Hey there, new fiance! Congratulations on getting engaged! As excited as you are, wedding planning is stressful, and boy do we know that! With all the different factors that go into your wedding day, where do you start? We’ve put together this guide to help you get started planning your wedding in Austin.
1. Guest list
Your guest list sets the tone for various other wedding details. From the size of the venue, to the number of bartenders needed, and the number of centerpieces you will need. Your guest list directly impact all other details. This is why your guest list should be the first thing you figure out. Even if the list isn’t 100% exact, creating a rough draft will give you a general idea of whether you’re expecting 50 guests, or 250. A good rule of thumb is to assume that the more guests you invite, the more expensive your wedding will be. More guests means more food, more alcohol, more tables and chairs, more centerpieces, and the list goes on. Remember, you can change this going forward! You won’t need a final guest list until you’re ready to send out Save-The-Dates, about a year to 6 months prior to your wedding day. Also keep in mind that not everyone you invite will be able to attend. If you have a list of 200 guests, you can safely assume your final count will be around 175 or less.
Many couples will try to set their budget first. While it is definitely one of the most important factors when wedding planning, however, it’s heavily dependent on the number of guests. When it comes to things like catering, the number of guests you invite will directly affect your budget. If your budget doesn’t work with your guest count, consider increasing the budget or decreasing the number of guests. Nothing is worse than finding the perfect venue, only to realize it’s twice your budget. It’s super important to know whether your budget is strict or if you have a little room to go above. In 2019, the average cost of a wedding in Austin was $25,315. Of course, this number will vary depending on several factors.
Pro tip – a wedding planner can help you find out if your guest count and budget will work with each other, and can advise you on where you might be able to save money if they aren’t!
3. Securing a venue and set your date
Typically, venues will ask what dates you are interested in. If you don’t have a specific date in mind, decide based on what season you’re looking for. In Austin, the summer months are considered the off season due to the heat. If you’re looking to save a bit of money, having a July wedding date may help you do that! Peak seasons like spring and fall or prime days such as Saturdays, will be more expensive. Before you go out and start touring, it can help to narrow down what you’re looking for. There are hundreds of options around Austin, from rustic, to modern and everything in between. Get on Pinterest and start pinning! If you notice you typically like rustic venues, you can probably scratch that super modern, downtown venue you scheduled a tour with. If you really can’t figure out what venue is best, skip to step number 4 and hire your wedding planner!
4. Hire a wedding planner and other big vendors
Hiring your wedding planner should always be one of your earlier steps. Especially in areas like Austin, where the wedding industry is huge, finding vendors that fit your needs can be difficult. Wedding planners will have awesome recommendations on other vendors who may fit your style and budget perfectly. Sometimes, vendors even offer discounts for having a professional planner on your team! Knowing that your day will run smoothly in the hands of someone experienced is a game changer for everyone involved.
Next, vendors that can only be in one place at one time should definitely be hired first. This includes your venue, planner, photographer, and potentially caterers or florists depending on their company size. Vendors like bakers, who often drop off your cake and add a few final touches, can probably make several weddings fit in one day. Your photographer, who will spend all day capturing every moment, clearly cannot do more than one wedding at a time. If you’re planning a 2021 wedding, this step is especially important! Vendors are becoming booked super quickly with all of the reschedules. Find and book yours ASAP to make sure you get the vendors you’re looking for!
Austin is a great area to have your wedding, and is full of amazing vendors!
Let’s get this planning party started! Want Bianca Nichole Events to help plan your wedding in Austin? Click here to send us an inquiry!
Bianca Nichole Events is a wedding planner in Austin, and will travel to San Antonio, Fredericksburg and the surrounding Texas Hill Country area.