In the glittering wake of the recent royal wedding, it seems the world has come down with a solid case of “Wedding Fever.” Newly engaged couples are diving into the wedding planning process, mothers are dreaming of their daughters riding through the streets of London in a chariot with their Prince Charming (or wait..is that just my mother?), and Pinterest is exploding with “Dream Wedding” boards full of dazzling white gowns and colorful flower bouquets.
But while it’s easy to get caught up in this fairytale mindset, the reality is this: a lot of hard work, time, and planning goes into creating that “perfect day.”
To help ease the stress of the wedding planning saga, we’ve compiled a list (in no particular order) of a few of our favorite fairytale wedding venues in the Coastal Bend.
Imagine the moment: the warm South Texas breeze dancing around your ankles, gently ruffling the hem of your divinely gorgeous white wedding dress. Between the notes of the bridal march, the tide crashes softly against the beach. If this sounds like your dream wedding, Mansion By The Sea might be your perfect venue.
Overlooking the Gulf of Mexico from the small island between Aransas Pass and Port Aransas, this private waterfront estate consists of multiple spaces to accommodate every moment of your ceremony and celebration. Exchange your vows beneath the wedding arch that sits on a platform extending over the sand and water while your guests watch from the beach. Image courtesy of Mansion By The Sea Instagram page
With an indoor/outdoor reception area, guests can dance the night away on the Sunset Deck or mingle around the bar. (Bonus: Mansion By The Sea keeps a sailboat docked at the estate for couples to take stunning photos.)
For thirty years, the old Taylor Brothers Jewelers building sat boarded up and empty in downtown Corpus Christi. But in 2016, this classic beauty of a building reopened its doors as the Bay Jewel Event Center, a premier venue dedicated to providing the utmost VIP experience. And trust us, this revitalized “jewel” more than lives up to its name. Image courtesy of Bay Jewel Facebook page
Completely remodeled and updated with every must-have event accessory, the Bay Jewel Event Center is pure elegance and class. You and your forever love can dance your first dance on the 3,000 square foot ballroom floor, and guests can mingle in the upstairs lounge area or explore the wine cave. Two bars and a massive prep kitchen provide the final touches for a perfect day.
We all know everyone’s attention will be on the bride and groom during the ceremony, but why not give your guests something else beautiful to look at during the reception? A wedding at the Art Museum of South Texas offers an experience like no other set against a professionally curated backdrop. Between all the dancing and dining, guests can mingle and peruse galleries of incredible artwork or enjoy unparalleled views of Corpus Christi Bay and the Harbor Bridge. Image courtesy of the Art Museum of South Texas Instagram page
The diverse landscape of South Texas is like something out of an old western or epic romance novel. And no place better encapsulates that classic South Texas feel than The Reserve at Dancing Elk. This venue in Mathis (conveniently halfway between Corpus Christi and San Antonio) is a secluded luxury ranch with three event spaces, plus lodging and dining options for your out-of-town guests. Image courtesy of The Reserve At Dancing Elk Instagram page
If your big day includes lots of friends and family, the barn-style event hall with a grand entryway can accommodate up to 700. Outside spaces include a covered pavilion for up to 150 and an uncovered, intimate patio with a built-in kitchen and fireplace for smaller groups.
When it comes to elegant, southern whimsy, nothing beats The Courtyard At Gaslight Square. Tucked downtown just blocks off Shoreline Boulevard and the marina, this exquisitely architectured space will have your guests oohing and ahhing over the rustic old world charm. Image courtesy of Lone Oak Studios
Wrought-iron gates and a beautiful stained glass window welcome guests into two indoor event spaces, while outside, an ancient oak tree shades the light-draped courtyard, stretching over the generous expanse of dance floor and dining seating. Alongside its exclusive on-site catering partner Diamond Point Catering, the team at this venue will customize your day to make your dreams come true.
Heritage Place (Rockport)
Image courtesy of the Heritage Place
Step back in time and revel in the simple (yet elegant) Southern charm of Heritage Place. Dating back to the 1800s, this venue is more than picturesque…it’s positively cinematic. Sunlight slants through the windows of the renovated historical (and non-religion-specific) chapel, and old-timey lawn décor offer the perfect backdrop for your wedding photos. Image courtesy of the Heritage Place
Heritage Place offers a range of packages to help couples make their wedding dreams come true. From the intimate and economical “Just You And I” package (10 person limit) to the naturally gorgeous “Harbor View” all-day outdoor package to the lavish “Ultimate Package” (which includes use of the Heritage Hall, fresh floral arrangements, and a one-night stay in the Bridal Suite), this venue provides amenities and options designed to meet your every need.
Start your next chapter as a married couple in the elegantly rustic setting of the Ranch at San Patricio. Sitting on 88 acres of rich Texas countryside, the ranch offers a selection of idyllic venues surrounded by large oak trees. Couples can choose to hold their ceremony and reception at the upscale Driftwood Center and Chapel or the Spanish Moss Venue and Chapel. And if you have trouble choosing between the two…we feel ya! They’re both stunning! Image courtesy of The Ranch At San Patricio
In fact, the entirety of the Ranch is available for couples to make use of. Savor your rehearsal dinner meal at the Main House patio, book an overnight stay in the delightful and spacious Cottage, and enjoy a dip in the magnificent swimming pool (complete with waterfall) with your bridal party or family.
And if your dream wedding is DIY, no problem! Couples are welcome to plan and decorate as they wish. But if you prefer to sit back and let the expert team at the Ranch coordinate, style, and make sure everything goes off without a hitch, they will plan a day that perfectly fits your personality.
Local BeachesImage courtesy of the Padre Ryan Instagram page
Perhaps one of the most quintessentially Coastal Bend venue options isn’t a venue at all…but just your favorite sandy spot. A sun-soaked beach wedding is a dream come true for many couples, but it can also be a little daunting. How does one go about planning a wedding on a beach? Does anyone even rent out the beach? Image courtesy of the Padre Ryan Instagram page
To help you coordinate every little wedding detail you didn’t know existed, Padre Ryan Weddings and Events has you covered! Based in Port Aransas, this event planning company specializes in beach weddings and they have a stellar FAQ page to help couples figure out where to start. In addition to ensuring you have a gorgeous and memorable wedding, the team at Padre Ryan also works hard to make your planning experience affordable and stress-free.
If beachy chic is your style, so is Cinnamon Shore. The timeless beachfront architecture and world-class views at Port Aransas’ renowned Cinnamon Shore community create a setting so gorgeous it gives paradise a run for its money. From the pristine beachfront to the Town Center lawn to the infinity pool overlooking Lake Gavin, this venue offers a wide range of settings for parties both small and large. Image courtesy of the Cinnamon Shore webpage
When it comes time to eat, treat your guests to a fun and casual shrimp boil or fine dining experience catered by Lisabella’s Bistro & Bar. Weddings at Cinnamon Shore come with a team of professionals dedicated to making your big day stress-free.
An aircraft carrier might not be the typical “dream venue”, but after seeing these epic engagement and wedding photos aboard the USS Lexington, we are in love with the “wedding at sea” idea.
Anchored off the coast of Corpus Christi Bay, the USS Lexington is a retired WWII carrier ship whose storied history includes 21 months of combat in the Pacific Theater during WWII, keeping offshore vigil during the Cold War, and starring as a set in the 2001 film Pearl Harbor. Today, the Lexington serves as an in-depth naval aviation museum and unparalleled facility for private events. Image courtesy of Chris Curry Photography Instagram page
Some of the most important events in our nation’s history took place on the Lexington…and your big day could be one of them! This truly one-of-a-kind venue offers over 40,000 square feet of accessible space and can accommodate groups of up to 2,600 people. This venue will have your guests blowing up Instagram and Facebook with dramatic WWII-inspired pics!
From the waves crashing on the shore to the miles of sprawling farmland, the Coastal Bend is pure romance and relaxation. So no matter what your style or budget is, the natural and historic beauty of the Coastal Bend is the perfect setting to celebrate your love and begin the next chapter of your life together. If you’re moving to the Coastal Bend and starting to think about where to live, Keller Williams is here to help! Check out our list of Coastal Bend communities that need to be on your radar, download our exclusive Buyer’s Guide, speak with a local lender, and contact an agent to help you make your dream home a reality.