Sneak Peak at Zoe and Brandon's Wedding at Juliette Chapel Dahlonega Georgia

I thought I would share a little of Zoe and Brandon's First Look at Juliette Chapel

I managed to keep Brandon far away from the Bridal room where Zoe and her Bridesmaids had spent the afternoon getting ready.

When I first arrived at Juliette Chapel, Dahlonega, Georgia, I took a few minutes to look around the wedding venue in North Georgia to scout out a great place for their First Look. Having got that planned and the logistics worked out I was off to get my gear ready for the day.

Juliette Chapel

The chapel is a beautiful, bright, and airy with lots of windows which could become a problem for the late afternoon Wedding ceremony.

The the winter sun setting rapidly, I set up lights around the chapel to photograph all the special moments that would reveal themselves. I had planned correctly and the sun and shadows were not a problem for the wedding day photography.

Juliette Chapel is a great wedding venue that can accommodate couples on a strict budget with self catering options. Additionally, being one of Atlanta Wedding Photographers under $2000 helps with getting quality wedding day photography on budget!

First Look

Once I had completed all of the getting ready, dress photos, rings, shoes and other details, I went back to Zoe for the "getting into the Dress" photos. Then headed out to the small patio to set up their first look. It was such a great and special part of the day which I photographed and I am sure they'll love forever.


Message me with any questions.

Chris Cottrell, CPP - Cottrell Photographers - Kennesaw, Georgia

Happy Bride and Groom hugging after First Look at Juliette Chapel, Dahlonega Georgia

Happy Bride and Groom hugging after First Look at Juliette Chapel, Dahlonega Georgia

Juliette Chapel, Dahlonega, Georgia Wedding First Look

Juliette Chapel, Dahlonega, Georgia Wedding First Look

5 Fantastic Wedding Venues Near me in Northwest Georgia

I've been lucky enough to photograph many weddings and engagements in Kennesaw, Marietta and Cartersville and the surrounding area. I thought I would list some of my favorites and some of the wedding venues near me that I really respect and would love to shoot at.

The Grande in Kennesaw

The Grande is a beautiful Victorian-style house that stands on 2.5 acres of mature, landscaped grounds. The beautiful, romantic gardens and wedding ceremony areas are perfect! Inside the large victorian-style house are fabulous rooms for receptions that are spaceous and well appointed.

With a large, comfortable bridal suite and a fantastic "man cave' for the groom and groomsman, this all inclusive Grande is hard to beat.

The Dream Room

The Dream Room in Cartersville is ideally located close to town and major highways. The dreamy, romantic ambiance is intoxicating! Fabulously decorated to order and spaceous, The Dream Room has soem of the msot flexible options availalble for the modern bride.

The Bridal Suite is so cute and was recently enlarged so it's even cuter! The Grooms area is perfect for the guys to enjoy the game or watch movies while getting ready for the big day.

Baya and Brea, the owners will make your wedding dreams come true with some of the best values in wedding venues in the area.

The Magnolia House

I am looking forward to shooting my first wedding at The Magnolia House in Powder Springs Georgia this summer.

The house is over one hundred and twenty years old and is absolutely stunning. The lovely rooms are decorated to perfection and offer couples many options to create the perfect day.

The beautiful, immaculately maintained gardens provide the perfect backdrop for your wedding day portraits. I understand that the management team at The Magnolia House.

Stonewall Manor

Stonewall Manor in Cartersville is a grand, elegant Victorian era manor house. I love the architecture here and look forward to shooting my first wedding there in 2019 soon.

Stonewall Manor works in conjunction with Flavorful Events catering to bring you an elegant, worry-free wedding day experience.

The architecture and surrounding gardens create an ambiance that is hard to describe. The photo opportunities abound here to make and document your wedding day to perfection!

The Gardens at Kennesaw Mountain

Located in the shadow of the mountain, The Gardens at Kennesaw Mountain offer a unique yet timeless experience. Set on four beautiful acres the team works with their couples to create a one of a kind, memorable wedding day.

Working in conjunction with Parsley's Catering The Gardens at Kennesaw Mountain offers fresh, locally sourced and organic cuisine.

Message me with any questions you may have about wedding venues near me or far away!

Chris Cottrell, CPP

Certified Wedding Photographer



Wedding Venue

Wedding Venue

Wedding Venue Steps and roses

Wedding Venue Steps and roses

Bride and Groom Through Victorian-style Doorway

Bride and Groom Through Victorian-style Doorway

Being an Atlanta Wedding Photographer, there are lots of places I would love to photography weddings. One of my recent discoveries is the Whitlock Inn, just off Marietta Square, The Whitlock Inn is a Victorian era grand house and gardens, the internal and external architecture are perfection. The gardens are stunning and would be the absolute memory makers for any Bride and Groom. My meetings with the event planners have been so pleasant and they are super accommodating. As soon as I have photos I will update this post.

Kasha & Xavier's Engagement Photo Session, Marietta Square Georgia

I met Kashaa nd Xavier on a Sunday morning in Marietta Square for their Engagement Photo Session. Marietta Square is a great location for pre-wedding photography. It's also one of the best wedding venues in Georgia and my couple looked amazing on such a gray, foggy, drizzly day - it reminded me of England!

Low Light Challenge

I had to be mindful of where I positioned them not only to stay dry but also in being able to what little light was available. By carefully adjusting their positions I was able to create many stunning portraits for them.

The Photo Session

Kasha asked me if the bad weather would affect the photo session "only to the extent that it provides a creative opportunity!" I replied.

With light rain and fog, we started out by the municipal buildings worked our way across to the park in the Square.

Marietta Square

Marietta Square, which is really close to The Marietta Hilton and the Gone With the Wind Museum is a nice mix of old and new buildings. On quiet Sunday mornings the park offers so many unique backgrounds that are idea for Pre-wedding photography.

Creative Photography

I always look at the challenges, particularly with weather, as an opportunity to create something special for my clients. Having the right equipment and experience to photograph on difficult weather conditions is critical to success.

Wedding Venues in Marietta

A couple of great venues nearby that I haven't, but would love to shoot a wedding at. The Whitlock Inn, Marlow House and The Top Floor. If you are looking to hold your celebration around Marietta Square or The Marietta Hilton, please let me know - I would love to help you with the photography for the day.


Happy at Marietta Square Photo Session

Happy at Marietta Square Photo Session

Beautiful rainy day portrait of Kasha & Xavier

Beautiful rainy day portrait of Kasha & Xavier

All Smiles on Marietta Square!

All Smiles on Marietta Square!

Grooms & Groomsmen Haircuts

I got my haircut the other day because I'll be shooting a wedding this weekend! I don’t know about you, but if I know that I have a function coming up, like a family event, invited to a party, shooting a wedding or going away for a holiday - I get my hair cut.


Why is important for a Groom to have his hair cut and styled for the big day?

Betsy Franklin said "Your Wedding photos will reveal if you are groomed or not. Get a fresh cut 1-2 weeks before your wedding day. If your neck and hairline are unruly it will be noticeable in the pictures. If your hair grows quickly, (most men's do) and there is time, ask your stylist or barber for a clean up around your neck and hairline a day or two before." 

Betsy also added "My husband wears short hair and it grows quickly, we were so busy we forgot to schedule a haircut for him. When we look at our wedding photographs it’s the first thing we notice, it just didn't look like him."


Thinking of Trying a New Hair Style?

If you decide you'd like to try a new hair style or something that is not the norm for you, speak with your stylist a few months before your wedding day. That way you'll have plenty of time to change to change back to your old style well before the big day.

Huge thanks to Betsy for answering my many questions, go over to Dyer & Posta's website to see how creative Betsy and the salon are. Have a great weekend, look out for the answers to other “guy” haircut questions soon.


The Grooms Photos

I shot these photographs at The Ponte Vedra Lodge, The Grande at Kennesaw, Smith-Gilbert Gardens, Omni Atlanta, Little Gardens, Atlanta Georgia and The Ponte Vedra Inn, Florida.


Let me know if you have any questions or would like to book a complimentary wedding day photography consultation. - Chris

Clean cut groomsmen getting ready for wedding

Clean cut groomsmen getting ready for wedding

Groom with boutonniere and short haircut

Groom with boutonniere and short haircut

Bride and Groom at the Ponte Vedra Inn, Florida

Bride and Groom at the Ponte Vedra Inn, Florida

clean cute Groom getting help with cufflinks from his Best Man

clean cute Groom getting help with cufflinks from his Best Man

Groom getting ready at The Grande

Groom getting ready at The Grande

Rustic Country Weddings in North Georgia

Looking at my schedule for January and into February and it's looking like a great start to 2019! I was looking at upcoming garden wedding photography assigments later this year.


Rustic Country Style Weddings

I love the relaxed feel of rustic country style weddings. In some ways it makes my job a little easier because there are usually lots of cool, natural bakcdrops that I can pull into my couples wedding photos.

Weather Challenges

With outside weddings and garden or rustic country weddings I always like to have a plan B in place well before the wedding day.

At Jashira and Giovanny's wedding, see attached photos, we had the threat of a major tropical storm. Our plan was to move the reception to the large covered deck at the back of her parents house in Acworth, very close to Kennesaw, Georgia, in the event of a downpour. Luckily everything went off without a hitch.


Fun, as it Happens Wedding Photos

Thinking about their rustic, country style wedding and all of the fun, documentary style photos from Jashira and Giovanny's wedding, reminded me that I have never shot a wedding at a barn - perhaps a goal for 2019!! Or, if you are having or considering a Rustic Country Barn Wedding let's talk!


Barn Weddings

As I am writing this, I'm thinking about a few of the wedding venues near me that are barn wedding venues where I have not photographed weddings yet. The ones I'm thinking of are, Rustix Manor, The Rock Barn, The Farmhouse at 30542 to name a few. I'm sure there are tons of other outdoor wedding venues around here that I may not be aware of.

Photos shown were shot in Kennesaw, Acworth and Locust Grove Georgia including The Grande at Kennesaw and a barn in very rural Georgia! Let me know if you have any questions - Chris

Wedding Photography Styles - Kennesaw Georgia

Wedding photographers styles are so different across the board! I've been told my style is creative or artistic. I think I offer a unique style for my couples in that I can quickly adjust their stance to create a more natural looking and stunning portrait. I love documenting the day as it unfolds, then recreating the wedding day in chronilogical order for wedding albums.

Wedding Photos

The accompanying images were shot at The Kennesaw Grande, Kennesaw, Georgia. I can see a lot of influence from one of the photographers I respect, Jerry Ghionis from Australia in some of my photography.

Getting Ready Shots

I love to create unique getting ready photos for my couples and I always take time to look around the room, window light and furnishing to get ideas to create something special. One of the photos here was shot at Little Gardens in Lawrenceville, near Atlanta in Georgia and reminds of Yervant's style.


Wedding Dress Details

This photo shot at Rock Springs Presbyterian Church is one of my favorites. I love the light, the bride interacting with the bridesmaids who are helping get the dress buttoned up.

New Wedding Venues

Super excited this first week of 2019 as I have weddings coming up this year in three wedding venues near me that I've never shot at before. Embassy Suites in Kennesaw, Georgia, Juliette Chapel in Dalonaga, Georgia and The Magnolia House, Powder Springs, Georgia

Have a great weekend, let me now if you have any questions - Chris

Getting into the Wedding dress - Bride and Bridesmaids, Atlanta Georgia

Getting into the Wedding dress - Bride and Bridesmaids, Atlanta Georgia

Grooms details, Kennesaw, Georgia

Grooms details, Kennesaw, Georgia

Bride getting makeup applied, Acworth, Georgia

Bride getting makeup applied, Acworth, Georgia

Bride and groom laugh at Wedding Photographer, Little Gardens, Lawrenceville, Georgia

Bride and groom laugh at Wedding Photographer, Little Gardens, Lawrenceville, Georgia

10 Questions to Ask your Prospective Wedding Photographer - Atlanta Georgia

Recently I was listening to a photography webinar that was specific to sales and customer service. While listening I started thinking about great questions for a Bride and Groom to ask a professional photographer they were considering. I came up with a really long list, I’ve narrowed it down to the ten below.

Are you available on my wedding date?

If no, don't waste anymore time! you have to keep looking for the right one. It reminds me of a somewhat related blog post I wrote earlier this year Three Important Things…

Will you, (the person you’re speaking with) be the photographer at my wedding?

Make sure that you talk with the photographer and connect with him or her, feel comfortable asking for what you want. Communication on your Wedding Day is very important. Look here for more info Atlanta Wedding Photography Additionally, you may want to make sure that all of your “special shots” are taken care of and not missed by a message not getting to the right person.


What camera system do you use? Do you have back up cameras in case of a malfunction?

You may want to make sure that your Wedding Day Photographer has professional grade cameras and lenses plus back ups. With the big names Nikon and Canon, there are other fantastic professional cameras being used, ask see samples of the work they have produced with their preferred system. Additionally, it’s might be a good idea to find out if they use a lighting system for evening or low light situations.


Are you a technical photographer or creative, what’s your style?

Ideally you need a photographer who is technically proficient and also creative - let’s be honest the great wedding photos are the ones that capture the emotions of the day and are exposed correctly, composed correctly and processed correctly. Documentary or Photo-journalistic styles may be your choice, or you may need a more traditional look. I like the idea of a combination of a more formal look for the family and documentary style as the day unfolds. It’s also important that your photographer has the ability to talk with you both, your family, wedding planner and other vendors during the day to ensure that every opportunity to capture great photos as the situations dictate are taken advantage of.


How many years have you been photographing weddings?

You may also ask about product and fashion abilities, as there will be rings, shoes, cufflinks, cakes, flowers, a Wedding Gown, Tuxedos etc. to be documented that have nothing to do with the people that will need to be photographed on the day.

Can I see samples of your wedding, engagement, portrait, and wedding day details photography?

Along with this question you should confirm that all of the images you are being shown were taken by the photographer you are speaking with. Look for a complete wedding day start to finish, also if you are having them take care of your Engagement Photo Session, check their engagement photography to avoid disappointment or misunderstanding.


Do you have liability and equipment insurance?

I know it’s rare, but things can go awry, All vendors should have insurance to cover the what ifs. Some venues require all vendors to have insurance coverage - check well before your wedding day.


Are you a member of a professional association?

It’s so important nowadays with technology spilling into the creative arena that your photographer keeps up with the ever changing technological improvement and uses them to creatively capture your day. In the USA the Professional Photographers of America based in Atlanta, GA are the oldest and largest association specific to photography in the world.


Can you stay longer if the reception runs later and how much would that cost?

Very important to establish this up front rather than on the day. Make sure that your contract clearly says what to expect if the wedding runs later that planned.


Do you have any type of certification or education in photography?

A certified professional photographer will have the ability and competence to shoot your wedding and produce great images without you having to worry how things may or may not turn out. Also, consider asking about post-wedding processing of images, does the photographer do it or is someone else responsible for that. Be clear about your expectations for the photography, on-line galleries, wedding albums and wall art etc. Always ask what’s included and what’s an additional cost.


The photos shown with this post are taken by myself at The Grande in Kennesaw, Little Gardens, Atlanta, Rock Springs Church, Atlanta and Ponte Vedra Inn, Florida. I hope you found this helpful. Please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have - Chris


Chris Cottrell, CPP (Certified Professional Photographer), British born Wedding and Portrait Photographer based Kennesaw, near Atlanta, Georgia USA. Available worldwide for near-to -home or destination weddings.


chris.cottrellco@gmail.com on IG @cottrellandco, FB cottrell & Co. Photographers or www.cottrellphotographers.com

Smiling Bride surrounded by Bridesmaids at Ponte Vedra Inn, Florida

Smiling Bride surrounded by Bridesmaids at Ponte Vedra Inn, Florida

Groom & Groomsman share a laugh at Rock Spring Presbyterian Church, Atlanta Georgia

Groom & Groomsman share a laugh at Rock Spring Presbyterian Church, Atlanta Georgia

Bride Getting ready photos at The Grande in Kennesaw, Georgia

Bride Getting ready photos at The Grande in Kennesaw, Georgia

Wedding rings photograph in rustic window at Little Gardens, Lawrenceville, Atlanta Georgia

Wedding rings photograph in rustic window at Little Gardens, Lawrenceville, Atlanta Georgia

The Three Most Important Things on Your Wedding Day - Atlanta, Georgia

Last Wedding Season I sat down to interview local bridal boutique manager Sheilah Barnhart. We were at “Impressions Bridal” in Kennesaw, near Atlanta Georgia. The interview was part of a project I started early in March of 2017 that centered around wedding venues near me and wedding vendors in the North Georgia area.

Wedding Planning

After our interview had finished I asked Sheilah a question. “In your opinion, Sheilah, what are the three things a bride to be should be aware of as the wedding planning process unfolds?”

Sheilah didn't answer me right away, but stopped and thought for a minute and then said.

Wedding Gown

“I think a bride has to find the absolute right dress. It’s got to be comfortable, look beautiful and make the bride look and feel like a million dollars on the the big day. The dress has to fit right as she could be in it for a many hours".

Wedding Photography

Next, "the photography, these are memories that are being created on that day with family, friends and loved ones. The day needs to be captured and an album created so as husband, wife and family will have the images of the day forever". As a Certified Professional Photographer (PPA) I couldn't agree more and when the big day is over the photos are the visual record of the day.

Wedding Entertainment

Thirdly, (with a huge smile on her face) "the band or DJ have to be the best! If there’s a celebration there needs to be something to get people up on the dance floor and have a good time and it’s those great times that people will always remember.” Some of my favorite DJs to work with are With Class, Celebration Crew and SE Events in Norcross near Atlanta.

Flowers and Wedding Cakes

Additional to Sheilah's comments, I would add the flowers for the day. Three of my all time favorite floral designers are Mike Whittle in Marietta, Moonflower near Athens GA and Liz Stewart in Jacksonville Beach Florida

Wedding cakes, I like them all! Bobbie Ruth's are awesome as are Gabriel's In Marietta.

Photos shown are from The Grande at Kennesaw, Bluff View Art District, Rock Spring Church


Sheilah Barnhart is the manager of Impressions Bridal, Kennesaw Georgia.

Chris Cottrell is a Certified Professional Photographer based in Kennesaw, near Atlanta Georgia