Jennifer & Derek’s Wedding | Red Top Mountain, Cartersville | Atlanta Wedding Photographer
This post seems like it has been the longest one coming since I have been sprinkling the last few posts here with previews of Jennifer & Derek’s wedding at Red Top Mountain. While we have shot a couple of engagement sessions in 2011 (see Helen & Ediru or Rita & Andre), this was my first actual wedding of the 2011 season! Here in Atlanta we have had a pretty chilly Winter – well, at least by Orlando standards! April has finally rolled around and the weather could not have been more perfect for this wedding. Besides high winds, we had weather in the low 70s which was just amazing for an outdoor wedding!
The venue was Red Top Mountain, one of Georgia’s many amazing state parks and located about an hours North of the city of Atlanta in Cartersville. The reception was held inside a park pavilion immediately next to the location shown in the above photo. State Park pavilion, “yuck” you may be thinking – but our amazing bride knew how to transform a seemingly drab location into an amazing wedding venue!
Love the dress over the fireplace and the brick features giving it a rough organic feel offset by the bright red flowers chosen as accents throughout the wedding.
Personalized wedding napkins waited for every guest at the buffet table.
…and handmade treat bags waited for Jennifer & Derek’s guests at each table.
The bright red and pink flowers appeared as centerpieces each table and perfectly complemented the wedding’s colors of white and pink.
Of course the cake was white and pink as well and had more of the amazing, fresh flowers awaiting it at it’s own table.
Before we knew it, Jennifer was slipping into her dress and putting on something old and something new compliments of her mother.
Jennifer looked stunning in her dress… and don’t tell anyone but we were getting ready in the women’s restroom of the park pavilion. A little small space but we made it work and rocked the large mirror inside. Just don’t tell the park ranger that they had a guy (me) in the women’s restroom! :)
Jennifer’s father got a little emotional upon seeing his little girl all dressed up on her wedding day. Who can blame him, she looked great!
In the meantime Derek and the boys snuck out with me to take a few quick formals of the groomsmen before the ceremony started. Oh, looks like it is about time to begin… here we go!
We’re finished – woohoo!! Everyone jump for joy for our bride and groom!!
At the water’s edge, we finished up with the formal portraits of all of the family members. The bridesmaids looked great in all pink and the groomsmen with their pink vests. A perfect compliment to Jennifer’s gorgeous dress!
After the formals, Jennifer scheduled us about an hour to head to another part of Red Top Mountain State Park for some personal portraits of just her and her groom Derek. Whenever I see this in a wedding day timeline you know it’s going to be a great day because the bride values her photography! This is honestly my favorite time of ANY wedding, the bride and groom just got married so they are giddy and overflowing with happiness, and I get them all to myself for an hour!! Well, Jennifer’s step-mother came with us to help me as my assistant but the feeling was the same as an intimate retreat for the newlywed couple :)
First, we found this old Civil War era house and made Jennifer into the Southern Princess that she is :)
Then on the other side of the house we found the most amazing light as the sun dipped lower in the sky and started shining through the trees. If I had Jennifer stand in just the right spot… amazing!
Okay Derek, I guess we can add you into some of these photos… ;)
We headed over to the dock area and framed the couple looking over the lake for some more gorgeous one-on-one portraits of the couple.
Lastly, we made our way back to the car as we hit the one hour mark which just flew by. I think the rest of the wedding was getting worried that I kidnapped Jennifer and Derek at this point. I just had to pose her with the natural beauty of Georgia!
I ran back to the Civil War set up and got a quick shot of the rings while Jennifer and Derek played around.
Then it was RECEPTION TIME! Time to cut the cake, toss the garter/bouquet, and get jiggy with it!
We had a few emotional dances, from the traditional father/daughter and mother/son dance to the grandparents getting out on the dance floor as well.
Alas, all good things must come to an end. Jennifer & Derek’s friends and family gave them a sparkler send-off…
…to a boat that was waiting to take them away for the evening!
Now that beats your standard limousine exit!
Best wishes Jennifer and Derek! Thank you for having me along for the ride on the biggest day of your lives to document and retell your story!
One last teaser video, I recorded a Time-Lapse of the wedding ceremony. You can watch their entire wedding ceremony in just 30 seconds! That guy running around the back and front and everywhere in black pants, black shirt, and yellow tie is yours truly :)
And just for good measure, here is another quick video of me behind the scenes at the reception. I had a third camera set up in the corner that was just collecting behind the scenes footage like this. I only had it recording for a few minutes here and there since I was busy with the photography but here is a small glimpse of me at work!
Good night Atlanta brides!!