If you’ve spent any amount of time in San Antonio, Texas, you’ve been to Pearl. The vibrant and lively community is filled with people who love to create and share with everyone around them. There’s always somewhere to see and something to experience at Pearl, which made it the perfect place for an engagement session with a very San Antonio feel. 

About The Historic Pearl 

Pearl was founded in 1883 and has been a beloved place to visit in San Antonio ever since. One of the best reasons to visit Pearl is that there are so many different things to see and do that you’ll always have a new experience every time you visit. The property offers a little of everything—stunning living spaces, amazing food, creative retail shops, overnight accommodations like Hotel Emma, and a gorgeous weekend farmers market. You’ll never run out of places to go. 

I love Pearl as a setting for engagement photos because there are so many places to see within the area. Wandering through the different buildings and businesses is perfect for a session that feels like we’ve captured a day in your lives together; one that you can look back on fondly for many years to come. 

About The Session

My sweet couple, Lars and Lauren, were looking for casual yet romantic engagement photos to preserve this special time in their lives. They opted to wear simple outfits that complimented each other and showed off their style—the neutral colors were perfect for a photo session with a variety of different backgrounds as we explored Pearl. 

To end their engagement session at Pearl, Lars and Lauren decided to head over to Larder located within Hotel Emma for a coffee date. Larder is an artisanal shop featuring groceries and housemade food patrons can enjoy on their patio. It was the perfect finale to their session as they were able to cuddle up at their table, sip coffee, and enjoy each other’s company while I captured it all on camera. 

If you’re interested in booking your engagement photo session at Pearl in San Antonio, Texas, let’s chat! We can discuss the vibe you want for your photos, talk about the logistics of planning your perfect session, and book your session date on my calendar. 

Here are your next steps: 

  1. Learn more about portrait sessions here.
  2. Fill out the inquiry form below. 
  3. Get inspiration from other couples on my blog!

I can’t wait to help you capture irreplaceable moments celebrating your time as fiancés. 

A Misty Engagement Session at the Pearl

Engagement Session downtown San Antonio at the Pearl by Lois M Photography

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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. 

Bride and Groom in Sternewirth bar during cocktail hour enjoying time together.

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