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LeahAndMark & Co.

How to Start Planning Your Wedding

Once you’re engaged and you’ve started to come down from the high of the proposal – you may start to think… well f*ck now we have to actually plan a wedding. (Please note the ‘we’ and not an ‘I’ in that sentence – as in the both of you and probably anyone else you can con into helping you!)

Or you can skip all of this do it yourself business and hire a great wedding planner/designer.

How to Start Planning a Wedding

Atlanta Wedding Photographer LeahAndMark, Wedding Planning Atlanta Venues

It’s easy to get overwhelmed. There are too many options. Too many choices – and it starts to get considerably worse when you realize that you don’t even have any idea about what you actually want. I know what you’re thinking. You’d like a small wedding with just your closest friends and family – maybe 10, maybe 20 people – 30 TOPS. But then you started writing out all the people that you might invite and realize again – F*ck. Some of these people I have to invite. (Although I’ll tell you right now – no you don’t.)

So. Where do you start? How do you even begin to start planning your wedding? Easy. Just imagine things.

Wedding Planning In Atlanta

Imagine what your wedding might look like. Don’t imagine how it has to be – just how it can be. So imagine that your ceremony is in a church. How’s that feel? Great? Awful? Weird? Write that down. Imagine your reception being indoors in a hotel ballroom. How does that feel? Write that down.

Atlanta Wedding Photographer LeahAndMark, Wedding Planning Atlanta Venues

When it comes to wedding planning – everything is not a linear straight line process. Sometimes it’s all-at-once. Like the venue. You may like a certain type of venue – like a farm barn (I just like how that rhymes and it’s annoying that it rhymes) – so with a farm barn you also want one that can accommodate the number of people you’re going to have  - so you need to come up with a rough estimate of that number. And with that you probably want it to be in a good spot not too far of a drive for people from their homes/hotel wherever. See – all-at-once.

The Best Wedding Venues in Atlanta

But really – venue and number of guests are generally the first decisions when it comes to starting your wedding planning. Location – location – location. Right? Right.

Maybe you don’t want to get married in church. What about a park? Or a museum? Or the above mentioned farm barn. Or. Or. Or…

  • Converted warehouse
  • Converted factory
  • Old Historical Home
  • Hotel Ballroom
  • Restaurant property
  • A neighborhood park
  • A state/national park

Atlanta Wedding Photographer LeahAndMark, Wedding Planning Atlanta Venues

  • Someone’s amazing backyard (not someone’s ugly backyard)
  • Science Museum
  • Botanical Gardens
  • UnBotanical Gardens
  • What’s an UnBotanical Garden?
  • Art Museum
  • Children’s Museum
  • Theater
  • Destination hotel/resort

Atlanta Wedding Photographer LeahAndMark, Wedding Planning Atlanta Venues

  • Beach
  • Rooftop of something with a roof
  • Sports arena
  • Ancient Ruins
  • Abandoned buildings
  • Haunted buildings
  • Cemeteries
  • Old Hospitals

Atlanta Wedding Photographer LeahAndMark, Wedding Planning Atlanta Venues

  • New Hospitals
  • Haunted Hospitals
  • Someplace with a waterfall
  • Someplace with a great big cliff/canyon
  • Golf course? (please no)
  • My back yard
  • Your back yard
  • We all scream for back yard
  • Vineyard

See. You have a plethora of options when it comes to the location of your wedding venue. There are also other considerations in picking your venue – other than just what you like (although that’s a big one.) Now – after deciding on your venue (and we’ll get into that process a little later) – what’s the next step?

Your photographer of course! (Atlanta Wedding Photographers)

Atlanta Wedding Photographer LeahAndMark, Wedding Planning Atlanta Venues

And also – here’s a short list of a few of the things we’ll cover in the new few weeks. Because you know – planning a wedding is bonkers.

  • Budget
  • Size
  • Location
  • Time of Day
  • Ceremony
  • Reception

Atlanta Wedding Photographer LeahAndMark, Wedding Planning Atlanta Venues

  • Photography
  • Wedding Party
  • Rings
  • Dress
  • Food/Catering
  • Alcohol
  • Entertainment
  • Cake/Dessert

Atlanta Wedding Photographer LeahAndMark, Wedding Planning Atlanta Venues

  • Communication
  • Rehearsal Dinner
  • Honeymoon
  • Legal Considerations

Atlanta Wedding Photographer LeahAndMark, Wedding Planning Atlanta Venues

Wedding Planning. Atlanta Wedding Photographers. How to. Location. Venue. Ideas. Tips.

K + A | Monday Night Brewing | Atlanta Wedding Photographer

Monday Night Brewing Wedding Venue

When it comes to wedding venues – you can get married pretty much anywhere you want to get married (as long as you’re willing to pay…) – but also – that means you don’t have to get married at the generally obvious, regular wedding venues. FOR EXAMPLE – you can get married at a brewery – like Monday Night Brewing here in Atlanta. I’ve photographed several weddings there and it’s always a whole bag of fun and awesome. Because come on – you’re getting married at a brewery.

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

Not only that – the patio area is GREAT. There’s also plenty of room inside for eating and dancing and eating and partying. PLUS – the staff is always laid back (because duh – it’s a brewery – how do you think they would be? Right? RIGHT.)

It’s just at the end of November as I write this – and I’m furiously trying to edit and edit and EDIT all of the weddings that I photographed over the last few months. Trying to finish and get caught up before the end of the year. It’s been a really, really great and amazing year – aside from the part where I’m pretty sure I had walking pneumonia during most of October. But really – in the end – come on, I have a great job. I photograph (and attend) weddings for a living. My clients are generally not crazy (well they’re crazy but in the best ways) and they’re amazing and fun and… well – if they spent any time on this website before hiring me – they know what they’re buying when they hire me. Maybe.

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Atlanta Wedding Photographer LeahAndMark & Co.

Monday Night Brewing is probably one of the better breweries for weddings. It’s true. Again – because of their patio. There’s enough space and enough greenery to make it… look better than… other options. AND the beer is pretty damn good.

Kennedy and Alberto – ridiculously beautiful people and instead of a food truck they had ‘food truck stations’. Now – I know some of you may be considering having a food truck cater your wedding. Great. They’re actually pretty cheap considering the regular catering options. The main problem with a single food truck is the timing. Basically no one will be eating together. It’s like a single file line of food spaced about 1-2-3 minutes apart. So if you have say 100 guests, the last guests will eat about an hour after your first guests finished their food (hopefully that soon.)

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But food truck stations – you get all the food truck food without the bad timing. See? AWESOME! Well. I know I ate my weight in tacos for sure. (That’s a lot of tacos btw.)

Right. SO. Did I mention Monday Night Brewing? Did I mention that we’re Atlanta wedding photographers? Am I just trying to get some SEO points for Google search ranking and also hit my 500 word count somehow? Probably. And in closing I’d like to say… boom! 504!

 

 

Atlanta. Wedding. Photographer. Monday Night Brewing. Midtown Atlanta. Wedding Venue.

 

C + J | Ponce City Market Engagement Session | Atlanta Wedding Photographer

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Ponce City Market Engagement Session

This is C & J.

I’ve recently spent a lot of time at Ponce City Market – photographing weddings (Chelsea and Walt) – headshots… and about 78 other engagement sessions. (Like this one.) And the thing is this – THEY’RE ALL AWESOME. Sure there’s always the very high chance that you’re going to get kicked out (especially now – because you know – we photographers RUIN EVERYTHING) – but Ponce City Market really isn’t like any other development in town. (And I’m not just saying that to kiss up to them because we all know they don’t care and yeah yeah yeah.) There’s just a lot to work with AND it also connects to the Atlanta Beltline – so you can stroll along that and get more shots as well.

But really – the trick is to know what shot you’re trying to make, work fast, and then get the f*ck out of there. Well – I haven’t had any real problems but mostly because I’m really damn fast (at photography okay. Not like, everything. Okay?… nevermind.)

See. Engagement sessions at Ponce City Market right now – are still ridiculously awesome.

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Atlanta Wedding Photographer LeahAndMark & Co.

Every year is different in this business – and this year (really this Fall) I’ve had more engagement sessions than the last three years combined. SO. Here’s the thing with “engagement sessions” – they don’t have to be that. They don’t have to be super cheesy we’re in love generic photos. Actually – I dare say that most engagement sessions aren’t that at all. An engagement session is really just a regular portrait session – except adult couples don’t get professional portraits so it might seem a little weird/strange/different. And you’re right. It IS.

But it’s always an easy way to get good photos of the two of you – not in wedding clothes. (By good photos I mean professional photos not taken with a cell phone camera.)

Right. So. Engagement Sessions at Ponce City Market. Where was I?

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Atlanta Wedding Photographers LeahAndMark & Co.

Oh yeah. Something I’ve really, really, really been enjoying lately is COLOR. You may have noticed it from the photos I’ve been posting lately – it’s a literal color explosion. Bright Bright Bright colors! Everywhere! At least whenever I can you know.

So hey. I’m an Atlanta Wedding Photographer and one of the things that I’m supposed to know – is where the best locations are for engagement sessions. And people come to me for engagement sessions – I ask them what kind of session do they want. Basically – do you want something in the city, or in a park, or further out and wild nature? or river? Or mountain? Or OR OR Or in your home and then other places? Yeah. All that. And then I go and just MAKE AMAZING. Right?

No matter the location. Sometimes I have a little bit of say – and sometimes I don’t have any – but I’m ALWAYS supposed to bring the Awesome. It’s kind of my job.

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Alright Team. That’s it. Let’s do some of that SEO Service.

Atlanta Wedding Photographers. Ponce City Market Engagement Session. LeahAndMark & C0.

Goodnight!

 

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.

ONLINE Wedding Photography Internship | Interns Wanted

This is the application page for the ONLINE Photography Internship – for the real-life-in-person internship application/experience – APPLY HERE.

…..

If you don’t live ITP in the Atlanta area – you can still intern with me – through our online internship! I know – it’s amazing right? 2016 and the future is now. Online Photography Internship. WUT. Yup. Yeah. I KNOW.

OH – you’ll still be doing intern work for me – just different work than you would if you lived in Atlanta. Most of the same requirements as listed below – except you won’t get the chance to carry bags of heavy rocks. It’ll be a lot of webinars, live streaming the workshops, and you guys watching my screen while I do boring editing and watching anime in the corner of my screen.

Seriously though – if you’d like to work with me for the next two months – and learn a literal sh*t ton of photography information – let’s do this.

Application for the ONLINE Photography Internship down at the bottom – and again the In-Person Application is here.

………….

A while back we operated one of the largest photography internships in the country for three-ish years. 10+ interns every three months for several years. Because we were crazy.

It kind of went like this:

And this:

Then we stopped. We sold almost everything we owned, left town for a year and traveled.

And now we’re back.

I’m back. I’ve been through a lot. I’ve learned a lot. I’m different now and yet the best I’ve ever been.

I’m full of sugar, and nice, and STFU.

And I’m looking for some great interns to work with this summer for two months – June and July. Eight weeks of Awesome. These people will do a lot of work for me – no lie or misunderstanding about that. But I’m going to provide a ridiculous amount of knowledge for them to take from my head – and I’ll show them things that no one else really does because other people are just normal.

I am not normal.

The last few years I averaged 43 weddings per year – and one of those years I shot more than 50. Not just my company. Me. Weddings I booked – not weddings for other shooters. I generally block off three-four months of the year to go travel and not photograph any weddings at all – and I still pack in 40+ weddings a year. I don’t have a photography degree, or art degree, or design degree – but photography is my thing.

I am not normal.

And people still hire me. This is my portfolio. Real weddings with real people – not a styled shoot in the bunch.

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Atlanta-Wedding-Photographer-LeahAndMark-Story-001

I’m not looking for normal photography interns. I’m looking for ones that start at ridiculous and go up from there.

This is what I’ll cover during the eight weeks:

  • Composition
  • Exposure
  • How to shoot with manual settings – faster
  • Physicality of Shooting (it’s not your camera that can’t focus – it’s probably YOU)
  • Workflow (from cards to computer to export)
  • Lightroom editing
  • Photoshop editing
  • Off-camera flash
  • Posing
  • Talking like a person who knows WTF they’re doing
  • Website (how to not have a sucky website)
  • Portfolio selection (picking photos that help book clients)
  • Wedding Day Flow (how to manage the wedding day so you’re not awful)
  • How to respond/handle client inquiries
  • Client-Meeting role play/what to say so clients don’t run away from you
  • How to get clients to sign the contract and not wait 3 months (we average 1 week)
  • How and what photography to ‘practice’ – perfect practice makes perfect. Not just practice.
  • Reception lighting
  • How to be a great 2nd shooter (too many people are awful at this)
  • Blogging (we have 1,098 posts published here – so we at least know how to… keep blogging)
  • SEO
  • Getting ranked in Google (our site has bounced around from page 1-5 depending on the search term – and many of the past interns’ sites are the same – we show up – how about your site?)
  • How to do things on social media so you’re not annoying AF, and so that a few people actually see what you post.
  • How to work harder at this photography thing than you ever have before.
  • How to be yourself and still get clients to hire you (unless you’re a creepy MF then uh, maybe go do something else and stay away from kids.)

What you will do as an intern:

  • Blog every week in your intern blog (Required. Miss one week and you’re dropped.)
  • Pinterest things for me (Required. Don’t meet the weekly quota and you’re dropped.)
  • Post everything to your own social media accounts
  • Instagram things
  • Teach me snapchat
  • Host a workshop (cause you’re all not coming to my house)
  • Watch me do boring editing things
  • Carry my bags full of rocks because I just wanted you to carry something heavy
  • Laugh at all my jokes (it means you’re paying attention)
  • Take selfies with me
  • Wear animal/monster masks
  • Probably do bad karaoke with me
  • Setup your own shoots as required
  • Maybe work a wedding with me
  • Maybe drive me to a job because that makes me feel like a BOSS
  • Be here to learn a few things – or everything

 

This photography internship last two months – June and July. – mostly weekends, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Mondays.

 

APPLICATION FORM – ONLINE Internship:

Deadline for the application is Friday May 27th at 12pm NOON.

(Tip: Write as much as you can.)

(Pro Tip: Write As Much As You Possibly Can.)

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Atlanta. Photography. Internship. LeahAndMark & Co. Training. Education. School. Summer. 2016.

Julie + Chris | Sugarboo Farms Wedding (First Look)

There are many reasons for having a first look (seeing each other before the ceremony).

From my point of view as your wedding photographer – the most important reason to have a first look is for the photographs. They’re different from photographs you get during your portrait session that takes place after your ceremony. You can’t have a first look after the ceremony. So you don’t get first look photos.

And I always downplay it during my conversations with clients that are dead set on not seeing each other until the ceremony – because who the f*ck am I to say, NO to that? I’m no one. Really – I’m not anyone.

… but really – also – come on…

Continue Reading…

Amanda + Carter | Little Gardens Wedding

You may have noticed (but probably not – because who ‘follows’ wedding photographer blogs anymore?) – that I’ve been posting a lot of weddings recently. YES. I have. So let’s get on with it.

This is Amanda & Carter’s wedding – going waaaayyyyyyyyyy back to April 4th, 2013. YES. It’s only taken me 3 full years to get this wedding posted on the blog!

Now – a few things to note – you may see Leah in these photos, and even a few of my son – because Amanda is Leah’s sister – and that’s why Leah’s in the wedding party.

Although I’m sure that Leah or I would love to be in people’s wedding parties – especially strangers. Forget that it would be weird. Forget that the joke would get tired after 5 minutes. Ah – forget I even mentioned it.

Here’s Amanda and Carter’s wedding from three years ago!

 

Wedding Photographer: LeahAndMark & Co.

Venue: Little Gardens, Lawrenceville, Ga.

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Wedding Photographer: LeahAndMark & Co.

Venue: Little Gardens, Lawrenceville, Ga.

 

Atlanta. Wedding. Photographer. Little Gardens. Wedding Venue. Lawrenceville. Ga. LeahAndMark & Co.

Unetta + Josh | Callanwolde Fine Arts Center Wedding

Have you ever wondered what is it about weddings that I like so much? Or other wedding photographers that gush and say things regularly like “OMG this wedding was amazing!” or “I can’t get over [insert blahblahblah]”.

Yeah me neither. I do know that for me – I like working with people. I like working with people that I like.

We have a “No F*ckers” policy around here when it comes to clients.

We make a living photographing weddings and we will photograph any wedding, anywhere, anytime – as long as you’re nice. Seriously. Our only rule is NO F*CKERS.

As in – we don’t want to work with horrible people. Your friends can be horrible, your family can be horrible – just don’t YOU be horrible.

But you’re not horrible.

You’re probably really great. And that means WE WANT TO WORK WITH YOU. (Which is a less desperate way of saying WE WANT YOU TO HIRE US.)

Unetta and Josh here? They’re not f*ckers.

Well. They’re f*cken amazing. (See what I did there? It’s early.)

Hey Unetta and Josh – You. Are. Awesome.

 

Wedding Photography: LeahAndMark & Co.

Wedding Venue: Callanwolde Fine Arts Center

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Wedding Photography: LeahAndMark & Co.

Wedding Venue: Callanwolde Fine Arts Center

 

Atlanta. Wedding. Photographer. Callanwolde Fine Arts Center. LeahAndMark & Co. Weddings. Outdoor. Rainy Day.

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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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.

Kelita + Ernest | Atlanta Wedding

This is Kelita and Ernest. They’re pretty awesome.

They’re wedding took place at the Crowne Plaza Midtown – which is a new venue to me but apparently has some ridiculously amazing sky level views of the city. Right? LOOK AT THE PHOTOS. Ha.

On top of that – when you’re an Atlanta wedding photographer (SEO alert! SEO alert!) – weddings just happen to be your favorite thing to photograph. I know. That’s a crazy thing to say – and believe me – it took me years and years to come to grips with that fact (and probably a fortune of therapy.)

But hey. When you’re one of the best Atlanta wedding photographers (SEO alert!) – what else is there to say?

This wedding was awesome! Kelita and Ernest are awesome! Coffee is awesome! Atlanta is amazing? (Had to change things up there.)

Wedding Photography: LeahAndMark & Co.

Venue: Crowne Plaza Midtown

Floral & Event Design: Blooming Hites

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Wedding Photography: LeahAndMark & Co.

Venue: Crowne Plaza Midtown

Floral & Event Design: Blooming Hites

 

Atlanta. Wedding. Photographer. LeahAndMark & Co. Best. Creative. Crowne Plaza Midtown. Unique. Wedding. Planning.