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How to have a completely stress free wedding

Weddings are bonkers. I’m not sure they were always this way – but today – they’re often just flat out crazy bonkers full of bonker balls and more bonker bonkers. (Say bonkers again! I dare you!)

SO. You want to have a stress-free wedding. Is that possible? I mean yes – of course it’s possible. But how do you do that? I googled it. And many of the tips consists of basically doing as much planning up front as possible. And/or paying someone else to take on the stress so you don’t have to stress – which means that you hired a great wedding planner to do everything for you. 

How to have a Stress-Free Wedding

That’s just transferring the stress. Unless you don’t have to stress out about money. Many of us do. We’re not supposed to because ‘money isn’t real’ – but it’s real enough to our tiny brains that it might as well be real. (I’ve been listening to too much Alan Watts lately so bear with me.)

Oh yeah. Back to it. How do you have a completely stress free wedding? IDK. Be dead. That’s about the only way to be completely stress free. (But even the dead don’t seem to be stress free sometimes – that’s why they’re like, haunting us or you know, hanging out around.) OH. Right. Focus. 

Atlanta Wedding Photographers LeahAndMark & Co.

OKAY. The way to have a completely stress free wedding IS……. to just get married and then have your wedding later. (Like elopement style.) BOOM! Take that! Ha! NO seriously. It’s totally a viable option. What’s getting married anyway? I mean – ‘legally’ it’s some paperwork. Spiritually it’s two people being all I promise these things to you. Community-wise it’s people around you that celebrate your Union and LOVE… Arguably – it’s NOT most of what the wedding industry and magazines are selling. Unless you’re talking about amazing wedding photos. Those are ABSOLUTELY REQUIRED or else you’re just not really getting married. (I kidddddddddd. No I don’t.) (Yes I do.)

SO. You get married. And then you’re like – aw yeah f*ckers try to stress me out now! I’m already married! HA! 

Okay. Sure there are logistics – but much fewer than all the planning that goes into the BIG GIANT IDEA OF A WEDDING. And you might get some blowback from your family – but come on. It’s your life. 

IT’S YOUR LIFE. (Both of you.)

Simple Wedding Ideas With No Stress

And that means that other people will just deal. They will. And you know what. No one is going to kill you. They’ll still want to celebrate with you somehow – but they won’t kill you. 

But really. As I write this – I’m asking myself WTF AM I DOING. I basically have a job because people spend A LOT OF MONEY on WEDDINGS. There aren’t any real photographers that make an actually good living off of just ‘elopements’. (I know I know – sure there are. They’ll email me. But come on – we know they’re not making a living off of just elopements.) 

Maybe I’m just… I like you to have options. All of them. I want you to have all the options you want and not think that you have to go through with some kind of wedding that you don’t want. 

But if you don’t want amazing wedding photography – then you’re dead to me. DEAD TO ME.

Sincerely,

Mark Tioxon

 

Affordable Wedding Photography Atlanta

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

I know. You’re looking for an affordable wedding photographer in Atlanta. What IS affordable? Obviously – it varies. 

Now I’m not about to write an entire blog post about how you should pay photographers what they’re worth – because honestly – many photographers aren’t worth much. BOOM! SNAP! OH YEAH!

Affordable Wedding Photography Atlanta

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

And then there are some that are legitimately PRICELESS. In the best way. Because they’ll take care of you – and take care of things you’ll never see them doing. Whether it’s setting the pace of the day (because your planner does this a bit – but many planners are more hands off until the ceremony and reception) – or if it’s just making sure that people get the f*ck away from you. A great wedding photographer is really protective of their clients. And the energy of the room. Your energy. Especially on your wedding day. 

We know that you need to be in a good mood. You need to have great energy. WE NEED YOU to have great energy. It’s not required for us to do our jobs – but it helps. So we’ll protect you.

Of course if it’s your mom that’s just totally screwing everything up – well – you’re kind of on your own with that. ha!

Right. SO. Affordable Wedding Photography or Photographers in Atlanta. That’s totally us. Totally. I mean it. You can afford us. I don’t even have to put down a price because I know that you can afford us. Why? Because THIS IS MY JOB. And I like to work. You need a wedding photographer? ME. US. Let’s DO THIS. We’re never offended by a number – we’re only offended when people don’t ask nicely. You know what I mean? Like with anything – just ask nicely.

Atlanta Wedding Photographers

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That’s it. And if you’ve been asking other photographers and they respond with a f*cked up attitude – well – really – f*ck them. Because this is your wedding and they don’t get to be there. WHATEVS. 

Honestly – it’s 3:55am as I write this because I’m currently almost dead sick from a cold and I can’t sleep. So I’m blogging. Productive RIGHT?! I KNOW! Where was I?

Oh yeah. Affordable Wedding Photography Atlanta 

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Don’t mind the odd phrasing – that’s all just for SEO points with Google because they said that was a highly searched term and we all want to bow down and do whatever Google says to do right? Right. SO. How about you? And your wedding? And Us. And your Wedding Photography? We’re affordable – and you’re looking for an affordable wedding photographer. That’s US! *raises hand! Now – while I’m at it. It’s weird to me that I ended up here – a Professional Wedding Photographer. Because never would I have thought that this would be what I’M MEANT TO BE DOING. Apparently, literally – this is what I’m meant to be doing. Trust me. I’ve tried to get a different job and somehow – THIS IS IT. So. It’s a good thing that I like making BAGS FULL OF AWESOME for our wedding clients! YEAH! Hi-FIVE! 

Anyways – drop us a line and let’s DO THIS THING! And hey. Thanks.

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Atlanta Wedding Photography Packages

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There are SO MANY Atlanta Wedding Photography Packages. 

Math-wise it’s like 3 packages per photographer x 1 billion wedding photographers.

HOW ARE YOU GOING TO SORT THROUGH ALL THAT? It’s okay. You don’t have to. I’ll do it for you. No, just kidding – I’m not gonna do that. But I can tell you a whole lot of information about wedding photography packages. Because over the 45 years that I’ve been a wedding photographer* – I’ve tried every wedding package imaginable. Basically – it all breaks down to this:

  • Fancy/Handmade/Artisanal package name
    • Number of Hours
    • Number of Photographers
    • Engagement Session
    • Album Included
    • Prints Included

And that’s the rundown. Seriously. That’s it. More hours, more photographers, and an engagement session.

Atlanta Wedding Photography Packages

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 So. What do you want? Or rather – what do you need? I’ll tell you.

You need at least 8 hours of coverage – probably closer to 10 if you’re doing a full wedding day and you have a decent size wedding party. I know – you’re thinking EIGHT HOURS? OMG THAT’S SO LONG! But honestly – it’s not. Check out this sample timeline and watch how the day just flies by. WITH WEDDING THINGS.

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

SEE. And that was JUST 8 HOURS. All those wedding things happened! You won’t even remember anything – so thankfully you hired some amazing photographers to capture it all. Right? RIGHT.

Atlanta Wedding Photographers LeahAndMark & Co.

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Now – some practical advice. I know some wedding photographers like to post ALL of their ‘options’ like it’s some kind of menu and you’re picking things ala carte. That’s them making YOU do all the work. F*ck that. Your photographer should have their uh, sh*t together and they should know what you need after you tell them your wedding ideas and plans. You know – like a Professional. Because THAT’S WHAT YOU WANT. A Professional Wedding Photographer.

Now send us a message! And LET’S DO THIS!

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Atlanta Wedding Photographers Under 2000

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Here’s the thing with Atlanta Wedding Photographers Under $2,000 – they may or may not be pretty awesome. Actually – that’s also the thing with wedding photographers that are over $5,000. Heck – that’s also the thing with wedding photographers under $1,000. Basically – everyone at all price points can be great or not so great. 

Atlanta Wedding Photographers Under 2000

Now – we all know that wedding planners are a special type of people (because come on, only the truly crazy would decide to plan weddings for their job) – but wedding photographers are truly a different breed of bonkers. They like people but they don’t like people – which is why they like to keep that barrier of the camera between you and them. But then they also just desperately WANT TO HANG OUT WITH YOU for 10 hours on your wedding day. Who does that? 

Wedding photographers that’s who!

But let’s talk about YOU. You may have arrived here because you were looking for a wedding photographer under $2,000. I’m writing this because I may be a wedding photographer that you can hire for under $2,000. Possibly. Maybe. Bjork. (nevermind.)

The point is – all things are possible and depending on your wedding date, depending on how nicely you ask – I might totally be like – aw F*ck yeah let’s do this. (But really you should be asking everyone nicely about many things, anyways.)

Affordable Wedding Photography Atlanta

I mean – it’s all in the asking right? Look. $2,000 is on the lower side of things for photography budgets for us – but it’s not impossible. I photograph a billion weddings a year and (not literally) – and some weddings are more, and some weddings are less. At least when it comes to our fee. Maybe you can be on the less side of the fee. Clear? No? Well – if you’ve stumbled across this blog post where I’m basically saying – YES I WILL DO YOUR WEDDING FOR UNDER $2,000 – then you’re who this blog post was written for. Other people who want to pay more than $2,000 probably won’t find this blog post. Because I’m going to BURY THIS F*CKER so deep that only the truly committed to saving money will find it. Like you.

Now – obviously you’re going to want to say that you read this blog post so that I can be like aw hellz yeah they found the blog post! YESSSSSSSSSSSssssssss

Atlanta Wedding Photographers Under 1000 (yeah no)

I mean. That’s kind of cool. Besides. Realistically – honestly – there just aren’t too many really great Atlanta wedding photographers under 2000. (don’t worry about that phrasing there, that’s just for SEO stuff). But THIS IS MY JOB. I’m a Professional Wedding Photographer and I gots bills to pay. Lots of bills to pay. So how about you and me make a deal where you pay me what you can, I make you ridiculously amazing wedding photos – and no one else needs to know any of the details. Right? Yeah! Hi-FIVE!

Boom. So. Atlanta Wedding Photographers Under $2,000 – okay that’s probably ALSO me. 

But hey while we’re at it working on the SEO terms – Atlanta Wedding Photographers Over $7,000 – that’s DEFINITELY ME TOO.

Hey. Send me a message and let’s do this thing.

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The Top 10 Best Atlanta Wedding Photographers

Best Atlanta Wedding Photographer Whitecrest Farm LeahAndMark

Here’s the thing right? I’m a wedding photographer. So of course I’m going to include myself on this list – and that’s not just some crazy amount of pride. It’s just… well… why wouldn’t you include yourself in the top 10 of your profession in a specific category? Why Not. Besides – maybe we ARE one of the top 10 best Atlanta wedding photographers. Maybe not. It’s not exactly a science that can be measured with math and more math. 

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

The Top 10 Best Atlanta Wedding Photographers

It’s art right? That’s what we’d all have you believe. Wedding Photography is art and so you’re hiring an artist along with a professional. Because you definitely want a ‘Professional’ wedding photographer and not just a talented every now and then wedding photographer. I’m not talking about everyone – I’m talking about YOU. I’m talking about YOU and what you want. There’s a reason you’ve spent more time searching for a wedding photographer than your officiant. There’s a reason you’ve spent more time looking at wedding photo gallery after gallery and more galleries. Because you’ve seen SO MANY bad wedding photos. You’ve experienced so many bad wedding photographers – and now it’s your turn and you want great photos, a great experience, and… all around awesome from your wedding photographer.

But how do you find them? How do you find these elusive amazingly talented wedding photographers that aren’t a scam, that aren’t jerks (well, jerks in a way that doesn’t rock with how you’re a jerk) and that can be the ONLY person you’re paying to hangout with you for 10 hours on your wedding day. I know – you might be paying for a planner as well but honestly – they’re busy planning and running your wedding. While you’re photographer? They’re busy… watching you guys. ALL. DAY. 

Well, now that sounds creepy. AND IT COULD BE.

The Best Wedding Photographers in Atlanta

SO obviously you’ll want someone you’re comfortable with. Someone who doesn’t creep you out. Along with them being able to make ridiculously amazing photos. Right? Right. 

Now. Who are these people? Maybe you know someone already. Maybe you don’t. Maybe you know someone but they’re already booked. NOW WHAT? 

Keep searching. There are about 9 billion wedding photographers out there in the greater metro Atlanta area – so I’m sure you can find one that IS available and happy to be there with you. 

And now. We come to the list. Well. In a little bit. Because obviously I have a pitch. You know. A Pitch. Because obviously we would like to be your wedding photographer. We want to be there making all the amazing photos on your wedding day. Right? Of course. It’s practically why we exists. We’re full time wedding photographers and THIS IS WHAT WE DO. We don’t dabble. We don’t only do this on the weekends while we go back to our day jobs on Monday.

This is our profession. Wedding Photography is OUR JOB. Your wedding photography IS OUR JOB. 

Atlanta’s Best Wedding Photographers 

And that’s why we’re all here. You. Us. Me. We. That’s why we’re here. Because you’re searching for that special wedding photographer that will flat out KICK ASS at your wedding while being all kinds of Ninja and not weird and not creepy or lame – and still delivering bags full of AWESOME PHOTOS. You know. You’re looking for that wedding photographer that will BRING IT and make magic that just shows the world HOW F*CKEN BEAUTIFUL YOU ARE!

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Alright! YEAH! Hi-FIVE!

Let’s do this.

YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSssssssssssssss Thank you.

Atlanta Wedding Photographers, LeahAndMark, Trees Atlanta, Weddings, Black, Mexican, Multi racial, Multi Cultural

The Best Atlanta Wedding Photographers. Top 10. Best in Atlanta.

The Best Atlanta Wedding Venues (that I’ve photographed)

There are literally hundreds of wedding venues in the metro Atlanta area. Probably even more if you count all the venues that aren’t ‘wedding specific’ but could and can still provide more than amazing services for a wedding. While there are obviously some that are better than others – and some that are AMAZING – these are the absolute hands down best Atlanta Wedding Venues that I’ve photographed weddings, at. (I know – a poorly written sentence that ends with ‘at’.)

The Best Atlanta Wedding Venues

Oh I know! These are the best Atlanta Wedding Venues where I’ve photographed at least one wedding. (Aha, much better… not amazing, but it doesn’t end with the word ‘at’.)

So hey – let’s begin.

  • Summerour
  • Ambient + Studios
  • The Tent at Park Tavern
  • The Trolley Barn
  • The High Museum of Art
  • The Millennium Gate
  • Rhodes Hall
  • The Wimbish House
  • Monday Night Brewing
  • The Ventanas
  • The Georgian Terrace
  • Piedmont Room at Park Tavern
  • Greystone at Piedmont Park
  • Magnolia Hall at Piedmont Park
  • Callanwolde
  • Cator-Woolford Gardens
  • Swan House / Atlanta History Center
  • The Foundry at Puritan Mills
  • Kingplow
  • Old Fourth Ward Park
  • Somebody’s nice backyard
  • Paris on Ponce
  • Ponce City Market
  • Museum of Design Atlanta

I know – that’s a lot of wedding venues here in Atlanta. And in fact – there are easily so many more in the ‘Atlanta area’ that aren’t technically in the city boundaries – but this list – we’ll limit it to just Atlanta. BUT. If you need help narrowing it down – if you need help picking a specific kind of venue for a specific number of guests – drop me a line. We can help. Or at the very least – we can help you find someone who can help you. Right? Right.

The thing with a big city like Atlanta is that you pretty much have your pick as far as MANY different kinds of wedding venues to choose from. A church? An old warehouse? An old mansion? A beautiful park? A museum? Something more eclectic and interesting? (Paris on Ponce/Moulin Rouge)

Atlanta Wedding Photographers LeahAndMark & Co.

Obviously – prices will vary – but you can work around that. Pick a less popular date. Find one where you can bring your own alcohol (saves you LOTS of money) – or pick one that just takes care of EVERYTHING (saves you a lot of effort planning). Depending on how involved you want to be – or how uninvolved you find out you want to be – there is a venue and wedding team out there for you. Some venues literally take care of everything – and of course they have a list of recommended vendors to work with. 

Now if you’re looking for a wedding photographer… I might have one or two that I would recommend. 

But if you’re looking for a wedding venue – definitely start looking up the names up top. Those are literally some of the best in all Atlanta – and if you want any more advice or opinions about them – let me know. I’ll tell you exactly what I think and what to expect from them. I’ll admit though – none of them are ‘bad’ so don’t think that I’ll tell you anything negative. Besides – I didn’t put any bad wedding venues on that list (of course not!)

 

Best Atlanta Wedding Venues. Wedding Planning. Ideas. Tips. Wedding Photographers LeahAndMark & Co.

How to Hire an Amateur Photographer for Your Wedding

Alright look – I know it’s kind of weird that I would write a blog post that tells you how you can hire an amateur photographer for your wedding. Weird because ummmm – I’m a professional wedding photographer and I should want you to hire me. 

But come on – if you were even considering hiring an amateur/hobbyist/weekend every now and then wedding photographer – then you probably weren’t really actually considering me anyway. SO. Let me help you. Okay? Okay.

Now – tbh (that means ‘to be honest’) an amateur wedding photographer needs all the help they can get. And don’t worry – I’m not going to spend ALL this time bashing amateurs. Maybe just some, and just a little. But you KNEW THAT. So. They need all the help they can get. The easiest way to help them is by providing good lighting for your entire wedding day. Basically – outdoor lighting and in the shade. So – have your wedding outside but in the shade. Done. Ceremony photos AMAZING. See. That part was easy and you totally saved money going with the amateur photographer. Okay.

Atlanta Wedding Photographers LeahAndMark & Co.

Oh – so that usually rules out really dark churches and other generally dark wedding ceremony locations. Oh – AND having your wedding ceremony at night/dusk/sunset-ish times when it’s getting dark. Because if your wedding ceremony is when it’s getting dark – that means that your reception will be at night. And it’s definitely dark at night time. 

But what about indoors? You have your reception inside with the lights on. That will be totally bright and lit and even an amateur photographer will have no trouble photographing in a well lit ballroom. YES. A well brightly lit ballroom. Just like those conference rooms in hotels. With all the even flourescent lighting. That’s exactly how you want the ambiance for your wedding reception to feel. Like a hotel conference room. NO. (well – please no)

Even ‘brightly’ lit as far as wedding receptions go is still mostly – dark- when it comes to taking good photos. That’s why there’s a difference between the photos a professional photographer takes and the ones that maybe your uncle takes – even  with the same camera. TBH (remember that from above?) – there are a lot of tricks to getting good photos that your uncle doesn’t know, and that many amateurs don’t know either. I mean, I say they’re tricks but really they’re just BASIC SKILLS that any actual PROFESSIONAL knows with their eyes closed. 

And it’s not always gear. Sure gear helps but there are plenty – PLENTY of bad photographers with really amazing gear. Okay – there are probably MORE bad photographers with really amazing gear than good photographers with amazing gear. TRUTH! 

How to Hire an Amateur Wedding Photographer

But of course what does ‘amateur’ even mean anymore? Number of weddings photographed a year? Amount the person charges? How often they launch a new ‘rebrand’ of their website? IDK. But you know it when you see an amateur. I know you do. You get that feeling. You know the one… the one that says… oh man, I’m really taking a risk with my wedding photos if I go with this photographer, but they’re cheap!… yeahhhhhhhhhhhh.

Don’t do that.

 

 

How to Find an Amateur Wedding Photographer. Atlanta. LeahAndMark & Co. Planning. Tips.

Different Food & Dinner Options for Your Wedding

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I’m making a few assumptions with this post.

  1. You want food available/to feed your guests something
  2. You’re feeding them dinner

Of course you absolutely have the option of not really providing any food for your guests (just make sure you let me know that this is NOT THAT KIND OF WEDDING). This is not unheard of – you can simply have a ‘cocktail reception’ as they say – which would still kind of mean that you’d be providing some food but more like simple appetizers and bites. Nothing resembling a meal. Unless you eat 34 bites.

Wedding Catering Food Dinner Ideas

SO. What are the dinner food options for your wedding? Or more appropriate and specifically – what are the different food service options for your wedding reception? Ah yes – Food Service Options.

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Atlanta Wedding Photographers LeahAndMark & Co.

Say it again – Food Service Options for Your Wedding Reception (that’s just SEO junk there)

  • Seated Meal
    • Alright – this is you probably already know as one of your main options. Just feed everyone a seated meal like it was a restaurant with a very limited menu. Yes there are some great benefits to having full seated meal service – but those benefits definitely add up in costs. Largely in the costs to provide enough servers/waitstaff to make sure that the plates get served in a timely manner. The problem or costs can get exponentially greater as the number of your guests grows. Definitely something to keep in mind. You’ll also want to balance out the quality of the food with the number of guests and costs. A seated meal/dinner service is often thought of as the most traditional food service but that doesn’t mean that you can’t go with one of the other options and still have an amazingly impressive wedding reception.
  • Family-Style Meal
    • You know how some restaurants say they serve food ‘family style’? Which really just means they bring the food on slightly larger plates to your table and make you serve yourselves. Right. Okay. This is sort of in between a seated meal and a buffet. More like… a seated buffet. YES. EXACTLY. Feels fancy like a seated meal but unfancy like Golden Corral…
  • Buffet Meal
    • Ahahaha I just made a Golden Corral joke just now and it was HILARIOUS (see above like two lines.) – okay your wedding reception buffet doesn’t have to be like the amazing buffet at Golden Corral – because that’s some DAMN FINE FOOD THEY HAVE THERE. No seriously. I LOVE Golden Corral. I only eat like 3 things and pile on 5 plates of the stuff – but I LOVE those three things. Same with your wedding reception buffet. You give people the opportunity to eat as much as they want of the same 3 things and leave the rest for the rest of the people… often times cheaper than a seated meal and with way more food for everyone. Just don’t go cheap okay? As in – barely enough food for people. I’ve seen roast beef sliced so thin and small that it was basically cold cuts.
  • Brunch or Lunch
    • This changes your whole day. If you’re not having a dinner reception then you don’t have to have dinner food. Heck – if you’re having a dinner reception, you don’t have to have dinner food either. Anyway – breakfast – everyone loves breakfast food. And if they don’t love breakfast food then they don’t need to be attending your wedding because they’re probably some kind of miserable f*cker. (WHO DOESN’T LIKE BREAKFAST FOOD?!) Oh yeah – and if you’re having a brunch/breakfast/lunch wedding reception – the drinking will probably be WAY LESS than if you were just partying the night away. Boom. Saved you some money. YOU’RE WELCOME.
  • Heavy H’orderves/Cocktail hour
    • IDK. I said something up there earlier about how you don’t have to serve as much food if you’re just serving heavy h’orderves – unless that’s what you’re serving for dinner – then you DO have to serve just as much food… which may or may not save you money. Because I know we served heavy h’orderves for dinner at our wedding and that was still damn expensive. What do I know about any of this really – I’m a photographer.

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Alright! Thank you! You’re awesome!

 

Wedding. Catering. Food. Advice. Options. Dinner. Meals. Planning. Atlanta. Photographer. LeahAndMark.

How to Plan a New Year’s Eve Wedding | Wimbish House

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

Most of the time I’ll tell you that you shouldn’t care too much about what other people think when it comes to your wedding. And most of the time I mean that. F*ck everyone else if they don’t like your chairs, or your food, or your decorations – whatever. If your reception is low key and subtle and quiet (um, boring) – then that’s cool too. No really – it is – because again – it’s your wedding and you not only should have it be however you’d like it to be – but you should also not have to worry about what anyone else thinks.

New Year’s Eve weddings are different.

Mannequin Challenge | NYE Wedding from LeahAndMark & Co. on Vimeo.

How to Plan a New Year’s Eve Wedding

Because now you’ve decided to hijack a party holiday /night so now your wedding reception MUST BE A PARTY. Ahahahaha I’m kidding.

NOT I’M NOT KIDDING. Your NYE wedding better be a party or you’re just… well you’re awful. Okay? That’s awful. Don’t invite people to spend NYE with you (and your wedding) if you’re just asking them to literally spend the night being BORED TO DEATH.

So what does all this mean? It means that aside from the usual pressure of trying to make your reception full or regular amounts of fun – now it has to have NEW YEAR’S EVE amounts of fun. Which means drinks – and I’m not talking wine and beer and a cash bar. I’m talking about DRINKS and a WIDE OPEN BAR.

And Music. Dance music. Party Music. Band or DJ – just make sure they know how to ROCK and get people dancing. Because people are going to want to dance. In fact – YOU (the couple getting maried) MUST ALSO DANCE.

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

I know right? Who am I to tell you how to run your wedding? I’m just some weirdo photographer that’s photographed way too many weddings.

BUT I ALSO KNOW WHEN A WEDDING IS JUST ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ.

Atlanta Wedding Photographers LeahAndMark & Co.

And that’s not what you want. Deep down – if you’re having your wedding on New Year’s Eve – I know you really want a crazy awesome amazing party. And that’s okay. That’s MORE than okay. That’s GREAT! Oh and Hats! You need hats! And those noise makers! And probably some kind of confetti! And cocaine! YES! Cocaine is ALWAYS A GOOD TIME!…

Well. Maybe don’t “officially” have cocaine at your wedding reception/NYE party.

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

So. With a New Year’s Eve wedding – you’ll want to have your ceremony a little later than usual. Probably 7pm. Yes. 7pm is the perfect time for your wedding ceremony. Or 7:30pm. Okay both of those times are perfect. See – there’s plenty of perfect to go around.

Oh and plan on having your reception go at least until 12:30am-ish if not 12:45am-ish. Because 12:15am would be lame. I mean – countdown 3,2,1, Happy New Year!… go home? No. don’t be like that. Be cool.

3,2,1 Happy New Year!… and 45 minutes later go home. See? Way cooler. Be way cooler.

Let’s review. For a successful New Year’s Eve Wedding you’ll want to have:

  • Drinks (real drinks)
  • Party Hats
  • Party horns/noise makers
  • Confetti
  • Cocaine (optional)

Happy New Year!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Atlanta New Year's Eve Wedding | Wimbish House | NYE 2017 | LeahAndMark & Co.

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

Atlanta New Year's Eve Wedding | Wimbish House | NYE 2017 | LeahAndMark & Co.

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

Atlanta New Year's Eve Wedding | Wimbish House | NYE 2017 | LeahAndMark & Co.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Venue: Wimbish House

Atlanta Wedding Photographer: LeahAndMark & Co.

Wedding Coordinator: Laura Burchfield

 

 

How to DIY Your Wedding Day Hair (or not)

I know. WUT? How could anyone possibly do their own hair on their wedding day? The thought of such a thing is flat out BONKERS.

Except for the part where you probably generally do your own hair most of the time. Of course – doing your own ‘wedding day’ hair depends on what and how you want your hair to be on your wedding day (say ‘wedding day’ again – I dare you to!)

How to Do Your Own Wedding Day Hair (or Not)

Atlanta Wedding Photographer | LeahAndMark & Co. | Sugarboo Farms | Blairsville, GA

Over the past 8+ years I’ve been photographing weddings – I’ve seen a lot. People doing their own hair (shock) people doing their own makeup (OMG!) and then of course people just sitting there while everyone else fixes them up. You may or may not know what you want right now – if you want a professional hair stylist or make up artist to take care of you – or a friend – or you’ll just do it all yourself. So where do you begin?

An easy start is your wedding dress (or you know – suit – or jumper or… outfit.)

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If you’ve already selected your wedding dress – then you can start to envision what hairstyle would be good or most flattering for YOU, in your DRESS. If you want to show off your neck, or if you want to highlight your five-head (I joke!) or if you want a flower crown or antlers (seriously – antlers? why is that a trend?!… of course if you’re wearing antlers for your wedding then I LOVE YOU.) ummm Oh yeah – tastefully messy and unkept in the back or some kind of bump-it up-do… right – you can imagine/visualize what you may look like with a certain hairstyle and how it’ll compliment your dress. Well – how it’ll compliment YOU.

So start collecting photos of potential hairstyles.

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And then try to do them yourself. Try to do them with a friend. If you can’t do them well – then that means you ABSOLUTELY SHOULD NOT DIY your wedding day hair. Makes sense right? If you happen to be able to do your own wedding hair during your test – hair spray the F*ck out of it, throw in 200 bobby pins and wear it all day long to see how it holds. See what adjustments or fixes you’d have to do throughout the day. Basically – TEST IT OUT.

Atlanta Wedding Photographers LeahAndMark & Co.

Again – if you can’t do your own hair – that’s okay.

Either change the hairstyle you want for your wedding or just hire a hairstylist. (It’s really that simple.) You may decide that hey – maybe you DO like a simple style and you CAN do that. Or you decide – NO. This has to be done right and you need GIGANTIC TEXAS HAIR reaching up to hi-five GOD HERSELF.

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Now remember – you want to look good TO YOU. I know you’ll ask other people what they think – but make sure that you feel comfortable with your hairstyle and how it feels and looks. Because you’re about to have four billion photos taken and that hair will probably be in almost ALL of them.

 

 

6 Tips for Planning a Last Minute Wedding

Planning a last minute wedding doesn’t have to be a super crazy, or impossible task. In fact – what does last minute mean anyway? Obviously if you decide to get married next week – that would be last minute. But what if you only gave yourself 3 months to plan your wedding? or 6 months? Or 9 months? Are those still last minute weddings? Yes, and no, and kind of. Well – anything under 6 months is closer to the ‘last minute’ category than 9 months and longer. Alright – glad we got that bit of nonsense out of the way.

The whole wedding industry is built on this idea of a year timeline for planning your wedding.

Arizona Wedding Photographer | LeahAndMark & Co. | Navajo | Cameron Trading Post

How to Plan a Last Minute Wedding

But hey. Don’t worry – it’s okay. There are ALWAYS wedding venues and vendors available for you no matter the date. You just might have to be extremely flexible and creative to make it all work.

Here are a few tips and ideas to help you plan your last minute wedding.

  • Check availability on the off/unpopular dates/days
    • Since many of the busiest (and arguably best) venues are often booked 12 months in advance – that doesn’t mean that you should rule them out. Saturdays are probably going to be impossible but maybe they have a Sunday available. Or maybe they have a Friday available. Check availability for all three of those days and at different times – maybe you’ll get lucky. And if you’re really wild and crazy – some venues might even be available for a Thursday evening. I know – Thursday evening wedding? Hey – people get married whenever they want. Maybe you’ll discover that you don’t mind getting married on a Thursday evening and saving a good bit of money in the process. Or maybe not.
  • Ceremony & Reception in the same location
    • If you weren’t already thinking of having your ceremony and reception at the same venue – now would be a good time to give that option some serious consideration. One location for everything literally simplifies nearly everything – and you don’t have to search for two locations (that was some pretty good circle talk right?) Plus you have a better chance of consolidating some of your fees.
  • Be creative and have an open mind about everything
    • When it’s a last minute wedding – you need to have an open mind about almost everything. But that can be a benefit! All of a sudden you can do whatever you want AND you have the legit excuse of ‘it’s a last minute wedding’ – so you HAVE to not spend the money on crazy amounts of flowers or decorations that you don’t want or really any other wedding things that you were told you ‘MUST HAVE’.
  • Call. Email. Skype.
    • Your available time to check out venues, meet with potential vendors, and everyone else is very limited or nonexistent. SO. Use technology. Instead of meeting with everyone in person – talk to them on the phone, video conference over skype/facebook/facetime – even if you spend an hour talking to a vendor over the phone you won’t be spending the 1 hour of travel time and the $5 for coffee. Of course you can have a sit down with your wedding team in person once you’ve booked them and they’re hired.
  • Packaged Deals are Your Friend
    • If you find a venue that has a package that takes care of EVERYTHING – give that some serious thought.
    • If your DJ provides a photobooth and/or videography – consider going with them
    • If your wedding planner also does floral design – GO WITH THEM
    • Consolidating your vendors can save you a lot of energy and probably some money
  • Contact Mark at LeahAndMark & Co.
    • Because Mark is ridiculous and crazy and he will photography your wedding next week if he’s not doing anything else. Literally. He WILL.
  • HIRE A WEDDING PLANNER.

 

Atlanta Wedding Photographer | Portfolio | LeahAndMark & Co.

20 Questions to Ask Your Potential Wedding Planner

The real reason you hire a wedding planner/coordinator is so that your wedding doesn’t end up being some kind of sh*t show. I mean – having a wedding planner is no guarantee that it won’t still be a total mess (because you know – crazy family, crazy friends, crazy YOU) – but your sanity will probably remain intact.

Atlanta Wedding Planners

Your wedding is important. It should and can go off with relative ease. You can make that happen by having a wedding planner help you – or do everything for you. Cost and rates vary. But I can tell you that when you’re working with a great wedding planner – it is ABSOLUTELY WORTH THE MONEY.

So how do you find a great wedding planner? Well. Here’s a list of Atlanta Wedding Planners to check out:

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And then when you meet a wedding planner – what do you ask them? How do you know if they’re any good? More importantly – how do you know if they’re the right wedding planner to work with you on your wedding? You just have to ask them a lot of questions. That’s all. Simple right? Of course you might not know what questions to ask. SO. Below is a list of questions you can ask any potential wedding planners. Their answers will vary and you should take notes. Write down their answers and maybe also how you feel about their answers or things you notice during your meeting with them. Do they seem like someone you want to work with? Do they seem like someone who can tell other people to F*ck off? (In the nicest way possible of course – and only with your best interests in mind.) You’ll want a wedding planner that isn’t wishy washy and that will stand her ground and basically be your champion.

You want a wedding planner that will be the ‘bad-guy’ so that you don’t have to be that person.

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How to Find a Wedding Planner

And now – the questions.

  1. Are you available on our wedding date? (uh, duh.)
  2. How many other weddings will you be handling on the same weekend as our wedding?
  3. Wedding planning is crazy – why do you like it?
  4. Are you crazy?
  5. How long have you been a wedding planner/coordinator/designer (they seriously have all those different designations)
  6. How many weddings have you planned/coordinated?
  7. How many weddings to you plan per year?
  8. Have you ever worked with Mark of LeahAndMark & Co.?
  9. Is Mark of LeahAndMark & Co. really as funny as he thinks he is?
  10. Can we see any weddings/galleries you’ve planned/coordinated in the past?
  11. Are you a member of any professional wedding organizations?
  12. Do you have a business license? (I mean – you can go with someone who’s not legit, just know what that means…)
  13. Do you receive commissions from any vendors? (If they say ‘yes’ then you’re supposed to not go with them because it’s supposed to mean that the wedding planner will steer you toward certain businesses, regardless of what’s in your best interest.)
  14. What are your rates/fees and how does your billing structure work?
  15. Can you work with our wedding budget?
  16. What are the exact list of services/hours that we would be receiving?
  17. How many hours per week are you available to spend consulting with us on our wedding? (Because you KNOW that you’re crazy so you need to find out how crazy this wedding planner is too.)
  18. How often will you provide updates to your clients and how are they communicated? (will they contact you by phone, text, or email regularly?)
  19. How will you dress on the day of the event? (Alright look – I mean – it depends on who you’re hiring. If you’re hiring someone cheap – then yeah – you should probably ask this question. If you’re spending good money on a good planner – they’ll dress wedding appropriate. But trust me – I’ve seen some planners show up and never change out of their jeans and sneakers… yeahhhhh)
  20. Will YOU be there personally or will one of your staff be there on the day of the wedding in your place?

Atlanta Wedding Photographers LeahAndMark & Co.