Saturday, March 28, 2020

Getting Married in Texas Hill Country, Stress-Free

Get married in Texas Hill Country, Stress-Free

If you have planned or are currently planning your wedding, you know how stressful it can be. The road from engagement to walking down the aisle is not always a clear one. There are a lot of decisions to be made, from major investments down to the smallest details, and it can quickly get overwhelming. However, you want to be sure you enjoy your day and can look back on it fondly.

Whether you are a local or considering a destination wedding, Texas Hill Country is a great fit for couples regardless of budget or desired atmosphere. There are options to suit the needs of any couple, ensuring that your special day is exactly what you envision and is as stress-free as possible. From ranches to state parks to golf courses, every couple can find what they are looking for in the heart of Texas Hill Country.

bride and groom embracing beneath tree

Tip #1: Choose Your Venue Wisely

Many popular event venues will book multiple functions per day or per weekend in order to maximize their profits and the use of the space. So, if you have a Saturday wedding, you may be squeezed in between the timelines of the events on Friday and Saturday. If you are looking to avoid some of the stress associated with set-up and tear down, aim for a venue that allows you to rent for the full day or entire weekend. This means that you will not be as rushed, can take your time to set up and clean up, and can create your own timeline. Your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life; do not let someone else’s event take precedence over yours or cause you to feel stressed.

groom proposing to a bride

Tip #2: Prioritize Natural Scenery

Your venue is the biggest decision you will make during wedding planning, dictating how the rest of the day looks and feels. It will also have an impact on your choices in linen, color scheme, flowers, and décor.

Texas Hill Country’s mild climate all year long makes an outdoor venue a great choice. You can also consider doing some parts of the wedding—like the ceremony—outdoors, and the rest indoors. An outdoor venue means that you need to bring in minimal décor; the scenery and landscaping will add so much to the atmosphere and to your photos. You may not need to rent lighting if you are holding a majority of the celebration outdoors, saving you money and hassle. There are plenty of beautiful golf courses in the Texas Hill Country that would make stunning backdrops for your wedding.

Choosing your flowers and color scheme will also get easier if you know the venue already has a lot to offer. Bringing in less décor also means less cost to you. Just be prepared with a poor weather plan in case Mother Nature has different ideas about your big day.

Tip #3: Saturday is not The Only Option

Most weddings are typically held on Saturdays, giving guests plenty of time to travel to and from the area and giving you time to set up, tear down, and relax. However, it is not a hard and fast rule, and you can easily rearrange the stereotypical wedding weekend timeline to your plans.

If you have many local guests or are planning a true destination wedding that will require extensive travel regardless of the date, consider a Friday night or Sunday afternoon affair. Choosing a non-traditional day will give you more venue choices since they are less likely to be booked on those days. You may still want to look at a full-weekend venue rental (or at least a two-day rental) as mentioned in Tip #1 to reduce your stress where possible. Many weddings take more than a year to plan, so the day of the week should not be an issue as long as you give your guests plenty of time to coordinate logistics. Laid-back couples seeking a less formal or structured affair will appreciate having their wedding on a not-so-typical day of the week,

Another bonus: you may save some money since venues often go empty on Fridays and Sundays, and usually lower rental costs to make those days more appealing.

open green field and blue sky

Tip #4: Think Local

The Texas Hill Country is ripe with entertainment options, recreation opportunities, local dining, and boutique shopping. To save costs and reduce your stress, consider leaning heavily on local vendors. It gives you the opportunity to support small businesses, reduces shipping time and costs, and ensures that all of the pieces of your event will work well together. If your vendors are already familiar with your venue, it will save you the headache of trying to coordinate it all.

When picking your flowers, reach out to a local florist who knows your venue and can recommend things that are in season. Visit a local boutique for all of your formalwear needs and save on the cost of shipping items across the country. If your venue does not already include catering, consider the catering options available from local farm-to-table restaurants. Instead of flying in a hairstylist or makeup artist, ask around to see who is highly recommended near your venue.

Instead of the typical Sunday brunch following a wedding, consider an activity that can only be done in the Texas Hill Country: zip-lining, hiking, or horseback riding. These activities would also make great suggestions to distribute to out-of-town guests as they look to fill their time.

wood cart in flower field

Your wedding day is one of the happiest days of your life, and the end result of all of your planning should be exactly what you have always wanted and have dreamed of. It can also be an incredibly stressful time due to financial strain and all of the decisions that need to be made. As you are picking a destination for your special day, keep in mind the need to keep it as stress-free as possible—making the Texas Hill Country the perfect place.

Monday, March 9, 2020

How to Plan the Perfect Texas Hill Country Retirement

How to Plan the Perfect Texas Hill Country Retirement

If you or someone you know is thinking about retirement, you have probably been considering a wide variety of destinations. There are a lot of factors to take into consideration, such as climate, cost of living, transportation options, entertainment options, and distance from family and friendsand it seems like no destination checks all of the boxes.

Just because you are retiring does not mean you cannot be open to a new and exciting experience. Your retirement years can be filled with a new lifestyle, new opportunities, and the chance to start hobbies or projects you never had time for before. You can take the time to travel and explore. You can spend quality time with family and friends. All those things that you didn't have time for when you are working are now yours to experience.

green hills at dawn

If your retirement is well-planned, like it is for many of the baby boomer generation thanks to easy access to financial planners, retirement accounts, and online services, the opportunities are endless as to where you may end up. If you are looking for a warm southern climate with plenty of living options—whether it is a condo in the city or a senior community in a small town—Texas Hill Country provides a peaceful haven worth considering, even if you have never considered yourself a Texan. Made up of 21 unique cities divided into nine regions, Texas Hill Country was recently voted one of the top places to retire by Forbes magazine.

flowers beside wooden fence

Where Should I Live?

If you enjoy the outdoors and would like access to fresh air and beautiful scenery, Castroville, Barton Creek, and Horseshoe Bay may be the locales for you. There is plenty to do, keeping your daily routine fun and interesting. Castroville, just 15 miles outside San Antonio, is a historic town filled with local dining, parks, boutique shopping, walking tours, and historic buildings begging to be explored. Barton Creek is a suburb of Austin, boasting diverse neighborhoods and a unique urban-suburban mixed feel. Horseshoe Bay is a rural-suburban town with an atmosphere perfect for quiet walks, stargazing, and more.
Whether you want to rent or buy your home, there are plenty of options, although more residents opt to buy in these areas. Real estate prices are very reasonable compared to the national average. There are also plenty of senior and retirement community options with numerous amenities, security features, recreation options, and an outstanding quality of life. No matter where you decide to settle down in Texas Hill Country, you will enjoy its bustling economy, mild climate, low crime rates, cost of living just below the national average, median home price, and walkability. The Milken Institute also ranks many of these areas highly on their list of best cities for successful aging.

elderly couple looking at paperwork

What if I Want a Job?

If you are interested in launching a new career in your retirement years, whether part-time or a new full-time venture, these are some of the fastest-growing cities in Texas with economic growth to match. There are plenty of things to do in the area, with more popping up every day, so you are sure to find a part-time or full-time opportunity that suits your needs and skill set. Opportunities in entertainment and recreation especially are endless.

older couple walking golf course

What is There to Do?

If you would like to spend your retirement years in the great outdoors, Texas Hill County provides plenty of options. If you enjoy just taking in the quiet beauty of nature, you may enjoy bird watching or fishing at one of the local lakes. There are also many state and city parks in the area perfect for biking, walking, or spending time with your dog.
If you are a golfer, Texas Hill Country offers numerous golf courses of varying difficulty. The mild climate means it is perfect golf weather all year round. The more adventurous can sign up for horseback riding lessons, trail rides, or historical tours to get to know the area better and learn a new skill. A visit to a dude ranch makes a good day trip. And if you're looking to fly high, Wimberley Zipline Adventures is a well-known stop for those seeking a thrill among stunning Texas scenery. If you are a history buff, check out one of the museums in the area: the Bandera Natural History Museum, the Fort Croghan Museum, and the Kimble County Historical Museum. If the family comes to visit, consider a trip to the McKenna Children’s Museum. Texas Hill Country is also home to plenty of live music, local bars and restaurants, live theater, and concerts; no two nights out will ever be the same and you will always be able to find something to do on the weekends.

older couple walking hand in hand

Are There Things to Do in the Summer?

When the weather gets warmer, consider spending time on the golf course or in one of the parks. You can also sign up for float trips, kayaking, canoeing, and tubing adventures to keep cool and tour the region. If you consider yourself a foodie with a taste for something new, check out one of the dozens of wineries in the area for a day full of tastings. If you are planning an event, many of these spaces are also happy to host. No matter where you are in your retirement planning—whether you have just started thinking, have considered some ideas, or are ready to take the plunge—do not count out moving to Texas Hill Country. There is something for everyone from all walks of life, but there is a reason this region is especially popular among retirees. You can continue your active lifestyle, try something new, or decide to take it slow, and ultimately never run out of things to do. The cost of living is reasonable, the quality of life is high, and this region is ever-expanding. Make a visit to Texas Hill Country and it will make a strong case for being your home during your retirement years.