I have been so excited about sharing Amanda & Kirill's wedding day for a while now- photographing their wedding felt like being among longtime friends. With no formal wedding party and a perfectly family-oriented celebration, the extra time left plenty of relaxed opportunities for the most genuine, spontaneous of moments. And friends, there were so many beautiful ones.
Oh, everything felt like a bit of whimsy with Amanda and Kirill. Getting them to focus on each other wasn't hard at all - they fit perfectly together. Two souls, interwoven. It was evident from every word spoken, every time we stepped back to watch them come together- these two are in love. With these two, what you see is what you get - and we got a whole lot of kindness, a whole lot of joy.
One unique thing about their wedding was that they opted to do couple photos right away. I was over the moon as Amanda described her vision to capture the two of them in Downtown Asheville, wandering the streets where their love story began.
Normally, we do our best to avoid people in photos. It can be distracting, it can be overwhelming. But on a busy Saturday in the middle of October, it seemed fitting and authentic to create art among the masses, to tell their love story in the same environment it began.
Because this is literally where it began - at Old Europe Pastries, right in downtown. As one of Amanda's favorite bakeries, it seemed like a safe, perfect place for a first date - and ended up being so much more. Watching them sit in this sweet space on their wedding day was the perfect picture of competition - a full circle from first meeting to wedding day.
I mean, come on - how sweet are they!?
Although their love story began in Asheville, it's not currently where these two call home. But with family there (and the precious memories), it certainly feels like it. Having them share their history here with us as we wandered the streets made these moments feel every more special.
After spending some time laughing and talking, we headed back to the Capital Club to get ready for the ceremony. This is where we met another very important person - their sweet girl, Estelle. Although she was not able to join us for the photos outdoors (baby girl needs her rest!), she was a crucial piece of their wedding day. Once we returned, Amanda was quick to bring Estelle into her arms and shower her with love.
Let's talk decor for a moment, shall we? With the emphasis of their day on family and friends, the decor was kept light and simple. I just love these airy, magical details. Baby's breath mixed with leafy greenery, gold table runners adorned with glass jars of all sizes and kinds. With an abundance of light pouring in from the Capital Club's floor to wall windows, this place absolutely sparkled.
Speaking of sparkles, the way Kirill proposed to Amanda was absolutely magic. With all of their family in town after Thanksgiving, he knew it was the perfect weekend. "We snuck off to the Grove Park to see all the Christmas lights since that's my favorite thing," Amanda wrote to me. "He proposed outside on the Sunset Terrace in front of the big Christmas tree." Can you imagine that perfect view!?
Now, nearly a year later, she was surrounded by yet another gorgeous view and their closest friends and family, Amanda prepared to say 'yes' again. Escorted by her father and Estelle, she walked down the aisle. Waiting for her on the other side was her husband-to-be and their dear friends, Brad and Paula. There's something special about having loved ones perform your ceremony, friends who have seen you at both your best and your worst. Something sincere and especially memorable about knowing that the very people marrying you are rooting for you and care deeply for you.
If I was to think of three words to describe Amanda and Kirill's day, I would say 'genuine, joyful, light-filled.' These ingredients are crucial to our creative process - although usually the light-filled part takes a lot more effort! For this rooftop wedding, though, the golden light came to us. Squished between the railing and ceremony props, Amanda and Kirill enjoyed a few more moments celebrating together in this magic hour light. In these five, brief minutes, we celebrated together.
Estelle joined us for a few at the end. Out of their whole day, these are my favorite ones. Friends, take time for yourselves and loved ones on your big day. Time to laugh, to celebrate, to take it all in.
As the sun set, the celebration really got started. Amanda and Kirill danced together - their first dance as husband and wife! - with the sun glowing behind them and their loved ones watching. This was Amanda's favorite part from their while wedding day, and it's easy to see why. "We felt a sense of relief and happiness all at the same time!"
Alright, can we take a moment to brag on that DRESS!? How drop dead stunning is this beauty? Amanda was just like a princess all day in this twirly, heavenly gown. With that gorgeous tulle draping around her, it definitely was a show-stopper in every moment.
Choosing to get married at the Capital Club of Asheville was really an easy choice. With all of the special moments shared in downtown, it seemed like the perfect fit. In Amanda's words, "We wanted to be married in Asheville and downtown has our heart! We have so many special memories there and wanted to share those with all of our family and friends." Is there a better reason to to choose a venue?
Amanda and Kirill, it was such an honor to be a part of your wedding day! Meeting you and getting to walk with you during these sweet moments is something we'll always remember. Thank you for letting us be a part of it! We wish your sweet family the absolute best.