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{happy dance} It’s official!

I have some good news!!!

We were selected as one of WeddingWire’s 2012 Bride’s Choice Award Recipients. **happy dance! happy dance!!** It doesn’t just mean that we’re awesome; it means that the people who deserve to have the most input about our awesomeness said that we are awesome. I think of the awesome award as a gift from my clients, which is the biggest honor a small business owner can get, at least, in my opinion!

Here is an excerpt of the press release from WeddingWire

The annual awards program recognizes the top local wedding vendors from the WeddingWire Network who demonstrate excellence in quality, service, responsiveness and professionalism within the wedding industry. While many industry awards are selected by the organization, Natosha Ledbetter Photography was selected based on its stellar reviews from past newlywed clients.

Natosha Ledbetter Photography is recognized as part of the top five percent of wedding professionals in the WeddingWire local vendor community, comprised of more than 200,000 wedding professionals throughout the United States and Canada.

 

They make it sound so cool! I even reached out to our friends at Patch (we were press photographers for the Douglasville Patch in 2011) to announce the news.

Nathan and I are hoping that this is just the first of many awards because our clients love us. We consider it a true honor to be wedding photographers, and every time we received a review this year, I called Nathan and read the review to him in my excited, giggly voice. We loove our clients and have developed awesome relationships with them over the years. Our new friends are as much a part of our success as we are.

 

Weddings, Wedding Venues
2012 Bride's Choice Awards | Best Wedding Photographers, Wedding Dresses, Wedding Cakes, Wedding Florists, Wedding Planners

 

With all of that being said, I want to share some more exciting stuff with you. Things are changing, and who doesn’t love change!? (Well. Honestly, I’m not always up for change….but this time it’s exciting change, not scary change. :)) Despite a busy month for us (life happens, you know…especially after the holidays!), we made time to watch a live workshop by two of the best photographers in the southeast. Zach and Jody are amazing photographers who have perfected their craft. What does that matter to you? Well, I’m glad you asked. It just means we are learning from the best. And, once we apply what we learned from Zach and Jody, we are only going to get better and faster. At everything! Except maybe doing laundry. :\ So, if you have already booked your wedding with us or are thinking about it, get ready because we will be busting out all kinds of new moves on you! Okay, not that many new moves… But we have committed to adding in some cool stuff to each engagement session from now on, and to push our limits, our comfort zones. Because we want to be better.

So I guess the main point is that we are so excited to have had an awesome year last year, and can’t wait to see what this year holds!

 

Mandy V - February 16, 2012 - 2:35 pm

Such good news! Congrats you two. You both deserve this and so much more!

natosha - February 16, 2012 - 2:40 pm

You are so sweet! Thanks so much for keeping track of us! We love you guys! xoxo

Beps - March 14, 2012 - 9:12 pm

Congrats on the award!! So very exciting!! Your work is so beautiful :)

natosha - March 14, 2012 - 9:15 pm

Thanks, Beps!

28 {A Birthday}

Happy Birthday to me!!

Everyone has that age that they think is “old.” For some people it’s the big 3-0 or the big 4-0. Mine has always been 28. There’s something about the change from almost 25 (27) to almost 30 (28) that I have been dreading for about 4 years now. So I came up with a plan to solve my getting old problem. I after my 27th birthday, I would just keep turning 27 until no one believes me anymore. Then I’d find another number I thought sounded young and stick with that for a while.

And then it happened. Nathan spoke some truth into my life that made me stop and think. He said, “I want to grow old with you, and I don’t know how we are going to do that if you stay 27.” Whoah. He was right. Strangely, Nathan and I look forward to growing old together. Our journey through life together is so full of dreams and adventures, and we look forward to all the things life has to offer us. We can’t wait to have kids, and birthday parties and trips to the park, sports games, and field trips. And we can’t wait to send them to school and be empty nesters together. To build successful businesses together (one down (photography), more to go!). And retire together. And travel. And be the old folks that tell lots of stories and still sneak kisses. And hopefully never live without the other.

And not only do I want to grow old with him, but I want to be real. It takes courage to be who you are, without any fronts or masks. So I am going to have courage and turn 28. And next year I’m turning 29. Right after Nathan turns 29. And one day we’re going to turn 79. And that’s just fine with me.

So, happy 28th birthday to me. I’m already getting a little older and, being the typical girl I am, have started noticing more wrinkles on my face. But that’s okay. It just means I’ve been a lot of miles full of learning and adventure. And I’ve apparently smiled a lot because they show up most when I’m smiling. And even though I can photoshop the wrinkles away, I think I’ll just keep them for now. And celebrate my 28th birthday, with all the years and lessons that have brought me here.

I hope that you had a pleasant Thanksgiving with your family. Don’t forget to cherish this holiday season, and this stage in your life, because one day you will be 79 and looking back on this year.

xoxo Natosha

{Family} Nova’s Baby Bump, A Canton Maternity Session

Nova and Justin are two of our dearest friends. If you remember, Justin and Nova tied the knot last year, just a week or so after Nova moved to the States from the Philippines. We spent some time with them last winter going to Passion City Church. We shared our dreams and our goals with each other. We told them how we think we are ready for kids, but waiting on the right timing. They told us they wanted to wait about 5 years or so before having a baby. They already had quite an adventure in the long distance relationship, move, and the wedding, so they just wanted to enjoy being married for a while.

It wasn’t long after their wedding that they got some news; they were going to have a baby! Seriously! And here we are almost a year later, waiting on beautiful Izabella to join our world. The happy soon-to-be-parents are both excited and nervous to grow their family. We got to spend an evening with our dear friends and our cameras. They are incredible hosts, and fed us all night long. Really. We did not stop eating amazing food until we left after our bedtime. We are thankful for their frienship.

Here are their maternity photos…

We spent some time playing on the playground, a place I am sure they’ll be much more familiar with in the next few years.

Isn’t Nova so pretty?

I think these colors were awesome. I love the green and yellows with her black and white dress.

Justin sneaks in for a smooch on the cheek.

Nathan happened to look up and see this sweet little heart in the sky, just for our friends.

The sunlight was perfect for us that afternoon.

Sometimes smiles are “say cheese” smiles, but sometimes they’re real. The baby was kicking during the session, and Nova shared her gorgeous natural smile with us.

Another real moment between mom and baby.

Oh, the sunlight was just amazing. I could totally see Winnie the Pooh hanging out with Nova and Izzy under this tree.

Cute!

I wonder what she’s thinking?

First he got his girl, then he’s going to get his sweet baby girl to love.

The lighting is gorgeous. Their skin is so soft and flawless.

If you’ve never worked with us, I am always climbing or crawling around. I was sitting on the ground when Nathan shared that beautiful glowy photo (above) with the sweet couple. I heart photography!

I love the expression on Nova’s face here. She means business.

This was an accidentally beautifully balanced photo.

Justin sneaked through the grass to get in the photo with his happy mama.

Need a little pop of color?

Nova is so confident here. Confidence is undoubtedly beautiful.

A bit of abstract beauty here.

Our friends.:)

We were trying to convince her to do a “baby dance.” She wasn’t convinced.

We headed down to Lake Arrowhead for a few more before the sun set. They had some wedding photos off the same dock. It was still soft and beautiful for maternity photos, too.

She always has the most beautiful fingernails. I love how Justin’s shirt matches the colors in the background.

I want a photo like this when I get pregnant.

The sun was quickly fading, but we got a few more photos.

We convinced her.

I think she felt silly, but she looked cute doing the “baby dance.”

Share some comment love with our dear sweet friends.

xoxo

Natosha

Laura Dyal - January 6, 2012 - 1:37 pm

The pictures of your friend Nova are beautiful. Where is the first location you used. I know the second is lake arrowhead but I can not place the first.

natosha - January 6, 2012 - 2:54 pm

Hi Laura! I’m so glad you like the photos. Actually, all their photos were in the Lake Arrowhead community. The first is one of the smaller community parks in the neighborhood. I don’t think it has a name, and I don’t know the exact location; I just know it was part of the neighborhood. I hope this helps!

Laura - January 7, 2012 - 1:19 am

To bad its private. My sister lives close to there and we are looking for a location to take some pictures for her. I am in no way a professional but um going to give it a try and its s beautiful location.

{Wedding} Mandy+Conner, A Georgia Tech Wedding

Yes, I know. I promised a Preview for Mandy and Conner’s Georgia Tech wedding. And I don’t have that ready today. But what I do have is even better…..{drumroll please}…….the full wedding post! Yes! That’s right! The entire wedding is finished. Ready to see it? I can’t wait to share, so…here we go!

Mandy and Conner are just, well, how should I say it…um…AWESOME! They’re such genuine people, a blast to hang out with, and they know how to have fun. Their wedding day was a huge party for them with some coordinating clothes and flowers thrown in. As I was going through the photos editing them, I kept having sets of the wedding party laughing and having a great time without the formal photo to go with it. I’ll show you what I am talking about.

And can I say that their family is incredible?! Nathan and I had the privilege of photographing their rehearsal dinner (coming soon!) and getting to know Mandy and Conner’s dearest friends and family. They greeted us with hugs and kind eyes. Unfortunately, Nathan and I could not stay the entire dinner so we could go home and prepare for wedding day in just a few short hours. But not Mandy and Conner’s family. No no! They stayed for dinner aaanndd went back to prepare flowers and finishing touches for the wedding. I heard a rumor that Mandy’s mom (and maybe even Conner’s mom (I can’t remember who else was with her)?) was up until after 4am in the morning working on flowers for the wedding. I even caught the father of the bride arranging flowers that afternoon before the ceremony. Mandy and Conner’s wedding certainly was a family affair.

Oh! I almost forgot to tell you about the venue. We were at the Georgia Tech Conference Center in Midtown Atlanta. Typically conference centers don’t make for the most gorgeous photos, but thankfully, Georgia Tech’s Conference Center had these gorgeous full windows and a beautiful lobby. We even had some awesome photos in the plaza for the grand exit. Oh, and all the architectural details are navy and yellow, which just happened to be Mandy and Conner’s wedding colors. Just perfect.

Isn’t Mandy’s hanger adorable?! These things are adorable. I’m pretty sure she got it on Etsy. Yup. Adorable.

And her shoes were absolutely adorable. Even the soles of the shoes had a cute design. She bought them with pennies. Yup, you heard that right.

Don’t you love the navy dresses?! They were so cute, and I know the girls will be wearing them after the wedding is a faint memory. And they were handmade. From a girl on Etsy.

So you might be thinking “Wow! Look at the gorgeous rings!” but I want you to look down below the sparkly diamond. See the big white blobs. If you cross your eyes and look at it, you’ll see that it says “Mandy & Conner.” This handkerchief was a special prize from Mandy and Conner’s parents and is becoming a sentimental family heirloom. See the navy below the white? Yup, you guessed it! That’s another family heirloom handkerchief from Conner’s family.

Boys’ socks!

Can you guess what’s in this photo other than the gorgeous rings? The Ramblin’ Wreck! The rings are sitting on the white wheel fender thingie.

Mandy’s makeup was perfect all night!

I love this photo of Conner’s best man helping him get ready.

Short Story: The week before their wedding, Mandy mentioned how cool it would be for the two of them to befriend another couple on their Sandals honeymoon and the two couples take photos of each other (because we all have photos of ourselves from arm’s length cutting off part of someone’s head). Conner didn’t really have anything to say about that idea when Mandy mentioned it. But on their wedding day, Conner sent Mandy this adorable letter written on the back of a printed information sheet for the “Honeymoon Romance Package” at Sandals, which included….you guessed it! A photo session with a scrapbook. I love how none of this photo is in focus. It conveys the feeling of the moment.

And the girls swoon over how great Conner did by surprising Mandy with the package on their wedding day.

*Sigh* I am sure they were missed on wedding day.

Doesn’t he look so polished with his yellow, navy and grey?

Nathan took this one and just loves this photo of Conner.

Boys will be boys.

And adorable boys will be adorable boys.

Mandy had a gorgeous handmade pearl necklace to finish her look. But I love how her ring is on display here.

She was like, “How am I looking?” I think it was just starting to set in at this moment that she was almost ready and about to marry her dream guy.

I told you it was about to set in, right? The girls and some family stopped for a prayer with the pastor before the ceremony. It was a precious, tender moment.

And then we headed to a secret, off-limits area of the conference center for some bride+family+attendant photos.

And we had a great time! Aren’t all these ladies gorgeous with their happy smiles on…

And we needed a shoes showcase. All creamy yellow shoes. Not a single pair alike. Perfection.

And the beautiful girls that go with the awesome shoes…

I’m not a flower expert, so I don’t know what they’re called, but those navy and white flowers are incredible. I’ve never seen anything like Mandy’s bouquet.

Doesn’t she have the most perfect, whitest teeth?!!

The harpist played beautiful music for the ceremony and cocktail hour.

Conner was anxiously awaiting his bride with a huge smile on his face.

And she appears.

I just love it that Conner proudly grins to his mom after seeing Mandy walking down the aisle. It’s one of those “Look, Mom!” moments in life.

The pastor had Mandy and Conner turn and face friends and family to honor and remember them in the special occasion.

And the laughs began. I think they had as much fun at the ceremony as they did at the reception.

Isn’t Mandy lovely?

I love how Mandy was soaking up every word Conner was saying in this moment.

Isn’t the Georgia Tech Conference Center a beautiful venue? The ceiling even matched the wedding!

Another one of the many photos of Mandy and Conner laughing during the ceremony.

They stopped laughing long enough to kiss.

Then they laughed again.

Aren’t they fun?!

And the party begins! For the day, and for the rest of their lives.

We headed out across from the conference center for some group photos. The huge group had to cross busy Spring Street in Midtown, and we thought they weren’t going to stop for us to cross the street for a second. But, thankfully, everyone made it across safely.

Mandy and Conner received so many celebratory “honks” from Spring Street that I lost count. It was a mini-party every time someone honked.

The architecture on this building was amazing. The sun was setting so we had some crazy sunshine and shadows, but I still think it made for a gorgeous, dramatic photo.

Remember I said I had some photos where the bridal party had such a great time that it was difficult to get a formal photo?This is it, folks. I still think it’s a beautiful photo, but I did have to go back in and dig out a formal photo of this set. The rest of the photos from this set look like the one below this one.

But weren’t we all having such a great time! We laughed and giggled every time someone drove by and honked. It was so much fun to celebrate with Mandy and Conner in public with strangers we’ll never know.

Mandy and Conner were so happy. You can just tell by the gentle expressions on their face, even amid all the crazy traffic and honking and friends. And these are the moments life is made of.

The dramatic architecture of this building was calling for a serious dramatic photo, but Mandy and Conner have a bit of a silly side, so we came up with this.

Conner loves Mandy.

We walked up ahead of the happy couple to give them a few minutes to themselves as the happy new couple. The sunshine was so beautiful.

Yes. We were standing-right-in-the-middle of West Peachtree Street. I love it that Mandy put her flowers in the air!

Yes. Those dots in the background are in fact cars.

Mandy and Conner even snuck a kiss waiting for traffic to pass in the crosswalk.

I think Mandy was barefoot 80% of her wedding day. And I think Conner carried her shoes 50% of the time she was barefoot. That’s what a good man does.

Isn’t Mandy stunning in her gorgeous wedding dress?! I looove the fluffy part of her dress that peeks out at the bottom.

I am pretty sure Mandy and conner have practiced their dance a few times before. 😉

They kept sneaking kisses. I guess you can do that all night when you’re married. I hope they keep sneaking kisses for the next 100 years.

I looooooove Mandy’s silly face!!! And how can you resist with those glasses?!

Then Conner got his glasses on (sin hearts), and Mandy finds him irresistible.

Mandy and Conner went to a bridal show in the spring and actually won a huge discount off their photobooth. They weren’t planning on having one, but after winning the sweet package, they decided to go for it. I think it was a great decision! There were laughs coming from the booth all night long, and they’ll have an awesome album of all their guests’ pictures to enjoy for years to come.

Mandy’s cake was gorgeous (see the full cake below). Her mom made it. I am sure those sugar flowers took forever. But they were absolutely gorgeous.

I think Conner got too big of a bite for Mandy.

But she kissed him anyway.

See that cake!?

This group knew how to party! They danced all night long. It was a blast watching them have so much fun.

And sometimes the lovely couple danced together.

And they danced some more.

Mandy wanted a skyline photo up on top of the Georgia Tech Hotel parking deck, but just as Nathan and I went out to begin to set up for the photo, it began raining. So we went one level lower to see if we could get something cool from inside the deck with the skyline, and that didn’t pan out, either. It would have been an awesome photo, and I was sad we didn’t make it up there. So, we stayed inside and hung out with the Rambiln’ Wreck in the lobby. I think Mandy and Conner enjoyed the quiet minute alone.

And then they taught us something that made Nathan and I feel so old and not with it. Everyone in their wedding party and all of the family talked about “planking” all day. They tried to explain it, but we just didn’t get it until Mandy and Conner wanted to go to the bar to “plank.” I love this photo because it is such a fun memory for Mandy and Conner! Can you just imagine their conversation with their kids when they show them this photo. (“Mommy, what were you doing laying up there? Were you okay?”) But I love this photo even more because just as I was about to take it, the guy to the right taking photos with his phone said, “This is so happening!!!”

Flowers!

I think Mandy was aiming for her sister. Can you tell?

Let me tell you, there was a fight over those flowers. And the bride actually jumped in the middle of it to get the flowers for her sister (the girl with the triumphant look on her face!). Do you not love the petals all over the floor? I told you there was a fight.

This was Nathan’s angle of the scene. See the girls gasping in the back? It was so much fun and such a surprise that the flowers were such an event!

They guys didn’t fight over the garter quite as much as the girls, but you can tell they were all wanting the garter. Except the guy on the right with his hands in his pockets. He wasn’t that interested. But those guys in the middle were on it!

Mandy’s dad and little brother looked through the photobooth album using a cell phone for a flashlight. Love this photograph.

Sparklers on a summer night. Perfect.

Wooooo! They’re married!

And they’re off! With a handfull of sparklers and matches in the back of the Ramblin’ Wreck….I’m really glad they dropped them soon after this photo.

*Sigh* I just love love. And my job.

Want to see more moments of Mandy and Conner’s day? Check out the slideshow!

We were so honored to share in Mandy and Conner’s special day.

xoxo

Natosha

Leave some comment love for the happy couple…

Mandy V. - September 21, 2011 - 3:34 pm

Holy cow I love these! Beautiful work :) I have happy tears and a big smile on my face right now. Thank you for letting your art tell the story of our picture perfect day.

natosha - September 21, 2011 - 3:45 pm

Thanks so much for allowing us to share in your special day. It was gorgeous and a pleasure to celebrate with you. Nathan and I wish you and Conner all the best in your new life together and can’t wait to watch your family change and grow over the years. And you must keep in touch!

FatheroftheBride - September 21, 2011 - 7:01 pm

OMG I just got to relive one of the most fabulous days in my life outside of my own wedding. These are some great photos.

Stacey - July 13, 2012 - 10:09 pm

I love all of the pictures of the Georgia Tech wedding, they are beautiful! I am in my best friends wedding in August and she really wants to have sparklers with the match attached to each individually exactly like the picture you have! Do you know where they got this done or does anyone have a suggestion where we can order this?

natosha - July 14, 2012 - 1:10 am

Hi Stacey! Thanks so much for hanging out at our website for a while. I’ll see if Mandy remembers where she bought them. Maybe she’ll even chime in herself.

Mandy V - July 17, 2012 - 4:44 pm

Hey Stacey. The link I purchased them from is no longer active since I got them this time last year. I do know they were 20 inches long and a quick google search just now showed there are a couple of different options for this size. I ordered the matchbooks from The Wedding Channel Store. They by far had the best price and biggest design selection. I personally just stuck the sparklers through each matchbook to create the effect that Natosha captured. I hope that helps!

{Photography} We’re featured! » Nathan and Natosha | Atlanta Wedding Photographers, - October 17, 2012 - 2:48 pm

[…] you haven’t heard yet, the sweet girls over at Southern Weddings dropped in to peruse Mandy and Conner’s wedding photos and chose one to go in their feature on ACC weddings. It was one of our favorites of the night, and […]

{Pre-Preview} Mandy+Conner, A Georgia Tech Wedding

Mandy Volpe - September 2, 2011 - 5:40 pm

I LOVE THESE!!! I can’t believe y’all took so many pictures. I am so excited to see the whole set especially since these few magazine-worthy images make it look like we had so much fun. Such beautiful art. Looking forward to seeing the pictures of the guys too.

Sneak Peek: Photos of the Big Day | Mandy and Conner's Wedding Blog - September 4, 2011 - 1:12 am

[…] this teaser of the over 5100 pictures she took during our wedding weekend. Here is the link to the full teaser, but just a few of my […]

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