TEN Wedding Ideas to keep from 2016


Most everyone across social media was sick of 2016 before Fall even rolled around.

I, on the other hand, was soaking in all the beautiful new wedding ideas rolling by my lens.

This first shot at the Wildflower Center in Austin is what sparked the idea for this post.

Writing personal vows can express so much of what you want your future to be like with your spouse. This does not mean you have to share those personal feelings with all of your guests. Brings me to our first idea:



1.Not sure about personal vows? Share them alone! 

This bride and groom took time to read their personal vows to each other far away from everyone (yes, I had my “stalker” lens on!) and it was incredibly moving to witness even from afar.

Now, if you are planning on sharing your vows alone- be sure to plan ahead and be sure your photographer is equipped with some full on zoom power! It will still be a moment you’ll want to treasure.


2.Find a way to cherish rain on your wedding day.

This might seem, well, Ironic… but the wedding team at Ma Maison took rain on a wedding day to a level of sweetness I had actually never seen.

They actually came in to where we were shooting this portrait and handed the beautiful bride a jar of water. When it was raining all morning on their wedding day, the venue was busy collecting it. Most couples would not want a reminder that the weather was not cooperating… Ma Maison took that “lucky” omen and turned it into a keepsake.

They told them they could hold onto it for them to use at their future child’s baptism.

I told you. Sweetness overload, right?

Sigh… On to the next.


3. Include honored guests and family in wedding traditions.

You would think this wedding couldn’t get more charming. Hacienda Del Lago already overlooks Lake Travis, has towering oak trees and a white tent large enough to fit a full reception.

This couple kicked it up a couple notches… they not only included the beautiful traditions unique to their heritage, they included special family and friends during the ceremony!

It was so fun to see other married couples read the almost newlyweds advice. Everything from serious love quotes to fun things to remember to keep a marriage love new.


4.Sharing a Last Dance alone while guests head to the send off. 

Just when you think it’s all over… Even if the band has gone…

Turn on a song on someone’s phone (it’s your wedding day, people give you anything) and take in one last go around before you go.

You might have to tuck away as guests are leaving so they actually do go to the send off.. guests are known to linger if they see the wedding couple in site (Even if they are told that the exit it part of the wedding). The Umlauf had just the right space for this bride and groom to have one more moment alone.

This can be a secret plan for only the two of you… and who knows, you might get a new love song out of it! *(Because really, you never know what song you might find on someone else’s phone if this is not planned ahead)



5. Happy Hour at Sunset.

If you are lucky enough to have a view on your wedding day- amp it up with good ole’ Mother Nature!

Golden hour can be fickle.. between timing, clouds, rain and more you might not want to deal.

But, ah! If you happen to catch it, even if it’s through windows of your venue… it can be a glorious thing. 1111 Studewood Place had just that type of space to enjoy the colorful sky changing and the downtown views of Houston.

It also gives guests plenty to chat about as they are trying to document the sunset, enjoy a cocktail and use your wedding hashtag all at the same time.


6. Change up your Wardrobe! 

Okay. Please keep your BUDGET in mind. Remember that little number? It might have doubled since you said “yes”… but there is no need to push things over the limit for a second dress.

For this ceremony it was a perfect choice since they took everything from traditional and a little more western during the vows that morning, then turned everything towards the East for a reception that reflected beautiful the traditions of India.


Look how these two transformed! Think of going this route if you are trying to combine nationalities, religious traditions, or you simply have two visions in mind.


7. Steal your girls rings.

How cute is this? The bride wanted a ring shot, but there was the clever idea to take all of the bridesmaids rings for a shot instead of something typical. This was a sweet keepsake photo for the girls.

Some gave wedding bands, some gave a promise ring or family ring. I loved this idea and can honestly say I had never seen it done!

Think of ways to include details during your big day that you might not think of otherwise. Follow other wedding blogs for great inspiration.



8.  Create a cardboard cutout of your furry child.

Who doesn’t want their fur friends involved at the wedding?

Sometimes venues are not very compatible with pets being there. Barr Mansion (pictured) is pet friendly- but it’s necessary to remember that someone would need to be watching your animal the entire night.

This cardboard cutout was an incredible way to keep Finn around the party all night. *(Yes, that link allows you to go follow this amazing dog on Instagram!)

He made it into so many photos and can now be a part of the big day forever.


9. Take a Canoe Ride…

I know. I know.

You might not have a canoe.

All I am stressing is to go for an idea that might seem a little out of the box… or on the water. Maybe it’s hopping on a bicycle during your portraits or laying on the grass before you get announced into the reception.

You should be following along with your photographer’s journey before your big day enough to fully trust their lead.

For this photo I was actually standing on the end of the canoe, camera above my head pointed down, trying not to breathe at all as to not tip the sweet couple into the mucky depths of the water.

Safe to say we succeeded?



10. Get up and SING!

This can come in many forms. So I will include more than one example.

This is your party. Hire a band that can really get the crowd into it! This wedding had the perfect example with Austin Party Band taking down the house on a Tuesday night wedding. The Stable was packed and the dance floor stayed jumping (literally) all night.

The bride and groom happened to be amazing singers- and sang a duet that had everyone between tears and goosebumps.  If no one has ever asked you to sing before- maybe don’t go for a duet. Maybe just let the band know it’s okay to hold out the mic every now and then!

Austin Party Band knew exactly how to make that mix happen.



Stay tuned for more of my favorite ideas from last year.

Ten spots could not even BEGIN to cover how much I loved shooting this year.

Part two will come out so push “follow” to see what I loved seeing!

7 thoughts on “TEN Wedding Ideas to keep from 2016

  1. I absolutely love these sweet wedding photography tips from Elizabeth Birdsong photography! This destination photographer from Austin, Texas is not only ridiculously talented, she’s a real joy to have on your wedding day, no matter where that is.


  2. Elizabeth Birdsong Photography does beautiful wedding photography and gives great wedding advice! She has wonderful experience and ideas that anyone in the wedding industry should look to from Austin, Texas, to any destination!


  3. What a great list of wedding ideas from Elizabeth Birdsong photography. I love the personal approach to describe each idea along with beautiful photography.


  4. I love all these different 2016 wedding ideas / trends, and I agree that we can totally keep those in 2017. The idea of a pet cutout is so cute! I never thought about that as an option for having your pet at your wedding! And that ring shot is really unique, with all the bridesmaids rings! How adorable! So many lucky Austin couples get to work with your creativity!


  5. I love these ten wedding ideas to keep. This is such a positive blog post. this time of year you always see the negative blog posts about trends to get ride of so this post makes me so happy to see something positive about wedding trends! the bridesmaids rings is my favorite!


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