We wanted a ceremony free of religion yet more personal than a justice of the peace reading from a script. Turns out the way to go for this sort of thing is with a celebrant rather than traditional “officiant.” They tailor everything to your story and what you want to focus on for a ceremony whether that’s incorporating children, parents, guests, a unity ritual or, if you are interested, blending religious traditions. I found Gina online and again didn’t find reviews but knew what she offered was the route we wanted to take. My fiancé and I were able to Skype with Gina so we could get an idea of how she sounded (this person’s voice will be the dominant sound at your wedding) and “meet” her to make sure there was a good fit. We each had questionnaires to complete and return to her, and Gina was great about following up to keep us (mostly me!) on track with deadlines. We had a small family ceremony so did not do a rehearsal. However, the day of the ceremony she arrived early to meet with my fiancé at the location and get an idea of our plan. We had discussed the few details of the ceremony prior to this, but hadn’t visited the spot together so this was good to put everyone at ease. She had the perfect tone during the ceremony and hit the notes we wanted. We gave her the license to send in which she promptly did the next day. I definitely recommend a celebrant if you want an individualized ceremony.
Lamar Gee Photography
We found Lamar through an Internet search. Didn’t find much in the way of reviews but loved his website and photo style so took the chance. We are so glad we did! He and his wife Diane are very friendly and integrate seamlessly into your wedding day. Ours was a long distance wedding so we did not meet with Lamar until we were already getting dressed for our ceremony. They jumped right in taking photos as soon as they were through the door of our hotel. Lamar even offered advice to my sister on lacing up the corset back of my dress and making sure I was photo ready. Clearly he’s been to a few weddings! Our final pictures were ready in only a couple weeks, and in several different places/formats – a password protected online gallery, a flash drive and a file storing website. We have complete rights to all the photos. I loved working with Lamar and Diane, and almost want to have another wedding just to hang out with them!
Amy Weissenberg Makeup Artist
Wow! Once upon a time I wore make-up, then I got tired of it (and probably wasn’t doing that great of a job applying it anyway) and stopped. My routine consists of curling my eyelashes, occasionally swiping shadow on my lids and checking that my eyebrows aren’t crazy. But…I knew for my wedding day and photos I would need to step this up and that I would need a professional! Amy to the rescue! She did an amazing job enhancing my face without making me feel like a clown, which as someone not used to wearing make-up, I feared. Through several hours of wearing it, I never felt icky or greasy, or like anything needed to be touched up. She was able to come to our hotel which made life much easier. Prior to getting married I thought this was a ridiculous luxury, but now having done it, I highly recommend setting up your staging area and letting vendors come to you. Amy is a lovely, professional artist.
We stayed at Twelve in Atlantic Station for a few days during our wedding weekend. The location was perfect for our midtown wedding, and the room rates are totally reasonable. The one bedroom is so spacious that we hosted our cake and champagne after party with about 20 people in our room. Valets were relatively quick, housekeeping was friendly and helpful, and the front desk staff made our stay very hassle free – special recognition to Nate (valet) and Teresa (front desk). We had several guests reserve rooms during the event and managed to leave behind a couple of things (alcohol and an iron). Almost a week after we had checked out, I called the hotel to inquire about the left behind items. They actually had them held for us to pick up! I was impressed. The fitness center is spacious and extremely clean – I even saw housekeeping spraying and wiping down the walls! The only area of trouble was getting items to use in the kitchen. I requested a baking sheet and a can opener, on separate occasions. Neither made it to the room. However, when I used the in room computer to request additional linens, that was handled promptly and extremely thoroughly. We couldn’t have run out of towels if we tried! One thing to know is that the hotel is quite secure. Your room key will get you on your floor and the pool/fitness center level, but not on any other floors. Great from a security standpoint, but can be somewhat tricky if you do have members of your group on various floors. Thankfully the two elevators were fast enough that you could usually just meet in the lobby and go where you needed to. The bar in the hotel is also a good place to meet up with people for a drink. We had several friends meet us one evening for cocktails in a revolving door format. The waiter was able to keep up with everyone as they arrived or needed checks.
Kyma – Buckhead Life Restaurant Group
We went here after our intimate, family wedding ceremony. We had 14 diners and were given space in a special side room. Our waiter Nick was wonderful. We discussed the menu prior to seating the guests, and though I didn’t totally heed his advice, he did offer a good plan, but was open to doing what I wanted as well. He was great at putting the table at ease and answering questions about some of the dishes that were new to many at our table. The food was presented beautifully and tasted delicious! Everyone left satisfied having tried several different dishes, including octopus. Another nice touch was when the bartender greeted the two of us newly married folks with champagne. Kyma did a fabulous job creating a special evening for our special day. Thanks to the manager Nicholas for the personalized menus, to our waiter, bartender, and the entire staff of Kyma for their attention and kindness.