Newly engaged?

Congratulations! I bet you're wondering where to even start with wedding planning. After discussing budget with your fiancé, one of the first decisions you'll want to make is choosing a venue (along with a date). Every other vendor you speak with will ask about where and when your wedding takes place. So what do you want in a venue? While I can't answer that for you on a personal level, I can share some of my favorites from a professional and photography standpoint! I'm based in Ozark, Alabama, so most of this list is going to be in a 150 mile radius from me (think Alabama, Georgia, and Florida). Let's dive into it!

The Beach

I know this is an obvious answer, but if you're looking for a venue that requires very minimal decor, this is your answer! Pricing will vary on this, and if you're looking into the Destin/30A area you'll need a permit (so will your vendors). However, it's hard to beat sand, ocean, and sunsets. Henderson State Park in Destin has a number of pavilions and easily accessible restrooms. Pensacola Beach also has several designated areas for weddings with ample parking! If you're planning a smaller or destination beach wedding there's plenty of large rental homes (check VRBO) to accommodate a reception.

The Depot Off Main

Dothan, AL

This is a great choice if you're getting married in winter or summer and want to be sheltered from the elements. There's a cute outside grassy area with an arch for your ceremony, as well as room inside to hold one. It has one of the most gorgeous getting ready bridal suites I've ever seen (lots of windows), and a huge open space indoors with lots of draping and lights. If you want a darker, moody, bricked vibe, this is your place. When searching for photographers, you'll want someone who is familiar with lighting as you will absolutely need a flash or some other type of additional lighting for the best photos.

Windmill Station

Dothan, AL

If you want an area that offers it all in one place- this is it! You have the classic ballroom space, bridal suite, a super unique place for the guys, and more. They offer the ability to rent as many or as few of their spaces as you need so you can customize it to your guest count. This is where a lot of events are held in the Wiregrass area as well, so if you're eyeing this one, best to jump in early and inquire for open dates (they're also great and FAST with communication). I've used it as a setting for Christmas minis, and it's adorable.

Celebration at Jones Crossing

Dothan, AL

I feel like this one is a little under the radar, but it's a great little barn feel with a beautiful courtyard. Lots of lights and a gazebo for those wanting an outdoor ceremony. Draping and lighting inside. I was there for Christmas time, and it was decorated for the season too! Extremely personable, helpful staff who will make sure you're taken care of on your big day.

The Bibb Mill

Columbus, Georgia

Maybe my favorite venue of all time- this place is stunning everywhere you turn. Courtyards, river overlooks, ivy growing on brick, hardwood floors with chandeliers inside. Seriously- I would say yes every time to coming back here! Featuring a bridal suite with super cute details, great lighting throughout the entire venue (large windows in every room- a photography dream!), and multiple picturesque settings outdoors.


It's tough to narrow down my favorites, but that's a handful to get you dreaming! As soon as you narrow down your venue, a photographer should be your next step. We book out every bit as early as venues. Check out more of my tips on my blog, or take a look at my portfolio. Reach out if I can answer any questions. I'm a former event planner turned photographer, so details are my jam! Happy planning!