The ornate Renaissance Revival structure of Hotel Emma isn’t the only cool thing about it—its history is an extremely unique piece of San Antonio, Texas. Built in the 1800s, Hotel Emma was once a brewery. When Prohibition took hold in the 1920s, thanks to the brewery’s innovative leader and namesake, Emma Koehler, it was the only one to survive. 

If you’re looking for stunning and impressively decorated event rooms, an expansive courtyard, an exhibition kitchen for your guests to get a behind-the-scenes experience, and more, Hotel Emma is the perfect venue for you.

The Facilities

Hotel Emma offers an exquisite setting for couples with up to 250 guests seeking a memorable wedding experience. With a range of event spaces tailored for weddings, the hotel provides the convenience of hosting both ceremony and reception on-site. With multiple reception spaces available, you can select the perfect ambiance to complement your wedding vision, whether it be the elegant Emma Koehler Room or the intimate Elephant Cellar. 

However, it’s the hotel’s stunning courtyard that truly steals the spotlight, offering a picturesque backdrop for exchanging your vows or dancing the night away. The outdoor space is beautifully landscaped, featuring lush greenery and charming architecture for you and your guests to enjoy. 

Located within Hotel Emma, the Sternewirth and Swiggle Key are two areas that you can also use for your celebration. Sternewirth is a historic space reimagined as a tavern and club room and offers a cozy yet sophisticated ambiance. While your guests enjoy the atmosphere of exposed brick walls and vintage decor, they can also savor craft cocktails, fine wines, and artisanal beers. Swiggle Key is another one of my favorite spots because it sits adjacent to Sternewirth and features a wall of windows and a thoughtfully decorated space. It also has a charming outdoor patio that overlooks the river and Pearl’s amphitheater—these spaces combined will allow your guests can unwind while enjoying the overall experience. 

Food and Beverage

If you’re a foodie and want the culinary experience to be top-notch for your wedding, look no further than Hotel Emma. It’s as exceptional as the venue itself and makes the entire wedding experience truly unforgettable. The hotel’s food options are a highlight, featuring the unique exhibition kitchen where guests can enjoy a behind-the-scenes look at the skilled chefs working throughout your reception. They offer a wide variety of delicious hors d’oeuvres and gourmet entree selections, so you can’t go wrong when creating your menu. 

The bar offerings are equally impressive, with the ability to craft signature cocktails and choose from an extensive selection of wines and spirits. They focus on quality, creativity, and amazing service, so I guarantee that you’ll be ecstatic with your choice to celebrate at Hotel Emma.


By choosing a venue that offers on-site accommodations, your wedding planning experience will become that much more seamless and stress-free. Hotel Emma has a variety of beautifully decorated rooms and suites, which provide an air of luxury to your hotel stay. As the bride and groom, you can book a special bridal suite for both your pre-wedding prep and post-celebration relaxation. 

Your guests can choose from a range of accommodations including both cozy guest rooms and spacious suites if they are traveling in a group. Each room has modern amenities and is sure to provide the perfect experience for your guests from the moment they arrive through checkout. 

Special Considerations

When considering Hotel Emma as your wedding venue, it’s important to note a few things. The hotel’s popularity as a wedding destination means that early booking is key to securing your desired date and overnight accommodations.

The hotel is committed to excellence, so coordinating with their experience planning team will ensure that every detail of your wedding will be flawlessly executed. However, pricing may be at a premium compared to other ensues in the area because they offer so much in their wedding packages and provide a truly unforgettable wedding experience.

Are you ready to choose your wedding venue? Read about my other favorite venues on the blog. 

Want to check “hire photographer” off of your wedding to-do list? Learn more about my available packages here, and get in touch or fill out the inquiry form below!

Venue Feature: Hotel Emma Luxury Hotel

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So, you’ve met the person you want to spend the rest of your life with. Congratulations! It’s an incredible feeling to know that you’ve found your forever. And whether you’re just starting to think about popping the question, or you’ve already bought the ring and you’re planning the little details, it’s good to have an idea of where you want to propose. 

Getting engaged is a once-in-a-lifetime moment—to create a magical experience for your soon-to-be fianceé, it’s important to think about the atmosphere your chosen location will create. Luckily, we’re surrounded by beautiful locations in Austin, Texas so you have many different places to choose from. In this post, I’ll walk you through my favorite proposal spots in Austin (and as a proposal and wedding photographer, I’ve seen a lot!). 

Sekrit Theater

1145 Perry Rd

For an intimate, incredibly romantic surprise, you can rent out the Sekrit Theater for your proposal. With its enchanting glass greenhouse and old world feel, you can create a magical moment that your fianceé will never forget. Decorate the space with rose petals, candles, and even set up a sweet table for two to enjoy a celebratory dinner together. This space is what you make it, and lends itself beautifully to a magazine-worthy proposal. 

Chapel Dulcinea

16221 Crystal Hills Dr

This Austin location is a complete gem for a proposal. Chapel Dulcinea itself sits on the edge of a cliffside overlooking Texas Hill Country, so the views for both your proposal and the photos will be unmatched. The building has traditional architecture and features a neutral backdrop so you can make the space your own with unique touches your fianceé would love. The best part about this venue is that renting the chapel is free during the week, so if you’re planning a weekday proposal, you can save cost by choosing this spot without sacrificing the beauty of the location. Just make sure that you book your reservation well in advance so you get the time you want. 

Lady Bird Boardwalk

1820 S. Lakeshore Blvd

When it comes to a proposal, the Lady Bird Boardwalk has a lot to offer. With modern, clean lines and a view of the water, surrounding trees, and Austin, Texas skyline, there’s not one bad place to pop the question. If you love Austin and you want a proposal that feels authentic to the city itself, I love this location. Since it is a very public spot, one of my favorite ways to make the proposal feel a little more special is to enlist family, friends, or your photographer to get there ahead of time and set up some cute decor. That way, passersby will know that the location you’ve chosen is reserved and your plans won’t be derailed by strangers strolling by. 

Mount Bonnell

3800 Mt. Bonnell Rd 

Are you an outdoorsy couple who loves to spend time in nature? If so, then Mount Bonnell might be the perfect place to propose. It’s a beloved sightseeing destination for having the best view of the city and surrounding areas. The photos of your proposal will be breathtaking, but one thing to keep in mind is its popularity. If you plan to pop the question here, you’ll need to plan accordingly and figure out the best days and times to use this location. 

Retro Boat Rentals

74 Trinity St

There’s nothing like cruising around on the stunning waterways of Lady Bird Lake in a rare classic fiberglass boat from the late 1950s and early 1960s. Retro Boat Rentals allows you to take one of their beautifully maintained (and modern!) boats for a spin, and it’s one of the most unique places to propose in Austin, Texas. The boats are extremely quiet so you can still have a conversation and enjoy each other’s company while taking in the sights around you. If your soon-to-be fianceé loves to get out on the water, Retro Boat Rentals is the way to go. 

Auditorium Shores

800 W. Riverside Dr

If you want your proposal to have a cool, downtown Austin, Texas vibe, Auditorium Shores might be the perfect place. It’s a popular site for outdoor concerts, festivals, and events in the city, and has one of the best views of the Austin skyline. There are a ton of beautiful high-rise buildings in the area right along the waterfront, so this location is peak Austin and one of my favorite spots. 

Zilker Botanical Garden

2220 Barton Springs Rd

If you want a proposal location that offers a variety of options to choose from, Zilker Botanical Garden might be the perfect fit. The garden features heritage live oak trees, streams, koi ponds, and manicured pathways to explore. There are so many great places to get down on one knee, so you can choose the area that feels like it honors your relationship the most. It’s a peaceful getaway within the Austin, Texas city limits, so you can get a relaxed feel in a convenient location. The Zilker Botanical Garden does require a $50 fee to take professional photos, so make sure to incorporate this into your proposal budget. 

Laguna Gloria

3809 W 35th St

Are you searching for the perfect place to pop the question without the fear of crowds ruining your moment? Laguna Gloria is the place to be. It’s a semi-private location that’s not only romantic but feels very peaceful and relaxing. My choice for a proposal spot on the property is the Temple of Love. The string lights and greenery as you walk to the temple create a dreamy atmosphere, and after she says, “Yes,” there are many locations throughout the property where you can pose for photos. 

Nido Restaurant

1211 W. Riverside Dr

Are you imagining getting down on one knee overlooking the city at sunset? A restaurant’s rooftop deck is a chic and modern proposal site to surprise the love of your life. I personally love Nido—a restaurant that’s part of The Loren at Lady Bird Lake. It’s upscale, glamorous, and offers impeccable service. This is the perfect place to propose if you want to get all dolled up and celebrate with a night on the town as you soak up your newfound fiancé status. 

Pease Park Treehouse

1100 Kingsbury St

This location is one of the most unique proposal spots in all of Austin, Texas. The Pease Park Treehouse is truly one-of-a-kind. The treehouse is open to the public, so it’s important to become familiar with the location and traffic patterns that you’ll be dealing with. Or, if you want to go all out, the treehouse is available to reserve certain days out of the year. While it is quite pricey, an intentionally designed proposal with beautiful flowers or marquee letters in the treehouse would create gorgeous photos. 

Are you looking for a completely private proposal? Consider renting an AirBnb in the area! And as a bonus, you can have a little getaway and spend time soaking up this milestone moment.

Are you interested in capturing your proposal? Learn more about my photography services

Explore other reader favorites on the blog

Get inspiration from past couples in my portfolio

10 Best Places To Propose in Austin, Texas

Engaged couple twirling at one of the best proposal locations in Austin.