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A Walk Through Strawberry Pines

A South Texas Venue With Historic Beauty & Ambience

Written by: The Wedding Lady
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A Walk Through Strawberry Pines

Darlene Henry and her husband Woode didn’t plan on opening a wedding venue. The grant writer and rancher simply fell in love with the land and decided to buy. It was only once they really got to know the property that they realized they had something beautiful. Read on as I get the story behind Strawberry Pines, south San Antonio’s newest wedding venue.

Tell us about the history or establishment of Strawberry Pines. The property’s original rock bungalow was built in the 1940s, and then the barn. The other homes were added later. We purchased the 110-acre property as a working ranch to run cattle on. The land happened to come with four houses and a barn but we didn’t want to be landlords. We considered restoring the original homestead and renting it out as a little bed-and-breakfast, but the more we started cleaning it up and restoring the one house, we fell in love and realized what a beautiful piece of property we had. We did not purposefully set out to set up a venue—it just happened to us. When people started asking if they could get married out here, we knew we had something. So we started doing market research and realized there really isn't anything like it around, with the lawns, houses, vintage barn, and such a unique landscape. It’s a little microenvironment with pine trees not native to our part of Texas, a well-established carpet of grass, and the old dairy barn.

What’s included in the venue’s wedding/rental packages? Most packages include two to three days. We like to say that when you book Strawberry Pines, you’re booking a unique wedding-moon experience. Our venue is geared toward couples who want to go back to that old, family reunion-style wedding where you actually get to spend time with your families and guests and your families get to know each other. We can host the bride and her party in one house, the groom and his men in another house, and then the big house on the hill can sleep about 16 people, ideal for parents and grandparents or the immediate families. And you can have the place for the weekend—have your rehearsal and rehearsal dinner out here, decorate that night, have the ceremony and reception, then stay the wedding night and have a family brunch the morning after.

Strawberry Pines is a blank canvas and we invite couples to come paint their own picture. The venue lends itself to the complete DIY couple. You can come out and do it all yourself or bring your own team of vendors and have them take care of everything for you. We don’t have a required vendor list and you can decorate as little as you want, leaving the natural beauty, or go all out with décor, lighting, and all the other details. The property is really versatile.

What sets this venue apart and makes having an event at Strawberry Pines special? We’re really invested in our couples and our families having a wonderful experience. I firmly believe in a lot of good, old-fashioned customer service. Our barn is a truly unique barn—not a hall made to look like a barn. It’s an authentic 100-year-old barn that’s been expanded to accommodate events. Plus, our location—you’ve got the microenvironment of pine trees very unusual to the area and we’re 30 miles south of San Antonio, where most venues are north/northwest of the city. Strawberry Pines just pulls you in a different direction. But if I had to pick just one thing that sets us apart: authenticity. We are not your typical wedding venue. We are still a working ranch that just happens to have an authentic little wedding venue on property.

Strawberry Pines is ideal for the mini destination weddings where couples are really getting to go somewhere and move in—it’s your place for the weekend. We don’t have any vendor restrictions and I can recommend a list of all the area vendors we’ve worked closely with who are familiar with our property. Our fees are affordable and we don’t include tables and chairs in the on-site package because we want you to be able to find what’s right for your budget and your aesthetics. Plus, we don’t have any preconceived notions about what your wedding should be or where you should have your ceremony. We’re very open-minded—you can get married on the dock, under the gazebo, on the lawn, wherever you want.

Where’d the name Strawberry Pines come from? When we first came out to look at the property, there was a gorgeous pink sunset, and I’ve noticed since we moved here that pink sunsets are very common—something about the area and the broad vistas. I was joking with my husband that if we did open a B-and-B we’d call it Strawberry Pines because of the pink sunsets and the pines—plus, Poteet just happens to be the strawberry capital of the world—so the name just stuck.

 

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