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.

Kaylene and Brandon decided on a destination wedding for their friends and family who all traveled long distances to celebrate with them, and they could not have picked a better venue or city. Asheville is full of awesome views and even more awesome food (we were able to eat lunch in an all-gluten free restaurant which put Carolyn into the best food coma of her life). We’re happy to go there every time.

This wedding gave us the first of working with identical twins which was both very entertaining and very confusing (Geoff is hoping that they have and continue to play pranks on lots of people… thank goodness he doesn’t have a twin). I was walking down the street with Kaylene’s sister Renee and the bridal party when someone at a restaurant called out, “Hey Kaylene!” and Renee had to go back and say, “Kaylene’s not here, I’m her twin sister!” and I asked how many times that happened to which she replied “all the time”… so then I didn’t feel so bad. I had to ask a few times which one was Kaylene and which one was Renee, but eventually things cleared up once Kaylene put on her wedding dress (although I did feel throughout the night that I was getting an awful lot of pictures of the same person… even though they were actually two people).

There was also the added entertainment of the groom’s cake being a giant, larger-than-life sculpted version of their beloved dog, Stella, equipped with little tiny snarl teeth made out of fondant. The crowd watched in horror and fascination as they cut Stella into bits and then stood around staring at the cake remains. Kaylene posted a picture the next day of Real Life Stella being held up to Cake Stella’s head and it was semi-disturbing at best but still amazing.

We had an amazing time getting to know Kaylene and Brandon and their awesome family and friends who took us in with open arms and were super nice and accommodating all day. We loved spending this time in Asheville with all of you and Cake Stella.

Date: September 1, 2013

Ceremony and Reception Venue: The Crest Center and Pavilion // Asheville, NC

First Dance Song: “I Can’t Help Falling in Love with You”

Kaylene’s Occupation: Physician assistant

Brandon’s Occupation: Marketing consultant

How You Met: Working at summer camp in Florida

Interesting Bride Fact: She is obsessed with pugs.

Interesting Groom Fact: He brews his own beer.

Honeymoon Destination: Northern California

Vendor Credits: Officiant – Ralph Millard, father of the groom | Band – Sweetwater Junction | Florist – Kimberly Hyder with Two Buds and a Blossom | Cake – Short Street Cakes and Tiffany’s Baking Company | Caterer – M7 Events (part of Crest Pavilion) | Hair/Makeup – Lola Salon | Day-of Bridal Attendant – Sara Fields