If you’ve been engaged for more than a minute, then you know how seemingly endless the venue options in the Austin area are. Not only are there plenty of beautiful spaces to get married in Austin city limits, but just a short drive out to Dripping Springs and you’re in the “wedding capital of Texas.” Your wedding venue sets the tone for your whole day and determines what your event will look like. I’ve curated a list of my favorite venues in Austin, from my experience as a photographer. These venues not only photograph beautifully and have top-notch reputations, but each of these spaces offer something that can’t be found anywhere else in Austin. From a dreamy Italianate estate to a desert greenhouse in the Hill Country and everything in between – this list has something for anybody looking to host a stylish wedding. These are the ten best wedding venues in Austin.
A newcomer to the Austin wedding venue scene, The Arlo has made quite the splash for not only a fresh aesthetic and highly-functional design, but also top-notch service. Achieving a modern, blank-slate look while maintaining a warm ambience is a challenge, but the Arlo has hit the nail on the head. The warm wood accents, cozy and spacious bridal suite, and the modern outdoor fireplace ceremony site are among my favorite moments at this beautiful space.
Beauty and functionality seem to be synonymous at the Arlo. The bridal suite features neutral tones, soaring ceilings, massive mirrors, abundant natural light, plenty of comfortable seating, a wood-burning fireplace, and enough storage for a small army.
The groom’s quarters feel like an afterthought at most venues, but the Arlo offers a charming, fully furnished cottage for the groom and groomsmen to get ready with plenty of storage, seating, and natural light - so the groom’s getting ready photos are just as amazing.. Furthermore, there’s no need to stress about weather when getting married at the Arlo - the indoor chapel is spacious and well-lit, and there are covered outdoor walkways all over the property that offer flexibility for photos. The Arlo is the ideal venue for a couple that has a clear vision for their wedding aesthetic, and wants a modern, manicured, blank-slate venue that they can make their own.
Austin Proper Hotel
You’ll almost never catch a film shooter like myself wholeheartedly recommending a hotel as a wedding venue, but the Austin Proper Hotel is a worthy exception. Designed by Kelly Wearstler, the warm, welcoming interior features many eclectic vintage details, with a not-so-subtle nod to sleek and organic Japandi style. The Mirabeau ballroom overlooks downtown Austin, allowing for a beautiful ceremony backdrop during the day, or a glowy ambience for a nighttime reception.
Thoughtfully selected carpet, lighting, and wood tones elevate this hotel ballroom to a stylish yet functional venue space. From rehearsal dinner in the private dining room, to getting ready in the Penthouse suite, to cocktail hour by the pool, to an afterparty at Goldie’s….the Austin Proper Hotel has a unique space to make each part of your event feel like a new and exciting experience. And with an unbeatable location, The Austin Proper Hotel is the ideal venue for couples searching for that “Austin chic” vibe, or as Proper refers to it - “a looser kind of luxury.”
Built, revived, and owned by native Austinites, Barr Mansion’s lush grounds and Victorian-era structures offer an unpretentious yet charming backdrop for wedding celebrations. From the farmstead’s original home to the glass-walled ballroom that was imported from New York, historic and contemporary elements mingle together to create a unique atmosphere unlike any other venue in Austin.
The lush, neatly landscaped grounds that offer beautifully-lit photography backdrops during the daytime turn into beautifully ambient places for your guests to mingle once the sun has set. The seasonally inspired, organic, farm-to-table menu means catering is not only easy and delicious, but also ethical and sustainable. With some of the most recognizable vignettes in the Austin wedding venue market, Barr Mansion is an obvious choice for clients who want a spectacular event with a laid-back vibe.
IAN'S CHAPEL AT CAMP LUCY
No greatest venues list would be complete without mentioning Ian’s Chapel at Camp Lucy. A full-fledged resort located in Dripping Springs, Camp Lucy is home to four elegant and unique venues. Camp Lucy is immediately set apart by their top-notch staff, who create incredible experiences for every wedding client, guest, and vendor that steps foot onto their property. For the sake of brevity, I’ll focus on my personal favorite of their four spaces - Ian’s Chapel. The iconic namesake French colonial steeple is the perfect backdrop for wedding portraits or an outdoor ceremony. After the ceremony, guests move onto the great lawn for cocktail hour, and then make their way to a revived 1800’s Amish barn for the reception.
These beautiful, well-defined spaces and the way they are laid out create a well-rounded experience for your guests that not only puts them at ease, but extends the life of your party. Weddings at Camp Lucy are incredibly easy to plan without being cookie cutter. Catering is offered in-house, and their partnership with Whim Hospitality makes choosing floral and rentals seamless. And with plentiful onsite lodging and resort amenities (I haven’t even mentioned their incredible onsite restaurant, Tillie’s), Camp Lucy is an obvious choice for couples hosting their destination wedding in Austin - or local clients who want their wedding to feel like a destination without the hassle of traveling.
COMMODORE PERRY ESTATE
Nestled just a few blocks from the idyllic Hyde Park, the Commodore Perry Estate offers an unparalleled sense of luxury and privacy. Rolling up the gravel driveway onto the sprawling acreage, your first glance of the property features the stunning Italian Renaissance architecture, while the whimsical interior designed by Ken Fulk is unmistakably southern. The romantic English-style gardens, the Slim Aarons inspired pool, and the towering arches at the
entrance to the mansion are just some of the beautiful places to take photos at the estate. There is also the element of exclusivity - with the privilege of taking professional photos being reserved for the estate’s wedding and event clients. With 54 guest rooms, picturesque grounds, and the exceptional service that is anticipated from Auberge properties, the Commodore Perry Estate is the ideal location for clients who want a thoughtful, high-touch wedding experience with their guests.
THE GREENHOUSE AT DRIFTWOOD
The Greenhouse at Driftwood is truly one of a kind in the Austin venue market. Located in Driftwood Texas, desert and tropical flora compliment the native foliage of the Austin hill country. Events can be hosted in the actual greenhouses themselves, with small guest counts. A sprawling lawn and functional outdoor tent slab can accommodate much larger celebrations. There are intimate and cozy moments on the property - wandering amongst the carefully maintained greenhouses or looking up at the grand oak trees that break up the outdoors.
But, it can also feel expansive when mingling on the open lawn or taking in the sheer magnitude of the greenhouses. The Greenhouse is one of those rare gems that has a remarkably unique look - not a blank slate by any means, and yet couples can make the space their own. Check out how we brought some chic, modern romance against the Greenhouse at Driftwood’s southwest backdrop. The Greenhouse at Driftwood is the perfect, untraditional venue for a couple who wants something different from the barns and ballrooms that occupy the rest of the market, and who want nature to be a big part of the backdrop for their wedding day.
Imagine your wedding guests mingling outside a European villa or strolling along a waterfront terrace - drinks in hand, taking in the sunset, music floating through the air. If this kind of ambience is what you have in mind for your wedding, look no further than Laguna Gloria. The main feature of the property is the Italian style Driscoll Villa which overlooks the Colorado River. Today, it operates as an art school during the week (hence the art installations that dot the landscape) , hosting events on the weekends.
Guests can enjoy wandering the meticulously landscaped gardens and winding trails overgrown with both native and tropical foliage. Weddings at Laguna Gloria are known for the unique dining floorplan, with long tables laid out in a single line along a path overlooking the river, as well as ceremonies in the outdoor amphitheater that sits right on the riverbank. A popular local spot for engagement photos, it seems every corner of the property makes for an ethereal photo backdrop. For couples who desire a romantic outdoor venue, great views, a European ambience - Laguna Gloria offers a stylish backdrop for any event.
MATTIE'S GREEN PASTURES
A recently renovated addition to the Austin wedding scene, Mattie’s at Green Pastures offers an old-meets-new aesthetic in the heart of South Austin. With an onsite restaurant that graces all the top culinary rankings, manicured grounds that sometimes feature live peacocks, and the 19th century historic farmhouse modernized with design-forward accents, Mattie’s has several features that make it one of the best venues in Austin.
Even though Mattie’s is only a few minutes from downtown, the sprawling grounds and towering oak trees insulate the venue from the hustle and bustle of the city and give it that “tucked away” feel. The tented outdoor patio offers an airy option for outdoor ceremonies or receptions and eases weather concerns. Mattie’s perfectly captures the laid-back feeling that Austin is known for and is best suited for couples wanting an elegant but relaxed wedding day.
OMNI BARTON CREEK RESORT & SPA
The Omni Barton Creek Resort is all about experience from the moments guests step foot onto the property. With an onsite spa, guest rooms that feature sweeping views of the Hill Country, and seven dining options, the resort is an ideal destination for a spectacular wedding weekend. The glass-walled Hill Country Pavilion, situated next to the expansive lawn, offers an iindoor-outdoor atmosphere with beautiful views. Besides the lawn, my favorite backdrop for portraits at the Omni is the beautiful
indoor staircase pictured below. Service-minded couples will appreciate the professionalism and southern hospitality that the events team at the Omni is known for. And with beautiful suites to get ready in and picturesque nooks around every corner for taking photos, the Omni is an all-encompassing location for couples looking to throw the wedding of the century. Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa is the ideal wedding venue for couples looking for a large venue with great views, beautiful light, and white-glove service.
Woodbine Mansion is a stunning venue located in Round Rock, just a short drive north of Austin. This 19th century piece of history combines classical and Greek revival elements with an acre of beautifully maintained outdoor space to create a truly elegant atmosphere perfect for romantic and upscale celebrations. Envision your guests at a black-tie event sipping cocktails on the lawn or lounging next to the historic fireplace inside the airy atrium. Or, imagine being wed under an outdoor trellis adorned with cascading florals before an evening under the stars with a tented
reception. Woodbine Mansion features a stylish getting ready suite with beautiful lighting and homey accents. Historic spaces can tend to feel stuffy or sterile, but every square foot of Woodbine Mansion is thoughtfully designed to create a charming and elegant atmosphere. Woodbine Mansion is the perfect venue choice for the couple looking for a romantic backdrop to a black-tie affair, and access to the Austin wedding market without the commotion of being in the heart of the city.