Intent on turning the idea of a traditional hotel wedding on its head, Lisa Hickey of Panacea Collection rentals chose the swankily contemporary South Congress Hotel, in the heart of Austin’s hip SoCo District, for this refined reception. “With its exposed brick, built-in sheer drapes, and streaming natural light, it feels nothing like a hotel ballroom,” she says. Indeed, the hotel event team encourages couples to think outside the box, perhaps featuring treats from the property’s own little ice cream truck (the Stephen F. Frostin’) or a panoply of pies and tarts displayed theatrically on a grand dessert table.
The design team—Hickey, along with Lindsay Meier of Bespoke Events and Emily Reid of Gypsy Floral—blended richly textiled and vibrantly colored furnishings to create a gathered look. The result: a ceremony space that appears at once intimate and familiar. For the altar, they ditched the typical wedding arch in favor of asymmetrical cork pedestals, organic botanical elements, and a fanciful cylindrical birdcage. “We wanted a look that felt both masculine and romantic, and that kept true to the style of the South Congress Hotel,” says Hickey. Using everything from leather placeholders to vintage candlesticks, this creative crew adroitly mixed metals, textures, and fabrics.
“We’re fortunate to have a phenomenal pastry program created by James Beard–nominated chef and all-around rockstar Amanda Rockman,” says Andrea Adame, events manager of the South Congress Hotel. Desserts included apple cobbler, a large-format lemon-meringue tart, assorted minis (Rockman’s renowned Basque cake, strawberry panna cotta verrine, and mini hazelnut cake), and a ceremonial wedding cake.
Rick Cortez Photography
EVENT VENUE & DESSERTS
South Congress Hotel
PAPER GOODS & CALLIGRAPHY
Averi with an Eye
EVENT DESIGN & RENTALS
Christopher and Brad Chandler. This real-life Austin couple met through SoulCycle fitness, where Chris is an instructor, and held their real-life wedding in fall 2017. You can see their engagement and read more about their story here.
You can find more resources for planning an LGBTQ wedding in this part of Texas in our Austin Wedding Vendor Guide.