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

The Grande at Kennesaw Georgia Wedding Getting Ready

Some of the most cherished and loved memories of your wedding day are your getting ready photos. The Grande at Kennesaw is such a great wedding venue as they have excellent facilities for both the Bride, Bridesmaids and also the Groom and Groomsman.

Bridal Suite

The upstairs bridal suite has great light, even on a cloudy day that comes through the large windows. There's a full bathroom with a vanity and two large window which throw awesome light into the room.

The large main room have lots of room for makeup artists etc. and is well lit for working.

Hanging the Dresses

There is a large walk-in type closet to hang the gowns which makes it perfect for me, the wedding day photographer to easily get for wedding dress shots.

Landing and Stairs

The landing and stairs at the Grande are large and open which has afforded me the ability to photograph dresses, shoes, rings etc right close to the bridal suite. Additional, the door to the balcony is at the top of the stairs adjacent to the bridal suite.

Grooms Room

Down in the lower level is the grooms area. Equipped with a TV, bathroom and large sofa and chairs for the guys to hang out in. There are a lovely areas just outside for the guys shots. I love the big wooden doors and the rock wall for the groomsman and groom photos.


Located on Main Street close to downtown Kennesaw and very close to Smith-Gilbert Gardens the Grande really has a lot to offer for newly engaged couples looking for a great wedding venue nearby or as a destination wedding venue.

Message me if you have any questions or would like to explore wedding photogrpahy options in Kennesaw, Georgia. - Chris

Groom and Pug Getting Ready

Groom and Pug Getting Ready

Bride getting makeup artist attention at The Grande at Kennesaw

Bride getting makeup artist attention at The Grande at Kennesaw

Bride and Bridesmaid sharing a laugh in Kennesaw

Bride and Bridesmaid sharing a laugh in Kennesaw

Groom by Large Wooden Doors at The Grande at Kennesaw

Groom by Large Wooden Doors at The Grande at Kennesaw

Grooms and Getting Ready for Your Wedding or Engagement Photos

I thought I would spend a little time helping the guys out with this post as usually my “helpful posts” are geared more towards brides and females in general. Now I’m committed….have to think here, so here we go:


Firstly clothing, what to wear at your Engagement Photo session, you want to look nice for the woman you asked to marry you, so make sure your jeans, khakis dress pants are clean, presentable and of course fit you nicely.

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Wedding Receptions and Families

One of my favorite parts of shooting weddings is the reception. Why? I guess it’s because you never know what might happen in terms of the guests behavior, children misbehaving, adults misbehaving and of course the parent’s & sibling’s tears of joy.


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