I have no shame. I will readily admit I’ve wanted to photograph a Fernbank Museum wedding ever since I watched supermodel (and my former Glenwood Park neighbor!) Cythnia Bailey get married there on Real Housewives of Atlanta. But I had no idea my rebrand would lead directly to just that! Wenjie + Futhum were the first couple to book me after I rebranded in December 2015. Like me, they instantly fell in love with the high ceilings and natural light at the museum. Plus, HELLO, there are DINOSAURS everywhere you turn. Eeeeee!
Honestly, who would have thought dinosaurs and weddings could go together so fabulously? It wasn’t hard to seamlessly capture both the whimsy of having a museum wedding and the classic decor and attire choices Futhum + Wenjie made for their nuptials. Whitney of Whitewood Events was on hand to help effortlessly guide the couple’s wedding vision into reality. But even more than the decor and dinosaurs were the personal touches. Futhum wore his late father’s wedding band and the couple’s dog Roger made an appearance in formal portraits as an honorary groomsman. Wenjie is Chinese and Futhum is Eritrean, so incorporating their cultures was an important to both of them. From Wenjie: “My dad wrote us a poem and read it at the ceremony in both Mandarin and English. There definitely was not a dry eye in the house, including Futhum’s, which was the first time I’ve seen him cry in 15 years…. While we planned our wedding in a more American tradition, we included small touches from our own cultures (Chinese and Eritrean). Our favors were in Chinese silk pouches and included samples of Chinese green tea and Eritrean coffee which are both very important in our culture. We also played a few Eritrean wedding songs and had a blast teaching all of our guests the traditional dances.”
If Daniel and I didn’t have an intimate wedding, we certainly would have taken cues from Futhum + Wenjie’s celebration. Actually, scratch that. We DID take cues from them! Wenjie and I are both “Sentimental Brides” and we served our guests unique wedding fare (check out the charcuteries on the tables for their guests before the buffet opened!).
FEATURED ON SOUTHERN WEDDINGS
Wenjie and Futhum are featured on Southern Weddings. Here are a couple more quotes from their interview with the SW team. Make sure you pop over there after you’re done to read more!
Tell us all about the proposal!
“We have known each other since high school. When the Georgia Aquarium first opened, Futhum bought me and my best friend tickets for Christmas. I thought it was a really thoughtful present, and he thought it was our first date. Luckily we still stayed close friends (and eventually dated). Ten years later, he surprised me with tickets to the aquarium again. This time, he took me on a special tour where we were able to swim with the whale sharks and sting rays. Afterwards, he took me to my favorite restaurant (Makan, where we later had our rehearsal dinner) and proposed!”
Tell us the highlights of finding your wedding dress.
“I was #asentimentalbride! I loved the process of finding my dress at The Sentimentalist in Atlanta. It is the cutest bridal shop in little white house instead of in a mall or giant shopping center. The staff was super sweet and helpful and they had an amazing selection of designer and vintage dresses. They had a wide array of dresses including a stunning, fully beaded gown. It wasn’t the right dress for our wedding, but it was fun to try on! With the help of the staff and my bridesmaids, I found the perfect Nicole Miller gown on my first visit.”
Atlanta Wedding Photographer: Elle Golden Photography
Publication: Southern Weddings
Atlanta Wedding Venue: Fernbank Museum
Event Design + Coordination: Whitewood Events
Getting Ready Locations: The Ritz Carlton Buckhead + couple’s apartment
Florals: Bloomin’ Bouquets
Gown Designer: Nicole Miller
Dress Shop: The Sentimentalist
Bride’s Shoes: Badgley Mischka
Bride’s Accessories: BHLDN
Groom’s Attire: Hugo Boss
Groomsmen: The Black Tux
Men’s Socks: SockFancy
Hair: Some Claudia Girl
Makeup: So Chevon
Cake Artist: Sweethut Bakery + Cafe
Caterer: Bold Catering + Design
Entertainment + Videography: Nice Entertainment
Honeymoon: French Polynesia
Film Developed and Scanned: The FIND Lab on Noritsu
Camera: Pentax 645n
Film: Portra 400 rated at 320
Digital: Edited with Mastin Labs
Special thanks to Christina Pugh for second shooting for me!