Top South Asian Wedding Venues in Texas - Dallas, Houston, Austin
Whether you’re hosting an intimate gathering with 50 of your closest friends and family, or a 400-person winter wedding spectacular, your venue is going to serve as the foundation of your planning. This is where you’ll be hosting your major wedding-related events, religious customs, seating your guests, catering food, making space for a dance floor, and much more! Regardless of if you’re hunting on a budget, or ready to spend thousands, your venue will be the place where your loved ones and your carefully curated vision finally come together. From Indian wedding venues to Pakistani wedding venues and other Desi wedding venues, The Desi Bride is here to help you find the best wedding venues in Dallas, Houston, and Austin.
How do I pick a wedding venue for my Desi wedding?
As one of the most important and expensive decisions, there are multiple factors you should consider.
Number of wedding guests: This one factor will help eliminate a lot of options. If you have more than 400 guests, you will most likely need to look for a hotel with a large ballroom, whereas if you have less than 200, you will have more options like vineyards, botanical gardens, and rustic barnyards.
Budget: Your venue can easily be 20-30% of your total budget, so by setting a budget, you can back into your price range for your venue.
Ideal location: Are you planning a wedding in your hometown or a destination wedding? Do you want a wedding venue in Houston or in the suburbs of Sugarland or the Woodlands? Does distance from an airport matter if you have lots of out-of-town guests? Do you want your guests to stay at the venue, or are you open to arranging transport from their hotel to the venue?
Specialty Requirements: If you’re interested in a Baraat, will the venue permit for a horse [or elephant]? If you want to make sure you have South Asian, vegetarian, or halal food, does the venue allow outside catering? If you are having a Hindu ceremony with pheras, does the venue permit a ceremonial fire (indoor or outdoor)?
Date / Time of Year: Venue availability is highly subjective to holiday season and day of the week. The first question you will get from a venue when you reach out is what are your preferred dates (always have a few dates). If you are having a Hindu ceremony, meet with a pandit to determine the moorat and work with those dates in mind. Please note that Saturdays are the most expensive day, and Sundays and week days tend to be much cheaper. Also, long weekends, like Memorial Day, 4th of July, and Thanksgiving, are always more expensive than other times of the year.
Aesthetic Goals: Do some googling or create a mood board on Pinterest to determine the type of aesthetic you are going for. Do you want a rustic wedding, waterfront wedding, or a wedding on a farm or ranch? Do you want a magical wedding in a arboretum or conservatory? Was Night at the Museum a special memory for you and your significant other, and you want to get married at a museum? Or do you have a massive guestlist and just want to find a beautiful hotel with a ballroom and outdoor pavilion or patio for cocktail hour? While décor can really go a long way in shaping the ambiance, your venue can be a way to get the look your going for with a little less investment in décor.
What else should I look for in a wedding venue?
While the above factors are must-haves, we’ve also included some secondary tips, so you make the right decision:
How does the venue feel when it’s all set up? Make sure the set up doesn’t feel too roomy with cocktail tables, reception tables and chairs, or ceremony chairs. You may want to ask for their suggested layouts as well as see if you can peek in to see the set up for an upcoming event. Do not try to squeeze in 10 chairs when typically, they only have 8 chairs at a table, or your guests will feel very conscious as they eat elbow to elbow.
How will guests flow from sitting to eating to dancing? It’s helpful to have different areas for each activity (e.g., middle is the dance floor, outlined with guests on tables, and food & beverage set up on the perimeter). If you try to move tables around to create a dance floor at the end of the night, you might lose guests and have them leave early.
Is there enough lighting? Lighting really elevates the ambiance and even the décor. While you can install uplighting day of the event, you should make sure there is enough natural light, especially for a daytime event.
How will you and your guests get privacy? Especially if you are having an outdoor sangeet or reception in a garden or public spot like a museum, how will the venue ensure you and your guests can enjoy uninterrupted by others? Some venues have closed off hours to outsider guests, while other venues will make sure your area is fenced off.
Where will my friends and family park? Make sure the venue has ample parking that allows for guests to walk in their stilettos, lehengas and sarees, unfettered by the walk from their car to the entrance. If the venue offers valet parking, you might be able to negotiate a group rate. If you plan to book a wedding venue in Dallas or downtown Austin, then it will be important to arrange for parking instead of having your guests circling the streets. We’ve also seen couples offer Lyft or Uber credit to guests, especially if you anticipate there being high adult beverage consumption and in a downtown area.
Are there enough bathrooms, and where are they located? While bathrooms are usually at the bottom of the list, make sure you and your guests know where the bathrooms are. We always encourage your planner or designated point of contact to do a final check and make sure the bathrooms are clean and have enough paper towels and toilet paper to last through the day (and night)!
What questions should I ask the venue?
As one of the top expenses of your wedding, transparency on costs and services available at the venue is going to be key here. Primarily, you’ll want to ask if the venue can accommodate and host your must-haves. Following that, examples of important questions include:
What all is included in the cost? Note that you should understand exactly what is included and what you might need to pay for from somewhere else. Examples include day-of coordinator, linens, chairs, tables, stage, sweetheart table, sound, lighting, projector screens, servers, hot plates for food, and security personnel.
How far in advance do I need to book this venue to secure my date?
How much is the down payment, and what is the payment schedule? Do you offer a month-to-month or deferred payment plan? Are the deposits refundable?
Are there any cancellation fees? What is the process for moving my date? COVID-19 has shown us that flexibility is key. If you are uncertain about the date and feel like you might need to move, we recommend having this discussion with the venue when you are looking to book them and understanding what your options may be down the road.
Do you offer any discounts based on the number of guests or any additional services? They may have limited décor packages or sound & light options if you want to keep it easy and work with the venue instead of multiple vendors. Sometimes venues even offer an all-inclusive package with catering, décor, lights, and day-of coordinator / security, which may work out better in terms of both cost and convenience.
Are there any scheduled renovations or planned construction?
Do you have any preferred vendors? Especially if the venue allows for outside catering, they may have preferred vendors that they recommend or require you to work with. Understand what the terms are before signing with a venue.
Is there a food & beverage minimum? If the venue offers outside catering, while they might waive the food & beverage minimum, they may charge you a fixed or per person charge as noted below.
Does the venue have a liquor license? Do I need to purchase alcohol from the venue? If I bring my own wine and spirits, what is the process and cost of hiring bartenders? Is there a corkage fee for weddings?
Do you allow for outside catering? If so, is there a fixed or per person charge for outside catering?
Is there an kitchen at the venue? How big is the work space, and what equipment does the venue kitchen include? It's very important to make sure your food is stored properly ahead of it being served. You may need a freezer for your rasmalai or kulfi or burners / oven for the samosas.
Do you have any clients I can speak with to learn more about their experience hosting a wedding at your venue?
How long may I have the venue for? South Asian weddings often require several hours if not the whole night to make sure the décor is set up appropriately. If you are having a décor rich wedding, you probably want the venue at least 6-8 hours before the event starts, if not the night before.
Can you provide a venue layout or blueprint with sizing? Do you have examples of layouts? This blueprint will be very helpful for your Indian wedding decor conversations.
Are there other weddings or other events scheduled at the wedding venue on the same date? If so, how many guests will the other events have? What times are the other events, and how many parking spaces are available for all the guests?
If you'd like fireworks, what is the venue's policy? A wedding venue in Garland or Frisco may have a different policy compared to a wedding venue in Austin.
Do you have any special restrictions around sound, live animals, confetti, balloons or open flame candles? Just like above, a wedding venue in DFW may have different policies compared to a wedding venue in Houston. If you are planning for a late-night Punjabi or Indian reception, it's important to understand the venue's sound and music policy.
Can my vendors or I schedule a pre-wedding walk-through ahead of my wedding?
Which hotels do you recommend for our guests traveling from out of town? Do you have a special wedding rate with the hotel? Can you share the hotel's sales representative's email address and contact information?
Remember, there are no dumb questions. Feel free to inquire away! Venue will most likely be your first and if not most expensive, one of your most expensive, decisions, so it is important to make sure you feel 110% excited and sure about the venue.
How far in advance should I book my venue?
It’s advised that you and your partner begin to scope out venues once you’ve mutually confirmed you’ll be getting married. Wedding Venues are notorious for getting booked months in advance, so you want to begin your process prepared, and early. We recommend booking your venues 8-10 months in advance at minimum. Typically, we would say even longer, but given the pandemic, there has been a lot more uncertainty than there was in the past. We expect there to be continued uncertainty into 2022.
How many hours do I need the venue for a South-Asian wedding?
The answer here will depend on you and your partner’s cultural backgrounds as well as décor dreams. South-Asian weddings vary across Desi states and communities, so this will be an important area for you both to research. Figure out which ceremonies/customs are “must-haves” on either side and plan / timebox accordingly. On average, a Desi ceremony can be from upwards of 2-3 hours, so once you’ve ironed out these details, you’ll be further informed for your venue search. Secondly, think about your décor wants. If you are transforming the entire venue with real flower and bespoke creations, the décor company may ask to have the venue the night before. If you are looking for a more simple setup, the decoration company may just need a couple of hours to set up the mandap, backdrop, and lighting etc. Regardless, you will want the venue for a minimum of 6-8 hours if not longer than that.
How can I negotiate with my venue?
If you’ve found your dream wedding venue, but budget is an issue, one way to cut down on price is to look at day of the week and season (winter, summer, spring, fall). As noted above, Sundays and weekdays tend to be less expensive.
Secondly, you can look at the time of year. Holiday season and weather guide pricing. For example, very few people want to get married outside in the sweltering Texas sun in July. See if your dates are flexible and work with the venue to see when you get a more budget-friendly price.
Finally, venues are less likely to budge significantly on pricing, but you can always ask for what else they might be able to include in your rate – Can they throw in free centerpieces? Can they provide colored linens instead of white ones? Can they extend your venue time by 1-2 hours? Can they throw in free lighting, a projector for your photo slide show, or mics for the emcees? Do they offer a special micro-wedding package if you are planning an intimate wedding?
I really want an outdoor wedding. Is there anything I should be aware of?
We love outdoor weddings – in nature, gorgeous pictures with natural lighting, flowers and lush trees, easy social distancing – but from seeing lots of outdoor weddings, we recommend always going with a venue with a rainproof or weatherproof option. You never know when the skies will decide to bring out the clouds – a couple of drops of last-minute rain can cause unnecessary stress. Tents are an option, but sometimes an expensive option, so know what covered options the venue can offer and if it is a tent, what the pricing will look like.
I would love help finding my dream wedding venue. Where can I find my perfect wedding venue?
The Desi Bride offers its Wedding Venue Concierge services free of charge to match you with the right wedding venue for your Desi wedding. Need a venue that allows a ceremonial fire for Hindu weddings or outside catering so you can serve Indian food or a venue for your intimate, micro-wedding? The Desi Bride will work with you to find the right venue for your big day!
What are the top Desi wedding venues in Texas?
The Desi Bride has curated the top wedding venues in Dallas, Houston, and Austin. Scroll up to find your dream wedding venue today! Click below to find the best wedding venues in Texas:
TIP: Prioritize, prioritize, prioritize! Make a list of ALL your wedding venue ideas and needs (must-haves, nice to haves, and bonuses), and rank them! This will help you evaluate tradeoffs, as you compare the costs to your budget.