elevator whisks guests up to the ceremony and reception.
Know this Not into outsourcing? Most everything you’ll need is available on-site except the dance floor – mobile bars, tables, chairs, linens, glassware, flatware and china.
HIDDEN GARDENS VENUE
8229 Jacksboro Highway, Lakeside, 817-394-3913, hiddengardensvenue.com
Back story A 1930s stone mansion on 6 acres, Hidden Gardens was once abandoned and overgrown. Mother-daughter team Mary Busby Sloas and Shelly King remembered the mansion from its grander days — Sloas ran the nearby Busby’s Nursery for 35 years — when they purchased it in 2017. The property served as a home and a restaurant over the years; rumor has it that it was also used as a hunting lodge, a Russian spy camp and a speak-easy.
Location The 4,600-square-foot mansion is in Lakeside, a 20-minute drive west of downtown Fort Worth, near the Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge. The wooded property is home to abundant wildlife; native plants and wildflowers are used in the landscaping for a natural garden feel.
Style and setup The venue is typically used for outdoor ceremonies and receptions, though smaller celebrations can be held indoors. The ceremony site offers an idyllic backdrop of woods with steps leading to a koi pond and fountain; receptions are held under a cedar pergola wrapping around the back of the venue. Doors lead inside the mansion to a barroom, featuring the salvaged bar from the old Casino Beach Ballroom. Couples get ready for their big day in roomy suites.
Capacity Hidden Gardens Venue can accommodate up to 150 guests.
Food and drink Use the caterer and bartender of your choice; the venue is BYOB.
Bonus Couples love Hidden Gardens’ charm and character — and appreciate that it’s close to the city but feels far away.
Know this Custom farm tables and chairs are included in the venue fee; vintage china place settings are available to rent. The team behind Hidden Gardens also runs Lake Worth Florist and can supply all flowers and decor.
PARKER MANOR, THE SPRINGS EVENT VENUE
454 Thompson Road, Weatherford, 817-609-5159, thespringsevents.com
Back story The Springs Event Venue has a dozen celebratory sites in Oklahoma and Texas, several with two venues situated on a single property. The Springs opened its first Weatherford venue, Westwood Hall, in May 2016; newly built behind it is Parker Manor, which debuted in July 2018.
Location A 40-minute drive west of downtown Fort Worth, The Springs’ two Weatherford venues share a sprawling, wooded property.
Style and setup The two-story Parker Manor has white columns on the front and a full balcony across the back, overlooking rolling hills. Weddings are typically held on the landscaped grounds behind the building, with a bridge leading to the ceremony site. Receptions move inside into Parker Manor’s grand hall, surrounded by a 12-foot balcony.
Capacity Parker Manor can accommodate up to 320 guests.
Food and drink Couples may hire the caterer of their choosing and bring in their own liquor, wine or beer without restrictions. Parker Manor has a separate vendor parking lot, large prep kitchen and built-in catering buffet bar.
Bonus Newlyweds have reported back that they appreciated the full-day rental, food and beverage flexibility and upfront pricing that includes everything – no extra taxes, fees or gratuities.
Know this Included in the rental fee is access to software that helps couples design a custom floor plan. Parker Manor then handles setup and breakdown for both ceremony and reception, including furniture, audio equipment, wireless microphones and a projector and screen for slideshows.