The Best Ceremony Venues for Wedding Photography in San Antonio

We're lucky to have so many amazing, well designed wedding venues in San Antonio and the nearby Hill Country, but of course I have my favorites to photograph in. Most of these venues I've photographed multiple weddings in and I'm very happy with not just my images, but the wedding day experience for my couples as well.

I've grown very fond of Catholic weddings because of absolute grandeur that is found in many Catholic churches. San Antonio has so many historic churches, too, that it's almost impossible to go wrong regarding venue with a Catholic wedding ceremony. These images below aren't all of Catholic weddings, but they're all venues with gorgeous interior ceremony areas that I have fallen in love with.

 Indoor Ceremony Venues

 

the immaculate heart of mary

First on my list, without a shadow of a doubt, is the Immaculate Heart of Mary. I've photographed two weddings at this stunning location and while it is very low-light and tricky to photograph, the beauty of the architecture and design completely makes up for it. I don't think I will ever get tired of shooting in this venue - those teal ceilings are too beautiful. While it doesn't offer much in terms of outdoor photography areas, or getting ready areas, the chapel makes up for everything else. It's located within San Antonio, and that makes it a short drive from so many reception venue options.

Click here to view more weddings at this venue.


Lost Mission

Next I have to mention Lost Mission, a wedding venue in the Texas Hill Country. Not only is the outdoor scenery and reception area perfect, but the the chapel is quaint perfection. The bridal suite is beautiful, but a little on the small side if you have more than 3 bridesmaids. The chapel fills up quickly, but the reception area is huge. This is the perfect venue for couples looking for an intimate ceremony followed by a huge, amazing party. It is a short drive out of San Antonio, so be sure to take your guests travel needs into account.

Click here to view more weddings at this venue.


St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Church

This next venue is a little out of San Antonio in Boerne. It's St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Church, and it blew my mind the first time I walked into it. While it is beautiful the first thing that struck me was the amount of window light inside that church. One entire wall is windows, and not stained glass, so there was a lot of light in the room. Of course this does create challenges certain times of the day, but it's a world of difference from the majority of churches I photograph weddings in. The other perk? About 50 feet away, in the next building, is a huge, gorgeous reception room called the Cana Ballroom. No need to worry about your guests traveling, it's just a few steps away.

Click here to view more weddings at this venue.


outdoor ceremony areas

Los Patios

Los Patios isn't just a wedding / event venue. It's a small boutique shopping area, with restaurants and the most gorgeous environment. This is a location that I could spend 3 hours taking couples portraits at, and never shoot in the same space twice - but let's get to the first reason I fell in love with this venue - the ceremony area. While it's simply set under trees, and can be challenging to photograph on a brightly lit sunny day, it's too beautiful to resist. 

Click here to view more weddings at this venue.


The Lodge at Country Inn Cottages

When it comes to a great Hill Country wedding venue, it's hard to beat the Lodge at Country Inn Cottages. They have a beautiful reception hall, and flexibility in where your outdoor ceremony is held. My favorite spot is right under this beautiful tree beside the lodge, as you'll see in the images below. This venue is set in the country, but the hall and outside areas were designed perfectly to go with so many different styles of wedding decor.

Click here to view more weddings at this venue.


Hotel Alsace & Spa

When I first arrived at the hotel I didn't know what to expect, and I certainly didn't expect the beautiful scenery that I saw. The ceremony area at Hotel Alsace is on the edge of the hillside with a stunning backdrop, and so many gorgeous places for photography.  It's such an intimate setting, perfect for small weddings. Inside the main building is a reception room with plenty of room to celebrate a wedding day, which is great of course, but THOSE VIEWS! I just can't get over them, and as much as I hate to admit it, these photographs do not do that view justice.

All About: How Floral Arrangements Tie Your Wedding Together | San Antonio Wedding Photographer

One of the blessings of being a wedding photographer is that I get to experience so many different and unique kinds of wedding days. I get to see first hand what works and what doesn't work. Now I'll never be able to replace a good wedding planner, but I really hope that the future brides & grooms finding my blog can at least get a few helpful pieces of information from everything I've seen at weddings. 

There is one topic I have yet to focus on - flower arrangements. Most of my clients have done such a wonderful job with their flowers that it's never stood out to me just how huge of a role the flower arrangements can play in tying your wedding day together. Each of these image slideshows feature a different wedding, and as you can see the flowers tie everything together visually, from the beginning of the ceremony to the end of the reception. This plays a huge role in creating a personal and memorable experience for both you and your guests! 

Katie & Matt's wedding - H-E-B Blooms

Besides the traditional bride's bouquet and the boutineers, where else are flowers used at weddings? Everywhere. Most churches will let you bring in your own flowers (and I highly recommend you do, as it's often the only visual element you have control over in the church). Decorate the ends of the pews on the main aisle, set arrangements up near the alter, no matter where or how you use flowers at your ceremony it will be a huge help in visually tying your ceremony into the rest of your wedding day. When it comes to wedding photography (and videography) this makes for a smoother flow, and all together better look in your wedding album. Some brides include florals in their hair, you can also use them as decor on cakes, on all the tables in reception areas (for example a guest book table, a memorial table for family members who've passed on,  as centerpieces on the dining tables, etc.).

Courtney & Shane's wedding - Forget me not Floral design

First of all, if you're trying to decide between real flowers and silk - the answer is always real. From a photographer's perspective silk flowers, even from a distance, do not look the same as real, fresh flowers do. That being said, I know budgets play a HUGE role when it comes to flowers, but if it is possible avoid silk flowers at all costs. If you're wanting to save costs on your wedding by doing the florals yourself I only have two things to say - practice ahead of time, and keep it simple. Hiring a florist will make your life so much easier, but of course it comes with a higher price tag.

While fresh flowers are beautiful for weddings they typically live on past the wedding day. You can re-purpose them by donating them after your wedding day to a local nursing home and brighten up others' day as well! If you're having your wedding in Texas you can reach out to Floranthropy, an organization who does just this - collects and donates fresh flowers after events and donates them to assisted-living homes and hospitals.

Erica & Victor's wedding - Rosaleen Canavati

Second - and this may just be common sense, but make sure your choice in flowers match the overall look and feel of your wedding. If you're having a country style wedding with your reception in a barn you would go with different flower than a wedding held in a ballroom at a 5 star hotel. The flower arrangements are part of the visual ques that tell your guests what kind of day they're in for and you can use this to your advantage. If you're wanting a more laid-back wedding day then you can choose flowers that represent that. A looser, less formal and traditional bouquet. If your wedding is a formal-wear only event then you're going to want flowers that echo the poise, sophistication, and elegance of your wedding day. 

Andrea & Sean's Wedding - Fresh Urban Flowers

Last - and most importantly, if you're having a completely unique,  different from the "average American wedding", it is 100% okay to throw these rules out the window. You don't have to have flowers at your wedding at all, and there is nothing stopping you from having the wedding of your dreams, even if it completely defies everything I've written in this blog post. This honestly is the most important part because at the end of the day - your wedding should reflect you and should be a celebration of your love.