New Austin Area Wedding Venue

One of the best things about planning Austin weddings is the large variety of wedding venues a short drive from downtown Austin. Dripping Springs has been called the Wedding Capital of Texas with many venues for couples to choose from. One of the newest wedding locations is The Prospect House and it is very unique. I toured the site in March and saw it under construction, but today while visiting for a planner luncheon I definitely saw all their hard work has paid off. You can see their professional photos on the link above, but I took a few photos from the luncheon below. I wasn’t documenting the venue to show my couples since we like to tour them in person, but I did want to share a few detail shots from the luncheon today. We had wonderful vendors that sponsored the event and they are listed below.

Prospect menu photo 1 prospect house luncheon photo 3 prospect house ceiling photo 3 potige photo 3 prospect house seating photo 1 potige photo 4 Potige photo 2 prospect grooms room photo 1 prospect house brides room photo 2 prospect house ceremony site photo 2

I look forward to my first wedding at Prospect House,



Preserving Your Top Layer of the Wedding Cake

The Knot shared a great article that I thought would be a great share to all the couples out there that are torn between whether to save their top tier or not.  Great tips and pointers.

How To Wrap Up Your Cake Tier

Instruct catering staff to take off the top tier of the wedding cake and box it for transport. Appoint a “cake captain” (one of your family members or friends) to take it home. Once it’s home, that person should do the following:

1. Remove the sugar flowers and set them aside.

2. Chill the cake well before wrapping it up so that the icing hardens. This way it won’t stick to the plastic wrap and make a mess.

3. Wrap the (unadorned) cake in several layers of plastic wrap — not aluminum foil, which can cause freezer burn.

4. Seal the wrapped cake in an air-tight bag and place it in the freezer.

5. Snag a ribbon (from your bouquet, the centerpieces, your hair, a gift) and tie it around the cake package to mark it so that you don’t mistake it for anything else.

Know Your Cake’s Shelf Life

Some cakes freeze better than others. The more delicate the cake ingredients, the drier your cake will become in the freezer. Cakes with a longer shelf life: Chocolate, hazelnut, almond, and carrot cake. Cakes that may not last as long in the freezer: white cake, cake with fresh fruit, and cakes with whipped cream fillings.

Consider Ordering A Copycat Cake

If you have a cake that won’t hold up in the freezer, do as many couples do and order a fresh cake tier in the same flavor as your original wedding cake for your one-year anniversary. Even if you have a heartier cake, Sylvia Weinstock, of Sylvia Weinstock Cakes in New York, recommends storing cakes for no longer than two months, and forgoing the first-anniversary tradition. Like anything else, after a year in the freezer, any cake will be a bit stale. If you do decide to save your cake for the full year, focus on the nostalgia, not the flavor.

Here are a few of our favorite recent wedding cakes.

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What ideas do you have about your wedding cake style? Are you saving the top tier or planning on an anniversary trip to Austin for your favorite baker to make your a fresh mini cake?

Best wishes,


Wedding Budgets in Central Texas

One of the hardest, yet most important discussions I have with my couples regarding wedding planning is “What is your wedding budget?” This is the starting point to where we begin finding you what you need for your wedding day. It tells me what venues to consider and what price point I need for the other vendors. All florists, lighting, video, transportation, caterers, and venues are not created equally. The same is true for Austin wedding planners. We are all different price points and all offer different services as well as experience.

I have brides contact me daily and when I send them my pricing, I often hear “Oh, you are too expensive” and that is okay. I am not the right planner for all couples. Yes, you can find planners less expensive and far more expensive than Barbara’s Brides. I spoke with a newly engaged couple today with a budget of about $28,000 for 250 people. Even though I would love to work with them and we’ve started a good communication through e-mail, I know what all the other details add up to within the Austin wedding market.

A fellow vendor recently said “They have a dollar store budget with a David Tutera vision” and that is happening more and more. I understand how beautiful the weddings are on The Knot, Style Me Pretty, Pinterest and TV, but that does not mean every couple can have those weddings with a small budget. I try very hard to make sure couples that contact me realize what it means to want something and need something for their weddings. Not everyone can have specialty lighting, a limousine, peonies and the list goes on. I love working with couples and seeing them happy on their wedding days. So yes, I have worked with lower budgets because we were all on the same page from the very beginning regarding what they could afford and what we could deliver for that price point. We created a fantastic wedding in the $25,000 range on a Sunday afternoon between 1:00pm-5:00pm with 50 guests and an overall casual atmosphere with all the details. Having a planner allowed them to know where to cut and what they still needed to create a wonderful day.

I had a discussion with an Austin wedding venue recently and she said that couples are just shocked when she tells them their budget should be at least $40,000 before they consider having their wedding at her venue. Why? Because as an Austin wedding vendor we hear all the stories and concerns from couples when they can’t find a band for $3,000 or a florist for $2,500 and they did not hire a planner who laid out the expected costs for them. A little tough love here, but just because you expect your DJ to be $500 doesn’t mean they will be. The same is true for the brides cutting out hors d’oeuvres from her menu because they are too tight on the budget and she doesn’t think anyone will miss them. There are other areas to cut that the guests won’t notice, but hors d’oeuvres will be missed.

Another couple asked me if all my weddings are over $150,000 and I said no, not at all. I just try very hard to make all our weddings reflect what that the couple wanted within their budget which may have been between $50,000-$100,000 which varies each time.

If you don’t know where to start or what your vision will cost, give us a call and let’s see if we can help you create your wedding day even after the scary budget discussion.

Here is the latest CNN post on wedding costs from The Knot. Very interesting info.

Happy planning,


512-257-8100 office



Wedding Cake Styles by Barbara’s Brides

Ah, the amazing beauty of a wedding cake. As an Austin wedding planner, I see all kinds of cakes. I am very blessed to work with so many amazing Austin bakeries that range between light and fluffy to rich and dense. We see stacked cakes, square cakes, lopsided cakes, butter cream, fondant, cakes without frosting, white cakes accented by flowers and colorful cakes with intricate details and so many other combinations. As you can guess, I love wedding cakes.

When my sons were little they thought all to-go food boxes had wedding cake in since I would bring home a piece after each wedding for them to enjoy. They are quite the cake experts after all these years. They know what they like and what they don’t. So that tells you that not all cakes are created equal.

I do believe in ordering enough cake to have a slice for each guest and the love of chocolate has not faded. I am from San Diego and had worked for many years in weddings without ever seeing a groom’s cake. In California, they are all just wedding cakes. Marrying a Texan and having his family ask me where my cake was very perplexing to me. “Our” cake was chocolate so they were expecting a white cake to accompany it. Very funny to me, but now that I live in Texas I can see the confusion.

We are seeing more dessert tables with wedding cakes or instead of cakes. You can add all your local desserts or homemade family favorites.

To save the top layer of your wedding cake or not? I know that a box that size in my freezer would drive me nuts. I suggest ordering an anniversary cake in your favorite flavor on your anniversary, not just your first anniversary. Still sentimental, but not stale.

My intention was to post photos of my favorite cakes, but when I tried to narrow down my selections I realized there are just far too many gorgeous cakes to pick my top 10. Instead I am going to add my Pinterest link to my wedding cake pins so you can see a fraction of the ideas out there 

Happy planning, now go out and eat cake.


Texas Women’s Federation Mansion Winter Wedding

January can hold a variety of different types of weather. When a couple decides to get married in the winter in Austin we can have a gorgeous 70 degree day, clear skies with a blustery wind or a cold, nasty, wet day when we truly hope we have an indoor wedding planned for everyone’s comfort. Fortunately, we had a stunning beautiful day for Tiffany and Landon for their January wedding.

We planned everything long distance even as far away as Russia for part of the time due to Tiffany’s job. With minimal trips to Austin we booked all their vendors and had a great ceremony at Central Christian Church followed by a celebration with their family and friends at the wonderful Mansion, also known as Texas Federation Women’s Club. Thanks to for capturing the day.

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Thank you to all the vendors:,                                                                 ,                                                                                                                                                   

Are you planning your wedding long distance or do you live close to Austin? If you are looking for a day of planner, a full service Austin wedding planner or something in between give us a call to see if we can be of service.

Happy planning,



Find Your Austin Wedding Planner and Vendors at the Extravaganza

We are very excited to be participating in the Austin Wedding Guide’s biggest bridal show of the year, The Bridal Extravaganza. You can visit with many florists, photographers, bakeries, DJs and of course, wedding planners.  Come see our beautiful setup at booth 255 near the stage.

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We will have stunning booth thanks to the following vendors:

Come by and see us,



December Driskill Wedding by Barbara’s Brides

Alison has a very busy work schedule, her mom lives in Florida and her fiance is active duty military. She wanted more than day of wedding planning and wanted to still be involved in the planning. The most challenging part of the planning was keeping the band a secret in order to surprise the groom. They were his favorite so we did all that we could to keep it a secret until the great reveal. The groom was stateside in October which made everything better for Alison.  Nothing like having a military fiance on home soil. Tyler Schmitt did a great job with all the photos and is just fun to have at a wedding . Melanie Tipton with did a wonderful job on the flowers.

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I love December weddings with all the extra decor on site. Festive times had by all.

Barbara Austin wedding planner for busy brides