Archive for Shrine of the Immaculate Conception

TA DA!!!!!!!!!! Alicia & Al’s Wedding Day Spectacular!

Posted in Special Events, Weddings with tags , , , , , on August 11, 2009 by sharizellers


Oh, I am pleased as punch to FINALLY be able to bring you images from my assistant’s wedding – Alicia and Al!!!  Or AL2 (Al Squared) as we refer to it around here.  Let me start by saying that they had a beautiful wedding – I mean just fabulous and well planned.  Alicia and I met two years ago when she was just in the early stages of planning her wedding and to see it all come together was nothing short of magical and inspiring.  It was quite an experience for me being sorta “in” on the planning and then seeing the results that day.  I was blown away!  Working for a photographer and me being able to pretty much tell my client/employee what I wanted was a dream come true for both of us.  Needless to say, we created a very ambitious photo itinerary unlike nothing I’ve ever attempted before. ;o)

Look at how gorgeous she is, checkin’ out her hair in the mirror!  I love her expression here.


Her crystal choker was cool – cool to the touch and uber cool to wear!


Their festivities were headquartered at the Emory Conference Center & Hotel.  This is where the day began and would end with the reception later in the evening. I was helped by Angel Taylor to capture shots of the girls getting ready while Sam Napper covered the guys for me. I love this shot that Sam snapped of Al  waiting for his “first look” with Alicia.


After Al presented Alicia with her beautiful silk bouquet (Al is allergic to most flowers so they used Georgia Griffin of A Wedding In Silk), we used the ECC courtyard for a few romantics and individual portraits of them.


Alicia and I spent one evening scouting out locations to shoot and literally drawing a breadcrumb trail map of where to go the day of the wedding so we could get a lot done efficiently in a short time.  These Japanese maple trees were even more gorgeous the day of the wedding.  Their shade was quite welcome, too! Whew!  It was HOT.


After running around with Al2, we brought out the wedding party and families for some fun shots.  Any Beatles fans?  This shot is totally unstaged -really.  Just looked up and saw the guys watching Al2 in the courtyard and SNAP!


The girls on the other hand, were wonderful divas!


Next, it was off to the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception and marry off these two love birds.  One of my favorite moments – in any Catholic service – the presentation to the Mother Mary.


Al graduated from Georgia Tech so when they left the church, their friends were there to cheer them on with gold and white pom poms!!!!


The ECC is perfect for their theme which was loosely based on A Midsummer Night’s Dream – a very organic, woodsy location, the ECC Silver Bell Pavilion is surrounded by trees and has an open feel as it’s surrounded on three sides by glass.  It was also perfect for the handfasting ceremony they held right outside in a ring of beautiful evergreen trees.  Alison Day performed the sacred rituals while their families gathered in the round.


The couple was introduced (running through the pom poms again!) and performed their first dance.  It was beautiful and Angel helped me snag this shot with some off camera flash (we’re playing around with it a lot still) giving their dance a spot light effect!


No GA Tech wedding would be complete without a Tech cake!  We’ve seen different versions but this is probably the best “Ramblin’ Wreck” cake I’ve ever seen!  Celso’s Cakes did a great job on the Alicia’s cake, too!


I’ve told Al that this garter pull shot WILL be on the new web site debuting this fall.  This is my all-time favorite garter pull image ever. Don’t ask me how the bunny ears made it, but they do.  The Elvis snarl is classic.  This is Al.  I love this shot.


Band of Gold really kept the crowd hopping all night. This was the first time I worked with them and they are fabulous!


At the end of the night, they decided to have a last dance like many couples do.  However, they wanted to be completely alone.  So, while the guests were lining up outside for their departure, we captured one last spotlight image of their “last dance”.


And now, one more piece of my influence.  We used these streamers (like a million years ago!) in 2002 for a big televised wedding here in Atlanta.  I loved them and always wanted to shoot another exit with them.  I convinced Alicia to order some and so here is the result.  I didn’t tell her how tangled up they would get!!!!! 😉  I love the effect – virtually trapping the bride and groom and making them fight their way out!  Love the expressions – they had no idea.  How can little tiny paper streamers be so strong?


Congratulations guys – I love you both.  See Al2’s entire slideshow extravaganza HERE.


April Weddings!

Posted in Weddings with tags , , , , , , , on June 25, 2009 by sharizellers

Once again, I find myself behind on blogging so we’re just going to update by combining several posts into one!

A Work of ART:  Sonia & Jan


Sonia & Jan,  my uber-cool couple of the year were referred to me by my uber-cool couple of last year, the rockin’ Debra & Tony!  Sonia was Deborah’s maid of honor and even caught the bouquet at her wedding!  So when this gorgeous twosome contacted me about their wedding photography, I was honored and excited.  Not only was this going to be a Hindu wedding ceremony but Jan is from Denmark so they were also planning to incorporate some of his native traditions, too.  I was going to have such a great time with this multi-cultural celebration!


I honestly don’t know how to show you just a few of my favorites.  You see, I’m fascinated by Hindu weddings.  I love the culture and the beautification rituals that proceed the wedding day.  I even got a Mendhi tattoo on my hand at Sonia’s Mendhi party.

Here at Sonia’s Pithi Ceremony, she is smeared by her best friends Deborah & Dow during a beautification ritual.


Sonia began her wedding day getting dressed and made up at the Four Seasons.  Not only does it take an expert to wrap her wedding day sari but to help her be adorned by all the jewelry.  Her sister helps her with the many bangle bracelets.


It was my first time visiting the Mason Murer Art Gallery and of course, my first wedding there, too. The gallery a perfect location for the wedding of these two art lovers.  After all, our engagement session for them took place in the art gallery district of Castleberry Hill!  It was also a wonderful space with some truly beautiful modern art pieces.  I think Mandi, Marlene and I each had one we wanted to take home!


After some romantics and family shots around the gallery, we gathered for the ceremony.  This was one of the most unique mandaps I’ve ever seen – filmy and magical.  I happen to be partial to turquoise blue – it’s my favorite! – and it was the primary color of Sonia & Jan’s theme.


My favorite “cool” shot of the day is this angle where Sonia’s mother is performing a blessing ritual on the car they will drive away in after the Vidaai.  I saw that the car was very reflective and chose to compose the image almost entirely of pure reflection.


Sonia and Jan chose to have cupcakes instead of a traditional wedding cake!



For my first Danish wedding tradition, I was told that their first dance would start to a traditional Danish waltz, then the couple would be surrounded by friends and family until the circle got tighter and tighter. Suddenly, the groom’s friends lifted him into the air and cut off the toes of his socks!   I wanted to do some research on this bizarre tradition and found this quote from a blog called “The Moron’s Almanac”:

“There is some dispute about the origins of this tradition. Some say it has to do with checking to be sure the groom hasn’t been sneaking around at night—if his socks smell like rye, he’s a cad. Others say it’s intended to force the bride to prove her sewing skills. Both interpretations seem strained to me—after all, it’s a little late to find out whether the groom is a cheating dog or the bride is a lousy homemaker. Even if the experiment were undertaken with an eye toward annulment, you’d hardly need to take a physical sample of the groom’s sock—you could just smell his feet—and the bride could be handed an old napkin, a spool of thread, and a needle if her sewing skills were really in question. So I’m guessing people just like cutting the groom’s socks.”

Sounds good to me! 😉


This was an amazing day and ended with the couple being applauded as the departed the gallery. Please be sure to watch their slideshow HERE.


Saturday In The Park:  Katie & Matt


We didn’t start Katie & Matt’s wedding day in the park but at the Marriott on 14th for every one to get ready for the big event.  The atmosphere was so festive and the girls and guys were having a great time!  I found a great location in Katie’s hotel room to shoot my dress photo.  I try to take time at every wedding to give the bride a dress shot that really is uniqe (not just the standard dress-in-the-window shot..).


That kinda goes for the rings, too!  The hotel’s TV was on this super glossy black credenza so I just stacked the bling and got a great reflection.

Next we headed over to my favorite church to photograph in Atlanta, The Shrine!


This church is always easy to work in, has great light and we just love Father Henry (and he loves us!).


Beautiful bouquets by  Tamela of Southern Bouquets!


Some of Katie’s “Vogue” bridals – always love the arches of this church’s doorways.

reid042509_0364reid042509_0403What I did not know about with their wedding is that Katie’s mom had arranged for a childrens’ choir, The Gwinnett Youth Singers, to perform during the ceremony.  I gotta say, that was a really wonderful moment. Their angelic voices gave me goosebumps!  It really made for a magical atmosphere and it felt like we were in a movie!


Oh, my favorite shot during the ceremony.  The sweet little flower girl was not too sure about going down that long aisle by herself until she finally saw mommy and RAN.


After the ceremony, we were off to Piedmont Park and Park Tavern for the reception.  I was on clooooouuud NINE when Katie & Matt agreed to spend so much time with us in the park! They seemed so content to just have as many photos taken as I wanted – what more could any photographer ask!  We are always telling couples to make time to do this -you will NOT regret this part of your wedding day years later.  Spending those extra 15-20 minutes is all I ever ask for my couples to give – and Katie & Matt were up for a bit more! Just look at the results – relaxed, genuine expressions.  Love them!


Leah Bilz of The Whole Shebang did her usual “bang up job” on the reception details – right down to the blue signature drink.  An orange football helmet cake matched the orange flowers perfectly!


We love a good dance party for the reception and Katie & Matt’s family and friends sure did oblige. These folks had so much fun, I was laughing the whole night!


Finally a fun departure mixture of bubbles and flower petals sent Katie and Matt on their new adventure as husband and wife!


See all the fun of their wedding day captured in their slideshow HERE.

Claire & Chris

Posted in Weddings with tags , on July 2, 2008 by sharizellers

What a great time I had with Claire & Chris this beautiful, perfect day in April.  They were referred to me by a couple whose wedding I shot almost seven years ago – Monica & Randy Hollingsworth.  I was so thrilled to see Monica & Randy again.  Thanks guys! 🙂

We started the day with Claire getting ready at her condo in Buckhead.  I love it when I get to venture to someone’s home for their preparations for the day as I get to shoot images for them in their familiar surroundings.  Sometimes this means that the images will have more personal touches – whether it’s the furniture used for props or backgrounds that help tell the story of “when we lived here” or whatever the case may be.  Claire will be moving from this condo so this will be a record for her of that time in her life before she married Chris!


After leaving her condo, I was on my way to their ceremony location – one of my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE churches to shoot weddings at, Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.  While there is not much room to shoot around the church per se, I do love the interior and the bride’s room has wonderful light.  You can also get some pretty dramatic shots on the front steps.

This church is also a great location for wedding photography as they really allow me some freedom for shooting during the ceremony.   I always want to follow all the rules of a church but often, the rules do not allow for even the most subtle and quiet approach that I would love to be able to take.  Here at the Shrine, I’m allowed to sneak behind a column at the top of the sanctuary so I can get really nice images of the couple and the readers during the ceremony.

After their ceremony, an antique Rolls Royce arrived to carry them off to Anthony’s in Buckhead for their reception.   As we approached Anthony’s there were so many cars lined up for the valet parking that I found it hard to get a clear shot without them!  Aside from super close ups, here’s my solution:  shoot up! I used the canopy of trees above us for the background by getting way down low and shooting up.

The Ladybug Room at Anthony’s has some wonderful light in the late afternoon.  It seems that they are always improving this space everytime I visit.  I love all the lights in the ceiling!   Claire’s one major request was this spring green cake and it really looked beautiful in this garden setting.  Yum!

If you would like to see more image from their wedding, click HERE to see their slideshow!