If you're here, you're probably planning the Athens wedding of your dreams! Its exciting, and you're looking for the best of the best! My name is Janelle, and I've been photographing fine art weddings for over 10 years! (Wow, has it really been that long?!)
Throughout my career as an Athens wedding photographer, I've had the opportunity to experience and work with many of the best Athens wedding venues. With the knowledge I've acquired, I've decided to take some time to offer you free resources— regardless of whether you've chosen me to be your wedding photographer. This guide is my gift to you while in the process of planning your Athens (or surrounding area) wedding.
I definitely need to take a moment now to note, however, that while these suggestions are a list of my favorite venues in Athens, they still 100% reflect my personal taste (which is subjective of course). Every image you see in the grid below will direct you to a blog post I've written for that particular wedding venue. These blog posts aren't all encompassing, so check them out, and definitely let me know if you have any questions about any of these Athens wedding venues!
Actually, feel free to contact me if you have questions about a venue anywhere!
No matter where we have to travel (which, I love to do BTW), I want to be your wedding photographer.
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A: There are quite a few of gorgeous wedding venues in downtown Athens and its surrounding areas of Madison, Greensborough, and Lake Oconee. So how would you go about choosing one? Well, I'd recommend to start with setting your budget. The great thing about Athens wedding venues is that wether you want to get married in the heart of its quaint downtown or beyond in gorgeous lakeside style, there is going to be a great venue in your budget, and close by! So - start with your finances. See what you can realistically afford without pushing your budget too far. After all, your venue is only a portion of your overall wedding budget. You still need money left over for catering, photography, hair & makeup, decor, get away transportation, your honeymoon, and all the other awesome things. And once you've set your budget, start thinking about what fits the best with your personality, what's easiest for your guests, and what's going to give you the wedding you've always dreamed about. Then after you've taken all of that into consideration, have a look at the Top 5 Athens wedding venues that I've curated and listed above.
Tips and Advice
A: Yes, they definitely can get expensive. That said, there are ways to make things more financially possible, a big one being payment plans. But I must stress that you should not stretch your budget so far on a wedding venue that you can't afford the other things that mean a lot to you. If you really want an Athens wedding photographer for $4000-$6000, but your venue costs $15,000-$20,000, choosing a venue that is a few thousand less will open up that extra budget for the Athens wedding photographer that you've always wanted. In complete honesty, Athens wedding venues are super unique, beautiful, and diverse! So, once you've set a budget and decided what style of wedding you're looking for, you should be able to easily find a perfect venue within your budget. There are many, many gorgeous wedding venues in Athens. There's no shortage. And I am more than happy to help point you in the right direction if you are wanting some help finding the right wedding venue for you, your personality, and your budget! Just use the contact form on my website!
A: This totally depends on your wedding venue, but the biggest thing to take into consideration (as related to photography and video), is choosing a place that has a lot of natural light. Think big windows and space to spread out! This means, I do not suggest you get ready in a conference room or super dimly lit hotel room. It's worth it to pay for the upgrade to a room with a view, and a room with lots of extra space. That space will be quickly taken up by your hair & makeup team, your parents, your friends and bridal party, and all the bags of clothing, shoes, makeup, and accessories that you're bringing with you. You'll want enough space to be able to hide all of those things so that your wedding photographer and videographer can have a clean, minimalistic backdrop to document. These things don't happen by accident. There's usually a huge pile of bags, shoes, and water bottles just outside the frame of the gorgeous getting-ready wedding photographs you see all through my website and blog. :) If your venue doesn't already offer you a great place to get ready in (or stay the weekend), I have plenty of suggestions (including some BEAUTIFUL AirBnBs) depending on where your ceremony is located. Please, feel free to message me if you're interested in AirBnB recommendations.
A: This is a really hard question to answer. The first thing you need to consider is what style you want for your Athens wedding. If you're wanting a wedding in downtown with a lavender toss to exit just at dusk, then you'll need to have your wedding much earlier in the day than you would for a ceremony outside at sunset, with a tented reception, dancing, and a quick getaway in your dream car after a long night of dancing. Another thing to consider is the time of year. While Summer days go long in Georgia, with dusk settling in as late as 9:30pm, Winter days can settle to dusk as early as 5 or 5:30pm. Once you've decided the style of wedding you want and the time of year, choosing a time for your Athens wedding should be a piece of cake! All this to say, having an awesome team of vendors is super important for helping you put the whole thing together. You really can't replace an excellent wedding planner who's familiar with making a timeline that can reflect your wants, and you don't want to be without an Athens wedding photographer who is versatile and comfortable to take photos in any lighting situation!
A: I grew up with my family having a farm in Madison, GA. Most people don't know this about me, but I spent lots of time in the Georgia countryside as a girl, spending days at the Lake Oconee with my family, and Athens' downtown being THE cool spot to be in my teen years. It holds a special place in my heart, and I love any excuse to go home to that part of town, and spend a weekend with the family horses. Thats what I think of when I think of an Athens wedding: a quaint downtown, pretty rolling hills and huge old trees, and the lake is always just a quick drive away. That said, if the secluded and peaceful outdoor vibe (or small quaint Georgia town) is all you've ever dreamed of, then it can all come to reality! Just ensure you have an incredible wedding planner on your side, an incredible Athens wedding photographer who knows all the best tips to get the most out of your special day, and a great list of vendors who have your back. After all, it's your day. And I want you to have the most amazing day of your entire life, completely stress free.
"We LOVED working with Janelle for our wedding photography. While creative and artistic, the shots are not too trendy and will stand the test of time. She was very attentive to our desires and planning, and even helped us out with our flowers. We will cherish her work for years to come and would gladly hire her again. We feel as though she really captured the mood of our wedding and the nature of our relationship. It was a wonderful experience!”
- Hayley and Bryce
I met with Janelle before obtaining her services for my Wedding at Agnes Scott. I was a fan of her work... , but after our meeting, I was a fan of her as a person; She's a great listener, honest collaborator, highly professional and just all around a nice and very friendly. After getting the photos back from her, my husband, friends and family were all just gobsmacked by the quality of the photos... If you want a warm, friendly, and crazy-talented photographer to capture your special day/occasion with all of the elegance and vibrancy of life it deserves, please give Janelle a holler.
- Joan and Max
“ ...From the time of our first meeting, the walk thru, & up until the big day Janelle was such a pleasure to work with! It was all a seamless process. I can tell how serious she takes her work and she listens to every detail you want captured on your day... Would definitely recommend J.J. Au'Clair & hope to work with her again in the future!”
- Steely and Paul
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