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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.

Jordan & Greg engagment session

Jordan & Greg are quite camera shy. As sociable and lovable as they both are, they neither one like to be the center of attention. They needed images for their wedding invitations, so our session with them was as quick and painless as we could make it. Oh, and while we were at it, we grabbed a quick headshot for Jordan’s online profiles.

Greg asked, "Will You?" Jordan says, "I Do."

Greg asked, "Will You?" Jordan says, "I Do."

Click any image to go to the full gallery.

Greg asked, "Will You?" Jordan says, "I Do."

Greg asked, "Will You?" Jordan says, "I Do."

Click any image to go to the full gallery.

Greg asked, "Will You?" Jordan says, "I Do."

Congratulations on your engagement, Jordan and Greg. We can’t wait to hear all the plans for your Cabo wedding!

Lauri & Duan said “I Do!”

We love Fall weddings! The weather in this part of the country is just wonderful and it’s an exciting time of year full of back-to-school activities, football, fundraisers and awareness events, and the early stages of the holiday season. All that energy makes for a great Fall wedding season!

Lauri Zachry & Duan Truong planned a lovely cross-cultural wedding that honored the values, faith, and culture of all their family and friends…and the result was beautiful! More importantly, it honored their love for one another.

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Austin-wedding-photographer-As-You-Wish-photography-Texas-Round-Rock-ceremony-reception

Congratulations, Mr. and Mrs. Truong! You can use your password to view all the images from your rehearsal and dinner as well as your wedding and reception.

Bridal Portraits for Lauri

Lauri probably didn’t consider when she’d be doing bridal portraits when she picked an early fall wedding date. Boy, was it hot! We also had a few adventures along the way: I almost passed out a couple of times, we crossed paths with an interesting character, Lauri posed with a peacock, and Fire/EMS came to assist the interesting guy. (Too bad Lauri had already changed, else we’d have images of her with the fire truck after EMS left for the hospital.)

Lauri, thank you for being such a trooper. In spite of all the calamity, it was a fabulous session. I really enjoy working with you! Use your password to view the whole gallery.