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Wedding

The Number One Tip to Personalizing Your Wedding

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

We Make Amazing Wedding Photos for You

I know. If you’re reading this then you probably know how I write and I probably know that some of you just wanna say F*ck all the wedding decorations! No one remembers the chairs/ the flowers/ the centerpieces! I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about everything else and that.

When you start thinking about what it means to personalize your wedding – most people think about how they’re going to decorate their reception. Or make their wedding cake special and specific to them. Or what colors they should use. Or the food. Going down the list of things and seeing how they can make it more “personal”. Whatever that means.

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

What does it mean to personalize your wedding? Does it mean going through a catalog of things, or collection of Pinterest boards and finding the items that could mean something about the two of you? Finding the items that somehow randomly relate to what you and your partner are?

You really want to personalize your wedding? Tell your story. Share your story with all of your guests.

That’s where you begin. That’s the core of how you go about personalizing your wedding. You can pick things, colors, and decorations you like – but you should also find different ways to show your guests aspects of your relationship with each other. Your history together. Meaningful items that show where you come from, or tell how you came together – and that show your lives and adventures together up to this point. Your wedding isn’t just a celebration of this one ceremony, or day. It’s a celebration of the time you’ve spent together, the time you will spend together – and your love.

This might require some extra work that you hadn’t thought about (I’m sorry – but it’s true). You may have to sit down together and actually write out the story of YOU (you both) and go over your history together. Right from when you met, to when you broke up that first time (or 2nd, or 3rd time) to when you supported each other through the really difficult moments. And all of your successes along the way that led you to this point. Let’s be clear – beyond all the cheese and annoying wedding industry marketing – you’re making history. Your wedding is a historical moment in your lives.

No matter how cynical I might be at times – I realize how special weddings are – and I’m reminded of their importance during every. single. ceremony. Getting married is an amazing thing – the culmination of a relationship up to this point in life – and at the same time just a marker on the way to greater things. Another event to add to the story of you two.

How do you personalize your wedding? Find ways to share your story with your guests.

(and make sure your photographer takes photos of EVERYTHING.)

 

Wedding Day Schedule Driving You Crazy?

Creating a Wedding Day Timeline isn’t nearly as difficult or challenging as people think it might be.

We Make Amazing Wedding Photos for You

Whether you’re having a large wedding or a small wedding – a lot of the same stuff will happen. You get dressed, you have a ceremony, you have a party – and the entire time you have a photographer following you around and even directing you sometimes for your amazing wedding photos.

If this is your first wedding (insert some kind of joke here) – then you might not know how a regular wedding day goes down. Well that’s why we’re here! To help you out with that! Below is a regular, traditional, awesome wedding day schedule and timeline. This example is partly from your photographer’s point of view and covers an 8 hour timespan. During your planning, START with this wedding day timeline and then MAKE IT YOUR OWN. Seriously – jack this thing up. Twist it around, turn it inside out – it doesn’t matter – it’s YOUR WEDDING RIGHT?

Just don’t touch the allotments for photography… just kidding… no really… don’t touch them.

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 brides 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

Wedding Day Timeline | Couple in the Mountains

Of course this is just a sample wedding day timeline – but it should give you a good idea of how your wedding day can be scheduled – and you can see how all of that time just literally disappears. Sure – when your photographer tells you that their base package starts at 8 hours of coverage you think to yourself 8 hours is plenty of time! But when you actually write it all down from start to finish – 8 hours of photography coverage can seem like just enoughor not enough to cover everything.

Sample Wedding Day Timeline 

Something to note – your reception can happen ANY WAY YOU WANT. Sure there needs to be some sort of ‘dinner’ portion for your guests – but other than that – the order is UP TO YOU. You can do all of the things DURING DINNER if you’d like (special dances, toasts, etc.) or you can space them out as the reception moves along. You can skip them. You can have a 30 minute hora dance spectacular if you’d like (totally had that happen – and it was AMAZING.)

Questions? Ask us. Need more help? Check out our good friends at A Practical Wedding.

 

So when you’re making and creating your wedding day timeline – just think about how awesome and beautiful and easily your day will flow!

Callanwolde Fine Arts Wedding Venue & Weddings

Atlanta Wedding Photographer | Callanwolde Fine Arts Center | Wedding | LeahAndmark & Co.

A Callanwolde Wedding at Callanwolde Fine Arts is a great wedding venue because it has the ability to transport you to a different place – in a good way. The grounds have a certain feeling to them that isn’t like any other venue in Atlanta. I’m not sure what it is exactly. But it’s not any one thing individually. It’s the combination of everything that’s there. From the gardens, to the grassy areas, and the trees and flowers – to the building facade that’s reminiscent of a castle but not exactly. To the side patio area that almost feels like you’re in the French countryside. Or the grand staircase with the back lit stained glass windows. Or the classroom feelings of the up stairs getting ready spaces. All of it. It all transports you to a place that doesn’t feel so modern, or even so Southern the way that so many other wedding venues in the South tend to do. 

Callanwolde Wedding Fine Arts Venue

Callanwolde Wedding Fine Arts Center

Callanwolde Wedding Fine Arts as a wedding venue lends itself to your creativity. You can really set it up to go in a few directions. Classic and timeless. Or a little big magical and fairy-like… or even medieval and whimsy if you like. Or just plain, flat out elegant (that’s a thing right?)

Your photographer will definitely have an endless supply of ideas at Callanwolde as well. Even if the weather doesn’t cooperate and it’s raining – there’s a good bit of cover to work with around the building – and you can always sneak a few minutes outside when the rain does take a break.

We’ve photographed several weddings at Callanwolde Fine Arts and they’ve literally always, always, always been amazing. 

Atlanta Wedding Photographer. LeahAndMark & Co. Callanwolde Wedding Fine Arts Center. The Best Photographers. In. Atlanta.

Need help creating a wedding day timeline? We have you covered.

Biltmore Ballrooms Atlanta Wedding Venue Weddings

Atlanta Wedding Photographer | Biltmore Ballrooms | LeahAndMark & Co.

A Biltmore Ballrooms Wedding in Atlanta is amazing because of the spaces’ ability to transport you to a place that’s elegant and unique and unlike many of the other ballrooms or event spaces in Atlanta. Elegant, classic, aristocratic – those are some of the words that would appropriately describe the Biltmore Ballrooms. Especially that feeling of aristocracy and elegance. Contrary to what their brochures might tell you – you cannot achieve that same atmosphere at any hotel ballroom here in Atlanta. 

Biltmore Ballrooms Wedding | Atlanta Georgia Photographer LeahAndMark

Biltmore Ballrooms Wedding Venue

And of course – not only are the actual ballrooms an amazing feature of the wedding venue – but the front entrance facade is spectacular. With high 50 foot columns and that old-money richness to it – your wedding portraits will look like they couldn’t have been made anywhere else but at the Biltmore Ballrooms. 

Biltmore Ballrooms Wedding | Atlanta Georgia Photographer LeahAndMark

Obviously – once people see the ceiling of your ceremony or reception space, they’ll immediately recognize where your got married. Because that ceiling is iconic, famous, and a landmark in Atlanta. 

We’re often hard pressed to truly recommend certain venues – but recommending the Biltmore Ballrooms for your wedding is absolutely of a required consideration at the very least.

Here’s the thing about a Biltmore Ballrooms Wedding. It’s A LOT OF CLASS right in the middle of Atlanta. You’re transported to a different location. You don’t feel like you’re in a modern city full of glass and steel. You may feel like you’re far away on a grand estate – maybe even the actual Biltmore Estate in North Carolina. Yeah it’s that amazing in the ballrooms which is crazy when you think about it because it’s literally just one large room. Oh, but what a large room it is. You won’t regret having your wedding there. Trust us. Trust yourself. 

 

Biltmore Ballrooms Wedding. Atlanta Wedding Photographer.

Check out the Biltmore Ballrooms Website here.

Need help creating a wedding day timeline? We have you covered.

Need help planning and ideas? Check out this book by our friend Meg.

C & R | Wimbish House NYE Wedding | Atlanta Wedding Photographer

Wimbish House; Wedding; New Year's Eve; NYE; Atlanta Wedding Photorapher LeahAndMark

Having a Wimbish House Wedding? On New Year’s Eve?! I’ve said it before and I’ve said it over and over again – when you have a New Year’s Eve wedding you are deciding to host a New Year’s Eve PARTY. Don’t try to be low key about your wedding if it’s on NYE. You’re asking people to spend a party holiday with YOU – so you need to put on a party.

Wimbish House; Wedding; New Year's Eve; NYE; Atlanta Wedding Photorapher LeahAndMark

I mean you don’t HAVE TO – because I’ll never say you HAVE TO do anything for your own wedding (but seriously – if you invite more than 10 people then… don’t be lame and have a party.)

Atlanta Wedding Photographer LeahAndMark & Co.

Wimbish House; Wedding; New Year's Eve; NYE; Atlanta Wedding Photorapher LeahAndMark

I’ve photographed several new year’s eve weddings and fortunately – they’ve all lived up to the hype – they’ve all had crazy crazy great parties for the reception. It’s simple really. In fact it’s almost easier to have a great party reception on New Year’s Eve because people are in the mood to party. That’s not always the case with other wedding receptions. Sometimes people are just like… laaaaaaaaaaaaaame. And then other times they’re just tired. But on NYE – they won’t be. 

Plus – all you really need to get the party going is a decent DJ, party hats, and some noise makers. Seriously – if you have party hats all of a sudden it’s a CRAZY party. In fact – if you want to have a great party reception at your regular, non-NYE-wedding – then just make sure you have enough fun party hats. And Sunglasses. AND alcohol. 

Wimbish House Wedding

Wimbish House Wedding Photos

I know I know – alcohol is not a must have – but if you want to play percentages and just have a better chance at a better party… do not have a dry wedding. A dry wedding is a 100% reason for guests to leave your reception early – like right after the cake cutting early – or even right after dinner. Because damn if most people are gonna hangout with you til midnight without any alcohol. What are they? 12 years old? I mean… okay unless it’s a religious decision then just label your wedding reception as a ‘lock-in’. You know, like back in your Christian teen youth group days. Remember those? A “Lock-In” and you raised money by saying you were going to talk or dance or sing the whole time/every hour or something. And you were raising money for your youth group to go on some missionary trip to help indigenous peoples of wherever with their poor lives and poor living. 

Oh – but your NYE wedding. Right. 

New Year’s Eve Wedding in Atlanta

Wimbish House Wedding; New Year's Eve; NYE; Atlanta Wedding Photorapher LeahAndMark

So what else do you need? Food. Snacks. Well – at least a great dinner. This is not the time for one of those receptions where you just serve heavy appetizers and think that people will be satisfied. F*ck that. You need to serve them dinner and have a decent amount of dessert. Now you don’t need to buy the $1,000 cake – just have more than enough cheap cake and spend the money on the alcohol – cause then that cheap cake will TASTE AMAZING.

In conclusion, Caroline and Ryan are AMAZING and Full of Awesome. 

Wimbish House Wedding; New Year's Eve; NYE; Atlanta Wedding Photorapher LeahAndMark

Wimbish House Wedding; New Year's Eve; NYE; Atlanta Wedding Photorapher LeahAndMark

Atlanta Wedding Photographer. Wimbish House wedding. New Year’s Eve Wedding. LeahAndMark & Co.

Need help creating a wedding day timeline? We have you covered.

Need help planning? Check out our friends.

The Chimneys at Big Canoe Wedding Venue Weddings

Big Canoe, The Chimneys, Wedding, Jasper Ga, LeahAndMark & Co.,

What’s great about a Chimneys at Big Canoe Wedding is that they basically give you the keys for the entire day and let you get down to business. Decorate, party, finish up. Oh. AND It’s BEAUTIFUL there. The outdoor patio area ceremony site with the golf course and lake backdrop is stunning. You’re surrounded and embraced by the forest canopy while you’re getting married and everyone is there to watch you profess your love for each other. What more could you ask for????

Chimneys at Big Canoe Wedding Photos - Ceremony Location

With a large wrap around covered deck – rain is no problem either! Because you can have your ceremony indoors if you want, or if it doesn’t start raining until your reception – people can STILL be outdoors enjoying the spectacular North Georgia forests. 

We may be a little biased too – because this is where Leah and I got married – so yeah – we think it’s all kinds of great because we ourselves have AMAZING memories from our own wedding that took place there.

Chimneys at Big Canoe Wedding Photos - Groom Shot over the brides shoulder

Oh yeah! And one of the best parts is that it’s pretty easy to just rent several large homes down the street to house all of your friends and family and wedding party guests. So you’re never too far from the venue and the party can continue long after you’ve made your exit from the reception!

Granted – I have a bit more knowledge about a Chimneys at Big Canoe wedding because we had OUR wedding there – but also because I’ve photographed weddings there as well. It’s an amazing venue and the layout really lends itself well to serving your guests a good sit down dinner while also making it so that they don’t just stay in their seats. They will want to walk around and mingle and dance! 

Definitely consider them for your wedding!

Need help creating a wedding day timeline? We have you covered.

Need other help planning? Check out this book by our friend Meg.

Chimneys at Big Canoe Wedding. North Georgia Wedding Photographer. LeahAndMark & Co.

The Solarium at Scottish Rite Wedding Venue Weddings

Solarium, Historic Scottish Rite, Hospital, Decatur, Wedding, Venue, LeahAndMark

Everything about a Solarium Decatur Wedding will make sure you end up with great photos. It is a great wedding venue deep in the heart of Decatur, Ga. It’s literally hidden away in a quiet neighborhood – just south of downtown Decatur. What’s also so amazing about the Solarium is how flexible you can be with the venue set up for your wedding.

Solarium Decatur Wedding | LeahAndMark & Co.

Solarium Decatur Wedding Photos

You can have your wedding indoors – or outside in the main entrance area – and both are fantastic options. There are two main rooms connected by a short middle hallway and a side walkway window room as well. 

What’s also a great feature is that when it’s time for the real partying to begin – any one of the rooms can be turned into a crazy dance floor and people CAN DANCE ALL THEY WANT. It’ll feel close and comfortable as opposed to how sometimes it feels like you’re dancing in a big, empty reception hall… 

Solarium Decatur Wedding | LeahAndMark & Co.

Atlanta Wedding Photographers LeahAndMark & Co.

Of course – I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t mention how amazing the grounds and outside spaces are for wedding portrait photos. They are amazing and your talented photographer will have plenty to work with when it comes to make brilliant and beautiful photos of the two of you on your wedding day. Seriously. You will love your photos taken at the Solarium. You’ll love your wedding there too!

Solarium Decatur Wedding | LeahAndMark & Co.

And if you needed more convincing – check out these amazing photos! We LOVE working there and we always have a great time. Partly because the people who book this venue are the best kinds of people. They’re looking for that balance of classic looks, but easy rules and comfort for their guests. A Solarium Decatur Wedding is ALWAYS, ALWAYS a GREAT TIME! Right? Right.

Check out the Venue Website here.

Need help creating a wedding day timeline? We have you covered.

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.

Atlanta; Wedding; Cator Woolford Gardens; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Outdoor; Fall Wedding; Summer Wedding; Green; Nature; Traditional Atlanta; Wedding; Cator Woolford Gardens; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Outdoor; Fall Wedding; Summer Wedding; Green; Nature; Traditional Atlanta; Wedding; Cator Woolford Gardens; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Outdoor; Fall Wedding; Summer Wedding; Green; Nature; Traditional

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.

Atlanta; Wedding; Cator Woolford Gardens; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Outdoor; Fall Wedding; Summer Wedding; Green; Nature; Traditional Atlanta; Wedding; Cator Woolford Gardens; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Outdoor; Fall Wedding; Summer Wedding; Green; Nature; Traditional Atlanta; Wedding; Cator Woolford Gardens; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Outdoor; Fall Wedding; Summer Wedding; Green; Nature; Traditional Atlanta; Wedding; Cator Woolford Gardens; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Outdoor; Fall Wedding; Summer Wedding; Green; Nature; Traditional Atlanta; Wedding; Cator Woolford Gardens; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Outdoor; Fall Wedding; Summer Wedding; Green; Nature; Traditional

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.

Atlanta; Wedding; Cator Woolford Gardens; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Outdoor; Fall Wedding; Summer Wedding; Green; Nature; Traditional Atlanta; Wedding; Cator Woolford Gardens; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Outdoor; Fall Wedding; Summer Wedding; Green; Nature; Traditional Atlanta; Wedding; Cator Woolford Gardens; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Outdoor; Fall Wedding; Summer Wedding; Green; Nature; Traditional Atlanta; Wedding; Cator Woolford Gardens; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Outdoor; Fall Wedding; Summer Wedding; Green; Nature; Traditional Atlanta; Wedding; Cator Woolford Gardens; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Outdoor; Fall Wedding; Summer Wedding; Green; Nature; Traditional Atlanta; Wedding; Cator Woolford Gardens; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Outdoor; Fall Wedding; Summer Wedding; Green; Nature; Traditional Atlanta; Wedding; Cator Woolford Gardens; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Outdoor; Fall Wedding; Summer Wedding; Green; Nature; Traditional Atlanta; Wedding; Cator Woolford Gardens; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Outdoor; Fall Wedding; Summer Wedding; Green; Nature; Traditional Atlanta; Wedding; Cator Woolford Gardens; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Outdoor; Fall Wedding; Summer Wedding; Green; Nature; Traditional Atlanta; Wedding; Cator Woolford Gardens; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Outdoor; Fall Wedding; Summer Wedding; Green; Nature; Traditional Atlanta; Wedding; Cator Woolford Gardens; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Outdoor; Fall Wedding; Summer Wedding; Green; Nature; Traditional Atlanta; Wedding; Cator Woolford Gardens; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Outdoor; Fall Wedding; Summer Wedding; Green; Nature; Traditional Atlanta; Wedding; Cator Woolford Gardens; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Outdoor; Fall Wedding; Summer Wedding; Green; Nature; Traditional Atlanta; Wedding; Cator Woolford Gardens; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Outdoor; Fall Wedding; Summer Wedding; Green; Nature; Traditional Atlanta; Wedding; Cator Woolford Gardens; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Outdoor; Fall Wedding; Summer Wedding; Green; Nature; Traditional Atlanta; Wedding; Cator Woolford Gardens; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Outdoor; Fall Wedding; Summer Wedding; Green; Nature; Traditional Atlanta; Wedding; Cator Woolford Gardens; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Outdoor; Fall Wedding; Summer Wedding; Green; Nature; Traditional Atlanta; Wedding; Cator Woolford Gardens; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Outdoor; Fall Wedding; Summer Wedding; Green; Nature; Traditional Atlanta; Wedding; Cator Woolford Gardens; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Outdoor; Fall Wedding; Summer Wedding; Green; Nature; Traditional Atlanta; Wedding; Cator Woolford Gardens; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Outdoor; Fall Wedding; Summer Wedding; Green; Nature; Traditional Cator Woolford Gardens Wedding ; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Outdoor; Fall Wedding; Summer Wedding; Green; Nature; Traditional Atlanta; Wedding; Cator Woolford Gardens; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Outdoor; Fall Wedding; Summer Wedding; Green; Nature; Traditional Atlanta; Wedding; Cator Woolford Gardens; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Outdoor; Fall Wedding; Summer Wedding; Green; Nature; Traditional Atlanta; Wedding; Cator Woolford Gardens; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Outdoor; Fall Wedding; Summer Wedding; Green; Nature; Traditional Atlanta; Wedding; Cator Woolford Gardens; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Outdoor; Fall Wedding; Summer Wedding; Green; Nature; Traditional Cator Woolford Gardens Wedding | Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.; Outdoor; Fall Wedding; Summer Wedding; Green; Nature; Traditional

 

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 MOST ULTIMATE Wedding Planning Calendar Schedule and Timeline

If you’ve never cracked open a wedding planning book or guide – most of them are geared around a planning time frame of 1 year. For example – what should you be doing 12 months away from your wedding day? What about 9 months? Or 6 months? Or 2 months? Yeah. Stuff like that. But really – it’s like this. You start out thinking – great – a whole year. PLENTY OF TIME. Plenty. So much time I’m just going to throw away half of it and do nothing. And then all of a sudden 2 months away from your wedding you’re freaking out, vomiting tulle and champagne and wishing that you had at least glanced at what you were ‘supposed’ to be doing over the past 8 months. You can avoid all of that vomit. Well – at least some of it.

SO. Lets get to it right?

Atlanta; Macon; Georgia; Wedding; Timeline; Schedule; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.

Sample Wedding Planning Timeline – ONE YEAR

12+ Months

  • It’s all fun at this point – one of the first things you should do (if you haven’t already) – is start day dreaming (envisioning) what your wedding could look like. Simple things – think in broad strokes and ideas. Outside? In a church? 
  • Get your budget numbers sorted out.
  • Book your venues. All that envisioning and day dreaming you did up above? Start hunting down the reality version of those things. Find that perfect farm barn. Or that perfect industrial warehouse. Or that perfect… whatever…
  • Hire the wedding vendors (pros) that you MUST HAVE. Like if you need an amazing, ridiculously good and silly wedding photographer – hire them. ASAP. If you want a specific band to play your reception – book them NOW. YES – you can always find wedding vendors for your wedding – but if they’re GREAT – they might get booked by other people first.
  • Start searching for your wedding dress/wedding suit/wedding outfit

Atlanta; Macon; Georgia; Wedding; Timeline; Schedule; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.

9-11 Months

  • Order your save the dates (you can go through a designer and have them personally, custom made or you can order them thru templates online. 
  • Propose to your wedding party – I know – WTF “propose”. Basically – ask people if they would be in your wedding party. Sometimes it’s an honor, sometimes it’s a big fucken hassle. Whether it’s an honor or a hassle is largely dependent on you.
  • Create a wedding website. Because it’s 2017 and even hamsters celebrating their birthday have websites.
  • Book your photographer, florists, musicians, and any other vendors for your wedding.
  • Did I mention that you should book your photographer?
  • Order your wedding dress (or suit) and schedule fittings
  • Choose your bridesmaids dresses/bridesmaids suits – and get the groomsmen/persons suits in line as well (make sure people order them!)
  • Start registering (that means you’re supposed to go to 2 stores and ‘register’ – make a list of things people can buy for you as gifts for your wedding! – and totally put everything on there.)

6-8 Months

  • Plan out your ceremony – talk with your officiant and of course your partner – and plan out what all will go on during your ceremony.
  • Book your honeymoon trip! (cause that part is AWESOME)
  • Send those save-the-dates out to people!
  • Order your invitations and then also your thank-you notes
  • Find and hire a day-of coordinator for your wedding (or a wedding planner if you’ve gotten this far and you’re going CRAZY)
  • Schedule beauty trials (hair and makeup) – guys too if you want. 
  • Start planning out your rehearsal dinner. Where and who and when.

Atlanta; Macon; Georgia; Wedding; Timeline; Schedule; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.

4-5 Months

  • Confirm and/or finalize your floral design with your florist
  • Send out your wedding invitations
  • Go through all of your wedding contracts and refresh yourself on what you’ve hired people to do 
  • Complete and confirm your wedding cake or dessert order
  • Buy your wedding rings 
  • Setup and plan your transportation for your wedding day (often overlooked)

Example Wedding Planning Schedule and Timeline 

3 MONTHS!

  • Look up and Find out what the process is to acquire a local marriage license – local to the city/state/country where you will be getting married
  • Finalize your ceremony (what is actually happening during your ceremony) with your officiant

2 MONTHS!

  • This is when you mail your wedding invitations! (usually 6-8 weeks away). 
  • You’ll want to send out invites much earlier if you’re having a destination wedding or at least letting people that live FARRR away a bit more time to do some travel planning
  • Work on your wedding vows – write them – copy them – steal them – whatever. Work on them.
  • You’ll be having your first dress fitting around this time (oh and apparently you’re supposed to bring undergarments and shoes)
  • Get your reception food menu finalized with your caterer
  • Create a timeline for your wedding weekend (or at least the day before, and the DAY OF) – and then give/share that with your wedding party and other vendors (this is where having a planner can make EVERYTHING easier)

Atlanta; Macon; Georgia; Wedding; Timeline; Schedule; Photographer; LeahAndMark & Co.

1 MONTH!

  • If you have MUST-HAVE photos – make a list and send that over to your photographer (we actually have people do this at the two month mark – but we’re open to all suggestions from our couples at any times. Suggestions from uncles, cousins, and other people at your wedding?… we’ll humor them… and then tell them to go to the bar…)

1-2 WEEKS OMG

  • You should have a FINAL HEADCOUNT of guests – share that number with your caterer and planner
  • Complete and finish your dinner seating chart 
  • Go to your last dress fitting (YES!)
  • Designate specific people for specific task – give them JOBS. Because that’s what friends and family are for right?
  • Make sure all of your beauty appointments and planning is… planned and scheduled.

2-3 DAYS (WUT)

  • Steam your dress(es) and/or suit(s)!
  • Tell your Planner that they’re doing an amazing job
  • Tell your Photographer that they’re talented and amazing people (they’re artists so you know they have self esteem issues)

1 Day BEFORE! 

  • Give the marriage license to your officiant (or put someone else in charge of that – seriously)
  • Rehearse your ceremony with all the participants
  • Have dinner with your family and close friends!
  • Try to get some sleep okay?! YEssssssssssss. 

See? That’s all there is to it. One year OF YOUR LIFE. 

Also – Thanks.

 

Sincerely,

Mark Tioxon

 

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

Flying Caballeros Ranch, San Luis Obispo, California, Wedding, Photographer, LeahAndMark, Atlanta Wedding Photographer,

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 

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

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

Ponce City Market, Wedding, PCM, Carter Center, Atlanta, Wedding, Photographer, Roof, Skyline, Rooftop,

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

Ponce City Market, Wedding, PCM, Carter Center, Atlanta, Wedding, Photographer, Roof, Skyline, Rooftop,

 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. Dont worry, your photographer doesnt have to photograph EVERY part of putting on the dress. What we like to tell brides is Well 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 well 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
    • Its at this point that well move over to the grooms side of things. Since we generally dont need or want photos of the groom and his groomsmen literally putting their pants on, well arrive when theyre nearly finished getting dressed and just start photographing everything quickly. Same as the brides side, well 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 wont have to worry about planning this at all. Well 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 its a private moment between the two of you and your photographers
  • 4:00                        WEDDING PARTY PHOTOS
    • After your first look and portrait session, well 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 doesnt 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 weathers 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 its 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 were on a crazy mission to get them finished in record time. We do this EVERY TIME too. Literally. I dont 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, its 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.

Ponce City Market, Wedding, PCM, Carter Center, Atlanta, Wedding, Photographer, Roof, Skyline, Rooftop,

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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