10 Amazing Places to Get Married In East Texas
10 Amazing Places to Get Married In East Texas

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One of the best things about weddings here in the East Texas area is just how many great venues there are for brides to choose from.  Most of these places were build from the ground up with weddings in mind.  They have plenty of rooms to get ready in, multiple locations for you to have your ceremony and reception and some even offer a place for you to stay the night.  Many will offer catering and provide you with packages that include a few other wedding vendors as well.  A good wedding venue is totally worth the money once you factor in all these things.  Here are the 10 best East Texas wedding venues. (In alphabetical order.)

 

The Arbor
2215 Roy Rd.
Tyler, TX
903-534-4997
www.arborvenue.com

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The Belgium House
Longview, TX
903-720-6414
www.thebelgiumhouse.com

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Bella Sera Ranch
286 ACR 1400
Palestine, TX
903-723-0900
www.bellaseraranch.com

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Castle on the Lake
9110 US Hwy. 79 W.
Jacksonville, TX
903-721-3593
www.jacksonvillecastle.com

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Elmwood Gardens
680 ACR 446
Palestine, TX
903-549-2716
www.elmwoodgardens.com

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Lake Tyler Petroleum Club
15898 Eastside Dr.
Tyler, TX
903-566-4444
www.laketylerpetroleumclub.com

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The Legacy
Jacksonville, TX
903-571-9644
www.thelegacy-venue.com

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The Reserve
7725 Hwy. 259
Longview, TX
903-431-3496
www.bookthereserve.com

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Stone Oak Ranch
Murchison, TX
903-530-7947
www.stoneoakranch.com

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Villa di Felicitá
7891 Hwy. 110
Tyler, TX
903-597-0002
www.villadifelicita.com

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It’s Like Rain….
It’s Like Rain….

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Every time I’m fortunate enough to shoot out at Elmwood Gardens, I love it even more. :)

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Calley had all types of shiny pretty things.  Petal’s Florist did a great job and I LOVE that she wore her grandmother’s jewelry.

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Calley told me she has been “playing with this jewelry” since she was a little girl.  How awesome is that?  And, how crazy are these screw on earrings.  :)

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Calley & William had an amazing First Look.  William kept spinning her around and looking at all the details of her dress.

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If you remember their engagement session you know that these two love them some triathlons.  Their ring bearer must be in training because this little man sprinted down the aisle.  Big, long strides.  About a 5 minute mile pace.

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As they were finishing up their ceremony it started to drizzle a bit.

Calley actually stopped her vows, turned to the crowd and said, “You all can head inside, we are going to finish up.”  They then shouted back at her, “Keep going!” “We’re fine!” “We are staying!”

That is what every marriage needs.  When the hard times come,

You need a group of friends that will cheer you on.
You need couples who will sit in the rain with you.
You need friends who will say “We are with you through all of it, good and bad.”

When planning your wedding and marriage make sure you have those.  They are super important.
You can’t find them on Pinterest or Style Me Pretty.
The Knot does not have a checkbox that looks like this: [  ] Friends as committed to our marriage as we are.

Those are the types of things that will make your marriage stand up to all types of weather.

So, Calley & Will continued, while family and friends were rained on a bit, they committed to each other regardless of what life brought their way.  They said I do. They kissed. And we were all witnesses.  (With a few raindrops to prove it.)

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Just when I thought I could not love them any more, Will stepped up to the mic and sang “Forever and Ever Amen”.  Will’s vocal talents are…. how can I put this… uh… less stellar than his triathlon skills.  :)  It was totally out of a movie.  So so great.  Calley could not stop laughing and everyone else enjoyed it quite a bit as well.

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Thank you two for trusting me with your day.  Thank you for not letting a bit of rain dampen your spirits.  (Get it. Ha Ha)

I hope you two have many many years and miles of marriage together.

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I Support You
I Support You

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One of my favorite parts about my job is getting to see how couples interact. I love picking up little relationship tips and tricks from them. Even though Danielle & I have been married about 12 years, we are always looking for new ideas on how to love each other better. I’ll never forget Chesley & Andy’s engagement session. They were in the kitchen cooking and he wanted to add something to the pizza. She looked across the room and said these three little words:

“I support you.”

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Look, I’ve seen and heard couples do a lot of things during their photo shoot. Photographed hundreds of people in love.  But I had never heard one say that to the other. It totally caught me off guard. I stopped right then and there and asked them about it. They said it was just something they started doing and saying to each other somewhere along they way and have kept it up.

I support you.

Man, it seems so trivial, but those words have so so much power to them. They are words that each spouse needs to hear from the other. Those words speak life into a relationship. Those words say I’m on your team. I’m behind you. If you are in battle and know you have “Air support” or “Ground support” that makes you feel pretty good. Knowing your spouse supports you fills your heart. It gives you the courage to take the next hill.

Danielle needs my support. My help. She needs to know I’m with her when it comes to how she teaches our kids, how she runs and manages our house.

I need her support. I need to know she supports the business choices I make, that she supports how I lead our family.

Marriage is hard. Knowing your spouse loves you is great, but knowing your spouse supports you and trusts you, takes things to a whole other level. It helps you realize you are on the same team. Fighting the same battle.

Being reminded that I have Danielle’s support gives me the strength I need to keep trying even when I feel like I’ve failed time and time again.

It’s been over 2 years since Chesley & Andy vowed to support each other til death does them part. Their session and ceremony inspired me to be a better husband. Not a week goes by that I don’t think about that phrase and find a way to act on it and try to say it more.

I checked in with Chesley a few days ago and asked her if they still say “I support you” and this is what she had to say.
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“Even more now! We work together and (obviously) get to live together now so it’s 24/7 Andy and Ches. !!!!!!

I guess what we want is to hopefully get your readers to understand how important it is to genuinely support each other. “I support you” was just something cute we’d say to let each other know “I got your back.” It wasn’t until after we were married and Andy’s job separated us for months on end that “I support you” changed into something deeper than we originally intended.

Now that we get to live together AND work together I support you has changed yet again. I have a feeling that we’ve just seen a glimps of how much hearing I support you from your spouse is going to change throughout the years. I love you is great to hear, but there’s something about unwavering reassurance that gives you such a peace in your marriage.”

That last line from Chesley really nailed it.  Great marriages are built on “unwavering reassurance.”  Back in middle school, everyone dated everyone and broke up with everyone every other day.  Sometimes you were broken up and didn’t even know it till 4 class periods had gone by.  Relationships used to get more stable the older we became, but it seems that is not the trend anymore.  Today some marriages feel just as unstable as middle school relationships.  “I support you” is one of the many little things you can do to break that trend.  “I support you” says I’m here for you.  The more you say and mean it, the more your spouse will find peace in it.  The more they will rest in the knowledge that the vows you made meant something. The next time you find your spouse sad or frustrated, don’t just mindlessly say I love you and hug them. Walk over to them, look them in the eye and say “I support you”. Then find a way to put those words into action and help carry them through the rough patch.

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Lindsey & Jonathan | Baby It’s Cold Outside
Lindsey & Jonathan | Baby It’s Cold Outside

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I LOVED these two 5 minutes into their engagement session so I was truly honored that they flew me out to Colorado for their wedding.  In other news… Denver in February is cold.

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This was my second wedding at a Noah’s Event Center.  These venues have their act together ladies.  You should check them out.

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It was so so cold, the bridesmaids did great jumping outside for a few photos… the flower girls…. not so much. :)

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Jonathan may have teared up a bit at the sight of his bride.

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Their friends managed the perfect balance of saying nice things about the bride and groom and saying embarrassing things about the bride and groom. :)

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Again, thank you guys so much for trusting me with your day and all the images leading up to it.

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Jesus + Megan + Stephen = Wedding
Jesus + Megan + Stephen = Wedding

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It was great to spend the day with Megan & Stephen as they started their marriage at the Museum of Biblical Art in Dallas, TX.  So much history there and it’s neat to view their story as a part of a larger continuing story.  Check out some of the artifacts.
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Not a bad way to start off your First Look and marriage.

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First wardrobe malfunction in history.
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These two LOVE to play video games together.  There were all types of goodies to be found at the reception.  HUGE shout out to Silver Lining Events for putting this all together.
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Get it. X/Y,  Girl/Boy, Hers/His, Bride/Groom
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Toasts continue to be some of my favorite moments in a wedding day.  So many great things said about lifelong friends.
(It’s also great when your roommate asks you to hand over your princess key now that you are married and have a place of your own.)
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Evolution of Father/Daughter Dance.
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You remember just how much these two loved their Camaros right?  Stephen’s friends made a few adjustments to their getaway car. :)
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Thank you guys so much for sharing your day, and part of your story with me.  You were so so chill.  I hope your wedding will be a reflection of your marriage.  One that is full of much Bible, video games, cars, and wardrobe malfunctions. ;)

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