Austin is a wedding hot spot. From rustic elegance to top-notch tunes, couples in this destination city hit all the high notes. Learn what’s on trend and see what will work for you. Cassie Crudo of Bride’s Best Friend and Jane Kernen of Austin Busy Brides—two top-rated Austin, Texas wedding planners—talk ATX trends.
What are the major themes for 2016?
Shabby chic is staying strong, shares Cassie. She’s seeing twine and natural wood complemented by white accents. About 80 percent of her couples want country venues, so it’s the perfect fit.
Jane, who specializes in unique venues, is seeing a slight departure from the shabby chic phenomena towards upscale rustic. Think more lace than burlap. She’s also seeing a modern twist on things with geometric accents mixed with feminine floral prints.
What’s the fashion climate?
Lace overlay is on point for the brides. Cassie’s seeing vintage dresses—antique lace, beading, more conservative cuts, and lacy overlays. Bridal separates haven’t hit Austin yet, although they’re all over the fashion runways, shares Jane. Like Cassie, she says really feminine dresses are in, sheer lace touches, and light sparkle. There’s not many formal, taffeta gowns, as brides are opting for more unique styles.
As for the bridesmaids, anything from hot pink to black is walking down the aisle, says Cassie. Metallic neutrals such as cream with a subtle glitter, light pink with sparkle, or a shimmery grey are all popular picks for Austin bridesmaids shares Jane.
Grooms are becoming riskier in their fashion, per Jane. They’re willing to buck tradition and ditch jackets, roll up sleeves, and venture out in browns, greys, and blues. She expects to see quite a bit of tan and pale blue linen this summer, so don’t be afraid to be bold, fellas!
What color palettes are popping this year?
Unlike the early 2000s, couples are steering clear of bold dominant colors, says Jane. Instead, lovebirds opt for a neutral central tone, and then incorporate pops of their favorite color. For example, instead of purple table clothes, florals, and hanging decor—there might be a hint of purple in the bouquet, a touch in the napkins, and a sassy pop of purple in the bride’s shoes.
Along those lines, Cassie’s shabby chic couples are loving natural wood tones as their central palette with mainly coral as the pop of color. 2016 colors are much brighter and spring-like, even during the winter.
Any cake trends?
Dessert bars are a hit down south, both ladies agree. Cassie’s seen everything from a donut tower to mini bundt cakes. The main trend here is offering individual serving sizes that are dressed up for a serious wow factor. Naked cakes are also going strong in Austin, shares Jane. The real takeaway is couples love the dessert bar for the personal touch it offers.
Music or DJ?
Everyone knows a musician in Austin, says Jane, so live music is always on trend. It is the live music capital of the world, afterall!
String quartets for the ceremony and cocktail hour are on trend for Cassie’s couples. They’ll have this traditional touch before a DJ takes over to dance the night away at the reception. A recent bride walked down the aisle to the Star Wars theme played by a four-string quartet—cheeky, but elegant!
Big or small weddings?
This is less a question of trend and more a matter of budget, both wedding planners agree. Jane points out more couples are paying entirely for the wedding themselves, so for practical reasons they scale down the guest list. The average cost of a wedding in Austin? $11,519 not including dress, rings and venue – though your mileage may vary.
What are the food and drink trends?
Most couples opt for buffets and add a food truck in for pizzazz with an auxiliary item. A recent favorite from Cassie was a specialty coffee truck that served up iced lattes, horchata, and more. Yum. Family style dining is growing in Austin as well, shares Jane.
Where are the hot venues?
Venues that weren’t built to be wedding spaces are Jane’s specialty. A recent wedding in an active airport hangar was particularly unique. She shares that Austin is growing so quickly and is really becoming a destination wedding location. As a result, many “out of the box” locations are offering their space as wedding venues.
Hand in hand with the romantic rustic style, Cassie says her biggest request are for country venues and ranches that also offer weekend stays. Couples don’t want to be in and out the same day.
Any ceremony trends?
Sand ceremonies are a popular way to represent blended families, shares Cassie. Pouring colored sand into one central vessel during the wedding is visually beautiful and allows the guests to see how the families are coming together.
Fewer people are doing major wedding rehearsals, according to Jane. And far fewer couples are using religious officiants to conduct the ceremony. Many rely on friends or family members who’ve been ordained by the almighty power of the internet. A recent ceremony between an Indian groom and western bride (conducted in English and Punjabi) was one example of both these trends, as a friend officiated and the couple opted not to have a big rehearsal as so many loved ones had traveled so far and they wanted to focus on showing them the city.
Couples are also opting out of the traditional guest book and inviting guests to share their well-wishes in unique ways. Cassie had a metal photo mat for her engagement photo and her wedding guests signed the mat with a metal engraving pen. Fun! Another couple had their engagement photo made into a puzzle. Each guest signed the back of a different piece to help complete them.
What trends are you going to incorporate into your wedding?