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

the latest

If you’re envisioning a quintessential Texas engagement session, consider taking your photos in the stunning bluebonnet fields throughout our state. Coleman and Camila wanted a beautiful outdoor setting that featured bluebonnet flowers, and the recreation area at Muleshoe Bend was the perfect fit. 

After meeting at University of Texas in 2017, Coleman and Camila became friends which slowly blossomed into their forever. They enjoy so many activities together, from cozy movie nights at home and cooking, to swing dancing, and even to rockclimbing! 

During their session, we focused on taking photos that not only showcase their love for one another, but also their playful and sweet personalities. I loved spending time with them and soaking in the joy that they felt about their upcoming marriage. 

Bluebonnet Season

Bluebonnets are wildflowers, and in wide open spaces all over the state of Texas. If you’re dreaming of frolicking in bluebonnet fields for your engagement photos, it’s almost the ideal time of year to get the most gorgeous blooms. Late March and early April is the peak of bluebonnet season where you’ll find the fullest fields throughout the area. This is also a great time of year to take outdoor photos because the temperature is still manageable without being too overwhelming or hot. 

Local Bluebonnet Fields

There are many options for taking photos nestled in the Texas bluebonnets around San Antonio and Austin, but some of the best fields do require a little bit of a drive. Read through to learn more about my favorite local spots. 

Muleshoe Bend Recreation Area

The Muleshoe Bend Recreation area is one of my favorite spots to take photos surrounded by bluebonnets—you can see from Coleman and Camila’s engagement session that there are flowers as far as the eye can see! There are also water views at this location which create gorgeous images, but due to the water levels, there is a possibility that it may be hit or miss depending on the season.

Brushy Creek Lake Park

This park is located in Cedar Park, Texas, and it’s one of my absolute favorites for finding lush bluebonnet fields that are the perfect backdrop for photos. Brushy Creek Lake Park is extremely popular with locals and tourists alike to see the beautiful bluebonnets, so traffic volume is important to keep in mind when planning your visit. It’s a free park and right on the water, so after your photo session, you can have an afternoon of enjoying the scenery and exploring the property. 

McKinney Falls State Park

This park is one of my favorites because it offers so much in a convenient location. It has water views, bird watching, hiking trails, scenic views, and a beautiful wildflower field (including bluebonnet flowers!). One thing to keep in mind is that this park fills up quickly since it’s located so close to the Austin, Texas airport. If you’re planning on choosing this spot, make sure you book a reservation ahead of time.  

Lady Bird Johson Wildflower Center

This botanical garden is one of the best places to take photos with the bluebonnets, but it does require a fee for formal photography. That means if you want to visit and snap a few photos for your social media, there’s no charge. However, if we want to hold your engagement session on their property we need to pay in addition to the entry fee. On weekdays, the fee is $100, but on weekends and during off-hours the fee is $250. 

There are plenty of beautiful parks and bluebonnet fields that are either free or having a low-cost entry fee, so unless your heart is set on the Lady Bird Johnon Wildflower Center, it doesn’t land in my number 1 spot. 

Circle C Ranch Park

During peak bluebonnet season, Circle C Ranch Park is one of the best places to visit. There are a ton of bluebonnets throughout the park, so you’re sure to get a good spot for your photo session. This park is also free to enter, so there will be a higher volume of parkgoers to keep in mind.

Mission Reach

To find Texas bluebonnets close to San Antonio, Mission Reach is a great choice. Featuring historical landmarks, hiking, canoeing, and hot springs, it offers a full day of activity that you can enjoy following your session. It’s an 8-mile linear park that is truly a hidden gem in San Antonio, and will a serene and romantic location to celebrate your engagement. 


While there are beautiful bluebonnet fields in our area, there are also many other places to explore if you’d rather go farther from home. I’ve also discovered a few other locations I’d love to share that are my go-to spots for taking photos surrounded by a variety of colorful wildflowers, including bluebonnets. 

To capture the best images, prepare for your session by choosing clothing that will complement the bluebonnet colors rather than compete with them. More muted shades of blue can look beautiful, as well as pops of warm colors or a neutral palette. Just make sure that your clothing choices are coordinated to each other so all of the images look cohesive! 

If you want to learn more about planning the perfect wedding, read my post featuring my favorite Austin and San Antonio wedding vendors. 

Find your dream Hill Country wedding venue here.

See my proposal and engagement session services here.  
Ready to book your photographer? Get in touch!

Bluebonnet Engagement Session at Muleshoe Bend

Engaged couple during sunset in the field of bluebonnets at Muleshoe Bend.