austin + destination wedding photographer

Bride and groom in front of a yellow and white hotel

Fall Wedding at Hotel Ella in Austin


July 2, 2024

I’m a photographer in Austin, Texas capturing sophisticated celebrations, elevated experiences, and refined clientele around the globe. 

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When Carolyn and Simon began planning their wedding at Austin’s Hotel Ella, they envisioned a formal affair with laidback elements to reflect their personalities. With 275 guests attending, they were careful to avoid stuffy traditionalism and instead plan a day that felt “easy and fun.” What resulted was the perfect balance of black-tie elegance and Southern hospitality, with boldly colorful accents sprinkled throughout. 

The couple’s love story began in Austin while attending UT, at a Greek Life mixer hosted at Peter Pan Mini Golf. While Simon grew up in the city, Carolyn fell in love with it during her time at the university. As the setting for every significant moment in their relationship, the couple knew after Simon popped the question that Austin would play host to their nuptials. They quickly settled on Hotel Ella as their venue for its mix of beautiful classic architecture and Austin style.

A Modern Bridal Gown

To fit the formal yet laidback ethos of the day, Carolyn’s choice of bridal gown eschewed traditional elements like pearls and lace in favor of a sleek modern silhouette. Her silk Sareh Nouri dress was all clean lines and featured an off-the-shoulder neckline paired with a fitted bodice and trumpet skirt. Her bridesmaids’ gowns similarly embraced a contemporary feel, constructed of a heavy navy blue silk that flowed effortlessly to the floor. 

Bringing the Outdoors In

Further distancing the couple’s wedding day from the cookie-cutter mold was their bold use of color and flowers. Carolyn carried a bouquet bursting with vibrant hues of tangerine, butter yellow, and fuchsia that contrasted beautifully with the bridesmaids’ dark-colored gowns. The couple also instructed their florist, Stems Floral Design, to transform the ballroom at Hotel Ella into a garden oasis that would bring the outdoors in. The cheerful hues of the flowers adorning every surface set the stage.

Fall Wedding at Hotel Ella

Carolyn and Simon’s wedding day dawned bright and sunny, with the comfortably warm temperatures Austin’s Octobers are beloved for. Each readied themselves with their bridal parties within the comfort and elegance of the suites at Hotel Ella before joining each other outside for an emotional first look. 

The pair said I do in a picturesque outdoor ceremony on the hotel’s front lawn, accompanied by lilting string music. Cocktail hour followed and took place poolside, with a jazz trio providing an ambient background soundtrack as guests socialized and sipped their drinks.

Dinner was a mouthwatering affair consisting of three food stations: shrimp ceviche, a taco bar, and a beef tenderloin roast. Guests also dined on a sumptuous array of desserts, including French macarons, mini chocolate eclairs, and berry tartlets. But the piéce de resistance was the bride’s cake, with four delicious layers flavored with strawberry, chocolate, and almond!

 A live soul band had every guest up and dancing until it was time for Carolyn and Simon’s private last dance to Etta James’ “At Last.” The happy couple then made their grand exit through an aisle of sparklers held by their guests! I loved shooting this wedding at Hotel Ella and hope to return for more celebrations in the future. If you’re seeking an Austin wedding photographer, let’s connect. I would be honored to meet you and your partner and help you document this chapter of your love story.

Getting ready for a wedding at Hotel Ella in Austin, with bridesmaids in floral robes Bride getting ready in a classic satin Sareh Nouri wedding gown Image of a groom getting ready at Hotel Ella Bride embracing her wedding party and mom Bride and groom first look at Hotel Ella, in front of the front steps Bride and groom first look at Hotel Ella, in front of the front steps Bridesmaids in navy satin dresses and bright colorful flowers Bridesmaids in navy blue satin dresses, holding colorful bridal bouquets Bride and groom embracing for a portrait outside of Hotel Ella Black and white image of the front of Hotel Ella , with the bride walking down the stairs with her father Wedding ceremony at Hotel Ella in Austin Wedding reception by the pool outside at Hotel Ella Bride and groom in front of a yellow and white hotel Wedding cocktail hour by a pool in downtown Austin, with guests eating at cocktail tables Evening dancing for a wedding in Austin Evening dancing for a wedding in Austin Bride and groom walking through a sparkler exit



Photographer: Julie Wilhite Photography

Venue: Hotel Ella

Wedding Coordination: Something to Celebrate

Bridal Gown Designer: Sareh Nouri

Bridal Salon: Joan Pillow

Hair and Makeup: Adore Makeup Boutique & Salon

Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Bella Bridesmaids

Invitations: Embossed Graphics of Texas

Florist: Stems Floral Design

Ceremony Music: Terra Vista Strings

Reception Music: Matchmaker Band

Cake: Comptoir Bakery

Rentals: Premiere Events