Mark & Emily
July 13, 2021
We have been to our fair share of venues and since it is Texas, we have definitely seen many rustic venues. But there is one rustic venue that I came across on Instagram in early 2021 that I had never heard of before. It is called… drum roll please… Rest Yourself Ranch. When I saw it I was absolutely stunned by how unique this venue is. It’s raw beauty had me shocked that it wasn’t one of those venues that has 30,000 followers and is booked out two years in advance. Especially when I found out more about this venue I was really shook with it’s amazing rich history. In this blog I am going to share all the amazing things I learned while visiting the ranch and all the amazing potential this place has for hosting a glamorous yet rustic wedding.
Rest Yourself Ranch sits on 14 beautiful acres and has 4 different unique and beautiful locations where you can say your vows and have a beautiful wedding ceremony. These four locations include a courtyard, a cliff view overlooking the Brazos River, a beautiful outdoor patio with two grand fireplaces (and guess what.. this location ALSO overlooks the Brazos River), and the last location is the large indoor great lodge that is filled with rustic charm. The venue also has 3 locations that would be perfect for your reception including the large courtyard, the indoor great lodge, and the outdoor patio which I previously mentioned. All of these areas can also accommodate a cocktail hour but one of my favorites for cocktail hour would be the “Front Porch to the West” which has a stunning view of the Brazos. This venue can easily accommodate weddings that are as intimate as 20 guests to as large as 230 guests.
The best thing about this venue (at least in my opinion) is that it is a bed and breakfast! Yes! So you and your guests can actually stay the night there! How incredible is that? You can book a room from the night before your rehearsal through the day after your wedding. That way there’s no stress and you can hang out as long as you need and make sure everything is perfect. This is also perfect for your out of town guests. They can just book their room right where the event will be happening! This is also perfect for couples that don’t just want an in-and-out wedding ceremony but choose to have a celebration that lasts for several days. If that’s you, you literally couldn’t imagine a better set up. The ranch contains 22 courtyard rooms (all of which are unique) and has other guest houses on property as well. The ranch can house up to 83 guests overnight.
From my images so far you can tell that there is obviously a rustic vibe to this place but it’s so much richer than your typical cookie-cutter rustic venue. The marketing manager worded this so perfectly when she gave me the tour “It’s like walking into a John Wayne movie” which is honestly so true. It has this true western yet old Hollywood vibe that is so abundant. I truly feel like this place is more likely to host a glamourous high-end luxury wedding than it is to host a casual laid-back barbecue style. But that really is the beauty of this venue- you could go in either direction and this venue will fit. If this venue is at all your style, you have to keep scrolling and then you have to go check out their website.
If views are a priority for you, this is definitely your perfect place. The views were great when I was photographing in the winter, but in the spring, summer, or fall with the beautiful lush leaves, it would be literally to die for. And TWO of the ceremony locations contain the beautiful views overlooking the river.
The ranch holds so much history that I can’t even tell you all of it in this blog, but I will give you some of what I learned when I went to the ranch myself.
The ranch was actually named Seybold Guest Ranch up until 2008. It was built by a couple- Elmer Seybold and his wife. They began building the ranch in 1938 and it opened in 1942 as a resort. The resort was actually known for all the movie stars that would come vacation & relax here. Some of the stars that are rumored to have vacationed here are John Wayne, Betty Davis, and Ronald Reagan. Seybold Ranch was originally 2000 acres and was the first ranch of its kind in Texas. Mr. Seybold worked with architect Charles Dilbek to bring his vision to life. The original resort included riding and swimming and it even had a restaurant. When it was purchased by the new owners, they preserved as much of the old features across the entire ranch as possible and really restored it to it’s former glory. They actually have a room dedicated to all the history that this ranch holds and if you visit- you should really check it out. It is so cool to see all the unique history & stories that are attached to this ranch.
Because this venue is also a bed and breakfast, it has so many great and fun activities you can do which is why this makes it the perfect venue for a several day celebration or even as your after-wedding honeymoon spot. It has activities for the entire family. Some of the outdoor activities include kayaking, canoeing, fishing, giant chess, Yahtzee, connect four, horseshoes, basketball, volleyball, and zipline. There are also indoor activities which include a game room with a pool table, ping pong, foosball, and a big screen TV. The ranch also has beach access as well as a dock where you can sit and enjoy a morning cup of coffee and enjoy a beautiful view. There is also a relaxing spa room which could also be a getting-ready location for the bridal party.
If you have stuck around and read this entire blog you can tell I love this venue. And the simple reason is that I have truly not seen anything like it. I have shot at a luxury Spanish-style venue in Louisiana and this place reminds me so much of that venue and yet this venue has so much more to offer. It doesn’t try to create that rustic feel- it defines it and yet it is still so elegant. I feel that the term rustic doesn’t even do it justice. The venue is truly the best kept secret in Texas. If you are at all interested, you need to go see it for yourself. I fell in love with the venue when I first saw their Instagram (those beautiful fireplaces on the patio got me) but when I visited, the cherry on top was how wonderful the staff was. Everyone I encountered was so genuinely nice and glad to help me and show me around (even though I’m not even a paying customer!) All in all, I was impressed. If this looks like your kind of venue, book it! It just opened in July of 2020 and it’s surely only a matter of time before they are fully booked for over a year out.