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Wild & Free at Grande Hall

Jessica & Parker

Photography by: Monica Roberts Photography / Wedding Date : May 6
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    Wild & Free at Grande Hall

    Jessica Hodges & Dr. Parker Hurst

    Hometown: San Antonio, TX

    How did you meet? We met at the Texas Wildlife Association’s conference almost 10 years ago. We had mutual friends and met several years before we actually started dating. We reconnected on Facebook.

    Tell us about the proposal. We were going home for Parker's birthday weekend and had plans with friends that Friday night and dinner plans on Saturday with both of our families to celebrate. After a fun evening at the Pearl, we headed up to New Braunfels Saturday morning and hung out all day. On the way to dinner, Parker told me we were going to meet some friends for a drink first. So we parked downtown and started to walk towards the town square, but as we got close, he told me they had decided to just meet us at dinner and insisted we walk through the gazebo, just the two of us. A little weird to me, but ok. We got in the gazebo and Parker started talking about the past five and a half years of our relationship, how much he loved me, said he had a very important question and got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. Of course I said yes! Some bystanders honked their horns as they drove by and came out of shops to shout congratulations. As we left the gazebo he told me we had a lot of people waiting for us at the restaurant. When we arrived we were greeted by all of our families and friends. He had been planning this for months—and if you know Parker he isn't much of a planner. I couldn't have asked for a more perfect night!

    What inspired the design or theme of your wedding day? My vision was simple and classy. Our colors were navy, white and a greyish blue with white florals with a touch of greenery.

    Why did you choose the venue and vendors you did? We chose the Grande Hall at the Hofmann Ranch because we loved the outdoor lighting and open air feel of the venue. We also liked that it had so many options in case of different weather scenarios. Lastly, Art Menchaca gave us the tour and he went above and beyond to answer any questions and explain so many parts of the wedding planning process. He made us feel very comfortable and confident that he would be able to help us along the way. 

    What were some of the most unique elements of your wedding? I think the venue was unique. I hadn't been to a wedding with a great indoor/outdoor option like Hofmann. 

    Also, for Communion during our ceremony we were able to use a "loving cup" that was engraved with the groom’s grandparents’ and parents’ names, which had been used at both of their weddings. The earrings I wore were my grandmother’s. It was a sentimental touch to have heirlooms from both sides of the family. 

    Lastly, the ceremony and first dance singer, Noah Vonne, is my little sister's best friend. We grew up with her as practically another member of the family. It was so special having her sing for our ceremony and first dance. 

    Did anything about your wedding exceed your expectations? Barbie Forester went above and beyond on our flowers. I showed her pictures of what I wanted but she really took the ideas and made them much more unique than I could have imagined. She showed up with more than I had planned for and it really helped to make the ceremony and reception beautiful. 

    I also chose Monica Roberts Photography because I loved how natural her photos looked. After our engagement photos my fiancé talked about how he had been dreading taking so many pictures but that Monica was great. She made us feel so comfortable. She laughed with us and put us at ease. My husband and I had the same conversation after the wedding and he even requested that we take a picture with her!


    Every bride is dying to see their wedding photos. Many of my friends have waited up to 8 weeks to get their photos back. I was ecstatic when I got and email just over a week after our wedding saying that the photos were done. It was so fun being able to relive the night when we got back from our honeymoon. 

    What advice do you have for couples planning a San Antonio wedding? Look around, decide the style of wedding you want and decide on the non-negotiables. For me, I wanted an outdoor venue with romantic lighting and I didn't want it to be too far out of town. I looked all over and showed my fiancé probably 10 or 12 venues that I was interested in. He narrowed it down to a top 3 and that's what we went to look at. Make sure to talk to each venue about what is included in the price. Also, check on their bar packages and required vendors. Make sure you like the vendors and that they are in your price range. All of that adds up.  We loved that the RK Group (Illusions Rentals & Design) and Rosemary's Catering, both credible and affordable San Antonio based companies, were affiliated with Hofmann Ranch. It was such a relief to know that all of our table, chairs, linens, service ware, and catering were all worked in with the venue and in our price range. It saved us so much stress in the next planning steps. 

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