Named the “Live Music Capital of the World,” Austin has tons of music venues, boutiques, art galleries, restaurants, bars, food trucks... you get the idea. You’ll never be at a loss for extraordinary things to see, hear, eat, and do.
With plenty of sunshine and an average temperature of 68 degrees, it’s easy to take it outside in Austin. This city is on top of its fitness game, offering heart-pumping activity in all forms from stand-up paddleboarding to water-biking to plain old jogging.
Just outside the city, Texas’s Hill Country beckons with 14,000 miles of rolling, rugged beauty. Vineyards, ranches, and oh-so-charming historic towns are easily accessible to Austin visitors, aligning the best of both city and country.
The city boasts over 45 daily nonstop flights to its international airport (located just seven minutes outside the city), plus it will lay claim to 36,000 hotel rooms citywide by 2017. Finding great travel and accommodation plans for your Austin guests should be stress free.
Austin’s mantra is proof that this city embraces creativity and outside-the-box thinking. If you’re looking to have a truly unique wedding, this is a place where your imagination can run wild.
When you daydream of saying “I do,” do the sounds of romantic violins swell in the background? Or do you imagine the sweet twang of bluegrass harmonies? Let your personalities be heard with your choice of Austin ceremony musicians. Since music is the heart and soul of this town, your options are vast. Along with the guidance of your trusted local officiant, you are sure to have the Austin wedding ceremony of your dreams.
Austin weddings embody such a range of styles — from rustic chic to traditionally romantic to laid-back eclectic — that brides of all tastes can find a wedding venue to match their ideal mood and vision. Whether you party down inside a barn or an antebellum mansion, local caterers, florists, and bands and DJs will provide the key ingredients for your party recipe. If your budget allows, be sure to “keep it weird” in true Austin style by adding quirky elements like a photo booth or a specialty Texan cocktail bar.
Your Austin rehearsal dinner is a great opportunity to show guests another facet of this gem of a city. Getting married in Hill Country? Then choose a funky, intimate restaurant to show off Austin’s urban vibe. Or tap into some of the beautiful scenery outside the city limits with an evening overlooking Lake Travis. Don’t be afraid to get creative with the menu either — the rehearsal dinner could be the perfect time to serve up classic Austin favorites like Tex-Mex queso, slow-smoked BBQ, or big pitchers of top-shelf margaritas.
Brunch: that magical mid-morning invention to cure whatever ails you. Hosting a post-wedding brunch allows guests to spend a few more daylight hours together — and to recover from the legit party that was your wedding prior to their journey home. They’ll appreciate the gracious gesture, especially if you throw in a few final truly-Austin touches: think live music (gospel choir, anyone?), iconic Austin dishes like migas or country-fried steak, or traditional Mexican agua frescas for maximal rehydration.
While you could go the traditional route and dole out candy or cupcakes, there are plenty of more interesting ideas for locally found Austin wedding favors. Inspire wannabe grillmasters with mini bottles of Stubb’s Bar-B-Q sauce so their taste for true Texas barbecue will live on. Or pay homage to the state tree, the pecan, with take-home bottles of healthy pecan oil. Added bonus: either of these favor ideas could double as creative escort card displays — simply arrange the bottles in pretty rows and tie on cards printed with guests’ names and seating assignments. Score!
Share your Austin pride by gifting guests a curated selection of regional treats. The hardest part will be selecting only a few, since Austin artisans excel at crafting everything from beer to salsa. Thirsty guests will appreciate bottles of SweetLeaf Tea to help combat warm temps and bars of Great Bean Chocolate won’t last long once folks realize this confection is both delicious and good for you. Since Austin is home to the flagship Whole Foods Market, encourage a sampling spree by including a small gift certficate to the store. Finally, snack favorite Austinuts even sells packages of roasted nuts in Texas-shaped containers — now that’s spirit for you! Check out our complete guide to packaging the perfect Austin wedding welcome bag.
It’s pretty darn easy to tempt friends and family to attend a wedding in Austin, as there are attractions galore for literally every type. Consider putting together a list of brief itineraries organized by activity from which guests can pick and choose: a shopping trip down hip South Congress Street; a musical tour through time beginning with one of Austin’s oldest venues, legit honky-tonk The Broken Spoke and ending with one of the trendy clubs in the Warehouse District; or an afternoon of outdoor fun riding bikes on the Lady Bird Lake Hike and Bike Trail with a dip in adjacent Barton Springs Pool to cool off. Online resources such as Austin360 and do512 are great starting points for planning a dynamite visitors’ weekend.
Austinites are food-obsessed, which is a very lucky thing for you and your wedding guests! Folks here take their culinary traditions very seriously, even specifying the correct way to order iconic dishes like the cheesy Bob Armstrong Dip at Matt’s El Rancho. To add more to your plate, the volume of Austin eateries has literally busted through the walls: food trucks have become so widespread, there are dedicated trailer parks around the city to house these mobile dining destinations. Find guides to navigate the sea of Tex Mex, barbecue, Southern, Asian, Latin, and American options on TripAdvisor and on the dedicated website for Austin Food Bloggers.
Much like the rest of this diverse city, Austin’s hotels are full of personality and offer a little bit of everything. Keep it hip with a funky boutique hotel in South Congress or East Austin, or pamper your guests with a retreat-style spa resort in Hill Country. You’ll have no trouble finding the ideal wedding accommodations to complement the weekend ambience you’re hoping to create.
It seems like romance is simply built into the landscape of Austin: shimmering lakes, unique architecture, rolling grasslands dotted with canyons and rock formations... How could the beauty and culture of this area not inspire love? Document the (literal) heat between you and your sweetheart by scheduling an engagement shoot with your wedding photographer that celebrates both your relationship with each other and with the surrounding area. From your favorite city oasis to a boot-wearing stroll through a horse farm, take your pick of Austin engagement shoot locations.
Dancing, dining, drinking… this winning combo has produced many a successful ladies’ night out, and if you plan to employ this formula for your Austin bachelorette party, you won’t be disappointed with the city’s impressive club, bar, and restaurant offerings. Yet there are plenty of less obvious picks for those brides-to-be who seek a new spin on the standard party weekend: take a day trip to one of the nearby historic towns like Fredericksburg, where wine tasting and boutique shopping mix seamlessly amid the heritage of original German settlers; or get artsy and scour for vintage finds on South Congress Avenue, then watch an indie flick while drinking pitchers of beer or adult milkshakes at Austin original Alamo Drafthouse.
Lucky for you gents, the Lone Star State is a veritable playground for dude-happy pursuits. What could be better than living out your childhood cowboy fantasies alongside your best buds? Whether you’re psyched to shoot guns and eat steak, or play a round of world-class golf, or catch live music while throwing back bottles of Shiner, we have plenty of Austin bachelor party Ideas to help herd your crew.
Where would we be without the immensely talented pool of Austin wedding vendors? Their passion for planning, commitment to their couples, and incredible ingenuity is what makes the local wedding scene as remarkable as it is, and it's the unique team behind every wedding working together that makes each event an affair to remember. Their combined experience and expertise is second to none, and we want you to benefit from it while assembling your dream team of vendors. Check out our Spotlight Series for in-depth Q&As with the best of the best in the industry, and make sure to read the articles they've contributed to Borrowed & Blue for the most reliable wedding tips and tricks, straight from the source.
Austin is known as a festival mecca: its love for live music, great food, and amenable climate make it a top destination for mega events occurring throughout the year. Be sure to pay attention to the critical calendar dates when such events will sweep through the city, making hotel reservations, vendor bookings, and street traffic navigation incredibly challenging.
Check out some other useful local online resources to get you acquainted with all-things Austin, from travel guides to the local restaurant scene to great local wedding blogs run by our friends in the industry: