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Happy Thanksgiving from the Brides of Austin Team!

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happy thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving from the team at Brides of Austin! As we power through production of the Spring/Summer 2021 issue, we truly have so much to be thankful for! We’ve been working with the most amazing brides to share their weddings in the upcoming issue. We’ve also had the opportunity to collaborate with the most talented wedding pros in ATX to share dozens of inspiring editorials (just you wait and see!). In just a few short weeks, the glossy pages that we’ve poured our hearts into will hit the newsstand, and we can’t wait to share it with you all! Wishing you a wonderful and safe holiday! XO

Austin Wedding Florals Guide | All the Info for Booking Your Blooms

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You’ve got the ring, a venue booked, a photographer picked out, a planner hired, checking big things off the list – it’s time to start thinking about your Austin wedding florals! We’ve got the 411 on booking your blooms: everything you’ll need to know about when to book, where to look, and important things you’ll want to consider when thinking about flowers for your wedding. Let’s get started!

Austin Wedding Florals Guide

Florals: Touch of Whimsy // Photo: Janeane Marie Photography

When to book your florist

In the past, it was more common for florists to work on more than one wedding per day, but today, with florals being a huge part of a wedding’s design and blooms being so integral and time-intensive, many florists only book one wedding per day, which means you don’t want to wait! You’ll need to have a date set and ideally a venue (having your planner booked is also helpful), but 9-10 months out from your date is ideal, especially considering your florist will likely need to order your flowers wholesale and needs ample time to place those orders. If you’re planning on getting married during “busy season” (June-October), you’ll want to book your florist even further in advance (12-15 months). Don’t wait!

Who to book for your wedding florals

This all depends on your vision. Take a look at several local florists’ work and decide which styles you’re drawn to most. Do you like tall, formal arrangements? Loose, organic and freeform bouquets featuring unique blooms? Monochromatic? Colorful? Whimsical? Nailing down your personal style and knowing which florists specialize in that style can help you know who to reach out to. From there, inquire on their website and be prepared to tell them your floral budget. As a rule of thumb, devoting 10% of your overall wedding budget to florals is common, but if you want to go all out with florals, go for it! Or if minimal blooms is more your thing, that’s ok, too – it’s just important to be up front with your florist about your desires.

Communicating your vision to your florist

Speaking of your desires, how do you communicate your vision to your florist? A mood board can help! Before your initial meeting with your florist, use Pinterest or gather photos of elements that FEEL like your ideal wedding. These photos don’t have to be just of blooms! Let fashion (wedding gowns and bridesmaids dresses) inspire you, let color swatches inspire you, let photos of gorgeous venues inspire you. Photos can help communicate your vision well when you don’t necessarily have the words to describe precisely what you’re wanting.

That said, if you don’t have a specific vision for your wedding florals, it’s important to have an open mind and let your florist take the creative reigns! That’s why you’re hiring this person: for their talent, expertise and creativity! Give them a starting point plus the freedom to create something uniquely beautiful and you’ll be amazed.

Remember, certain flowers are only in season during certain times of year, so if you had a certain bloom in mind, it may not work for your wedding date. Let your florist make suggestions for alternatives and trust their expertise!

Hiring a planner-florist versus florist only

It’s common these days for wedding planners to also double as florists and vice versa. Floral design and overall wedding design go hand-in-hand, and many of these vendors have incredible expertise in not only designing and planning the blooms, but the whole bash, too! Because floral design is such a large part of the event design, you’ll want to make sure your planner (who should be one of your very first, if not the first, hires you make) and florist are comfortable working together if you do book two separate vendors for these tasks.

Hint: Many times, companies that specialize in both floral design and wedding planning will have “events”, “event planning” and/or “design” in their company name. That’s often a clue as to who can do both!

Where to spend and where to save on wedding florals

Before hiring a florist for your wedding, you’ll want to ask a few helpful questions. Do they have a minimum spend you’ll need to meet? Do they have a separate delivery charge? What’s the latest you’ll be able to make changes to your order? After these questions have been answered, you and your florist should be able to have a much clearer picture of the total amount you’ll be spending.

At the very minimum, you’ll want to invest in bouquets for you and your bridesmaids, boutonnieres, corsages and perhaps an accent piece for the altar. Beyond that, you’ll be looking at table centerpieces, a large floral install for your altar area, accent pieces for various parts of the venue, blooms for the cake and cake table, floral walls, hanging florals and more! The options are truly endless when it comes to the ways florals can make a visual impact.

If florals are top-priority for your wedding, be prepared to spend upwards of 10% of your overall budget on blooms. Remember that larger installs also require more labor – often a team, not just one person – and will affect the price you pay. If you’re looking to save money when it comes to florals, you’ll need to scale down on size and intricacy. You can also save by using blooms that are in-season and more commonly grown/easy to order.

Curious about using fake flowers to cut down on costs? This is certainly an option, but keep in mind the high quality faux flowers that will make someone look twice to figure out if they’re real, are often more expensive than the real flowers themselves!

Floral trends to watch

Floating florals – coming down from the ceiling, seem to float above your tables in mid-air, hanging floral installs are guaranteed to make jaws drop!

Dried florals – becoming more and more popular, especially for brides with a boho style, dried florals make a unique statement and can be used in tons of different ways.

Immersive installations + photo backdrops – think full-size tunnel walkthroughs, arches and walls, immersive installations allow your guests to experience the flowers, rather than just look at them!

Bold, joyful colors – with everything going on this year, brides are looking to express joyful, exuberant, bold and colorful vibes to share an optimistic vibe for their long-awaited celebrations.

Urns and pots – the classic and traditional urn is getting a makeover, being used with statement florals but in less stuffy ways, and potted plants allow for reusable decor pieces once the day has come and gone.

Sustainable florals – it’s not just a buzzword. Sustainable practices in the wedding industry are becoming standard, and even more so within florals! Foam-free floral design, locally harvested blooms and recycling efforts are just a few ways wedding florists are making sure their practices are more eco-friendly.


Ready to get your blooms on the books? Let us recommend a fabulously talented Austin wedding florist to make your floral dreams come true!

Wedding Hair and Makeup 101: What to Know Before Booking Your Beauty Team

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When your wedding day arrives, you want to not only feel beautiful, but look your very best, too! That’s why it’s important to find a professional wedding hair and makeup team you trust to help make sure you look incredible. Most beauty teams offer both hair AND makeup, while others specialize in one or the other. Regardless of whether you book them separately or together, you’ll want to keep these tips in mind!

Wedding Hair and Makeup 101: What to Know Before Booking Your Beauty Team

Hair + Makeup: flAir Style Lounge // Photo: Julie Wilhite Photography

When to book wedding hair and makeup

If you have your heart set on a certain hairstylist or makeup artist, it’s never too early to reserve your date! Many artists book out a year in advance. Beauty companies with several stylists on their team can often accommodate multiple weddings per date, so depending on who you’re booking, you could book 3-6 months out from your big day. We don’t recommend cutting it too close, though – have someone booked by 3 months out!

What to consider when choosing a bridal hairstyle and makeup look

  • Hair length and texture – certain hairstyles work best on longer hair, fine hair or hair that holds curl extremely well, while others are best for thick or textured hair. Your stylist can help determine if the style you’re considering is realistic for your hair type.
  • Dancing – do you plan to dance the night away and get crazy on the dance floor? You’ll want a hairstyle that can withstand those moves!
  • The weather – are you having an outdoor ceremony with potential for wind or humidity? Keep that in mind when thinking about your bridal look.
  • Your dress – your hair and makeup look should not only compliment your natural beauty, but the style of your gown, as well! Whether you’re going for boho, glam or classic, you’ll want to have a cohesive aesthetic.

Trust your stylist(s) and ask for their advice when it comes to styles, color palettes and more. They’re the experts, and can offer insight you may not have considered!

Consider these details when it comes to wedding hair and makeup

  • What will your number of attendants be and who will be getting which services done? Don’t forget moms, grandmas, junior bridesmaids, house party attendants and flower girls.
  • Will you’ll want your bridesmaids to have half-up/down hairstyles or an updo? Updos often take longer and that time needs to be accounted for. some brides prefer their bridesmaids to have a uniform look when it comes to hair and makeup, others aren’t picky – either way is fine, you’ll just need to decide before it’s time to finalize hair and makeup plans and costs.
  • What time your ceremony will start and what time photos need to start? Your hair and makeup artists will need to know what time they’ll need to be finished by in order to calculate their start time.
  • If you don’t have access to your venue until a certain time and hair and makeup will need to start before then, you’ll need to have another location in mind for getting ready. A hotel is a common, convenient option – consider a home rental, too! They often offer much more space to move around natural window light than hotels, which also makes for beautiful photos!

Who pays for bridesmaids’ hair and makeup?

Generally speaking, bridesmaids are responsible for paying for their own hair and makeup, as long as they have the option to do their own. If you as the bride are requiring your bridesmaids and attendants to have their hair and makeup professionally done, it’s generally expected for you to cover the cost. Again, if you’re giving them the option to do their own hair and makeup OR have it professionally done, it’s acceptable within modern wedding etiquette to expect your attendants to pay for those services. That said, how much should you budget for wedding hair and makeup?

How much should I budget for wedding hair and makeup?

Beauty services will vary from region to region and company to company, but generally speaking, brides can expect to spend anywhere between $200 and $600 total on their wedding hair and makeup. If you’re wanting special services like airbrush makeup, false lashes or an intricate hairstyle, expect for that cost to be higher. Bridesmaids’ and other attendants’ hair and makeup costs are often slightly lower than the bride’s. Remember, you’re paying for your artists’ time, talent and product. And don’t forget you’ll need to tip for a job well done!

Do I really need to do a hair and makeup trial?

If a trial isn’t included within your bridal beauty booking, you’ll absolutely want to invest in both a hair and makeup trial so you can make sure your look is spot-on for the big day. You may discover that the hairstyle you had in mind doesn’t work as well as you thought with your particular hair type – or maybe the makeup color palette you were considering doesn’t look quite like you expected. This is the time to be honest with your stylist(s) – speak up if there’s something you don’t like! The trial is the perfect time to make adjustments or to go in another direction if you don’t feel comfortable with the look.

Pro tip: many brides have their stylists coordinate with their photographer so their hair and makeup trial can take place on the same day as their bridal session!


Ready to get wedding hair and makeup on the books? Peruse our recommendations for ATX beauty teams ready to rock your big day!

Magnolias and Baby’s Breath Set This Chic Southern Wedding Apart

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Everyone loves a chic southern wedding, but with magnolias and modern touches, Pearl Events Austin helped set Emily and David’s celebration apart from the rest! Premiere Events brought the southern glam with linens, cocktail tables and classic chairs to create a timeless atmosphere, while Bouquets of Austin transformed Mattie’s venue into an incredible, floral-filled scene with everything from giant baby’s breath lining the aisle, to anemones for a classic black and white touch, to magnolia garlands adorning the roofline of the tents and reception space. All the bright, neutral floral elements worked seamlessly to add depth and texture, all while keeping the vibe inviting. Captured with classic imagery by Sophie Epton and PhotoHouse Films, this Austin chic southern wedding full of modern touches is truly one-of-a-kind!

Photos // Sophie Epton Photography

Video // PhotoHouse Films

From the planner, Megan Bronner of Pearl Events Austin: “Emily and David had the perfect fall wedding that was chic and timeless with modern touches. We wanted to create a space that was just like their home, with more traditional lounges and modern elements to merge their styles. At the ceremony, Emily arrived in a vintage car with her dad, and the only thing that might have stolen the show more than how beautiful she was, was their adorable pup Perla! The baby’s breath aisle was such a beautiful accent to the already beautiful Mattie’s space.”

From the florist, Stephanie with Bouquets of Austin: “Emily had a very specific vision that we were delighted to execute – she loved baby’s breath – so we decided to create an exquisite ceremony featuring an abundance of it in the aisle, the deconstructed arbor and the wreaths on the door! We were so excited when she chose the black and white color scheme; the anemone’s became the featured bloom for her bouquet and allowed us to showcase a variety of other white blooms throughout the reception design while adding in strategic placements of black in the vessels for the centerpieces, the black taper candles and the black columns and urns all featuring white flowers. Although black and white, she wanted it to have a little personality along the way!”

Wedding Invitations 101: Everything You Need to Know to Get Started

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Is there anything as beautiful as well-designed wedding invitations? It’s a perfect little preview of your special day that can whet the appetite of your guests and let them know what they can expect on the big day.

You’re planning the wedding of your dreams — now it’s time to talk about the wedding invitations. (Because you’re going to want someone there to witness this romantic celebration.) Nothing can trip engaged couples up quicker than invitation etiquette. When do we send save the dates? Do we list our registry? Should we use a calligrapher to address the envelopes? From timelines and etiquette to finding the perfect wedding stationers and calligraphers, we’ve got answers to all your wedding invitation questions right here!

wedding invitations 101

Photo // Design to Flourish, Feather and TwineAndria Leigh Events,

WEDDING INVITATIONS 101

Wedding invitations have come a long way. In the 1400s they were typically sent out by the town crier, and that meant everyone was invited. However, the nobility could afford invitations hand-crafted by monks skilled in the art of calligraphy. A few hundred years (and major technological inventions) later and every couple can send wedding invitations out like royalty. (You get hand-lettering and you get hand-lettering!) And thanks to the post office you can keep your guest list as limited as you want.

Let’s cover some basic terminology to keep you in-the-know as you start your wedding invitation journey.

Stationer: A person or store selling paper, pens, and other writing materials. This is a common term when referring to where to find your wedding stationery.

Wedding Invitation Designer: A graphic designer that will create a custom or semi-custom invitation set for your wedding.

Calligrapher: A person who uses special tools and ink to create ornamental writing in a range of fonts and styles. They can tackle any wedding project from addressing envelopes to custom signage.

Semi-Custom: This term refers to a design that has already been created and you have the option to add small custom touches such as color, personalization, and printing style.

Custom: This term refers to a fully-customized wedding invitation set including original design and print style.

Bespoke: This is similar to custom, with a focus on heirloom qualities.

Wedding Invitation Suite: This includes your save the dates, wedding invitations, detail card, RSVP, and can often include programs and more depending on where you purchase this.

WEDDING INVITATION COMPONENTS AND TIMELINE

Save the Date

This is card includes the couple’s name, the wedding location, and the wedding date with the statement, “Formal invitation to follow.”  In some cases, couples include their wedding website information, so guests can gather more details about accommodations, venue, and registry.

When to Order: 1-3 months ahead of sending them.

When to Send: (Destination) 8-12 months (Local) 4-10 months before the wedding date.

Average Cost: $150-$1,200+

Wedding Invitation

Today, etiquette is much more flexible on what content to include in an invitation. Traditionally you will include who is hosting, the couple’s name, the wedding date, time, venue name, location, dress code, and if reception is to follow.

When to Order: An average of 6 months ahead of sending them.

When to Send: (Destination) 3 months (Local) 6-8 weeks before the wedding date.

Average Cost: $400 -$2,500+

Note: This average cost range includes suites with and without the other elements listed below.

 

Response Card or RSVP

This can be a traditional card or postcard and is used to have the guests indicate their response to your invitation as well as marking any preferences for food and anything else you’ve asked them. Remember, it’s proper etiquette to pre-stamp these response cards for your guests.

When to Order: An average of 6 months ahead of sending them.

When to Send: This is sent with the invitation.

Deadline for Return: 2-3 weeks before the wedding date. Remember, you need this total to tell the final count to finalize the seating chart and give a headcount to the caterer. It’s perfectly okay to contact guests who haven’t RSVP’d by the deadline.

 

Enclosure or Details Card

This is where all the other information can be placed and is entirely up to the specifics of your event. For example, if you didn’t have save-the-dates, this is where you can put your wedding website information. It’s always worth noting here that it is never proper etiquette to list your registry on your wedding invitation suite. You can, however, add it to your wedding website. You can also put dress code information here if it didn’t fit on the invitation.

When to Order: An average of 6 months ahead of sending them.

When to Send: This is sent with the invitation.

 

Map and/or Direction Information Card

Depending on the type of venue or style of wedding, maps and directions are often best included as their own piece of the wedding invitation suite. Many couples opt for custom maps to add fun details about their hometown or destination wedding with tips on places to visit.

When to Order: An average of 6 months ahead of sending them.

When to send: This is sent with the invitation.

 

It is considered mandatory to include the invitation, directions, response card, and envelope as well as mailing envelope and postage.

Optional elements include reception cards, accommodations cards, or weekend schedule cards.

invitation etiquette

QUESTIONS ABOUT GETTING STARTED ON YOUR WEDDING INVITATION

When should I order my wedding invitations?

The answer varies depending on your specific event, but a good rule of thumb is 6 months ahead of your wedding date. A good window of time is 4-9 months, but try to stay within that window. Here’s why. This allows time to get on the vendor’s project list, it allows for any delays or mixups as well as allowing time to add the embellishments and calligraphy for addressing the envelopes. Essentially, most couples have more than one vendor touching their wedding invitations, so you want to give as much time as possible to give each vendor ample time to work on them and still get them mailed in time to your guests.

Try to order your wedding paper with the same company so you can get the benefit in pricing as well as project priority.

 

How do I choose my wedding invitation design?

It’s important to know your wedding style ahead of time. Will it be formal or casual? Will it be modern or boho? Next, you want to know your colors. This is where it is helpful to have your wedding planner selected first because they will help you create your color scheme and mood boards to use as a guide throughout the selection process. If you will be working with a local vendor on custom or semi-custom invitations, they will also be able to help you make this selection. A wedding invitation should be a preview of what guests can expect at your wedding celebration. That’s the best guide to keep in mind as you select your wedding invitations.

 

How do I choose a calligrapher for my wedding invitation envelopes?

First, you’ve made a great choice going with a calligrapher! Hand-lettered envelopes just add such a beautiful, personal touch and make such a beautiful keepsake. Second, we recommend going local to save time and make it all the more convenient for getting them the invitations to address. You can find local calligraphers on our vendor page here. Check out their Instagram and Facebook pages to see previous work and learn more about them. If you find a calligrapher you like, but want to see if they can do a unique style that you have in mind, create a little Pinterest board with samples that you can share with them.

 

PRO-TIPS FOR ORDERING YOUR WEDDING INVITATIONS

  • Have a pro address your envelopes. It’s more personal.
  • Reduce your invitation count, by checking your list. Couples only need one invitation, families get one invitation, however, children who no longer live at home should get their own invitation.
  • Be sure to add a stamp to any items you want to be returned such as the reply cards. (Double-check that you have the correct postage because it can change. It’s also good to check so that you don’t overpay. While you’re sending out a large envelope, the reply card is smaller and doesn’t need as much.)
  • Always order extra invitations. A good rule of thumb between 15-25 just in case you need to resend an invitation, something goes wrong while addressing them, you forget someone, or just for a keepsake.

You’re ready to find the wedding invitations of your dreams! Head to our local vendors’ page for wedding invitations and calligraphy to find the best of the best to make your dream wedding a reality.