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Top Tips From Texas Wedding Planners

Texas's top wedding planners share their juiciest insider info for planning a wedding in Texas.

Photo: Courtesy of the Texas Belle

The Planner

Crystal Frasier, Bella Flora of Dallas, Irving, (972) 445-1200
Years in the biz
Ten in event planning; five in weddings
Secret Weapon
Over-communication with the bride -- except when it comes to the actual wedding day. "I'm able to hide situations and take care of them without the bride even knowing something's wrong."

The Planner

Tanya Posavatz, Clink, Austin, (512) 236-0264
Years in the biz
Seven
Secret Weapon
Detailed timelines. It sounds type-A, but Tanya likes knowing what's supposed to be happening at every single moment on the wedding day.

The Planner

Kristin McShane, Keely Thorne Events, Houston, (713) 807-8188
Years in the biz
A year-and-a-half -- she started after planning her own wedding!
Secret Weapon
A wicked sense of humor. "I keep the bride laughing so she stays calm."

Brand-new venue

"The Texas Belle, a Southern-style mansion (think: Gone With the Wind) in The Village at Old Coppell, opens its arched doorways in 2010. The two-story-high columns on the outside and the grand staircase and crystal chandeliers on the inside are ├╝ber-romantic. And lush gardens make it great for outdoor photos." -- Crystal

Hometown welcome bags

"The key to making out-of-towners feel welcome: adding local flavor to the bags you leave in their hotel rooms. I like packing Shiner Bock Beer from Shiner Beers (361-594-3383) and Texas-shaped tortilla chips from Willie B's (972-771-6886) in a cowboy hat or rope-tied sack." -- Crystal

Longhorn tie-ups

"Before you book a wedding in Austin, check the UT football schedule for home games. It's tough to get hotel blocks for out-of-town guests those weekends, and the price for rooms you are able to book will be higher than usual." -- Tanya

Groom's cake alternatives

"Groom's cakes have been a must in Texas, but the latest trend is letting the groom pick a different kind of treat, such as root beer floats or milkshakes. Oscar's Creamery (281-440-1020) will make 'em. If you do go the cake route, the bigger the better (this is Texas, people!). I've seen groom's cakes that were five-foot-tall replicas of the University of Texas towers. Susie's Cakes in Houston (281-493-3222) and Simon Lee Bakery in Austin (512-990-4888) do an amazing job on these." -- Kristin

Flowers that take the heat

"Many popular wedding flowers, like tulips and hydrangeas, don't stand up to the Texas heat -- they may wilt by the "I dos"! One of my favorite florists, David Kurio Designs (512-929-8807) in Austin, recommends using hearty blooms: mini calla lilies, orchids and gerrondo gerbera daisies look great for hours." -- Tanya

Engagement photo op

"Plan an engagement shoot at the State Fair in Dallas (right near the Cotton Bowl) when it comes to town in October. Your photographer can get fun shots of you two on the rides or playing carnival games. My advice: Go on a weekday. It'll be less crowded, so you won't have tons of people in your pictures." -- Kristin

-- Alison Goldman