Sarah Slavik Photography

Atlanta's Best Wedding Vendors - 2008

Thanks to numerous happy couples, 2008 capped another very successful wedding season for Sarah Slavik Photography. Despite our economic recession, our business grew 50 percent from the previous year. We were also fortunate to partner with some of Metro Atlanta's finest wedding-service providers—both new and old. Here are some of the wedding vendors we worked with during the last year who are among the best in their category.

Wedding Venue: Villa Christina

With so many outstanding locations to hold a wedding, it's never an easy choice. But in 2008, we found that many bridal couples were especially pleased by Villa Christina in Atlanta. Their very attentive staff provides excellent catering and their beautiful interiors and absolutely gorgeous exteriors (including a stunning garden) are ideal for wedding photography. Villa Christina is conveniently located at Exit 25 off I-285, yet still provides a secluded environment. There are also two good hotels within walking distance.

Church & Ceremony Place: The Catholic Shrine of The Immaculate Conception

Although access and parking for churches in downtown Atlanta can be challenging (compared to rural churches in the area), The Catholic Shrine of The Immaculate Conception is worth the extra effort. Situated across from Atlanta Underground, this is one of the best churches in the whole Atlanta area for wedding photography. The cathedral-like sanctuary features well-preserved paintings on the walls and ceiling, large stained-glass windows, beautiful ambient light, and a peaceful atmosphere. The cooperative church staff permitted us to shoot from near the altar so we could capture expressions of the bride and groom during one recent wedding.

Reception Place: Fox Theatre

When somebody says 'fabulous' to us, it always conjures up Atlanta's famous cultural venue - Fox Theatre. At the Fabulous Fox Theatre, all weddings are, well, fabulous! The facility offers two ballrooms: the large Egyptian Ballroom with beautiful balcony and the Grand Ballroom with an outdoor terrace. Both settings offer superb environments for wedding photographs. We love the interesting ambient and artificial light and backgrounds that work very well, regardless the photographer's shooting angle. Extra time between shows makes it possible to shoot portraits inside the theatre and adjacent hallways.

Cake: Classic Cheesecakes and Cakes

At one recent wedding, the cakee were absolutely mesmerizing. And, although we've never met Mark Lotti, his bakery—Classic Cheesecakes and Cakes—is renowned for creative and delicious wedding cakes. At this wedding, the bride's and groom's cake got our attention as soon as we started photographing the reception. The groom's cake was absolutely original - a replica of a hippie Volkswagen microbus from 1960s reflecting the newlywed couple's laidback style. We were amazed how detailed the cake was—right down to the legible Georgia license plate. What's more, guests lavished praised on the Oreo cheesecake which was gone literally within a few minutes. The classy bride's cake was also a showstopper with its perfect sculpting and decoration. Take a look at Mark's Web site. His work is amazing.

DJ: Lethal Rhythms

This year, we were fortunate to work with several great Atlanta DJs who consistently create joyful receptions for our clients. Choosing just one as our 2008 winner wasn't an easy job. But this year, one DJ stood out just a little bit more than the others for the way he worked well with us. Joel Rabe from Lethal Rhythms kept wedding guests entertained all night long and made up amusing contests and poignant moments that were not only great "photo-ops" but also memorable as well. We never imagined cake-cutting could be so fun for everybody until we saw Joel guiding one couple through that ritual. We've worked a couple of receptions with Joel and found him to be personable, professional, entertaining—and committed to the couple's satisfaction.

Videographer: Silver Video Production

We've all heard stories about photographers and videographers elbowing one another at weddings, running in front of the lens of the other, or standing in the shots. Before any wedding, we always try to contact the videographer to discuss our approach to photography, our preferred spots for particular situations, and our overall strategy for the day. Joel Silver at Silver Video Production is a pleasure to work with. He's a pleasant, cooperative, and talented videographer and we hope to see him at more weddings soon.

Catering: Atlanta Athletic Club

Delicious and beautifully presented food is a key component of any successful reception. In our opinion, when it comes to wedding catering, you can't do better than the Atlanta Athletic Club in Johns Creek. At one recent wedding, we saw several buffet stations and well-balanced menus throughout the entire ballroom. All stations were meticulously serviced during the whole evening.

Accommodations: The Georgian Terrace

Without exaggeration, The Georgian Terrace is surely the most photography-friendly hotel in Atlanta. Just across the street from Fox Theatre on Peachtree Street, this prestigious hotel boasts a rich history. Its richly decorated interiors are just spectacular for classy portraits. We prefer the white, oval-rounded staircase and the atrium for the signature shots. The hotel can also host the entire wedding in a classy and elegant style in the palatial Grand Ballroom.

Live Music:

As wedding professionals, we've heard more than our share of live bands at countless receptions—most of whom do a terrific job. And while every couple's tastes and preferences will vary, we've been very impressed by ¡Soulución!, a six-piece band whose repertoire spans jazz, funk, and Latin music. With vocals, bass, keyboards, electric guitar, drums, and percussion, ¡Soulución! has the knack of delivering the right music for each moment throughout the evening and paying attention how its performances are received by the guests. The band even measures decibels in the room to ensure the best experience for everybody. Contact David Stevens at 303.304.0722 for a superb demo.

Officiant: Jeremiah O'Keefe-West

We recently photographed a wedding with Jeremiah O'Keefe-West, a non-denominational minister, who was simply unforgettable. His deep baritone voice, his humor, friendliness, and his Irish accent are a powerful combination. The celebration of marriage we witnessed and photographed was full of lovely—and, yes, funny—moments.

Sarah and Slava Slavik

See also: Atlanta's Best Wedding Vendors - Our 2007 Winners

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