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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 

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

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.

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

27 Questions You Need to Ask Your Wedding Venue

You’re going down your list of potential wedding venues and visiting as many as it takes to find The Right One. Like everywhere else – they’ve got their sales program down. They know what to tell you and what not to tell you. But you don’t do this all the time so what do YOU ask? (Well some of you may have done this before 😉

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Here’s a quick list of questions to ask potential wedding venues when you visit them. Some of them seem basic but some of them are very important – especially if the answer is something you don’t want/agree with. So maybe you print this out. Maybe you bring it with you. Maybe you hire me to come along and make dumb jokes while you visit your venues. Okay don’t do that last one – but take a look at these.

  1. What are your available dates? (around your target date)
  2. What is the total fee for the venue/facility?
  3. What does that fee include?
  4. What are the time limits?
  5. What’s the fee or cost or penalty for going over the allotted time?
  6. Who is responsible for the clean up after the reception?
  7. How many spaces are there for parking/what are the parking options?
  8. Is the parking a paid lot or is it free?
  9. Do you have a valet option?
  10. How many restrooms are available?
  11. Where are the restrooms located?
  12. What is your cancellation policy and the terms?
  13. Are any chairs, tables, linens, tableware included?
  14. Is the dancefloor included?
  15. Is there an extra fee for rehearsal time?
  16. Are any other events going on at the same time at the venue?
  17. Can we use any caterer or do you require us to use a specific caterer?
  18. Can we supply our own alcohol?
  19. What is the indoor/rain option? (if it’s primarily an outdoor venue)
  20. Will there be a staff member present to assist during the wedding?
  21. What accommodations are available for the elderly and disabled?
  22. Are children generally safe at the venue? (no obvious dangers)
  23. What Package Deals are available?
  24. What are the hotels that are nearby?
  25. Do you have a preferred vendor list?
  26. Is the site insured in case of an accident?
  27. Are additional permits required for items such as amplified music, heaters or alcoholic beverages

Any other questions you can think of? Write those down before you get to the venue.

Atlanta Wedding Photographer | LeahAndMark.com | JCT | White Provisions | Wedding Video | Wedding Home Movies

A few other things you want to pay attention to is how you are treated by the persons that are showing you the venue. The staff. How helpful are they? Do they talk down to you? Do they seem like they’re not making time for you? More importantly - how are they answering your questions? Happily? Complete? Answering with tricky non-answers? Trust your gut with any impressions you feel from your visit – whether from the persons showing you around or the venue itself. I don’t care if the place creeps you out for some weird non-intellectual reason. If one of you is creeped out by the place – don’t book it. Even if it’s cheap. Even if everything else is great. You do not want to get married in a place that creeps you out.

Now. I have absolutely no idea why I went off on that tangent – because it’s not like many people are booking wedding venues that creep them out.

Anyway – print out the list above – cut off the whole part about creepy venues – and go find your place.

Atlanta, Wedding, Photographer, Georgia, Berkeley, California, LeahAndMark.com

L + D | JCT Kitchen Wedding | Atlanta Wedding Photographer

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This is Lauren and Dean. Theirs was the third wedding of a three wedding weekend for us. For me really – because when I book three weddings for three days in a row – I also use a different 2nd shooter for each day. And I know – three weddings in three days is bonkers. I absolutely agree – and I absolutely don’t recommend it for anyone else. While I’m not out right bragging about being so badass that I can shoot three weddings in three days and other people can’t – I’m saying that I’ve done enough of these things that 3 x 3 is relatively, no problem.

A few things to think about as wedding photographer when you’re doing a 3 x 3:

  • Your energy and not being dead halfway thru the 2nd day
    • This is where Coffee and more Coffee is not the answer. Being properly hydrated (with water) IS the answer. More important than even food. Make sure you drink water and stay hydrated for energy.
  • Your team’s energy (2nd/3rd shooters)
    • Just because you can do 3 x 3 doesn’t mean that anyone else can. Plus – SOMEONE should be fully rested 😉
  • Having enough clean clothes
    • Look – most wedding photographers shoot 1 wedding 1 weekend. So they have 1 wedding uniform/outfit. Nevermind having 3. Sure you can throw them in the wash but timing can be tricky depending on the schedule of things. Get home at 12/1am and have to be at the next wedding the next morning…
  • Effectively backing up all of your photos
    • It’s tricky – you have to make sure you download all of your cards to a hard drive – and then BACK THOSE UP IMMEDIATELY. You do not want ANY question about whether or not you have backed up the files before you start writing over your cards. So you either have a million SD/CF cards or you double back up your files.
  • Charging your gear batteries
    • In the same way you have to stay hyper paranoid about backing up your photo files – you have to make sure that your camera/flash/gear batteries are charged full and ready at the START of each day. AND bring a charger with you just in case.

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Atlanta Wedding Photographers LeahAndMark & Co.

But that’s the bulk of it. I mean – Except for you possibly being too tired to function – each wedding is still only ONE wedding. They just happen to be right after each other.

  • Drink water and more water.
  • Back up your photos and back them up again.
  • Charge your gear batteries.

Done. Right? Oh yeah – it helps if you have a ‘work process’.

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What’s the saying? Amateurs rely on inspiration – professionals get to work. I don’t and can’t rely on being ‘inspired’ every time I go to work. So I had to come up with a process that enables me to deliver a certain level of F*cken amazing in my sleep, without much effort. That removes the pressure to feel ‘inspired’ and frees me up to go make bags of NEW F*cken Amazing to deliver to my wedding couples.

Because they’re not all going to be one of my  best days – that’s reserved for the couple getting married – I just have to make sure I always deliver the agreed upon Awesome.

 

 

Wedding Photography: LeahAndMark & Co.

Venue: JCT Kitchen & Bar

Wedding Planning: JoAnna Dee Weddings

 

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Lauren + TJ | Sugarboo Farms Wedding

Alright – you may have noticed that we love, LOVE, our wedding up at SugarBoo Farms in North Georgia.

Jade + Matt | Julie + Chris | Jocelyn + Jon | Sarah + Max

This is Lauren and TJ.

Their wedding was really special to us – and we were ridiculously honored to be there.

I will always remember this one.

And not just because my car died on the drive back home. It complete lost power while going through the winding roads in the pitch black North Georgia mountains. And you know – after a long 10 hour day and all that driving – you could easily complain, be frustrated – or have many other feelings… but really – after seeing Lauren and TJ get married – you just realize that there are many things that just aren’t that big of a deal.

My car got towed, and I got a ride that dropped me off at home in Atlanta around 3am. Not so bad, just a little inconvenient.

And really – Lauren and TJ – thank you so much for having us there with you.

 

Wedding Photography: LeahAndMark & Co.

Venue: Sugarboo Farms

Wedding Coordinator: UniqueEvents.org (Jessica Smith)

Atlanta Wedding Photographer | LeahAndMark & Co. | Sugarboo Farms | North Georgia

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Wedding Photography: LeahAndMark & Co.

Venue: Sugarboo Farms

Wedding Coordinator: UniqueEvents.org (Jessica Smith)

 

North. Georgia. Wedding. Photographer. Sugarboo Farms. LeahAndMark & Co. Blairsville, Ga. Atlanta.

Allison + Nir |The Homestead at Cloudland Station

This is Allison and Nir’s wedding at the Homestead at Cloudland Station in Chicamauga, Ga.

Now – I’m sure that I say this a lot – especially to my clients ON their wedding days – but this was a perfect wedding. Literally. Not figuratively. Literally. From the weather to the venue to the planning crew to the caterers to the… oh yeah hey the Photographers 😉

Perfect.

This was the first time I photographed a wedding at the this venue but baby Jesus and Buddha – that’s a beautiful venue. And sure I’m just sucking up to the planners over at Soirées and of course the Homestead at Cloudland Station venue itself – but who cares because this wedding was that damn good.

It was SO GOOD that most of these photos are black and white because we got all kinds of f*cken artsy with things. And I can’t believe Allison and Nir hired me even with all the F-bombs all over this website! But yeah they did and me and my crew definitely had a great time working this wedding.

Hey Allison and Nir – thanks.

 

Photography: LeahAndMark & Co.

Wedding Coordinator: Soirées

Venue: The Homestead at Cloudland Station

DJ/Lighting: Sound Force Entertainment

Ceremony Music: Adonio Trio

Floral Design: May Flowers

Hair & Makeup: SpaGo

 

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Photography: LeahAndMark & Co.

Wedding Coordinator: Soirées

Venue: The Homestead at Cloudland Station

DJ/Lighting: Sound Force Entertainment

Ceremony Music: Adonio Trio

Floral Design: May Flowers

Hair & Makeup: SpaGo
Chattanooga. TN. Tennessee. Wedding. Photographer. Homestead. Cloudland. Station. Farm. Barn. Traditional. Classic.

Amanda + Justin | Elijay, Ga. Wedding

Many different people hire me for many different weddings. Backyard weddings, church weddings, big ballroom weddings, farm weddings, plantation weddings, warehouse weddings, etc. Some of my favorite weddings are the smallest weddings.

Because when I’m one of only 10 people that are invited to a wedding – it’s kind of a big deal for me. I’m a stranger to these people and they want me to be there with them. Yeah – that’s really special. Lindsay and Chance had me at their mountain wedding a while back and recently Amanda and Justin invited me to theirs.

They brought me along for their wedding day up in the woods of North Georgia – and once again – magic. See that photo up above? YEAH. Magic.

When there are only 10 people and I’m one of them – it usually means that I’m not sitting in the back with the help. It means that I’m probably going to be sitting at the family table – and that’s not lost on me. It’s a big deal. And even when I’m at my most snarky and tired about my job – I’m never ungrateful that people invite me into their lives for such a loving, emotional, and special event.

Hey Amanda and Justin – thank you.

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North. Georgia. Weddings. Elijay. Ga. Forest. Mountains. Blue Ridge. Wedding Photographer. LeahAndMark & Co.

Lauren + Dean | Engagement Session

Engagement Sessions!

Honesty – I don’t do the hard sell on engagement sessions. Some people want them. Some people don’t want them. Whatevs man.

Truth is though – you don’t have to look at it as an ENGAGEMENT SESSION. I tell everyone that you should just think of it as… a portrait session with just the two of you. The thing is that other than your thousands of professional photos on your wedding day – you won’t have any other professional photos of the two of you. They’ll all be selfies. Or from photobooths at other people’s weddings. You know it’s true.

So since you’re already hiring a wedding photographer – it’s a really simple thing to throw in an engagement session and get more photos of the two of you looking good. Because come on – it’s kind of weird for couples to be like… let’s get some professional photos of us for no reason.

Of course – you don’t need a reason. Other photographers will tell you that you should do it for you and how much your love yourself or… whatever.

This is Lauren and Dean. They’re engaged to get married. So we took some photos. We went all over the place. Grant Park. Jackson St. Bridge. and then Ponce City Market. Lots and lots of photos and lots of me bossing them around. Hold hands. Kiss. Makeout. Actively kiss. Stand there. Hipster hand hold. Etc.

Hey Lauren and Dean – thanks.

Engagement Photos | Atlanta Wedding Photographer | LeahAndMark & Co. | Ponce City Market | Grant Park | Jackson St. Bridge

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Yolanda + Zana | Summerour Wedding Preview

This is Yolanda and Zana.

Their wedding was great and [insert wedding photographer words about how they’re the coolest/sweetest/most eveything] – but what I want to talk about are Zana’s vows that she recited during the ceremony. I don’t remember exactly what she said (look I’m mostly so into my head about the photos that I don’t listen during ceremonies (except for when I hear ‘you can kiss’)) – but I remember thinking that Zana’s vows were probably the most well written, poetic, and heartfelt that I’ve heard in a long time. They hit me. And even though I kind of expected that from Zana – I was still surprised by how powerful her words were in expressing her love for Yolanda.

And that’s all I got about that.

It was a great day. Lots of love and emotion.

And even though I’m honored to be at all of my clients weddings; I am very honored that Yolanda and Zana had me at theirs.

Thank you.

 

Wedding Photographer: LeahAndMark & Co.

Venue: Summerour Studio

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Wedding Photographer: LeahAndMark & Co.

Venue: Summerour Studio

 

Atlanta. Wedding. Photographer. LeahAndMark & Co. Summerour Studio. Midtown. Westside. Georgia. LGBT. Gay Wedding.

Jade + Matt | Sugarboo Farms Wedding

For some strange reason, over the past three or four years – I’ve hardly posted any full wedding type blog posts.

So I’m catching up this year. Nevermind that I apparently, literally have 104 weddings in queue to post – we’re going to get through them all!

So here – here’s Jade and Matt’s wedding that I photographed sometime last year. It’s amazing. They’re amazing. I post that exit shot EVERYWHERE and on EVERYWHERE’S MOM. Because holy baby Jesus and Buddha – LOOK AT THAT EXIT SHOT.

Plus – their wedding took place at one of my most favorite venues, anywhere. Sugarboo Farms in Blairsville, Ga.

Of course – when you’re an affordable North Georgia Wedding Photographer (SEO Alert) there are hundreds and hundreds of amazing wedding venues scattered all over this state. Still. About that exit shot. (Because I can go on and on and on about it.) – it took me almost 6 years to get that exit shot. Not just the opportunity – but also to know how to photograph it, in that moment, without thinking or blinking. Because the best wedding photographers will tell you – that sh*t is not in their control – stuff happens in front of them and hopefully their cameras were on the ‘magic’ setting (and then we brag about how we knew what we were doing all along.)

Hey Jade & Matt – thanks.

Wedding Photographer: LeahAndMark & Co.

Venue: Sugarboo Farms

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Wedding Photographer: LeahAndMark & Co.

Venue: Sugarboo Farms

 

Sugarboo Farms. North. Georgia. Wedding Photographer. Blairsville. Ga. Mountains. Rustic. Farm. Barn. LeahAndMark & Co.

Aerial + Peter | Atlanta Wedding

Last fall we had about 108 weddings where rain seemed to be an imminent threat. I’ve long stopped checking the weather on my wedding days because – it doesn’t matter.

Rain or shine – I still have to make photos worth paying for – and saying ‘it rained’ is a poor excuse. No really – it is a very poor excuse for bad photos.

We always tell people that we’ll just make… different photos. Which is a nice way of saying – yeah it rained and that changed EVERYTHING about your portrait session – but that’s not a bad thing. They’ll just be different photos now. In fact – it rained several times on Aerial and Peter’s wedding day. It rained while she was getting ready, it rained during our first look, and then it rained later in the day too.

But it didn’t rain during the ceremony. Not a drop.

Sure there was a rain plan and the ceremony could’ve taken place indoors – but come on! Yeah. That wouldn’t have been the same. So here’s to dodging the rain all day – because it was definitely worth the stress of waiting until the last minute to decide and risk the rain and GO with the outdoor ceremony plan.

Excellent decision guys.

Photography: LeahAndMark & Co.

Venue: Renaissance Atlanta Waverly Hotel

Wedding Planner: Circle of Love Weddings

DJ/Music/Emcee: Exquisite Sounds Entertainment

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Photography: LeahAndMark & Co.

Venue: Renaissance Atlanta Waverly Hotel

Wedding Planner: Circle of Love Weddings

DJ/Music/Emcee: Exquisite Sounds Entertainment

 

Atlanta. Wedding. Photographer. Waverly. Hotel. Cobb Galleria. LeahAndMark & Co. Unique. Creative. Ha.ha.ha.

How to Create and Make a Wedding Budget

How to Plan, Make, Create, a Wedding Budget

First. Honesty.

Modern weddings often cost way too much. It’s true. You know this.

How much do weddings cost? How much will YOUR wedding cost?

It matters AND doesn’t matter. Because really – you CAN get married and have a wedding too. So yeah. How DO you create a wedding budget? How do you make a wedding budget?

1. Do some research.

Most of us don’t worry in any kind of event-facilitation-capacity. Basically – we don’t plan and put on regular events for more than 30 people. So most of us really don’t have any clue about everything needed for such an event, nevermind the costs that are involved. But you will have to do some research and find out what things cost in your area (or the area where you plan on having your wedding take place.) Major vendors such as venues and caterers are easy to find. Start finding price sheets or get quotes just to see what things cost. Even if they’re way out of your target price range – you have some idea of what the ballpark looks like.

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2. Decide what you really want to spend.

Don’t let anyone else tell you what you should spend. You decide how much you want to spend and then go from there. Not the other way around. Remember that. Seriously. Remember that.

Also remember that not everything is worth it.

Atlanta Photographer | LeahAndMark & Co. | Phoenix Weddings | Desert

3. Write It All Down.

Don’t hold anything in your head. Don’t estimate if you have exact numbers. Write it all down. Everything. Write down everything related to your wedding that you will have to spend money on. EVERYTHING. Add it up. Add it ALL UP.

Atlanta Wedding Photographer | LeahAndMark & Co. | The Barn at HighPoint Farm

4. Decide what is actually, actually important to you. 

Seat covers costing too much money? F*ck em. Hand written calligraphy invitations more than you want to spend? F*ck em. Decide what is important to you and keep it. Everything else – is on the list of things that can be CUT if it needs to be. Those are your two lists.

Atlanta Wedding Photographer | Rome, Ga. | The Farm | LeahAndMark & Co.

 

Atlanta. Georgia. North Carolina. Wedding. Photographer. Create. Wedding. Budget. Make. How to.