The day we'd all been waiting for finally arrived! Last Saturday, April 27th, The Cedars Ranch hosted its first event! We are now officially "open"!!
Early Saturday morning, as the sun streamed down on this little piece of Texas Hill Country heaven, we welcomed guests from near and far, to our debut wellness event "Fierce Self-Compassion: Unplug Your Inner Critic".
Flowers harvested from our organic flower garden, welcoming guests at registration
This has been our dream since before we even met each other - to create an amazing space for people to connect, heal and celebrate. In fact, Friday April 26th, the day before this event, was our 10th anniversary of meeting each other in person! We’d been skyping and phoning each other for about a week before we met on April 26th 2009. We knew right away we had something special! It wasn't until later in our dating relationship that we discovered we each had a dream to build and run a wellness retreat center. And here we are exactly 10 years later, opening our doors and hearts to our first wellness retreat guests at The Cedars Ranch!
Our great hall bathed in early morning sun shine for our inaugural wellness event
Our morning sessions got underway with a choice of 3 offerings: a resiliency workshop in the great hall, a mindfulness meditation session in our event bar, and a native plant walk starting in our garden.
Resiliency Workshop, led by Marilyn Orr in the Great Hall
Since our great hall has been built, one of my favorite things is to sit in this gorgeous space and hear all the beautiful sounds of nature, especially the birds chirping all around. (As one guest described it, "It's like you're inside and outside at the same time!"). But this Saturday it brought sheer joy to my heart to hear the chatter of all our guests, as they connected with one another, discussed workshop themes and shared stories of transformation with each other. This is what this space was made for.
Resiliency workshop participants engaging in discussion - Photo by Alyssa Duty
Meanwhile in the event bar, Neil Stegall, seasoned meditation leader from Mariposa Sangha, guides people in mindfulness meditation.
Mindfulness Meditation, led by Neil Stegall in the Event Bar
Guests were also delighted to have the option to join herbalist, Julie Gaydos, of Gemini Rising Apothecary on a native plant walk around the property. The Cedars Ranch has been intentionally developed to embrace the outdoor experience, and we love that we could share our sustainably managed 20 acres with our event attendees.
Native Plant Walk, led by Julie Gaydos at our Garden
Our eco-minded caterers, Feast & Merriment, created a nutritious and delicious lunch spread for all our morning guests. Lunch was followed by some fun and creative activities including a flower bouquet workshop led by friend of The Cedars Ranch, Ingrid Sarrat.
Lunch in the Great Hall
Flower Bouquet Workshop led by Ingrid Sarrat, in our Organic Flower Garden
After our leisurely lunch break, we all gathered back to the great hall for the event highlight - Dr. Kristin Neff's keynote presentation on Fierce Self-Compassion.
Self-Compassion Workshop, led by Dr. Kristin Neff in the Great Hall - Photo by Alyssa Duty
Dr. Kristin Neff is a world-renowned pioneering researcher in self-compassion, and based close by at the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Neff is such an inspiring combination of brilliant, insightful and loving. She introduced us all to the latest research into the healing power of self-compassion, and led us through a selection of impactful exercises to uncover our inner critic and develop our own self-compassion strategies. It was a truly transformative experience.
Workshop Attendees - Photo by Alyssa Duty
Dr. Kristin Neff - Photo by Alyssa Duty
Afterwards, Dr. Neff graciously joined us on our tree-lined plaza for a book signing of her Amazon bestseller "The Mindful Self-Compassion Workbook", as part of our evening mixer. Guests got to meet Dr. Neff in person, with many sharing their own personal journeys to self-compassion, and thanking her for her life-changing work.
Book signing on the Plaza with Dr. Kristin Neff
Our evening mixer was the perfect ending to a beautiful and life-changing day. Guests got to enjoy complimentary beverages courtesy of Austin Eastciders, take some fun shots at the My Event is the Bomb photo booth, and simply just relax and connect with each other on our tree-lined plaza.
"What a wonderful day! I met so many wonderful people. Can’t wait for your next event." ~ Event Attendee
Photo Booth & Complimentary Drinks in the Event Bar
Connecting with old friends & making new ones
Guests enjoying the evening mixer
"Y'all did such a fantastic job coordinating a life-changing event. Dr. Neff is brilliant and the staff at The Cedars Ranch really had everything flowing so well. Can't wait to return for another event." ~ Event Attendee
The Cedars Ranch Team (left to right): Brenda, Bill, Marilyn & Forest - Photo by Alyssa Duty
It has been a long journey for Bill and I to get to this moment. With Saturday's opening, we realized that what had been our journey with The Cedars Ranch all these years, has now transformed to include your journey with The Cedars Ranch. Whether that be your healing journey as you gather here for life-changing wellness events; your life journey as you get married and host family celebrations here; or part of your professional journey as you attend business retreats or training - The Cedars Ranch was born from the intention to serve others and this event is the start of that mission.
A big thank you to all our speakers, sponsors, vendors and core team for helping make this event a true success. And a special thank you to all our wonderful attendees, for bringing their authentic enthusiastic selves to this event.
We’ll leave you with some words from our guests …
"It was beautiful and so meaningful. What a way to kick off The Cedars Ranch."
"Amazing day. Thank you"
“Fascinating to learn about the research behind self-compassion directly from a pioneer in the field. And I got to pick a wildflower bouquet. Great day!"
"It was a wonderful and inspiring day on your beautiful ranch!"
"Y’all have a beautiful place. And Kristin Neff was an extraordinary choice for kicking it all off. Thank you for a wonderful experience."
We look forward to welcoming you here to The Cedars Ranch and being part of your journey.
With much gratitude and appreciation,
Marilyn & Bill
The Cedars Ranch: Wedding Venue & Wellness Retreat, Wimberley TX
Looking for the perfect Texas Hill Country venue for your wedding, special event, or corporate or wellness retreat? The Cedars Ranch is a stellar new contemporary eco event space and wellness destination designed for hosting weddings, special events, and corporate and wellness workshops and retreats. Situated on twenty acres of meandering live oak and cedar trees just outside the charming hill country town of Wimberley, and a short 45-minute drive south of Austin, The Cedars Ranch is booking now for your wedding, event or retreat. Reach out to us today!
To celebrate the opening our gorgeous new venue, we are offering a significant discount for our first 10 wedding bookings: $1,000 off full-day venue rental! Contact us for a site tour before this limited offer ends!
Interested in attending our range of life-giving events here at The Cedars Ranch? Visit Our Events web page and register today!