Marfa Wedding Guide
Getting Started Planning Your Marfa Wedding
Updated for 2023! You’re here and thinking about having a wedding in Marfa Texas! Congratulations! This guide is intended to get you started planning your Marfa wedding. You may have seen photos of Marfa weddings on social media or visited Marfa and have started to wonder if you could have your wedding way out in West Texas. You can! And it’s going to be the enchanting love fest of your dreams. In this guide, I’ll cover everything from Marfa wedding venues, to the best time of year to get married in Marfa, and my recommendations on the best Marfa wedding vendors.
*Note: I am not being compensated by any person or business listed in this guide. All recommendations are my honest opinions based on over ten years of experience photographing Marfa weddings.
When to Get Married in Marfa
Marfa is quite literally an oasis in the desert which makes it the perfect destination wedding location. But one big thing to keep in mind is the weather in Marfa. Because it’s located in the desert, this makes for cold nights, hot days, and an epic spring windy season. The ideal time for your magical west texas wedding would be May – early June and September – early November. This avoids the peak hot months in June, July, and August. The high wind season runs from February to May and snow storms in early Jan may make for road closures. It’s important to keep the weather in mind for the comfort of your out-of-town guests. Since a large part of the appeal of a Marfa wedding are the scenic views, you’ll want to ensure the best weather possible to take advantage of outdoor wedding weekend activities like a visit to the McDonald Observatory, swimming, a fun outdoor rehearsal dinner, outdoor ceremony, and outdoor cocktail hour. You might see a rainy season from May to October when looking at precipitation levels near Marfa but in my experience, the storms roll in fast and out just as fast. It’s not unusual to experience a sudden 30-minute afternoon thunderstorm and then have a perfectly clear sunset.
Marfa Wedding Venues
If you’ve seen photos of Marfa, you’ve no doubt seen photos of El Cosmico. The property features teepes, trailers, and a wild wild desert. Not a traditional hotel or traditional wedding venue by any means, this property features trailers safari tents, yurts, and one heck of a sunset viewing spot. This location is home to the Trans Pecos Music Festival and is perfect for couples looking for a laid back outdoor music festival type feel for their wedding venue. This location is quintessential Marfa and perfect for someone going for an effortless look.
Marfa, TX. Capacity: 400-500 guests. https://elcosmico.com/
Pure southwest. Pure style. Imagine Amangiri meets Big Bend… this is Willow House. Located just 6 miles away from the entrance to Big Bend National Park. This venue is cherished for its remoteness, views, and sophisticated interiors. Willow House would be best for stylish couples looking to host an intimate wedding with a respect for natural resources. Think sunset cocktail hour, sexy candlelit dinner party with toasts and dancing under the stars.
Terlingua, TX (107 miles south of Marfa). https://www.willowhouse.co/
The Gage Hotel
Ahh, Gage Hotel, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways. Home to one of the very first west Texas weddings I photographed over a decade ago and the wedding venue for yours truly, this comes in as one of my favorites. The Gage Hotel is pure charm. A Gage Hotel wedding is pure magic. Their staff and service is impeccable. And I’ve never left this property not having met a character or two over spicy margaritas at the White Buffalo bar. This venue features multiple homes throughout the town of Marathon Texas in addition to the historic part of the hotel and courtyard rooms. It’s southwest meets elegance. The entire hotel can be rented out for the weekend to accommodate your guests. For my own wedding of 50 guests, we held our ceremony and reception on the lawn of the Captain Shepard House. My immediate family occupied the Captain Shepard House in the evenings and the rest of my guests stayed in the historic part of the hotel. I can’t say enough about how magical it is for your guests to be able to walk back to their rooms after a night of dinner and dancing. Swimming pool on site.
Marathon, TX (56 miles east of Marfa). Capacity: 300 guests. https://gagehotel.com/
Hotel Saint George
An old building with a new hotel vibe. This hotel has a modern feel filled with modern art by local regional artists throughout the lobby and in all guest rooms. Opened in 2016. This hotel is a great option if you’re looking for a swanky vibe where you can have your wedding and guests can stay in the same location. Hotel Saint George has top notch full service catering. Swimming pool on site.
Marfa, TX. Capacity: 240 guests. https://www.marfasaintgeorge.com/
A historic hotel with a wild west vibe. Hotel Paisano was built in 1929 and was home to movie stars like Liz Taylor in the 1950s. This venue has on-site catering. The current hotel features 42 updated rooms, a ballroom, a rooftop terrace, and a gorgeous front courtyard. Swimming pool on site.
Marfa, TX. https://hotelpaisano.com/
Cibolo Creek Ranch
Hacienda style lodging on a ranch all to yourself for the weekend. This venue features some of the more traditional resort style amenities like dining, and activities. While the rooms are filled with southwest charm, so are the views. This is perfect for a couple wanting to host a large crowd and have the resort all to themselves for the weekend. Swimming pool on site.
Marfa, TX (36 miles south of downtown Marfa). https://cibolocreekranch.com/
Lajitas Golf Resort
Come for the golfing, stay for the jaw dropping view. While I may have mentioned the views at other venues, this one takes the cake as it is the closest in proximity to Big Bend National Park. This resort is at the base of a canyon in Lajitas and guests enjoy out of this world 360 views throughout every part of the resort but especially in the cocktail hour and reception areas. Lajitas also offers full-service guided activities like horseback riding and skeet shooting.
Lajitas, TX (120 miles south of Marfa). https://www.lajitasgolfresort.com/
A sweet and tiny southwest chapel in the middle of the desert. Bearing a slight resemblance to the chapel from Kill Bill (I’ll let you decide which one came first), this mission church was built over 100 years ago. The perfect ceremony venue for a couple looking to elope or maybe for a couple looking for a stylish historic look. The interior of the chapel is outfitted with a few simple benches and a rustic skylight that really lets the quiet simplicity of nature shine. This location is a ceremony-only venue.
Balmorhea, TX (55 miles north of Marfa) http://www.caleratexas.org/
Maybe you’re more of an intimate romantic elopement couple? I totally get it! With starry nights and a secluded location a Marfa elopement checks all the right lists. You could do a daytime Marfa courthouse wedding followed by an intimate dinner by one Marfa’s talented chefs. Another option is to do an outdoor sunset ceremony with you and your officiant. Perhaps you’re bringing along a small group of loved ones to celebrate with? That’s the beauty of an elopement in Marfa, plenty of low key options to choose from and all with a stunning desert backdrop. Send me an email and we can talk about ideas for photographing your Marfa elopement.
Marfa Wedding Cost
Since the cost of a Marfa wedding could vary wildly based on guest count and location, it’s impossible to give a cost estimate without knowing your wedding parameters. I will however list a few unique options to consider for your Marfa wedding that will affect the final cost. Shuttles – Some couples opt to have a full-service shuttle for their out-of-town guests from the Midland airport directly to their wedding venue. This is a great option for couples wanting their guest to have a luxurious weekend and not worry about the logistics of a several-hour drive into the Marfa area. Hotel Buyouts – Several hotels in the area require a full hotel buyout for your wedding weekend. While this seems like a big expense, I actually think it’s a bonus and means that your hotel will be reserved exclusively for your wedding guests. You can always opt to have guests pay for their own rooms within your hotel buyout. Weekend Activities – One of my favorite upsides to having a Marfa wedding is that you’ll have your guests all together for the entire weekend not just one day. You may want to plan organized group activities (horseback riding, skeet shooting, swimming at Balmorhea springs to name a few!) for the day before your wedding and the day after.
Marfa Wedding Vendors
I’m including my favorite Marfa wedding vendors in the list too. One of the most important things to consider when choosing your vendors is choosing someone with experience in the area. The last thing you want to have is a Marfa wedding vendor that has forgotten to bring a specific piece of equipment and needs to source something last minute… cause that’s just not how it works in Marfa (iykyk!). **And just as a reminder, I am not being compensated by any person or business listed in this guide. All of my recommendations are for people I know personally and trust.
Marfa Wedding DJ
DJ Cassandra- Known for spinning beats at some of the best events in Texas. Cassandra is a deeply passionate musical artist and an incredibly kind and humble person at heart. She’s one of those people that immediately feels like an old friend and she’ll have everyone from your college roommate to your grandma getting sweaty together on the dance floor. https://www.soundsbycassandra.com/
Marfa Wedding Planner
Carly Black Events- Logistics queen and style maven all in one. Working with Carly guarantees you’ll be totally taken care of and can rest at ease while still having one chic love bash. She has experience working with both traditional Marfa wedding venues and nontraditional venues like private ranches and estates. http://carlyblackevents.com/
Open Road Events- Cara and her team are based in Marfa and know what it takes to make high-end weddings flow smoothly and look elegant and modern in the desert landscape. http://openroadeventsmarfa.com/
Marfa Wedding Florist
Open Road Florals- Cara is a floral genius based in Marfa Texas. This means that aside from being an incredible artist she knows about the logistics involved in getting florals to the Marfa desert and keeping them looking their best throughout your wedding day under the Texas heat. Take a look at her work and you’ll see that she’s worked at just about every venue in the Marfa area. https://www.openroadflorals.com/
Marfa Texas Wedding Photographer
Heather Curiel – I would be honored to photograph your love filled Marfa wedding. As a native West Texan, I have a love for the big sunsets and the serene landscape of the desert. I’ve photographed weddings in Marfa, throughout Texas and beyond, for over ten years thus crafting my special combination of editorial and candid images to deliver collections of images that are radiant, emotional, and enchanting. https://heathercurielstudio.com/
Why Hire Heather to Photograph Your Marfa Wedding?
Heather is the perfect choice for couples seeking artistic, stylish, and unforgettable Marfa wedding photography imagery. Her extensive experience in the region ensures that every shot she captures perfectly encapsulates the unique beauty of Marfa’s rugged desert landscapes, while her artistic eye ensures that each photo is a masterpiece in its own right. With Heather behind the lens, you can be sure that every moment of your wedding day magic will be captured with the utmost care and attention to detail, ensuring that your memories are preserved for a lifetime. And with her expertise in shooting under the starry night sky, as well as her ability to capture the magic of tented dance parties, Heather is the ideal photographer for couples looking to make their wedding an unforgettable celebration of love, style, and luxury.