Houston Wedding Guide Advice
By Devorah Isenberg , Thursday, July 19, 2012 3:34 AM
Few places in the country are as ideal for having your wedding as Houston. As the fourth-largest city in the country, Houston has all the resources and amenities of New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, but its location in the up-and-coming Sun Belt area of the country means that the prices and cost of living in Houston is significantly lower than in the other Top 5 cities. So while the average cost of a wedding in the United States today is about $25,000-27,000, here in Houston, many couples find that an average budget of only $15,000-20,000 is enough to provide them with the fairytale wedding of their dreams. However, don’t let the lower prices make you think that Houston’s wedding venues can only provide a casual cowboy hoedown—Houston’s weddings are as glamorous and elegant as any event in New York or LA!
When you first start planning your Houston wedding, you may not be sure where to start. This Houston wedding guide can provide you with a basic framework and timeline to help you get started, as well as some Houston-specific advice that can help you avoid some frequent pitfalls.
1. As soon as you are engaged, start thinking about the season and time of year you want to celebrate your wedding. While Houston’s weather is suitable for weddings all year round, you may want to avoid the late summer hurricane season, and if you have your heart set on an outdoor wedding, you may want to try to avoid the intense heat and humidity of July and August. If you have many friends and relatives flying in from out of town, you may want to do them a favor by avoiding major holiday weekends like Labor Day and Thanks giving. Once you have a rough idea of your wedding date, start searching for a venue.
2. For the easiest time finding and booking the Houston wedding hall of your dreams, stay flexible. Choose two or three wedding dates that you will be happy with, and present both options to the hall administrator. If your preferred date is not available, the venue may offer you a discount on the second date option. If you are scheduling your wedding for Houston’s hot summer months (think April-October), make sure there is a beautiful indoor ceremony area available as a backup.
3. As soon as the date and venue are set, send out the save-the-dates to family and friends who will be coming in from out of town. The more time they have to find flights and hotels, the better deals they will be able to find, and everyone will thank you for that! If you have any insider tips on finding great flights, or if you want to specify that guests should make arrangements for a specific airport, airline, or hotel, include a small card with the save the date with the relevant information. If you have many out-of-town guests, make sure to register with a well-known national chain such as Target or Bed, Bath and Beyond so everyone will have an easy time getting to a store to get you a gift!
4. As you go about planning your wedding, use a wedding planning website to keep everything organized. Although Houston weddings are often more affordable than others in a big city, it can be easy to let spending get out of control—especially once you start adding in fun extras like photo booths, extra food options, and deluxe party favors. There’s no reason not to opt for one or two “extras” that will give your wedding that unforgettable extra something, but by keeping your budget in front of you as you plan, you won’t end up with any unpleasant surprises.
5. Finally, consider getting wedding insurance. This specialized insurance plan protects you from unforeseen disasters on your wedding day. For example, what if your designer wedding dress gets ruined and you are forced to buy a new one off the rack days off the wedding? Or what if your photographer moves out of state and you have to book a new one a week before the big day? Wedding insurance can help protect you from these situations. If you don’t opt for wedding insurance, try to use local vendors as much as possible to avoid last minute lost-in-the-mail scenarios. Here in Houston, engagement rings, bridal gowns, and every other wedding need are available locally, so it should not be difficult to avoid shopping online just this once!
For more specific questions ask our experts