Average Wedding Cost Austin, TX
We wrote this article, two years ago, in July of 2016, and many people sent us feedback about it being very helpful. We write our blog and tips to help everyone planning a wedding. No, we're not trying to simply sell our business or services, like many other companies. We want to help as many brides and grooms as possible by providing great information! :) So let's get to the breakdown of the costs for a wedding in Austin and central Texas.
So there's good news and bad news. I'll start with the bad news, since I like to end on a good note! :) It's not bad news, but basically it's still pretty expensive to get married in the Austin/central Texas area. However, the GREAT news is, the average cost for a wedding has gone down by about $7000, since 2016!! In 2016, the average cost for a wedding in Austin was over $37,000. As you can see from the infographic above, it's now just under $30,000 ($29,780). So this is great news for you!
Factors That Affect Your Wedding Cost
If you're currently planning to have a wedding in the Austin or central Texas area, then you have already realized that the expenses can add up, fast! Chances are, you're using the internet to do your research, and you should certainly start by doing just that. We included the above infographic to show you the average cost of a wedding in Austin, Texas. The cost of your wedding can really vary, depending on your needs, wedding venue location, catering, and most importantly, your total guest count. The more guests you have, the more you'll spend. Now let's break down the costs even further.
Average Cost for Wedding Venue Austin, TX
The largest cost of your wedding is going to be the venue. After deciding on a date, the next thing you should consider is your location. As you can see in the infographic, the average wedding venue cost in the downtown Austin, Texas area is about $3600. Keep in mind, this information is what couples reported and not what wedding vendors reported. From our experience and knowledge, the downtown wedding venues are priced higher than this, especially during peak wedding season, which is early spring and fall in Austin. These rates may be for the off-peak season.
Wedding Venue Location Impacts Total Cost
Another consideration about your wedding venue is the scenery. If you want your wedding overlooking Lake Travis or Ladybird Lake, in Austin, it's going to be more expensive (but you already knew that). :) The above picture shows you the cost difference, compared to a wedding venue in downtown Austin, TX.
Wedding Cost Dripping Springs, TX
If you didn't already know, Dripping Springs, Texas, is a very popular destination wedding spot! It's often called the "wedding capital of Texas." As you can see, above, having a wedding in Dripping Springs is as expensive as having a wedding on the lake, in Austin. Depending on the venue you choose, having your wedding here can be more expensive than having it in Austin. The appeal of a Texas hill country wedding is very understandable and though Dripping Springs is much smaller than Austin, it's not too far away (about a 30 minute drive) from Austin, and more and more businesses are popping up to cater to the wedding market, there!
Since your wedding venue is a major factor in the overall cost of your wedding, we included quite a bit of info about it. Now, let's move onto our area of expertise, which is wedding entertainment.
Average Wedding Entertainment Cost Austin, TX
Now let's discuss our area of expertise. As you may have already noticed, the price for wedding entertainment can really vary, depending upon your wedding location. In general, bands are more expensive than DJs. However, some DJs/DJ companies can charge just as much as bands. Our advice is simple: do your research. Check out reputable sites, such as The Knot, Wedding Wire, Google and even Facebook, for reviews and to see what actual customers are saying about the DJ or band, and their quality of work. The good thing about the wedding sites is that you can easily compare companies, side-by-side; however, that can also be a problem. This is because if you compare these companies, many of them sound exactly the same. So how do you know who is best for your event? Here's our advice.
1. Determine a Budget - How much are you comfortable spending for entertainment? Will you spend it all on a DJ, or are you wanting a DJ and photo booth? Choose what's best for you and your guests. Consider that not everyone likes to dance or is even able to dance.
2. What's Included - Start comparing what is actually offered with the price you're paying. This is where the true differences are. Some DJs start with a great price, but it only includes a limited amount of hours, like 3 hours. They do this, knowing you'll certainly have to purchase more time. Don't fall for it! Do they include everything you'll need? Some companies will not include a microphone, or even "MC" services. Surprisingly, you'll have to pay more for those things with some companies.
3. Ceremony Music - If you need the DJ for the ceremony, find out if they will provide ceremony services, and how much it will cost. Many companies will charge several hundreds more dollars for this, so find out what's included with the ceremony addition.
4. Custom Playlist - Find out if you're able to choose songs for your wedding. Are you limited to what they offer you, or can you choose other songs? We've seen some companies limit their clients to their library and even seen others charge $1.00 for each song that the couple specifically wants played. That can add up, so definitely ask about a playlist. Some DJ companies even only play specific genres, so be sure to find out.
5. Lighting - Find out if the DJ company will include dance floor lighting. Surprisingly, many companies don't include dance floor lighting. They'll charge you more to add it. Many venues can be very dark at night, so lighting is usually a must! Uplighting is a great addition for any venue, as it provides lighting and can usually be set to match your theme and decor.
6. Other Options - Always ask about other options. Do they offer uplighting? A monogram? Photo booth? Projector? Games? You can often save money by getting all of your options from one vendor, as opposed to hiring several vendors. We recently did an event that hired an outside company for the sound system. For some reason, they were unclear that we already included this with our services, despite us telling them. That company charged thousands more, and honestly, their sound system was terrible in comparison to ours.
Overall, there are numerous things to consider when hiring a DJ or band for your wedding in Austin, Central Texas, or anywhere! This is a great starting point, but certainly do your research and ask as many questions as you need to, to be sure you're hiring the best company for your needs. Here's a link to a great website that will allow you to find out the average cost of a wedding in your area by simply typing in your zip code! Here's the link to the average cost of wedding in Austin, Texas.
Check out the average prices and compare to determine your budget. If you're having a wedding in a different city/zip code, simply change the zip code. We hope this article has been helpful. As always, feel free to email us with any questions and we'll be happy to help!
- Austin's Best DJs & Photo Booths Team
As veterans in the wedding business, we've provided DJs and photo booths for hundreds of weddings, quinceaneras, parties, and events, in Austin and Central Texas. Every event we do has a general timeline that we try to follow, but we noticed that most of the time, the timeline gets off track, for various reasons. When you save time, you also save money, since you won't need your vendors as long! Here are 7, great, time-saving tips to help you stay on track and save time, on your big day!
1. Take Pictures Early - Usually, after the ceremony, cocktail hour begins, and couples will take pictures with their bridal party and families. A great way to save time is to have your bridal party and immediate family show up early to the wedding, and take lots of great pictures before the ceremony, early during the day! You won't be rushed and can take as many photos as time allows. You can still take some pictures immediately after the ceremony, but you won't need to take as many pictures, which saves valuable time!
2. Plan a Faster Plated Dinner Set-up - We often see weddings get off track during dinner, since people eat at different paces. If you're having a smaller wedding, with less than 75 people, dinner should take an hour or so. If it's more than 75, plan for longer. For plated dinners, have the staff put out all the salads and drinks, as early as possible. If dinner starts at 6 PM, have the staff put out the salads and drinks at 5:50 PM, so when dinner officially starts, it will start right on time, and there's no waiting for plates to be served.
3. Save Time in the Buffet Line - With any wedding, saving time is always a great thing. Whether you have 50 guests or 250, saving time at dinner is a must! We've seen some wedding dinners take 3 hours, due to poor planning. A great way to save time is to have two buffet lines. Even if there is only one area for food, a line on both sides will help people get their food, faster! Ideally, have your vendors have two different set ups, so your guests can have 2-4 separate lines. This saves a lot of time!
4. Cake Cutting - Many people schedule cake cutting halfway through the night, and though this is fine, you have to stop everything, turn on the lights, and completely change the mood. If everyone is dancing, this means you'll have to stop the party! We recommend doing cake cutting towards the end of dinner. This gives your guests some dessert, and also saves time. Often times, the cake cutting takes 10 minutes, to get all the pictures, etc. Then, many couples will want the cake cut and served to everyone, which is understandable. See the next tip to save time with cake cutting.
5. Designate a Cake Cutter - After the first slice of cake has been cut by the couple, save some time by designated a staff member or family member/friend, to cut the rest of the cake. Often times couples will take the time to cut the entire cake, which wastes a lot of time, since people usually will form a line to get cake. This can take 30 minutes, or more of precious time. Simply have the DJ announce that the cake will be cut and we'll announce when it's ready. Right after the couple cuts the cake, move on to the toast/speeches.
6. Toasts/Speeches - Toasts and speeches are a must, for any wedding! We've found that the best time to do these, is during dinner, right after the cake cutting. Many people wait until later in the night, but it's best to do earlier, since all your guests are there. During dinner, you'll have your audience captive and sitting down, and you won't have to find anyone who may be somewhere else, try to ask people to stop dancing, turn on the lights, etc. Do your toasts and speeches right after the cake cutting. Be sure your vendors or family/friends are serving the champagne or drinks, as cake is being cut. While the cake is being cut, the toasts are happening, and once the speeches are done, the cake is usually ready, which saves a lot of time!
7. Bouquet/Garter Toss - This last tip can save a lot of time, too! Often times, couples will wait until halfway through the night or later, to do the bouquet and garter tosses. We recommend doing these right after dinner, or within the first hour of the dance. This way, everyone is there to witness these and you'll have more people participating! Both of these should take about 5 minutes, each. The DJ will have to call everyone to the dance floor, and ideally, after dinner, everyone is right there, so no time trying to find everyone!
An important thing to keep in mind is that many older family members will leave shortly after the dance begins, depending on where they drove from, what time the ceremony started, and how long they've been there. It happens at every wedding, especially the weddings where there is a large gap in time from the ceremony to the reception. Keep this in mind when planning your wedding. This is also a great reason why we recommend all of the above tips. These key moments are important in every wedding, so getting these done early, will ensure all your guests will be there to share your moments!
As always, please contact us if you have any additional questions, and we'll be happy to help!
-Austin's Best DJs & Photo Booths
As one of Austin's leading DJ & photo booth companies, we provide entertainment for numerous weddings, quinceaneras, parties, and events, every weekend, all year long! We noticed several trends and changes in the 2018 events, as well as for 2019 weddings, too! It's hard to predict all the 2019 trends, since it's still summer, but as we see them, we'll certainly write about them. We also provide planning assistance and have seen what couples are planning for next year's events with us. Here are some trends we're seeing in the Austin and central Texas area, and beyond.
Ceremony Traditions Changing
We're seeing more couples choose to break traditions and create their own, unique wedding. We're seeing different bridal processions, more often. Brides will walk down the aisle with both parents, with their father/step-father, their entire family, their kids, and even best friends! We've also seen grooms walk down the aisle with their parents, too! Diana (above) walked down the aisle, non-traditionally, on her own wedding day! Perhaps she started the trend, two years ago! :) Who says you have to be traditional? You don't!
This bride walked down the aisle with her father and step-father. Both fathers were important in her life and she chose to honor them both! She also chose to do a mother/daughter dance during the reception, as well!
Different First Dances
Couples are changing the traditional first dance. First dances have traditionally been the couple, father/daughter, and mother/son. Now, people are choosing to do first dances with their mothers, their kids, and even their good friends. Traditions are great, but you should do what best suits you!
Clients are choosing to add more entertainment for guests who prefer, or are not able to, dance. Having more entertainment options helps keep your guests entertained longer, since it gives them more than one thing to do. Sometimes, dances are up to 3 hours (after dinner, cocktail hour and a ceremony) and clients have told us, "we can't' possibly have only music and expect people to dance for 3 straight hours." We always reply, "we'll play the music and try to keep them dancing, but sure, more entertainment options is always great, too!"
Other entertainment options that we often include are: photo/video booth, Karaoke, lawn games, giant games, "old school" gaming system (Nintendo, Atari, Super Nintendo, Sega games), and even game show type games that we can host.
More Food/Drink Options
Food is always a major part of any wedding or event. Lately, many clients have been adding late night snacks, which have been a major hit! We've seen Smores bars, popcorn, cotton candy, candy bars, and much more! After a long event, most people can't resist a tempting, late-night snack! :)
There are many more trends we're seeing, but these are the most common trends for 2018 and early 2019 weddings. Contact us to discuss details and how we can help you plan and implement these trending ideas at your wedding, quinceanera, party, or event!
- Austin's Best DJs & Photo Booths
Wedding at Mercury Hall, With Austin's Best DJs - Austin, TX
Last Thursday, we had a blast providing a DJ for a great wedding at Mercury Hall, in Austin, TX. We provided a PA setup for two live musicians, who sang the ceremony processional song, and the first dance, song, too! The vocalist was also a bridesmaid. They did an amazing job, as you can hear in the video above, for the first dance.
We played a great mix of 70s, 80s, 90s, 2000s, Country, Texas Country & top 40, to keep the guests dancing, all night! They had so much fun! We even forgot it was a Thursday night! :) Congrats, again, to Kaley & Alisdair!
Quinceanera at Flamingo Club, With Austin's Best DJs & Photo Booths!
Saturday, we provided a photo booth for a fun quinceanera, at the Flamingo Club, in Austin, TX. The birthday girl, Jennisa, had a great time celebrating the big 15, with all of her friends and family! Thanks to the staff at the Flamingo, for being so helpful and allowing us to set up pretty early! Happy birthday, again, Jennisa!
Overall, we had a great time last week, and we look forward to doing it, again, this weekend!
- Austin's Best DJs & Photo Booths
Can you use a Spotify list, instead of a wedding or event DJ? This is a very popular question that we see asked, nearly every month, all year, on different wedding forums, wedding websites, etc. The short answer is: Yes, you can. The better answer is, it depends.
Things to Consider When Using Spotify For Your Wedding
Create a Playlist for Every Part of the Wedding
Every month, we get clients who choose to send us their Spotify playlist, so that we get a better idea of their music preferences. Some clients may even ask us to play exactly what's on the list, in the exact order, for moments such as the ceremony, pre-ceremony music, cocktail hour, dinner, etc. In this case, if you want the DJ to play exactly what's on your list, in the exact order, then perhaps using a Spotify list would be a great choice. Just be sure to create separate playlists for each part of your wedding or event. You'll need a playlist for the prelude, ceremony, cocktail hour, dinner, and the dance.
Purchase Spotify Premium
Be sure to get Spotify Premium, in order to avoid commercials, during your wedding or event. Right now, Spotify even has a current promotion that lets you try their premium version, free for 30 days! If you only need it for this one event, you can sign up just before your wedding or event, and then cancel, 30 days later! Although it is only $9.99 per month, after, which is a great deal! :) Also, be sure to download your entire playlist and put it in the correct order, so you don't have to worry about having WiFi at your event.
Rent the Right PA System
You will need to rent the appropriate PA system for your wedding ceremony or reception, or both, and be sure to have the appropriate cords to hook up your laptop or tablet. Your needs will vary, depending on the size of the venue, the number of people attending, if you'll need a separate system for an outdoor ceremony or cocktail hour, how loud you want/need the music, the quality of the PA system, do you want uplighting, dance floor lights, etc.
If you're having an event in the Austin area, we often refer clients to Rock n Roll Rentals for their rental needs. We've rented equipment from them, hundreds of times, over the years. They have great prices for great equipment. Be sure to tell them what you're using the equipment for and they should be able to get you all the cords you need. I believe they now offer setup, too. This will save you from having to do it yourself, or asking friends/family to do it.
Designate an MC
Additionally, you'll need to designate someone to act as the MC for all your key moments, and to give your guests guidance and direction, on what's happening, where, and when. This will have to be someone who is willing to work a little, and obviously not drink too much, to keep track of what's happening throughout the night. Be sure this person is comfortable speaking in front of people and comfortable on a microphone.
Reasons to Book a DJ Instead of a Spotify List
Although we're a DJ and photo booth company, we always do our best to write our articles objectively. If you're willing to do all of the above, then yes, Spotify may be a great alternative for you. You can really save money by doing this. If you think it may be a bit too much work, then here are some reasons to consider a DJ.
DJs Should Have All the Necessary Equipment
Any great, reputable DJ company should have all the necessary equipment for your wedding. Whether you're having 30 guests, or 300, the DJ should have exactly what's necessary for your wedding or event. This saves you from having to go to your local rental place, worry about renting everything, picking up all the equipment, setting it up, breaking it down, taking back the equipment, etc. Leave the setting up and breaking down, to your DJ. Your job is to simply show up and have fun!
Leave the Music Selection to the Pros
DJs should have thousands of songs in their database and a good DJ will know how to keep the dance floor packed, all night! You won't have to worry about creating a playlist. Simply tell you DJ what you want, and leave it to him/her to create the list and he/she should know when to play everything, when to change the tempo, etc. Anyone can play a line dance and get everyone dancing. What song will they play after that to keep everyone dancing? There are only so many line dances you can play, so this won't work all night. :) A DJ should be able to play the best 100 songs from your genre preferences that will keep everyone dancing, all night.
Additionally, your DJ should be able to fulfill your vision of your perfect wedding. Want a fun wedding where everyone is dancing, from your youngest family members to your great grandparents? Your DJ should know how to do this. Want your wedding to be like the upscale Country bar you like to go to? Your DJ should be able to do that, too. Perhaps you want it like a downtown club? Again, your DJ should be able to do that, too.
The DJ Should Also Act as MC
The MC for any event is very important. Being a great Mc is more than just announcing what is happening. The MC should also be able to guide the flow for the entire evening. If the DJ/MC notices that perhaps people are leaving early, that DJ should be able to determine what to do to keep the guests there. Should they move the timeline? Is dinner taking too long? Is the music not getting people dancing? A great DJ/MC will know exactly what to do to solve this problem.
Let Your DJ Create Your Fun, Memorable Night
A great DJ will be able to check in with you, if perhaps your preferred playlist isn't working. Not only should he/she check in with you, they should know exactly what to play, to get your guests dancing and keep them dancing, all night. We've had brides and grooms who created playlists which we knew were probably not going to be very fun for their guests. We had a bride tell us "We want our wedding to be different. We don't want to play all the usual songs that you hear at most weddings. We want to play all the songs that nobody plays. We want to play all the 'B' sides." We KNEW it would not work as well as they imagined, but we also give our clients total control over what we play at their wedding, because it's their wedding.
On the day of the wedding, we played all the "B sides" of the artists they wanted and nobody danced. After about 30 minutes, we checked in with the bride and said "no one seems to be dancing to your playlist. What would you like us to do? We can stick to your list, or change it." She said "forget the playlist, just play whatever you think will get this party going." We did just that and everyone had a blast, dancing all night. Not every DJ will have the experience or expertise to be able to ditch the playlist and read the crowd, to know exactly what to play.
These are just a few great reasons of why choosing a DJ may be best for your wedding or event. Obviously, the choice is yours. Depending on your budget and circumstances, a Spotify list may be better for you. Your wedding should be fun, stress free, and one of the best times of your life. Hiring the right professionals can cost you a little more, but having a fun, memorable, stress-free event is truly priceless! :)
- Austin's Best DJs & Photo Booths
Every weekend, we provide DJ and photo booth services for weddings, quinceaneras, parties and events, all around the Austin and central Texas area. We've been to just about every venue in the area, except the very new ones, of course. Well, in October of 2016, it was finally our turn to be the client! :)
We chose to have our wedding at Fiesta Gardens, in Austin, Texas. At the end of the evening, we learned there were many pros, and a few cons, of having a wedding at Fiesta Gardens. Here is our honest, unbiased opinion of Fiesta Gardens, from our view as a client, and as a vendor, too! Here they are:
Pros of Having a Wedding at Fiesta Gardens - Austin, TX
Cons of Having a Wedding at Fiesta Gardens - Austin, TX
These are the main pros and cons that we could think of, when having our own wedding at Fiesta Gardens. From a vendor standpoint, the main thing to remember for your vendors is the weather.
If the weather is really hot, it's uncomfortable for your guests, and you, of course. So we advise having events and weddings at Fiesta Gardens, in the fall, or possibly early spring. Anytime from late September - early December works well. Even perhaps late February - mid-April will work, too. Outside of that time, the weather can really be questionable for having a great outdoor event. Again, if you have less than 150 people, the indoor facility will be perfect, any time of year. Ideally, less than 120 people will fit comfortably. We hope this helps you make a decision about having your wedding/event at this location!
- Austin's Best DJs & Photo Booths
A Fun Wedding at Scottish Rite Theater
Friday night, we had a blast providing a DJ and photo booth for this fun wedding, at Scottish Rite Theater, in Austin, Texas. This was our first time at this venue, and it was a very unique experience! We loved the entire place! The decor, the furniture and of course the theater, were all very beautiful!
Our couple also hired a live band, to perform for the first part of the reception. They did a great job! We provided music for the remaining 4 hours. Jason and Diana DJed the reception, and Amy kept the guests entertained, taking selfies at the photo booth! It was a great, memorable night! Congrats, again, to Leonel & Marisa!
A Great, July Wedding at Texas Old Town - Kyle, TX
Saturday, we had a blast providing a DJ for a fun wedding at Texas Old Town, in Kyle, Texas. This couple had a rustic wedding theme and it looked great! We loved their guest sign-in wood stump! Their cakes looked great, too! Jason and Diana personally worked this wedding and kept everyone dancing to their favorite: Texas Country, Country, Norteno, Cumbia, Bachata, and Pop hits!
Everyone danced every song, from start to finish! We're so glad everyone had fun. Congratulations, Ilse and Frank! :)
An Awesome Quinceanera, at American Legion - Austin, TX
Saturday night, we also provided a photo booth for a fun quinceanera, in south Austin, at the American Legion Hall. Amy kept the guests entertained at the photo booth, all night! All the guests took pictures the entire time the photo booth was open. As always, the photo booth was a huge hit! We want to wish a happy birthday, again, to Abigail!
Overall, it was a fun weekend of events! We look forward to doing it all over again, soon!
- Austin's Best DJs & Photo Booths
As one of the leading DJ and photo booth companies in the Austin and central Texas area, we provide our services for weddings, quinceaneras and parties, all year! We play a large variety of music, suitable for all ages. We're in Texas, so it's no surprise that for most of our weddings and events, people want to hear Texas Country music! So we decided to help our clients and anyone who is looking to make a playlist for their event!
It was tough to make this list, since there are lots of great Texas Country songs that we play. We made a list of the Top 15 most-played Texas Country songs. We also included the YouTube links, so you can listen to them. We know there are many more great songs, but here's what our clients have often requested. :)
If you want more song ideas, check out our more recent article, 20 Great Texas Country Wedding Songs. For non-traditional wedding processional/recessional song ideas, check out our 20 Great Non-Traditional Wedding Processional/Recessional Songs article. If you want to add more fun, upbeat songs for your wedding reception, check out our Top 200 Must-Play 2018 Wedding, Party & Event Songs article.
- Austin's Best DJs & Photo Booths
Austin's Best DJs
We've taken our decades of experience and compiled it into a few helpful articles, to help you plan your wedding or event!