november 11, 2011 dawned crisp and gusty- a lovely fall day in atlanta! matt & i walked stella, trying to stay in the warmth of the sunlight, and then made a big breakfast to prepare for the day. it was a calming and comforting way to begin atoya & sam’s wedding day- and from what i hear, their mornings started off just as relaxed and laid back as ours! atoya & sam are such incredible people- their wedding day was wonderful and overflowing with love and thoughtfulness- and seeing them together just warms my heart. they just speak so sweetly and honestly to one another- words straight from the heart are so rare and beautiful and communicating thoughts and emotions as clearly as they do is so refreshing to witness- i think it means their future as husband and wife is full of promise! matt and i arrived and began shooting about an hour before their first look and we felt so privileged to see some of the behind-the-scenes before the big reveal. atoya and her best friends and sweet family were full of life and happiness- capturing the getting ready moments was effortless- everywhere i turned there were smiles and laughter and hugs and tender moments. everyone seemed like one big family! i love this first image because of the story behind it- atoya had a rush of emotion hit her and in just one moment the room was FILLED with her bridesmaids- dancing, singing and calling out jokes- while the makeup artist fanned her to dry her eyes. it all happened so fast and none of us could help but dissolve into laughter once the tears were under control. what an amazing group of ladies.
atoya is playful and sweet while at the same time completely fabulous and fierce, i’d say this dress was the perfect fit:
after a little dance party in the room, it was time for atoya & sam to meet up for a quiet moment and some portraits:
love how he is looking at her- i love this couple!
after bridal party images, we all headed back inside to atoya’s suite to warm up! the ladies touched up their makeup and the guys enjoyed the snacks. i love this quiet image of atoya just after putting on her veil:
the ceremony began filling up and before we all knew it, it was time. the service was sweet and personal and we were all already grinning from ear to ear when sam took the microphone from the minister and surprised atoya by singing to her! everyone in attendance was glassy-eyed and lots of their guests jumped up to record the moment on phones and cameras. atoya just melted as soon as he started, i love the emotion in all of the shots around that moment:
then it was time for the room-flip! the guests were whisked away to cocktail hour while eliana made sure matt and i had a few moments to photograph the space. danny made atoya’s dreams come true, what a stunning reception:
atoya & sam were ready for the party to start! as soon as they entered, the room seemed to light up with energy and excitement. there was lots of cheering and celebrating and dj sixfive kept everyone dancing until the very end! a great way for atoya & sam to begin their new life together:
instead of a mother/son dance, sam opted to call his mom to the dance floor and thank her for all that she’s done for him. it was a really powerful gesture and it was clear to everyone what a wonderful relationship they share:
i love this next image of atoya and her sweet mom, faye:
atoya & sam, congratulations! we loved capturing your wedding day- every moment was beautiful! we wish you the best!