Amy and Tim were married on June 27th. Here are both of their thoughts on the fire and the weeks leading up to their wedding.
From the Groom…
I was lying on the couch, when I was awoken by lightning. For some strange reason my first thought was, “I hope that didn’t hit anything.”
The next day a friend called during lunch asking if I had heard about Barr Mansion, as he proceeded to tell me about the fire, my heart sunk. How would I ever tell Amy. We had looked for months, and she had fallen in love with the Artisan Ballroom. As I told her what had happened, I felt completely helpless. There was nothing I could do to make the situation right.
The Sunday after the fire, Barr Mansion held an open house so that everyone could see the new arrangements that had been made. We sat in the tent and had dinner, and I didn’t even have to ask. I knew exactly what she was thinking and how she felt. This wasn’t the Ballroom. It didn’t even resemble the Ballroom.
We came home, and she immediately got on the computer and started searching for new wedding venues. The wedding was two weeks away, there was no way I could handle the stress of trying to plan a wedding in two weeks.
We sat down with Abby and talked about how we were feeling, and finally decided to put our trust in her, that she would make the tent beautiful. Throughout the whole process, Abby had been wonderful, supportive, and accommodating. There was no reason to believe this would be any different.
On our wedding night, we walked through the side doors and were absolutely amazed. The quaint tent had been transformed into a beautiful ballroom. Again, I didn’t have to ask, but this time I knew Amy was happy.
~ Tim Vachris
From the Bride…
We got engaged last July 2009, after dating a little over a year. Our relationship was long distance for a year; he was in California continuing his training with a sports medicine fellowship, and I stayed in Houston. Although challenging, the distance helped us really get to know each other. We moved to Austin immediately after our engagement, and the wedding process started.
The search for our “perfect place” wasn’t easy. Two bridal shows and an intense search into venue locations, we finally found Barr Mansion after seven months of looking. I knew as soon as we walked into the grand doorway entrance, that this was my “dream” wedding venue. Everything about the design, ambience, and natural elements just felt right. I finally felt like I could imagine myself getting married in that magical ballroom, and dancing the night away. Every detail I fell in love with, every twinkling light and lantern, the multitude of natural textures, and the fountain. Even the path to the restrooms was special with a tree trunk that supported the roof. Abby’s vision was in sync with my ideas and made everything seem so easy.
The day I found out about the fire was almost surreal. A friend actually called Tim with the news. I was shocked when he told me, and in disbelief. As I read the email from Barr Mansion, all I could do was cry; I felt my heart was crushed. The image in my head was gone. Everyone was calling and asking questions, or seeing what they could do, and all I wanted was my “dream” wedding back. I didn’t talk to anyone for several days, cried a lot, and finally wrote Abby a letter. Thankful for all the times before in which she always made me feel so comfortable sharing my thoughts, I opened up and was able to speak right from the heart. I waited until the open house so I could just take it in and see, maybe it wouldn’t be that bad. Devastated with the idea of a tent wedding, it was nothing like I wanted compared to the unique setting and natural beauty of the ballroom.
A few days after the open house event, we had a meeting with Abby. She stayed late to meet with us, and spent a few hours going over the new plan and listening to our ideas and adding in her thoughts until we something to work with. It was the first time the sad feeling in my gut went away a little bit and I just let whatever be. I thought “well this must be our big bad wedding disaster story, now that that’s over our wedding day will be fine.”
The wedding day, I was so nervous to look at the tent before the ceremony, I stayed away until I walked in for the first time married. I was blown away! And the wedding day went wonderfully! Looking back, I am truly thankful for all the staff at Barr mansion, but mostly for Abby, who didn’t quit and worked endlessly to make this bride’s dream a reality!
~ Amy Vachris
Flowers provided by STEMS Floral Design. Huge thanks to Carlea Wilson of Carlea J Photography. Look for this wedding to be featured in the next issue of Austin Bride.