We are well into summer time here in Austin, Texas, and since it is the slow season for events, I figured I would blog about favorite venues. Weddings, bar mitzvah, corporate events: all of them have countless options in a city like Austin. If you’re looking for romantic elegance, we’ve got you covered. If you want hip and urban, no problem. If you want to be sure you’ve got options for a rain plan without having to rent a tent, I’ve got recommendations for you! I listed a few San Antonio locations as well, but this is mostly Austin with a couple of destination locations thrown in as well. This list is by no means exhaustive, but now that I’ve worked in Austin for six years, I thought I’d give a little love shout-out to my favorite experiences. These aren’t in order preference, instead I tried to list them according to the feel you may be going for. Enjoy, and have a happy summer!
Chateau Bellevue: a historic home turned venue, you can’t beat this gorgeous venue smack in the heart of downtown. It doesn’t require much in the way of decor and has tons and tons of stunning backdrops for portraits, indoors and out. This was one of my favorite weddings ever!
Westwood Country Club: another historical, all-in-one venue which offers beautiful outdoor ceremony on the waterfront or stately indoor options in case of rain. The staff here is impeccable and the food is amazing.
Hotel Van Zandt: if your vibe is uber-trendy and you love drama, then Hotel Van Zandt is for you. The huge ballroom can be divided for ceremony and reception without much time used for flipping spaces. Conveniently located downtown, hotels are always going to be high on my list for efficiency and excellence (and air conditioning!)
Barr Mansion: a sweet, romantic venue for those who want to feel like they’re getting married at home. Recently added, they have a simple yet stunning pavilion with exposed brick walls and barn-style doors which can either shut out or invite the weather in. Farm-to-table menus are a bragging right here.
The Gather Venue (North Lamar): a new venue which is actually a co-working space by day and party venue by night. I love this space for bar mitzvahs and corporate events. A great urban space located a little farther north in Austin, it’s a great size and has a nice area for kitchen and bar set up.
Hotel Ella: a boutique hotel on the edge of downtown, I am in love with the elegance of this venue! I was surprised by how small it actually was. The ballroom is set in the back, and the sweeping lawn is perfect for ceremonies. The wide veranda offers gorgeous portrait opportunities come rain or shine.
The W Austin: I have yet to photograph a wedding here, but I have done huge corporate holiday parties. The W is fantastic–next door to ACL, it’s super-hip and fun for those with a modern-luxe taste. Great for folks who want to hit the downtown bar scene for the after-party.
Stephen F. Austin Intercontinental: I would love to return to the Stephen F. Austin for a wedding. One of the oldest hotels in downtown Austin, it has a style all of its own. If you’re craving old-school Texas, this is your place.
South Congress Hotel: the complete opposite of the Driskill or Stephen F. Austin, SoCo Hotel on South Congress is awesome for cool, trendy weddings and events. I did a bat mitzvah here and it was crazy awesome. The outdoor patio was tented for the adults and the kids danced all night on the dance floor inside. A cool, clean palette for whatever vision you can imagine.
Vineyards at Chappel Lodge: moving away from hotels and into other venues, the Vineyards at Chappel Lodge is a great place for couples who want an outdoor wedding and seclusion from the crowd of the city. Gorgeous oaks and fields dotted with wildflowers are there for spring weddings, and the vineyards for which it’s named are ideal for fall.
Horseshoe Bay Resort: Let’s talk destination weddings! If you’re looking for a destination wedding but don’t want to leave Texas, look no further than Horseshoe Bay in Marble Falls. An hour from Austin, this family-friendly venue has so many different choices for weddings and corporate event spaces, whether you have a luxe 200-guest affair or an intimate dinner for 20. You really feel like you’re in a different world at Horseshoe Bay.
Hyatt Lost Pines: Hyatt Lost Pines is a great resort outside of Austin (in Bastrop). Right on the river with emerald green golf courses and plenty for the kids to do, this venue is perfect for weddings both small and large.
Camp Lucy: Dripping Springs is the Wedding Capital of Texas, and probably the best-known venue is Camp Lucy. Ian’s Chapel and Sacred Oaks are the two adjoining sites on this rolling hill country property. The ultimate in a destination wedding, Camp Lucy has been adding onsite lodging for the past several years to accommodate overnight guests.
Chapel Dulcinea: last but not least for Austin wedding venues, Chapel Dulcinea is a terrific option for folks focused more on getting married without all the fuss of planning an event. It’s a free venue as far as ceremonies are concerned, with the additional option of a beautiful hall tucked in the back of the property which can be rented for receptions. About 3-4 weddings happen there daily, 365 days a year. It is perfect for a Wednesday afternoon elopement, or a simple ceremony which ends up in dinner downtown.
The Club at Sonterra: Let’s not forget San Antonio! SA has a lot to offer for weddings, too. The Club at Sonterra is a great place for indoor or outdoor weddings. It’s great for formal, elegant events.
Lost Mission: a beautiful, totally unique wedding venue west of New Braunfels, Texas, Lost Mission has a wonderful southwest feel with its crisp white adobe-style buildings and old Spanish-style chapel. The reception hall is huge, and guests love the fire-wall feature on the patio area when it’s lit at night.
Southwest School of Art: probably my favorite SA venue, Southwest School of Art is right on the riverwalk in the heart of downtown San Antonio. The limestone patio with gazebo is perfect for outdoor weddings, while the historical chapel room holds plenty of space for guests to celebrate the night away.
I hope you enjoyed a tour of my favorite wedding, bar mitzvah and corporate event venues! Each place has its own unique style and feel, but all provide unparalleled service to meet your needs. Enjoy the rest of your summer, and be safe!