For the creative bride-to-be, one popular Texas Hill Country wedding venue near Austin offers an affordable option for the ceremony—and the unusual opportunity to learn how to make one’s own floral arrangements.
“The Wildflower Barn is an events center here in Driftwood,” said Valerie Welch, facility director, in a phone interview last week. “We have two barns on the property, and I’d say 99.9 percent of our events are weddings. As you can tell from the name, we do love our native wildflowers.”
The venue is owned by Janet and Chris Dietz. In 2007, while casually looking at Hill Country acreage to use as Chris’s photography studio, they stumbled across an old barn on land with trees plagued by oak wilt. But the couple could see beyond the immediate condition of the land. They could see the property’s potential as an event venue, too.
“This part of Texas is one of the most beautiful areas of the state. Perhaps the single most beautiful area,” Valerie said. “Our owners saw that when they first visited. They saw the other great trees on the property and they knew that, with a little work, they could create a beautiful, affordable wedding venue for brides and grooms, a place perfect for photographs. Since they purchased it years ago, they’ve gone out of their way to cultivate and reinforce the natural beauty of the land.”
Area brides appear to be satisfied with the end product. The popular wedding website, The Knot, has selected the venue for its “Best of Weddings” award two years straight. Users of the website also give the venue five-star reviews.
Valerie believes families are initially drawn to The Wildflower Barn’s affordable rental fees and collaborative spirit. In particular, the company is known for its open vendor policy, which allows allows for greater control over the wedding budget. Brides and grooms can select the vendors of their choice rather than being forced to choose from a narrow list managed by the venue. For couples working on a shoestring, homemade cakes and food are welcome, too.
“I come from a small town, a place of potlucks and people coming together to help one another out on special occasions. I’m lucky that my job, my dream job, is in that same spirit,” said Valerie. “But I cannot tell you how many people reach out to us in tears that the last venue said they couldn’t book a date for anything under $5,000. That’s just not how we operate.”
We are hosting 3 floral classes in February at #TheWildflowerBarn Our fabulous instructors will help you to become a DIY flower pro! $40 per class or all 3 for $100. Wildflower Barn couples get a discount code you can also share with friends and family! Check out our Facebook Events page (www.facebook.com/thewildflowerbarn) or email email@example.com for more details. #IncorporatingSucculents #FloralHoops #Centerpieces
In the age of Pinterest, many brides find themselves inspired to try their hand at making their own floral designs. As a service to their brides and the larger community of crafty types, The Wildflower Barn began offering on-site classes last February, a traditionally slow month for outdoor weddings.
“To be really honest, none of us are sports fans. So we made the mistake last year of booking the first class on Super Bowl Sunday,” Valerie said with a laugh. “We learned our lesson. This year, we were a little more careful about our scheduling.”
Throughout the rest of this month the facility is offering affordably priced Sunday afternoon classes. Topics include floral circles, centerpieces, and succulents.
“We had to do the succulents because that is such a hot topic in wedding design. As with our event bookings, we offer these hands-on classes at a low price point so that more people can participate. Last year all the participants were brides, but this year we’re seeing more people who just want to come out, visit the property, and just learn about floral design.”
Alas, once March begins—and the wildflowers start to appear on the property, a seasonal abundance of wedding bookings will make it difficult to host on-site floral classes.
“We’re thinking that, moving forward, we’ll want to offer the design classes in July as well as February,” Valerie said. “That will give all of us here at The Wildflower Barn something fun to look forward to during our off-peak times, too.”
All of the February 2018 floral workshops at The Wildflower Barn will be held on Sunday afternoons from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets are $40 each (or all three sessions for $100) and may be purchased through links found in the Events section of The Wildflower Barn’s Facebook page.
• February 11: Succulents
• February 18: Floral Circles and Arbors
• February 25: Floral Centerpieces
The Wildflower Barn
1770 North Elder Hill Road
Driftwood, Texas 78619