Our Pet Policy

Pets may participate in your wedding ceremony or in photography sessions – let us know beforehand. They must be kept on a leash prior to, during & after the ceremony – no running loose at any time.  We ask that an assigned handler manage the animal during the entire time they’re on the property. Staff will show handlers a 10×10 kennel and the potty break area. Renters are responsible for immediately removing accidental waste from the garden. Pets may not enter any of the buildings. Please provide food and water for your animal.

Quite a few brides and grooms have incorporated pets in their ceremony, but they’re sometimes present for pictures only. Pets are family members for some couples, but give consideration as to how your animal will cope with lots of guests, an unfamiliar location, possibly being dressed in clothing, & a 6-acre garden that may be an overwhelmingly-tempting excuse to run –  you’ll know best whether leaving the animal home in familiar surroundings is a better choice. Attached is a pic of a dapper wedding party participant, he returned home with his handler after the ceremony and pictures which left the family free to entertain and enjoy their guests.


A Summer Celebration

 7/11/09, a midsummer, hotter-than-usual day in Waco, Texas. A Saturday long-anticipated by a family and friends who were here to celebrate a blessed union  with gusto, regardless of the heat. Yes – there were cold drinks in abundance, paper fans, electric fans, battery-operated fans, cool icy cloths for wipedowns, an icy trough for foot dipping, & the temperature did cool down a little as the sun set. It was hot, but fun was not deterred – the gardens were beautiful, so many friends were together…. & after all, Texans can always retreat to a cool shower and air conditioning later!

 WHO: Event planner and bride Lauren (Lauren Kelly Events) & groom James Venable   WHAT: A summer wedding & reception with 400+ guests — when both dads & the groom are ministers, and both families are from a small Texas town the guest list IS going to be long! WHERE: wedding on the “meadow” side of the double gazebo, reception in the tent & under the pecans.  THE DAY’S OBJECTIVES & GOALS: A  hour-long marriage ceremony  followed by a relaxed, fun party with no alcohol (yes, a fun party CAN HAPPEN with no alcohol).  A FEW EVENT DETAILS: A white, bright yellow & lime green color theme gave the appearance of a cool day (108 degrees). Yellow parasols everywhere. Paper fans fluttering, silver trays of  iced  lemon water & rolled icy cloths passed to guests by EHHPG staff during the ceremony. Huge balloons staked in the grass as sculptures (and self-popping surprises). Bridal bouquet & a swag on the cross by Bloomingal’s.  A colorful, cheerful candy table. A picture table.  The tent’s bar laden w/ variety of icy cold drinks including custom slurpies. Sweet & savory hor’duerves served by New Zango Catering. A 3-tier pale yellow bride’s cake and James’ camo cake by baker Bobby Rudeen.   Music by a Frank Sinatra impersonator. Lots of dancing. Photographer Abigail Criner captured the entire day on film, including James’ & Lauren’s sparkler departure  in a classic Rolls Royce.  

Galvanized tub, icy water & floating flowers


Lauren’s event was participatory on many levels: Guests donned sports team shirts for Friday evening’s sports-themed rehearsal dinner setup under the cottage oak.  Earlier that Friday flowers were delivered to the cottage from Wolfe Wholesale Florist, where Lauren, mom Kelly, aunts & friends assembled bouts, corsages, bouquets & varied centerpieces to the tune of giggles and laughter. A variety of beloved desserts were delivered by  family members; Lauren had compiled their recipes  in booklets  which were given as guest favors.  Lauren’s DIY projects with friends and family surely created memories that will be held dear by those lucky enough to help. Her planning and coordinating skills were evident as they all worked together; she also entrusted her team of family, friends and professionals with much of the work in order to let go, BE A BRIDE and enjoy the day. We enjoying helping to create  this wedding planner-bride’s experience for HER OWN favorite wedding – thanks Lauren!

Parking security a MUST

Last night’s bride and groom left at 9:30 p.m. to a sparkler departure in the driveway,  this one filmed by a wonderful local photographer Rebecca Cash (who also married at EHHPG 3 1/2 years ago – seems like yesterday!) As usual we were busy loading up the gifts, leftover cake, wine and personal items as another familiar cheery sendoff filled the air on chilly Waco evening. Guests and family slowly returned to the tent to gather up personal items and visit a few minutes longer with friends; within the hour everyone was out of the gate. But not everyone got to drive away immediately.

Two cars were broken into – always a violation & frustration for everyone involved, us included. Events anywhere seem to be magnets for criminals, security does deter this activity. We STRONGLY recommend that renters hire parking security, preferably officers from the Sheriff’s Dept., whose visibility and monitoring is worth the added (minimal) expense.  Car break-ins occur all over the city and elsewhere. My advice to every renter  anywhere is “pay for exterior security as a courtesy to your guests”.

Dining Room Repairs

Seven months have flown by but “another EHHPG crisis” seems like it happened yesterday. About 15 minutes before a 300-guest wedding, I was met by the bride (posing for last-minute pics inside EHH) who wanted me to know that EHH’s dining room ceiling was leaking. She was correct, however there was a FLOOD of water oozing out of what was first thought to be an upstairs bathroom pipe leak in the ceiling. My next hour was a blur of action … a wedding, desperate calls to plumbers, turning off correct water mains that thankfully affected none of the event functions, documenting the damage with pictures, and a call to our AC contractor …. while also mopping up hundreds of gallons of water in hopes that damage would be decreased.  A broken air compressor unit in the attic and “frozen” pipes were at cause, no upper floor damage was sustained. The original pine flooring was cupped, the ceiling required repair and wallpaper needed to be replaced. A Texas Historical Commission architectural reviewer visited, and advised that we allow the floor to dry 3-6 months rather than replace planks.

Not all repairs are quick.  The floor “fixed itself” – the cupped planks flattened after a couple of months. The ceiling was repaired and painted without replacing its flat wallpaper covering. After the house committee chose and reviewed six historic paint colors, all the trim was sanded and painted. Period-appropriate, available paper is limited but the Pape Foundation’s house committee has chosen a pattern that hopefully will be ordered and installed by spring.

Most everything we do with EHH has a historical perspective that requires research. After removing dining room door and window trim in hopes of discovering original wallpaper samples, and instead discovering “new” studs, and no shiplap panels, Greg and I spent a couple of days at TX A&M’s Cushing Library researching Raiford Stripling’s records that include over 300 documents about the 1967-70 move and renovation of the house, none of which were in our files. Stripling’s documents were recently opened to the public. Stripling’s records for EHH include three samples of wallpaper (visible pattern, no color), sketches and drawings, and (not found in our records) interior pictures of the restoration  both before and after the restoration was begun. A number of bills listing costs, companies and sources for materials were also saved by Stripling. We now have copies of all the documents. Seeing the house’s condition and now knowing exactly what was torn down and/or replaced helps in the debunking of “EHH myths” as well as in making preservation choices with the work that’ll need to be done now and in the future.