Wedding venues we Love – a photographer’s perspective
Written by William Bichara - Dallas wedding photographer, available for Destination wedding photography
The most valuable vendors you pick for your wedding are those who are not only experts at what they do and offer the style, quality or skills that meet your expectations, but those who are also generous in sharing their trove of knowledge about many other aspects of your wedding.
As a practiced wedding photographer with many years of experience in all kinds of weddings - from big weddings to intimate weddings and elopements; from romantic weddings to luxury weddings; from glamorous weddings to bohemian weddings – I have experienced it all and I have a lot more than photography insights I can offer to help inform your full wedding experience. After all, when I document your wedding day, I’m capturing what is the culmination of all the elements that make up your wedding. The backdrops and details in every image I capture contribute to that image and ultimately to the quality and feel of your final wedding album. That’s why, as you’re photographer, I am always very interested in your choice of the most critical background – your wedding venue.
Most human or online guidance about choosing your wedding venue, be it from your planner, online bloggers or other wedding consultants, will focus on things like budget, guest comfort, food and drinks, practicality and ambiance. While all these aspects are not insignificant, the often overlooked photographer perspective can have what I call a silent impact that you may only notice through your wedding pictures.
A venue that is perfect in every common aspect may not provide flattering backdrops for pictures that are being captured from different angles for every part of the event. Many couples recognize the importance of what the venue offers to their wedding images only through their final wedding pictures when it’s too late to do anything about it. As your photographer, I am keen on making sure you make a decision about your wedding venue that considers the obvious as well as the silent aspects that will ultimately translate into a perfect wedding experience during the big day and through your wedding pictures for a long time after.
If I have to list the key features of the most photo friendly wedding venues, I can sum them all up in three.
Venues with natural beauty
Look for venues that are naturally beautiful. Historic buildings, venues with unique architecture or venues with charming gardens or scenic nature views. Don’t underestimate aged, rustic or unpolished backgrounds. Look for character and texture. All these add charm and richness to the pictures without much effort in terms of extra decoration. Some of the most unique and photo-rich venues I have shot include a repurposed historic train station, a rustic cotton mill, an old French castle and many repurposed old barns.
Venues with photo-friendly lighting
To my artistic wedding photographer taste, nothing beats natural light. Venues where rays of sunlight can make their way through, help create flattering well-lit photographs and add to the romantic vibe of the actual setting and the pictures captured within it. However, natural light may not be an available option in venues you are considering, or is irrelevant for nighttime events. When this is the case, be aware of the kind of lighting that is otherwise available. Stay away from harsh fluorescent lights and go for soft lighting instead. Opt for warm Ambient light which is more flattering for the skin than cool lighting. Finally, know that poor lighting will force the photographer to compensate in ways that may reduce the final quality of your pictures.
Venues with on-site getting ready spaces
Some of the most memorable moments of a wedding day and in many cases, the most artful, are captured during the getting ready phase. Aside from the interpersonal and emotional moments, it is the time when the bride is getting her hair and makeup done. It is where she puts on her wedding dress and where all details of her wedding look are gathered. And because it’s the time when the bridal party is most relaxed and not hurried by the events of the day, it is when the photographer can focus on making art and capturing some the most iconic bridal, detail and sometimes, first look and romantic shots of the whole wedding day. However, this is only possible when the getting ready location is thoughtfully picked to provide the right mood, backgrounds and ideally, lighting that are key ingredients for a memorable set of getting ready photos. Many venues offer these spaces and I would personally give this feature a double favorable check mark on my venue pros and cons list.
Here are a few of my favorite intimate and photo friendly wedding venues in the DFW area, all of which offer beautiful getting ready spaces. Look for more in future blog posts.
Verona Villa in Frisco – an elegant venue for intimate weddings with a warm and rustic feel and beautiful indoor and outdoor backdrops.
Dallas Oasis in Red Oak – a modern and luxurious venue with beautiful lighting and a captivating outdoor space that make for beautiful romantic backdrops.
Lucky Spur in Justin – a rustic and romantic wedding venue with rich textures and backgrounds and an exquisite landscaped area for outdoor wedding ceremonies. The getting ready space offered by this venue has been the settings of some of my all-time favorite getting ready pictures.
Texican Court in Las Colinas – a unique and modern wedding space with a historic Texan theme and beautifully landscaped courtyards.
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