As a vendor, I’m in wedding venues every weekend! You get to know which ones are your favorites pretty quickly. Of course, my opinions are partially based on how pretty they are. Some venues have better lighting than others, more variety in backgrounds, and have spots that are easy to get to with a bunch of girls in heels. But of course, part of it is also based on the behind the scenes stuff – how vendors are treated, how responsive and knowledgeable the staff is, how the event runs from beginning to end, etc. That said, here are 5 San Antonio wedding venues that I would happily shoot at any day!!
- Kendall Plantation. Oh, Kendall – I absolutely LOVE working here! It seems like they’ve thought of everything as a venue. The wifi password is on a plaque on the wall in the bridal suite. There’s a TV with camera feeds all around the property so that the bride can watch her guests arriving or her reception space being set up while she stays hidden. I LOVE the bridal suite of this venue – its got great light, especially in the room with the bathtub! I love taking bridal party portraits on the upper balconies of the building – and you just pop right out the door from the bridal suite and groom’s suite to access them! That part makes my day so much easier, especially in the Texas heat. I also like the way the ceremony site is oriented in terms of light. The sun sets to the left side if you’re looking at the ceremony, which means you have a pretty good chance of flattering light for your photos. Finally, the white interior of the reception space makes lighting it with flash simple, and its easy to keep the reception photos looking consistent. The only downfall of this venue is all the stairs – my quads are usually hurting a little the next day after a wedding here. But I’ll gladly climb some stairs with how beautiful it is!
- The St. Anthony Hotel. I got to shoot a wedding here in November 2017 and I’ve been dying to go back ever since! I absolutely love classic, black-tie weddings and that’s exactly what this one was. The light in the hotel rooms is plentiful and the decor is chic, but netural enough to be a good backdrop for getting ready photos. The real glory of this venue is the rooftop – perfect for a first look, bridal party portraits, and couple portraits! It has shaded areas if the afternoon light is a little harsh, plenty of chic furniture to play with if a Vogue-style bridal party portrait is your thing, and you cant beat the views up there at sunset for some romantic couple photos. My one complaint about The St. Anthony is that the ballroom in which they host their ceremonies (I should clarify – the wedding I shot there had their ceremony in a ballroom but I’m not sure if the St. Anthony has other options) has no natural light. That’s pretty par for the course in a hotel, so definitely don’t let that be the thing that makes you not choose this venue. The ballroom is beautiful and you can get some gorgeous photos in there! It’s not affected by the weather, and the lighting is consistent no matter what time of day. Finally, their reception space is large, multi-level, and very elegant. They have a stage area for the band – and I really like the vibes when the band is above the crowd a little! If you’re getting married here in 2019 – PLEASE BOOK ME. ha!
- Hidden Falls. There actually two venues at Hidden Falls! Remi’s Ridge and Hayes Hollow. I shot at Hayes Hollow back in March 2018 and I have a wedding at Remi’s Ridge in 2019. For now I’m just going to talk about Hayes Hollow but will update after my RR wedding! Hayes Hollow is brand new, and combines contemporary design with the beauty of hill country. I love the modern decor on the interior lobby and in some of the side rooms, but the main hall is still pretty much a blank slate so you can make it your own. It’s another venue with a gorgeous bridal suite – yay for pretty getting ready photos! The ceremony space is gorgeous and open with a waterfall in the background. I also love the approach to the ceremony – the little bridge that the bridal party comes across. The main room for the reception is gorgeous, well-lit and just like Kendall – the white interior makes lighting the reception a breeze. Also, if it happens to rain on your day, you can still have a gorgeous wedding because the covered spaces at HH are so, so stunning.
- The Lambermont. Not only is this historic castle-house beautiful, but Dona and Erica – the owner/operator team is such a pleasure to work with every time. The house has been immaculately preserved – I wish I lived here. Good things about this venue – gorgeous rooms with good light for getting ready photos, well-maintained grounds, and plenty of pretty portrait location options even though it is a small property. This venue has a few downsides such as lack of a rain plan – you do have to rent a tent if it rains, all the stairs (but that’s just me whining), and it is a small property so it can be difficult to truly get away from the guests while we shoot portraits. But if you’ve been dreaming of getting married in a castle, but with all the comforts of home, OR if it’s important to you that some family and guests are able to stay on site, you have to check out the Lambermont. Again, venue owners/staff can make or break the experience you have in their space, and Dona + Erica are such an awesome team to work with.