Rock Love Wedding: The Venue

11 Aug

the-parish-50Early in our wedding planning, we ranked what was most important for our wedding. Of course, getting All My Friends to play was essential. We needed to have food we would be proud to serve our guests*. Getting a photographer we trusted to capture the event was mandatory as well, but before we locked down any of those, we had to book the reception venue, since it would set the tone for everything. We needed a spot that felt like us. Hotel ballrooms and outdoor tent weddings can be quite lovely, but it’s just not us. A rock venue with awesome sound, a fun dance floor that could comfortably fit our 120 guests, and somewhere we had a special connection to. It had to be The Parish, home of our first date and many special ones since.

*This always seems to be the no. 1 complaint on any wedding reality show – bad food. I didn’t want to get wrapped up in trying to pay thousands just to impress people, but it was definitely important to us that we share some of our favorite food with our friends and loved ones.


“Well, this is a first,” the coordinator at The Parish said when we told her we weren’t even engaged yet. We were so locked in on The Parish being our venue, we went to meet with her on February 18th. I didn’t propose until May 23rd. By the time we were actually engaged and ready to put down a deposit on the venue, a different woman was in charge of booking The Parish. We took the tour again. Not that we really needed it. We’ve had more than our share of experiences at The Parish. It’s one of the first venues I ever went to in Austin, as a matter of fact — before I even went to college at U.T. my dad, brother and I went to a Sondre Lerche show here. The Parish and I go way back — it’ll be a decade next year.

7902285812_4dfce34d3c_zTwo days after we met on the shuttle home from ACL, Caitlin suggested we go to The Parish to see her friends in “Little Lo” play a show. I picked her up, made up an excuse to kiss her before we even got in the car*, and headed to the venue for the first of many shows together there. We loved being able to stand close, but have the options to sit along the wall in between bands and get a drink from the well-placed bars. In the three and a half years since that first date, we’ve been at the Parish to see two Los Campesinos! shows in two days for Valentines Day**,  danced our butts off to Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr., swayed to Gene Ween, were just there recently for Wye Oak***, and loved our perennial SXSW favorites Oberhofer and the Drums****. We’ve seen Texas bands like Sarah Jaffe and the Black and White Years and we even saw Marc Maron do stand-up there for Moontower Comedy festival a couple years ago.

*Such a relief! Hat tip to Zack for doing away with any awkward will-we-won’t-we pauses at the end of the night. He was ready to show me he was all in from the start. I asked how tall she was. She said 5’10. I said no way, I’m 5’10. We stood nose to nose and then I went for the kiss. 

**Probably about the most un-Valentine’s band you could see (ex: an entire album called “Romance is Boring”), but whatever, we just loved them too much not to.

***Zack made me add the word “recently” to that sentence because before it read, “were just there for Wye Oak,” which made it sound like he really, really hated the experience. They were great, though!

****Best Drums show I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen a lot. The mosh pit for “Money” was perfect.


So we know the venue pretty well, but now it’s fun to see it with fresh eyes. Instead of taking stock of the best spot to get close and enjoy one of our favorite bands, we look at the space with thoughts of how it will host all our family and friends. Where will the tables go? The DJ? The cake? Will there be enough room on the dance floor? We’re still in the very early stages*, but on both our visits, all the questions seem easy enough to answer. We can picture the wedding here and it makes it feel all the more real and exciting. We put the deposit down last month, booked All My Friends and then started ticking off all the other major factors, but feel thrilled that we got the big one right.

*Ish. We already have our photographer, band, DJ, and caterer booked, a cake tasting this week, and meetings with our ceremony string quartet and potential planner in the next two weeks. I’ve already got my dress. We’re kind of on top if it. *Self-five.*


4 Responses to “Rock Love Wedding: The Venue”

  1. jessthetics August 18, 2014 at 10:02 am #

    This seems like such a perfect venue for you guys, it’s so exciting! I’m looking forward to seeing more details from your rock and roll wedding 🙂 xx

  2. tapeparade December 11, 2014 at 7:10 am #

    What a perfect looking venue (also no idea how I missed this post before?!). Also big props, I bloody love Los Campesinos xx

  3. tapeparade December 11, 2014 at 7:11 am #

    Also, is it ok to borrow/steal that line from Zack for future scenarios where I need to pounce on boys? Because it’s a really great line x


  1. Rock Love Wedding: Part 1 – Before We Walked Down The Aisle | rockloveaustin - June 7, 2015

    […] brainstorming every last detail we could think of, from the venue to the music to the wedding website and far beyond, the week of the wedding seemed to come and go […]

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