engaged

Guest Blog: Tips to plan a Hill Country Destination Wedding

Planning a destination wedding? Okay maybe not the traditional tropical locale with sand between your toes, but the Texas Hill Country! 

When you don’t live in the same area as your wedding venue, as you may already know, it can make things a bit more challenging. That is something we at Uptown Events & Travel are all too familiar with. 

As the owner of UET, I planned my Mexico wedding from Texas and recognized the struggles every destination bride deals with. The Texas Hill Country is an amazing place for couples planning from afar- there is an abundance of fantastic vendors all ready to help with your big day. 

But that can be part of the problem: too many options leads to what I like to call “decision-blockage”. I help couples every day that are having difficulty with things like: “there are so many great photographers, which one best fits my style and budget?”, “who should I hire for hair & makeup?” or, “should I set up transportation for my out of town guests and what should I expect that to cost?”

At UET, we specialize in working with couples planning from afar and/or have a large portion of their guests traveling in. Not only do we help with the typical wedding vendors (caterer, florist, etc.), we also guide you through the process of setting up accommodations and managing the transportation of your guests. 

ZAC_1726.jpg

 

So now that you know a little about Uptown and our expertise, I’d like to share with you our Top 5 Tips to Planning a Hill Country Destination Wedding. 

1. Book your venue and accommodations early! The best ones typically book up over a year in advance, so get started early. 

2. Ask for courtesy room blocks at hotels. It saves you from being monetarily responsible for filling hotel rooms. 

3. Communicate with your guests effectively about transportation. Whether you decide to provide shuttles to/from the hotel to your venue, or you’re leaving transportation to your guests to handle on their own, make sure you thoroughly give directions on what to expect. 

4. Make it a wedding weekend- invite guests to the hotel lobby bar for welcome cocktails the day they arrive, host a brunch the morning after the wedding. Austin has a plethora of great activities for guests, so allow them to experience more of the city by hosting a few mini-events throughout the weekend. 

5. Hire a wedding planner that is experienced with handling destination style weddings. ;) We couldn’t leave that one out!

SNK_0081.jpg

 

 

I hope this has given you a few good things to think about for your Hill Country Destination Wedding. When you find yourself ready to work with a wedding planner, I’d love to help!

 

Thanks and best wishes,

Jessica Upton

Jessica@UptownEventsTravel.com

361-935-7009

www.UptownEventsTravel.com

 

Photography: Courtesy of Bloom and Bud and Amber Kelley Photography

 

 

Megan and Henry's Charming Outdoor Wedding

Photos by Amber Kelley Photography.

Vendor Feature: Julie Paisley Photography

Let us introduce you to one of our favorite photographers, Julie Paisley Photography! Though she calls Nashville her home, she shoots all over the world. Recently, she hosted workshops in Ireland and Paris. Julie’s work has even been featured on the cover of People Magazine! Part of what makes Julie so unique is her "hybrid" approach — shooting both film and digital photos. We always love hosting her at Garden Grove Austin and are so excited that she will be joining us in Janurary for our Winter Engagement Event, Check out some of her photos from Alex and James' Spring Wedding and a 2016 Styled Shoot. 

Vendor Feature: The Cigar Vault on Buda’s Historic Main Street

We absolutely love being a part of the Buda, Tx community. Located just 15 mins south of downtown Austin, Buda's Historic Main Street boast a unique and ever-growing variety of shops and restaurants. One of our favorites is The Cigar Vault. Aptly named for its residence in the location of the old city bank, the Cigar Vault’s walk-in humidor is located in an actual vault! We also love the cozy indoor lounge, wine bar and beer garden — in addition to their extensive collection of cigars of course. We are thrilled that this great Buda, TX business will be attending our Winter Engagement Event. 

photo courtesy of The Cigar Vault Facebook

Guest Blog: Tips for Planning your Pre-Ceremony Photos

Over the years, and through building timelines with many photographers, I’ve picked up a couple of tips to consider when planning your pre-ceremony photo timeline.

You’ve seen these photos, whether or not you realized that careful planning went into capturing them. The beautiful display of your invitation suite, with your flowers and jewelry perfectly placed between. The image of the gorgeous bride, buckling her shoe, with the sun beaming in through the window behind her. Her and her bridesmaids laughing, while holding a champagne flute. The exchange of your letter to your groom, holding his hand from behind a door, as you prepare for your first look.

 

These don’t happen by accident, but these photos are some of your most cherished after the wedding day is over and you’re basking in your post-honeymoon glow! So, to make the most of your morning, and the hours before you walk down the aisle, consider the following tips!

 

1.     Getting Ready Location- The Garden Grove has no angle or spot on the property that wasn’t perfectly designed to be a backdrop at any given moment. Take advantage of this and ensure your bridesmaids get dressed in a separate room than where you will get dressed, or where you will get your hair and makeup done. Why? To reduce the amount of clutter, (bags, shoes, dress hangars) in the background of your photos. As soon as your photographer arrives on site, you want to take advantage of every second possible; not spend time cleaning the room while they wait!

Photo Courtesy of Jessica Frey Photography

Photo Courtesy of Jessica Frey Photography

2.     Lighting and Sunset Time- If you’re getting married in the winter months, you have a very strict schedule to adhere to… the sun’s. If you want to ensure you get outdoor photos with prime lighting, set your ceremony earlier. Also, consider having a First Look, so you can get family and wedding party photos done prior to the ceremony. This enables you to have additional bride and groom photos after the ceremony, or a private dinner for just you two!

Photo Courtsey of Sarah Goss Photography

Photo Courtsey of Sarah Goss Photography

3.     Photography Shot List- Sit down with your Planner and Photographer to review your photography timeline together. This will best prepare you and your family for when you will be doing formal portraits. If we’re able to plan for a first look, family and siblings will need to be dressed and ready prior to the ceremony to be a part of these photos. If we’re going with a more traditional timeline, let’s ensure those family members who will be in photos, know to stick around after the ceremony.

Photo Courtesy of Leighann Herr Photography

Photo Courtesy of Leighann Herr Photography

Open communication and careful planning with your wedding planner and photographer will ensure you make the most out of your wedding day in regard to photos. These are the images you’ll have framed on your desk or displayed throughout your home, and you want them to perfectly capture your hard work you put into planning everything!

 

I’m always happy to chat about your wedding day, and creating a timeline that works best for you. Let me know if you’d like to grab coffee or have any questions about this post! Samantha@planourdayhouston.com (We plan Weddings and Events in Houston, Austin and the Texas Hill Country!)

 

Samantha Gieseke

www.planourdayhouston.com

Samantha@planourdayhouston.com