Venue Spotlight: The Reserve At Dancing Elk
This article was originally published in The One Bride Guide and written by Monica Sawyer. All images provided are from Southern Sisters Photography.
It was 7 years ago when Dr. Mathew Alexander, one of the most respected neurosurgeons in Corpus Christi, showed us the architectural drawings for his big idea – a destination wedding and event center on his exotic game ranch, The Dancing Elk Alexander Ranch or DEA Ranch. Most people recognize the 1700 acre property by Alexander’s big white house on the hill, near lake Mathis, a short drive from Corpus Christi. We thought the idea was amazing but didn’t realize how motivated Dr. Alexander was to create such an impressive venue – and so quickly! Before we could blink, the massive venue was complete and he was working to finish the multiple luxury lodges, all on the far side of the property.
“The Reserve,” which designates the African-focused pastures on the back side of the 1700 acre ranch, is home to Seymour the camel, a herd of zebra with 2 new babies born this year, peacocks, oryx (a type of antelope), elk and numerous types of exotic deer. Nestled among all the interesting wildlife is an exquisite destination wedding venue of the highest class. Able to accommodate 50 to 550 people, The Reserve at Dancing Elk Ranch is one of the largest venues in the area, but still works well for any size event. A tour is a must, so you can get a true sense of all the elements not offered at any other venue (and say hi to Seymour). The pastures are located adjacent to the venue so your guests can enjoy the unique entertainment!
Yvette Terrel-Johnson is The Reserve’s venue coordinator as well as the sales and marketing director. Yvette has been in the hospitality and event planning business for over 30 years. She’s seen it all and can help couples navigate planning their big day at this gorgeous venue. Yvette will serve as your day-of coordinator at no additional charge, and she strives to give you a smooth event. Yvette is calm, collected, and super easy to work with. She’s the first face you see and the last to leave. Yvette says her favorite part of the venue is watching the zebras. “You just don’t see that anywhere else,” she says. “It’s so unique for the area.”The Reserve offers the highest level of hospitality in the industry. You get it all when you book your event here. There’s a gourmet chef on site to create your perfect meal, a free food tasting comes with your booking, linens and dinner wear are included along with banquet and cocktail tables, and the use of some special items like whiskey barrels and a wedding arch come with your booking. In addition, three lodges sit on site next to the venue. One lodge hosts 24 guests, another 12, and the smallest hosts 8 guests. All three lodges have kitchens and are fully serviceable, meaning Chef will provide a morning-after breakfast if so desired! There’s also skeet shooting on site for additional entertainment before or after the main event.
Some of the favorite features of the venue are the turquoise and rust stained floors, the original artwork and sculptures throughout the space, the expansive wood rafters, gigantic barn doors, large horn chandeliers, light-up marble bars, and our personal favorite, the water fire pit: a waterfall that shoots out fire as well! A giant bridal suite upstairs serves many purposes, and is perfect for the ladies to get ready. It can also be used as a beautiful backdrop for photos, and it’s spacious enough to use for a bridal brunch for around 25 people.
The Reserve at Dancing Elk Ranch is truly a unique destination a short drive from Corpus Christi. Not only can you have a wedding to remember, but you can make it a vacation for your family and bridal party. It’s comfortable, gorgeous, and entertaining. Schedule a tour with Yvette to experience this magical place for yourself.
You can reach Yvette and The Dancing Elk team at (361) 946-4812!