Austin Lighting Rentals Made Magical

Altared Weddings & Events Team

Once in a while, we partner up with creative collaborators around town to produce a styled shoot. These occasions give local event professionals the chance to show what we can do, providing inspiration to our customers for future gatherings. We love working with our fellow Austin-based businesses to produce beautiful weddings, showers, anniversary parties, bar/bat mitzvahs, blowout birthday bashes and more, and the results of styled shoots like the one we recently participated in at Victoria’s Tea House & Garden make for some gorgeous vision board elements, giving clients just the spark they need to envision their big event.

See those magical little string lights in the background of these photographs? Those are ours! In addition to entertainment services (DJs, musicians, emcees, karaoke, yard games, photo booths, dance instructors and more) and wine barrel accessories, we also offer a wide array of lights, from chandeliers and pendants to customized color uplighting, pin-spots and illumination plans that transform an event space into something straight out of a dream. If you’re looking for Austin lighting rentals, we’ve got all you need and then some. Touch base with us today to let us shine a light on your ideas and bring them into reality.

photography: Christina Carroll

venue: Victoria’s Tea House & Garden

flowers: Floral Philosophies

stylist: Style Rambler

hair & makeup: Whitney Alexis & Kate Kubala

event rentals: Premiere Events & Merveille Events

hand lettering: Blossom & Bloom TX

lighting: Altared Weddings & Events (that’s us!)

Click the arrows below to enjoy this beautiful slide show:

Beautiful Styled Shoot at Victoria’s Garden

Austin lighting rentals from Altared Weddings & Events

Event Music & Lighting in Austin: The Best & Brightest at Brazos Hall

Altared Weddings & Events Team

It’s our honor and pleasure to provide event music, lighting and more to our clients around central Texas, so when we were asked to participate alongside fellow event professionals at a recent luncheon celebrating our industry at Brazos Hall in downtown Austin, we were there with bells on. The Altared Weddings & Events family makes a point of partnering with the best in the business and delivering events that make people smile, and this event was no exception.

“Wow wow wow,” said the event organizer, Chelsea Mansfield of industry powerhouse FBR Management. “Thank you so much for being a part of this day. Everything was stunning and I loved working with you and your teams. The event was hugely successful and we couldn’t have done it without you.”

Bringing together the best and brightest event planning folks around, it was no surprise that everything came together so beautifully. We highly recommend all the Austin-based event vendors who took part (find them on social media by clicking the links in the list below), and we look forward to lighting up your next big occasion with music, illumination, specialty rentals and more!

Photography: @Lisahausephoto

Venue & Design: @brazoshall

Event Music and Lighting: @Altared_weddings

Event Rentals: @WhimHospitality + @Birchandbrassrentals

Floral: @Bouquetsofaustin

Catering: @Cravecateringtx

Draping: @Unique_design_and_events_

Signage: @Strongeventsatx

Ready to pull together the perfect elements for your event? Get in touch with us today and let’s talk possibilities.

Event Lighting and Music in Austin: The Best & Brightest at Brazos Hall

Click through to see a gallery full of beautiful moments.

Featured on Brides of Austin! Wedding Entertainment 101

Jennifer Mathis

“When it comes to wedding entertainment, there’s one wedding pro we look to – Altared Weddings & Events. While the team specializes in DJs and lighting, we were happily surprised to hear what all Altared has to offer for weddings and events beyond the big day. Read on to get all your wedding entertainment questions answered!

What type of entertainment services does Altared Weddings & Event offer?

We offer comprehensive entertainment. Every couple is different, and we work to create something custom that meets the needs of their families and friends. Most people start with a DJ, and we can build in options that will work for suit you. This could be traditional offerings like photo booths and lawn games, but it could be alternative ideas like dance performance, karaoke, silent discos, trivia or mechanical bulls!

What are the benefits of hiring a DJ vs. using a music playlist?

Even when you spend weeks putting together the perfect playlist, you aren’t planning ahead. DJs have a lot of experience in knowing what is going to get people moving and what won’t. Sometimes the perfect song played at the wrong moment will still clear the dance floor. This means that you either have to have a friend there all night to rearrange your playlist or you risk having an empty reception hall. Putting together your own playlist also limits you. People have the tendency to pick songs they love, but it eliminates the potential for all those songs people forgot they loved to be played. Anyone can play music. That isn’t really why you’re hiring us.

The other big part of our job is to MC your event. While it sounds like anyone can make announcements, it’s a lot harder than it sounds. You have to be aware of what every other vendor is doing to make sure the evening goes according to plan. You don’t want someone to announce your cake cutting if the photographer is across the room. When you make yourself the DJ, you are taking on a full time job at your own event. Who wants to do that?

Do your DJs come with a set list or does the couple provide a list?

Neither, and that’s the way we like it! If we showed up with a list and pressed play, then we aren’t serving your needs. We use your input as a guide that lets us come in with a roadmap of event, and then we find the best route there along the way. How much input they give us is completely up to the bride. We give you some suggestions and together we decide what your priorities are.

What are you suggestions for entertainment for a more intimate wedding?

Intimate doesn’t have to mean low energy. This goes back to the idea that your family and friends are a unique group of people. The first thing we will do is talk to you to make sure we are putting the right DJ on the job (again, everyone usually wants music). The wrong personality at an intimate wedding can stick out in a way that you don’t want. Then, once we know we have the right people on the job, we will build out. For afternoon events, for example, a crazy dance party is frequently foregone for a casual atmosphere that allows guests to mingle. This is where options like yard games and photo booths do really well, because it allows people to interact. It’s always about starting from the ground up when planning your entertainment.

Any tips for choosing entertainment that truly fits the couple? DJ vs. Band? Style? etc.

Talk to us! There really isn’t a one-size fits all approach to planning your entertainment, so be prepared to talk to us. Tell us what your priorities are and know that we are here to make them happen. There are a thousand variable that can come in to play, and we want you to have the benefit of our experience. The only real tip I have is to come to the table honestly. If you hate the thought of dancing, that’s ok! Tell us and we will find the solutions you need to make for a great event.

We imagine you’ve seen some pretty incredible weddings. Any fun stories you’d love to share?

We have seen a lot (and not all of it is good, unfortunately). Some of my favorites were when the bride and groom weren’t afraid to let their unique personality come through. We had a couple come in that loved musical theatre, and in the middle of the reception a flash mob broke out to some Broadway tunes. We also had a bride named Jasmine, and best man rewrote the lyrics to an Aladdin song and serenaded the new couple as the bridal party was carried around on a “magic carpet.” We also had a couple who loved video games, and we superimposed them via green screen into their favorite game. Be true to yourself, that’s when it is memorable.

Looks like you’re leading the way in pre and post-wedding entertainment with your rehearsal dinner and after-party entertainment options. How are brides utilizing Altared Weddings for these events?

Weddings are family affairs, and we like to get people ready for a good time early in the weekend! We started offering rehearsal dinner packages that broke the ice a bit for families wanting to get together. These usually include custom bride/groom trivia games, dance lessons (learn some salsa before your reception!), and competitive karaoke! For after-parties, we can offer a DJ to keep the party going after the exit for your closest friends and family who still have the energy to party. Again, the possibilities are endless, so think outside the box!”

New Management at Altared Weddings & Events!

Altared Weddings & Events Team

To everything there is a season, and as summer gets into full swing, we’ve got some news to share! Having served the Austin community for many years, Altared Weddings & Events is now under new ownership!

The path to where we are today unfolded, as many unions do, with perfect serendipity. You may recognize two names of the new owners; Scott and Shelly Cole! They are the folks behind Short and Sweet Weddings, a dedicated local team of wedding officiants who have been honored to officiate countless weddings throughout the Austin/Round Rock area and surrounding Hill Country over the years. It made perfect sense for them to step into leadership roles at Altared, offering Central Texas couples the best of everything on their special day. Scott now serves as CEO, and Shelly’s role is CFO. Between them are decades of experience helping couples celebrate the beauty of love in all its forms.

Along with Shelly and Scott arrive their sons, Dillon and Jared, who share ownership and help things run smoothly as we pave the way toward a new future for this beloved company. Both come to the team with strong backgrounds in sales, and with this dynamic duo on board, it’s truly a family affair. And, of course, the bridge from yesterday to tomorrow (and beyond) comes to us in the form of Cristin Meehan, our ultra-talented General Manager, who has more than 15 years of wedding experience tucked under her very stylish belt. Cristin has been an integral member of the team since before our new management came on board, lending a sense of continuity (and many wedding seasons’ worth of experience) to a talented and enthusiastic new management team.

“It’s just an honor to be a part of such special moments in people’s lives,” Shelly says. “Having officiated over so many sweet couples’ weddings all these years, we just want to give them the world and make their day as special as can be.”

“Taking the reins at Altared gives us the opportunity to do just that and extend it beyond everyone’s wildest dreams,” agrees Scott. “Our family couldn’t be more thrilled about the amazing experiences that lie ahead of us.”

As always, our new management at Altared Weddings & Events remains committed to making your special day — be it your wedding, mitzvah, or quinceañera one to remember for all the right reasons. Offering the same exciting range of options (with more to come!) and exceptional quality of service, we look forward to making moments that you’ll cherish.

To learn more about what we do and how we can be of service to you, click here. To connect with us today, call us at 512-255-6788 or send us an email at info@altaredevents.com and we’ll be in touch soon!

Stay Gold: Setting a Downtown Austin Wedding Aglow

Altared Weddings & Events Team

When you’ve got the perfect partner, the perfect location, the perfect food, and the perfect plan for your wedding, the only thing missing is perfect lighting. In a setting as beautiful as 800 Congress, casting just the right glow over a recent downtown Austin wedding was easy as pie, and we had a great deal of fun curating the right mix of fixtures to add a golden hue to the space and reflect the couple’s warm metallic reception theme.

“Altared provided lights that were gorgeous and awe-inspiring, but were not in the way,” said the beautiful bride in her review of our services. “Their lights were for beauty and functionality, but there were no loose chords, poles in line of sight, nothing. I don’t know how they pulled it off but I would strongly recommend them to EVERYONE. They were extremely professional and created a world of lights that was beyond my imagination!”

We adore what we do and the people we do it for, and among our offerings, lighting is one of the most impactful. It can give a room a feeling of intimacy and a heightened sense of occasion. We strive to make each client’s dreams come true, and just like we did for this particular bride, we hope to exceed their wildest expectations. That way, when they look back on one of the most important days of their lives, they see everything just as it was: absolutely magical.

images: Two Fish Photography

venue: 800 Congress

rentals: Marquee Event Rentals, LOOT Rentals, Premier Events

If you’d like us to light up your life on your wedding day (or any other special event), reach out and let’s start a conversation!

Austin wedding lights

Austin wedding lights

Altared Weddings and Events

Altared Weddings and Events

Altared Weddings Austin

Altared Weddings Austin

A look back at 2016

2016 was an amazing year for all of us at Altared Weddings, and we have a lot of people to thank for it! We get to work with incredible venues and planners each week that make our jobs fun. They are trend-setters, organizational gurus, and friends. We can’t thank them all individually, but here are some of our favorite moments from 2016 out of the 362 events we participated in.

Elegant lighting at Omni Barton Creek; coordinated by Wedding and Event Warriors; Photo courtesy of Christina Carroll Photography; Florals by Merveille Events; Rentals by Whim

We love working with Christina Lewis with Wedding Warriors, because she always brings a fresh idea into a familiar space. We get to do a lot of events at the Omni, but we knew having Christina on board would add a new perspective. This time she added an extra splash of elegance by bringing in our chandeliers to the ballroom. It was stunning!

The styled shoots

This year we were asked to participate in more styled shoots than ever before! We worked with Brides of Austin for several of their spreads, and many of the designs put together by other planner went on to be featured in a number of popular blog sites. We are really excited to see our work being featured coast to coast!

The accolades

In addition to being featured in so many nationally recognized outlets, we were given The Knot’s Best of Weddings award for 2016 and the Couples’ Choice Award from Wedding Wire. While we don’t do this for the recognition, it is always great to be noticed!

A big corporate event!

This year we participated in one of our biggest events to date! We provided DJ and dancing services for a conference that had over 11,000 people in attendance! This was our largest event of the year, and this time we had the opportunity of leading the crowd in a variety of country-western dancing! It was a great experience for the non-Texans!

We added. A lot.

This year we expanded quite a bit! In addition to expanding to Houston, we also added new services! We can now provide staging and A/V for events, we have the Mirror-Me photo booth to give our clients something different for their event, and we added an entire line of industrial inspired pendant lighting.

Fresh faces

We also expanded our team! This year we hired a new operations manager, Ashley, and trained two new DJs who have received great feedback from all of their clients! Having such a consistent and professional team makes the job remarkable!

Here’s to 2017 being just as amazing!

Planning your event in a hotel? Read on!

Austin is seeing a ton of new hotels cropping up in addition to some of our long-time favorites like the Stephen F. Austin Intercontinental and the Driskill! This is great because with all the festivals that we have on the calendar we need places for people to stay, and they make for convenient wedding locales as well. You can be in the center of town, there is plenty of parking, and your guests don’t have far to go at the end of a long night. We love working in hotels, but they take some special considerations that you may want to think about.

1. Lighting is frequently offered in-house, and it’s rarely to your financial benefit. A number of hotels have nationwide contracts with lighting companies to supply their needs, and these companies can make it very difficult to bring in outside suppliers after the contract has been signed. They also can nickel and dime you over issues like power, even if we are bringing in battery operated lights. The other problem is that they are less inclined to invest in the latest equipment because they have a relatively secured cash flow. So, the convenience can sometimes be offset by the higher price and possibility for bulky equipment.

2. Loading in for vendors can sometimes be complicated depending on what part of town you are in. If your vendors are seasoned pros, you probably don’t need to worry about this too much. If you have anyone that you are bring in in from out of town or a friend that is providing your service, be sure to give them a head’s up. Most hotels have a staff member either in their catering department or events department that can help you with this.

3. Sound can become an issue. As we stated before, many hotels have in-house companies that they partner with. This is also true with city venues. If you are bringing in a DJ, you want someone who is going to understand the hotels’ limitations on having music playing potentially late into the evening. Your DJ’s system needs to be appropriate for the space and the venue’s specifications. Don’t worry, your Altared DJs are very familiar with these policies.

Also, Austin has a bunch of smaller, trendier spaces now that are a nice alternative to the big brands. Check out Hotel Ella, South Congress Hotel, and the Hotel Van Zandt! These are great for people coming in from out of town who want to be in the center of the action! Happy planning!

New lighting options: Industrial Glam

We have seen a lot of fun wedding trends come through over the past few years. While rustic and boho themed weddings are fun, especially deep in the heart of Texas, the industrial wedding look has my heart at the moment.

This is a more versatile look than many may realize. The obvious connotations bring to mind urban lofts with exposed interior brick and stained concrete floors. While this is certainly the perfect environment, these light fixtures can be worked in to a variety of locations easily to inspire vintage sensibilities or neutral minimalism. These are also great for steampunk inspired occasions.

Most of our inventory fixtures feature exposed Edison bulbs and twisted cable. The size and length of the bulbs can vary depending on the space and the fixture. The fixtures themselves are metal, and can be a cage enclosure, a true metal pendant, or pans. For a “heavy metal” look that is still sleek, look at fixtures that use piping a decorative structure. Pulleys and chains can also add some extra punch in the design.

If you have questions about incorporating industrial lighting into your wedding or private event, give us a call!

Why you should consider an after party!

Weddings have seen a lot of changes over the past few years. If we had to reduce it all down to one dramatic change, it is that wedding are a lot more fluid than they once were. People are dropping formal dances for elaborate choreographed numbers and letting social media and custom websites play in to their celebrations. Even the most formal occasions are centered around the idea that you can still cut loose in your Sunday best. As a result of this new-found freedom, we are seeing a lot more couples opt for an after-party that keeps the party going at different pace. Here is why you should consider it.

Timing. If you haven’t already, take some time to read up on your reception timeline here. There is a huge temptation for couples to want an extended party, but that doesn’t have to mean an extended reception. Depending on a number of variables, an extended reception can work against you. For example, if there is extensive travel time between your reception site and your accommodations, you can bet that your guests are going to want to make their way out the door in order to account for that additional time on the road. If your reception is in a densely populated area, it is very likely that sound restrictions are going to play a role in when the music needs to be turned off. Also, if your crowd is a mix of both friends and family, young and old, tourists and out-of-towners, you can expect certain people to want to turn in earlier than others. Having and extended reception (and paying the $$$ for the additional time) can be expensive if it is just for a select few party animals.

Options. Some people can dance for hours, but for most, there comes a point where there needs to be a shift. After parties are a great alternative to extended receptions, because your playlist can be a bit more, shall we say, adult oriented. You can either take this opportunity to play all of those songs that you didn’t want your grandmother to hear (and we know you have at least one), or you can opt for a different experience all together. Karaoke is always a popular choice, because as the night rolls on, most of your more exuberant guests will relax even more after hours of partying and perhaps a bit of responsibly consumed alcohol. Or, if sound restrictions are at a factor then silent discos are an option for those who really want to give their closest friends and family a unique experience. On the other hand, if you are wanting to get in some extra time with your guests in a quieter setting, then trivia nights or a party bus to take you around to some strategic locations can be a great way to reconnect with your best friends.

Atmosphere. We are big believers in the idea that an atmosphere helps your guests know what to expect. Changing the location between your wedding reception and your after party gives everyone a chance to get their second wind. Your bridal party is going to be exhausted from the day as well, and letting them change into something more comfortable will let them keep going strong with you. Shedding the final shreds of formality can make for an unforgettable evening.

For more ideas about after-parties, including some of our favorite venues and transportation services, send us an email and let us help you plan not only an amazing wedding reception, but also an incredible Austin after-party!

The Cost of Saving a Buck

For most people, weddings are a big expense. In all likelihood, this is going to be the most extravagant party you will ever throw, and the price tag that goes with that can sometimes be a bit overwhelming. Everyone has their list priorities, and they are usually the things that they can rip from the pages of a magazine. For everything else, the appeal of a DIY approach or price-shopping for the cheapest vendor can be powerful. It’s understandable; everyone wants the most bang for their buck. Like many other things though, the old adage of “you get what you pay” for can be a painful lesson when it comes to the most important (and costly) day for many people’s lives. This can apply to any of your wedding vendors, but we will be using our services as the example. Here are things to look for when you reach out to those vendors:

1. Are we really comparing apples to apples? This is the most obvious one. When you are doing your initial research into vendors, the approach that many people take is to cast a wide net by requesting pricing up front and then to weed out those vendors which they feel are not within their budget and then only work from a smaller list. It makes perfect sense, but it leaves brides looking at one of potentially dozens of variables that may apply to them. Brides expect caterers and venues to be unique, but when it comes to their DJ, videographer, photo booth provider, planner, or any number of other vendors, all of a sudden the playing field seems to flatten. When you reach out to a vendor to see if they can make the short list of potential providers, make sure you are also able to see exactly what they can offer you. DJ services can run anywhere between $600-$2500 in the Austin area, and if you stop at the price tag, you could find yourself paying more out-of-pocket for the DJ that looked cheaper on paper. How many hours will they be playing? Is setup time included? Are they insured? What about special music requests? Do they MC? Do they have wedding experience? Are they using their own gear? Can they provide a wireless microphone? Do they have special skill sets that make them different? You will only find out if you take the time and open the lines of communication.

2. Is this something I can do myself, or have a family member do?

We wrote an article a while back about having your friend DJ your wedding. Substitute DJ for photographer, baker, or anything else and it still applies. I don’t discourage people from using the resources available to them, but be sure that your resources know the job. If your cousin is an experienced wedding photographer and wants to help you out, then by all means, let them use their knowledge and everyone is happy. DJing can be difficult, because the job description isn’t simply working off a smartphone playlist. As an example, I went to party the other night on one of those buses that takes you around town. One guy there designated himself as the DJ, and everyone spent too much time arguing about the music, because no one could simply let the songs play out. While it was all fun and games, he ended up self-conscious about his music choices. It was a constant distraction, rather than the backdrop for an amazing party. The tendency to get overly involved to the point of distraction is too tempting when you don’t have someone really managing the helm on your behalf. Read the post for more on this.

3. What’s the recourse if things don’t go according to plan?

A few years ago, a low-cost wedding vendor went belly up, and they just left town leaving everyone in need of a replacement and short-changed. I have seen this happen a few times, over several vendor categories. Reputability can be a difficult thing to put a price tag on up front, but it is a lot less than having to deal with the blow-back from sub-par vendors. When in doubt, ask for copies of insurance, professional references, and see how long they have been in business. Also, make sure they have their own contingencies in place in case of an emergency.

This probably all sounds very doom-and-gloom, like the only way you can pull your wedding off is to spend an arm and a leg. The great news is that this isn’t the case. Just plan from the very beginning to either educate yourself on the areas that you don’t have a clear objective for, get to know your vendors, or hire a planner that can do most of this work for you. Also, look at local publications and market-specific resources for valuable information. Nationally known websites don’t make allowances for what is happening in your back yard.