Right after New Years celebrations have wound down and real life takes over, we begin getting calls and emails from newly engaged couples wanting to take a tour of Hoffman Haus. Then, after Valentines Day the volume increases two fold. We love the excitement that comes through in their conversations with us, the longing to have exactly the right place for their wedding. Which takes me back over five years ago.
When my daughter got engaged she was living abroad in Cairo. And we were looking square in the eye at a long distance wedding. I can be adventurous at times, and this was one of those times. I began to wrap my head around the logistics of it all. Mainly how to get my mother and father there in one piece.
And then the miraculous happened, she decided she wanted to get married in Fredericksburg, which was greeted with great relief on my part, there would be no long haul flights, I wouldn’t have to remember where I put my passport, and deciding what to wear would be a breeze.
Oh and another thing, I just happened to own the perfect wedding venue. The plan, and it sounded like a good one to me, was to have a small, intimate wedding ceremony with a seated luncheon afterward. One tiny hitch was the guest list. It was much smaller and intimate than my large and raucous family.
When I pointed that out to my daughter she stood firm. Only immediate family, and of course, their closest friends. Most of whom were coming from far flung places. What had begun as a slam-dunk of a wedding day quickly morphed into an operation resembling D-day, a wedding week.
I realized I was going to experience Hoffman Haus in a way I had never known it before, as a mother of the bride. We had hosted numerous weddings over the years and I had worked behind the scenes making sure all was well, with happy brides and grooms as the end result. But I hadn’t been on the other side. It was a revelation.
Experiencing Hoffman Haus in this new way gave me a perspective that I have treasured ever since. To begin with, it truly felt like a home away from home. Comfortable, quiet, welcoming in an understated way, and beautiful of course, it was the perfect landing spot for all our wedding guests. They were tired from traveling and all they had to do was settle into their rooms and spread out, enjoying the simplicity that comes from being in each other’s company.
The other thing I learned was how easy it is to have a wedding at the HH. Everything I needed was right there. The Great Hall with its lofty ceiling, graceful chandeliers and beautiful texture made my decorating easy and inspired. The garden and pond were the perfect backdrop for wedding vows. Our staff was absolutely a dream to work with. And because Hoffman Haus is centrally located, both in Fredericksburg and in the Hill country, our guests could merrily set out on their own, walking to Main Street or driving to San Antonio and Austin to see the sights.
One more way that Hoffman Haus worked its magic was to embrace and connect a group of people who had never met each other. I had seen it before with other weddings, and now got to know how it actually felt. Each day we had the bar set up with refreshments and snacks so everyone could come and go as they pleased, spending time visiting in the Library or gathering up as a group for an adventure. By the end of the week strangers had become friends and we were all having a wonderful time together.
After a welcome drinks party, rehearsal dinner, wedding luncheon, shutzenfest barbeque at our ranch, wedding brunch, and, with a mad dash to Dallas, a garden party for over 150 in my parent’s back yard (remember, my husband and I come from large families), we were done. Our daughter and son in law were well and truly married. As we dropped them off at the airport for their honeymoon trip to Costa Rica and headed home to Fredericksburg I began reflecting on the entire week. We had come through unscathed, with each scheduled event working out as planned. But the most important thing had been being together, and getting to know each other. Which I realized wouldn’t have been possible without Hoffman Haus. It set the stage for one of the most important events of our lives. Owning it and taking pride in it was one thing, but being a part of it as a MOB was totally different. It is a special place, as so many of our guests have told us. Until my daughter’s wedding I hadn’t realized how magical that statement was.