by Jessica McElroy
Photos by Brooke Mathis: Beautiful Evolutions Photography
“We had actually acquired the property a few years prior, and even held our own wedding there. We knew it was special and saw the potential it held – so we went for it….”
If you happen to be looking for an event space, this article is for you! We happen to have the inside scoop on a family-owned and operated venue, located nearby, who is working hard to create a name for themselves with their stunning location and reasonably priced, customizable event packages. It might sound too good to be true but we assure you, it’s real. The Pines of Alvarado just celebrated their second year in business in our area. They are growing and thriving, and are ready to help you book your next event!
The Pines of Alvarado is an indoor and outdoor event venue, conveniently located just south of Burleson. It is perfectly set up for weddings with an outdoor ceremony space, cocktail area, and a truly stunning updated barn that is suited well for an indoor reception area. While the space is perfect for weddings, it is certainly not limited to them. In speaking with Lexi Bowles, owner and COO of The Pines, she shared that they have hosted beautiful corporate events, engagement parties, birthdays and even celebration of life events as well. “We have multiple packages for clients to choose from, and we don’t have blackout dates. We allow events on all days of the week, 365 days of the year.”
Their business beginnings are reminiscent of many emergent enterprises we are seeing these days. When the world shut down during Covid, Lexi and her husband Jordan were also welcoming their first child into the world. Knowing that they wanted to create a sustainable income around their newly evolved family rhythm, and with the forced time on their hands during the shut-down to figure out their next move, they created the business plan for The Pines of Alvarado. “We had actually acquired the property a few years prior, and even held our own wedding there. We knew it was special and saw the potential it held – so we went for it. We’ve been making updates over time, and are continuing to do so as we grow, but it has become something really special. We just want to make it better each year and continue to serve our clients.”
As word has spread, their business has indeed grown. They have been able to bring on Jordan’s cousin Bryan as the Property Manager, as well as his fiancée Kylie who serves as the Marketing and Operations Manager, making The Pines a true family owned and operated business. “We are thrilled to have them as part of the team. Yes they are family, but we truly could not have picked anyone better to facilitate the plans we have for the company.” While a growing team is exciting for any business, Lexi is especially excited that they are able to keep their team local. So local, in fact, that they all live within ten minutes of the venue. “We’ve all lived here our whole lives. We’ve grown up here. We know the area and love this community. Our events began with people we knew, who were willing to take a chance on us. We did well enough that they started spreading the word and now, two years later, this growth has come organically and we are in our busiest season yet. It’s thrilling to be able to grow the team and continue to serve our community.”
So far, The Pines team has upgraded the landscaping, renovated the bridal and groom suites, added an overflow parking lot with a walkway and worked to add more path and string lighting outside for the perfect send-off photos. They have also upgraded the sound system and worked to create an overall aesthetic that will be suitable for any type of event. Their next planned upgrade includes the addition of wildflowers to the landscaping, which will make for the perfect photo opportunity for scheduled events or for local photographers looking for a good location for their sessions.
While still fairly new to the business landscape in the area, The Pines team is working to ensure community service stays at the forefront of their business practices. “Each year we aim to have some type of community event. Last year we hosted a fall fest that was open to the public, and at our open house we welcomed several local vendors who are also working to get their names and work out to the community. Hosting is certainly rewarding, but as our name gets out there a little bit more, we are also looking forward to attending more community events as a company.” Lexi knows that giving back to the community who has placed their trust in her team is important, so this February the venue hosted a giveaway on social media for a free wedding. “Couples shared their stories with us, and we are looking forward to seeing the public vote on their favorite. The winning couple will get to host their big event with us for free later this year!”
The Pines of Alvarado team has created a beautiful website that covers each of the packages they offer and even includes pricing. Having that information readily available on their website to those who are researching their options is a perk not all venues offer. “We know that venue shopping can be stressful. We aim to be up front with everything so those who are exploring their options are able to keep their budget in mind the whole time.” The venue offers half day event packages starting at only $750, with full day options as well. These general event packages include access to the indoor event space, outdoor cocktail area, full kitchen access as well as use of the fire pit, sound system including microphones, and more. Clients who wish to take advantage of the reasonably priced wedding packages can enjoy the same amenities listed above, as well as use of the bride and groom suites, extended hours of access and the included set up and breakdown of rented tables and chairs.
Another perk of hosting your event with The Pines team is their open vendor policy. While they do not offer all-inclusive packages complete with catering and bartending, this open vendor policy allows their clients to choose the vendors that they actually want to use, instead of having to pick from a list of pre-approved vendors like many venues require. If the client doesn’t have a vendor in mind, The Pines team can certainly make recommendations. The only required vendor is their in-house security team, who are there to maintain the safety of both the staff and the event guests.
Lexi noted that during the venue tours she has led, several of their potential clients get excited about how open they are and how few restrictions they have on their space. “We know that it can often be a stressful experience. By allowing the client to use the vendors they like, as well as their own décor, we aim to alleviate that stress as much as possible. We don’t want to add roadblocks to a client’s plan or force them to change their vision entirely because of arbitrary venue rules.” The Pines team works to ensure open and complete communication with each potential client so that there are no surprise fees or guesswork required when it comes time to securing your event location.
Once a potential client is ready to make an inquiry, they can call and talk to the team directly to set up an appointment, or they can fill out the contact form on the website. You can also find that contact form through their social media pages or through The Knot, one of the premier wedding planning websites. Regardless of how you find and connect with The Pines team, filling out that initial form allows them to gauge your needs so they can better guide your appointment. Touring the venue is certainly recommended and is the perfect time to discuss any add-ons you might want to include with your event package. Add-ons can include but are not limited to cocktail tables, barrel tables – which are a popular choice for a cake table or to hold the guest book, linens, vases, candles and other general décor. By renting directly from the venue you are not only cutting out additional vendor contracts and fees, it’s also less that you have to clean and pack up at the end of your event. An additional service you may want to consider when booking with The Pines of Alvarado is their day of event coordination. An often-underrated service, securing a day-of coordinator can help the behind-the-scenes mechanics of your event go smoothly so that you are able to relax and enjoy the event you have worked so hard to plan.