Chances are, you haven’t yet heard of The Red Berry Estate… yet.
It just so happens to be the newest, most illicit, and sexiest venue on this side of the San Antonio River. Well, actually on both sides.
The Red Berry Estate is not only one of the most fashionable and glamorous venues in the city, it also has a history steeped deep in scandal.
Here’s a brief introduction. After serving in World War I, Red Berry won the title (deed) to 84 acres just south of Ft. Sam Houston in a gambling bet.
The Red Berry Estate: San Antonio Wedding Venue
On these 84 acres, he built a French chateau-style house that served as one of his gambling operations. The basement (built into the side of a hill) housed a full casino. Berry would frequently post lookouts on its second floor and balcony terrace because of the clear view of all the approaching highways.
However, a police raid in 1955 permanently closed down this illegal gambling ring.
In 1960, Red Berry went on to run for the Texas House of Representatives with the goal of restoring his good name and to push for the legalization of pari-mutuel wagering on horse racing in Texas. He served three terms in the Texas Legislature and then went on to be elected to serve two terms in the Texas Senate. He died during his second senate term in 1969.
More recently, the RK Group purchased the Red Berry Estate and adjacent land to build their brand new corporate headquarters AND with the goal of restoring, renovating, and redesigning the historical landmark. I’ve visited both and I’d call it a success on all levels.
Covid-19 delayed the renovation, and subsequently, our styled shoot originally planned for much earlier this year. But in the middle of last month (October), a very talented team of wedding and event professionals and I finally joined forces to complete this very elaborate styled shoot.
Onto the shoot details. And by shoot, I mean that there were actually two different, simultaneous shoots happening on this day. I have to give major kudos to Grace, with Graceful Moments Weddings, for pulling this off without any glitches. Though the day was very long—like 13 hours long—it was nearly perfect in terms of styled shoots.
For this part of the shoot, we’ll call it shoot #1, Grace was inspired by the sizzling 1920s and the Golden Age of Hollywood for planning and designing. More specifically, Audrey Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor, Grace Kelley, and influential music artists like Frank Sinatra and The Rat Pack gave Grace all the inspiration she needed to envision this old Hollywood glamour entertainment styled shoot.
Having been in this industry for more than 10 years, I don’t get wowed too often by a wedding gown. But when Becky put on this gorgeous mermaid gown, it left me without any words. My favorite parts of the dress were the side illusion panels “slit clear up to here” and the tulle, cathedral-length train. Becky was stunning!
I love this perspective of the ring exchange! I have an idea for trying this on an actual wedding day.
Becky and Scott “exchanged vows” on the lawn overlooking the 12-acre lake and the gorgeous setting sun. The lake has three built-in water fountains which can be illuminated at night with color-changing LEDs.
After an exhausting, yet exhilarating, 13-hour day, we ended the night with a bang—literally! Pro FX, Inc. pulled out all the stops with three different firework displays to send the couple off in style.
Also very noteworthy:
- The mansion is comprised of three (3) different levels/floors: ballroom, chateau, and casino
- Separate bridal and groom suites
- Two different ballroom options (~2,000+ sq. ft. Mansion Ballroom or the Lakeside Estate Ballroom, which I believe is ~5,000 sq. ft., but please don’t quote me)
- There are several ceremony sites to choose from (lakeside lawn, terrace, or front-drive)
- The lakeside lawn is artificial turf so it will never brown in the Texas heat
- Several outdoor cocktail area options
- Two separate balconies (both overlook the lake)
- The Lakeside Estate Ballroom has a wraparound patio
- Multiple water features: two-tiered water fountain, above-ground pond with cascading goddess fountain, and three in-lake fountains—all of which have changing-color LEDs
- Access to Duffy boats (perfect for a private dinner after the ceremony)
- Fully-accessible for the mobility challenged (elevator, sidewalk/ramp)
- Ample (and free) parking
- Views of downtown SanAntonio (within a 12-minute drive)
I am also compelled to repeat one of the most interesting or unique things about the venue. It is the only venue with access to a downtown San Antonio lake. AND the lake is large—large enough for casual boating!
Check out the 360 photo booth video by MPB Photo Booth!
And here’s the link to Aria Production’s video.
I couldn’t be more proud to have worked with this distinguished group of professional San Antonio wedding vendors:
Venue: The Red Berry Estate
Planning & Design: Graceful Moments Weddings
Video: Aria Productions
Rentals: Illusions Rentals
Floral: Flair Floral
Bar: Rosemary’s Catering
Cake: Luxe Appel
Gown: Olivia Grace Bridal
HMUA: Glam on Demand
Tux: Rex Formal Wear
Artist: Snap Chic Painting
Band: Joe Caruso/The Sinatra of South Texas
Photo Booth: MPB Photo Booth
Fireworks: Pro FX, Inc.
Paper Suite: Aly Am Paperie
Transportation: Royal Exotic Rentals
Enjoy some of my favorite images from this styled shoot at The Red Berry Estate: San Antonio Wedding Venue then be sure to watch the slideshow at the end!
Stay tuned to see shoot #2 from the Red Berry Estate.
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I am a San Antonio-based wedding photographer and I cater to outdoor-loving couples who prefer to have all the realness captured on their wedding days. I am the wedding photographer for the outdoor adventurers, the romantics, the laid back, the snugglers, and those who wish to capture all their realness.
I am absolutely in love with capturing the kinds of weddings where there are more hugs than handshakes, the dance floor rumbles all night long, and chairs are pretty much rendered useless after dinner. Whiskey bottles are passed around, most of the wedding party has been best-best friends since kindergarten, Grams is likely to lose her shoes and your partner is much more emotional than you are. These kinds of weddings are my jam!
I started Ata-Girl Photography Co., LLC in 2010. I firmly believe that the unique set of circumstances I have faced in life has prepared me to take a personal and genuine interest in my photography clients. I enjoy documenting the important milestones and captivating moments in people’s lives. I love being a part of people’s journey and consider myself privileged to document their legacies.
I am a WPPI-C certified professional, full-time wedding photographer. I specialize in a 10-day image delivery, same-day prints, same-day slideshows, Italian handcrafted wedding albums and I have a mobile meeting space.
When I’m not behind my camera, you can find me hiking, cycling, backpacking, camping, enjoying water sports, listening to music (Elvis and Prince), hunting for arrowheads, reading audiobooks, occasionally eating a few glazed donuts (my only weakness to sweets) and then re-starting my keto diet about every 10 days. The most important things in life are for me to see my two daughters happy and to create a family history my grandparents and grandson would be proud of.
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