Would you believe if I told that you that magnolia tree leaves were the central, recurring detail throughout an entire Chandelier of Gruene winter wedding styled shoot? It was the one component that repeated throughout the day.
Winter Wedding at The Chandelier of Gruene
There are only a handful of plants that can be classified as quintessentially Southern as the magnolia. The leaves are big, waxy and glossy on one side while the opposite is a soft, velvety texture. The leaf provided the perfect color pop of deep green each time it was used. And it was used in every single styling detail of this shoot. This leaf played the supporting role in the motif for this winter wedding styled shoot at The Chandelier of Gruene. It made appearances in the bridal bouquet, the boutonniere, the ceremony flowers, the presidential table, and finally the specialty dessert table.
The goal was not to style a cliché winter wedding. Only soft, subtle hints of Christmas and winter traditions were the inspiration for this shoot.
The ceremony site was staged in the venue’s open-air chapel. Brides make their way to the chapel by taking a short walk from the bridal suite down a meandering paved path beneath majestic oak trees.
I don’t think any detail has been overlooked in this outdoor chapel. First off, the bell house should be the standard for all venue-owned chapels. It reaches about 30-35 feet in the air and has one, very virile bell. (Most couples stop to celebrate and ring this bell on their way out of the ceremony.)
Solid wood pews can safely accommodate 300 guests. The east and west walls are open but have weather-resistant walls that can be put down for inclement weather. The north wall is solid construction with a porch entry, antiqued-French doors, and the bell house. The south wall is the eye candy of the entire chapel. It’s finished in natural rock with three beautiful, stained glass windows. And one of the venue’s namesake chandeliers hangs just above the altar area.
Lizzette, with from His garden, chose to line the reserved seating pews with alternating standing crystal chandeliers and looped floral arrangements. In front of the stained glass windows stood three ceremony flower arrangements that were staggering heights. These flowers were later repurposed to the presidential table.
The presidential table? I personally haven’t shot a lot of weddings in which the couple chooses to seat their bridal party like this, but the presidential table was pure perfection!
Mario, with Events by Touch of Elegance, created braided linens that were draped almost as high as the vaulted ceiling. The linens separated the barn’s foyer from the reception room making the reveal a complete surprise. And again, the table was grand!! Lined with white rosette linens and chairs tied in asymmetric sheer bows, the table had a very romantic feel. The place settings included more magnolia leaves and white roses!
The placement of the wedding cake was directly behind the bride and groom’s seats. This is not only unprecedented and unique, but it served as the focal point between the draped linens and the presidential table.
The finale to this wedding inspiration was the dessert specialty bar and cocktail area.
The specialty dessert bar was a hit! In addition to smores, hot chocolate was also available with all sorts of yummy condiments: chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, peppermint, and candy-dipped stir sticks. Mini pies, brownies, tarts, fresh fruit, warm apple cider, wedding cookies, and candied apples were all laid out for grab-and-go consumption. But my absolute favorite part was the lid-like chocolate chip cookies presented on top of miniature glasses of milk! It was the perfect ratio of cookie to milk! These were beyond adorable.
We took full advantage of The Chandelier of Gruene’s permanently-installed fire ring!! This is not only a relaxing place where wedding guests can gather and talk during the reception, it also provided the perfect ambiance for the winter wedding cocktail hour.
Just as shooting ended at dusk, our models, Dazja and Alexis, enjoyed a hot cup of chocolate sitting near the open fire and underneath the heating lanterns.
Enjoy some of my favorite images from this winter wedding styled shoot at The Chandelier of Gruene then be sure to watch the slideshow at the end!
If you’d like to see more inspiration from this winter wedding styled shoot at The Chandelier of Gruene, please enjoy this video. For the best quality, be sure to change the video player settings to 1080 HD.
Venue: Chandelier of Gruene
Planning & Styling: from His garden
Photo: Ata-Girl Photo
Video: Melissa and Arturo
Linens & Tablescape: Touch of Elegance Decor
Floral, Drinks & Rentals: from His garden
Gowns & Tuxes: Brides by Elizabeth
HMUA: My Makeup Movement
Cake & Specialty Desserts: Creations Cakes
Paper Suite: The Girl General
Jewelry: Diamonds Direct
Photo Booth: 5050 Photo Booth
DJ & Cold Sparklers: At Last Entertainment
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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!
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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 journeys and consider myself privileged to document their legacies.
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I am a published author (purchase my book here), a podcast host (listen here) (watch here) and 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.