Blending two cultures—Chinese and Vietnamese—comes with a number of special ceremonies and traditions. Emily and Jimmy’s private ceremonies along with games involving the groom proving himself worthy of his bride blended perfectly on this cool spring day. You might remember them when we photographed their engagement session at Stone Mountain Park.
After we spent the morning at each of the family’s homes, we headed to Heritage Sandy Springs, where the official garden wedding ceremony followed by the reception were to take place. Emily and Jimmy opted for a first look before their wedding. We love when couples decide to go this route. It gives just enough time to create wonderful portraits of just the two of them without the stress of rushing through it during the short time allotted for cocktail hour. If you find yourself on the fence deciding whether to have a first look, we can help talk about the pros and pros (no that was not a typo). But don’t feel pressured. We will definitely work with what makes the two of you most comfortable. Take a look at just a few of the images we captured that beautiful spring afternoon at this quaint historically located garden.
Can’t you just see how giddy Jimmy was. He couldn’t contain his joy!
Look how romantic the wisteria covered trellis/pergola frames our lovely bride and groom.
Emily here is enjoying the last few minutes in the bridal suite provided by the venue along with her bridesmaids as they make sure every last detail is complete. She’s ready to go!
The firs dance song “Better Place” by Rachel Platten was sung a capella by the bridal party. What a special moment for our bride and groom.
Let them eat cake!
Let’s get this party started. Core Elite Entertainment had everybody on their feet.
Special thanks goes out to the amazing vendors that made this Heritage Sandy Springs wedding come together.
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.
We are so very fortunate to work with amazing couples and Alex and Mattie are definitely one of the most easy-going, fun-loving couples around. We decided to mix things up a bit for our blog and interview them to help future couples as they plan their wedding day. To garner a different perspective, our groom Alex offered a lot of insight for this blog post.
In the beginning…
How did you two meet?
As Jehovah’s Witness’s, we are very involved in our ministry. I had started visiting a sign language congregation to start learning sign language. I officially joined after visiting for 7 months. At that point, Madeline [Mattie] had been serving in Nicaragua where the need for sign language speakers was greater. She returned and shortly after attended the 2016 International Convention In Zimbabwe. It was after she came back that we went out in the ministry for the first time, and we ended up sitting together at Chipotle come lunch time. We didn’t really talk much, I think she was having a rough day, and I had just joined sign language, so I was trying to make friends, but it seemed as though she and I probably weren’t going to be friends at all. Anyways, later in the day she had gotten her car stuck on a curb. She called one of her friends for help, and it turns out I happened to be with a group of people that showed up to help. I helped her dad get the car off the curb, and I guess I’m really fortunate that I happened to be there, otherwise we probably wouldn’t have become such great friends. How did he pop the question?
I had invited Mattie to a “movie party”. I left most of the details out, but I told her we needed to dress up fancy as it was meant to be a party from the 60’s where you dressed up fancy to go watch a “broadway show”. I had rented out a room in the local community center. I called her last minute and told her my parents had car trouble and if she could please meet us there. My brother led her into the room and we played the proposal video I had made for her. After the video finished, I entered the room and told her some private romantic words that I don’t fully remember, and then I walked her out to a fountain where a group of our closest friends were waiting with roses. It was there that I got down on one knee and asked her to marry me in Spanish, English, and Sign Language. Afterwards, we went back to the room to have dinner that had been prepared.
What was your favorite moment(s) from the wedding? Bride: Saying “I DO” to my best friend and dancing my first song.
Groom: Dancing with my wife, and carrying her out to the limo.
How long have you been together? We knew each other for 7 months, we dated for 7 months, engaged for 7 months and were married on April 17, 2016.
How would you describe your overall wedding experience? It was unforgettable! We wanted time to stand still so we could enjoy it longer. For the most part, everyone was fantastic, and it was definitely our night, it was like we were the Prince & Princess for the night!
What advice would you offer to other couples planning a wedding? Start planning immediately after he pops the question! And ultimately, don’t stress, have fun with it! Most people stress about everything being perfect, but it’s when things don’t go exactly as planned that some of the best moments happen.
What photography-related advice would you offer to a couple? Research a few poses and try to learn where they placed their hands and how they positioned their bodies. That will help posed and unposed pictures have better composition. Also pick only a small handful of pictures you really, really want. If you try and cram too many, you wont get them all. It’s better to have a few amazing pictures, than a ton of okay shots.
The Dress, where did you get it?
Tell me about your dress. Where did you find it, how did you choose it, how did you know it was the one? It was from Adore Bridal Boutique, a fitted style with lace flowers that were hand sewn in. There was no real science behind picking it, instinct just led me to it, and just like I knew my husband was the one, I knew that dress was “the one” the moment I laid eyes on it.
How was your experience taking photos/working with me on your wedding day? You both were very easy to work with. You managed to keep a good eye on the schedule, and managed to get all, the photos that we requested. Most importantly of all, you oriented us into making the pictures amazing. That was the best part of the photo experience, you were very interactive and that helped us get everything else that we wanted done at the wedding.
Did you see each other before the wedding? If not, did you like waiting or would you have rather done it differently? Tell me why or why not! Nope. Alex wanted to be surprised, because it adds anticipation, and it did, when Alex saw his future wife Mattie walk down the aisle, he almost nearly fell over.
Mattie wasn’t to concerned about being seen or not, but she preferred to follow tradition. It made it harder to take pictures, but it also made both of us really want to see each other.
How About Wedding Photography?
Any tips on how to prepare for the wedding photos? Start early, prepare the family and all those involved so that they know what pictures will be taken, and when. Make sure they know this before the wedding and not minutes before it’s about to start. Also, make sure they have the props they are going to need! That’s really important. If the photographers give you tips on how to stand and the words they will use to pose you, make sure the bridal party and family know them. It will make things so much smoother.
Any tips that you have about preparing your wedding party for the photos? What did you tell them, how did you get them to cooperate, what did you do or what would you have done differently?
Make sure they know how they will be paired in the bridal party photos. That seemed to be the hardest part, getting the crowds to get in the correct groups. As for what we did to prepare them was simply giving them a typed up timeline of how everything would take place. We didn’t tell them what pictures would be taken, but our photographer did a fantastic job putting the couples together! Its vital that they know which pictures they are needed in, otherwise they will wander off, making the pictures take longer.
Any tips on what to bring? For the girls, back up hair supplies is essential. Also, bring snacks! The bridal party should eat right before the wedding because they will not be eating for a while! A little alcohol doesn’t hurt either, just make sure not to over do it.
We love to hear about vendors you love. List any vendors here and feel free to share your experience. Be sure to include the name of the vendor, their profession, city/state, site or Facebook page and how your experience was!
Everything was all inclusive, we really everything that Bullock Springs Manor did for us. They practically catered to every single one of our desires. Bullock Springs catered the event, provided all the decorations and cleanup, as well as the alcohol. They were really easy to work with, and they allowed us to include other things we wanted without charging more, making it an amazing experience.
Bulloch Springs has a beautiful Bridal Suite ready for the bride and her lovely ladies. It’s time for Alex to get ready to marry his bride. The groomsmen were so much fun, especially the one on the right. You can tell right? Three generation of country. Here we have grandpa, bride and dad strutting their cowboy boots for the wedding. The bouquets were so beautiful. Renee Saar did an amazing job with the “country girl” theme Mattie wanted for her wedding. We’re so glad Alex and Mattie had a few extra minutes before running off to create the shot below. This was actually the first shot and we nailed it.
Check out the video slideshow to see more from Alex and Mattie’s wedding.