Most of my favorite type of Dallas wedding venues have a few things in common – ample natural light, light colored walls and ceilings from which to bounce light (natural OR artificial), and available outdoor space. Those three factors are the formula to creating my favorite type of photos on the wedding day.
Don’t get me wrong – I love natural wood. I don’t think it alllll venues should be painted white. But when wood floors, walls and/or ceilings are stained with an orange tint… blah. It’s just frustrating to see an orange wedding gallery. I’ve also seen some venues get in on the all white trend, but don’t have the proper amount of windows to create a light and airy look, so then you’re left with a dingy looking space. Obviously, the proper conditions for beautiful indoor photography is ideal for weddings. We can’t control the weather so it’s nice to have the peace of mind of having a beautiful temperature-controlled, shelter from wind, rain, etc. space. But when these venues also have beautiful grounds, it’s just perfect. I love a good outdoor portrait, and being spoiled for choice is not a bad thing in regards to your wedding photos! So I’ve compiled a list of my favorite photogenic wedding venues in Dallas. All of them grand. All of them elegant. Enjoy!
The Grand Ivory
The Grand Ivory is a gorgeous venue on the northeast outskirts of Dallas, just outside of McKinney. I worked there for the first time last spring and hope to return. It’s got it all. Separate, beautiful little cottages for the couples to get ready in. The bridal cottage has an oversized outdoor bench, perfect for a photo op and making the space extra cozy. There’s an outdoor ceremony space, and a chapel with perfect lighting, because it was given windows on the sides, not just the back, providing enough fill light required for a light and airy look. The barn is used for receptions and has a covered patio for cocktail hour. Which – as a photographer, is so nice because we’ll have the chance to get photos of your set up before guests come in and start filling the space with their jackets and purses. The barn itself has tall, vaulted ceilings with light, natural wood beams and dreamy chandeliers. It’s pretty ideal.
The White Sparrow
The original, the beautiful, The White Sparrow. When I first heard of The White Sparrow, I had seen nothing like it before. Soon after, one of my sweet clients booked a day after session there for bride and groom portraits. It was the dead of winter and the venue was perfect. Later that year, I second shot a wedding there with the talented and lovely Payge Stevens. I photographed the reception details that day and what a gorgeous wedding it was! Since then, the venue has added a lavender field, (OMG) and an adorably photogenic little green house on their property. The venue’s parking lot isn’t a hike away, so it gets convenience points for that. It’s also less than a half hour from my house, which I loooovvvve. It’s so nice to not have to drive an hour home at midnight on a Saturday night! It’s really just SO beautiful. There’s an outdoor area for ceremonies, although the windows and grand ceilings in the barn are so stunning, many couples opt for an indoor ceremony, regardless of weather. It also has an outdoor covered patio for cocktail hour. The getting ready suites are upstairs and right across from each other, which is a little tricky to navigate, but not impossible. The view from the balcony is gorgeous, and so is the staircase. It has a perfect little trail for a sparkler exit at the end of the night. Many venues have similar versions modeled after The White Sparrow, but there’s just something special about this one.
I just love the classic, southern charm of The Milestone in Denton. The drive up is beautiful and has convenient, paved parking right out front. The pillars and covered front porch are great for portraits when it’s too sunny or rainy out. Walking inside though, is truly impressive. The entrance is a stunner. Giant chandeliers hanging from the extra tall ceilings, a formal sitting room on the left with a fireplace, a beautiful mirror and windows framing the space, a grand staircase on the right, windows galore and molding on the walls. It has an indoor ceremony space, ample space for getting ready in the bridal suite and groom’s suite, and a covered patio at the back of the venue, which also makes a great space for portraits when it’s raining out.
- The Nest at Ruth Farms – I haven’t worked at this gorgeous venue before but I want to.
- Firefly Gardens – I’m in love the the exposed, white washed brick in the reception space.
- Knotting Hill Place – This. place. is. DREAMY! It screams luxury, elegance and is doused in marble, like all things should be.
- The Olana – “Wow” is all I could say when I first saw the news about this place being restored as a wedding venue. It opens this summer and I want to work there so bad!
- Lonestar Mansion – Other than it being a long drive for me, I love this venue. It’s beautiful and the indoor spaces are perfectly lit.
I have one more post of favorite industrial/modern Dallas venues coming soon. To see my post on my favorite ballroom wedding venues in Dallas, click here.