Knowing which rental company to go with can be stressful. I have put together a list of my favorite vendors through out the Austin and Hill Country.

1. Intelligent Lighting Design: Lighting can change the complete look of your wedding. This company has all different light fixtures to stunning chandeliers and spot lighting!



2. Whim Event Rentals: Perfect for table top rentals. They have beautiful dishes and glass options. As well as beautiful linen selections.

bridesmaid dresses online 2016 shop


3. Premier Wedding Rental: Tables and Chairs are best to rent from this company, as well as food serving utensils. All around a great company to help make your dream wedding come true.


4. Sweet Sunday Events: This company really does it all, they have a wide range of services from floral design to a team that helps design the wedding of your dreams. They have really great prices and lots of vintage and rustic options.



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Choosing a Wedding Color Palette

With so many stunning weddings on pinterest, instagram and various magazines. It can be so difficult to choose a style that is uniquely YOURS- picking a color palette may seem simple but when brides are busy choosing a dress, catering companies and venues, color palettes can seem slightly irrelevant.
Here at the Hill Country Wedding Blog we have put together a collaboration of wedding color palettes for all different styles and if you’re wanting to zoom in on your specific style we’ve attached a link to a quiz that could help you find your very own wedding style.

 images PRETTY-PALETTES19 PRETTY-PALETTES21 Unknown Unknown-1

Click Below to find your very own style!

*by: Raquel Yarovinsky

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DIY Wedding Floral Crowns

Floral crowns are such a lovely and romantic accessory for bridal shoots, bridesmaids and for the boho bride. With spring approaching who doesn’t want some lovely spring florals in their hair?

I’ve attached a few links to some pretty neat floral crown tutorials.


wedding hair accessories for bridal flower crowns


*Raquel Yarovinsky

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Beauty Tips for The Bride

Phot credit:
Phot credit:

You are gearing up for your wedding events, such as the engagement party, a bachelorette party, etc.  It is time to look your best, as the center of attention to these events, so why not use the latest beauty trends to help you glow.

Do you want a dramatic look or simple elegance?  Either look needs some of the same basic items.  Find a foundation that matches your skin tone.  Apply a small amount to your jawline to make sure the color of foundation matches your face and your neck.  Primer is also necessary to use before you apply your foundation and your eye makeup.  It will make your makeup last longer and keep your look lasting throughout your wedding event.  Use any primer, CC cream or BB cream, whichever best fits your skin.

If you want a wedding glow get a spray tan before your wedding.  If it is your first time spray tanning, give it a try about three weeks before your event so that your color can be matched perfectly and to make sure the spray tan is exactly as you would like it.  One you decide to use a spray tan for your event then schedule your final spray tan three days before your event.  If you don’t plan on getting a full body tan you can use some bronzer to get a glow on your face.  Don’t use too much, a small amount of bronzer goes a long way.

Photo Credit: Simply Golden Airbrush Tanning (Austin, TX)
Photo Credit: Simply Golden Airbrush Tanning (Austin, TX)

Let’s face it, one of your worst nightmares is to have pimples the day of any big event especially events that involve numerous pictures being taken.  If you happen to have any pimples on your face a quick fix to dry it out is to apply toothpaste directly on the pimple.

If you are going for a natural look, there is not much to do.  Apply your primer to your face and eyes then apply your eyeshadows.  It is best to do your eyeshadows first because it falls on your face and it is easier to clean up.  Use eyeshadows and eye liners that are neutral to keep the natural look.  Then comes my favorite part; apply waterproof mascara to your eyelashes, both top and bottom, it really brings out your eyes.  Then add foundation to your face and add concealer under both eyes.  Bring in your bronzer and add it to your forehead, nose, chin, neck and a little under your cheekbone to bring structure to your cheeks.  Pick a blush that isn’t too pink and apply it to your cheeks.  You are basically done with all of your makeup, but don’t forget those lips.  No face is complete without lipstick or lipgloss.  A natural lip color continues to embrace the natural look you are going for, but it can be fun to add a bit of pop to a natural look and the lips are where it should be done.  A red or a brighter pink can actually brighten up your look while still keeping it natural.

If you are looking to have a more dramatic look, use eyeshadows that are bold and contour the face.  Below are a couple of ways to apply your eyeshadow and to contour the face.  Remember to do your eyeshadow first and then do your contouring after you apply your foundation.

Photo credit:
Photo credit:
Photo credit:
Photo credit:

These are some simple, but effective beauty tips to keep in mind when any of your wedding events come up.  You are the main attraction and as so you should look your best for your showers, parties, and of course, your wedding day.  You might think that you can’t recreate these looks, but if you practice them they kinks will work themselves out.  If you are looking to buy new beauty products always consult with a specialist at the counter.  They can help you pick the colors that fit you best and they can even show you tricks to create the look you are gong for.


*Betsy Villanueva



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My Life as a Bride Finale

Our Ceremony

It finally happened, I am a married woman.  The wedding was absolutely perfect.  We didn’t have any problems and my husband (yes, it is strange to call him husband instead of fiancé) and I enjoyed our wonderful wedding.  Today, I will reveal the rest of my wedding details.

The wedding venue I picked in the Hill Country was Rancho Mirando.  The reason I chose this venue is that it offered everything that I was looking for.  Rancho Mirando is owned and operated by two wonderful ladies that go out of their way to make sure every step of your wedding is  perfected.  Leslie and Donna are kind an pleasant to work with.  Every meeting with them was easy and they always stayed up to date on any changes or ideas they thought would help me during my wedding planning process.  Let’s be honest, even if you have the most amazing venue imaginable, if you don’t get along with the people in charge, if they are difficult to deal with, or if there are an excessive amount of rules and limitations then there is a good chance you won’t be enjoying your wedding planning as much as you had hoped for.  I had none of those issues because going into it I made sure I picked a venue that made me feel comfortable.  Rancho Mirando was the most beautiful venue that I had visited in the Hill Country.  The drive out to Rancho Mirando is breathtaking and once you arrive on site the view is just as beautiful.  I wanted my guest to be able to see what I experience on a daily basis living in the hill country, the beautiful greenery and hills.  The view from the venue is green as far as the eye can see.  At other venues I had visited the views weren’t as pretty or there were houses that would take away from the view.  Rancho Mirando has three levels to it.  I liked this because my guests could see parts of my wedding without seeing the whole thing altogether and I could play up each area to be different.  I loved every bit of the venue, especially the main house that we stayed in.  Rancho Mirando met my expectations on every level and went above and beyond for Adam and myself.

Rancho Mirando

My wedding planner was Kayleigh Ziegenbein.  Kayleigh is great at what she does and there was no doubt in my mind that she would get things done for my wedding.  She dealt with all of the things a bride doesn’t care to do or worry about and also helped me with all of the fun planning.  I tried to do as much of the planning on my own, but she always stepped up whenever I needed her.  She coined the theme that my choices were heading in to be Marie Antoinette and it was exactly as I envisioned it.  The day of my wedding I was overwhelmed, mostly because I was about to get married, but not once was I concerned that things weren’t getting done while I was getting ready.  I always thought I would have wanted to go around the venue before guest arrive to make sure everything was as I imagined it, but when it came own to the day of I wasn’t worried and walking around the venue was not even on my mind.  Picking someone that you trust to make your vision come to life is very important to have on your wedding day.  She made everything run smoothly on the day of and even though I wanted her to have fun with me at the wedding she still did her job and continued to make sure we were sticking to a timeline and getting things done.

The wedding vendors that I chose were also part of why I wasn’t worried about what was happening outside the main house on my wedding day.  All of the vendors I picked have great reviews and were suggested to me by Kayleigh.

Wes Shephard with New Road Productions is absolutely fantastic.  He is great to work with and his photography skills are awesome.  As soon as Kayleigh suggested Wes I looked him up and I knew I wanted him to be our photographer (I booked him as quickly as possible).  Venue and photography were the two most important parts of the wedding to me.  He is fun to work with and made us feel comfortable.  We used him for our engagement session, our wedding, and I will be using him for my bridal session.  We also used New Road Productions to do our wedding video.  On our wedding day there was a lot going on, but Wes and his guys didn’t make me feel overwhelmed like I needed to be taking certain pictures or doing this or that for pictures.  Instead they worked around us and made me feel like the pictures that were being taken were great.  They were all very nice and I am so happy that Wes and his crew captured our day.

Catering is a big part of any wedding, but it wasn’t a big concern for me until I had my first tasting with Suzanne Court.  She is nice and professional and her food is amazing.  Once Adam and I had our first tasting we knew we didn’t need to look for another caterer and we could no longer lower our standards for food.  Suzanne has a very professional staff.  On the wedding day I had several compliments about the food, but I had the same amount of compliments about the staff and I did not realize that guests would pay attention to that.  It was a win, win for me.

Rentals are an absolute necessity at any wedding, unless you plan on purchasing everything you need for your wedding.  Rancho Mirando has its own rental company and we used them for most of our rentals.  We had to increase our numbers several times and they were able to accommodate us.  We also used Whim rentals and they were able to get us other last minute necessities that we needed.  Whim is always a pleasure to work with.  I have used rentals from them before and I have never had any problems.

Whim Florals

I used Whim Floral for our wedding flowers.  Kari is absolutely fabulous.  I cannot say enough good things about Kari.  She is so sweet and cares about making your vision come to life.  The flowers for my wedding were exactly as I had pictured and I received several compliments on them.   You could tell she spent time on each arrangement.  She is also very creative and finds ways to incorporate flowers in area you wouldn’t even expect.  She also surprised me by making me a peony bouquet.  She wasn’t sure if she was going to be able to get the peony in and she did! She exceeded all my expectations on the flowers and I will continue to use her for any of my future events.

Simon Lee Bakery

Simon Lee Bakery created our wedding cake and grooms cake for the wedding.  We picked Simon Lee Bakery because the flavors they offered are delicious.  The wedding cake was classic yet simple, but our grooms cake was a 3D horned frog.  We both graduated from Texas Christian University and wanted to incorporate a bit of that in our wedding since that is where we met.

We had all kinds of music at our wedding. During the ceremony, Musical Discovery Chamber Players played lovely wedding music as guests arrived.  During cocktail hour we had mariachis playing for the guests as they mingled.  During the reception we hired Altared Weddings.  Christian was a great DJ and was very nice and friendly.  Altared Weddings also did our lighting and gobo.

There aren’t many things that I was very picky about during my wedding planning, but makeup was definitely one of them.  I went to about five different makeup artists for trials and was not happy with them.  I finally found Makenzi Laine and absolutely loved my makeup.  On the wedding day my girls liked the makeup they were seeing so much that they decided to get their makeup done as well.  My makeup was flawless and that is exactly what I was going for.  I will definitely be using her for future events.  My wedding hair was done by my usual stylist, Bobbie Kleman.  She is not only great at color, but also styling.  I wanted my hair to be down for the ceremony and up for the reception; she was able to create both looks for me.  She is one to go to for your wedding hair needs.

The wedding was a fairytale come true.  It is everything I had imagined it would be and I couldn’t be more pleased with the outcome.  Thank you to my parents, Adam, Kayleigh, our venue and the vendors that made this day flawless.  Adam and I loved our wedding and we are excited to see where this journey as husband and wife takes us.


*Betsy Villanueva

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Wedding Superstitions

There are so many wedding superstitions out there, but which are the most popular? Do you believe in superstitions? As a bride it can be fun and cute to follow some of these superstitions or incorporate them into your wedding.  I think it’s time we bring some of these superstitions into the light.

1.  The bride should have something new, borrowed, old, and blue.

2.  To bring good luck, save the ribbons from the shower gifts to create a bouquet that should be use during your rehearsal.

3.  If you tear any of the ribbons when you are opening gifts that is the number of kids you will have.

4.  If you see a rainbow on your wedding day it is a good omen.

Taylor Swift be the bridesmaid of her best friend's wedding

5.  The first gift the bride opens should be the first used in her marital home.

6.  The groom should not see the bride until she walks down the aisle.

7.  As newlyweds, groom should carry the bride across the threshold.  If the bride were to stumble entering their home, it is a bad omen.

8.  There should be ten cans tied to the back of the newlyweds car to scare off bad spirits as they drive away.

9.  It is bad luck for the bride to practice walking down the aisle for her rehearsal.  Typically you ask a friend to do it for you.

10.  The bride’s veil is used to hide her from evil spirits.

11.  The girl that catches the bouquet is next to be married.


Remember, even if you don’t believe in these things, they can be fun for you and your groom to follow.  Some of these would even make cute wedding pictures.


*Betsy Villanueva



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It’s time to create a registry for you wedding and your showers.  You can practically register anywhere now a days, but here are a list of places to register at to get you started.

Why register at  You can go to any store you like and add anything from that store to your registry at  Chances are, you won’t find everything you want or need from one particular store, but with you can add items from several stores.  This gives you and your groom exactly what you want without having to settle for something you kind-of like.

Find a store that has a broad range of things for you to choose from.  When you create your registry someone will always tell you to register for many things, even if you think it’s too much.  This gives your guests the ability to pick things that are in their budget, while also having several choices.  Also, keep in mind that several stores offer some sort of a bonus if you register with them.  For example, Bed, Bath, and Beyond offers you 20% off on the remaining items on your registry that was not bought.  This allows you to purchase the items you still need at a discount.

Next up on the list of preferred registry stores is Bed, Bath, and Beyond.  This store has practically everything you could possibly want to register.  When the customer service desk tells you they have more things online to look at and choose from, they really mean it.  They have a larger selection of items online than they do in stores.  Don’t forget to browse online to find some great items.

This department store has a variety of items to offer with great pricing.  Macy’s always has sales, which works to your advantage because guests can get you a better gift for a good price.  Plus, you can add clothes, jewelry, or other items around the store.

Dillard’s has nice items from you to choose from if you are looking for a step up on quality, that is also reasonably priced.  The selection isn’t as large on appliances, but they do offer furniture, clothes, makeup, and shoes that can be added to your registry.  Who doesn’t enjoy a little black dress?


Target offers a $20 gift card if you register with them.  Registering here is particularly great for your groom because he can register for all of the items needed for upkeep of your house.  This is a great choice to register at for a couples shower.

Try to set up a few registries, especially for people traveling to the wedding, because some stores may not be in their particular area.  For example, I did not choose to register at Macy’s because my fiancé’s friends and family are from Mississippi and they don’t have Macy’s around them.  I chose to register elsewhere in Mississippi for their convenience.  Most people send gifts directly to your home, but some prefer to give you the gift at the wedding so keep that in mind if you find a website that doesn’t have an actual store for your guests to visit.

*Betsy Villanueva


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A Gift for your Groom

On the day of your wedding you and your groom choose to exchange gifts before the wedding.  What should you get him?  You can give him something he can use for the wedding or something he has wanted for a while.  Make his gift something meaningful and personal.  It doesn’t need to be extravagant to be  a great gift.  Put thought into the gift.

Start with what your groom could use for the big day.  You can also go one step further and surprise him by engraving a special message into any of the items he can use for the day of.  Use a phrase he likes or that you both use often that is special to you or simply tell him that you love him forever and always.  Make sure to personalize any gift that you get him, add your special touch.

Engrave his wedding band
Engrave his wedding band
Groom shirt
Groom shirt
An engraved watch
An engraved watch
Cuff links
Cuff links
Kit for your groom
Kit for your groom

Get him a gift that he can use in the future or look at any time he wants.  Think of his hobbies and interests, even if they are not your favorite, show him that you care about the things he cares about.

Personalized golf balls
Personalized golf balls
Picture with the groom showing his hunting interests
Surprise him by taking a picture that he would like to have on your wedding day
Surprise him by getting a grooms cake he wants that you may not have liked as much
Surprise him by getting a grooms cake he wants that you may not have liked as much

Make him a book with your love story in it
Make him a book with your love story in it.
You are in the Hill Country.  Set up skeet shooting for your groom and his groomsmen for the morning of the wedding.
Skeet shooting with the groomsmen

You are in the Hill Country. Set up some activity for your groom to do with his groomsmen.  You can even get help from his groomsmen to get an activity set up and keep it a surprise.  Whatever gift you pick for your man, do it with flare.  Make it something memorable.


*Betsy Villanueva

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How To: Include Your Pet


You have a pet that you adore and want to include on your wedding day? No problem!  Here are a few ways to include your pet on the big day and things to take into consideration while trying to decide whether to include your pet or not.  You must first decide if it is appropriate to have your pet at your wedding depending on the type of wedding you are having or the location of the wedding.  If you are having your wedding on a ranch or out in the country having your pet at or in your wedding would be no problem.  If your wedding is at a hotel, in a church, or is very formal it is best to keep your pet at home.  Ask your venue what their pet policy is.  The temperament of your animal must also be taken into consideration.  Is your pet aggressive, hyper or loud?  If that is the case then many things could go wrong at your wedding and having your pet present would be a problem that you don’t need to be worried about on your big day.  Even if you have a good tempered pet, remember other small issues may arise.  For example, if your dog sees a squirrel will he/she want to bark or chase after it?  Does your dog need to be watched throughout the day?  If so, someone needs to be in charge of your pet because you will be busy on your wedding day.


Wedding-DogsYou can have your pet wear some shade of the color scheme you have picked out for your wedding.  Your pet can also wear an outfit to match either the groom or bride or even just a cute collar to spruce up your pet.

If your dog or cat can manage walking down the aisle without being too distracted by your guests, he/she can walk or be walked down the aisle to stand by your side during the ceremony.  Your pet can be the ring bearer if you secure the rings on the pillow or simply attach the pillow to your pet and keep the rings with your best man, either way it is a cute picture to have.




Bellingham Washington Wedding Photography







Let’s talk pictures.  If having your pet throughout your whole wedding day is not possible, but you really want him/her involved take a few pictures with them on your wedding day.  Make sure that your pet is clean and groomed and won’t get you or your groom dirty.  Also, do not allow them to climb or jump on you because it could tear your dress or ruin the tux in some way.  Have someone there to help you control them during pictures.

If you include your pets on your big day do a run through with them so they get an idea of what it will be like and so you can feel comfortable on the day of your wedding knowing that they will be well behaved.



*Betsy Villanueva


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Wedding Etiquette

Weddings are about tradition, celebration, and above all else, love.  Weddings have evolved to keep up with the times and so has wedding etiquette.  The first rule to wedding etiquette is to be kind and respectful throughout the wedding planning process.  Be  a gracious bride/groom.

First comes the proposal.  How do you decide whether or not to ask the parents of the bride or groom for permission?  Personally, I think asking the parents for permission is a must.  It really depends on the bride or groom’s religious traditions, beliefs, and preferences.  Picking a ring is just as important as it was ten years ago, but the rule of saving two months salary to pay for the ring is no longer.  Men traditionally shop for the engagement ring themselves, but in recent years the ladies take part in the decision making process to ensure they get a ring they like.  Always remember the four C’s when searching for an engagement ring; carat, clarity, cut, and color.  Wedding bands will be exchanged during the ceremony and your ring finger should be bare.  Your wedding band is worn “closest to your heart”.

Engagement Ring
Engagement Ring

Now that you are engaged, how do you break the news?  First you should tell the children of the bride or groom, then the parents of the bride, and last but not least, the groom’s parents.  After these people have been told, you are free to tell the rest of your family and friends.  If the two set of parents have not met then it is important to make it happen as soon as possible.  It is lovely to see two families come together.

When one gets married there are several parties that take place throughout the wedding planning process.  The first is an engagement party.  This is hosted by the bride’s parents, but the grooms parents may also want to host an engagement party in their own hometown.  Gifts are not to be required at an engagement party, so do not include a registry card in your engagement party invitation.  Then there is the bridal shower. This is hosted by the Maid of Honor and the bridesmaids a few months before the wedding.  It is said that the mother of the bride or immediate family members should not host the bridal shower.  Only invite women that will be invited to the wedding.  You may include registry information in the bridal shower invitation.  The bridal party also organizes the bachelorette party.  They can ask other girls that are also attending the bachelorette party to help pay for the bride’s way.

Bridal Shower
Bridal Shower

When it comes time to invite people to your wedding there are always the ones you absolutely have to have and the others that you would like to have.  There may be people that you hadn’t considered inviting but that your parents would like to attend.  Take your parents into consideration when it comes to wedding planning and guests, especially if they are helping you pay for the big day.  If they are not helping with the wedding expenses then it is allowable to limit their input and their guests.  If the guests would like to bring a date then they are allowed to, unless it is a casual date then the casual date need not be invited.

There are simple rules that are followed on the wedding day.  Nobody, except the bride, wears white to a wedding.  The Bride should be the only one dressed in white unless there is a white theme.  Always greet and thank your guests for attending your wedding.  Give a special thank you to your parents and the wedding party and anyone else that has put in effort to make your day as special as possible.

Traditions to follow at the reception are the grand entrance, the first toast, father of the bride welcoming the guests, blessing of the meal, the first dance, father daughter dance, the cake cutting, the garter toss, the bouquet toss, and the exit.

Once the big day has come and gone and so has the honeymoon you still have a couple of things left to do.  You must send out thank you notes for the gifts that you received on your wedding day.  It should be handwritten and sent out as soon as possible.  Often brides change their names and if you choose to do so then you should change your social security card, passport, driver’s license, accounts, and credit cards.

The last thing to do is to save your gown.  It needs to be professionally cleaned and packaged.  This helps preserve the dress.  You never know, your daughter may choose to wear the dress someday.

Framed Dress
Framed Dress


*Betsy Villanueva






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