While Atlanta’s surplus of ideal engagement and wedding locations are a local photographer’s ultimate muse, sometimes, a change of scenery can be agreeable and worthwhile. I relish in leaving the hectic roadways and soaring skyscrapers and bright city lights behind for more rustic and natural backdrops. And a much peaceful and slower pace of life, if you will. Journey north on U.S. Highway 400 and you’ll soon discover winding two-lane roads, rolling foothills and small mountains nestled beneath tree silhouettes concealed by thick foliage gearing up for a colorful costume change.
Labor Day weekend, we had the pleasure of documenting Mattie and Vince’s north Georgia wedding at Frogtown Cellars Vineyard and Winery in Dahlonega. Though the foliage hadn’t transitioned into vibrant golds and auburns and crimson shades just yet, the backdrop for this charming couple’s union was nothing short of breathtaking. Mattie and Vince exchanged their whole-hearted vows underneath Frogtown’s gorgeous lakeside pavilion, which overlooked the property’s pristine three-acre lake. It was the picture-perfect locality for such a romantic gathering.
During the ceremony, Mattie and Vince participated in a meaningful wine ceremony. Much like lighting unity candles or pouring sand, combining two different wines into a decorative carafe signified blending two lives into one. By blending Frogtown’s 770 and 404 together—premium white and red wines produced on property—the couple created something together that can never be separated.
Besides working with such a sweet couple, what I treasured most about photographing this late-summer wedding was the lovely landscape. Who knew Georgia had such a thriving and enchanting viticulture region that could easily outshine California’s Napa Valley. Following the nuptials, we walked through Frogtown’s vineyards. Positioned over 44 acres of land, the winery has 23,000 grapevines that grows 25 different wine grape varieties. Though it was harvest time, we got lucky and were to able capture some pretty incredible shots before the crop disappeared. With deep blue skies and brilliant sunrays beaming through the vines, it was an unforgettable golden afternoon.
Back at the reception, which was held at Frogtown’s onsite bistro, wedding guests enjoyed mouthwatering cuisine, including fried green tomato appetizers, prepared by Frogtown’s culinary staff. There was also an open bar with several wines from the winery. And before the happy couple jetted off for a blissful honeymoon, Mattie tossed her bouquet from her family’s convertible, which is typically a difficult reception ritual for photographers to capture.
All in all, it was a wonderful day.
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