Searching for the perfect wedding venue can be a daunting task, to say the least. With hundreds of sites to choose from in the Dallas-Fort Worth area alone, you may be wondering, where do I even begin? In the simplest terms, search for the features that are most important to you.

Ride with me as I uncover a few hidden gems found during recent venue tours in the DFW area. Hopefully, one of these styles will speak to you.

Charting My Course – Day 1

Seemingly as far as the east is from the west, the first leg of my tour began in Dallas and ended in Azle, where I discovered two distinctly different, yet similarly-themed natural environments.

Texas Discovery Gardens at Fair Park – Dallas, TX

As many times as I have been to the State Fair of Texas, I never knew this spot existed. Texas Discovery Gardens is a hidden gem perfectly perched inside Dallas Fair Park. Just minutes from downtown Dallas, this slice of nature features an array of immaculately manicured outdoor gardens to accommodate a range of wedding styles and sizes, from small and intimate to big and grand. For an indoor option with a picturesque view, choose the Grand Hall which features floor to ceiling windows overlooking the largest garden, Grand Allee. The VIP Villa and Wedding Suite, built in 1936, is a timeless, fully furnished bride’s house with a path that leads to the lawn for a unique bridal entrance.

Teresa Choate, venue director, expressed that she is a nature girl and loves the mix of indoor/outdoor options. She stated, “Couples love that the venue offers many ways to customize.”  In fact, “no two weddings are alike.”  An especially unique way to incorporate nature is to thank guests with a butterfly release at the adjacent multi-level Butterfly House.

The Orchard Venue & Retreat –  Azle, TX

Traveling westward past Fort Worth, I arrived at the secluded 100-acre property in Azle, where I was faced with a fork in the road.

The road to the left leads to the wedding venue which features an indoor reception and ceremony space. Adjacent is a covered outdoor Plaza featuring a high ceiling with open rafters, giving a couple the option to have a ceremony or cocktail hour that incorporates nature without being outside…at least not totally.  For a full outdoor experience, the Pergola offers ceremony space surrounded by landscaping with perfectly spaced pecan and oak trees as the backdrop. 

The road to the right leads to an area with 15 cabins. Each is fully furnished and beautifully decorated, serving as a great alternative to staying in a hotel.  And then there’s the Texas-inspired lodge on the opposite side of the property that features a 5,500 sq. ft., 6 bed/4 bath home that comfortably and lavishly houses 12 guests.

Shaina Davis, planning coordinator, said she loves love. She expressed, “What couples love most about The Orchard are the little touches that make you feel loved.” The heart-shaped pond would cause any heart to flutter.

Charting My Course – Day 2

Today’s ride took me on a north to south trek from Keller to Fort Worth, where I uncovered a classic luxe space and a modern, industrial spot.

Chandon Arbors Wedding & Event Venue – Keller, TX

The owners of this new family-owned venue sought out couples to interview to see what features were most important for them to have.  Upon entry, the spacious restrooms set the tone of their responses. The large bridal suite and equally massive groom’s suite offer comfortable space for the wedding party, as well as family. The classic luxe indoor ceremony and reception spaces feature a neutral palette with elegant chandeliers paired with natural wood beams and doors. Along with an outdoor ceremony space are two outdoor patios with fireplaces and a waterfall feature.

When asked what couples love the most about Chandon Arbors, owner Don Hennig responded, “Couples immediately say they can imagine themselves having their wedding here. And because we are family owned, I can ask what they would like in order to cater to the couple.”

The Ostreum – Fort Worth, TX

For the modern and industrial bride and groom, the Ostreum will not disappoint. Although initially from the outside, the rough warehouse exterior shows no signs that a wedding or special event could be taking place inside.  Hence, the name, ostreum, which is the Latin term for oyster, whereby once opened, reveals decadence and a beautiful pearl inside. Talk about a hidden gem!! Originally established in the early 1900s as the O.B. Macaroni Factory, The Ostreum is centrally located near downtown Fort Worth. It features a separate ceremony and reception space with red cedar columns and rafters and the original exposed brick walls. Unique features include a hidden door, giving access to the large bridal and groom’s suites and also roof top access for photos.

“Couples love the unique space,” says Kristen Robinson, director of first impressions. “It gives a luxurious 1920’s, boho/upscale vibe, yet, it allows for different looks.”

Marvalous Weddings Tip:

Whether a natural environment, a classic look, an industrial vibe, or something totally different, your venue will be a place where memories of your special day will be made and cherished. Choose what is right for you.

Thank you for riding with me.