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Wedding Photographers

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.

Trash The Dress | by +Krista

Last Saturday, on perhaps the most perfectly beautiful Saturday of 2013 thus far, my lovely client Arley and I trashed her wedding dress. Abandoned houses. Countryside. Muddy (freezing) rivers. And a century-old cotton mill! Because rivers and muddy wedding dresses are awesome and everything, but theyíre not quite enough to satisfy me (and my badass clients) on shoots like this. We need MORE. So we go get it.

Atlanta Trash The Dress Photographer - Krista Turner - L&M (9) copy

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Atlanta Trash The Dress Photographer - Krista Turner - L&M (10) copy

 

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Trash-the-dress shoots (or rock-the-frock or fearless bridal or whatever sassy/ Suessical name you want to call it) are controversial still. The very idea elicits impassioned responses from both sides, so much so that it can start to feel like election-month Facebook. Really. It gets people going. Maybe you loved your dress and want to preserve it forever and ever. Thatís awesome. But maybe you only sorta loved it and love the idea of doing something crazy and artistic and ridiculous with it MORE. Or maybe you really loved your dress- that beautiful dress that fell serendipitously into your life at the perfect moment and it was just youÖ AND†maybe you want to symbolize moving on to the next great adventure. Arley said the best thing to me during our shoot: ďItís a dress. Itís not my hopes and dreams. My marriage is a whole lot more than this dress.Ē BOOM. YES. What she said.

Atlanta Trash The Dress Photographer - Krista Turner - L&M (1) copy

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I†didn’t†love my wedding dress. It just†wasn’t†meÖ AT ALL. It was given to me for free, and my parents were already paying for our entire [amazing] wedding and when youíre offered a free dress under circumstances like that, what you do is, you take it. And itís okay. Weíre in our ninth year now of post-wedding life and Iíd rather have the marriage. I do still have the dress too- itís lived in the back of our closet ever since our wedding- but not for long. I practice what I preach, and Iím trashing my own dress this year too. My grandma will probably think Iím crazy, my husband will tell me to go have fun, and Iíll come home with amazing pictures + more memories + more room in my closet. The definition of winning.

Atlanta Trash The Dress Photographer - Krista Turner - L&M (5) copy

†Atlanta. Wedding. Photographer. Trash. The. Dress. +Krista.

Dancer | by +Krista

This weekend, I cheated.

I’ve photographed a lot of weddings lately… so to shoot something so different from what I’ve been doing almost every weekend this fall? Honestly, it†felt like I was cheating on weddings. Oh, but dance. We have a history. A past. A connection that is so NOT like weddings- it’s gritty and tattooed†and deeper than it looks on the outside. And while I’ve fallen in love with weddings and love and the amazingness of photographing weddings, that spark with dance is still there… and maybe, in a way, that chemistry makes me a better photographer all around. I delve into weddings with that little bit of dance I carry around with me. It’s all about perspective.

My little girl takes ballet.†I decided upon ballet for her because, as a former dancer myself who quit too soon, I know that dance is tough, and builds you up in a way that simply cannot be rivaled.†Most men I know- tough guys who can take on anything, no matter how big the challenge- couldnít hold a candle to the physically- and psychologically-demanding requirements of being a dancer. Being a dancer builds discipline. Confidence. Resiliance. Character. Itís HARD. Harder than you think. But when youíre a dancer, spotlight in your face and lambswool shoved into the toes of your shoes, you eat/ breathe/ sleep it. It’s challenging and demanding and arduous and fulfilling… and worth it in ways that only other dancers really understand.

Iíve done several shoots with dancers now (here and here). And you know, I just really like it. Iím not afraid of repeating shots [because I donít] or running out of ideas [because I donít]. Iím shooting more and more weddings all the time and Iím not afraid of more weddings- because I love it so, so much. And shooting a dance concept is no different for me.

This is Greer. Sheís a dancer, naturally. (Sheís also an actor and a model and she sings, teaches dance, and does choreography, in case your brain needed to be demolished from all the talent she packs.) She and I have been trying to work with each other for months now, but our schedules never cooperated until this. And Iím so glad it worked out that way- true serendipitous alignment at the Goat Farm, with lifts and leaps†and some†non-dance stuff too. I like this niche I’ve found. A lot. And I want†to do even more.

For now, my little girl still loves dancing. Maybe sheíll stick with it. I danced with girls who went on to Julliard and European tours and parts in CatsÖ and I wonít lie, I would love that for my daughter. But she is a girl who†does her own thing- and if soccer or tae kwon do or fixing cars alongside her dad strikes her fancy, then weíll move on to†the next chapter in her life.†But that feeling of spinning on stage has never left me. The peace from stretches and warm-ups- replaced by Yoga in my journey towards 30- that peace hasnít left me either. And while the discipline and confidence have waned a little over the years (again, I blame that journey to 30), I remember my roots. And if I can satisfy that craving with the Pointe shoes still in my closet and the chance to make lovely photos of dancers, wellÖ Iím pretty sure Iíve found my happy new medium.

 

†Atlanta. Dance. Photographer. Ballet. Jazz. Contemporary.