Nestled in the heart of Hill Country farmland on ten private acres, The Chapel at Gruene in New Braunfels, Texas has quickly become one of my favorite wedding venues. Its historic charm and sweet vibe create the perfect backdrop for magazine-worthy wedding photography you’ll cherish forever.
For smaller, more intimate weddings, The Chapel at Gruene can comfortably host up to 100 guests on its property. With a charming, classically country open-air chapel for your ceremony and an enclosed reception hall, you’ll have plenty of space to celebrate.
The chapel was designed to resemble a beautiful country barn — white shiplap walls, long white benches, high ceilings with wooden beams, and large barn doors feel both quaint and incredibly romantic. It’s truly an idyllic setting to say “I do” to the love of your life.
Following your ceremony, your guests will be able to enjoy an outdoor cocktail hour with high-top tables and lawn games. Then for dinner and dancing, you’ll have access to the newly-built reception hall. It has a modern French Country aesthetic with exposed wooden beams and gorgeous chandeliers, and can be decorated to suit your personal style.
And the best part for me as a photographer? Each space you’ll spend time in throughout your wedding day is thoughtfully designed to maximize natural lighting. Your photos will look bright and airy, giving you that timeless feel you’re looking for.
One of the most special parts of your wedding day is the lead-up to your ceremony. Gathering with your closest girlfriends ahead of your walk down the aisle is a time to reflect on the important friendships you’ve shared and excitedly get ready to start your next chapter.
At The Chapel at Gruene, you’ll have access to one of their stunning cottages for your dressing room, so you can relax and enjoy the morning of your wedding. Let yourself be pampered during your hair and makeup sessions, while I take gorgeous detail shots of your dress and rings, and capture important memories with your best friends.
Your booking at The Chapel at Gruene includes all five of their sweet cottages set on the property. While one cottage will be used as a bridal suite, the remaining four cottages are available to accommodate you and up to 25 of your guests.
They can also provide the perfect spot for an after-party once your reception ends—horseshoes, firepits, and a rustic seating area are all available for your use.
One of the best parts of hosting your wedding at The Chapel at Gruene is having the ability to hire your own food and beverage team. Not only does this provide you with flexibility in choosing a menu that accommodates your guests’ needs, but it also allows you to search for a vendor that fits your budget.
However, if you’re looking for extra guidance, the venue is more than happy to provide you with a list of recommended vendors to support.
Once you’ve signed a contract with the venue and secured your wedding date, The Chapel at Gruene gives you access to the property for your engagement photo session. The rolling hills and natural beauty of the property will create gorgeous photos for you to celebrate your engagement, and will give you time to become familiar with the space.
A Note on Weather
If you love the idea of an outdoor wedding but are concerned about the potential for inclement weather, this is an ideal choice for your venue. The open-air chapel gives you the same feel while providing shelter in the event of rain, and you have the option of celebrating for the rest of the evening in both indoor and outdoor settings. I love the flexibility of The Chapel at Gruene—I promise, you won’t be disappointed.
If you’re looking for a romantic, classically country venue to celebrate your wedding with your friends and family, The Chapel at Gruene should be at the very top of your list. The beauty, flexibility, and convenience the property offers are second to none, and is a great option for every couple to explore.
Looking for some more of my favorite vendors? Read through my lists for San Antonio, Texas and Austin, Texas.
Want to learn more about my wedding photography services? View them here.
Ready to start planning your wedding? Read my blog post to learn about the newest wedding trends.
The wedding trends that will be big in 2024 are officially here and better than ever. With the ups and downs of the last few years, the wedding industry is finally stabilizing, so you can relax into your planning and process and take the time to celebrate your once-in-a-lifetime love with intention and joy.
Whether you’re in the midst of creating your wedding celebration or you just want to keep up with the latest trends, I’ve compiled a list of my absolute favorites for the upcoming year. And the best part? You can take inspiration from what’s in and still find a way to make them your own.
The pandemic initially gave rise to this trend, and it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon. Intimate weddings are not elopements–they’re scaled-down versions of traditional, big weddings. With more and more couples opting to keep things small, they’re better able to create luxury experiences for themselves and their guests by saving money on the price per person. Another positive to hosting an intimate wedding is spending time with each guest in attendance and having meaningful interactions throughout the day.
It’s quickly becoming more common for couples to exchange private vows before their wedding ceremony, usually during their first look. This trend is perfect for introverts, but can also be a good option for couples who want their vows to feel extremely intimate and confidential. If you partake in this trend, you’ll share traditional vows (the “‘til death do us part” ones) in front of your family and friends during your ceremony.
This 2024 wedding trend is a departure from traditional wedding ceremonies, but it’s one to consider if you’re looking to change things up. Rather than having your bridal party stand next to you during your ceremony, you can select reserved seats for them in the first or second row with your other honored family members. They can still be highlighted with a walk down the aisle, but this will allow everyone to relax and enjoy the vows while also providing an unobstructed view for your guests in the back rows as well as your photographer. Plus, all of the focus will be on you and your partner, which I believe is a wedding win.
Statement sleeves are quickly becoming a wedding dress trend that will continue to be deeply loved in 2024. Your wedding dress should reflect your personality and unique style, and with so many sleeve options, you can truly make your dress your own. Sleeves can often be added onto a dress during alterations, giving you ultimate creative control over your look, and they can change the feel of your dress from sexy to demure, classic to contemporary, or modern to vintage. The possibilities are endless.
This trend has been popular in the past and has been recently making a comeback. Champagne towers add a touch of glamour to any wedding reception and provide beautiful photo opportunities for the couple. They are elegant, timeless, and feel luxurious–all while providing a bit of excitement during the wedding toasts.
There are so many unique guest book ideas to choose from, but one of my favorites that is quickly gaining popularity is having an audio guest book. While having a book filled with notes or photos of your guests is nice, there’s nothing more special than listening to your loved ones share their congratulations, pieces of advice, and marital wisdom on a voicemail. These audio guest books are typically recorded on a vintage phone, adding a fun element to your decor and leaving you with lasting memories that you can listen to long after your wedding is over. Select your audio guest book here.
Heading into 2024, we’re sure to see more and more couples creating custom wedding experiences that aren’t typically included in a ceremony or reception. You may choose to hire an artist to paint your ceremony, have caricature wedding favors, or even hire a fine-line tattoo artist to give guests tiny tattoos throughout the night. You should always feel free to get creative–your wedding is meant to reflect your love story and interests, so don’t be afraid to play with nontraditional ideas!
Who doesn’t love a late-night snack? This 2024 wedding trend allows you to be creative with the snacks you provide, and also satiate those late-night cravings everyone gets after an evening of dancing and having fun. You can choose a savory snack, sweet treat, or both, and surprise your guests in the final hours of your reception. Some popular choices include McDonald’s, pizza, s’mores, or an ice cream bar–yum!
I’m all about making your day feel special and tailored to you, so I’m a big fan of this new wedding trend (and it’s perfect for your big send-off!). Before you leave your reception, have your guests escorted outside to prepare for your exit. While they’re focused on lighting sparklers and passing out bubbles, you are your new spouse can take the opportunity for a private last dance. Play your favorite song, sway arm in arm, and reflect on your first hours as a married couple. It may even become your most cherished wedding memory.
While trends may come and go, the most important thing to remember is that your wedding is yours and your partner’s alone. While these trends may serve as some serious inspiration, make choices that work for you, and create a day you feel is representative of your style, your love, and your commitment to one another.