I love weddings. Duh. I specifically love wedding reception venues because they're often where the majority of the decorating has been done, and there is such a huge variety in different types of spaces for receptions. As a wedding photographer this can be really challenging as each different venue presents different lighting situations, and some venues can be beautiful but very, very difficult to photograph. These 5 San Antonio wedding reception venues are all beautiful, and more importantly, all photograph beautifully!
By no means are these exclusively the only good wedding venues but as a San Antonio wedding photographer I suggest you check these locations out. They're great to photograph weddings at, and they all provide a good experience for both the couple getting married, and their guests. Without further ado, here are 5 of my favorite wedding venues around the San Antonio area.
The St. Anthony Hotel
The St. Anthony Hotel knows weddings and hospitality. As a wedding photographer I see a lot of behind the scenes of what goes into a wedding, and hands down I'm always impressed with the St. Anthony Hotel. Their staff is amazing, everything is very well organized and smooth, I love every single wedding I've photographed here. If you're looking for a venue with a variety different options for your wedding, an organized and professional team on your side, a ton of photographic options and great light then this is the place. They're downtown San Antonio with valet parking, and a parking garage one block from the hotel.
The St. Anthony hotel lends itself to elegant, formal wedding receptions, but when it comes to colors and themes virtually anything elegant will work within their spaces, and if you're looking for a variety of different portrait options all within one space then this is your venue. I have to give this venue a 10 out of 10 - would totally recommend for portraits because of the lighting and overall gorgeousness! Read about their 4 different rooms available for rent on their website!
I forever love Lost Mission because it's literally the perfect hill country wedding venue for the San Antonio bride with a larger wedding. While the chapel is intimate and smaller, still holding up to 240 guests, the reception area can hold 400 - 600 guests within the large hall and patio area. The overall look and feel of the venue is quaint, adobe and is the perfect second option of anyone wanting to get married at one of the actual San Antonio Missions. Make sure you visit their website to find out more information about what they offer! One HUGE perk of this venue is you can have your ceremony and reception all at the same venue which saves both you and your guests travel time!
Design-wise, and photography-wise, I'm in love with this venue. Unlike some places, this venue looks good with a variety of wedding color pallets and themes and there are quite a few different places for portraits. The chapel and bridal suite present a few photography challenges in terms of lighting but it's nothing an experienced wedding photographer can't handle. I've photographed multiple weddings here and have never had a bad experience!
The McNay Museum
The McNay Museum. Le sigh, one of my absolute DREAM San Antonio wedding venues. Seriously what is more amazing than having your wedding AT A FRICKIN ART MUSEUM?! It's basically like Vincent van Gogh himself is attending your wedding. At least in spirit. So the McNay Museum has several different options for hosting your wedding there. Choose a ceremony on the front lawn, or rent out different spaces within the museum for your reception, you can see all the options on their website.
The best part of having your wedding at the McNay (in my highly biased opinion) is that you don't have to pay any photography permit fees for wedding portraits on their beautiful grounds! Surrounded by so much beautiful artwork it's hard to say exactly which wedding themes and colors wouldn't work. I say let your creativity flow and let your wedding be a unique work of art! Make sure you check out their online brochure to see more McNay wedding gorgeousness!
The Gruene Estate is, simply put, gorgeous. The first thing you need to know about this venue is both the ceremony and reception areas are open air, and if you're set on a summer wedding, this might not be the best San Antonio wedding venue for you. They do a good job of keeping fans going but when an entire venue is outdoors it's no easy feat to keep it cool. The uniqueness and pure beauty is worth considering this place, no matter what. I mean, an open air chapel?! Perfection. And multiple places for portraits is a huge win, in my book, and who can turn down having their ceremony and reception at the same location?
This venue has a very rustic feel. It will work well with a few different styles of decor, but it won't work with everything. Gruene Estate is a unique alternative to a barn wedding, and as your wedding photographer I would thank you for choosing this venue because the lighting is so much better than inside a barn (sad truth). Visit their website for more details on their venue
La Fonda on Main
Not everybody has the 100+ person weddings, and if you're hunting for smaller intimate venues that are still beautiful to photograph you need to visit La Fonda on Main. Until my first wedding here, I had no clue they did weddings, but it was perfection! They have an area tucked away from the rest of the restaurant that is perfect for a smaller outdoor ceremony, and then an enclosed room for dinner. The patio area where the ceremony is held makes the perfect dance floor for weddings with 70 guests or less, and it's so nice not having to travel between ceremony and reception venues.
You'll want to think carefully about your wedding colors and theme if you're going to be here. The gorgeous white walls, wood doors, and blue tile go well with a few different wedding looks but won't work with everything. It is a smaller, tight venue so while the area is beautiful you'll need to travel if you want a variety of wedding photographs, and there isn't much room to get ready at the venue, but I highly recomend checking this venue out. See their website for more details!