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5 Unique Austin Wedding Venues for Creative Couples

May 19, 2020

We are fortunate in Austin to have a wide variety of wedding venues for couples to choose from. Regardless of wedding style, whether it be a timeless lofted ballroom, a relaxed garden party, a modern art gallery feel, or a blank industrial slate, Austin has it.

After shooting hundreds of weddings in the Austin area, I have compiled a list of venues that are sure to delight for creative couples who value atmosphere, delicious food, and unique guest experience. These are venues that allow for both ceremony and receptions on-site. Places to celebrate that lend their own character and can be minimally decorated, or can be a foundation to be completely personalized with decor and florals.

One Eleven East

This may as well be my second home in Austin. I have photographed many weddings at One Eleven East and each time I cannot wait to see how couples interpret the space and make it there own. One Eleven East is located in the small city of Hutto, just 30 minutes from downtown Austin.

Built-in 1893, the historic building with it’s lofted ceilings, and white interior walls is an ideal venue to host an intimate wedding of 150 guests or less. The space has been carefully restored, with a built-in bar, a beautiful recessed skylight in the room typically used for ceremonies, and two thoughtfully decorated private rooms for getting ready. Behind the building is a well-manicured courtyard with strung cafe lights that are commonly used for cocktail hour.

For ceremonies, the skylight room alone offers several unique looks for an indoor ceremony. One could choose to have a wedding that is set diagonally into the white brick corner, with a window on the right side. Perhaps with a greenery altar that seemingly falls down the wall, or an archway that is built. Another option is to have the ceremony lit primarily by the skylight, and have face the ceremony towards the extensive white brick wall for synchronicity. This allows for more even lighting on both partners. You can personalize the altar with a floral arch or a hanging piece of artwork like this One Eleven East wedding. Or perchance you could face it towards the newly tiled wall, and begin your wedding entrance through the black steel statement doors, and take advantage of a long aisle.

The expansive dining hall lends itself perfectly to family-style table settings in addition to more traditional round tables.  The bridal party can sit amongst their guests, at the end of the U-shape table decor, or at a sweetheart table. The all-white canvas allows couples to honor the simplicity of the space. It presents beautifully with simple greenery table runners with candles interspersed, to bright botany illustration inspired wall hangings, paired with metallic (and Erlenmeyer flask) settings.

One Eleven East is a wonderful venue for weddings throughout the year, and in whatever weather, by having a dedicated indoor ceremony and reception space. They provide modern farm tables and bistro chairs. You can choose a catering company that best suits your vision for the day.

If you are looking for an Austin wedding venue with lots of character that can be personalized as little or as much as you like, One Eleven East is a perfect choice.

Austin Wedding Venue One Eleven East's white walled reception space Reception details and unique ceremony set up at One Eleven East in Austin Draped coloured wedding ceremony backdrop at Austin wedding venue One Eleven East Minimalist decor on One Eleven East's recessed built in bar Colourful floral bouquet for a wedding exit at the front of One Eleven East

Mattie’s at Green Pastures

Creative couple portraiture out front of Austin wedding venue Mattie's at Green Pastures

I was first introduced to the wonderfulness that is Mattie’s at Green Pastures as a wedding venue for a colorful spring outdoor Hindu ceremony. The location has a rich history in giving to neighbors, of providing a space with a distinctive style, and of celebration. These three traits that make it a perfect place to host a wedding where your guests’ experience is paramount.

The well-curated interior decor lends itself to beautiful timeless portraiture. With tasteful wall colors paired with vintage paintings and a moody bar room, one doesn’t have to go offsite for portraits. There are three distinct rooms in which to host a reception. The Marion, which can host up to 160 guests, with its simple white decor, can be dressed up as much or as little as you like. The Lounge Room allows for small weddings up to 32, has plenty of natural light, and an antique statement fireplace. Last is The Table Royale, a cozy room for 16, with royal blue shiplap-like walls.

Outside is a spacious patio for a cocktail hour, or for guests to stay in the shade upon arrival for an afternoon lawn ceremony. One may choose to have their ceremony facing a bamboo backdrop, or perhaps the characterful pecan tree.

Mattie’s at Green Pastures is a unique venue in Austin, accomodating weddings both large and small, with beautiful grounds and tasteful decor, paired with delicious food.

Clear glass covered tent reception space at Mattie's, a wedding venue in Austin Alternative Austin wedding venue with bamboo backdrop of Mattie's

Barr Mansion

Classic wedding portraits at Austin venue Barr Mansion for a timeless day

Barr Mansion is a gem of a venue that meticulously strikes a few style notes that meld together perfectly.

From their 100-year-old historic mansion, with intricate detailing on the porch, and a vast amount of natural light in the getting ready rooms. To the towering glass-fronted reception ballroom with lofted ceilings and wooden beams, shipped section by section from New York, warmly lit by festoon string lights. In addition, the Farmstead, a modern open-air space with a mix of brick, clean white paneling, and geometric wood doors that can be used as a cocktail area or reception space. These three unique venue space paired with beautiful grounds, and a giant pecan tree to have a ceremony under, gives couples options as to what direction they may want to take while maintaining a modern vibe that is reminiscent of all the tasteful design elements of the past.

Having two large indoor spaces that accommodate up to 200 people means you can rest easy if inclement weather happens to grace your day. Regardless of the season, the grand pecan tree makes a lasting statement as an altar. In the spring a natural backlight diffuser (all photographer rejoice!), shading your guests, but also creating the most magical glow. In the winter, an intricate statement piece that beats any handmade altar.

Your wedding portraits can all be taken onsite with a variety of backdrops. I love using their wide-open green spaces, the scraggly old trees, the tropical palm fronds, architectural lines of the house, and colorful sustainable gardens.

For an Austin wedding venue that feels far out in the country, but is truly near the heart of the city, where architects get married and has plenty of old-world charm mixed with modern elements, Barr Mansion is fabulous.

Barr Mansion's ceremony under the pecan tree with a white mansion backdrop Barr Mansion's ballroom reception space layout for an Austin wedding The Farmstead cocktail and reception venue space at Barr Mansion for an Austin wedding Wedding couple's sparkler exit at Barr Mansion

Laguna Gloria

Wedding couple with their dogs wearing rose floral collars in the gardens of Laguna Gloria

If you dreamed of a garden party wedding, or maybe thought about a destination wedding in Italy, Laguna Gloria is a classically beautiful wedding venue. Hidden just minutes from downtown Austin overlooking the Colorado River is a villa built-in 1916.

It can uniquely accommodate weddings of up to 150 people or smaller weddings of up to 60 people. Larger and smaller weddings alike may use the amphitheater overlooking the water, with stone steps descending to the altar which makes for quite a grand entrance indeed. It is a romantic ceremony spot both day and night. For a garden party reception, Laguna Gloria offers the Outdoor Terraces and Four Seasons Lawn, a space that hosts long farm tables, or round tables equally well. The space includes strung cafe lights which add to the intimate ambiance.

Smaller weddings may opt to use the Temple of Love ceremony space, with a four-pillared, white arch acting as a timeless backdrop. Then have the reception on the lawn, or inside the Driscoll Villa for a cozier atmosphere. An outdoor dance party may be had, under string lights, or under a tent.

I have so loved photographing Laguna Gloria weddings. With its unique indoor architecture and character, paired with the wild gardens and meandering pathways that bring you right to the Mediterranean, there is so much visual variety. Laguna Gloria is a perfect choice for couples that dream of an outdoor wedding with European vibes.

European-vibe Austin wedding venue Laguna Gloria with arch floral details and outdoor reception Garden party wedding reception space in Austin at Laguna Gloria Nighttime amphitheatre wedding ceremony at Austin venue Laguna Gloria Strung cafelight first dance outside Italian inspired wedding venue in Austin

The Carpenter Hotel


The Carpenter Hotel is a distinctly Austin venue, with unique and beautifully eclectic Western-flair decor. Designed with mid-century sensibilities, and a whole host of textured wall spaces, it is a bit of a wedding photographer’s playground.

The event space is perfection for an intimate wedding with a courtyard space to host ceremonies, backing onto a cabana with cafeteria-style reception. I realize cafeteria-style may not sound appealing, but once you gather on benches with your closest friends, maybe it’ll conjure up that nostalgic vibe. But this time with far better food, craft beer, and cocktails.  Speaking of food, The Carpenters Hall which caters events onsite, was nominated for Bon Appetite’s America’s Best New Restaurants 2019, so you know you won’t be disappointed.

If you are looking for a relaxed celebration for your closest family and friends, in a space transformed tastefully, The Carpenter Hotel is a unique Austin wedding venue. Check out Jordan and Ted’s day here for proof.

There are two other venues I want to highlight, but have only had the pleasure of photographing when assisting. The first is Prospect House, which is all things wonderful about minimalist modern design. The second is The Greenhouse at Driftwood, a beautiful conservatory that will make any plant lover heart patter with joy.

If you are a couple who wants to your guests to experience the capital of Texas in a creative fashion and are looking for an Austin wedding photographer, I’d love to connect.

 

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