Okay before I start this, it’s important to know that Leila’s name is pronounced “LIE-LA.” We literally started writing it that way in e-mails so I could remember, all caps included. I knew someone who had her named spelled Leila once, but pronounced it “Lee-la,” which is what I had been calling Leila in my head for months when I was corrected by Heather at Gilded Bridal, which is where Leila bought her stunner of a dress. Have you ever mispronounced someone’s name before? Something about the correction makes the mispronunciation even worse. It causes me to overthink it. Then “Lee-la” turned into “Lee… no, Lay-la… no no, Lee-la, yeah, Lee-la. NO. Lieeeeee…laa?” I couldn’t get it right. Until I remembered good old Lyla Garrity from Friday Night Lights. No, her name isn’t spelled Leila, but it’s pronounced “LIE-LA” and I freaking love Friday Night Lights so for some reason I was able to remember it this way because #texasforever and #cleareyesfullheartscantlose. I am 100% impressed that I didn’t call Colin “Rigs” once.

Now that we have that settled, Leila was our beloved former clients Carly+Jay’s maid of honor and we were so happy when she asked us to shoot her and Colin’s wedding in Asheville! It was actually in Swannanoa which is a pretty little small town just far enough outside of Asheville to be very woodsy, yet close enough where I could overdose on cinnamon buns at Posana for brunch. Ideal conditions. Hidden River Events is an incredible venue with a ton of wildflowers, horses, and dare I say the best lighting conditions on the planet (well, in the evening of October 14th anyway). It was beautiful. And Leila and Colin aren’t so bad themselves. Leila is of Palestinian descent and she and Colin met in Palestine doing all sorts of wonderful humanitarian goodness for people over there. They continue to do humanitarian goodness for all sorts of people from their homebase in Washington, DC with their dog Mr. B while watching Seinfeld at the same time. They were surrounded at their wedding by other Palestinians and also a lot of Irish. There were lots of good accents.

Leila and Colin were super fun to work with when we weren’t bringing up childhood traumas such as the death of Artax in the Neverending Story (don’t worry kids, I’ve since researched this heavily and the horse did not actually die, but was given to the actor who played Atreyu and died “much much later, living a good life doing horse stuff”). We are so, so happy to have been their wedding photographers and excited to see them and Mr. B again this spring for another portrait session where we don’t have to bring up the Neverending Story again (but we might because remember the rock guy?!). We love you guys! Thank you forever and ever neverending for having us. Isn’t this wedding purdy?

– Date: October 14, 2017
– Ceremony + Reception Venue: Hidden River Events // Swannanoa, NC
– Leila’s Occupation: Public Health
– Colin’s Occupation: PhD
– How You Met: Palestine
– Interesting Fact: I can do a lot of pushups.
– Honeymoon: Maybe Chile.
– Vendor Credits: Officiant – Jeanne Sommer. DJ+Florist+Coordinator – Hidden River Events. Food – Anne’s Custom Catering. Makeup – Jen O’Leary. Hair – Sarah Carpenter.

Our very first Carolyn!!! Well, our first Griffin too… but a Carolyn! Both of us felt like we were e-mailing ourselves, and it was frequently quite confusing to read e-mails threads back and forth about this wedding from Carolyn to Carolyn (“Wait… did I write this? Or did Carolyn? But I’m Carolyn. Hmm.”).

Carolyn and Grif got married in the mountains in Asheville with about twenty of their closest family members and friends. It was the lowest-stress wedding we’ve ever attended, and their dog was their ring bearer (he didn’t actually do that good of a job carrying the rings, but he was certainly cute). They got married at the NC Arboretum and afterward greeted their friends and family and split a Twinkie and that was that. We took pictures of the guests and bridal party, then we traded in our dress shoes for some sneakers and hiked to the top of Craggy Pinnacle for photos at the summit where we made everyone move for us because wearing a wedding dress is a bit like a free pass to anywhere. Plus, everyone was impressed with Carolyn’s newfound street cred for hiking in a wedding dress up to 6,000ft. During our hike, Grif kept asking me how I was feeling and if I needed water (he is so nice!!).*

After we hiked back down, we headed into downtown Asheville for their wedding reception at Curate where we all ate tapas and lived happily ever after. We hung out and celebrated with their amazing guests, each one of them nicer and more welcoming than the last, and loved every minute of this wedding. Also, Grif’s parents happen to be the owners of my favorite store in all of Raleigh (Accipiter!) and I was very excited to meet them (go check out their store if you get a chance! It’s in Cameron Village). Geoff and I also met the film editor for the new Zach Galifianakis movie while eating at the bar and he kept offering to buy us ham. It was good times. We were so happy to be a part of this absolutely lovely wedding, and we will miss Carolyn and Grif when they move to Charlotte, but we’ll visit them when we go to Ikea.

*This was actually probably directed at his wife.

Date: July 12, 2014

Ceremony Venue: NC Arboretum // Asheville, NC

Reception Venue: Curate // Asheville, NC

Carolyn’s Occupation: Teacher

Grif’s Occupation: User Experience Designer (he designed and printed their invitations, which are incredible!).

How You Met: In high school :)

Interesting Fact: We met in high school, but didn’t start dating until we reconnected in college through mutual friends.

Honeymoon Destination: Two weeks in Hawaii!

Vendor Credits: Officiant – Jeanne Sommers | Florist – Blossoms at Biltmore Park | Cake – Short Street Cakes | Caterer – Curate | Hair/Makeup – Lola Salon