Austin Micro Wedding Guide – Everything You Need to Plan for 2020

Are you dreaming of an Austin micro wedding or elopement? Big skies, great food, and beautiful weather are just a few of the things that make Austin Texas a great place for a micro wedding. There is a reason that the Austin area is the wedding capitol of the world! After shooting hundreds of weddings in Austin over the last ten years I’ve come up with a roundup of information and tips for couples planning a small wedding in Austin. Below you’ll find a list of venues, planners, when to elope in Austin, and tips for planning the best Austin micro wedding of your dreams.

This list takes Covid-19 restrictions into consideration for 2020 and 2021. The venues and planners listed below are available for Austin micro weddings and Austin elopements with short notice and up to six months in advance. Each venue listing has information regarding availability for weekends and guest count limitations for 2020-2021. **Need help or have any suggestions for this list?? click here**

wildflower center wedding portrait

Austin Micro Wedding Venues

The venues listed below have large outdoor shaded spaces that are perfect for social distancing. They offer natural views with space for a ceremony and reception. While most of them also hold large weddings, they can be perfectly partitioned for an intimate Austin wedding. The beautiful thing about having an Austin micro wedding is that you can make a full week or weekend of it and stay in a nearby Airbnb or a chic local hotel.

Prospect House

A gorgeous airy space and sweeping views of the hill country make Prospect House a perfect location for an Austin micro wedding. They have an iconic square ceremony site that frames the picturesque hill country view. This location also features a beautifully shady deck and light filled screened in porch. It’s located in Dripping Springs. They are currently booking micro weddings for all days of the week that are remaining in 2020. Click here to view more of Lauren and Mike’s Prospect House wedding

prospect house dripping springs arch

Chapel Dulcinea

Chapel Dulcinea is a free wedding chapel in Austin. Yes, free! They currently allow weddings with a 90 minute time slot and groups up to 10. There are weekday and weekend spots available through the summer and fall of 2020. It’s a gorgeous outdoor stone chapel atop a hill with a scenic view of the hill country. This location is great for a couple looking for a ceremony only location.

Austin Restaurants

This is a cool non traditional venue idea. This of course depends on the restaurant and day of the week but it is totally worth getting in touch with your favorite Austin restaurant to see if they have a private room for events or if they are able to reserve an outdoor patio area for your intimate reception. Here are a few of my favorites (currently open) with great food and beautiful interiors: Josephine House, La Condesa (Malverde), Launderette, Contigo, Parkside, Hank’s Austin, P6 at The Line Hotel, Central Standard.

Justine’s Secret House

If you’ve ever been to Justine’s for dinner you know the magical French vibes of this restaurant. I’m a super fan of their steak frites and their romantic outdoor space. Their private venue Justine’s Secret House has all the same vibes but in a an intimate lush space located near downtown Austin.  You and your fiancé will feel like you’ve transported in time to your own Parisian getaway in Austin.

Allan House

Allan House is a historic Victorian home right in the middle of downtown Austin. It offers both an indoor and outdoor ceremony space with a lovely shaded outdoor courtyard. Imagine you and your your love riding away in wedded bliss to a nice dinner in downtown Austin. Some minimum hourly rates apply depending on days of the week. Pricing based on guest count for Austin micro weddings. Click here to view more of Kailey and Fito’s Allan House wedding

allan house austin micro wedding

Barr Mansion

Just a few miles away from downtown Austin is Barr Mansion. This venue has lush gardens and three ceremony space options. Their new outdoor covered area is perfect for a ceremony or hosting an outdoor reception for a small group. They currently have a few Saturdays left for small weddings in 2020 when booked within three months and any other day of the week when booked six months out. Click here to view more of Arun and Ashly’s Barr Mansion wedding

Peached Social House

Peached Social House is modern and light filled space with incredible catering! This event space is located in Central Austin. Check out their site for an awesome video tour. They are currently waiving their site fee with a catering minimum for events in 2020.

Le San Michele

Just south of Austin in Buda is Le San Michele. This venue is French chateau meets Austin countryside. I love this location for the beautiful gardens and how magical it looks with all the twinkle lights in the evenings. You could hold a lovely intimate dinner on the stone courtyard and be surrounded by the gorgeous gardens around. Click here to view more of Leven and Jim’s Le San Michele wedding.

austin micro wedding le san michele

Laguna Gloria

This venue is an Italian style villa with waterfront views located near Mt Bonnell in central Austin. Laguna Gloria features lush lawns and tropical palms. I’ve photographed weddings with lovely intimate outdoor dining that runs right along the waterfront. It also offers multiple locations for gorgeous photos you will love to share with family and friends. They currently offer two hour packages including Thursday evenings and some Saturday mornings for 2020 Austin micro weddings. Click here to see more from Ana and Adam’s Laguna Gloria wedding

Brazos Hall

Brazos Hall is an industrial warehouse turned event venue. The downstairs area offers a modern, moody, and industrial setting while the upstairs offers a large and an airy open covered patio.  You and your beloved can exchange vows in the heart of downtown. Currently offering packages for small weddings and have multiple weekend dates available in 2020.

Texas Capitol

Texas Capitol grounds are currently closed to public access. I’ll update this post when grounds open. The Capitol grounds have lush green lawns and shady oak trees. This is a great (and free!) central location with walkability to several downtown hotels and restaurants. You could have a short and sweet ceremony on the lawn then head to another spot for a reception.

** Click here to see to see my full list of 23 Romantic & Cool Austin Wedding Venues 

List of Planners

Bird Dog Wedding

The owner of Bird Dog Wedding, Emily Leach, says it perfectly herself they are a boutique event planning and design company passionate about creating fresh, fun, and beautiful weddings. They currently have availability for Austin micro weddings and Austin elopements in fall 2020 and booking for 2021.

Just Month Of

The sister company of Something to Celebrate (by owner Jessica Moore), Just Month Of offers what it’s name implies. This service is perfect for couples with a small guest count who are doing most of the planning themselves but would like help as the date gets closer. This company pairs professional local coordinators with couples who are having intimate weddings in the central Texas area. Available for 2020 and 2021.

Wescott Weddings

Wescott Weddings is a full wedding planning service also available for Austin micro weddings and Austin elopements. Ellen’s style is sophisticated and personal. She also has an associate planner available for smaller weddings. They currently have availability for fall 2020 and booking for 2021.

Best Time of Year

There are a few things to consider when planning your Austin micro wedding. If you want moderate temperatures you may want to have your wedding February-May or September- early November. Although that is typically the busy season for Austin wedding vendors, most vendors have several dates in these windows available for fall 2020 and spring 2021 due to the pandemic. My busiest months photographing weddings are typically October and April, but I still have prime dates available in the fall. Need some help picking a perfect date? Email me!

5 Tips for an Austin Micro Wedding

Prioritize

Pick the most important part of your wedding and then work around it. The nicest part about a small wedding should be less stress! Maybe the most important part for you is a date in October and your first choice for location isn’t available or maybe your priority is the location and you might have to have a brunch wedding instead. That’s ok! Do what works best for you. In the end, being married to your beloved is what’s important.

Budget

It’s the last thing we want to think about when planning our dream wedding but it’s one of the most important! Having a wedding budget for an Austin micro wedding or Austin elopement doesn’t mean you can’t have the wedding of your dreams. It actually means you know in advance where you want to splurge and save your money. For my own intimate wedding, we splurged on the venue at The Gage Hotel and saved on our wedding attire. My husband wore a suit he already had (H&M but still looked sooo good!) and I was able to find a gorgeous sample sale dress at Blue Bridal. We knew we wanted to splurge and have our amazing friend James Moes do our wedding photography so we saved on entertainment by having a friend be our karaoke dj instead of hiring a band or live music. Karaoke is what we really wanted anyway. Thing about what YOU want on your wedding day and splurge on that (and the wedding photography!). My friend Emily Leach at Bird Dog Wedding also points out that it’s important to remember that just because you are having a small wedding doesn’t mean the planning workload changes that much, especially in non traditional venues.

Communicate With Your Photographer

I would love to know full details of your Austin micro wedding day so I can plan out how to best maximize the time for your wedding photographs. For every wedding I like to put together a photography timeline that helps everyone know what to expect. Have a special request to get a nice portrait with all your nieces and nephews? Want to get a special portrait of the two of you in a particular location you have in mind? Be sure to include that in our contact before the wedding. In this timeline we can allocate extra time for special photo requests.

Assign a Point of Contact

It’s so important to assign someone else (not you!) to be the point of contact for your wedding and even a few days leading up to the wedding. This is where hiring one of the awesome planners I listed above can be beneficial. You want to enjoy your days and not feel stressed. Inevitably a family member will need something urgently or a vendor might have to make a last minute change. Let your assigned contact take care of that for you! With all of my clients I ask for a contact number that isn’t the couple, this could be a planner, bff, or family member.

Marriage License

Don’t forget this! You can apply for your marriage license at the Travis County Clerk office in person up to 89 days in advance and a minimum of 3 days in advance. You’ll need proof of identity/age and your social security number. Important to note that as of August 2020 the office is only accepting marriage license payments in cash. You can also take a registered premarriage program in advance to get a discount on your marriage license fee. Twogether in Texas has a list of available programs and includes both faith and community based options. My husband and I did the Keeping Marriage Healthy program (we chose this one because it was free and not faith based) in person a few years ago and it was honestly one of our favorite parts of the wedding planning. We found it to be a fun bonding experience.