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Why Hire a Wedding Planner?

Why Hire a Wedding Planner?

It’s been a few years, but perhaps we all remember a little J-Lo flick, called The Wedding Planner.  It was a magical movie about a matrimonial fairy godmother whose repertoire of magical powers included everything from reviving and refreshing the drunken FOB (Father of the Bride) to giving a frustrated bridesmaid a larger cup size using only a clothespin.

And perhaps as you ate your brown M&M’s and swooned over Matthew McConaughey you thought to yourself, “Must be nice to afford such a luxury.”  I’m referring to the wedding planner, not Matthew McConaughey.

Many people erroneously view a wedding planner as an optional extravagance reserved only for those few, lucky people who have their dream budget with which to work.

“Many people look at hiring a wedding planner as a luxurious added expense but it is not,” says Sasha J. Parsons, a wedding and event planner with Sasha J. Events. “Wedding Planners are a necessity to ensure…
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Wedding Cake and the First Anniversary: The Great Confection Debate

Wedding Cake and the First Anniversary: The Great Confection Debate

“I don’t understand.” My sweet husband of almost a year looked confused.

“What don’t you understand?” I asked.

“We have to eat our wedding cake on our anniversary? You’re going to buy a new wedding cake?”

I narrowed my eyes. “No. Honey, we are going to eat the cake from our wedding.”

Now he just looked horrified.

“I saved the top of the wedding cake.” I added.

“Gross, you still have that?”

“Yes. Well, it wasn’t in the <span id=”5754d80f-61ad-41cf-939c-5204d7d16e7c” class=”GINGER_SOFTWARE_mark”>backseat</span> of my car. It’s been wrapped in mom’s freezer. It’s a tradition. You save and eat the top of the wedding cake on your first anniversary.”

“Why?” He folded his arms across his chest as he quizzed me…
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Avoid Wedding Photography Buyer’s Remorse

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We published an article on February 15th- “Hire a photographer- you’ll be happy you did!” So, finding a right photographer is very important and it can be overwhelming. Think about it, the excitement, the happiness, loved ones to share everything on this special day.  Once everything is over, the food is gone, the cake has been eaten, the flowers are wilted, that beautiful dress is hung in a closet, the formal wear is returned to the rental shop.  Everyone has gone home back to their lives. SLRlounge.com states that there are more than 100,000 wedding photographers in the United States. We estimate there are more than 3,000 in Atlanta alone. Maybe more! We’ve been liking their Facebook page and we noticed a strange epidemic that raised a red flag! Many of them have FAKE Facebook likes. It’s cheating and a waste of money! Do they think by having many LIKES on their Facebook page it will book them more wedding gigs? We wonder how disappointed the bride and the groom will be once they get their pictures back. So be beware of wedding photographers with fake fans. There are no benefits from buying Facebook likes.

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To the bride and the groom, be smart, call around, ask for references, double check their portfolio, and ask them to show their albums. Or you can check our “Find a Vendor” wedding photography listing. We screen them all carefully.

Our associate photographers Eric & Michael, who give us unlimited access to their portfolio for our wedding quotes or articles, only have a little more than 160 likes on their Facebook page. They joined last October as a team and they’re a big assist to our web publication. They’ve been hard at work taking pictures for our upcoming digital magazine which will come out soon and it will be FREE for you all to download. Their pictures are breathtaking! Leah and Mark– their work is incredible! Our other associate photographer, Hannah Beesley, has done few weddings and her work is amazing! They’re honest and they’re hard at work doing their best! There are so many wedding photographers that we like and they all are great! That is what we’re interested in. Not some photographer who bought FAKE Facebook Likes to make them look good!

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Beware! Buying fake Facebook Likes is a bad idea and is bad for your business! Period!

“DIFFERENT TYPES OF WEDDING EXITS” from LeahandMark.com

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How do you end your wedding? Do you just… turn on the house lights and tell everyone to go home? Trust us – if you don’t make a plan for the end of your wedding – that might actually happen. Because once the DJ is finished – it’s usually over. So why not end everything in style and put a perfect end cap to your amazing wedding day!

But how should you make that exit? Here’s how some of our past couples have made the walk.

1. Bubbles! (can be tricky – make sure someone cues everyone to start blowing bubbles at the perfect moment just before you start walking)

Atlanta Wedding Photographer | LeahAndMark & Co. | Wedding Exits

2. High Fives & Harmonicas!

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3. Glow Sticks! (There was a fire advisory in the area so the couple couldn’t have sparklers for their exit – so they had glow sticks!)

Atlanta Wedding Photographer | LeahAndMark.com | Colorado Wedding

4. Party Poppers (… can be tricky… everyone held onto theirs so it all tangled and became a net that caught the couple and wouldn’t let them get away!)

Atlanta Wedding Photographer | LeahAndMark & Co. | Wedding Exits

5. Streamers (attached to sticks!)

Atlanta Wedding Photographer | LeahAndMark & Co. | Wedding Exits

6. A Parade (flanked by the groom’s mother and sister, this couple led all of their guests in a parade to their awaiting limo)

Atlanta Wedding Photographer | LeahAndMark & Co. | Wedding Exits

7. Driving a decorated golf cart while being pelted by lavender (I think it was lavender… or rice… I can’t remember…)

LeahAndMark.com | Atlanta Wedding Photographers | North Carolina Wedding

8. Sparklers! (By far the most popular choice for exits at night! Honestly though – you want to get the foot long sparklers and not the shorter ones you can buy at the grocery store. Even if you have to have them brought in from a nearby state it’s totally worth it! They’re always selling them at the state line anyway (fireworks of that level aren’t legal for sale here in Georgia.)

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Atlanta Wedding Photographer | LeahAndMark & Co. | Wedding Exits
Atlanta Wedding Photographer | LeahAndMark.com | Vintage | Moder
Atlanta Wedding Photographer | LeahAndMark.com | Vintage | Rustic | Modern | Portfolio
Atlanta Wedding Photographer | LeahAndMark & Co. | Wedding Exits

All Photos by LeahAndMark & Co.

“SIX (6) BACKYARD WEDDING TIPS” from LeahandMark.com

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Atlanta Backyard Weddings | LeahAndMark & Co. | Tips How to Guide

Over the years we’ve learned that while many weddings are often alike – many weddings are often very different. So when clients tells us that they’re ‘having a backyard wedding’ – we know to dig a little deeper. Because these days – a backyard wedding can mean many things, depending on the backyard, and of course the couple getting married.

However – a wedding is still a wedding, and even backyard weddings can be a little tricky to pull off. So here are a few tips (and a few photos from two backyard weddings we’ve photographed this year so far.)

Atlanta Backyard Weddings | LeahAndMark & Co. | Tips How to Guide

1. Is the backyard large enough for everyone?

Simple right? Make sure you have enough room to reasonably accommodate everyone you want to invite. Your space will either be large enough, or it won’t. This is either a good thing or bad thing – good because it means that you can’t invite 300 people, bad because it means… you can’t invite 300 people. However many people you do invite – keep in mind the space/people ratio.

Atlanta Backyard Weddings | LeahAndMark & Co. | Tips How to Guide
Atlanta Backyard Weddings | LeahAndMark & Co. | Tips How to Guide
Atlanta Backyard Weddings | LeahAndMark & Co. | Tips How to Guide

2. What are the actual costs involved?

Sure – you’re probably saving some money by choosing to have your wedding in a backyard, rather than renting out a wedding hall – but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the money won’t be allocated (spent) elsewhere. Different neighborhoods have sound ordinances or occupancy limits and neighborhood associations can be very strict about what type of functions can and can’t go occur. You might run into difficult neighbors, or even if they’re friendly – you’ll want to let them know that there will be a wedding on that date so that they don’t schedule their pool to be dug during your ceremony! There might be other fees you’ll have to pay the city, or vendors to come to your literal backyard.

Atlanta Backyard Weddings | LeahAndMark & Co. | Tips How to Guide
Atlanta Backyard Weddings | LeahAndMark & Co. | Tips How to Guide

3. What will you need to rent/buy/borrow?

Do you want all of your guests to sit on the lawn? If not – then you’ll probably need to rent chairs. Is there already a natural ‘altar’ or ‘chuppah’ for your ceremony spot? If not – yup – you’ll probably need to either buy, build, borrow, or rent. What about tables to hold all of the food you’ll be serving? Or flower decorations? Paper decorations? Is it going to rain? Not enough cover from the sun? – You might need to rent a tent. Especially if there isn’t enough room in the home the backyard is attached to. What about your serving dishes, flatware, and silverware?

Atlanta Backyard Weddings | LeahAndMark & Co. | Tips How to Guide
Atlanta Backyard Weddings | LeahAndMark & Co. | Tips How to Guide
Atlanta Backyard Weddings | LeahAndMark & Co. | Tips How to Guide
Atlanta Backyard Weddings | LeahAndMark & Co. | Tips How to Guide
Atlanta Backyard Weddings | LeahAndMark & Co. | Tips How to Guide

4. How will you handle the parking? The restrooms? The weather?

Parking can be a very big issue in a tightly packed neighborhood. Should you hire a valet service to ferry the cars to a larger lot down the road? Should you instruct your guests to park at the lot and just have them shuttled to the house? There are services for both of these options – and of course you can always employ some of the neighborhood to do these jobs if  you trust their reliability. Either way – if you’re inviting a large group and parking is tight, you need to address the parking issue.

Of course – you definitely want to have enough restrooms and this is easily solved by renting several portable restrooms as needed. Don’t worry – portapottys have come a long way and you can order them at varying levels of fancy. From your basic construction site model all the way to a fully electronic model with robots. Seriously.

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Atlanta Backyard Weddings | LeahAndMark & Co. | Tips How to Guide
Atlanta Backyard Weddings | LeahAndMark & Co. | Tips How to Guide
Atlanta Backyard Weddings | LeahAndMark & Co. | Tips How to Guide
Atlanta Backyard Weddings | LeahAndMark & Co. | Tips How to Guide
Atlanta Backyard Weddings | LeahAndMark & Co. | Tips How to Guide
Atlanta Backyard Weddings | LeahAndMark & Co. | Tips How to Guide

5. Who will breakdown/clean up after the event?

You actually have to figure this one out even if you’re having your wedding take place at a regular wedding venue – it’s just usually already included in the wedding package or your coordinator takes care of everything for you. Since you’re opting to have your wedding in a backyard (yours, your parents, a friend) – the people most likely responsible for cleaning up after your wedding – will be your family and friends. We’ve even seen the bride & groom start picking up trash right after their own wedding. Honestly – we recommend that you clearly assign the clean task to specific friends or family – just make sure they know and they’re dependable. Probably even more dependable than your wedding party (since it’s actually a lot easier to be IN a wedding than to clean up after the wedding!) Either way – you definitely want to know how your backyard will get put back the way it was before your wedding took place there.

Atlanta Backyard Weddings | LeahAndMark & Co. | Tips How to Guide
Atlanta Backyard Weddings | LeahAndMark & Co. | Tips How to Guide
Atlanta Backyard Weddings | LeahAndMark & Co. | Tips How to Guide

6. Where will your portrait session take place?

Alright so this one might be of particular importance to us (since you know – we’re wedding photographers) – but really – since you’re having your wedding a backyard, you might want your portrait session to look like it took place someplace else more scenic. How do you accomplish that? Well – the easiest way is to just actually have your portrait session SOMEWHERE ELSE MORE SCENIC. Basically you’ll want to make time in your schedule for the two of you and your photographer to go somewhere offsite and make some amazing photos. This can be after the ceremony or before (if you’re doing a first-look) but you definitely want to ‘build-in’ time for your portrait session. By offsite it also doesn’t necessarily mean a few miles away – it can be as simple as the park down the road or even next door if their yard looks interesting. But definitely – Make the time for your portrait session and have an idea of where it might take place.

Atlanta Backyard Weddings | LeahAndMark & Co. | Tips How to Guide
Atlanta Backyard Weddings | LeahAndMark & Co. | Tips How to Guide
Atlanta Backyard Weddings | LeahAndMark & Co. | Tips How to Guide
Atlanta Backyard Weddings | LeahAndMark & Co. | Tips How to Guide

All Photos by LeahAndMark & Co.

All Washed Up!

This video shows what happened to the newly weds, Frank & Patricia, at Lake Lanier along with their 29 member wedding party. They all got on a dock on the lake at Lake Lanier in Georgia, to pose for a photo. The dock gave away and the entire wedding party fell into the water. They were all soaking wet! Their phones ruined. Their hairdos which took hours to get just right was ruined!!

Like Patricia said to Yahoo, Luckily, the mood at the wedding wasn’t dampened by the photo shoot fail. The rest of the wedding went quite smoothly. This was not a ruined wedding. A million people came up to us and said this was the best wedding they’d ever been to. It was a blast. We had a lot of fun.

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It’s Moving Day!

Due to increasing traffic and regular problems with our current GoDaddy web hosting plan and we are making a server switch to a different web host! We hope our new server will free up a lot of the issues that many of you have been experiencing with our website.

We currently are making the switch. Please take note that you may have issues accessing the site during this time. As with any server change there is also the possibility of DNS issues with your hosting providers – though we are not expecting anyone to have problems accessing the site. If you do experience issues, please let us know and we can try to troubleshoot.

Thanks for visiting Southern Bridal and Thank You for making the site enough of a success that this server move is needed.

Thank you,
Southern Bridal
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Movie Trailer: The Big Wedding

This movie will come to a theater near you on April 26, 2013. A lot of great actors will star in this film together and it is adapted from the 2006 French film Mon frère se marie. I thought this was a sequel to “License to Wed” because Robin Williams’ character will star as the Reverend in both movies, but as it turns out the character’s names are different. A few rumors are that the movie is a pre-sequel to the “New Year’s Eve” movie but no, Robert De Niro’s character’s names are different, too.

Hey, it’s a romantic/comedy so it might be worth to watch and relieve your stress if you’re planning a wedding! If you are getting married before “The Big Wedding” movie’s release date, sorry!

Official movie website: The Big Wedding

Bride and groom with clocks.

Spring Forward!

This coming Sunday, daylight savings time arrives! Daylight Savings Time begins at 2 a.m. Sunday, March 10, so don’t forget to set the clocks and watches forward one hour before going to bed on Saturday night, March 9. A lot of wedding events will take place this Sunday and you don’t want to be late!
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