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A Guide for Brides

Designer of A.Cherie Couture at San Antonio St Anthony Hotel

A Guide to Planning an Elegant Downtown San Antonio Wedding: Downtown San Antonio Wedding Venues and Tips

First off, congratulations on your engagement! Planning a wedding in downtown San Antonio is an exciting adventure filled with rich history, vibrant culture, and countless possibilities for any wedding vibe. As you begin this journey to create your dream wedding we know choosing the downtown San Antonio wedding venue is an essential first step in planning. We’re here to provide you with valuable tips and insights on how to make your downtown San Antonio wedding an elegant and memorable affair.

After working in the wedding industry for 10+ years, it is finally MY time to be a bride! I (Ashley, custom dress designer and founder of A.Cherie Couture) got engaged in June! I knew the first step was confirming the venue, as so much revolves around the venue! My first step in the wedding planning journey was to book my San Antonio wedding venue! My fiancé and I were not 100% set on a date. We knew we wanted it to be in late fall or during the month of December since the weather will be cooler, and it is typically a little bit of a less busy time for me since most Texas clients want to get married in Fall! We LOVED the idea of getting married on New Years Eve, but then ultimately went with another date since things were all more expensive on the holiday. We chose December 22, 2024, and it feels so good to write out the date!

After attending quite a few weddings over the last decade, I knew I did NOT want to get married outside. I do not want to be sweating in my dress, having my guests feeling uncomfortable in the outdoors, as well as having my hair and make- up ruined by Texas humidity! Texas weather is just so unpredictable, and I do not want to take that chance!

 Finding Downtown San Antonio Wedding Venues that have nice indoor spaces can be a little bit difficult as most have an outside ceremony space with an indoor reception space which I found out when I was touring many San Antonio wedding venues.

I have always been a chandelier lover. If I could have a chandelier in every room, I would! Believe it or not, this was certainly a deciding factor on choosing my venue. When planning a wedding, you have to decide the things that are most important to you. When thinking of the venue, I wanted to have a nice indoor ceremony space, with an elegant vibe (no rustic vibes) and a beautiful chandelier to set the mood! We also thought about how many out-of-town guests we will be having, so thought it would be great to look into to the hotel venues around town that could accommodate lodging. All of these things led us on the hunt for our perfect wedding venue!

The Charms of Downtown San Antonio Wedding Venues

Downtown San Antonio is a treasure trove of history and romance. With its cobbled streets, Spanish-influenced architecture, and the San Antonio River winding through downtown, it offers a picturesque backdrop for your wedding. The city is a blend of old-world charm and modern sophistication, making it an ideal location for couples seeking an elegant wedding experience with multiple places to consider for a downtown San Antonio wedding.

The St. Anthony Hotel: A True Gem

art deco seating area at the st anthony hotelAbout 7 years ago, I had a fashion show at the St Anthony. When I first walked into that hotel, my jaw dropped. I was so captivated by the entryway and the STUNNING chandeliers that hung in Peacock Alley. I remember thinking to myself, I want to get married here someday.

Among the many downtown San Antonio wedding venues, The St. Anthony Hotel stands out as the essence of elegance and luxury. This historic hotel has been a beloved landmark since it opened in 1909 and has played host to countless weddings and special occasions. With its stunning architecture, opulent ballrooms, and impeccable service, The St. Anthony Hotel sets the stage for a truly magical wedding and gives all the vibes I want for my dream wedding!

Here are some reasons why The St. Anthony Hotel should be at the top of your list:

Historical Grandeur: The St. Anthony Hotel boasts a rich history and timeless elegance. From the moment you step inside, you’ll be enveloped in the grandeur of a bygone era. The hotel’s ornate chandeliers, marble floors, and classic décor provide a backdrop that exudes sophistication and charm. As a designer, I have always been inspired by the art deco era. Art Deco was the definitive, decorative art style of the 1920s and 1930s, and it is known today as the time with flappers and the “Roaring Twenties.” We recognize the design style without thinking about it too much–for example, the Chrysler Building, the interior of the Empire State Building, The Great Gatsby, and so much more! I love décor that includes damask motifs and dark neutral colors like blacks and greys.

anacacho ballroom st anthony hotel wedding receptionVersatile Event Spaces: Whether you envision an intimate gathering or a lavish celebration, The St. Anthony offers a variety of event spaces to suit your needs, from the stunning Peacock Alley to the glamorous Crystal Anacacho Ballroom, Peraux Ballroom, Sky Terrace or the Draper room! The St Anthony has the perfect setting for you to host your ceremony and reception indoors or outdoors, which is one aspect I loved about the venue!

Impeccable Service: The staff at The St. Anthony Hotel is dedicated to making your wedding day flawless. So far, working with them as been great! They are on top of every detail, and their presentation was much better than other venue tours we had ventured to!

Exploring Other Downtown San Antonio Wedding Venues

While The St. Anthony Hotel shines as an elegant wedding venue and has been my personal favorite, downtown San Antonio offers a diverse range of options to suit various styles and preferences. Here are a few other noteworthy venues to consider:

  • The Menger Hotel: Another historic gem in downtown San Antonio, The Menger Hotel offers a romantic and charming atmosphere. Its Victorian-style architecture, lush gardens, and iconic courtyard make it a popular choice for couples seeking a classic wedding experience.
  • Hotel Emma: Located at the Pearl District, Hotel Emma combines industrial chic with modern luxury. Its unique and stylish event spaces, such as the Sternewirth and Emma Koehler ballrooms, provide a trendy backdrop for a contemporary wedding celebration. A few of our brides have had some STUNNING weddings here, and they have so many gorgeous spaces for photos!
  • The Gunter Hotel: When I visited the Gunter, I learned that it will be going through a total remodel in 2024! That is exciting as I feel that a remodel on the ballrooms will be great! I ultimately could not commit to choosing the Gunter Hotel for my wedding because I was unsure of how It would look, so it did make it a little bit difficult to consider this venue. I am sure that the remodel coming will be stunning and make a luxurious downtown San Antonio Hotel choice for those couples out there looking for Hotel venues. Chandelier at Devils River Whiskey Distillery San Antonio
  • Devil’s River Whiskey Distillery: I LOVE this gem that is within walking distance from the St Anthony! It is such a fun and unique spot. Devil’s River has a gorgeous large chandelier in the middle of the distillery and such a fun “basement” room that I see perfect for events! We are considering having our rehearsal dinner there as it is such a gorgeous place and would be quite fun to host something there! I love that they have live music and are open to the public most of the time unless hosting an event! Be sure to stop in; it’s a place to see even if it is just to stop in for a drink or 2!
  • San Antonio Museum of Art: The impressive Great Hall is the only indoor space and perfect for receptions where your guests can mingle and have a great time. I attended a very cool Halloween wedding here and loved the outside space that faced the Riverwalk! The River Pavilion is a gorgeous covered patio that also features memorable Riverwalk views. Halloween Wedding San Antonio Art Museum
  • Hotel Contessa: Situated in downtown San Antonio, it’s renowned as one of the city’s most sought-after wedding locales for a multitude of compelling reasons. A standout feature is their open-air ceremony area known as “Marriage Island,” nestled just a stone’s throw away from the picturesque Riverwalk on Market Street. This charming, tiled courtyard serves as an idyllic setting for intimate ceremonies, enveloped by the enchanting local flora and the soothing river’s ambiance. The hotel boasts an impressive array of nine additional event spaces to cater to various wedding preferences. For smaller, more intimate weddings, the Cypress Room provides a cozy and inviting atmosphere, while the Anaqua and Palm Rooms offer rooms with terraces that grant splendid views of the Riverwalk. Those envisioning grander wedding receptions will find the Contessa Ballroom to be an ideal choice, exuding an Old World charm with its wooden and iron accents.
  • The Skyline: The Skyline is a beautiful, clean, modern and urban venue located in downtown San Antonio, Texas. Their venue has a beautiful rooftop with an amazing view of the San Antonio Skyline that is great for weddings! A few of our clients have recently chose this as their venues, so I certainly wanted to mention this downtown San Antonio venue so you can add it to your list!

Tips for Planning Your Downtown San Antonio Wedding

Now that you have an idea of some top wedding venues in downtown San Antonio, let’s dive into some essential tips for planning your elegant wedding in this beautiful city:

Start Early: Downtown San Antonio is a popular wedding destination, so it’s crucial to start planning well in advance. Secure your venue, vendors, and accommodations as early as possible to ensure availability. I got engaged in June 2023 and instantly started planning after that! The first thing on my list was to book my wedding venue! I ultimately chose The St Anthony Hotel as it checked off a lot of boxes that we were looking for, and the décor is like no other!

Embrace the History: Incorporate the rich history of downtown San Antonio into your wedding theme. Consider using Spanish-inspired decor, vibrant colors, and local traditions to add a touch of local flavor to your celebration. Lots of hotels and venue downtown certainly have a Spanish theme to them.

Transportation: Given the compact nature of downtown San Antonio, consider arranging transportation for your guests between the ceremony and reception venues. This ensures that everyone can enjoy the festivities without the hassle of parking. This is why we ultimately chose a hotel as well. We have a lot of out-of-town guests and want them to be able to enjoy our wedding without driving afterwards!

Weather Considerations: San Antonio’s climate can be warm, especially in the summer months. Plan accordingly by providing shade, hydration stations, and comfortable seating for your outdoor events. Look for venues that also have an indoor ceremony place in case Texas weather is not in your favor.

Photography: Work with a photographer who is familiar with downtown San Antonio’s picturesque locations. The historic architecture, Riverwalk, and colorful streets provide fantastic photo opportunities. I always like to ask our vendors if they have worked at the venues before and see what feedback they have!

In conclusion, planning an elegant downtown San Antonio wedding is a dream come true for many couples. The city’s rich history, charming venues like The St. Anthony Hotel, and vibrant culture make it a captivating destination for a memorable wedding celebration. By following our tips and exploring the diverse wedding venues in downtown San Antonio, you’re well on your way to creating a wedding day that is truly extraordinary. Best of luck with your wedding planning journey from one bride-to-be to another! –XO Ashley

Wedding Dress Alterations in San Antonio