Ever thought of having your wedding on a movie set in Texas? Perhaps you didn’t know such a thing exists, but it does! It’s called Star Hill Ranch and it’s located right here in Central Texas, about 30 minutes from downtown (depending on how you drive), out near Hamilton Pool (near Bee Cave) in West Austin.
In 2002, the movie The Alamo was filmed on the set of Star Hill Ranch. One of the reasons that Star Hill Ranch was chosen is because it resembles an old west town. The 30-acre tract has one main street of dirt lined with antique buildings and churches that were built in the late 1800s and early 1900s, giving Star Hill Ranch the look of a western town.
Star Hill Ranch - A Popular Wedding Venue in Austin
Creating the town was the brainchild of architect and 5th generation Texan, Adam Woolley, who dreamed of creating such a set for years before making it happen and opening officially in 2004.
“Some childhood dreams DO come true. By the time Adam Woolley was nine years old, he knew that someday he wanted to create a town of his own, just like his great-grandfather’s hometown of Industry (the first permanent German settlement in Texas, near Brenham). When his fourth-grade teacher asked the class to write an essay on what they’d like to do when they grew up, Adam earned an “A” by detailing plans remarkably similar to what he has put together, thirty-four years later, in Bee Cave. ”
“My goal was never to build an Old West town,” he explains. “I was aiming for a Hill Country town – the kind of civilized, self sufficient community that European immigrants built when they came to Texas. I wanted a location close to an urban area where people could go to experience that lifestyle; one where people could just step off into an earlier time.” – Hill Country Magazine Online
Groomsmen at Star Hill Ranch Wedding
Star Hill Ranch hosts many different events including movies, weddings, corporate events and more. On site facilities include a historic, indoor chapel, an outdoor arbor (for outdoor ceremonies), a bride’s house, a groom’s quarters, large and small reception halls which can accommodate up to 300 people, a bier garten and lots of fun props including a windmill, wagons and more.
Church at Star Hill Ranch Wedding
Bride & Father at Star Hill Ranch Wedding
Wedding Reception at Star Hill Ranch
Star Hill Ranch
Bridesmaids at Star Hill Ranch
Bride & Groom at Star Hill Ranch Windmill
15 photographs of 15 places that I’ve photographed weddings in and around Austin, Texas. These are some of the more well known wedding spots in Austin. I frequently get asked by brides where I’ve photographed weddings around Austin. Of course there are many more places that I’ve photographed over the years, but here are some of the more popular and well known locations for weddings in and around Austin, Texas…
1. Star Hill Ranch – Near Hamilton Pool in west Austin, it’s a remake of an old west town, complete with a main street lined with old churches, bars and other antiques – amazing!
Star Hill Ranch - It's Like Being On An Old West Movie Set!
2. Driskill Hotel – Austin’s most famous historic hotel, since the 1800s on the famous 6th Street in Downtown Austin.
Street View Of The Driskill Hotel In Austin
3. Villa Antonia – Italian villa-style in the Texas Hill Country – a superbly popular wedding venue.
Bride Descends The Winding Staircase at Villa Antonia
4. Avery Ranch – North Austin hot spot that’s affordable and on a golf course!
Avery Ranch - North Austin's premier place to live, work and have a wedding on a golf course!
5. Austin Woman’s Club (Chateau Bellevue) – Historic event location located in the heart of Austin – filled with antique furniture and design from the early 1900s.
Austin Woman's Club
6. Canyon Of The Eagles – Best kept secret in Burnet, Texas, just north of Austin – featuring unrivaled privacy and sweeping lake views of Lake Buchanan.
Bride & Groom at Canyon Of The Eagles
7. Renaissance Hotel – The most fantastic hotel in the Arboretum in North Austin.
Reception Setup at Renaissance Hotel Austin
8. Vintage Villas – A beautiful venue in the Hill Country overlooking Lake Travis.
Villa Antonia Wedding
9. Casa Blanca – Southern plantation-style mansion on the banks of the San Gabriel River, just north of Austin.
After Dark Shot of The Back Patio of Casa Blanca in Round Rock
10. Zilker Clubhouse & Zilker Park – Zilker Park, located in Central Austin near Lady Bird Lake & Barton Springs, is a historic, natural treasure to Austin.
Zilker Park Wedding - A Rose
Zilker Club House Reception - Austin, TX
11. Chapel Dulcinea – Austin’s famous “free” wedding chapel, located in South Austin.
Bridesmaids Approach Chapel Dulcinea
12. Angel Springs – New premier, secluded wedding location in Leander/Cedar Park area.
Angel Springs Wedding
13. Green Pastures – Austin’s oldest and most famous “world class” restaurant – a classic venue that includes peacocks and acres lush, green vegetation.
Green Pastures Wedding
14. Kindred Oaks – Another hidden treasure in Williamson County (north of Austin), featuring solace in a rural setting that makes you feel at home.
View Of The Lake From Kindred Oaks Outdoor Chapel
15. Mercury Hall – South/Central Austin’s original restored early 20th century church, placed among oaks – quiet in an urban area that is close to downtown.
Mercury Hall Wedding Reception
In my last blog I talked about Green Pastures and how it was one of my favorite places to photograph. And frequently I meet with brides-to-be who ask where I’ve photographed in Austin. Well, not to toot my own horn, but I’ve been photographing weddings and events for a number of years now and there’s quite a list of locations where I’ve shot. In this blog I’ve decided to list every place (that I can recall) that I’ve photographed a wedding or event in the Austin, Texas area. I’m going to try to keep the list reduced to venues where weddings/events are held.
Burnt Orange Wedding at Central Christian Church
After I make the list I’m going to follow-up over the next few weeks with some “highlight” blogs that will discuss some of the more memorable locations for photography. It will be fun for me to re-live some of the moments and places through blog and it will be helpful (hopefully) to anyone who reads the blog to find out more information about each place from the perspective of a photographer and layperson who isn’t trying to sell you the place, i.e., I have nothing to gain from telling you about my experience other than promoting my wedding photography.
Oh, and before I forget, most of the events that occurred at the locations listed below can be viewed at my old website.
Without further adieu, here is the list of places in and around Austin where I’ve shot weddings or other events (in no particular order):
· Green Pastures
· Canyon Of The Eagles
· St. Albert The Great Catholic Church
· Renaissance Hotel
· Zilker Botanical Garden
· Vintage Villas
· Bella Notte
· Balcones Country Club
· Kindred Oaks Estates
· Hotel Valencia (San Antonio)
· Laguna Gloria
· Casa Blanca
· St. Ignatius Martyr Catholic Church
· High Pointe Baptist Church
· Angel Springs
· Avery Ranch
· Driskill Hotel
· St. Paul Lutheran Church (Serbin, TX)
· Marriot La Frontera
· Mercury Hall
· St. Luke’s on the Lake Episcopal Church
· Lakeway Activity Center
· Emmaus Catholic Church (Lakeway, Texas)
· Transfiguration Greek Orthodox Church
· Lakeside Pavillion (Marble Falls, Texas)
· Villa Antonia
· SPJST Hall (Taylor, Texas)
· Spicewood Vineyards (Spicewood, Texas)
· St. Thomas Moore Church
· Zilker Clubhouse
· Ruby Ranch Lodge
· Santa Cruz Catholic Church
· Emmanuel Lutheran Church (Killeen, Texas)
· United Christian Church
· Cool River Cafe
· Bethany United Methodist Church
· Austin Hindu Temple
· Saint John Vianney Catholic Church
· Star Ranch Golf Club
· Star Hill Ranch
· St Mary’s Church (Fredericksburg, Texas)
· Luckenbach Dancehall
· Chapel Dulcinea
· Mt. Sinai Church
· The French Legation
· Sons of Hermann Hall (Giddings, Texas)
· Central Christian Church
· Chateau Bellevue – Austin Woman’s Club
· Crown Plaza Hotel
· Clark Mansion
· Memorial Baptist Church (Taylor, Texas)
· First Presbyterian Church (Georgetown, Texas)
· Onion Creek Country Club
· St. Mary’s Our Lady Of The Lake Church (Lago Vista, Texas)
· K-Bar Oaks Clubhouse
· Berry Creek Country Club
· Holy Trinity Church (Jarrell, Texas)
· Steiner Ranch
· Simply Romantic Wedding Chapel
· Crown Plaza Hotel
Black & White Bible