So you’re officially engaged to your favorite person and planning a wedding, but realized that a big wedding surrounded by hundreds of people (and that price tag in the tens of thousands) isn’t for you. Where do you go? How do you have your dream wedding without breaking the bank and without going to your local courthouse? That’s where I come in to help!
As a photographer who has specialized in weddings the past 11 years, I’ve come to work in some of the most stunning venues and locations–both in Dallas/Fort Worth and other incredible spots around the country. If you can’t decide if you want to keep it local or elope somewhere epic, I can help you narrow it down.
DALLAS/FORT WORTH LOCATIONS
The Dallas Arboretum
Why I love it: There are SO MANY beautiful spots within the gardens to choose from! If you’re wanting something that’s more private, Nancy’s Garden (pictured above for the ceremony) is the perfect little hideaway that’s still close to the main entrance. The Poetry Garden is one of the most popular spots, a sunken courtyard surrounded by grey walls and banisters. The Arboretum is manicured to perfection throughout the year and has gorgeous light almost any time of day. Downside: it can be very busy! You can pay a little extra to have the garden you choose roped off so tourists don’t walk into your spot. Otherwise, you can show up and tie the knot; just pay admission/parking.
Fort Worth Botanic Garden
Why I love it: Similar to the Dallas Arboretum, the FWBG is a lovely place that isn’t quite as crowded. The Fuller Garden (in the first two photos) is right near the main entrance and features a winding pathway and backlit pergola. Meander to the other side of the spacious gardens to find the Lower Rose Garden; the crown jewel of the entire space. There are plenty of lush nooks and crannies throughout the property. If you’re wanting nature with a slightly different vibe, the Japanese Gardens are nestled into the FWBG as well.
Fort Worth Japanese Gardens (inside the FWBG)
Why I love it: Gorgeous tall maples, a very large water feature with large koi swimming lazily, and it feels like an escape from Texas while still remaining in the metroplex. Just as with the other gardens mentioned, it is kept up throughout the entire year. You can’t go wrong.
Clark Gardens (Weatherford)
Why I love it: I must admit, I’ve only been to Clark Gardens once, however I was blown away at how serene it is. Easily the least crowded of the local gardens, there is beauty everywhere you turn. The springtime is a must visit! It features fountains, courtyards, water features, and so many perennial blooms.
Why I love it: Can you say “Budget Friendly”?! Your backyard can be one of the most affordable places to get married. All you really need to do is rent some chairs, set up a backdrop, and voila. Or if you don’t have much space/you don’t view your own yard as photogenic, you can always do what “The Bachelor” does and ask a friend/family member to use their space. Bonus reason to use your own space: every time you go outside, you’ll think of the happiest memories. You can also do what a lot of my clients do and have your portraits done at a nearby park.
Your Local Church
Bella Donna Chapel (McKinney)
Marty Leonard Chapel
Why I love it: This architectural marvel is encompassed in natural light. They also offer smaller wedding packages so you can get married somewhere epic without breaking the bank. It’s easily accessible right off of I30 in Fort Worth. Swing over to Central Market next door for some cake afterwards.
TEXAS LOCATIONS OUTSIDE OF DFW
Mission Concepcion (San Antonio)
Eisenhower State Park (Denison)
Palo Duro Canyon (Canyon)
Big Bend National Park
Monahans Sandhills Sate Park (Monahans)
South Padre Island
Why I love it: SPI is the cleanest beach in Texas! It also has a soft spot in my heart since it’s where Marc and I honeymooned. The weather is fantastic year round. Both the harbor side and the beach side have gorgeous spots with beautiful lighting. Have I mentioned the food? Delicious! Even better is that you don’t even have to leave the state!
OUT OF STATE
Arches National Park (Moab, Utah)
Why I love it: I mean, need I say more? Look at that red rock with the snow capped peaks in the background!! While Arches is one of the most popular National Parks in the US, you’re still able to find picturesque locations wherever you turn. Make sure to swap your heels for hiking shoes and don’t be afraid to get your dress a little messy.
Bonneville Saltflats (Wendover, Utah)
Why I love it: The Salt Flats are out of this world. I’ve never seen such beautiful sunsets as I did here. The skies turn to cotton candy while the salt acts as a natural reflector to provide beautiful light no matter the time of day. This crazy spot is literally off the highway. You can drive all over the flats until you come to the perfect destination. During the rainy season, the salt flats turn into a mirrored surface (provided it isn’t insanely windy). Fun fact: Marc and I are dual-based in Utah, which means lower travel costs for destination elopements.
Why I love it: Rocky and sandy beaches sing to you as the waves crash against them. I know I said that Utah has incredible sunsets (it totally does), but there’s something about the west coast sunsets that just blow my mind! If you dare, have your first dance in the surf. It’s chilly, but those photos are worth it.
Why I love it: serene beaches that are kissed by fog. Manzanita is a sleepy little town that makes you feel like you’re the only people in the world.
Arkansas (SO MANY LOCATIONS)
Why I love it: Antigua is a gorgeous historical city that’s surrounded by active volcanoes. Can you imagine saying your vows on top of a volcano or at ancient ruins or having portraits done in front of vibrant walls? You can do ALL OF THAT THERE.
Wichita Mountains, Oklahoma
While those are the destinations we have been or are booked for for the upcoming season, we also have a list of bucket list locations that we’re dying to shoot.
- White Sands National Monument, New Mexico
- Wichita Mountains, Oklahoma
- Yosemite National Park
- French Quarter, New Orleans, Louisiana
- Any of the Hawaiian Islands
- Maroon Bells, Colorado
- Olympic National Park
- Jackson Hole, Wyoming
- Joshua Tree National Park
If you vibe with this, then hit us up. Eloping isn’t a dirty word anymore! Honestly, it’s the least stressful way to go about planning a wedding in today’s day and age. We can’t wait to hear about your plans! 😀