Fashion / Weddings

This Unique Wedding and Events Venue in the Shadow of The Woodlands Channels San Miguel — Inside Madera Estates

A Mexican Dreamland in the Heart of Texas

BY // 08.03.23

Central Mexico’s San Miguel de Allende was a vacation home for Kim and Larry Austin and their family for 18 years — and it served as the inspiration for the Madera Estates, just north of The Woodlands in Conroe. The couple had a background in land development and with the help of a talented drafting friend and frequent guest in San Miguel named James Hogg, they created a unique wedding and events venue.

“Madera” is Spanish for “wood,” making it the perfect name for a property nestled in the Piney Woods.

“We went there right after my daughter was born and we had heard about it, but we literally fell in love with San Miguel,” Kim Austin tells PaperCity The Woodlands.

The Austins purchased the 17 acres in Conroe in 2007, but waited until 2010 to develop the property into what it is today.

“My husband and I went to a wedding, and he decided that this is what we should do with the property, because we were looking for something to do,” Kim Austin notes. “And so he enlisted the friend of his who did most of his artist’s renderings for any remodels or development. His name was James Hogg and he drew everything.”

The development preserved and renovated the original house on the Conroe site, which was once owned by prolific Western author James H. Latham. The Austins orchestrated the build of an outdoor venue area and an indoor hacienda space that comfortably accommodates 300 people. Madera Estates now host about 100 events each year.

Outdoor Dining with Bering's

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“The most difficult challenge was the integration between the two structures, and the shape of all the arches,” Kim Austin says. “That was a big undertaking and they had to be certain way. James was very instrumental in the design. And of course, Larry was very instrumental, obviously, in his vision too.

Madera Estates is no ordinary wedding land.
Madera Estates is no ordinary wedding land.

It’s not just the architecture at Madera Estates that is Spanish influenced.

“The pieces of furniture you see here, a lot of which we brought, are from San Miguel,” Kim Austin says. “We have a door that is a 100-year-old door on the back wall, right behind that sweetheart table in the hacienda And then, of course, the background is very Moroccan inspired.”

Kim Austin even built furniture herself while living in San Miguel.

But it’s the stunning outdoor area that makes this Woodlands area venue a true standout. It’s such a draw that couples have booked the place without visiting, just going off the pictures on the website.

“We did a couple’s whole planning from New York,” Kim Austin’s son Ian Ramirez shares. “The first time they saw the venue in person was their wedding day.”

Ramirez is the venue director for Madera Estates — and he quickly grew to understand the power of this unique wedding venue.

“We’ve even had people and couples come from other states because it’s so much less expensive to get married in Texas than it is to get married in New York, New Jersey or California.” Ramirez says.

Instagram and Google are the top two referral sources for Madera Estates.

“Social media really is the biggest driver for that,” Ramirez notes. “For example, we just had a reel on Instagram go viral that has already gotten 100,000 views. That’s where a lot of people find us is social media.”

Word of mouth is Madera Estates’ third major source of bookings and Ramirez attributes that to customer service.

“We have a great team,” he says. “We’ve got two full-time wedding coordinators that work for us. And you know, they love what they do. That is really the value of our services. Of course, we offer a beautiful backdrop. But the customer service at the end of the day is really what we’re known for.”

That white glove service extends to all Madera Estate’s events, which includes galas, quinceaneras, fundraisers and summits.  Madera Estates recently hosted SpoiledLatina Summit, a women’s mentorship and empowerment event that highlights Latinas and women of color and promotes self care through meaningful conversations and live events.

And according to Spoiled Latina founder Yvonne Guidry, Ramirez and his team at Madera Estates made the event run smoothly, with excellent communication along the way.

“Honestly, till this day we have attendees who have spoke highly about the venue and how spectacular it was and well worth the drive (from Houston),” Guidry tells PaperCity The Woodlands. “It was special to celebrate Latinas in a Spanish hacienda property while listening to Becky G as our Keynote.”

Madera Estates is a special place where you can do that and more.

Madera Estates is booking into the Fall of 2024. Want to get a sneak peek of this unique venue near The Woodlands?  Check out Madera’s special open house on Sunday, August 20th from 5 pm to 8 pm.

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