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Styled Wedding Shoot | Vlog | The Barn at Oak Manor


If you go through this blog (don’t) – you may notice that I almost never, ever, ever do styled shoots. Why? IDK. I’m too busy. They’re not my thing. Whatever – I just don’t do them and haven’t done them – like I said, almost never ever ever.

The way this one came about is because I was wanting to work with Brittani of Untitled Thoughts on a project – and somehow in her crazy mind she agreed to make five (5) dresses for me. A mini collection. But ummm, making five dresses is a big undertaking – especially THESE five dresses when you look at all of the fine hand embroidery done on them. Like a billion+ hours of manual labor went into each of her dresses. SO. I realized that I need to do more than just… photograph the dresses. I mean – I had to somehow make up for things on my side of the project you know?

So I contacted my friend Ashley over at the Barn at Oak Manor and she was kind enough to help us out and let us do the styled shoot there! With the dresses and the venue on board – I then just needed to find EVERYONE ELSE. Models, florals, decor, hair, makeup – a whole team. Right? Because the number of dresses already made sure that this wasn’t just going to be some small ‘couples’ styled shoot that could take place out in a park (free!)… You start somewhere and then keep going.

Dresses, venue, and then amazingly Courtney with Peachy Keen Decor signed on – and then and then and then… oh yeah and then I got some crazy idea that I also wanted artwork in this shoot (those peacock paintings you see in the photos.) So I collected some pieces from my friend Jennifer and even though we didn’t use them all – she was probably a little too trusting as she handed me her paintings… oh man. I just remember her saying – don’t pierce the canvas or you’re buying them. GULP!

Still. Hey. It worked out. Like Really. Worked. Out.

Thanks team.

All Dresses – Untitled Thoughts
Suit – ZuitCo
Venue – The Barn at Oak Manor
Floral Design & Planning – Peachy Keen Decor
Jewelry – Lynx Handmade
Silverware – Block & Hammer
Plateware – Vintage English Tea Cup
Hair – Ari Clough
Makeup – Make up by Becca
Art – Jennifer Keim
Invitations – Sweet Magnolia Design
Crown – Loschy Designs
Additional Photography – Krisandra Evans
BTS Photos – Brittani Bumb
Models: Jordan Williams-Bennett | J.J. Kim-Fazenbaker | Tanisha Davis | Jennifer Baghia-Lewis | Olivia Ha | Whitney Christine

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Atlanta. Wedding. Photographer. The Barn at Oak Manor. Styled. Shoot. Wedding Planning. Vlog. Same Sex Wedding.

How to Ask for Money for Your Wedding

How to ask for Money instead of Wedding Gifts

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How do you ask your guests to give you money instead of wedding gifts? It’s a very simple question with many complicated answers. It’s complicated first by the fact that depending on your cultural background – asking for money is basically one of the seven sins. And then depending on your cultural background – it’s expected and/or THE RULE.

SO. How do you ask for money when you’re not supposed to ask for money?

You don’t ask for money. You spend it. Or rather – you ask for what you are going do with the money. Just like everything else – it’s important how you ask.

You can either say: Please gives us money instead of gifts.

Or you can say:

Please donate to our honeymoon-in-Fiji-fund.

Please donate to our adventure in the jungles of Brazil fund.

Please donate to our kitchen remodeling fund.

(Use a website like HoneyFund to be the collecting middle-man)

You get the idea. When you ask people to help you purchase an experience or needed item – you’re not directly asking for money, you’re asking for help, in the form of money. Get it? Yeah! Here’s the thing though – people want to give you gifts that you’ll enjoy. So if you ask for money to just pay the gas bill – that’s not going to inspire anyone to give. That’s just going to make us feel sad for you. And your wedding shouldn’t make us feel like Sarah McLachlan singing about those dogs.

How to ask for Money instead of Wedding Gifts

So ask for happy things. Ask for experiences. An extra night’s stay on your honeymoon. A special meal at an exclusive restaurant. Stuff like that! Not a month’s supply of kitty litter.

And THAT is how you ask for money in lieu of gifts for your wedding.

 

All photos by LeahAndMark & Co.

Comments? Questions? Need more information?

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Atlanta. Wedding. Photographer. LeahAndMark & Co. Asking for Money. Instead of Gifts. Politely.

 

 

 

Wednesday by Leah: The Hard Parts

Most of the time, I really love being a mom. More than I expected to, actually. But of course there are hard parts. There are some really difficult days. And this whole journey has been surprising. I thought I’d start working when Jonah was 3 months. Then 6 months. Then a year. Well, here we are at 14 months and – while I do work SOME, on both our business and some contract social worky stuff – it’s FAR less than I thought I would. Because I want to be hanging out with Jonah.

photo (4)

I went to a great college. I spent time abroad. I got a Master’s degree and a job after grad school that most people would envy. My husband and I have a successful photography business. It’s not like I don’t have options. It’s not like I don’t have student loans.

I’d just really rather play with my son. MOST of the time. But then there are times I want to hang out with friends. Or write. Or I just really want to clean ALL THE THINGS at once instead of in bits and pieces over the month. Or I want to go out to dinner with JUST my husband. Or I just want a break from being a mom.

And that’s when things get hard, because that’s when the Guilt Monster comes to visit. I feel guilty because I don’t bring in much money, and – while I’m insanely lucky to have access to free childcare, it’s not all the time, so a lot of the time we do have to pay a sitter to watch Jonah. And how is it fair for me to be SPENDING money I haven’t earned just so I can take a break? From something I’ve chosen and wanted to do? I wouldn’t have this issue if I was a working mom. It seems totally fair to me for working moms to pay for childcare AND pay for a sitter to have downtime and date nights. I mean, gosh! They are WORKING! And then they need a break from all the WORKING! Plus, they have their own income, so of course they should spend it as they see fit. It even seems totally fair for OTHER stay-at-home moms to hire sitters. Because of course they need date nights and down time and they probably have way cleaner houses than I do, too. So why am I the only mom NOT deserving a break? Or some me time?

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But actually, I worked through a lot of that. Yup. We have a lovely friend who comes to watch Jonah twice a week, for around 3-4 hours at a time. I also have a mom’s support group I go to every other Wednesday, AND I have an awesome meditation/spiritual development class I’ve been going to on Tuesday nights. And Mark regularly takes Jonah and tells me to go do my own thing – blog, take a bubble bath, have a long phone call with a friend, etc.

Yay, right? Problem solved! Except… it’s *still* not enough. I still feel unbalanced. I still feel like I’m not getting enough time to do the cooking and cleaning and the reading and writing and the meditating and socializing and and and and….

Apparently, I need more “ME” time than 12 hours a week. And when I look at it like that, it doesn’t seem SO wrong or bad. I literally only have 12 – or sometimes fewer- hours each week solely to myself. That breaks down to 1.7 hours per day. Obviously, it’s a slightly different ratio given our current childcare arrangements. And some moms get WAY less than that, I know. But for me, it’s just not the right balance and even if it sounds super selfish, I want and need more time than that. So we have to figure out a way to make that happen. Paying for MORE childcare, scheduling regular date nights, Mark rearranging his work schedule (and basically, working fewer hours) to spend more time with Jonah. It’s gonna happen. And I’m going to work on NOT feeling guilty about it.

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Which, for me, is one of the hardest things about being a mom. It’s SO easy to feel guilty. Especially because I *chose* to do this full-time, so what right do I have to complain? I love my child. I love that I get to spend so much time with him. But I love me, too. And I need to spend some more time with myself. And my adult friends. More than I already do. That way, when our lovely friend/sitter comes to watch Jonah, I’ll actually go take time for myself instead of talking her ear off for an hour because YAY FRIEND! I will use that time productively, and then I will socialize when I’m not asking her to come over and watch my kiddo.

14 months into motherhood, and I’m STILL struggling to find a balance. But it’s a process. And I’ll get there. I’m on my way.

A Step Back – In A Good Way!

LeahAndMark.com | Atlanta Wedding Photographers | A Step Back | Green Leaves

-Posted by +Gabriel

The last few weeks have been incredibly busy and hectic for me. Trying to balance out all the different roles I am playing right now and trying to make sure that I am investing my time wisely. After a busy month photography-wise with 4 weddings in one month (3 in Atlanta, 1 in North Carolina), the last couple of weeks have been a little slower and have allowed me to catch up on some projects (and start new ones! ) You may have noticed some of the changes around the LeahAndMark site – I have been working with Mark to get the site ramped up for the summer, and I am super excited about it. But regardless, spending hours on end behind a computer screen is not my idea of a fun day.

Sometimes you just need to take a step back. I have a tendency of getting so caught up in the little things that I forget about the big picture. Ironically, this is a plus and not a minus when it comes to photography. Tonight, I took an hour out of my schedule, to get the camera out, and just focus on some of the small details, the details that I love. And in so doing, hopefully bring some of the bigger picture back into perspective.

I better enjoy it while I can, because it is about to get busy up in here. With everything from the launch of the Facebook PageIndie Craft Experience this Weekend, Portrait ContestsIntern Classes and workshops, and just life in between, I am going to need an extra cup of coffee… or two, or six…

-Posted by +Gabriel

Us, Fried Chicken, Biscuits & Ark A.

1st. Y’all need to blog today so I can read.

So it’s finally Friday. Exciting times up ahead. Packing. No really, we are coming down to the wire now since the movers will come on Tuesday morning – so we’ll be doing the majority of the packing tonight and then all day Saturday and whatever’s left on Sunday.

Because writing an actual entry would take too much effort on this Friday… I’ll just talk about someone else’s entries. But first! Food that I’ve been meaning to post – but never got around to – these are from a birthday lunch that Leah’s Grandmother (Bubbi) prepared for Leah’s Father:


Homemade Fried Chicken!


Biscuits


Pecan Pie.

And you may all let go of any self control. Eat good food this weekend. 🙂

After going down the links in my sidebar to catch myself up on everyone’s posts (I really should set up that rss feed reader) – I stopped to read the latest entries from our friend Ark A. – also an Atlanta resident/transplant – about her recent trip to Canada/Toronto/Montreal. – and in the process made me feel like I’m wasting my time posting nothing posts that meander about infinitely worthless subjects. *writes note to self: ummmm… nevermind I forgot*

So while I wait for the next season of No Reservations/Anthony Bourdain to verify that this past season is where the show truly ‘Jumped the Shark’ – I just have to keep looking for travel blogs/entries like the ones Ark A. posted this last week.

The trip to Canada started on a Friday morning. A simple two hour direct flight from Atlanta and we were in Toronto International Airport, the cleanest, quietest most spacious airport I’ve ever seen.
Dad picked us up. He couldn’t believe it had been almost five years since we saw each other.
He said I hadn’t changed a bit. I love him.
This is what I call smiling so hard it hurts…

I have a lot of history in that neighborhood. Loves found, loves lost, school, work, old friends, new friends, formulating the plan to get to Seattle to meet the whole other half of my family – it all happened there.

And then when they land back in Atlanta:

A two hour flight later, I was in what can only be described as severe culture shock… Hotter than hell, humid, southern accents all around me, no French, a pig carcass that had been cooked in the ground on a long buffet table, a live auction for football jerseys and country music star albums. Where am I?

And… apparently she’s back in Montreal now. Lucky her.

Here are the three posts in order:

  1. Return to Canada – Part One: Toronto
  2. Return to Canada – Part Two: Montreal
  3. Return to Canada – Part Three: Montreal

Have a great weekend! – But obviously, we’ll have a new post up tomorrow.