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Austin Outdoor Wedding Venues Too Good to Be True

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There’s nothing like starting your happily ever after surrounded by soaring ancient oaks, twinkling fairy lights or next to a one-of-a-kind view. Outdoor weddings give you the opportunity to find that picture-perfect backdrop you and your guests will never forget! Whether you want a rustic, backyard celebration or an elegant garden party, these Austin outdoor wedding venues have everything you could need and more!

Hoffman-Haus

Hoffman Haus – This Hill Country location in Fredericksburg, Texas, was founded by Germans during the 1840s. The venue is now a homey bed and breakfast and rustic wedding venue infused with history. While its tobacco barn is a charming indoor space, all of the towering trees and hanging twinkle lights make for a gorgeous outdoor ceremony and/or reception. It’s a beautiful southern escape that you and your guests won’t want to leave!

Photo // Benjamin Garrett Photography

Milestone-Boern

Milestone Boerne – The Milestone Boerne embodies all the natural beauty of the Texas Hill Country. The venue sits in an upper valley just 30 minutes from San Antonio encompassed by breathtaking scenery and the opportunity of spotting some wildlife. A stone aisle leads to a rustic pavilion to cover you and your wedding party as well as a built-in altar you can put your own twist on! Its indoor reception space is just as lovely with charming hardwood oak floors and wooden beams. It’ll be the serene hideaway that grants all you outdoor wedding wishes!

Pecan Springs Ranch – Just a short drive west of downtown Austin, Pecan Springs Ranch offers a beautifully landscaped Hill Country venue with natural springs, infinite pecan trees and lovely shaded areas to have your wedding ceremony and reception. With unique buildings around the property and the famous miniature donkey residents, this stylish venue offers a memorable place to host your big day!

Photo //  Sarah Goss Photography & Al Gawlik Photography

Austin Outdoor Wedding Venues Too Good to Be True

Thurmans Mansion – The Thurmans Mansion is a historic, rustic, limestone beauty strung with fairy lights year-round. Sitting deep in the Texas Hill Country, this grand two-story mansion has upper and lower patios with stunning views of sunsets and the Salt Lick Vineyards. Oh, and if you’re a BBQ fan, Salt Lick has a world-famous barbecue you can’t resist. It’ll be the most elegant backyard-style, outdoor wedding every Texan will appreciate.

Photo // CCPhotoFactory

The-Grove

The Grove – The Grove is one of Austin’s award-winning outdoor wedding venues. This venue has 10,000 square feet of event space in the middle of historic downtown Round Rock. Whether you’re on the terrace surrounded by century-old oaks or down by the banks of Brushy Creek, you’ll have a beautiful backdrop for your wedding! You’ll feel nothing but peace and serenity in this natural oasis.

Kendall-Point

Kendall Point – This outdoor venue feels like you’ve been dropped in a fairytale. The interior of this exquisite Antebellum-inspired plantation home is immaculate with a grand staircase, neutral tones and elegant detailing. However, the exterior is just as mesmerizing. Descend the back steps, walk down an aisle of luscious green grass, and say “I do!” next to the water under its Antebellum altar. This venue is truly picturesque in every direction.

Lone-Star

Lone Star Oaks – Lone Star Oaks truly thought of every detail on how to make your outdoor wedding magical. Follow the wooden path straight out of the bridal suite to a pair of antique, multicolored stained glass doors. As those doors open, you’ll make your grand entrance, continue down your wooden aisle, and say your vows under a canopy of 300-year-old oak trees. Other outdoor amenities include space for a cocktail hour, games and a covered pavilion all lit by party lights strung across the property and wrapped around the trees. Like we said, magical!

 

The Hills of Lakeway

Hills of Lakeway – Looking for more of a country club vibe? The Hills of Lakeway is your spot. Get married on the clean-cut green lawn wedding site or overlooking the Flintrock Falls golf course and rushing waterfalls. Choose between two ballrooms: the elegant Hills Waterfall Ballroom or the rustic Ballroom at Flintrock Falls. Top your night off by enjoying the dazzling sunset and outdoor fireplace. Whether your wedding is intimate or grand, the Hills of Lakeway can accommodate the wedding of your dreams!

Photo // April Mae Creative

 

New-Braunfels

Milestone New Braunfels – This venue is where you’ll find that modern farmhouse style! This site features a strikingly rustic pavilion and altar seen at their Boerne location. New Braunfels, however, is a more intimate setting with beautiful trees accompanying the ceremony space. If you peek through those trees, you’ll gain access to spectacular views as it sits close to Canyon Lake. While the space might feel intimate, the venue accommodates up to 320 guests! The stone and pine wood accents carry into the reception halls where you can dance the night away with all your favorite people!


Want to make sure your wedding is up-to-date with all of the latest trends? Find out exactly what Austin’s 2020 wedding trends are here!

Get your Awkward Wedding Questions Answered

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Now that you’re engaged, you probably have a million questions buzzing around your head! There are the fun, creative questions that have you daydreaming during your job, but there are also those sticky questions that you dread having to deal with. As the bride, it is best to be prepared with potential responses to those awkward wedding questions that come your way! We’ve supplied you with one of the best resources to help you tackle any questions that could catch you off guard – Austin planner extraordinaire, Andria Volpicelli from Andria Leigh Events. Keep scrolling for A+ answers to those uncomfortable questions.

Get your Awkward Wedding Questions Answered

Photo // Kayla Snell

What do I do if I’m having trouble hearing back from my vendors?

Make sure expectations are clear from the initial conversations with your vendors, and that you share your preferred method of communication – whether it be email, scheduled phone calls, etc. That being said, it is important to understand that your vendors will respond at different times throughout the workweek, and that’s completely normal! Since most wedding vendors work on the weekends, you may not receive an immediate response after hitting send on your Saturday night email. If it continues to be a problem, and you are going weeks without a response, I would address the issue directly with that vendor and establish a better communication system moving forward.

How do I politely request children not to attend? Is that okay?

This is absolutely okay! There are many reasons couples choose to have an adults-only wedding, but it’s important to have it clearly stated in your invitations. You can politely request no children by indicating “Adults Only” or something more playful like “Leave The Littles At Home.” On your envelope addressing, make sure to clearly write out the guest names who are invited, rather than addressing a family’s last name (i.e. “Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Spear” vs “The Spears”).

How do I handle that awkward “Can I bring a date?” question?

This can be a tough one, but it’s important to stick with your gut feeling in making sure you have the wedding vibe and guest size YOU want! I recommend politely responding with, “We would love for you to bring a guest, but unfortunately we’re at capacity with our venue’s seating right now.” If you’re having a smaller wedding, you can respond with “We’re having a very intimate wedding with just our closest friends and family. We hope that you can be present for our special day!”

Tips for selecting friends to be in the bridal party?

First, it’s important to determine the size bridal party you’re envisioning whether it be your one sibling standing by your side or ten of your closest friends. Next, I would reflect on the special people in your life who have been with you and supported you through your childhood, school years, and/or into adulthood. Friendships may come and go, and now that you’re engaged, your bridal party may look a lot different than it would have been three years ago. And that’s okay! Recognize the healthy, uplifting and loving friendships that are most current in your life, and who you want to stand by your side on arguably the most important day of your life.

What should the bridal party expect to pay for?

At a minimum, the bridal party should expect to pay for their share in the bachelorette party (airfare, accommodations, food/drinks, activities) and the bridesmaid outfit and accessories they will be required to wear on the wedding day. Other expenses that may be required by the bride include hair and makeup, manicure/pedicure, and a spray tan. It’s no secret that being a bridesmaid can be a financial burden and a lot of work. Let your bridesmaids know that you are not expecting a gift from them at your engagement party/wedding and that their participation and presence on your wedding day is a gift enough!

 


Thank you so much to Andria for sharing this all-too-helpful information with us! To connect with Andrie Leigh Events about your upcoming nuptials, reach out via her Brides of Austin vendor profile. Happy planning!

8 Major Wedding Mistakes Brides Make – And How to Avoid Them

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Ahh, wedding planning. On one hand, such a blissful time. On the other – completely stressful. It can be so easy to lose sight of things as you’re checking off a million to-do lists and keeping dozens of obligations straight. But as you’re in the thick of these, remember not to let these common wedding mistakes derail your bridal bliss. From the planning process to the actual day of, keep these pitfalls in mind and know what to do to avoid these extra stresses.

bridesmaids in mint green dresses - 8 wedding mistakes and how to avoid them

Photo // Mint Photography

1. Not setting and sticking to a budget

Probably the top mistake we see brides dealing with has to do with the numbers. Budget is a sensitive subject and if it’s not discussed candidly from the beginning, problems are sure to arise. Sit down with your fiancé and/or family members who may be helping to pay for things early on in the wedding planning process and decide on figures that are comfortable for everyone – an overall number is important, but be sure to set budgets for sub-categories, as well. As you meet with vendors, be up front about your budget and don’t look at options you know will cause you to exceed your agreed-upon budget. There’s never any sense in spending more on wedding expenses than you can realistically afford.

2. Letting other people’s opinions carry too much weight

Aunt Mary would prefer you pick a summer date rather than a fall date? Your future sister-in-law thinks you should go for a blush color scheme, rather than the green and gold you’ve picked out? Your cousin doesn’t care for your wedding dress? Uncle Bob wishes you would’ve done a steak dinner instead of hors d’oeuvres? Let it all go, sister. You will never, ever be able to please every single person who chooses to share their opinion about your wedding, and truthfully, the only opinions that matter are yours and your partner’s. Be confident in your decisions and don’t be afraid to respectfully and succinctly stand up for yourself and your choices. This is your day, and you don’t owe anyone an explanation for how you choose to celebrate.

3. Going overboard on trendy elements

With a plethora of inspiration at your fingertips, from Pinterest to Instagram to wedding websites like this one, you’re sure to see a wide variety of beautiful trends worth emulating within your own celebration. However – there’s a fine line between tastefully trendy and way too many trends. If you truly love a trendy detail, go for it! But anticipate looking back on your wedding photos many years from now: you don’t want your first thought to be “Wow! That’s all so 2019.” Utilize trends carefully, as accentual elements among a timeless backdrop, and you can enjoy the best of both worlds. An experienced wedding planner can help you put all the pieces together and figure out the best way to incorporate all the elements that feel most like you.

4. Letting life revolve around wedding planning

An an engaged gal, planning your wedding will undoubtedly take up a large portion of your life. But it should never become your whole life! Be cognizant of how you’re spending your time throughout the wedding planning process and make sure to set aside time for self care, friendships, relaxation and of course, your partner. Don’t forget to keep dating your sweetheart throughout this season! Need more advice on balancing wedding planning with real life, all while keeping your soon-to-be spouse on board and excited for all the plans to be made? Check out this post.

5. Not having a backup plan

This is a huge one, and in the midst of COVID-19, we’ve unfortunately seen this play out in some very disheartening ways. Obviously, not a single one of us ever anticipated a global pandemic to up-end the wedding industry and hundreds of thousands of brides’ plans along with it, but if there’s one thing this situation has taught us, it’s that things don’t always go as planned. No matter when you plan to wed, be prepared to go with the flow, adapt and accept that things may not look exactly as you’d envisioned. Especially when it comes to weather – if your plan A includes an outdoor ceremony, always, always, always have a Plan B thoroughly thought out in the event of an unforeseen storm.

6. Setting unrealistic expectations for vendors

Finding the right vendors is an integral part of making your wedding day visions come to life, and it’s our hope that you’ll get to work with a team of pros who feel more like friends! However, it’s important to remember that at the end of the day, wedding vendors are human, too, and they also have multiple clients and multiple costs that go into the services they’re providing. It’s perfectly fair to expect open communication, a professional job well done and to get what you’re paying for, but it’s also fair to treat vendors with respect and understanding. Mistakes and miscommunications sometimes happen and a little kindness can go a long way.

7. Trying to do it all

One of the easiest wedding mistakes to make? Taking on too much. Even if you’re the most Type A bride in the world, there are certain things best left to professionals and certain things that will still get taken care of if you delegate them to a trusted family member, friend or fiancé. Split the work, trust your vendor team and don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it!

8. Being too stressed to enjoy the actual wedding day

All of the effort that goes into planning culminates in one final day: your dream day! And trust us: you’ll want to be fully present so you can enjoy it. If a wedding planner or a day-of coordinator is not a priority in your budget, we strongly recommend asking a trusted, detail-oriented family member or friend who’s not in your wedding party to help oversee logistics on the day of. Make sure you’ve given detailed instructions to all privy parties to help navigate the wedding weekend (like an itinerary for your bridal party and family members with addresses, phone numbers and pertinent times on the schedule to be aware of). Either way, once your wedding day is here, it’s not worth stressing about things you can’t control or change. Let things unfold naturally, sit back, enjoy yourself and take it all in! You only get to live through this day once, and it goes SO fast.


Bottom line? Don’t sweat the small stuff. Nobody’s wedding planning process, much less wedding day, goes 100% as planned. Be flexible, ask for help, focus on the big picture and always, always remember that your marriage is 1000 times more important than any detail of your wedding day. It’s just the beginning of your story! Remember, Brides of Austin is always here to assist and to provide helpful resources. We’re cheering for you the whole way!

Juneteenth | Reflecting on a History of Black Weddings

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We’re reflecting on this Juneteenth with a look back on decades of beautiful Black marriages because now and always #blacklovematters. Today, we celebrate love and the significance of this holiday (June 19, 1865, also known as Freedom Day), commemorating General Gordon Granger’s reading of federal orders in the city of Galveston, Texas, proclaiming all enslaved were to be free in the state of Texas – almost two and half years after the Emancipation Proclamation had formally freed slaves. It’s an era of time that may seem far from today yet we are only generations removed from it.

We acknowledge how far we’ve come as we reflect on a time when Black marriage wasn’t recognized or legal, yet are reminded how much work we have left to do to take action against inequities Black Americans still face. We lift up and stand in solidarity with the Black community, and we promise to use our voice to influence social change as we work toward ensuring a better and far more just tomorrow.

Read more about our promise to our community. Also, many thanks to @cocktailterrica, @theflowerguybron, @cecedesignsllc and @typebirdcreative for crafting a creed we fully adopt and spearheading #unitythroughcommunity to rid the wedding industry of racism, prejudice and bias.

“Still, despite the reign of terror that slavery spawned and no matter how much it altered and disfigured black marriages, it did not and could not annihilate them—or the love that sustained them. African Americans proved relentlessly creative and resourceful in building marriages and kinship ties that functioned for their survival. We should never lose sight of the depth of feelings and affection that undergirded these relationships and the sacrifices they were willing to make for the sake of preserving them.”
For an in-depth look and understanding of the history of enslaved marriages, read this article from The History Channel.

Check Out These Virtual Date Night Ideas

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Social distancing gets 10 times harder when you have to do it with your significant other. However, just because you can’t physically go on dates doesn’t mean dates are completely out of the question. Spice up your video chatting with a virtual date night! There are plenty of fun and creative virtual date ideas that make the distance not so terrible. Whether you’re social distancing or in a long-distance relationship, these virtual date night ideas will make you feel like they’re right there with you!

Virtual Date Night

Board Game Night

I don’t know what it is about board games, but they just never get old. If your significant other tends to be on the competitive side, this option is guaranteed entertainment. First thing’s first, pick a video chat service to use! There are tons to choose including Facetime, Skype, Zoom and Google Hangout. Using a computer is best because you’ll need to be able to share your screen, and this function isn’t available on phones. Then, pick a board game, set up your computer, and play away! You will move all the pieces, spin the spinner and draw any cards for both you and your boo. BONUS: if you cheat, they can’t stop you!

Dinner Date

While going out to eat with your love is always special, virtual dinner dates can be just as romantic and maybe even more fun. There’s also a number of ways to go about this. If you’re going for the elegant night out vibe, get all dressed up and order food from a nice restaurant you both like. Create the fancy restaurant ambiance by lighting some candles, putting your food on nice plates, and using actual silverware instead of the plastic utensils they put in the bag. If casual is more your thing, order take out or cook together! Make things more interesting by choosing where each other has to order from or the meal they have to make!

Cocktail Night

It’s time to find out who has a secret bartender talent. Find one or two fancy cocktail recipes online and see who can recreate it the best! If your tastes in alcoholic beverages differ, each of you can find recipes you’d actually enjoy and keep the same concept of making it look like the picture. Either way, whoever’s looks closest to the picture wins! If you don’t drink, make a mocktail!

Movie Night

Movie nights are a classic. They’re such a classic that Netflix created Netflix Party so that you can have them virtually! It allows you to play, pause, fast-forward or rewind a movie in sync with others watching, so it’s like you’re watching the same screen. However, you must have a Netflix account to use it. One thing to note is that it doesn’t include video chat, only messaging, but you can always do that on another device while the movie plays! If you don’t have a Netflix account or Netflix doesn’t have the movie you want, try Zoom! Zoom allows you to share your screen that’s playing the movie with the other person AND you can see each other. Keep in mind free Zoom meetings max out at 40 minutes, but you can just end the meeting, start a new one, and resume the movie. Pop some popcorn and you’re ready to go!

Dance Party

If you’re looking for a more exciting, non-traditional date night idea, a dance party is the answer to your prayers. Log onto whichever video chat service you prefer, determine which one of you will be the DJ or DJ for now, and dance, dance, dance. Make it interesting by doing dance challenges! Learn a dance, come up with a dance, or play add on! This can be done one of two ways.

  1. You do a dance move, your partner repeats it, adds to it, and sends it back for you to start at the beginning and then add on to their move. Keep adding on dance moves and starting at the beginning until one of you forgets a dance move!
  2. You do two dance moves. Your last move becomes your partner’s first move and they come up with their own second move. That second move then becomes your first move, you choose a second move, and so on. The first to mess up loses!

Painting Night

Get artsy and have a paint date! All you need to buy is some cheap canvases, paint and paintbrushes at your local Target or craft store. Find a painting online for both of you to recreate or assign each other a painting! It can be as easy or as difficult as you and your hubby desire!

Baking Night

Craving sweets? Have a bake-off! Once again, find something to recreate and see who bakes it best. This will have to be based off sight instead of taste. I guess you can choose whether or not to be truthful about how tasty yours actually is! Everyone loves a pretty cake, cupcake or cookie, but don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone! Try baking a cobbler, cinnamon rolls, fritters or soufflés! To get the full effect, try to make as much as you can from scratch!


Having a virtual bachelorette party? We have some ideas on how to undoubtedly make it one to remember here!