5 Things to Discuss with your Potential Wedding Venue

We understand that most brides aren’t professional event planners and may not know what to ask when shopping for a wedding venue. Here are 5 topics to consider and discuss before visiting wedding venues:

1.  Availability – We suggest being flexible with your wedding date until you find a location. However, if your heart is set on a particular date, make sure you check availability up front. There is no sense in falling in love with a venue that won’t work for your schedule.

2.  Capacity – Make sure the venue has a space to match your guest count. You don’t need a grand ballroom for 40 guests, and there is no way to squeeze 400 guests in a space that is meant for 200.

3.  Cost – Ask for a cost estimate. It is easier to see if a venue will fit into your wedding budget when you see the total cost. An estimate should include any or all of the following: facility rental, food, beverage, coordination, sales tax, service charge, and other applicable services and fees. Make sure to also ask about required minimums and if certain dates may be less expensive than others.

4.  Amenities & Services – Find out exactly what you get for your money. (i.e. catering, tables, chairs, china, linens, centerpieces, sound system, etc.) Every venue will include different services and amenities. Knowing exactly what is included (and not included) will help you finalize your total wedding budget.

5.  Rules & Restrictions – These will vary from venue to venue. Restrictions may apply to décor, vendor selections, music, time blocks, food, beverage, and more. Don’t just assume that the sky is the limit; make sure you ask up front.

Written By:  Samantha Botello

The Highlights of Austin

Are you or any of your wedding guests new to Austin?  Do you need ideas of fun activities to participate in while here for the weekend?  Well look no longer!  Here are some great ideas of places to go, see, and eat while here in Austin.

There are many fun water activities here in Austin.  Lady Bird Lake is a great place to go if you like to kayak, canoe, paddle board, paddle boat, and much more!  You can also take your whole wedding party on a boat ride either at Lady Bird Lake or Lake Travis where you can enjoy the view without the work.

 

 

 

 

 

Via Rowingdock.com

Barton Springs Pool is another great place to go when the weather is hot.  It is a fun place to swim for all ages.

Via Texasoutside.com

 

If you want to travel a little outside of Austin to go swimming, Hamilton Pool is the place.  With just a small hike in, you arrive to a new world.  Hamilton Pool has the feel of a beach mixed with a beautiful waterfall.  It is a great spot to swim and soak up some sun.

Via Texasoutside.com

Volente Beach is another fun place.  At Volente Beach, adults can eat and drink while children can play at the water park.  It is a great place for everyone!

Via Google Images

If you do not feel like getting wet, there are many things to do downtown that do not involve water.  One fun activity is to walk on the paths on either side of Lady Bird Lake.  While walking, you can see the lake (and sometimes turtles swimming on the edge), beautiful trees, the city buildings, as well as many others walking and having a great time.

Via Freeaustinfun.com

The State Capitol Building it a great tourist attraction.  You can join a tour or go explore the capitol yourself.

Via Brandonseidel.com

6th Street is also a great place to go, especially on weekend evenings.  If you love music and bars, then it is the place to be.

Via 6street.com

You can’t miss taking a classic picture by the “I Love You So Much” wall on Congress Avenue/James Street.  It will make for an unforgettable picture that you and your friends will love.

Via Endlesscanvas.com

If you thrive on adventure seeking activities, zip lining over Lake Travis is the outdoor activity for you!  Although it is not downtown, it is a blast and a fun adventure.

Via Ziplaketravis.com

Lastly, Austin is known for its bats.  Between the months of March and October, thousands of bats fly out from the bridge on Congress Avenue at dusk.  I guarantee it is nothing like you’ve ever seen before.  This is definitely something you do not want to miss out on.

Via Google Images

As you can see, Austin has some great activities to participate in.  However, after a while you might get hungry and need a place to eat.  Well you’re in luck because Austin has some great places to eat as well.  The Oasis is a great restaurant that is located near Vintage Villas.  It overlooks Lake Travis and is a great place to eat while seeing Austin’s beautiful sunsets.

Via The Oasis

Steiner Ranch Steakhouse is another great place to eat that is located close to Vintage Villas as well.  They have delicious steaks and much more.

Via Steiner Ranch Steakhouse

Austin has many great food trailers to eat at downtown.  They serve Mexican food, burgers and fries, dessert, and much more.

Via Food Truck Austin

Last, but not least, Hopdoddy is an amazing place to eat.  The line can be long, but if you love all-natural and homemade burgers and fries then it is the place to go.  They have amazing drinks as well.  You will not be disappointed.

Via Hopdoddy.com

Have fun exploring Austin with your wedding guests and make sure to check out some of these ideas.  Enjoy the Texas Hill Country while you’re here!

 

* Make sure to click the link below each picture to view the photo credit as well as the picture itself for more information.

Written By:  Mary Gividen

Spring Weddings

Spring is here!  I love spring because it is full of beautiful colors, blooming flowers, fresh fruit, and new life.  It provides many beautiful ways to decorate, especially for a wedding.  In every wedding, no matter what time of year, every bride always plans details, details and more details to make her wedding perfect.  So here are some ideas to add the beauty of spring into the little details of your wedding.

 

To incorporate spring into your hair, try adding some flowers or fresh herbs.  A flower or herb garland is beautiful.  However, if you do not like garlands, try pinning just a few flowers into your hair.

         

We all know that every bride wants a beautiful cake.  Having a beautiful cake is one of the most important details of your wedding day.  Fruit and flowers look beautiful on any cake and help to bring out the colors and beauty of spring.

          

Another important detail of each wedding is the decorations.  Whether decorations may be on the dining room tables, sign-in table, present table, or anywhere else, they are very important and help to truly make your wedding perfect.  To bring out that spring feel, try decorating with bird nests.

 

If you want to use candles as part of your decorations, try a beeswax candle or perhaps tie some flowers or herbs around your candle.

         

As far as centerpieces for dining room tables, fill a large bird’s nest with spring flowers or maybe even use fruit as your centerpiece.

           

To help each place setting have a spring tone, try using a pastel napkin and tying some flowers or herbs on top.

Last, but not least, wedding favors are another important aspect of any wedding.  It is hard to think of cute and unique wedding favors that your guests will enjoy.  If you need ideas for cute spring favors, try some of these ideas.  Flower pins can be worn by your guests during and after your wedding.  They are reuseable and crafty.

Flower or herb seeds, are a fun way for your guests to make their home bloom and they are eco-friendly.

Another fun idea is finding any box, adding a beautiful flower on top, and filling it with your favorite candy.  Your guests will love the box and of course the sweets inside.

Lastly, honey and jam are unique and tasty favors that every guest would love.  If homemade jam is too much work, buy jam at the store and put it into small jars with a homemade label and cover the top with spring fabric.

         

Enjoy planning your spring wedding and hopefully some of these ideas will be useful!

Written By:  Mary Gividen

Bridal Portraits at Vintage Villas

And we’re back…

It’s been a bit of a hiatus, but we’re back in action!  And we’re ready to catch you all up on the happenings at VV as well as in the wedding industry.  So let’s get right to it!

Bridal Portraits

We love bridal portraits here at VV.  It’s always fun to see not only a gorgeous gown, but also the creative and unique ideas that our brides (and their photographers) come up with!  Here at Vintage Villas both our grounds and event spaces provide a stunning backdrop for bridal portraits.  Take a look below at a few of our favorites… prepare to be inspired!

Below, this little hidden gem of a spot is a stunning way to highlight your gown!

Another great spot is our bridal suite – making for a beautiful backdrop for shooting different angles and trying out various poses.

 

With the gorgeous landscape in the background, lots of our brides choose to take shots out and around the grounds here at VV.

These are just a taste of some of the amazing spots that VV has to offer you and your photographer!  For more bridal portraits and inspiration, check out our Pinterest.

Creative Twists to the Traditional Guest Book

When getting your engagement photos done, order a larger canvas of your favorite photo.

At the wedding, your guests can sign the canvas, and you can have a memory

of your wedding worth hanging on your wall!

Create a unique and personal guest book for you to cherish forever.

Ask guests to write a note to the happy couple,

place the keepsake on the branches of the tree, as leaves, to fill the family tree.

Another twist to the “Family Tree” guest book, is to have guests use their thumbprint as leaves,

then sign their fingerprint.

The couple has the initial of their last name that the guests can sign,

making a personal touch for any wall space.

The couple could set up an easel, paint, and paint brushes for guests to leave their mark.

The couple then adds this new painting into their art collection at home.

This makes for a very modern piece of art in your home.

No matter which option you choose for your guest book, make sure it is something you’re happy with. Guest books are often overlooked as the years pass, but these new ideas could keep the memory of your wedding as part of your daily life. You never want to forget the people who helped make your weddings so special, so unique.

Your guest book could be the center point of a room in your home, without people knowing it was the guest book for your wedding! Most of all, have fun with it!  There is no need to take it too seriously. Anything that stems away from the traditional guest book will catch your guests’ eye and be a detail that they will remember!

Sweet Love

[A couple unique alternatives to the classic wedding cake]

Pic 1    Pic 2     Pic 3

Adorable candy bars are always fun and unique for any wedding! You can create your own to fit almost any style, with any color scheme. I love the old timey style candy bar like in picture one. There’s always something yummy for every guest, so you cant go wrong!

 

Pic 1   Pic 2    Pic 3

Cake pops are perfect bite sized pieces of cake that do not require any silverware or plates. They can be made in infinite combinations of shapes and colors to match your wedding style. Everyone can eat as much or as little as they prefer (though we all know more is better when it comes to tasty cake)!

 

Pic 1  Pic 2   Pic 3

Cupcakes are another cute way to serve cake in a little bit of a different way. Everyone loves cupcakes, and there are so many potential decorations to adorn them with! They are the happy medium between the size of cake pops and a traditional wedding slice. It’s so easy to tie together a themed wedding with adorable cupcake decorations that each guest gets to enjoy close up and personal!

 

Vintage Villas featured in Austin Monthly magazine

 Pick up your copy today of the Austin Monthly magazine featuring six themed weddings showcasing the bride and groom’s true styles. We are so excited that Christy & Daniel’s big day at Vintage Villas was chosen – it was definitely a festive fiesta!

Photos by Lauren Guy Photography