Photo by Lindsay Starr Platt

La Rio Mansion opens doors

by / 0 Comments / 586 View / April 13, 2015

By Lindsay Starr Platt, The Belton Journal

On Sunday on the southwest side of peaceful rural Belton, on 37 acres of green fields against the Leon River, La Rio Mansion opened its doors to the public with an open house and bridal show. Dozens of Central Texas and Austin wedding professionals showed up for the event, meeting with brides and offering insight on services catered to weddings and special events.

Attendees at Sunday’s event were greeted by a valet car parking service, as a host led them inside the foyer of La Rio Mansion. Brides-to-be that were in attendance were given a goodie bag, and staff were on hand to help them plan the wedding of their dreams. The courtyard of La Rio Mansion entranced attendees with it’s pristine pool, water fountain and the smell of wedding cake.

Owners of La Rio Mansion, Samir and Lilian Halabi, are Central Texas locals who play an active part in our community. The Halabi’s are professionals of our local event and hospitality industry.

“It was a great turnout,” Samir said. “We invited a lot of people and even though the destination is out there a bit, they still came out and help us celebrate. Many more people than I expected came out, so nice. We invited brides to come out and with that some of our vendors booked events and services during our celebration. We even booked four weddings during our grand opening. It is great, we have only been in business a three months and we have already quite a few weddings booked. The vendors loved being out here and got great exposure. We have a another small public event coming up in about two months, we will post it on our facebook and website. We love Belton, they are a great community and very supportive of their businesses. We were inspired to do this, when we would drop cakes off at events from our bakery, we would see the great venues. My wife Lilian said ‘we can do this’ and here we are from bakery to event venue.”

In addition to local restaurants, Sam and Lily Halabi own Lily’s Cakes located in Harker Heights. Lily’s Cakes also had a booth at the event with a wide array of cake designs on display and cupcakes to sample of over six flavors.

Vendors at the grand opening included a bridal dress shop, caterers, photographers, cake bakers, bartending services, beauty salons and event planners. Tables were adorned with ‘tablescapes’ from various event planning services.

“I think that La Rio Mansion is a beautiful outdoor space for weddings and Quinceaneras I was lucky to see the whole inside all the rooms are marvelous,” said Veronica Manuel, owner of Vinoteca. “I definitely will be referring our guests from Vinoteca to them!”

Attendees enjoyed hors devours and libations from local restaurants and caterers. A popular vendor was the photo booth, complete with props attendees could have their picture taken and have a photograph printed on site or e-mailed.

“This was a wonderful opportunity. Just an absolutely stunning venue, and gorgeous landscape.” said, Sylvia Copenhaver, owner, Main Street Bridal, Belton. “I have gotten a lot a positive feedback. Giselle, the manager of La Rio Mansion, did a wonderful job.”

La Rio Mansion staff are available for tours by appointment Monday through Thursday 9am to 5pm and on weekends given tours do not conflict with scheduled weddings and events.

“I would like to thank my operation manager and events coordinator,Giselle Callahan, she is our go-to person for all of our advertising, event coordinating and public relations at La Rio Mansion” said Sam Halabi.

Please call (512) 537-5174 or (254) 833-7670 or visit for more information.