Real Weddings: Sibriena and Doug’s Austin Mansion Wedding

austin wedding Sibriena, 35 & Douglas, 30

Austin, Texas

Wedding Date: October 10, 2010

Number of Guests: 70

Wedding Cost: $4,700

Wedding Ceremony Location: We were married in an outdoor ceremony at Villa de Vistas, a stunning mansion overlooking Lake Travis in Lakeway, Austin, TX. The grounds had two levels, and the ceremony was held on the upper level in the gardens next to a beautiful infinity pool with the lake as a backdrop.

Wedding Reception Location: Our wedding reception began on the lower level of the grounds at Villa de Vistas, surrounded by a wall of water that flowed from the infinity pool above into a tranquil pond below. Tables were arranged in quaint intimate settings for easy conversations. As the sun set, the wedding party and guests moved back up to the upper level for dancing under the moonlight and for the cake cutting.

Austin Mansion wedding

Austin Mansion wedding

Why did you have an intimate wedding?

Doug and I both agreed that large weddings lack the intimate feel and elegance that we were looking for. We wanted to be able to enjoy ourselves and to have a chance to chat with everyone and not feel rushed. When we began looking for wedding venues, we had in mind a wedding of around 100-150 people, which is an average size, not too big. But when we found Villa de Vistas we fell in love with the venue. It is breathtakingly gorgeous and the owners were very gracious and accommodating. The only problem was that they would only allow up to 70 guests. So we had to compromise in order to have the wedding at the place we loved.

ruched mermaid wedding gown

Austin Mansion wedding

What are some of the challenges that you faced planning an intimate wedding?

Well, naturally, the biggest challenge was the guest list. It was also a challenge that I lived in Houston, TX and the wedding was in Austin, TX. And we planned our wedding in just over 2 months (we wanted that wedding date, 10-10-10)!  So making sure that we took care of the details from a distance, and not being able to visit the venue more than a couple of times during the planning process wasn’t easy, but we didn’t sweat the small stuff. We kept our wedding party down to 2 (the matron of honor and best man), and because the venue was already so gorgeous, there wasn’t the need to provide too many additional decorations. Fortunately we have wonderful friends and family who are very talented, and who made the bouquets, floral arrangements, cake and some of the food. We were thrilled with the way everything turned out and wouldn’t change a thing.

Austin Mansion wedding

monogrammed favor boxes

peach rose boutonnieres

Austin Mansion wedding

Austin Mansion wedding

wedding cake with peonies and peacock feathers

Was it difficult to pare down the guest list?

Yes, it was very difficult, but we have very understanding friends. It helped that it was sort of a destination wedding also (not everyone can afford hotel and other travel expenses) and that it was held on a Sunday afternoon (some of the invited weren’t able to come because they had to work the next day).

Austin Mansion wedding

Austin Mansion wedding

peacock feather wedding decor

Austin Mansion wedding

peacock wedding decor

Austin Mansion wedding
Did you have any ‘issues’ with the small guest list from friends and family? If so, how did you address them?

The fact that it was the venue (not us!) that limited the number of guests made it easier to explain. Some of our Houston friends also wanted to give us a party back home in Houston, so the weekend following the wedding we had a second reception of sorts, hosted by friends, where we were able to invite everyone else in a more casual setting. It worked out better for them because it was on a Saturday and it was local, and was a less expensive alternative for us.

Austin Mansion wedding

Austin Mansion wedding

Austin Mansion wedding

Austin Mansion wedding
Austin Mansion wedding

Austin Mansion wedding
What were the highlights of the ceremony?

The ceremony was held in the garden overlooking the lake. The day was beautiful, not a cloud in the sky. The guests, seated in white chairs onthe lawn on either side of the aisle, watched as our parents, the wedding party and I (the bride) escorted by my dad walked from the mansion down beautiful, curved limestone steps covered in rose petals. The wedding discourse was touching, personal, and highlighted the sanctity of marriage and the vow that we were about to make to each other. The best part of the ceremony was the vows, where we looked into each other’s eyes and committed to be faithful to each other for the rest of our lives. And the kiss of course!

Austin Mansion wedding

Austin Mansion wedding

Austin Mansion wedding

Austin Mansion wedding

Austin Mansion wedding

Austin Mansion wedding

Austin Mansion wedding

Austin Mansion wedding

Austin Mansion wedding

Austin Mansion wedding

Austin Mansion wedding

Austin Mansion wedding

Austin Mansion wedding

Austin Mansion wedding

What were the highlights of the reception?

I loved our “introduction walk” as a married couple – the walk down the spiral staircase to the lower level of the grounds where our guests were waiting. We walked to the beautiful song from the “Young Victoria” soundtrack called “Letter from Victoria.” I get emotional each time I hear that song (really the whole soundtrack) because it reminds me of our special day. The dances with my dad (“I Loved Her First” by Heartland) and the first dance between my husband and I (“Over the Valley” by Pink Martini) were also very special, beautiful moments. The sun had nearly set when we began the dances, so the entire ambiance of the reception was very different from the wedding (which began at 4 p.m. with full sunlight). We couldn’t have asked for a more perfect wedding day.

Austin Mansion wedding

monogram cake topper

Austin Mansion wedding

Austin Mansion wedding

Austin Mansion wedding

Austin Mansion wedding

Austin Mansion wedding

Austin Mansion wedding
What was the best thing about having an intimate wedding?

It wasn’t stressful, we had a great time and so did everyone else. And we didn’t spend a fortune!

Austin Mansion wedding

Austin Mansion wedding

Austin Mansion wedding

Austin Mansion wedding

Austin Mansion wedding
What advice do you have for couples who are considering an intimate wedding?

Just do it! It can be a wonderful experience without breaking the bank. Think quality vs. quantity. You will always have someone who isn’t invited that will get their feelings hurt, but just remember the wedding is about you, the marrying couple, starting your lives together. Make it a day that you will treasure. A day you can look back at fondly and be able to say it was perfect (for you!) in every way.

Austin Mansion wedding

Austin Mansion wedding

Vendors:

 

Venue: Villa de Vistas

Hair: Spa at the Lake, Lakeway, TX

Makeup: Spa at the Lake, Lakeway, TX

Favors: Jordan Almond and chocolate covered almond favor boxes

Cake: Antonio Miller & Bonnie Patino, Friends of the Bride and Groom

Caterer: Blue Bamboo Thai Restaurant, Lakeway, TX; and Mother of the Bride

Photographer: Civic Photos, Houston, TX

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Comments

  1. Posted by Robert London on November 11th, 2011 at 12:25pm

    Starting out with a lovely venue and a good looking couple goes a long way in saving money on decorating! Looks great and the weather looked wonderful
  2. Posted by Mis Detalles on November 12th, 2011 at 11:32am

    Perfect pics. Love the colors and every single detail.
  3. Posted by nashi on November 12th, 2011 at 5:07pm

    Lovely place and perfect colors for your bridesmaid.
  4. Posted by Laura on November 14th, 2011 at 2:03pm

    Love the style of the couple - very Old Hollywood glamour! I can't believe they pulled off such a beautiful wedding for such a reasonable price - inspiring!
  5. Posted by Christina on November 15th, 2011 at 10:38am

    Laura,when these photos landed in my inbox I was really amazed that the wedding only cost $5,000! A great reminder that you can have an AMAZING wedding on a budget.
  6. Posted by Stephanie H on January 20th, 2012 at 11:38am

    Where are the bridesmaids dresses from?
  7. Posted by Wendy P on November 29th, 2012 at 1:36pm

    After seeing this wonderful idea, I was stuck on this venue for our destination wedding. Unfortunately, they wont do a wedding anymore. Such a great idea and it has inspired me to find a fabulous spot on a budget. Thanks for sharing.
  8. Posted by Katie E on April 28th, 2013 at 2:34am

    Only thing that I don't like about this is that this place is no longer doing weddings! I had fallen in love with the pictures and was so looking forward to showing my fiance and then I visited the Villa de Vistas website and they are exclusive vacations. NO WEDDINGS OR PARTIES. (Yes it's in all caps on their site!) So lovely though!
  9. Posted by Christina on April 28th, 2013 at 12:18pm

    Sorry to hear that Katie!
  10. Posted by Cassandra hurst on February 19th, 2014 at 11:42pm

    I would love to receive information about this venue.
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