In honor of the 1st ever NotWedding Athens coming up this Thursday, I wanted to post a preview of some of the talent for this inaugural event. The NotWedding is a big, fake wedding to inspire real brides as a bridal show alternative. Instead of couples visiting vendors at a table in a big room, guests get to see wedding vendors in action and their actual work first hand. It's an awesome concept, and equally awesome for the community that is formed through it among wedding vendors (commonly called "friendor" relationships:). I have the honor of being one of the 3 photographers for the Athens NotWedding, and I was also given the opportunity to photograph the rehearsal dinner and headshots of the vendors at Terrapin Brewery. If you live in Athens you know how big craft beers are here, and specifically you know that 3 nights a week you can go and hear live music with your friends, pets, or children and enjoy outdoor picnics, trying out all sorts of Terrapin beer. So here the NotWedding crew enjoyed good food and beer as we talked through our upcoming event and got a few quick pictures of our talented vendors.
If you are looking to have sugar at your reception then you should know this lovely lady, Tara, of Sugar Kneads Cakery. Check out her site if you are looking for a special wedding cake or grooms cake; my personal favorite was one that she did for a styled shoot that was featured on Style Me Pretty Georgia (check it out here). Can't wait to see her creations for the NotWedding!!
This friendor of mine, Liz, is the owner of Liddabits Design Shop. She makes photo props, banners, stationary, invitations and more. I loved getting to work with Liz's designs on the NotWedding in Atlanta back in February, and can thank her for the overtop enthusiasm I get in pictures when we use her awesome props!!
True Confessions. The world of photographers isn't always the most open and friendly community. Everyone has stories of photographers who didn't want to share their knowledge of f-stops (as if it was a secret!) or people who made you feel small when you got your first DSLR camera to become a real-deal photographer. But that isn't the whole story of the photography community. It turns out there are some really open and down to earth people who love to shop talk and believe that (excuse me for being cheesy) "a candle loses nothing by lighting another candle..." All that to say both of the other photographers from the NotWedding Athens are salt of the earth people that I really look forward to working next to. Below is Greta of From The Hip, an Atlanta-based photographer specializing in modern weddings and super cool editorial and live music photography. I love how Greta described her business: fun, approachable, a little quirky... everything you're looking for in a photographer. or a first date. She's pretty awesome.
I know most everyone has heard of the famous Gigi's Cupcakes, and Athens was lucky enough to have one of it's own when Bobbi (featured below left) opened up the first Gigi's Cupcakes in town. If you haven't seen their incredible cupcake creations, you are missing out. I photographed a wedding this year with the most beautiful tiffany blue cupcakes from Gigi's and got to take home some of the extras much to the delight of my family. Can't wait to EAT some of their creations this Thursday:)!
As I mentioned before, I'm so excited to work with the other 2 photographers on this NotWedding team. Here is LeiLani of Elle Golden Photography, an incredibly warm and friendly photographer who focuses on taking beautiful, storytelling images. LeiLani truly values the importance of getting to know whoever she is photographing in order to really capture the person. Check out the awesome Save the Date shoot she did with the NotWedding Athens couple here!
Imagine getting paid to work with your best friend and spend time shopping for amazing antiques to design a wedding ceremony or reception space that is to die for... and that's what these two best friends did!! Danielle and Mary Kay share a love of vintage, a love of weddings, and love infusing the two together. They spend their days making each of their pieces a part of each client's story through their business, ReFind Vintage Rentals. As former antique dealers they know a good find and have a knack for making events more memorable through sweet vintage details. Check out their inventory on their website- it's a fun shopping experience!!
Meet Whitney, the NotWedding Athens in-house event consultant from Barrons Rental Center. I LOVE Barron's Rental for lots of reasons, including the way they can create gorgeous outdoor spaces for weddings and for how wonderful it is to work with Charlie Barron, the owner of this family-owned and operated business. Because of businesses like Barron's Rentals, you can pick venues for your ceremony or reception without constraints and be more creative. If you want to make a big party happen, you need to know these people!!
I may or may not have stalked Mattie's blog and found out that I LOVE HER STYLE SO MUCH. She doesn't know it yet but she might be one of my design soul sisters. Mattie owns Puddleduck Paper Co., a company specializing in unique handmade paper goods with lots of bold colors and graphic patterns (WAHOOO!!!). Let's just say that she makes handmade look incredibly hip. From wedding invitations to business branding this awesome gal totally rocks it. And bonus points: she is incredibly kind and easy to get to know. And I also found out from her blog that she lives in the same place that the band REM lived in when they were Athens residents. You get an A+ Miss Mattie.
One of the best parts of the NotWedding is finding out how talented people are around you. This couldn't be more true for makeup artist, Cat Cantrell. She was the makeup artist for the NotWedding Athens Save the Date shoot and Cat did such an amazing job with Katie's makeup (see her talent here!) I can't wait to see Cat work her magic this week and I plan on watching her at work to get some tips for my own mug:) I think this might be the talent I wish I had the most because I love makeup and how beautiful it makes people feel. Can't wait to see the magic happen again this week!
I know that the wedding ceremony is the most critical part of the wedding day where you say your vows and make promises to each other for life, but I also know that wedding receptions are what we often remember most about a person's wedding. And we all have the horror stories of wedding receptions gone wrong because of an awkward DJ who missed all the cues or toasts that were more insulting than celebratory in nature. But every wedding I have worked with this guy has been 5 stars. Meet Kevin, owner of Dawg-Town Entertainment. Kevin is the owner and DJ for his company, and he does a FANTASTIC job. I can say as a photographer how critical it is to have not only a fun and involved DJ at your reception but also an organized one with a detailed schedule of the events of the evening. He really makes the reception go so much more smoothly and gives me heads up on when the cake cutting is going to happen, etc so I don't miss important moments! Kevin really focuses on providing quality service, booking only one event per day to ensure he can really give the best work to each client. I highly recommend Dawg-Town Entertainment!!
Natalie is one of the stationery vendors for the NotWedding Athens (another person whose work I adore!). She owns Natty Michelle Paperie, where she make custom stationery, invitations, fans, and other artwork, like maps, house portraits and pet portraits. Her artwork is amazing, and I especially love the custom maps she draws. I think I might need one of her maps of Athens in a large print for my home! And look at her earrings in the picture below; if that doesn't convince you she's awesome I'm not sure what will!
This floral designer has a special place in my life since we were friends before we became "friendors". Meet Ashlie, owner of Bud and Bloom Floral Designs. Ashlie has been creating beauty through flowers for a long time but has recently launched her website and has made some big steps with her business. I love the meaning behind the name, Bud and Bloom. Ashlie explained to me how it references both the beginning of love and growth of love and relationships, seen best in the gathering of people of all ages at a wedding. Ashlie is one of those people who not only does beautiful and fantastic work but is such a great person to know and someone you definitely want to work with. I recently photographed some of her work and had to include a picture below of this gorgeous bouquet.
Of all the vendors I am friends with, this one has to be the closest:) Meet my husband, Jared Bryant! I never thought Jared would be a NotWedding vendor but it turns out we are a wedding package team with Reverend Bryant officiating the Athens NotWedding vow renewal. Jared is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church of America (PCA) and holds a Masters of Divinity from Reformed Theological Seminary. Jared has recently come on board with a Christian counseling group here in Athens as a pastoral counselor, specializing in premarital, marriage, and personal counseling. Check out Jared's website here to get more info on premarital counseling or just to see pictures of our cute little kiddos...
and now for some outtakes from the vendor headshots... possibly some of my favorite photos:) Make sure to check out more of the talented vendors on the NotWedding website , or better yet come on Thursday and see their work in person!
Shiny Happy People right here in Athens, Georgia:)