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Fall Sunsets Inspired this Chic European Romance Inspiration Shoot

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Even though this chic European romance wedding inspiration planned and designed by Lauren Field Design was set in North Texas, its gallery of photos from the talented Kristin La Voie Photography may convince you a venue as grand as The Olana is worth the drive! European-inspired and exquisite in every way, the sprawling property’s sculptural architecture and manicured lawn serve as a picture-perfect place for an indoor or outdoor affair. Tones of mauve, shades of plum, ochre and golden ivory create the most inviting autumnal-inspired palette while adding depth to whimsical yet sophisticated floral design. Modern and luxe in style, this bride and groom look so chic clad in haute wedding decor – with bride in a tulle bodysuit wedding gown covered in romantic 3D appliqué design and groom in a plum tux paired with black velvet loafers. Natural and feminine textures are layered alongside one another to create an elevated, European romance inspired wedding design that plays on both historic architectural elements as well as romantic, modern details. Read on for a note from planner Lauren Field Design about the vision behind this styled shoot’s upscale design and styling. Cheers!

Photo // Kristin La Voie Photography

From the planner, Lauren Field Design: “An intimate elopement editorial set amongst the European grandeur of The Olana, inspired by the fading shades of sunset in the fall. Tones of mauve, shades of plum, ochre and golden ivory are surrounded by manicured greenery and sculptural stone. Natural textures are layered alongside feminine accents to create a romantic ambiance full of chic luxe. Olive Grove Design created floral pieces for the ceremony with textured foliage reminiscent of the range of colors seen during the changing of the seasons. The bouquet was a lovely organic shape with blush, rust, and aubergine blooms. The beauty of the venue is its unique European architecture with sprawling landscape, so we knew we wanted to incorporate portraits on the cascading stone stairs and the fountain. The bride wore a stunning embellished tulle gown by Millia London with a chic black belt and sculptural floral earring and mother of pearl headpiece by Hushed Commotion. The groom donned a plum tux with black velvet loafers.”

Still on the hunt for more gorgeous inspo? Check out all our styled shoots and curated wedding inspiration here.

What to Consider When Booking Your Austin Wedding Venue

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Are you ready to secure your spot at a captivating Austin wedding venue? There is no such thing as booking a venue too early. This part of wedding planning is one of the most exciting for a happy couple to participate in, and we are here to help! Read on as we give you a set of steps you can follow to make this process simple and enjoyable.

What to Consider When Booking Your Austin Wedding Venue

Photo // Honey Gem Creative

Set your Budget

The first thing to do, before getting your hearts set on any venue, is to establish a budget. This step can narrow down your search pool to practical choices as well as saving you from heart ache. Without a budget put in place, you can fall in love with a venue that is not within your financial plans. Save yourself from heart break and set a realistic budget from the start!

Pick the Whereabouts

Pick the location where you both picture yourself getting married. Is this love affair taking place at an exotic, faraway setting or a local, romantic site? While making this decision, take into consideration the different planning and arrangements processes that each require. Discover which process you are more comfortable with as a couple, once that is done the dream venue begins to become clearer.

Estimate a Head Count

Before selecting a venue, you need to lock in on a number of guests that you are expecting to host. This piece of information can give you an idea of how large of a site you will need to be looking for. You want to avoid any venue that is not big enough for your number, as well as any that are too large. This approximation of guests will hone in on the venues that will comfortably fit your family and friends, without a tight squeeze or empty feel.

Choose a Time of Year

Do you picture walking down the aisle in the golden autumn or the radiant summer? The time of year has multiple effect on your wedding’s theme. This can range from color scheme, type of flowers, wedding dress style, and an indoor or outdoor ceremony. With all of these factors, picking when you want your special day helps a couple find a venue with availability during the proper time of year.

Tour Venues in Person

This part is extremely important. Once you have your sights set on a venue, meet the staff and tour the place in person. By going to tour the venue in person, you are able to make multiple observations about the setting that can help you make your decision. This allows you to experience the energy and atmosphere of the venue, something that cannot be observed through merely a gallery of pictures. Most importantly, you need to be comfortable with not only the appeal and representation of the site, but also the staff. Pay attention to their friendliness, you don’t want a team that is pressuring you into booking their venue. Instead, you want people that simply want to assist you on creating your dream wedding. These are the people that are going to be with you on your special day, you need to like them and their communication process.

Consider a Guest’s Point of View

Part of your due diligence is to think about your guests’ convenience. Walking in their shoes while making your final decisions will give you a new perspective on the venue. Pay attention to the number of bathrooms provided, if it is handicap accessible, and if the directions to the venue are easy to follow. This perspective is something that all of your guests will encounter on the day of the event, so it is a great thing to examine.

Ask Ask Ask!

Our final piece of advice for you is to not be afraid to ask questions. Once you have fallen in love with a venue it is important to know what you are committing to, so ask away! We have provided you with some popular and essential questions to ask the venue so you can make sure that they can accomplish exactly what you are envisioning.

    1. How long is the space available for the day we have selected?
    2. Are there any décor or noise restrictions that we must comply to?
    3. Do you have a backup plan for unexpected weather?
    4. Do we have to use your approved vendors, or can we use any vendors we wish?
    5. Do different days of the week vary in rates?
    6. Are there any additional fees I am unaware of?
    7. Who will be my main point of contact?

Now that you know what to look for when selecting a venue, it’s time to book your pick! See our list of Austin wedding venues to start your search!

5 Austin Wedding Planners’ Most-Valued Piece of Advice for Each Couple

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Ever wonder what the most-valued piece of advice wedding planners would give to any and every couple they come into contact with? When asked, “if you could share only one piece of advice with each bride you met, what would it be?” our friends at Trademark Weddings, R.A.C. Events & Design, Touch of Whimsy, Eclipse Event Co. and Kristin Catter Events were so gracious as to share their one most-valued piece of wedding planning advice gained over the years, making for the ultimate cheatsheet when it comes to wedding planning! We definitely think every bride on their wedding planning journey could take away a little slice of advice when it comes to their wedding, no matter what type of style or theme your big day may be. Scroll to read each planner’s most-valued piece of advice when it comes to planning the perfect wedding – and make sure to share all of the wisdom with your fellow couples planning! Cheers!

Photo // Opal & Onyx

Know Your Top Priorities

“Aside from hiring a planner, we always recommend that after you come up with your entire event budget, that you sit down and list your top priorities. Do you want the room to look incredible? Do you want your guests to have the best meal of their lives? Do you really just want to make sure everyone spends the maximum amount of time on the dance floor as possible? Whatever you want the biggest takeaway to be, let that guide and shape your event. Communicate your priority list to your planner, and they will be able to guide you towards the best team of vendors to turn your dream into a reality.” – Trademark Weddings

Also featured: Hotel Van Zandt | Sweet Treets Bakery | Marquee Event Rentals – Austin | The Ivory Oak | Romantic Florals | Turquoise Salon and Spa | Opal & Onyx

Photo // Pine and Blossom Photography

Build a Solid Relationship with your Planner

“We have to have a solid relationship! Just like your fiancée, we need to be the right fit for you. To execute your vision and have the day go smoothly, we need to be able to trust each other and the bride has to have confidence in us.” – R.A.C. Events & Design

Also featured: Marquee Event Rentals – Austin | The Bloom Bar | Makeup ATX | The Prospect House | Pine and Blossom Photography

Outdoor Wedding Inspiration Austin Wedding Planner Florist Touch of Whimsy Austin Wedding Photographer Dreamy Elk Photography & Design

Photo // Dreamy Elk Photography & Design LLC.

Do Your Research

“Do your research and consult a wedding planner before you book ANY vendors… this includes your venue. Being able to stick to your spending plan throughout your engagement starts with planning from the get-go. Setting expectations on what you can achieve with your spending plan is crucial!” – Touch of Whimsy

Also featured: Nicole MeraMakeup ATX | Dreamy Elk Photography & Design LLC. | Rustic Romance Rentals | Monarch Event Rentals | Shiraz Garden

Photo // Honey Gem Creative

Be Clear from the Beginning

“Lay out your priorities early on in the planning process and plan to create around what those are. I often tell my couples to list their top three wedding elements, in order, and have them do this independently without asking their fiancée. This helps keep them honest with themselves and allows them to be free-thinking without settling for what the other person has prioritized. After these are laid out is the time to compare notes and see how they align. More often than not they have 1 or 2 in common, but if not, it allows them the opportunity to get on the same page early on in the process so that they can avoid the headache of a possible misunderstanding later on down the road once vendors have been booked and money has been spent.” – Eclipse Event Co.

Also featured: Camp Lucy | Whim Hospitality | Bella by Sara | Reverent Wedding Films | Second Summer Bride | Honey Gem Creative

Photo // SMS Photography

Be Present in Every Moment

“The most important thing we tell all couples on their wedding day is to be present. Remember to take the time to enjoy your wedding day together. It really does go by in the blink of an eye, and at the end of the day you want beautiful lasting memories between your family and friends. Most importantly, you’ll want memories between you and your partner that you’ve chosen to enjoy and remember the rest of your life together. Do not sweat the small things; this is why you have hired professionals.” – Kristin Catter Events

Also featured: Horseshoe Bay ResortMarquee Event Rentals – Austin | Bouquets of Austin | Photohouse Films | SMS Photography

Find all of these amazing wedding planners plus more top Austin wedding vendors over on our vendors page!

European Romance Wedding Inspiration at Laguna Gloria

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This styled wedding inspiration is absolutely full of European romance! Captured in classic light and airy style by The Crakes, this styled shoot showcases a romantic forest altar scene as well as an amazing al fresco tablescape for wedding scenes that will steal your heart – right here in Austin! Say “I do” amid the lush green tropical paradise of The Contemporary Austin – Laguna Gloria surrounded by elegant pale pink and ivory blooms with pops of peach accents. This mod ceremony setup feels so organic and effortless, yet totally special and put-together at the same time. Our darling bride model looks like she stepped out of a fairytale, styled with a natural, terra cotta-toned makeup look and full, mauve pout as well as a traditionally elegant updo by Think Brink Beauty, while rocking an asscher cut sapphire from Nicole Mera in a stunning halo setting, and in a second look, a round brilliant diamond engagement ring paired with a hammered yellow gold band. Swoon! Turning attention back to the European-inspired outdoor seating, both palette and décor details steal the show. Acrylic ghost chairs from Marquee Event Rentals set at a luxe velvet tablescape is possibly the most inviting and upscale al fresco reception seating can look all at once, characterized by its muted pastel palette and timeless textures for the most classic combinations of elements. Read on for a note from the photographer about the vision behind this shoot and its planning and design, pulling major inspiration from scenic European cities. Cheers!

Photo // The Crakes

From the photographer, The Crakes: “When we all came together, we had the mission to show Austin, Texas, that you can have your dream ‘destination’ wedding right here in the city. The luxury feel, the timeless photos, and details that will last forever. Our color palette and details came from the inspiration of European cities, as well as the venue. Muted pinks, neutrals and torn paper to represent the architecture of Europe’s cities…all while we had a harpist playing some tunes that reminded me of walking around the streets of London. The real-life couple allowed each vendor to be represented perfectly, accompanied by the amazing jewels of Nicole Mera, the beautiful design of florals by Lovelily Flowers and hair and makeup by Think Brink Beauty – all based here in the Austin area.”

Still on the hunt for more gorgeous inspo? Check out all our styled shoots and curated wedding inspiration here.

Austin Engagement Photos 101 | Where to Shoot, What to Wear & Who to Book

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Taking engagement photos is easily one of the most fun to-dos in the planning process! Who doesn’t want to spend an afternoon dressed up and cuddling with their sweetie?! Below, we’re sharing our advice on everything from what to wear to your shoot, where to take your Austin engagement photos and even who to hire! Read on!

austin engagement photos

Photo // David McCandless Photography

How to choose your engagement photographer

There are so many local Austin engagement photographers and different types of photography! The best place to start is to find photographers who specialize in wedding and engagement shoots (here’s our preferred list). From there, check out the photographers’ websites to find a style you like and check the amount they charge for engagement shoots and day of pictures – this likely will require a direct inquiry on their site or via email.  Once you have narrowed it down, check the availability of different photographers, and see who works best with your wedding date.

Read our complete guide to finding the right wedding photographer here!

How far out from the wedding to book

After the engagement, it is crucial to start looking for photographers within the first one or two months. This is a great way to get familiar with your wedding photographer before the wedding. Using a potential wedding photographer to take your engagement pictures helps them get to know you, your style, and the types of images and poses you like. 

When deciding on your wedding and engagement photographer, it is essential to consider:

  • Do you want studio pictures, outdoor pictures or a mix of both?
  • Do you like candid pictures or more posed?
  • Do you like brighter pictures or warmer tones?
  • Do you want photos of you and your fiancé doing things you love?
  • What poses are you and your partner’s favorite?

It is totally acceptable to call it quits with your engagement photog after the shoot if you’re not feeling it. You should get along well, communicate well and feel like friends by the end of your engagement session. Remember, your wedding photographer will be with you ALL DAY on the wedding day, and believe us when we say if you aren’t feeling it, they likely aren’t either. Just be sure to read your contracts closely!

What to wear

Deciding what to wear for timeless pictures can seem daunting, but we are here to help! The most important thing when determining your engagement picture outfits is to be true to yourself. If you and your partner usually wear simple pieces, now isn’t the time for over-the-top ensembles. You need to wear what makes you feel most comfortable and beautiful. 

It is also essential to coordinate outfits between you and your partner. Picking a color scheme for your shoot that matches the season and photoshoot location is a great way to get started with deciding what colors you want to wear. For example, for a fall shoot, you may wish to have more warm tones. Opposed to a spring shoot where you may want to lighter colors. No matter what season, your pictures are sure to be beautiful! 

Lastly, some fun ways to make your photos pop! It can be exciting to incorporate accessories or unique fabrics. While sticking to your color theme, textured clothing can make the images come to life and create depth. Adding accessories for women can add a final touch to the look. An accessory like a chunky necklace, hat or scarf can complete an outfit and make the pictures striking. Layering is an excellent way for men to add dimension to their outfit and match their bride even better, too. 

Engagement Photo Locations

Traditional engagement shoot locations

Traditional engagement photo locations are tried and true for a reason. Below are some of our favorite traditional Austin engagement shoot locations. 

  • Golden hour in a field
  • Lakeside by Lake Travis
  • Downtown Austin
  • Zilker Metropolitan Park
  • Zilker Botanical Garden
  • The Capitol
  • Sekrit Theater
  • Austin’s many art murals
  • Your wedding venue

Unique engagement shoot locations

This is the time to be fun and let you and your partner’s personality shine! Do you two love to surf? Take pictures on the beach. Do you love to hike together? Take pictures hiking through a beautiful forest or on your favorite trail. You can be as creative as you want with these pictures. More ideas for unique photoshoot locations are:

  • A destination photoshoot (like at near ocean or at a Disney Park)
  • Your favorite restaurant, bar or coffee shop
  • The place you first met
  • On a boat
  • In your home
  • The fun interactive exhibits made for photos around Austin

These are just a few examples, but there are so many more. You have the freedom to be as unique as you want! Who doesn’t love a unique picture that you will smile at years from now? Plus, don’t forget your props! Some of our favorite include:

  • Pets
  • Colorful smoke bombs
  • Fireworks or sparklers
  • Champagne or sparkling wine
  • Picnic elements

How to get comfortable in front of the camera

First, you are gorgeous! We know it can be intimidating taking pictures because you want them to be perfect. However, engagement pictures are all about you, your fiancé, and the love you share. Some tips on how to feel comfortable in front of the camera are:

  • Be yourself 
  • Wear something you feel confident it 
  • Get your hair and makeup professionally done
  • Express to your partner that you are nervous and see how they can help 
  • Pick a photographer that will help you find poses you like 
  • Chose a location you feel comfortable in 
  • Practice posing with your partner in a mirror at home 
  • Finally, embrace your beauty and the excitement of your engagement shoot!

Using engagement photos in save the dates

Many couples use their engagement photos in their save the date cards! This is one reason it’s so important to book the photographer early on in the engagement period. Save the date cards are usually sent out about 6-8 months before the wedding, so it’s great to have your gorgeous and romantic engagement pictures in the works as soon as you find a photographer you love. 

If you have already decided on your wedding theme, it can be fun to reflect your wedding theme in your save the date cards. For example, if you have a destination wedding, you could incorporate travel into your save the date. There are limitless possibilities with save the dates, and what matters most is that you and your fiancé’s personalities are represented!

Now that you’re read all the advice we have, we’re handing to the torch over to you! Check our our very favorite local wedding and engagement photographers as you begin to make your selection. Happy planning!