Atlanta Day Trip + A Simplified Weekend Packing List

Last weekend I made the quickest little trip to the Atlanta area to photograph a sweet friend's wedding. It was super exciting to me because 1) I knew Caroline and Jeff we're going to share the sweetest kind of love and they were going to be super fun to photograph and 2) I'd never shot a wedding in that part of the country before. The only catch was: I wanted to spend a full week Spring-breaking with the hubby which meant a quick turnaround. Not only that, but I flew Frontier and due to up-charges I didn't want to pack too much. 

My carry-on was taken up by my rolling camera bag which begged the question: could I fit everything else I needed in my "personal item." The answer: all that and a bag of jerky. 

First though here is a shameless in-flight iPhone shot. I read Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants most of the flight and resisted crying publicly multiple times. PS: it's on Netflix now and I find that providential. I intend to cry. Again. Privately. 

Landing in Atlanta felt hot and sticky like Kansas in the summer, the kind where you notice the a/c the second you step into it because it's a dang dream come true with its humidity-cutting superpowers. 

After choosing a red rental car (and being accused of being "chippy" by the Enterprise attendant for doing so), I cruised in to my AirBnB. And what a freaking dream that was with the sweetest and funkiest little hostess! You guys--after this trip I am sold for AirBnB. It might just the best way to travel. Here's (an again iPhone shot of) my dreamy little bedroom:

With pink flamingos, bright colors, the most facetious sass and the chirpiest, most loving pups, I was sort of obsessed with the whole experience. Honestly, her place all but made my Atlanta trip. 

The next morning I stepped outside to this dream of a bush that I happened to miss the night prior when I arrived:

It was just. I was just. Ahhhhhh. No words. I almost bowed down and worshipped it. But then I remembered Jesus. And thanked Him for this little sidewalk-side gift. I promptly Instagrammed which you can see here

Then I began the great Atlanta coffee-hunt and I will mercilessly reveal to you the process. Dancing Goats had the neatest enclosed patio area with tons of swinging seats and so many sweet baristas but unfortunately, I was a little disappointed with their pour-over. On the bright side though, nothing pairs with slightly disappointing coffee better than a good scone, so I found Dulce Vegan, an allergy-friendly bakery which had all the best rockabilly, pin-up vibes and OH YEAH a freaking delicious gluten/soy free AND vegan (which I'm not but totally respect) lemon scone. I almost died. Mostly because I ate it so fast. I tried to remember to take a picture for you but again: vacuum-like eating. 

Then, like fate, I started to drive away from that heavenly bakery and spotted Taproom Coffee, a coffee-bar I had previously read reviews on. Still longing for a near-perfect cup-a-Joe, I popped inside hopeful and popped out cheerfully caffeinated. It did not disappoint! Confetti flew from the surrounding buildings all while I twirled down the sidewalk singing the chorus from "America" from West Side Story.*

Speaking of twirling, I suppose it's time I share with you my simplified destination wedding packing list. It's so simple that it's barely worth mentioning, but all in all I hope you find it helpful. To begin with, here's a visual aid:

Day 1 // DEN > ATL (not packed)
Lightweight jacket
Tunic shirt
Natives shoes (no socks)

Day 2 // Wedding Day
Dress (something wrinkle resistant!)
Bike Shorts (because breezes and Marilyn Monroe)

Day 3 // ATL > DEN
Lightweight jacket (same as Day 1)
Tunic shirt #2
Leggings #2
Natives shoes (same as Day 1)

Two bags jerky (pre-opened with air squeezed out)
Granola & fig bars
Pajama set
Backup glasses
Mascara & eyeliner
Makeup wipes
Small purse & minimal contents
Wrist watch
Phone charger
Small book
Curling iron
Teasing comb
Compact mirror
Bobby pins
Small hair spray

For my clothes I found cozy, flight-friendly pieces that still looked nice, and I intentionally brought shoes that didn't require socks. My Native shoes were actually surprisingly comfortable and odorless. Definitely check them out on!

I could stuff everything I was wearing in a small backpack with all of my camera gear in a rolling camera bag (including my shooting bag!). I was able to move quickly and comfortably through the airport without paying for another carry-on or checked bag fee, which is always a win! I basically felt like a pro at traveling. Here I am being a literal pro at Caroline & Jeff's wedding. ;)

Otherwise, thanks for taking the time to make it this far in the post! I loved sharing my little journey with you, and I hope this helps you in the future on your quick weekend get-aways or your own destination weddings. Feel free to comment in the post with any questions you might have!

*some portions of this blog post might have been fabricated or exaggerated for comedic effect

Emma Wheatley

TOPEKA, KS, 66606