How to Propose at the Pearl

Man on bended knee proposing to girlfriend for an article on how to propose at the Pearl in San Antonio

When you come to San Antonio, there is one spot in town that is a magnet for just about every resident: the Pearl.  It turns out that this former brewery – now a food hall and shopping center – is actually a great place for a marriage proposal.  In today’s blog post, I have all the details for how to propose at the Pearl.  From where to get down on one knee, to where to go after your beloved says ‘Yes!’, I’ve got all the details in this week’s blog.

How to Propose at the Pearl – Where to Propose

Man and woman standing on island by the Riverwalk for an article on how to propose at the PearlLet’s start with the obvious question, where do you propose at the Pearl?  Since the boundaries of the Pearl extend from the Riverwalk to Karnes Street, you have lots of options.  Personally, I think privacy is the main factor to consider in selecting the best location for you.

My favorite location, and the location chosen by Ray when he got down on one need to ask Kitzia to marry him, is the little island on the Riverwalk.  This spot has the advantage of total privacy.  Granted, you may have people walking by on either side of the river, but you’ll have the whole island to yourself.  In addition, your photographer can position herself opposite the island to get the best photos without having your beloved know that she or he is being photographed.

I have found that with a lot of proposal locations in San Antonio, there is basically nowhere to hide.  But in the case of the Pearl Riverwalk island, you can have your other half walk down the stairs and onto the island without really noticing the photographer off to the side.  This is a huge advantage if you want to maintain the element of surprise.  Bear in mind that there is not a lot of shade here, so you will want to time your proposal as close to ‘golden hour’ as possible in order to avoid the harsh rays of the sun.  Honestly though, that’s my only complaint about this location.

Couple hugging in alleyway lit by fairy lights for an article on how to propose at the PearlMy next choice for a proposal location at the Pearl would be the fairy-light covered walkway next to the Culinary Institute.  This little alleyway is magical when the lights are on at dusk.  There are more people traipsing through the walkway, but it is pretty much out of the way of crowds.  If you position your photographer near the Lick Honest Ice Cream entrance to the alleyway, then you have a great shot of the Pearl main building in the background.  The photos I took of Ray and Kitzia in this location after their proposal were some of my favorites of our entire shoot.

If you want to make a bold statement and let everyone know you proposed at the Pearl, my next spot is right in front of the fountain with the main Pearl building in the background.  The problem with this location is that it is a shot that everyone wants, so you are going to have to fight the crowds to get the space all to yourself.  But if you can schedule your photo shoot for early in the morning, then you might just have the background area empty enough to get a great photo.  While this area is always quite crowded with people enjoying a moment of rest at the tables, the fountain is still a great location for photos and shouldn’t be missed.

Couple dancing in apartment complex courtyard for an article on how to propose at the PearlIf privacy is your upmost concern, then there are several little nooks and crannies around the Pearl that I can recommend.  First is the corner to the left of the Riverwalk bridge at the back of the Pearl.  This area overlooks the Riverwalk and generally is not too crowded.  Around the same location, you could get down on one knee on the Riverwalk as well.  You also have some niches around the apartment complexes at the Pearl.  Specifically, there’s a little area to the left of the Cellars complex, as well as the interior patio of the complex.  Both of these areas never seem crowded, and you can propose here before moving on to other locations nearby for photos.

Finally, if you have a relationship with any of the local restaurants or shops, then don’t be afraid to ask ahead of time to stage your proposal.  For any private property, you always have to ask ahead of time to bring a professional photographer into the mix.  But if you and your beloved always get ice cream over at Lick, then why not ask your beloved to marry you with a cone in hand?

Photo Permits at the Pearl

Man lifting woman in the air in front of the Emma Hotel for an article on how to propose at the PearlIn terms of photo permits, the Pearl is a dream because of course, no permits are required.  I even found that the staff at the Emma Hotel were very accommodating if you wish to take photos on the premises.  Of course, as with any private property location, you should ask permission first. But when I spoke with the concierge in the hotel lobby, they said that they would be happy for a proposal and photos to take place, but that they simply wanted to know ahead of time.

The Pearl is a public space, and as such, there are rules that you need to follow.  Here are the exact photo regulations from the Pearl website:

Those taking pictures and filming must respect Pearl visitors, tenants, structures, and landscaping. Pearl reserves the right to ask any photographer/videographer to cease documentation at any time, should his/her work compromise the enjoyment and experience of the Pearl community. For personal use, the following is prohibited:

  • Photography/filming of children under the age of 14 without
    parental/guardian consent.
  • Photography/filming of Pearl patrons without their consent.
  • Blocking and/or obstructing doorways and pathways that prevent the flow
    of traffic for tenants and visitors.
  • Climbing on architecture.
  • Pop up dressing tents.
  • Provocative and/or risqué shoots.
  • The use of glitter, confetti, cascarones, rice, and any other small
    particles that litter the premises.

The bottom line is that your proposal should in no way inconvenience other visitors.  You cannot block any walkways or leave any trash.  That means fake rose petals are a no no, and even with real rose petals I would clean up after yourself.  Case in point, Ray and Kitzia collected some of the petals post proposal.

How to Propose at the Pearl – Portrait Locations

Couple hugging under brick archway surrounded by plants for an article on how to propose at the PearlOnce your beloved has said ‘Yes,’ it’s time for the portraits to begin.  And at the Pearl, you have lots of location options.

The biggest challenge with taking photos at the Pearl is the crowds.  The Pearl is a very popular spot, especially on the weekends.  However, if you choose photo locations around the outside of the Pearl as I did with Ray and Kitzia‘s proposal, then you can avoid the throngs and make it seem like you have the place all to yourself.  This means avoiding the main green area located in the center of the Pearl and around the fountain.

Instead, stick to the outside areas including the architecture near the Cellars apartment building entrance, the other courtyard of the apartment building, and the Riverwalk.  You can also find plenty of interesting backgrounds if you visit the pathway surrounding the side parking lots.  Also, remember that you are not limited to the Pearl alone.  The Pearl is located a close drive away from Brackenridge Park, and you could even head to the Japanese Tea Garden.

Finally, make sure that you remember that the Pearl has weekend markets which nearly doubles the crowd sizes.

  • Saturday, 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
  • Sunday, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

How to Propose at the Pearl – Celebrate After

Finally, because the Pearl is such a great spot for food and drinks, I would recommend that you have a glass of bubbly, a picnic, or even an ice cream cone planned for after your proposal.  It’s a proposal after all, and a celebration is in order!

Meet Ray and Kitzia

Couple holding hands in front of rusted iron background for an article on how to propose at the PearlMy first week here in San Antonio really makes me think that it was fate to move here.  I first had the pleasure of meeting Roxanne, Ray’s mother, when I nearly locked myself out of the building while moving in.  I saw her again during the apartment Christmas party, and then met her son Ray.  As it turns out, Ray was looking to propose to his girlfriend of seven years, Kitzia.  These two met adorably in elementary school, but did not start dating until college.  I think it’s pretty clear from seeing how they interact together that they are in it for the long haul.  I wish this beautiful couple all the best!

__________________________________________

Enjoy the images, and I’ll have more photo adventures for you next week!  Coming up, I have another surprise proposal (this time starting on the Hays Street Bridge) a list of the best places to propose in San Antonio, and an in-depth look at the Japanese Tea Garden.

I’m new here and am absolutely open to suggestions, so if you have some thing or someplace you’d like investigated from the perspective of a San Antonio wedding photographer, then drop me a line.  And if you would like to view more San Antonio surprise proposal photos, then check out these images from Xavier’s proposal to Paulina on the Hays Street Bridge.

If you would like to see more images from my surprise proposal portfolio, then please visit my website: KellyWilliamsPhotographer.com

Man and woman spreading red rose petals on island at the Pearl in San Antonio Man spreading red rose petals on island at the Pearl in San Antonio Two women and man on the stairs before a surprise proposal at the Pearl Couple meeting on the stairs with sister running away behind for a surprise proposal Man leading girlfriend to Riverwalk island for a surprise proposal at the Pearl in San AntonioMan holding woman's hands on island before surprise proposal at the Pearl in San AntonioMan kissing girlfriend's hands for an article on how to propose at the Pearl in San Antonio Man about to propose to girlfriend for an article on how to propose at the Pearl in San Antonio Man on bended knee proposing to girlfriend for an article on how to propose at the Pearl in San Antonio Man putting engagement ring on woman's hand during surprise proposal at the Pearl in San Antonio Couple hugging after surprise proposal at the Pearl in San Antonio Couple looking at engagement ring after surprise proposal at the Pearl in San Antonio Couple smiling after surprise proposal at the Pearl in San AntonioClose up of man on bended knee showing box with engagement ring Close up of man showing pink box with engagement ring inside Black and white photo of couple kissing with Riverwalk in the background Man holding woman's hand in the air with rose petals at his feet and Riverwalk in the background Man lifting woman in the air with rose petals at his feet Couple holding hands and smiling into camera with Riverwalk in the background Man hugging woman and woman touching man's cheek with Riverwalk in the background Woman hugging man from the back with Riverwalk in the backgroundClose up of woman's hands with red rose petals and engagement ring in her palm Woman kissing man with hand outstretched showing engagement ring Woman hugging man with arms around his neck showing engagement ring Woman hugging man and showing engagement ring with Riverwalk in the background for an article on how to propose at the Pearl Couple hugging with Riverwalk in the background for an article on how to propose at the Pearl Woman grabbing man's cheek with Riverwalk in the background for an article on how to propose at the Pearl Reflection of man hugging woman at the edge of a riverCouple walking around fountain for an article on how to propose at the Pearl Couple walking around fountain in between trees covered in fairy lights for an article on how to propose at the Pearl Couple holding hands and smiling at each other in between trees covered in fairy lights for an article on how to propose at the Pearl Man looking down at woman's hand with engagement ring with woman next to him for an article on how to propose at the Pearl Woman looking down at hand with engagement ring with man next to her for an article on how to propose at the Pearl Woman kissing man on the cheek in front of historic building at the Pearl for an article on how to propose at the Pearl Couple walking under star-shaped lights surrounded by plants for an article on how to propose at the PearlCouple dancing surrounded by plants for an article on how to propose at the Pearl Couple dancing under star-shaped lights surrounded by plants for an article on how to propose at the Pearl Couple dancing surrounded by plants for an article on how to propose at the Pearl Couple dancing under star-shaped lights surrounded by plants for an article on how to propose at the Pearl Couple dancing under star-shaped lights surrounded by plants for an article on how to propose at the Pearl Couple standing opposite each other under brick arch for an article on how to propose at the Pearl Couple leaning against brick pillar with man's hand on woman's neck for an article on how to propose at the PearlWoman kissing man surrounded by wall with vines for an article on how to propose at the Pearl Woman touching man's cheek surrounded by wall with vines for an article on how to propose at the Pearl Woman standing behind man in front of brick building and window for an article on how to propose at the Pearl Woman kissing man on the cheek in front of brick building and window for an article on how to propose at the Pearl Couple walking in alleyway lit by fairy lights for an article on how to propose at the Pearl Couple hugging in alleyway lit by fairy lights for an article on how to propose at the Pearl

You may also like

2 comments

    1. The problem, unfortunately, is the Jetpack software. I am going to have to disable Jetpack and find another means of sending out the blog. In the meantime, just click on the main link to the site to view any blog posts. Thanks for letting me know.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *