I’ve written about Zilker before but I wanted to post some fresh wedding photos from a wedding a I photographed there a while back. I frequently photograph engagement sessions and some bridal sessions there, but Zilker Botanical is also a wedding destination for wedding ceremonies and receptions. Although the garden has it’s limitations (I believe it’s limited in number of guests and by amount of time allowed for an event), it’s still a great choice for your wedding if it meets the specific needs and requirements that your wedding event demands.
The couple who I photographed for the wedding in the photos chose to have a short, romantic ceremony in the Rose Garden of Zilker Botanical, which is one of the popular areas to host a ceremony. The bride (and everyone else) arrived dressed and ready, strolled the short distance down the hill to the Rose Garden, and completed the ceremony under a trellis decorated with vines and flowers on a sunny afternoon. Bridesmaids were dressed in pink and groomsmen dressed in black/gray with pink ties. After the ceremony everyone stayed for a few formal photos in the garden and then were whisked away to the reception which was held at a private, rural residence.
As I’ve said before, Zilker Botanical Garden has to be one of the most popular places for photography of any kind in Austin. Not only is it a huge repository for plant life centered in Travis County (which is why people are drawn to it) but it’s also one of Austin’s little jewels that’s been around for many years. I’m pretty sure that the creators of Zilker never intended it to be one of the foremost popular venues for photography around Austin, but that’s what it’s become.
ZBG features many different plant species and specific garden areas that are dedicated to a particular theme or cultural plant cultivation, if you will. For example, one of the popular areas of Zilker is the Japanese Garden, which features Koi-filled fish ponds, stone trails leading around bamboo gardens and a structure made of stone and bamboo that only could fit into a Japanese garden . The entire area is shaded by trees and feels like being in another world.
Zilker Botanical Garden also features a beautiful rose garden where weddings frequently occur (where the photos in this blog were captured, by the way). Colorful roses line the concrete paths that wind down the hill from the main entrance of the park. The Rose Garden area is very open, located at the edge of the tree line bordering the Japanese Garden. It also features a red and white gazebo next to fish ponds and a historic brick structure in the shape of a keyhole that has been apparently transplanted from historic downtown Austin.
Other areas featured at ZBG are the Prehistoric Gardens further down the hill from the main office, which feature “old world” plants, pools and even a beautiful, natural-looking water fall. Toward the front of the park is an area that contains historic Central Texas pioneer homes and work areas made of wood.
Ultimately there are many, many different areas of the Garden that offer photography opportunities for weddings, bridal sessions or engagement sessions. After visiting and photographing friends and family there for years I’ve grown to love and appreciate Zilker Botanical Garden for the beautiful part of Austin that it has always been and hopefully will always be!
Martin Whitton is a passionate wedding and event photojournalist who lives and works in Austin, Texas. Email your questions to him at AustinAmericana@Gmail.com.