The”Live Music Capital of the World” offers an eclectic mix of tunes to tap your feet along to, food so good you’ll be thinking about it months later, and a tapestry of lakes and rivers that provide a relaxing reprieve from the hot Texas sun. This highly coveted city is also home to an assortment of affordable wedding venues that range from ranch-fab to downtown-chic.
Wildflowers are synonymous with Central Texas, in large part because past First Lady, Lady Bird Johnson, made it so. This 264-acre exquisite botanic garden is dedicated to conservation and sustainability and features a diverse collection of native-Texas plants and wildflowers, woodlands, and butterflies and birds aplenty. The prime locale for intimate ceremonies is Cecile’s Arch, a limestone alter named after the First Lady’s maid-of-honor that is surrounded by honeysuckle, lantana, and oak trees. Larger ceremonies can be held at the Texas Arboretum or indoor auditorium. Those hoping for an indoor/outdoor event will enjoy the Great Hall, which looks on to the Savanna Meadow and has an adjacent courtyard. If a mix of history, nature, and wildlife is your jam, this Austin oasis is the venue for you.
Typical Cost: $2,000 – $5,000
Bonus: The Wildflower Center is a non-profit so your money will be supporting the conservation of native plants, sustainable public gardens, education and outreach programs, and research projects.
The many bodies of water meandering through Austin are its lifeblood – specifically Lake Austin. Abel’s on the Lake sits at the end of a dock perched on Lake Austin and offers the laid-back, friendly vibes typical of the Texas capital. The nosh is also quintessential Texas with offerings such as ranch style jalapenos, green chile cheeseburgers, and migas. You can enjoy a ceremony on the balcony, with the glistening hill country lake in the background, then head inside to the event room, which features roll-up glass doors that create an (air-conditioned!) outdoor atmosphere. This is the spot for those looking for a venue that screams Austin.
Typical Cost: $450 – $5,000
Bonus: Beer fans will rejoice as Abel’s has over sixty beers on tap, including seventeen local brews.
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Let nature be the backdrop of your wedding at this 10-acre estate that includes vibrant gardens, a waterfall, large oak trees, and paths that wind through the vegetation, providing gorgeous settings for your photos. For guests who would like to stay on-site, the main house and cabins can be rented – and, there’s no music curfew so you can dance into the wee hours then walk back to your accommodations. If your wedding falls in one of Texas’ warmer months, House on the Hill has a large pool that’s ideal for a classic “everyone jump in the pool” photo op.
Typical Cost: $500 – $1,500 to rent the space. $3,900 – $5,500 for packages
Bonus: Sunday weddings receive a significant discount.
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Enjoy the essence of the Austin hill country with a ceremony on the Ranch’s 10,000 square foot patio surrounded by massive oak trees (wrapped in twinkle lights!), then dance under the stars to a band housed in a covered stage. The outdoor space also includes a bar and a gas fire that enhances the country charm. While catering is not offered, this space includes a catering kitchen and allows you to bring your own alcohol. If you would prefer an indoor event, Ranch Austin has an elegant banquet hall that can seat up to 200 guests. In addition, there is a bridal suite and groom’s cabin provided for pre-wedding prep and celebration.
Typical Cost: $3,500 – $6,500
Bonus: 200 mahogany folding chairs, 20 round tables, 6 cocktail tables, and 6 rectangular tables are included with rental.
For those wanting a prime location in downtown Austin for their nuptials, Max’s Wine Dive is optimal. With an industrial chic interior and gourmet comfort food like a Max n’ cheese station, empanadas, shrimp and grits, and fried chicken this venue provides all the fixins for a memorable celebration. Max’s offers four private event spaces: The Underground, which features antique rugs and candlelight, The Vintage Room and Grand Reserve Room, that both have an urban ambiance and are accented with Austin art and craftsman wine bottle sconces, and finally, The Black Door Wine Lounge, that has wine bottle chandeliers and leather and wood furniture. And, with a slogan like “Fried chicken and champagne… why the hell not?!” you know Max’s Wine Dive is sure to please.
Typical Cost: $1,000 – $8,500
Bonus: As the name indicates, this venue has a wide array of wines from around the world, with price tags that won’t make you gawk.