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5 Tips About Your Wedding Flowers

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Ah Floral Design. It’s more than just bouquets and boutonnieres! It can be more than just a few flowers in mason jars on the tables!

The floral design of your wedding is one of the main areas where the decor can go from okay to all out f*cken amazing. Even if you don’t care about flowers – designers these days can do more than just bundle them together with some green tape.

1. See the big picture

It might take some imagination – but try to envision your flowers, in your reception space. Not all flower arrangements and designs work for all spaces. You might want those 4 foot tall centerpieces that you see in magazines – except they also block views. If you’re already tight for space and the tables are basically crammed into a 1,000 sq.ft. apartment – you might want to go with smaller centerpieces that don’t make the room feel about the size of a postage stamp. Step back, let your floral designer describe to you what everything will look like, and try to envision whatever they’re describing. (Or if you don’t care about that and it’s your mom/aunt/father/paying relative that does care – just nod your head and act like you do. Come on! You can do it!)

Atlanta Wedding Photographer | LeahAndMark & Co. | Floral Design Ideas

2. Trust your floral designer

You’ve seen the work of your floral designer. You saw photos of 50 different weddings they’ve done in the past. The reception space, the table center pieces, the bouquets, the boutonnieres, the little bits of hanging flowers that they’ve thrown all over the walls and covering everything. You know what they make. So trust them.

But not only trust them with their work – trust them enough to share any of your thoughts on the design. If you have any ideas, or vision for what you might want - tell your floral designer. Communicate what you like, what you don’t like and what you might like. They won’t always just do what you say (and shouldn’t) – but they’ll take it into consideration and do what they think is best for the situation, and for you.

Atlanta Wedding Photographer | LeahAndMark & Co. | Floral Design Ideas

3. Reuse your arrangements

Flowers used during your ceremony can be used during your reception. Did you know that? YES. They can. Your floral designer knows this. If they all follow the same theme or unified design then the pieces used during the ceremony can definitely also be used during the reception.

Atlanta Wedding Photographer | LeahAndMark & Co. | Floral Design Ideas

4. Book your floral designer early

Just like venues and great photographers – floral designers get booked. So you’ll want to book your floral designer sooner rather than later – during your first ’round’ of vendor bookings if possible. Not a few months before. Booking them earlier in your planning will also give you a better idea of how to budget for the flower arrangements that you want.

Atlanta Wedding Photographer | LeahAndMark & Co. | Floral Design Ideas

5. Care about your flowers yet be flexible

Be flexible. Even if you’ve been dreaming about a particular flower being the focus of all of the arrangements – sometimes things won’t work out. Maybe it’s not the right season, or something else would actually work much better. Let your floral designer know about what you’re thinking and what you want – but be flexible. Provide your floral designer with your ideas for an overall look or theme and then let them be as creative as they can be – that’s why you hired them!

Atlanta Wedding Photographer | LeahAndMark & Co. | Floral Design Ideas

 

All Photos by LeahAndMark & Co.

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Why You Should Use Pinterest in Your Wedding Planning

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Many wedding photographers (and planners and floral designers) secretly complain to each other about how Pinterest is ruining brides. Or creativity. Or originality. Or something like that. They complain that brides all just want those Pinterest photos, even if their wedding is nothing like that mason-jar-sunset-glazed-farm-museum-warehouse-magical-scene-with-unicorns.

Maybe. Or… maybe f*ck that.

Maybe photographers should shut the hell up and just take photos. Oh no – this wedding is full of pretty stuff to take pictures of, again. Oh no, not another client that actually cares what their wedding/reception looks like. Oh no – a wedding full of pieces semi-derivative of a post-neo-pre-farm-classic theme I already photographed this  year. (Okay probably no photographer says that last one.)

Getting married? Pinterest all you want. Do it. Collect ideas. A lot of them. Some of them will be useful and others useless. Some will even cloud your judgement and that’s okay. It’s still your wedding. Your vendors are still there to do the jobs you hired them to do. When you hand over your Pinterest “inspiration” boards to your photographer/decorator/planner and they’re full of things we had at the last 40 weddings – GOOD. Whatever. It’s your wedding.

How else are you going to plan the perfect Star Wars/Anime/Dinosaur themed reception? – Pinterest B*tches! That’s how!

Atlanta Wedding Photographer | Pinterest | Brides

 

Some Photos by LeahAndMark & Co.

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Rehearsal Dinner Tips (Part 1 of 17)

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First. For anyone asking “What the F*ck is a rehearsal dinner?!” - it’s a dinner/gathering that usually takes place the night before your wedding day. It’s called a ‘rehearsal dinner’ because it generally happens after your ceremony ‘rehearsal’ (you know – when you and your wedding party all ‘rehearse’ walking down the aisle and practice a run-through of the ceremony.)

So. That’s what a rehearsal dinner is – now – how is yours going to be? Right. Other than planning the actual wedding – at some point you might realize that you also have to plan this event. Of course – it can be as fancy/large/small/simple as you’d like. It doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive – but it can be both if that’s what you want. I know what you’re saying – too many options. Too many decisions! MORE DECISIONS TO MAKE?! F*cken wedding planning!

Atlanta Wedding Photographer | LeahAndMark.com | High Museum of Art Atlanta

Why should you have a rehearsal dinner? Why can’t you just tell everyone to go away and find their own food?

Well… your wedding day is Crazy. BONKERS. You won’t really be able to spend too much time with everyone – and many of the people who don’t live nearby or traveled the furthest to be there, will arrive the day before. A rehearsal dinner is another opportunity to spend time with those people that LOVE you. LET THEM.

Feed them. Drink with them. Catch up. Take photos with them – it doesn’t matter that you’re not all as dressed up as you will be the next day – the point is that these are 2-3 relaxed hours where you can hangout with your friends & family without your amazing photographer pulling you away for yet another portrait session!

SO. What type of rehearsal dinner should have? WHAT THERE ARE DIFFERENT TYPES?! Yes. And we’ll go over everything in parts 2-17.

About Rehearsal Dinners

 

All Photos by LeahAndMark & Co.

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Why You Should Hire a Wedding Planner

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This is a subject very dear to our hearts – mostly because there are so many god awful wedding coordinators that are useless and difficult at the same time. (In the same way there are so many bad “rockstar” photographers as well.)

Still – we always recommend hiring a wedding coordinator. Or designer, or planner, or whatever title they’ve created for themselves – someone to coordinate your crazy wedding day. (It’s crazy. You might not think it’s crazy, but it’s bonkers.)

We’ve worked with some amazing planners that could do magic at the drop of a hat. Need a new venue the week of your wedding because your first one turned out to be total F*ckers? Taken care of. Need someone to tell your photographer that he needs to stop being a self absorbed diva? DONE.

Atlanta Wedding Photographer | LeahAndMark.com | Vintage | Rustic | Modern | Portfolio | Virginia Wedding | Vineyard

Your wedding is too important. There are a lot details and things that need to happen that you don’t know about. Not because you’re dumb – but because it’s not your job to coordinate weddings 50 weekends a year. You’ve never had to coordinate the flow of 300 guests from ceremony to cocktail hour to reception while the bride and groom have been kidnapped by the photographer for photos, the band is loving the open bar too much, and the caterer is an hour behind schedule!

Hire a great wedding coordinator. You won’t know everything they did for you – and that’s kind of the point.

Atlanta Wedding Photographer | LeahAndMark & Co.

 

All Photos by LeahAndMark & Co.

A few wedding planners you should consider:

Stella-Harper Events (Atlanta, GA.)

Natalie Bradley Events (Athens, GA.)

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Advice When You Hire a Wedding DJ

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After you’ve hired your wedding DJ and given them your song list demanding that they do not play any One Republic or Taylor Swift – it’s time to shut up, and let them do their job. I mean it. You’ve done your part. You did a good job of hiring the right DJ (and they did a good job of making sure you’re the right client for them) – so as far as the DJ goes… your work is done.

Let your Wedding DJ do their job. Trust them. It’s their job to know how to get a dance floor going. It’s their job to know when to play what, and when not to be an annoying emcee. It’s your job to pick the right DJ for your wedding. Just like when you hired your photographer, or videographer – you paid good money for a competent professional rockstar DJ - now step back and let them do their jobs.

Unless they suck – then yeah – go ahead and give them a hand… but under no circumstance should you ever, EVER resort to the Electric Slide/Cha-Cha Slide/Cupid Shuffle.

Atlanta Wedding Photographer LeahAndMark & Co.

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All Photos by LeahAndMark & Co.

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Should You Have a Cash Bar at Your Wedding?

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NO CASH BAR.

You don’t need a full bar at your wedding. You don’t need 3 different vodkas, 4 brands of whiskey, or 2 signature cocktails. All of that is always welcome and appreciated – but you don’t NEED IT.

If you can only provide wine & beer – that’s what everyone will drink.

If you can only provide Hi-C boxes or pouches of Capri-Sun spiked with rum & vodka – that’s what everyone will drink.

If your guests (or photographer) complain – tell them to f*ck off. (Well – try to do it nicely.)

NO CASH BAR.

Atlanta, Wedding, Photographer, Georgia, LeahAndMark.com

Atlanta Wedding Photographer | LeahAndMark & Co. | No Cash Bar

All Photos by LeahAndMark & Co.

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Why You Need a Wedding Videographer

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Wedding Videography is something literally EVERYONE wants. I want it! Strangers want it! YOU WANT IT.

Most people stick wedding videography waaaaaay too far down on their list of wants and needs. I’m not going to say it’s a must – because we all know that other than actually getting married, wedding photos are the only must (ha!) and unlike the flowers, the chairs, or beef brisket – your wedding video won’t be forgotten. In the same way your photos will capture the day and guests – your wedding video saves even more of your day – but more importantly, it will help you relive your wedding day in ways that photos, no matter how brilliant, can’t.

Speeches, toasts, special moments that must literally be watched – these are the real reasons why you want to hire a wedding videographer.

A wedding day is full, and I mean FULL of love. From a father seeing their child entering a new phase of life to a grandmother literally doing everything they can to be present… Because who knows about the future?

I’m saying hire a videographer because you will never be sorry you hired a videographer for your wedding. You will never say I wish I didn’t have video of my best friends and family with me on my wedding day.

You’ll never say “Oh just looking at the photos and barely remembering what my mother said during her toasts is totally enough.”

You will never say “I’m glad we don’t have any video of how happy we were that day, who wants to remember that?

Put wedding videography on the table. Make it a higher priority than pretty chairs, more important than your name in lights on the dance floor (everyone knows your names!) and definitely more important than putting 10 mason jars on every table filled will fake green moss.

 

All Photos & Video by LeahAndMark & Co.

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How To | Great Engagement Session Photos (Part 1 of 23)

Atlanta Wedding Photographer | Engagement Sessions | LeahAndMark & Co.

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Your engagement photos are only as important as you want them to be.

Engagement photos are optional. You don’t need them if you don’t want them. Even if they come with the wedding photography package – you can opt-out. You can say you want something else. A print credit, less hours of coverage. Trade. Barter. Whatever – just know that engagement photos aren’t a must - and that’s okay – and if anyone tells you otherwise or acts like you’re crazy – tell them I said they should go away. Or F*ck off. Unless you want them to be a must-have. Then do it. Go all out – and you might as well decide to have AMAZING ENGAGEMENT PHOTOS!

Whether you want to haul a truckload of items to a field for a styled shoot – or make your friends dress up as zombies and stage a mini-zombie-apocalypse in your apartment – OR even a simple portrait session with the two of you in a location that has personal meaning – IT’S. ALL. GOOD. You can bring your dog, your cat, balloons, swords, whatever. BRING IT ALL.

You can have your engagement session take place in a cave, on the beach, your apartment, on a cliff, in a vineyard, or the industrial section of Newark, NJ. (feel free to use any of those ideas). It doesn’t always have to be the woods, or a field of tall grass. It doesn’t have to be obviously picturesque. It doesn’t have to be anything – except the two of you looking happy, in love, and having a good time – having a moment, or a few moments. It’s going to be a collaboration between you and your photographer. That’s why it’s important you select not only a good photographer – but the right photographer. Because hey – if you have a crazy idea you’d like to try (zombies), or difficult conditions (12pm in the middle of the day with the sun blazing overhead) – or you just aren’t ever comfortable in front of the camera, it’s very important to have a photographer that can GET YOU OUT OF YOUR HEAD.

Because you don’t want to be standing there asking “Where do I put my hands?” for the entire session.

Don’t settle for plain. Don’t settle for good. You want badass photos. You want to be able to say “Yeah! Our engagement photos are badass!” Or Awesome. Or Amazing. Or AmazinglyBadassAndAwesome.

And then you can go have an amazing wedding. AMAZING WEDDING.

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Atlanta Wedding Photographer | Engagement Sessions | LeahAndMark & Co.

 

Photos by LeahAndMark & Co – all over the United States.

 

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