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The Number One Tip to Personalizing Your Wedding

Atlanta Wedding Photographer, Monday Night Brewing, LeahAndMark & Co.

We Make Amazing Wedding Photos for You

I know. If you’re reading this then you probably know how I write and I probably know that some of you just wanna say F*ck all the wedding decorations! No one remembers the chairs/ the flowers/ the centerpieces! I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about everything else and that.

When you start thinking about what it means to personalize your wedding – most people think about how they’re going to decorate their reception. Or make their wedding cake special and specific to them. Or what colors they should use. Or the food. Going down the list of things and seeing how they can make it more “personal”. Whatever that means.

Atlanta New Year's Eve Wedding | NYE 2017 | Wimbish House

What does it mean to personalize your wedding? Does it mean going through a catalog of things, or collection of Pinterest boards and finding the items that could mean something about the two of you? Finding the items that somehow randomly relate to what you and your partner are?

You really want to personalize your wedding? Tell your story. Share your story with all of your guests.

That’s where you begin. That’s the core of how you go about personalizing your wedding. You can pick things, colors, and decorations you like – but you should also find different ways to show your guests aspects of your relationship with each other. Your history together. Meaningful items that show where you come from, or tell how you came together – and that show your lives and adventures together up to this point. Your wedding isn’t just a celebration of this one ceremony, or day. It’s a celebration of the time you’ve spent together, the time you will spend together – and your love.

This might require some extra work that you hadn’t thought about (I’m sorry – but it’s true). You may have to sit down together and actually write out the story of YOU (you both) and go over your history together. Right from when you met, to when you broke up that first time (or 2nd, or 3rd time) to when you supported each other through the really difficult moments. And all of your successes along the way that led you to this point. Let’s be clear – beyond all the cheese and annoying wedding industry marketing – you’re making history. Your wedding is a historical moment in your lives.

No matter how cynical I might be at times – I realize how special weddings are – and I’m reminded of their importance during every. single. ceremony. Getting married is an amazing thing – the culmination of a relationship up to this point in life – and at the same time just a marker on the way to greater things. Another event to add to the story of you two.

How do you personalize your wedding? Find ways to share your story with your guests.

(and make sure your photographer takes photos of EVERYTHING.)

Questions? Ask us down below in the comments section. We’ll make up some good answers.

 

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Atlanta. Wedding. Planning. Advice. How to. Personalize. Your. Photographer. Photography.

Wedding Day Schedule Driving You Crazy?

Creating a Wedding Day Timeline isn’t nearly as difficult or challenging as people think it might be.

We Make Amazing Wedding Photos for You

Whether you’re having a large wedding or a small wedding – a lot of the same stuff will happen. You get dressed, you have a ceremony, you have a party – and the entire time you have a photographer following you around and even directing you sometimes for your amazing wedding photos.

If this is your first wedding (insert some kind of joke here) – then you might not know how a regular wedding day goes down. Well that’s why we’re here! To help you out with that! Below is a regular, traditional, awesome wedding day schedule and timeline. This example is partly from your photographer’s point of view and covers an 8 hour timespan. During your planning, START with this wedding day timeline and then MAKE IT YOUR OWN. Seriously – jack this thing up. Twist it around, turn it inside out – it doesn’t matter – it’s YOUR WEDDING RIGHT?

Just don’t touch the allotments for photography… just kidding… no really… don’t touch them.

SAMPLE WEDDING DAY TIMELINE (8 hours of coverage)

1:00 PM                YOUR PHOTOGRAPHERS ARRIVE & BEGIN MAKING AMAZING PHOTOS

Your wedding photographers will photograph “details” such as the dress, shoes, jewelry, bouquet, and of course cover all of your preparation process such as getting your hair & makeup completed, and having a great and relaxing time with your bridesmaids as they get ready as well.

2:00                        BRIDE GETS DRESSED

Now is the time to finish getting ready. Don’t worry, your photographer doesn’t have to photograph EVERY part of putting on the dress. What we like to tell brides is “We’ll be right around the corner. Go ahead and put your dress on, but the moment you feel comfortable and covered enough – but not “finished” – let us know and we’ll come in and start photographing. What is comfortable is different for everyone, some people are VERY comfortable and others want to be more covered. We leave it up to the bride to decide.

3:00                        GROOM MAKES FINAL PREPARATIONS

It’s at this point that we’ll move over to the groom’s side of things. Since we generally don’t need or want photos of the groom and his groomsmen literally putting their pants on, we’ll arrive when they’re nearly finished getting dressed and just start photographing everything – quickly. Same as the bride’s side, we’ll capture all of the “details” and then also group photos of all of the groomsmen.

3:30                        FIRST LOOK (and then bride & groom portraits)

You won’t have to worry about planning this at all. We’ll find the location, set the groom up in position, and then bring the bride in to surprise him. We kick everyone out of the area so it’s a private moment between the two of you… and your photographers…

4:00                        WEDDING PARTY PHOTOS

After your first look and portrait session, we’ll bring in your wedding party to complete all of the wedding party photos with the two of you.

4:30                        HIDE THE BRIDE & GROOM

Of course – the groom doesn’t always stay hidden and often times will walk around greeting guests – but generally this is the time for the entire wedding party to relax, get a drink, or cool off/warm up if the weather’s being crazy. Your photographers will take this time to finish photographing the ceremony site and ceremony details. They may also sneak in and photograph the reception space if it’s ready as well.

5:00                        CEREMONY

This is where you get married!

5:30                        FORMAL FAMILY PHOTOS & COCKTAIL HOUR BEGINS

We RUN the family formal session like we’re on a crazy mission to get them finished in record time. We do this EVERY TIME too. Literally. I don’t care if you have 100 people or 10 people for the family photos – we will GET. THEM.DONE. and then you can still get to the last part of your cocktail hour. We want you to be able to spend as much time with your guests – this is about you and not us stealing you away just for our amazing photos (well, it’s not ONLY about that…)

6:00                        PHOTOGRAPHERS PHOTOGRAPH RECEPTION SPACE (before guests enter!)

6:30                        RECEPTION BEGINS!

6:45                        GRAND ENTRANCE ANNOUNCEMENTS & First Dance

7:00                        DINNER IS SERVED

7:30                        SPEECHES & TOASTS

7:45                        SPECIAL DANCES (Father/Daughter, Mother/Son, etc.)

8:00                       OPEN DANCING

8:15                        CAKE CUTTING

8:30                        BOUQUET TOSS

9:00                        PHOTOGRAPHERS CONCLUDE THEIR COVERAGE

Wedding Day Timeline | Couple in the Mountains

Of course this is just a sample wedding day timeline – but it should give you a good idea of how your wedding day can be scheduled – and you can see how all of that time just literally disappears. Sure – when your photographer tells you that their base package starts at 8 hours of coverage you think to yourself 8 hours is plenty of time! But when you actually write it all down from start to finish – 8 hours of photography coverage can seem like just enough or not enough to cover everything.

Sample Wedding Day Timeline 

Something to note – your reception can happen ANY WAY YOU WANT. Sure there needs to be some sort of ‘dinner’ portion for your guests – but other than that – the order is UP TO YOU. You can do all of the things DURING DINNER if you’d like (special dances, toasts, etc.) or you can space them out as the reception moves along. You can skip them. You can have a 30 minute hora dance spectacular if you’d like (totally had that happen – and it was AMAZING.)

Questions? Ask us. Need more help? Check out our good friends at A Practical Wedding.

 

Wedding Day Timeline. Example. Atlanta Wedding Photographers. LeahAndMark & Co.

 

Callanwolde Fine Arts Wedding Venue & Weddings

Atlanta Wedding Photographer | Callanwolde Fine Arts Center | Wedding | LeahAndmark & Co.

A Callanwolde Wedding at Callanwolde Fine Arts is a great wedding venue because it has the ability to transport you to a different place – in a good way. The grounds have a certain feeling to them that isn’t like any other venue in Atlanta. I’m not sure what it is exactly. But it’s not any one thing individually. It’s the combination of everything that’s there. From the gardens, to the grassy areas, and the trees and flowers – to the building facade that’s reminiscent of a castle but not exactly. To the side patio area that almost feels like you’re in the French countryside. Or the grand staircase with the back lit stained glass windows. Or the classroom feelings of the up stairs getting ready spaces. All of it. It all transports you to a place that doesn’t feel so modern, or even so Southern the way that so many other wedding venues in the South tend to do. 

Callanwolde Wedding Fine Arts Venue

Callanwolde Wedding Fine Arts Center

Callanwolde Wedding Fine Arts as a wedding venue lends itself to your creativity. You can really set it up to go in a few directions. Classic and timeless. Or a little big magical and fairy-like… or even medieval and whimsy if you like. Or just plain, flat out elegant (that’s a thing right?)

Atlanta Wedding Photographers LeahAndMark & Co.

Your photographer will definitely have an endless supply of ideas at Callanwolde as well. Even if the weather doesn’t cooperate and it’s raining – there’s a good bit of cover to work with around the building – and you can always sneak a few minutes outside when the rain does take a break.

We’ve photographed several weddings at Callanwolde Fine Arts and they’ve literally always, always, always been amazing. 

Atlanta Wedding Photographer. LeahAndMark & Co. Callanwolde Wedding Fine Arts Center. The Best Photographers. In. Atlanta.

Need help creating a wedding day timeline? We have you covered.

Why You Should Consider a Destination Wedding

Playa Del Carmen; Mexico; Destination Wedding Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.

There are many reasons why you should consider a destination wedding and also hiring a destination wedding photographer. The Caribbean? Playa del Carmen? Mexico? Jamaica? Cancun? The first and most obvious one is because you want to get married at some amazing or specific location, but you happen to not live there. See? Simple. Because you want it that way. 

Playa Del Carmen; Mexico; Destination Wedding Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.

Another reason is convenience. Maybe it’s convenient for the two of you. Maybe it’s convenient for one side of your family. Or just for the most important person other than the two of you (like for example if your mother/father/relative that you MUST have at your wedding, can only travel so far/has travel restrictions – then you definitely want to do what you can so they may attend.) That might include having the wedding closer to that relative. Which may mean that you are traveling to them. 

Why You Want to Have a Destination Wedding Photographer

Playa Del Carmen; Mexico; Destination Wedding Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.

OR. You happen to live someplace that you don’t like that much. And no one else lives there either. So you pick a different place. One that’s in the middle of everyone. 

Whatever your reason – along with all of the usual logistical concerns – you will want to consider how easy it will be for everyone else to attend your wedding. If everyone is having to fly into town – is it nearby a decent airport? If everyone can drive – is it a 2 hour drive or a 8 hour drive? That changes things dramatically. Think it through for your guests (at least the ones that you WANT attending your wedding ha.)

Destination Wedding Photographer LeahAndMark & Co.

Playa Del Carmen; Mexico; Destination Wedding Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.

Still. Having a destination wedding can be as easy or as difficult as having a wedding down the street. Literally. Think about it in the same way as moving houses. Whether you’re moving down the street or across town – you still have to move ALL THE STUFF. Whether you’re getting married down the street or across the country – many of the same wedding things and parts still have to happen. Like a ceremony, and reception, and parking, and bathrooms, and food… all those same things. Right? Right. 

Reasons for having a Destination Wedding Photographer in the Caribbean or Playa Del Carmen

Playa Del Carmen; Mexico; Destination Wedding Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.

Basically – have the wedding where you want to have the wedding – where you REALLY want to have the wedding. And if that means you’re getting married in the Caribbean then oh well I guess that’s what you’ll have to end up doing!

Need help creating a wedding day timeline? We have you covered.

And if you need ideas – check out this book for planning.

Biltmore Ballrooms Atlanta Wedding Venue Weddings

Atlanta Wedding Photographer | Biltmore Ballrooms | LeahAndMark & Co.

A Biltmore Ballrooms Wedding in Atlanta is amazing because of the spaces’ ability to transport you to a place that’s elegant and unique and unlike many of the other ballrooms or event spaces in Atlanta. Elegant, classic, aristocratic – those are some of the words that would appropriately describe the Biltmore Ballrooms. Especially that feeling of aristocracy and elegance. Contrary to what their brochures might tell you – you cannot achieve that same atmosphere at any hotel ballroom here in Atlanta. 

Biltmore Ballrooms Wedding | Atlanta Georgia Photographer LeahAndMark

Biltmore Ballrooms Wedding Venue

And of course – not only are the actual ballrooms an amazing feature of the wedding venue – but the front entrance facade is spectacular. With high 50 foot columns and that old-money richness to it – your wedding portraits will look like they couldn’t have been made anywhere else but at the Biltmore Ballrooms. 

Biltmore Ballrooms Wedding | Atlanta Georgia Photographer LeahAndMark

Atlanta Wedding Photographers LeahAndMark & Co.

Obviously – once people see the ceiling of your ceremony or reception space, they’ll immediately recognize where your got married. Because that ceiling is iconic, famous, and a landmark in Atlanta. 

We’re often hard pressed to truly recommend certain venues – but recommending the Biltmore Ballrooms for your wedding is absolutely of a required consideration at the very least.

Here’s the thing about a Biltmore Ballrooms Wedding. It’s A LOT OF CLASS right in the middle of Atlanta. You’re transported to a different location. You don’t feel like you’re in a modern city full of glass and steel. You may feel like you’re far away on a grand estate – maybe even the actual Biltmore Estate in North Carolina. Yeah it’s that amazing in the ballrooms which is crazy when you think about it because it’s literally just one large room. Oh, but what a large room it is. You won’t regret having your wedding there. Trust us. Trust yourself. 

 

Biltmore Ballrooms Wedding. Atlanta Wedding Photographer.

Check out the Biltmore Ballrooms Website here.

Need help creating a wedding day timeline? We have you covered.

Need help planning and ideas? Check out this book by our friend Meg.

C & R | Wimbish House NYE Wedding | Atlanta Wedding Photographer

Wimbish House; Wedding; New Year's Eve; NYE; Atlanta Wedding Photorapher LeahAndMark

Having a Wimbish House Wedding? On New Year’s Eve?! I’ve said it before and I’ve said it over and over again – when you have a New Year’s Eve wedding you are deciding to host a New Year’s Eve PARTY. Don’t try to be low key about your wedding if it’s on NYE. You’re asking people to spend a party holiday with YOU – so you need to put on a party.

Wimbish House; Wedding; New Year's Eve; NYE; Atlanta Wedding Photorapher LeahAndMark

I mean you don’t HAVE TO – because I’ll never say you HAVE TO do anything for your own wedding (but seriously – if you invite more than 10 people then… don’t be lame and have a party.)

Atlanta Wedding Photographer LeahAndMark & Co.

Wimbish House; Wedding; New Year's Eve; NYE; Atlanta Wedding Photorapher LeahAndMark

I’ve photographed several new year’s eve weddings and fortunately – they’ve all lived up to the hype – they’ve all had crazy crazy great parties for the reception. It’s simple really. In fact it’s almost easier to have a great party reception on New Year’s Eve because people are in the mood to party. That’s not always the case with other wedding receptions. Sometimes people are just like… laaaaaaaaaaaaaame. And then other times they’re just tired. But on NYE – they won’t be. 

Plus – all you really need to get the party going is a decent DJ, party hats, and some noise makers. Seriously – if you have party hats all of a sudden it’s a CRAZY party. In fact – if you want to have a great party reception at your regular, non-NYE-wedding – then just make sure you have enough fun party hats. And Sunglasses. AND alcohol. 

Wimbish House Wedding

Wimbish House Wedding Photos

I know I know – alcohol is not a must have – but if you want to play percentages and just have a better chance at a better party… do not have a dry wedding. A dry wedding is a 100% reason for guests to leave your reception early – like right after the cake cutting early – or even right after dinner. Because damn if most people are gonna hangout with you til midnight without any alcohol. What are they? 12 years old? I mean… okay unless it’s a religious decision then just label your wedding reception as a ‘lock-in’. You know, like back in your Christian teen youth group days. Remember those? A “Lock-In” and you raised money by saying you were going to talk or dance or sing the whole time/every hour or something. And you were raising money for your youth group to go on some missionary trip to help indigenous peoples of wherever with their poor lives and poor living. 

Oh – but your NYE wedding. Right. 

New Year’s Eve Wedding in Atlanta

Wimbish House Wedding; New Year's Eve; NYE; Atlanta Wedding Photorapher LeahAndMark

So what else do you need? Food. Snacks. Well – at least a great dinner. This is not the time for one of those receptions where you just serve heavy appetizers and think that people will be satisfied. F*ck that. You need to serve them dinner and have a decent amount of dessert. Now you don’t need to buy the $1,000 cake – just have more than enough cheap cake and spend the money on the alcohol – cause then that cheap cake will TASTE AMAZING.

In conclusion, Caroline and Ryan are AMAZING and Full of Awesome. 

Wimbish House Wedding; New Year's Eve; NYE; Atlanta Wedding Photorapher LeahAndMark

Wimbish House Wedding; New Year's Eve; NYE; Atlanta Wedding Photorapher LeahAndMark

Atlanta Wedding Photographer. Wimbish House wedding. New Year’s Eve Wedding. LeahAndMark & Co.

Need help creating a wedding day timeline? We have you covered.

Need help planning? Check out our friends.

Roswell River Landing Wedding Venue Weddings

Atlanta Wedding Photographer | LeahAndMark & Co. | Roswell River Landing

Your Roswell River Landing Wedding Photos will be amazing! It’s a great wedding venue for a couple of reasons. It’s relatively affordable; it’s relatively close to Atlanta; and they’re very friendly and easy to work with. Oh – and they have that amazing river dock that allows for some amazing photos that you can’t really get anywhere else in Atlanta. I mean it. Sure Piedmont Park has a coupe of docks around their lake – but you’re always having to battle the throngs of park visitors – and the docks are pretty high off the water. So you don’t get that at the river’s edge feeling that you do when you photograph at Roswell River Landing.

Roswell River Landing Wedding Photos | LeahAndMark & CO.

Roswell River Landing Wedding Photos 

OH. AND THE CEREMONY location is also quite excellent. 

But the simplicity of the whole venue is what will also give you good reason to consider having your wedding there. It’s an easy space and you can bring in all your own vendors. (Whereas more and more venues are requiring that you ONLY use their approved vendors (and approved higher costs too.))

Atlanta Wedding Photographers LeahAndMark & Co.

Roswell River Landing. Right. Oh yeah – and you have the option of having your guests hangout outdoors, or indoors, or both. So depending on whether it’s raining, or it’s cold, or it’s hot – you’re pretty much covered and your guests will be comfortable. AND there’s parking. Like easy parking. Ha. You think that’s not a big deal – until it IS a big deal when there isn’t any parking or your guests have to valet and ride a shuttle or some other considerations – considerations that you don’t want to have to consider. 

But seriously – if you’re looking for a budget friendly, open option wedding venue in Atlanta – this is a place you should really, really, REALLY consider.

Roswell River Landing Wedding Photos | LeahAndMark & CO.

Roswell River Landing Wedding Photos.

Check out the Roswell River Landing website here.

Need help creating a wedding day timeline? We have you covered.

The Chimneys at Big Canoe Wedding Venue Weddings

Big Canoe, The Chimneys, Wedding, Jasper Ga, LeahAndMark & Co.,

What’s great about a Chimneys at Big Canoe Wedding is that they basically give you the keys for the entire day and let you get down to business. Decorate, party, finish up. Oh. AND It’s BEAUTIFUL there. The outdoor patio area ceremony site with the golf course and lake backdrop is stunning. You’re surrounded and embraced by the forest canopy while you’re getting married and everyone is there to watch you profess your love for each other. What more could you ask for????

Chimneys at Big Canoe Wedding Photos - Ceremony Location

With a large wrap around covered deck – rain is no problem either! Because you can have your ceremony indoors if you want, or if it doesn’t start raining until your reception – people can STILL be outdoors enjoying the spectacular North Georgia forests. 

We may be a little biased too – because this is where Leah and I got married – so yeah – we think it’s all kinds of great because we ourselves have AMAZING memories from our own wedding that took place there.

Chimneys at Big Canoe Wedding Photos - Groom Shot over the brides shoulder

Oh yeah! And one of the best parts is that it’s pretty easy to just rent several large homes down the street to house all of your friends and family and wedding party guests. So you’re never too far from the venue and the party can continue long after you’ve made your exit from the reception!

Granted – I have a bit more knowledge about a Chimneys at Big Canoe wedding because we had OUR wedding there – but also because I’ve photographed weddings there as well. It’s an amazing venue and the layout really lends itself well to serving your guests a good sit down dinner while also making it so that they don’t just stay in their seats. They will want to walk around and mingle and dance! 

Definitely consider them for your wedding!

Need help creating a wedding day timeline? We have you covered.

Need other help planning? Check out this book by our friend Meg.

Chimneys at Big Canoe Wedding. North Georgia Wedding Photographer. LeahAndMark & Co.

Kimball Hall Wedding Photos Roswell Venue – Review (2018)

A Kimball Hall Wedding in Roswell is a great idea – because it’s an amazing venue. We got a chance to photograph a wedding there this last Fall and WOW. Just WOW. It’s just one street over from downtown Roswell but what makes it really great – is that everything is right there at the venue. The entire upstairs is the preparations/getting ready area for the bridal party (you can have the other side get ready there as well, it just gets really tricky if you don’t want to see each other before you’re… ready to see each other.)

Bride getting ready at Kimball Hall

Atlanta Wedding Photographers 

The ceremony location in the backyard of Kimball Hall is stunning and accommodates up to 200+ people comfortably. You can also accommodate just as many people inside for the reception. Now – some locations don’t have a good rain plan, but on the off chance that you need to bring your ceremony indoors – the reception space where it will be held – isn’t too terrible. Especially since the room is surrounded by wall to wall windows and you don’t feel like you’re in a basement (like some reception spaces seem to feel like…)

Beautiful couple portrait session at Kimball Hall

At Kimball Hall there is also a side patio for the cocktail hour as well as a covered front porch. It’s perfect, and great, and convenient. But I haven’t covered the BEST part and the REAL reason to book your wedding at Kimball Hall. It’s Julie. Julie White Stephens is the owner/main coordinator at Kimball Hall and SHE RUNS THE SHOW. I say that in the best kind of way. She will work with you to craft the exact wedding you’re wanting to have – and she will keep things moving along at a nice pace so that it all goes down smoothly.

Kimball Hall Wedding Photos

A groom sees his bride as she walks down the aisle

Epic Backlit bridal portrait

Wedding Couple dancing in the courtyard

The beautiful courtyard at Kimball Hall in Roswell, Ga.

Kimball Hall Wedding Timeless bridal portrait at Kimball Hall

An awesome wedding guests doing cool things because she's the coolest

Getting her hair done

Kimball Hall Wedding Love Love Love Wedding Details

Kimball Hall Wedding Ring

Kimball Hall Wedding Couple

I say this and I mean it – not all coordinators or planners are created equally. Some are amazing – and some just sit there and hide never to be see again after the ceremony. Julie is there all day and then she does it again the next day for the next wedding. She’s amazing and she works hard and you should be so lucky to have her on your wedding.

Kimball Hall Wedding Photos Roswell Venue Review

Want more information? Contact us. Thank youuuuuuuuuuuu.

Need help creating a wedding day timeline? We have you covered.

The Solarium at Scottish Rite Wedding Venue Weddings

Solarium, Historic Scottish Rite, Hospital, Decatur, Wedding, Venue, LeahAndMark

Everything about a Solarium Decatur Wedding will make sure you end up with great photos. It is a great wedding venue deep in the heart of Decatur, Ga. It’s literally hidden away in a quiet neighborhood – just south of downtown Decatur. What’s also so amazing about the Solarium is how flexible you can be with the venue set up for your wedding.

Solarium Decatur Wedding | LeahAndMark & Co.

Solarium Decatur Wedding Photos

You can have your wedding indoors – or outside in the main entrance area – and both are fantastic options. There are two main rooms connected by a short middle hallway and a side walkway window room as well. 

What’s also a great feature is that when it’s time for the real partying to begin – any one of the rooms can be turned into a crazy dance floor and people CAN DANCE ALL THEY WANT. It’ll feel close and comfortable as opposed to how sometimes it feels like you’re dancing in a big, empty reception hall… 

Solarium Decatur Wedding | LeahAndMark & Co.

Atlanta Wedding Photographers LeahAndMark & Co.

Of course – I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t mention how amazing the grounds and outside spaces are for wedding portrait photos. They are amazing and your talented photographer will have plenty to work with when it comes to make brilliant and beautiful photos of the two of you on your wedding day. Seriously. You will love your photos taken at the Solarium. You’ll love your wedding there too!

Solarium Decatur Wedding | LeahAndMark & Co.

And if you needed more convincing – check out these amazing photos! We LOVE working there and we always have a great time. Partly because the people who book this venue are the best kinds of people. They’re looking for that balance of classic looks, but easy rules and comfort for their guests. A Solarium Decatur Wedding is ALWAYS, ALWAYS a GREAT TIME! Right? Right.

Check out the Venue Website here.

Need help creating a wedding day timeline? We have you covered.

M & J | Cator Woolford Gardens | Atlanta Wedding Photographer

Atlanta; Wedding; Cator Woolford Gardens; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Outdoor; Fall Wedding; Summer Wedding; Green; Nature; Traditional

Cator Woolford Gardens Wedding photos and this is M. & J. They’re awesome. And I’m not just saying that because duh they paid a ridiculous amount of money for us to photograph their wedding so what else would I say about them? I’m saying they’re awesome because notably – they smiled SO MUCH DURING THEIR WEDDING DAY. Some people are nervous or anxious or just… fine – and really – one of the things we say about weddings is that it’s definitely a day when you shouldn’t hold back. Don’t Hold Back. F*ck being cool and really just… let yourself Love Out Loud.

Some people have infectious smiles and laughs and happiness – M & J are those people (at least they were those people during their engagement session and definitely during their wedding.) And honestly – infectiously happy people are some of my favorite kinds to photograph. Duh. Sure I write words and talk like some kind of cynical fucker full of fuckery but come on – I photograph weddings for a living. Deep down… ah nevermind – check out these photos! And all the GREEEEEEN.

Cator Woolford Gardens Wedding 

Atlanta; Wedding; Cator Woolford Gardens; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Outdoor; Fall Wedding; Summer Wedding; Green; Nature; Traditional Atlanta; Wedding; Cator Woolford Gardens; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Outdoor; Fall Wedding; Summer Wedding; Green; Nature; Traditional Atlanta; Wedding; Cator Woolford Gardens; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Outdoor; Fall Wedding; Summer Wedding; Green; Nature; Traditional

SEEEEeee. Right from the start when we arrived – M. was totally totally being amazing and happy infectious and I knew the day was going to be all kinds of YESSSSSSSsssss.

Atlanta; Wedding; Cator Woolford Gardens; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Outdoor; Fall Wedding; Summer Wedding; Green; Nature; Traditional Atlanta; Wedding; Cator Woolford Gardens; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Outdoor; Fall Wedding; Summer Wedding; Green; Nature; Traditional Atlanta; Wedding; Cator Woolford Gardens; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Outdoor; Fall Wedding; Summer Wedding; Green; Nature; Traditional

Alright – now I know you can’t see much of the house from these photos – but M. & J.’s house is purposefully decorated and the design throughout is… I LOVE IT MAN. Shut up. I can say that. Because I’ve been in their house and you probably haven’t so you didn’t get to see all the cool stuff they have – without it feeling cluttered and without it all coming from IKEA. Like my house. But I’m working on it okay? I am.

Atlanta; Wedding; Cator Woolford Gardens; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Outdoor; Fall Wedding; Summer Wedding; Green; Nature; Traditional Atlanta; Wedding; Cator Woolford Gardens; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Outdoor; Fall Wedding; Summer Wedding; Green; Nature; Traditional Atlanta; Wedding; Cator Woolford Gardens; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Outdoor; Fall Wedding; Summer Wedding; Green; Nature; Traditional Atlanta; Wedding; Cator Woolford Gardens; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Outdoor; Fall Wedding; Summer Wedding; Green; Nature; Traditional Atlanta; Wedding; Cator Woolford Gardens; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Outdoor; Fall Wedding; Summer Wedding; Green; Nature; Traditional

Here’s the thing about first looks – sure they help things out logistically (since you can cut out 30+ minutes between your ceremony and reception) – but they’re a completely different type of session than only a portrait session. I know it seems like a little small thing – but the anticipation, the setup, and the angles that you get because of a first look can’t be recreated well from only a portrait session that takes place after the ceremony. Not always better – just always different.

But also – I’ve photographed several Cator Woolford Gardens wedding (s) but damn – the gardens were on point and impressive that day. The cloud cover with no chance of rain really helped as well. AND IT WASN’T HOT. Perfect? YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS.

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OH YEAH. And we got to work with a couple of our FRIENDS at this wedding – the always excellent and amazing sounding Luna Strings and the most magnificent Reverand Deanna Lancaster! It was seriously like a wedding vender get together – and it’s always fun to see your friends ‘at work’ right? Especially when they don’t suck. HA. Although I’m not so sure they would say the same about me – but it’s all good.

But now – with these last few words – I hit the 500 word count. So.

M. & J. You. Are. Awesome.

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Wedding Venue: Cator Woolford Gardens at the Frazier Center

Wedding Photographer: LeahAndMark & Co.

Wedding Planner: Terri – Everything and More Events 

Ceremony Music: Luna Strings

Need help creating a wedding day timeline? We have you covered.

Need help planning and ideas? Check out this book by our friend Meg.

Atlanta. Wedding. Photographers. LeahAndMark & Co. Cator Woolford Gardens Wedding Photos. Photography.

How to Plan a Wedding Ceremony (the Easy Way)

Wedding Ceremony Planning can be easy and here’s the best way to go about doing that. Okay well – this is ONE way to plan a wedding ceremony. Even though all you really know is that you’re just trying to go from – “Hi” to “Do you wanna be married to this person” – literally – everything else in between is either fluff, or simply… an expression of how much you love the other person. 

Wedding Ceremony in the park

So – the super short version is just this:

“Hi”

“I Love You Forever and Ever.”

“I want to be married to you.”

You literally could say that to each other and be literally done. 

Of course – you won’t do that because dammit – your photographer (hopefully) requests that you take longer than 1.4 minutes on your ceremony. Okay? A little longer? Ha.

Wedding Ceremony Planning | A bride and her squad

Wedding Ceremony Planning:

  1. Processional (who and in what order do you want people walking to the altar/ceremony spot
  2. A greeting to your guests 
  3. Words about love in general
  4. Words about why you love the other person and your life
  5. Words from each of you, professing your love for the other person (vows)
  6. Exchanging of rings (if you want)
  7. Maybe a performance or reading by a friend/family member
  8. Other symbols/moments of unification (unity candle, knot tying, etc.)
  9. Kiss (if you want) 
  10. Walk down the aisle in TRIUMPH!

See? That’s it. I mean – that CAN be a lot – but it doesn’t have to be. What it should be (and even then I hate saying should) – is that it should be meaningful to the both of you. So. What do you want to say that would be meaningful. What do you want to happen in front of everyone, that either makes them feel included in your wedding ceremony and/or also presents the shift in your relationship from not married people, to married people.

I don’t mean that in some kind of obvious, or cliche, or cheesy way either. It’s not the major things that always make you feel ‘married’ – it’s all of the LITTLE things that you won’t really know until you are married, or have been married for a while. (I’m trying my hardest to not say “You’ll see”.)

And if you’re desperate – just look online and find a few wedding ceremonies to pull from and modify them as needed. But try not to take other people’s sacred traditions and co-opt them for yourselves toooooo blatantly, or at least not offensively okay? Of course – in the end, it’s your wedding, your ceremony – and fuck all else. What? It’s TRUE! 

Wedding Ceremony Planning | Bride & Groom Photo

Wedding Ceremony Planning. Atlanta Wedding Photographer LeahAndMark & Co.

Check out this post from APW as well!

Need help creating a wedding day timeline? We have you covered.