It was a blistering hot start to this beautiful sunny day in June. Summer had arrived as evidenced by the beads of sweat forming on our foreheads as we take inventory of our gear in the car. Yet the moment we arrive to the setting of today’s wedding you totally forget the high temps.
After all, today we get to work in Rockmart’s dreamy In the Woods wedding venue! A 250 acre of lush woodlands surround a modern-rustic ceremony pavilion and a peaceful lake. A total gem in Georgia’s vast northwestern landscape.
The only thing better than shooting at this location is spending time with Casi and Kyle themselves. Such incredibly friendly people; it’s easy to lose track of time just hanging out with them. You may remember their lovely fall engagement session at Piedmont Park. If not, now might be a good time to check out their engagement blog post to get a better feel for how they met and who they are.
After several hellos and hugs, we split up to begin our getting ready coverage for the day. The groom and his buddies have their own private spot by the pool near the entrance of the venue. While Casi and the girls enjoy the bridal suite cabin overlooking the lake and the chapel.
Kyle, a pilot, enjoys a very relaxed but animated conversation with his groomsmen on a fluffy couch over drinks. Some are in the same industry and others are just close friends. A varying array of topics are on display with most sentences beginning with “remember when”. Then ending with side-splitting laughs.
Meanwhile Casi is having her own fun with the girls as they finish up their hair and makeup. With all the ladies in colorful matching robes moving swiftly around the suite; it’s almost like watching a painting in motion. They enjoy a little champagne as we breeze through some quick group portraits. Finally, the time comes to get dressed. Casi’s dress arrives hand delivered by mom and her maid of honor. A beautiful strapless ball gown from Stella York Design purchased at Suite Bridal. It’s perfect! She’s in the dress and ready to go in almost record time. By now the guys are almost done getting dressed. Their last hurdle is getting those tie knots perfect. This is one of our favorite parts of the day to shoot. There’s nothing like watching several guys cramming over a mirror as they flip long silky pieces of fabric around as if it were a synchronized event at the Olympics. Success! Kyle looks like a million bucks. So, we quickly take some group shots with his groomsmen outside by the pool and on the way the way back to the cabin. In about 10 minutes we return to their room, so they can enjoy the comfort of some air conditioning on this very hot day.
Just about that time the phone rings and we get word from the coordinator that Casi is ready for the first look. So, Kyle is quickly shuttled to the dock on the lake and we get him set up for her approach. What a trooper. The sun is beating down on him as his bride makes her way from the cabin. Nonetheless he patiently waits. Something made much easier when your view includes a glass-like lake, blue skies and trees that wrap this scene up in a million shades of green.
At last! She taps him on the shoulder and he gets to see his beauty. A very tender moment; so, we give them a little time alone as we photograph from a distance.
Now we can have some fun with portraits. This venue provides so many great photography spots it’s almost hard to decide where to begin. But we quickly make use of the dock, a dry creek bridge and the neighboring woods before heading into the honeymoon suite to cool down again and freshen up.
Next up is the ceremony. The chapel is already buzzing with guests and the groomsmen are doing their job. No, they’re not just welcoming friends and ushering folks to their seats under the cool breeze of the chapel’s monstrous airplane propeller ceiling fans. No, they are ribbing and making the groom laugh as he waits. Basically, making him feel relaxed and at ease.
Meanwhile the bride is on her way to the back entrance of the chapel with her father. A large wooden gate and a stone pathway provides a grand entrance for Casi. There’s a quiet moment before the music begins and those large doors slowly open. We’re off! The bride and groom connect eyes immediately as she makes her way to the front and the ceremony begins. The bridal party flanks the couple on either side of the stage as the audience follow the proceedings. About 30 minutes later it’s official. They’re married, and a kiss seals the deal.
After a quick session of family photos, we sneak in a few more bridal portraits before packing up our gear to head to the reception.
The reception hall is so warm and inviting! 5200 square feet of space designed with an elegant-rustic flair, befitting the natural setting of the country side. Exceptional landscaping surrounds the stone courtyard and the outdoor bar used for cocktail hour. Another highlight; the massive bar doors that lead guests into the building. Casi’s style is evident both with the details chosen to decorate this large space.
But everyone is hungry and ready to party. So, we roll right into the start of the reception with the introductions of the bridal party and the couple. This is quickly followed by the first dances and the toasts. As dinner begins we utilize this down time for additional scouting and gear prep to set ourselves up for some creative night time portraits. All the time we’re keeping and eye on sunset and twilight times, so we can make the most of a colorful sky.
As we make our way back in, the dance floor is ready to open. No shy folks here. With the first song there are 5 or 6 couples getting down. Covering the dance floor is another one of our favorite times at a wedding because we can document so many special moments as people let loose. Casi is right in the middle of it all with her bridesmaids. A little further along into the festivities we move to the cake cutting. A beautiful cake produced by Gabriel’s Desserts.
We peek outside and it’s just about the right time to take advantage of the changing light as we approach sunset. So, we rush over to the couple and ask for just 20 minutes of their time, so we can create some very special images for them. By now we’ve also spoken to the coordinator and they have a golf cart ready to zip us over to our pre-scouted locations. So off we go. We head back to the water and the dock to get some romantic portraits using some creative off camera flash work to highlight the couple in this setting. The orange string lights add to the mood and feel of the moment. Then we rush over to find the tallest hill on the property, so we can tower the couple over the tree line against the colorful evening sky.
Before you know it we’re back at the party and we’re feeling stoked about having such a productive portrait session. Now it’s just about having fun and boy did they all have fun. The reception continued for a couple of hours before it was time for their sparkler-limo exit. What a spectacular day working with Kyle and Casi while meeting so many new folks. We highly recommend In the Woods as one of the top venues in Georgia to have your wedding unfold. Need more firsthand details about how to plan your photography for this venue? Contact us and we’ll be happy to assist!
The team that made this wedding the fabulous event it was:
Planning and coordination by the spectacular: Kathie Shramm — In the Woods
Magnificent venue: In the Woods Events
Officiant: Jason Young
Amazing hair artist: Alyson Taylor
Fabulous make up artist: Stephanie Lee
Wedding gown design by: Stella York
Bridesmaids Gowns: Watters Linden Dress
The dapper groom and groomsmen tuxedos: The Black Tux
Flower arrangements by: A Perfect Wedding Floral Design
Drapery: sourced through Geri Sims
Limousine: ATL Car Service & Limousines
Videographer: Enjoy New Media