I consider it to be the highest honor to be hired by friends and family. When my college friend and dorm-mate, Eileen, reached out to me to tell me that she was getting re-married and that she would like to hire me as her San Antonio wedding photographer, it was such a tremendous compliment. I met Eileen in my freshman year of college, twenty-two years ago. Part of what I find so complimentary about it, is that Eileen was with me in my most formative years, yet somehow she weirdly still has faith in my abilities and trust in my character. I kid, I kid (but not really). That being said, over the course of our adult lives, although we haven’t been routinely in touch, we have both watched each other grow and develop as professionals in our respective industries with great regard and appreciation. When friends and family members choose to hire you, it clearly indicates their support and belief in your skills and expertise, and for that, I am grateful that Eileen chose me as her San Antonio wedding photographer.

Today, Eileen is a lawyer and not only is she marrying a lawyer, but she and John are both combining families: 7 kids and 2 dogs. It’s a family almost entirely made up of women. Eileen really wanted us to focus on the kids and their growing family with plenty of candids and non-staged photos of their life. To be given the free reign and trust to focus on the types of moments that I absolutely love to seek out makes for an incredibly relaxed and unique workday, and for that, I am also grateful.

Eileen and John held their self-described conventional-not-conventional wedding in their backyard – eschewing some traditions and keeping others that felt right to them. It was an absolutely perfect day for the melding of two very big families and I, for one, will eternally be thankful that Eileen trusted me with her day.

Venue: Private Estate | Planning and Coordination: Kiran + Leigh | Rentals: Illusions | Florist: Persephone Floral | Band: The Grooves | Catering: Rosemary’s Catering | A/V: Inspire Solutions | Linens: BBJ Linens | Cocktail Hour Band: Landon Lloyd Miller | Bakery: Cakes by Kathy | Sensational Second Shooting: Lisa Hause

Tips for throwing a San Antonio backyard private estate wedding

Oh, so you think you want to keep it simple? Keep that wedding close to home? Planning a wedding is always a big task, but planning a large backyard private estate wedding can be an even bigger challenge. From coordinating vendors to ensuring the comfort of guests, there are a few things that often get overlooked with a big wedding of this size on your home turf. If you’re considering a rather large private estate wedding, I have some tips and things to consider to make sure it runs smoothly.

If you’re not that into planning, the most obvious choice is to hire a wedding planner. It may seem like an added cost that you don’t want to budget for, but I’m here to tell you that it might just be the best money you spent. They will coordinate vendors, manage the timeline, and (ideally) help you troubleshoot any issues that arise on the day of and make sure that it goes according to plan with minimal effort from you.

Really consider the constraints of your own backyard: does it have enough parking? If you don’t have enough parking, you’ll need shuttle buses or alternative transportation and you need to make sure that they can get to your home. Can you actually accommodate everyone comfortably on your property?  You’ll need to provide adequate seating, trash receptacles, and restrooms, which leads to: do you have space to add restrooms on site with a honeywagon?  Make sure that you rent the right equipment: you’ll need to have a tent, tables, chairs, floors, and lighting delivered and set up.  You’ll need a large staging area that will accomodate the catering company. Once you factor in these costs, sometimes hosting the wedding begins to seem like not quite the budget affair you thought it might be. And, as with any wedding, you’ll still need to plan for inclement weather regardless of the season.

It may sound like planning a large backyard private estate wedding is more than you want to bite off, BUT I would also argue that they are incredibly charming and John and Eileen’s San Antonio backyard wedding is proof of that.

San Antonio Wedding Photographer on why San Antonio is a great wedding location

Although I grew up in Dallas, Texas, I consider Austin and by extension, the central hill country of Texas to be my home. San Antonio may get a bad rap among Texans for a destination, but I’m here to argue that it’s an excellent location to host a wedding. I’ve had the good fortune of calling myself a San Antonio wedding photographer quite a few times over the last decade and I personally can’t wait to go back. San Antonio offers a unique blend of historical charm, stunning natural landscapes, and modern amenities, making it an ideal destination for couples looking for a great wedding location in the Texas Hill Country that offers plenty of fun for their guests.

The weather in Texas is fairly mild save the summer, which offers a range of months to hold your wedding. Mild winter and late fall temps make it possible to hold an outside wedding most months of the year. Don’t believe me? San Antonio boasts that they have a whopping 300 days of sunshine per year. More importantly, don’t forget the Alamo!  Okay, it may be a little cliche, but there are a TON of things in San Antonio for your guests to explore and yes, the Alamo is one of them. There’s also the Texas hill country and wine country just a stone’s throw away, along with Dripping Springs, which has some great distilleries, wineries, and craft breweries. There’s tex-mex. There’s gardens. There’s Schlitterbahn. What else could you ask for?