The Dallas Ft. Worth metroplex is a magical place to photograph weddings. There is a dizzying array of venues with a mind-boggling list of styles and environments to choose from. I was thinking the other day about all of the places I’ve photographed and what my favorite venues are. So I’m weighing in with a list of the top five wedding venues, what I like about them, and why you should consider having your wedding there. So, without further ado:

Arlington Hall

What I like about it: Beautiful grounds, a very historical place, coordinator is awesome

Why you should look into Arlington Hall: Arlington Hall is located in the Turtle Creek neighborhood in Dallas which has a long history of being a barometer for all things elegant and Old City. The curving avenues that wind through Turtle Creek reveal treasure after treasure as you make your way through. You can almost feel life slow down a little and pull back from the bustle of day-to-day life.

Pulling up to Arlington Hall is an amazing experience. Turning in off of Lee Parkway onto the grounds of Oak Lawn Park, you immediately see the façade of Arlington Hall. It is so pristine, so well kept, that you can’t help but be drawn in. Once inside, you won’t believe the feeling of tradition. The staff is absolutely first class. You simply have to see this place to understand what I’m talking about. The lighting is just great for photography.

Mitas Hill Vineyard

What I like about it: The ceremony site overlooks the vineyard. I don’t feel like I’m in Texas when I go there. So pretty!

Why you should look into Mitas Hill Vineyard: If you love looking at pictures of old world farms and vineyards, Mitas Hill provides the perfect backdrop for any kind of wedding you can imagine. You can go rustic or completely formal and the grounds compliment your ceremony. One aspect I like is that although the grounds are expansive, it is easy to maintain a very intimate atmosphere from the ceremony to the party. There are all kinds of different little hideaways for getting unique photos.

The Grand in Downtown McKinney:

What I like about it: Small, but beautiful. The suites are gorgeous, ballroom is really pretty, the lighting is great, plus you have all of downtown McKinney to shoot photos.

Why you should look into The Grand: For those of us who know McKinney, it is easy to take for granted what a gem we have. The Grand is right on the old square and the number of singular scenes you can stumble on is just ridiculous. There are few places in north Texas where you can create a smaller scale wedding that is dripping with old Texas panache and character. Many of the buildings on the square were built in the 1800s and the architecture is exceptional. The Grand also has tin ceilings, exposed original walls, and a view of the old courthouse. Really unforgettable.

The Filter Building

What I like about it: A great location on White Rock Lake. Offers a lot of opportunities for photos all around there. Ceremony site can be outside or inside. If outside, it overlooks the lake.

Why you should look into The Filter Building: Who would have thought that a former water treatment plant from the 1920s would turn into one of the hippest locations for weddings and other events? Well The Filter Building is that and more. The facility has been lovingly restored and the acoustics inside are also great. Outside, you get to say your vows with historic White Rock Lake as a backdrop. It may be a little hard to imagine but this hall is well worth looking at.

The Milestone in Aubrey

What I like about it: Best of both worlds with this classic, colonial mansion plus a large barn for the rustic look. The grounds are very pretty, as well, so you can get a variety of looks all in one place.

Why you should look into The Milestone: The grounds are really well suited to grand scenes and dramatic surroundings. If you want a place where you get tremendous flexibility into what you can do and what kinds of stories you can tell, make time to go see The Milestone. There are panoramic vistas along with delicate indoor shots with high ceilings. Mansions, barns, classic Texas views…The Milestone has it all.

How about you? Tell me where you have explored, and I’ve probably shot some events there. I have tips for things to look for and how to get the perfect shots.