What an awesome warm afternoon we spent in a nearby local city park with Amanda and Chance. The location chosen for their engagement session was Woodlands Garden just six miles from the city of Atlanta. A place we had never visited. Woodlands Garden is an eight acre mostly-wooded public garden located in Decatur, Georgia. The Garden’s mission is to preserve a woodland garden as an urban sanctuary to educate and engage the community in the natural world.
The afternoon quickly turned into early evening as the light was slowly disappearing. But we had to capture a few more. Amanda and Chance were having too much fun.
Thank you Amanda and Chance for a beautiful afternoon capturing your engagement photos and document this most special season of your lives. Looking forward to your wedding.
Ponce City Market is the “go to” location for locals and visitors alike to get a sense of what is Atlanta. Also it’s a great place to go have your engagement photos taken if you’re looking for an indoor place on a rainy day.
Many of you may remember Omar and Sam from their rocking engagement session at the Goat Farm. We had known Sam for several years but it was truly a blast getting to know Omar for the first time during that shoot. Fast forward several months and it was time for them to get married. If their e-session was any indication, their wedding was going to be a thriller. It surely didn’t disappoint!
Our coverage began very early in the day in two separate locations. Omar and his groomsmen chose to get ready at his apartment while Sam and the girls set up shop in one of the hidden rooms at their venue, Ambient+Studio in Atlanta
What is Ambient+Studio
For those not familiar with Ambient+Studio, it’s truly a unique space for a wedding. This building was first built in 1910 and created to function as a factory for transforming raw cotton into fire-retardant fabrics. For roughly 90 years it carried on this mission until the building was abandoned. In 2007 it got a rebirth as a daylight studio. A contemporary loft-type space, which is really one large blank canvas; capable of being transformed hundreds of ways. A transformation is exactly what happened. The couple’s wedding designer and planner Jaqueline (JAX) Vizcaino with Three Thirty Design Studio, brought their understated elegant vision to life. A romantic color palette and cohesive guest experiences throughout the evening made for a wonderful celebration of love.
Let’s get ready
The getting ready portions on either side mirrored the same fun, easy-going, laid back personalities this couple exudes. A lot of storytelling, a lot of jokes, a lot of fun. As soon as the guys were ready, they made their way towards the venue but not before making one very important stop. A few miles down the road, their local Krispy Kreme store had several boxes of hot doughnuts waiting for them. Seriously, what’s more interesting than having a groom all decked out, hauling dozens of doughnuts out of a Krispy Kreme store? Not something you see every day, but these glazed treats were headed for a huge doughnut wall at the venue for the guests.
Did they have a first look
It was time for the first look. We chose a specific portion of the space that had large, elegant and expansive drapes by Unique Event Elements. This allowed the couple some measure of privacy for the first look but it also offered an opportunity to shoot through the sheer drapes for some creative bokeh-like layers for the images. As soon as they had concluded their first look we began working through a series of wedding portraits. You really don’t have to go far for interesting locations; there’s plenty to use inside the venue. The large windows, rustic floors, industrial ceilings and stairs all provide simplicity and charm for these types of photos.
So the limo arrives and we all begin to pack into the car to make our way to the ceremony. Once we get there, it’s a fairly quick service with lovely heartfelt advice from the scriptures for the couple. Fast track through dozens of family photos and before you know it we are back at Ambient+Studio to begin the reception.
Let the party begin
Not that it hasn’t been like this since the beginning of the day; but once the reception begins, our coverage goes into heavy documentary mode. Just shooting all of the little moments between the couple and their guests. All the funny dance moves on the dance floor. All the silly photo booth moments.
This was truly a dream couple to work with. From the very start they made creative photography the focal point of their wedding journey. Carving out significant amounts of time within their wedding schedule to insure artistic imagery led the way. We can’t thank them enough for placing the emphasis on this. Thank you Omar+Sam for trusting us with one of the most important days of your life.
Sam had a custom-made wedding dress for her special day. She looked absolutely beautiful!
Xclusive DJ Group had the everyone on their feet.
I know you want to see more. Click on the link to our YouTube channel for more from Omar+Sam’s wedding.
The team that made this wedding the fabulous event it was:
Weather in Georgia for an engagement session can be…
By Georgia standards Atlanta had a very strong winter. Temperatures stayed unusually low throughout the spring and rain seemed like a constant fixture almost every other day. Then out of nowhere we get a day in the low 90’s with scorching sun for Michael and Grace’s Ponce City Market and Beltline engagement session. That’s okay since this couple has all the warmth to match the setting.
A chance meeting
Grace and Michael met through their church. She had recently moved to Atlanta and really didn’t know many people. Thankfully her sister-in-law arranged a big lunch with many friends and invited her to come along. That’s where Michael came into the picture. They bonded immediately over the terrible Chinese buffet food they just had and how much they loved talking trash about each other’s favorite NBA teams. The rest is history as they say.
The details on their proposal
So, when the time came, how did he propose?
“He proposed at the Garden Lights, Holiday Lights show at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens in front of the lighted trees that changed colors according to the musical arrangement. It was magical and I was shocked (had no idea it was coming)!”
We met inside Ponce City Market which has quickly become a favorite spot for most Atlantans. Located on the Old Fourth Ward, this old Sears, Roebuck & Company building was renovated into a contemporary marketplace with a focus on food that reflects many of the flavors of this great city. The Atlanta Beltline connects right up to the market providing quick access to 45 great neighborhoods such as Virginia-Highland, Midtown and Inman park. The Beltline itself is a 22-mile loop of multi-use trails, parks and streetcars – all based on railroad corridors that formerly encircled Atlanta. It runs right through Piedmont Park(Atlanta’s version of Central Park) and it is packed with murals and sculptures from an eclectic mix of artists; becoming the largest temporary outdoor art exhibition in the south. As you can imagine, a location like this feels like a gold mine for both art-loving couples and photographers.
Our session began inside the market so we could take advantage of the backlit colored windows located throughout the Central Food Hall. Not to mention the air conditioning was cranking! A perfect way to kick off an engagement session with a couple so they could ease into the process. This couple truly has a blend of modern style with timeless elegance. Michael was rocking a navy bespoke suit with Allen Edmonds wingtips. His suit was a surprise gift from his future father-in-law during their most recent trip to Taiwan. Grace was glowing in a bohemian hunter green dress with Clarks Spiced Ava sandals. Both providing great contrast against all the backgrounds we used across the afternoon. From there we jumped directly on the Beltline so we could photograph one of their favorite murals at Paris on Ponce. A richly colored flower mural with a mini faux Eiffel Tower sculpture. The heat was starting to kick in a bit so we huddled up in a slightly shady corner of this display to catch a few silly moments with a rusty gorilla. Then we were off again, doubling back to the cartoon mural just over North avenue and a somewhat new favorite; the Tim Frank columns sculpture. Once again we scurried for some shade and managed to find some interesting green benches under an overhang adjacent to the entry back into Ponce. It was cooler there which gave us a chance to grab a few quick shots before we had to move on. Grace and Michael had some other murals they wanted to photograph with so we hopped in the car and drove a bit further down the Beltline so we could keep them nice and cool in their nice outfits. That trip brought us to two very popular pieces of art. First up their personal favorite, the Hense mural by Alex Brewer. Or as they call it, the “bubble” mural. As one can imagine, a beautiful warm day in Atlanta means there was a lot of foot traffic going through this area. So, we decided to incorporate shots of joggers and bikers coming through our shots using a slow shutter drag. Directly on the opposite side is the second point of interest. Brandon Sadler’s / Rising Red Lotus masterpiece. A large mural featuring a circular pond of brightly colored koi.
Before we knew it almost 3 hours had gone by since we first began the shoot. A testament to how much fun we had with this couple and their incredible disposition. They were willing to go along with every crazy request we threw their way to obtain the most artistic imagery we could create on the spot. Battling large crowds, long walking distances and blistering temperatures in a suit and dress, no less. Thanks Michael and Grace for allowing us to share our love of artistic photography with you. We can’t wait to continue our adventure with you this summer at your wedding, where we look to document so many friends and family coming in from various destinations from around the world to share in your special day!
From there we jumped directly on the Beltline so we could photograph one of their favorite murals at Paris on Ponce. A richly colored flower mural with a mini faux Eiffel Tower sculpture.
The heat was starting to kick in a bit so we huddled up in a slightly shady corner of this display to catch a few silly moments with a rusty gorilla.
Then we were off again, doubling back to the cartoon mural just over North avenue and a somewhat new favorite; the Tim Frank columns sculpture.
Once again we scurried for some shade and managed to find some interesting green benches under an overhang adjacent to the entry back into Ponce. It was cooler there which gave us a chance to grab a few quick shots before we had to move on.
Grace and Michael had some other murals they wanted to photograph with so we hopped in the car and drove a bit further down the Beltline so we could keep them nice and cool in their nice outfits. That trip brought us to two very popular pieces of art. First up their personal favorite, the Hense mural by Alex Brewer. Or as they call it, the “bubble” mural. As one can imagine, a beautiful warm day in Atlanta means there was a lot of foot traffic going through this area. So, we decided to incorporate shots of joggers and bikers coming through our shots using a slow shutter drag. Directly on the opposite side is the second point of interest. Brandon Sadler’s / Rising Red Lotus masterpiece. A large mural featuring a circular pond of brightly colored koi.
If you know us or anyone who knows us, you’ll find out we love people, we love couples, and we love, love. We don’t get tired of it. It just makes us happy. We get to meet so many people, from our couples to their families and then their closest friends. Well, let me introduce you to Omar and Sam. We’ve known Sam for some time since we’ve hung out with mutual families from time to time. Talking about the small world again. It’s an ongoing theme. In any case, her wedding planner is a personal friend that I met when we first arrived to Atlanta, *ahem…*cough, cough* 20 some odd years ago. I can’t believe it’s been that long. Oh, focus Lissette, focus. Going back to our little story. I get an inquiry from our web site from our friend Samantha (although I know her by Sam so that threw me off). Well it so happens it wasn’t Sam emailing us, it was the planner letting us know our little Samantha is getting married. That caught me off guard again, I didn’t know she was dating anybody.
So, off to meet Omar and Sam for our consult. We had to find a convenient location for us to meet due to schedule conflicts and we end up at Starbucks. So what was my impression of Omar? Answer: a gentleman. While Sam and I were talking at our table, Omar excused himself for a minute and bought us all coffees. What a sweetheart! The planner Jaqueline had Sam so organized with a big binder with everything she needed to do for her wedding. Sam realized she didn’t need all that for us so we just talked and talked about the vision they all came up and all the vendors that were going to see this vision through. It sounded amazing and at a venue I hadn’t had the privilege to photograph. I was definitely looking forward to what Jaqueline and her team were going to create for their amazing wedding at Ambient+Studio.
Back to the engagement session. Omar and Sam wanted something rustic, abandoned, an urban vibe and we had that light bulb moment immediately….The Goat Farm. That’s it. They both LOVED the idea and were excited to work with us there. At first they were a little apprehensive when we started, they’ve never been in front of a professional camera before. But within a few minutes they were well into getting a modeling career going.
Talk about forgetting we were even there.
They are so much fun together. And literally forgot we were there. Just the way I like it.
We were having so much fun, I almost forgot to take a ring shot. I like taking these type of shots with a human element. It brings it to life. What do you think?
Sam’s getting the hang of this. That look, girl!
As the night was winding down, we decided to go by and grab a cup off coffee at the Warhorse Coffee Shop
Here’s a little more from their engagement session at The Goat Farm Atlanta.
Engagement sessions aren’t always easy for some couples. Some folks are camera shy or simply don’t enjoy being the center of attention in public. Thankfully just about all those people open up half way through a session when they see how much fun one of those shoots can be. Then you have couples with absolutely no inhibitions about letting loose in front of the lens. They could have a thousand eyes staring at them and they wouldn’t have a care in the world. Such was the case on a March afternoon when we caught up with Jef and Sara Lynn. This lovely pair are professional film, television, stage and voiceover actors. Jef has multiple 2018 TV roles in production and has worked on projects for Lifetime, OWN, Discovery, Audible and others. He is perhaps best known for his voiceover work with Scientific American and the New York Times. Sara also has various TV and film appearances including projects with NBC/Universal, HGTV, Lifetime. She is also a graduate of the distinguished Dell’Arte International. Currently they both run the Springer Film Institute based in Georgia. So, it’s easy to see how a couple of actors could make this shoot so fantastic. From the very start they were relaxed and up for any adventure as we navigated through Piedmont Park. Honestly though, the success of this photo session was truly based on their sincere love for each other. That was the star of the show. Mix in their wit and unique sense of humor and it was all we could do to keep up with them. This could have easily gone on for hours but unfortunately, we ran out of time. Thanks again Jef and Sara on such a wonderful afternoon!
We had so much fun with Jef and Sara Lynn at the park. They forgot we were even there.
The word special doesn’t begin to describe Jibran and Leia’s wedding. It goes far beyond that. Exceptional, noteworthy and outstanding are adjectives that also play a role in describing this remarkable union. It just feels like a more unique or sophisticated synonym is required for such a brilliant couple. Jibran and Leia hosted their wedding in Midtown, Atlanta. One of the most popular areas of the city known for its cultural attractions. On this Saturday afternoon their family and friends enjoyed a truly unforgettable day.
We first met Jibran and Leia during the winter many months prior to the wedding. It was there we began to document their story. Perhaps you may remember some of the images from their engagement session. They both met on the steps of the Carlos Hall shortly after beginning college at Emory University. They hit it off right from the start and the rest is history as they say. With budding law careers on the rise these young professionals were ready to move on to the next stage of their lives; marriage.
So the planning began. To say they had a lot to prepare is also an understatement. The fusion of Pakistani traditions with American traditions to generate one wedding weekend requires careful consideration. Nonetheless they were able to create a 3-day wedding weekend that incorporated everything they needed from each culture.
In particular guests were treated to a lavish ceremony and reception at the iconic Georgian Terrace hotel. An architectural landmark in Atlanta that combines modern luxury with southern sophistication. Dating back to 1911 this beautiful building hosted the likes of F. Scott Fitzgerald and Calvin Coolidge. It allowed Arthur Murray to start teaching his dance lessons and it was the site of the Gone with the Wind premier. Yet with all of its modern amenities and contemporary upgrades, you’d think it was designed just recently.
All the details and decorations mirrored the brilliance of the setting. Jibran and Leia looked impeccable in their attire. Though what really stood out about their big day is what always grabs your attention every single time you’re in their presence. It’s their kindness. It’s their personalities. Most of all it’s their sincere relationship. There’s always a warmth to their interactions. Their first look was a perfect representation of this. Tears flowing endlessly, which later cascaded into their ceremony. It’s no wonder so many people gravitate to them. They are loved for who they are and how they share that with others.
Jibran and Leia, all we can say is we truly had a fantastic time documenting your wedding. Your parents are endearing and your friends are wonderful. Thank you for placing your trust in us to deliver these moments in photographs. We are grateful to have taken this journey with you!
The Pronovias princia style wedding dress was jaw-dropping.
Leia’s Pronovias wedding dress was a lace gown with train, fit and flair/mermaid fit and included a long sleeve, lace jacket worn for the ceremony.
Jibran wore a traditional black tuxedo, white shirt and bow tie from The Black Tux.
These lovely ladies below wore a fabulous Monique Lhuillier‘s back cutout pleat tulle bridesmaid gown in the color sea.
Well, what else can we say about our couples? We have the best couples any photographer could ever ask for and Wesley and Chelsea will not be the exception. What an amazing couple these two are. You saw them earlier when we photographed their engagement session. Would you like to know a little more? I’m sure you would and that’s why we interviewed Chelsea for you so you can get to know them better.
So tell me, how did you two meet?
We met on my first day of work when I first moved to Atlanta in 2012. Wesley worked for a non-profit that was based in Peachtree Presbyterian when I was working, and my boss introduced me to him on my first day of work. It took us a while to actually start dating though.
Why was that?
We were just acquaintances for a while, and eventually began showing more interest in one another. Wesley would go out of his way to visit me at work, claiming he was just stopping by to say hi to everyone. It was on a Memorial Day weekend beach trip with our church that Wesley took me sailing, and we finally decided to start dating. The rest is history!
How did he “pop” the question?
Wesley proposed while we were hiking on Arabia Mountain. He had been acting a little strange all day and wouldn’t let me look in his backpack. We walked up the mountain and as we were going, he kept stopping to tell me how much he loved me. When we got to the top of the mountain, Wesley handed me an envelope containing a haiku he had written for me (Wesley has written several haikus for me throughout our relationship). When I got to the end of the poem, he got down on one knee, pulled out the ring box, and asked me to marry him.
Rachel Rozanski from Brushworx doing what she does best.
Chelsea admiring Rachel’s work with her hair.
Tell us about your dress. Where did you find it, how did you choose it, how did you know it was the one?
My sisters and mom came to Atlanta to help me shop for my wedding dress, along with my mother-in-law. We had several appointments set up for the weekend, but we ended up finding my dress at the very first store, Bride Beautiful. I had a general idea of what I wanted, and tried on several dresses. The first few weren’t quite right, they were too much lace or not enough poof, I didn’t love any of them. After I tried a few on and consultant had a better idea of what I was/wasn’t looking for, she went out and grabbed a few more dresses. When I tried on my dress, I knew it was the silhouette I was looking for, but I wasn’t completely sold. Then I walked out of the dressing room to show everyone, they loved it! The train was gorgeous, it had 3 tiers of lace. It was just the right balance of lace and tulle that I was looking for. It had the perfect silhouette I was looking for. I tried a couple more on after that, but none of them compared to the one I chose. My dress had everything I was looking for, it made me feel great, and it was perfect for dancing!
Beautiful bridesmaids in their Bill Levkoff dress in black from Bride Beautiful
Did you see each other before the wedding?
Yes we did, and I’m really glad we did! It gave us some time to be together and prepare for what was about to happen together. I would have been a lot more nervous for the ceremony if the first time we saw each other was in front of all our guests.
What were you most anxious, nervous or fearful about regarding your wedding day and what was the outcome?
I was most nervous about standing in front of everyone saying our vows. I was also nervous about anyone in the wedding party fainting! It all went off without a hitch, though. It was nerve racking standing up there with everyone looking at us, but everything went smoothly while we were up there.
What was the first song you danced to as husband and wife?
All the dancing! And having all of our friends and family together in one place.
How would you describe your overall wedding experience?
We tried to keep our wedding experience as simple and stress free as possible. Wesley’s mom offered a tong of help with the planning process and took on a lot of the little tasks along the way. The day of the wedding we both tried to stay relaxed and be present and in the moment. We both spent the morning with our wedding parties – me and my bridesmaids getting ready and watching wedding movies at Wesley’s parents’ house, Wesley and his groomsmen eating lunch and hanging out at Cherokee Town Club to get ready. Once we arrived at the church, things moved pretty quickly, and everything pretty much fell into place! Peachtree had a wedding guild that made sure the ceremony went smoothly, and then our day of coordinator made sure everything for the reception was in place at 103 West. The ceremony was such a special time for us, sharing our vows with all of our closest friends and family there to watch. Once we got through the ceremony, we felt a bit more relaxed and excited to party the night away with everyone. It was fun getting to chat with our friends and family at the reception, eat the delicious food and dance! When it was time to leave, we didn’t want to leave. There’s nothing like having all of your loved ones together to celebrate you!
What advice would you offer to other couples planning a wedding?
Don’t let the little details and decision get in the way of enjoying the celebration.
How was your experience taking photos/working with us on your wedding day?
We had a great experience working with you on our wedding day. You were prompt and professional throughout the day. You gave easy and clear instructions to everyone and got some really great shots!
What photography-related advice would you offer to a couple?
Make sure you find a photographer you feel comfortable with and who matches your style.
What’s the one piece of advice you would give to other couples planning their wedding?
I would advise them to remember that their wedding is about them as a couple, and to make sure the decisions and plans you make reflect that. I would also advise them to stay within arms reach of each other during the reception. It is so easy to get separated when everyone wants a chance to talk to you! You don’t want to get to the end of the night and realize you didn’t spend enough time with your new husband/wife!
We were so happy to meet Sabrina, Mark and their respective family and friends. And we were doubly excited to capture their wedding at Rhodes Hall in downtown Atlanta. We met them earlier when we photographed their camping themed engagement session. Both Mark and Sabrina are so very kind and hospitable to everyone they meet that it wasn’t questioned when the call came out to help Sabrina make her fairytale wedding one that will always be remembered. So, without a doubt in their minds, everyone pitched in to make this wedding happen for them which included her friends singing their first dance song “Thinking Out loud” by Ed Sheeran a cappella. This group of friends can sing. We are so thankful to have been a part of your US wedding day festivities. I’m sure your destination wedding in Goa, India in November was just as exciting.
Everyone working together.
The beautiful Romanesque style Rhodes Hall was the backdrop to their third day reception. This “Castle on Peachtree” was built in 1904 using granite from Stone Mountain and was once home to the Rhodes family from Rhodes Furniture and is currently the headquarters for the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation. It is absolutely a beautiful and unique venue for any event.
Venue: Rhodes Hall Caterer: Cafe Bombay DJ: Arijit Chowdhury
Videographer: Picture This Media
Cake: Ruhina Harris
Makeup Artist: Ruhina Harris
Saris: from India
For more from this amazing three day event, see the recap below:
Chelsea and Wesley are so adorable together. They met back in 2012 on Chelsea’s first day working at Peachtree Presbyterian Church. The two have been inseparable since. Take a look at their engagement session that took place at the historic Old Fourth Ward district of Atlanta over the summer. A local cat came by to check up on things during the session. How adorable and so very friendly.