As You Wish

photography … As You Wish | Austin, Texas

Archive of ‘Wedding’ category

Tilting our focus…

See what we did there with the title? Wink and Smile

You may have already seen some changes to our website. There are more to come.

Since 2003, we have loved working with brides, grooms, and weddings. It’s amazing to work closely with a couple on the happiest day of their life together thus far. Weddings gave us our beginnings and will always hold a special place in our heart.

However, it is time for us to shift our focus. As You Wish photography is now concentrating on Romantic/Boudoir Portraits. Brides and boudoir clients–and even other portrait clients–have a lot in common. Everyone wants to feel confident, strong, empowered, and even sexy in their portraits. Boudoir photography gives this experience to women in a unique way that reaches them on a supremely personal level. (We will still offer other types of portrait sessions, too.)

SanFran_hill These images are from a trip to photograph a wedding near San Francisco. We stayed on a few days after the event for some sight seeing. The images both have a tilt-shift focus applied; the seals also have a bokeh effect in the extreme background and foreground.

In celebration

To celebrate this “tilt”, we are offering a limited set of free boudoir sessions to our clients and their friends. Furthermore, with each session, we’ll donate to non-profits who help women. If you’d like a boudoir session, contact us to learn more about the offer.

So, contact us today for a wholly new portrait experience for you and/or as a gift for your “bae”, partner, or fiance.

As You Wish will still be available as a Wedding Consultant. This is different than a Wedding Planner or Wedding Coordinator, we aren’t going to plan the event for you or wrangle all your vendors on wedding day. If you are struggling with any part of your wedding planning, book an hour (or more) of our Wedding Consult time to help you brainstorm, troubleshoot, etc. We have over a decade experience with a wide variety of event types and unique challenges; we’ve seen it all. Let us “download” our experience into your event.

Party Favors at -and- Gifts for a Wedding

Party Favors are meant to say “thank you for coming to my party” and harken from the days of kids inviting their entire homeroom to the party. At the end of the party, every kid would be given a token of appreciation for attending. Usually, this was a small bag filled with candy and little toys.

Wedding Favors

Favors have grown. They are more elaborate and more expensive. In many cases, they are personalized. They are still, however, pretty different in the South compared to those at weddings held in the northern states.

Down South

The South invented the Groom’s cake. Originally, guests did not eat this cake at the reception, but it was cut and boxed to be send home with each guest at the end of the night. As Groom’s cakes became more flavorful and more elaborate, we started eating them at the reception–often on the same plate with a sliver of the bride’s cake–and stopped boxing them up to send home with guests. Small party favors (boxed candy, pictures, etc.) began to serve as the norm at weddings in the South. Southern wedding favors can range from $0.50-$5.00 depending on the budget and size of the wedding.

Up North

Yankees have always had a bigger thank you gift for their guests. Many are personalized with the couple’s names/date. It’s common to see wedding favors in the $15-20 when planning a northern wedding.

Wedding Gifts

The expectations and norms between Yankees and southerners are different when giving wedding gifts, too.

Down South

In the South, engagement parties are becoming more frequent, but are still only a celebratory occasion, and not a gift giving one. Later, couples will register for gifts…and that will be the bulk of what they will receive at their (usually smaller) showers. Those invited to the wedding, but not to a shower, will also bring gifts to the reception. So, southern wedding receptions will have gift table complete with a decorated box or basket to corral cards. The bride and groom may take the cards to open on wedding night (money for the honeymoon!), but the gifts are usually delivered to their home or to the bride’s parents’ home.

Up North

Northern couples register for gifts early in their engagement. The engagement party is more like a Southern shower and guests are expected to bring gifts for the couple. Receptions up north can be costly affairs and many guests will give both an present from the registry for the engagement party and a cash gift on wedding day.

Blending of Cultures

Money has varied meanings in a many cultures that emigrated to America. Jews may give money in multiples of 18. Some brides carry a drawstring purse that matches her wedding gown; all gifts of money are given to her. (there are also many money-based traditions that have begun to spread across cultures, such as the Czech Redovy, a bridal dance where guests pay $1 or more for a shot of whiskey or cup of wine and a chance to dance just a few seconds with the bride.

DIY Details — from our series, “Your wedding ‘brand’.”

Your wedding “brand”, a series of articles by As You Wish.

DIY Details

Whether you are all lace and foo-foo or like a more tailored look, your wedding has a look, a feel, a “brand”. For your wedding to really shine, that Wedding Brand (WB) should be carried through all the details of your big day.

Your Wedding Brand (WB) starts with your Save the Date cards and wedding website…those first things your guests will see. At the time you send Save the Date cards, you might not know your colors and theme; they will likely evolve during the planning process. But, by the time guests see your invitations, the brand will be solid.

What all makes your brand?

This is different for almost every bride. One season of a wedding planning show–David Tutera is my favorite–will showcase how every bride wants her wedding to be unique to her and her groom. For me, it was bluebonnets mixed with yellow roses. That’s hardly original in Texas, but long-stem roses and bonnets (yes, there really are long-stem bluebonnets; Aggies grafted/bred them) made pageant-style arm bouquets with near floor-length ribbons made them the only bouquets like them I’ve ever seen. When I told people my theme was bluebonnets, all my vendors knew what that meant. They each brought their special talent to their area to make their work fit within my brand.

Your brand should include your colors, but it should also include some other visuals: a monogram, a logo or other type of iconography, or another element people can picture.

Wedding Wednesday: Baby Sitting

We have blogged about kids at weddings. Inviting them is a personal choice for the bride and groom, certainly. If they are included, there will need to be some plans for keeping them comfortable and entertained; wedding days are far too long for their attention spans.

Having a kids’ room at the wedding may sound like a great way to keep them happy so adults can enjoy the reception. However, don’t think that this comes cheap: rates on the east coast range from $95 to $205 per child for a 5-hour reception. While this comes with a full tea party, a character, and the option for a candy bar (yay for sugaring them up and then sending them home!), this is more than a lot of brides spend per adult guest.

Keep in mind, if your guests “expect” babysitting, then they aren’t the ones who would have made the efforts to attend your event, anyway. But, if a kids’ room is something you feel you need to keep the majority of your guests happy, then plan carefully.

If you want to set up your own kids room and hire sitters, check with your local chapter of the American Red Cross (who offers baby sitter certifications as well as First Aid and CPR certifications) or your local Nanny Service for guidelines on babysitting groups of kids. They can help you figure a good baby-to-sitter or kid-to-sitter ratio. Remember, the more young babies, the more sitters you’ll need. Be sure that anyone you hire has impeccable references (or works for a reputable agency), is First Aid and CPR certified, and is experienced with children in the ranges you’ll be inviting. A Nanny Service might be able to refer some of their weekday nannies for your weekend event. And, the local university’s “future teachers” organization may have some members with enough experience with the age kids you’re inviting.

A kids room should also be equipped with entertainment geared for the ages attending: movies, games, puzzles, and toys. Babies will also need cribs or “pac-n-play” sets for napping differently than they do in a car seat.

Any coloring activity should be “clean”. Think crayons and sticker books instead of markers or paint. Friendship bracelets are fun for girls (just make sure beads aren’t too tiny for the youngest kids). If you a game console and tv for the room, be sure the games are a good fit for both genders and all the ages you’re inviting.

No pieces of any toy in the kids room should be too small for the youngest child in the room. The last thing you’d want is for a baby to eat a doll accessory and choke during your reception.

A kids room needs to be equipped with an emergency kit that the sitters can access. Be sure to include plenty of “fun” bandaids because when one kid gets one, they’ll all want one.

If you are hiring any entertainment for the kids room, be sure it’s age appropriate for the youngest child. Don’t hire a clown to make balloon animals for the elementary-age kids if you have toddlers in the same room. Instead, consider a magician or a storybook character.

In lieu of a candy bar, consider heathy snacks and goody bags for them to take home.

And don’t forget to hold the bubbles to the end. They’ll love rejoining their parents for your sendoff and getaway!

Wedding Wednesday: Tradition Talk – Generations Dance

One wedding tradition that involves all married guests regardless of background is a Generations Dance. This is a touching moment for your wedding reception.


You’ll need to do a little homework with the parents and grands. In addition to knowing how long they have all been married, you’ll want to know about couples in the family who have had their Golden anniversaries.

Generations Dance

The DJ is given a montage of romantic slow-dance songs starting with the most current song and moving back one era at a time. He then “lets go” each of the following couples off the dance floor. For every ~decade, the music should change to reflect that time period.

to start: all married couples
first cut: those married less than one day
next cut: those married less than one year
…less than three years
…five years
…ten years
…15 years
…20 years
(In the design of this event, milestone years should be adjusted to best honor the couples closest to the bride and groom: their siblings, parents, and grandparents. So add in 25 or skip 40 in lieu of 45, if necessary.)
…25 years
…35 years
…50 years
at this point, the bride usually presents all 50-year couples with a token that represents this milestone…a yellow rose tied in gold ribbon, for example
…52 years
as more couples are eliminated from the dance, the years should be:

Once the last couple is left dancing, the DJ/MC will recognize them by asking all guests to applaud. Your guests will likely give them a standing ovation.

Other Notes

And don’t forget to tell you photographer you are doing this. The pictures will be amazing!


This is a sweet testament to your future as a married couple…and a wonderful memory for your wedding day. The best part: after the first minute, you get to watch and enjoy the whole thing!

Irish wedding traditions

March came in like a lion in Austin, but also brought us one of the most exciting times of the year, South By SouthWest (a.k.a. SXSW or South By). We enjoy the Education, Interactive, Film, Music, Comedy, and Sports themed conference and all that it brings to our town. Usually, it also consumes St. Patrick’s Day, but this year, the day falls after the last SXSW event, allowing the holiday to stand on its own.

Some rights reserved by apdk on flickr.

Some rights reserved by apdk on flickr.

To celebrate, we are sharing a few Irish wedding traditions.

  • the claddagh ring — This Irish engagement ring is worn face out when a woman is available and face in when she has committed to someone. The ring “represents love, friendship, and loyalty” and is worn on the right hand until a woman is engaged; then it is moved to the left.
  • a braid in the hair — A braid is an ancient Irish symbol of luck or power.
  • handfasting or “tying the knot” — The couple clasps their hands together; a ribbon, cord, or rope–often matching the wedding theme–is wound around joined hands as a symbol of agreement to spend their lives together.
  • carry a horseshoe “up” — Horseshoes hold good luck, but just like in Texas, the open end of the shoe must point up so the luck won’t “fall out”.
  • lavender — Lavender symbolizes devotion and love; herbs represent fidelity.
  • ringing of bells — Bells are said to keep evil spirits away. [Maybe if the bells are loud enough, “that” member of the family won’t attend the big day! 😉 ]
  • Irish wedding blessing/toast — “Friends and relatives, so fond and dear, ’tis our greatest pleasure to have you here. When many years this day has passed, fondest memories will always last. So we drink a cup of Irish mead and ask [for] blessing in [this] hour of need.” Guests respond: “On this special day, our wish to you, the goodness of the old, the best of the new….bless you both who drink this mead, may it always fill your every need.”
  • superstitions! — Don’t marry on a Saturday! Avoid all funeral processions on wedding day. The bride and groom should not wash their hands in the same sink at the same time.

Of course, you’ll also want to consider lace, bagpipes, and kilts (or at least a little tartan pinned under your gown) for a full Irish effect on your big day.

Whether you can trace your lineage back to the motherland or you’re just “a little Irish” one day of the year, these traditions can help you personalize your ceremony and reception to the uniqueness that is you and your mate. And if you need some inspiration (or just to decompress!), join most of Austin at Fadó Irish Pub or Opal Divine’s Austin Grill.

What other traditions would you like to learn more about? As Americans, we are influenced by so many parts of the world. What parts speak to you? And, what parts do you want to know more about?

Leanne & Steve – Dallas Engagement Session

Leanne & Steve are taking wedding planning by the “horns”. This Aggie-Longhorn/Dallas-Houston couple has secured almost all the big elements for their Big Day in the Big D!

Photography wise, step one was their Engagement Session. After his Big XII Longhorns beat I0wa State and while her SEC Aggies were beating number 1 ranked Alabama, we traipsed through downtown Dallas parks and the West End for an engagement session full of fun and laughter.

Here are a few of our favorites from the day. We can’t wait for May and all the traditional elements they have planned with their family and friends.

Leanne & Steve, use your password to view the full gallery online.

Dallas Engagement Session

We had a wonderful time with Leanne and Steve for their downtown Dallas engagement session. It was great to look at both their relationship and the city through a lens.

We just got back to town and have some processing to do, but in the mean time enjoy these last-of-the-night architecture images.

Downtown Dallas Engagement Session with As You Wish photography (of Austin, Texas)

Downtown Dallas Engagement Session with As You Wish photography (of Austin, Texas)

Mazurek wedding & reception

It was our distinct honor and privilege to work with Traci, Michael, and their family and friends on their special day at St. Catherine of Siena in south Austin.

Some of our favorite moments

  • the way Traci and Michael leaned forehead-to-forehead during their First Look Moment; it’s just so “them”
  • the loving-while-witty priest, Fr. Pat
  • the deep sense of love and adoration not only for the couple, but also for the sacrament they shared with Christ
  • the great sense of humor from many of their family and friends, especially Traci’s dad
  • the “like no one is watching” style of dancing…truly from the heart and soul, even from Michael’s grandmother
  • the way in which everyone treated everyone like best friends and close family…from couple to attendants to family to guests to vendors, we all felt honored to be present on this special day
  • the fun rabble rousing between college affiliations
  • the strong/sincere hugs from Traci’s mom, Shannon, at the end of the day; these are the moments we live for

So, to go with those sentiments, here are some of our favorite images from Traci & Michael’s big day.

Click any image to enter the password and view the full gallery.

Click any image to enter the password and view the full gallery.

Click any image to enter the password and view the full gallery.

Click any image to enter the password and view the full gallery.

Click any image to enter the password and view the full gallery.

Click any image to enter the password and view the full gallery.

Click any image to enter the password and view the full gallery.

Click any image to enter the password and view the full gallery.

Click any image to enter the password and view the full gallery.

Click any image to enter the password and view the full gallery.

Click any image to enter the password and view the full gallery.

Click any image to enter the password and view the full gallery.

Click any image to enter the password and view the full gallery.

Click any image to enter the password and view the full gallery.

Click any image to enter the password and view the full gallery.

Click any image to enter the password and view the full gallery.

Mazurek Wedding Sneak Peek!

What a day!

The official “As You Wish” Wedding Party of the Year award goes to the maid of honor, bridesmaids, best lady, and groomsmen who honored Traci and Michael with their support this past weekend. They were truly perfect in every way.

Traci & Michael, Congratulations! Thank you for inviting us to be part of your wonderful day.

Now, for the goodies! Here is our Sneak Peek of some of our favorite images.

Mazurek Wedding Sneak Peek by As You Wish Photography in Austin, Texas

Mazurek Rehearsal

We had the honor of attending Traci & Michael’s rehearsal tonight. What a fun wedding this is going to be tomorrow! Here’s a little sneak peek!

Happy Bride. Proud Dad.

She looks like this tonight? Imagine tomorrow!

The groom is all grins, too.

And tonight’s star of the show! He’ll get upstaged tomororrow, for sure!

Michael & Traci, we are so happy for you both…and honored to serve such a special role in your weekend.