As the buzz of your epic proposal begins to wane, and you’ve already starting tagging pics with your unique couple’s hashtag, it’s time to get down to the business at hand: Planning your wedding in Austin. But don’t panic. We got you – with the next steps to start with as you begin planning.
Photography by Tiffany Hofeldt Photography
Savor the Moment
First step? Enjoy! Alexandria Patterson, top Austin wedding planner and owner of Prosecco Weddings and Events tells couples, “Enjoy your engagement and creating your wedding vision! Savor all the new “firsts” you’ll get to experience together as your start your new future together.” The road to the wedding day can at times be long. But remember, it is also full of special moments for you as a couple.
Start your Pinterest Board
Most likely, you started saving pins for months prior to your engagement, imagining what style of wedding represents you both as a couple. Gathering those images on a central public board will truly help the planning process as you begin to work with wedding vendors. Images talk and will save you a lot of time describing what you’re envisioning to area florists, wedding consults, bakeries and more.
If you’re new to Pinterest, now is the time to start. Don’t be intimidated by the sheer volume of images, the platform is easy to get the hang of and worth spending time browsing to get ready for your first vendor hire – the wedding consultant.
Hire a Wedding Consultant
Our recommendation first and foremost is to begin by hiring a wedding planner. Many couples make the mistake of thinking that a wedding consultant is a waste of crucial budget funds. But a good planner is worth their weight in gold. Not only will they save you time, that you likely don’t have to spare, but they will also save you money. With the relationships they have with vendors, and a general knowledge of all areas of wedding creation, they’ll know where to cut and where to invest so your ultimate vision comes together within your budget.
If hiring a wedding consultant up front isn’t in your plans, a “day of” coordinator should be. When you hire a “day of” wedding coordinator, you truly get more than one day. They’ll meet with you in advance to ensure they understand your overall plan, make recommendations for your timeline, and gather the list of vendors and their arrival times.
Photography by Brio Photography
Create a Budget
This may seem like a no brainer, but too many newly engaged couples are hesitant to really begin putting pen to paper and scratching out a preliminary budget. And that makes sense. You don’t know what wedding vendors charge, or how much to allocate in your budget to each area.
Our tip is to start with a general overall round number. You can plug that number into a wedding budget calculator to get an idea on average spending per category to get started. Still, it’s ultimately up to you as a couple to decide what is most important on your wedding day. Separately make a list of priorities and then share the list with your partner to see where you both need to negotiate. Maybe you’re foodies and it’s all about the catering. Perhaps it’s the perfect decor to get that ultimate “look” you envision. Whatever you “must haves” are, keep them top of mind while you begin hiring vendors. As Alexandria advises, “While it’s important to set a budget, it’s even more important to understand it. Know where you want your money to go and what vendors are the most important to your vision.”
Photography by Limelight Photography
Attend an Open House
Attending an Open House at one of the local wedding venues in the Austin area is not only fun, it’s an easy way to capture ideas and meet multiple wedding vendors in one location. During an Open House the host venue pulls out all the stops to create a beautiful and inspirational setting. You’ll get a much better idea of how the venue will look for a wedding as opposed to visiting the venue on an off day without decor.
The venue will also invite partner wedding vendors to participate in the Open House. Whether they are intimately involved in the creation of the day’s festivities, such as a caterer or DJ, or have a table displaying their company and what they offer, you’ll be able to meet and talk with a variety of vendors. Bonus tip? The wedding vendors that participate in a venue’s Open House most likely work at that location often. Photographers will know the best spots to shoot, the florist will know exactly the venue’s policies on where they can hang floral installations. This ease of familiarity will trickle down to you – making your planning easier and simpler.