Sam & Keith's timeless, mountainside wedding was the perfect compliment to their sweet romance. Filled with laughter and surrounded by family and friends, their wedding proves that even larger occasions can still feel intimate.
When we arrived at Sam's getting ready location, the atmosphere was calm yet joyful. She greeted me with a smile and without issue let me follow her around to grab some shots of the very beginning bits of preparing for the wedding day. One of the sweetest, most easy-going brides, Sam's simple invitation into her wedding day led to lots of laughter and some of my favorite photos. When it came time to take her dress and shows, I was ecstatic. Aren't these pieces stunning?!
Samantha got ready with her closest girls right beside her. Although there was a flurry of encouraging words and beautiful moments, some of the sweetest ones took place with her niece, Gracelyn. This little one adored Sam - it was clear in the way she wanted to be involved in every little detail. Samantha didn't mind. With open arms she accepted her niece, and even encouraged her to be a part of their wedding day. As flower girl, Gracelyn certainly played a important role in their big day, and has those forever memories to share.
It's true, we're a sucker for first looks. But they don't always have to be between the bride and groom. I absolutely adore a sweet daddy-daughter first look, and Sam seeing her father for the first time was no exception.
Together, the girls and I traveled together to the Crest Center for their wedding. On the side of the mountain, the autumn wind was crisp. Her girls were such troopers with big smiles even through that crazy wind just wouldn't give us a break! You'll definitely see Miss Gracelyn stealing the show with her adorable smile in these!
You could tell on Samantha & Keith's wedding day that they cherished and prioritized each family member. 'Family' wasn't just a value, it is a way of life for these two. Even in the smallest of interactions (too many to share on just one post), it was clear how much it meant to have their sweet relatives celebrating with them on their big day.
Family even plays into the story of how they got engaged. "Keith knew how important it was to me that someday when we got engaged to have family nearby to celebrate as most of our family lives out of state," Sam shared with me. "We had decided to celebrate Valentine's day a little later this past year and planned a nice dinner out. Keith had bought me a new dress for my present on Valentine's day and he suggested I wear that. We pull into the restaurant and ask to be seated and they walked us to a special private dining area, as they opened the curtain to this area I saw our family waiting for us and I knew what was happening then and immediately started crying. Keith got down on one knee and only ended up asking "Will you?" It was perfect."
Just minutes before the ceremony, the special bond was proven once again. Both Sam and Keith's family - her grandparents, her mother, her sisters and soon to be mother and sister-in-laws, gathered around her to pray fervently over their marriage and life together.
Waiting for the ceremony is always one of the most exciting parts of the day. Heartbeats quicken, people pace around rooms, and smiles are freely given. Two people are make a promise to one another - what a beautiful thing to experience!
The moment walking down the aisle was especially sweet for Sam and Keith. Getting to see each other for the very first time on their wedding day held so many emotions. The wait was well worth it- Keith's reaction was full of joy and sweetness. I don't think there was a dry eye at the ceremony!
Sam shares the emotion best- "Seeing each other and making eye contact while walking down the aisle, the build up to that moment all day made that moment so sweet."
Golden hour did not disappoint at the Crest Center and Pavilion. Sam and Keith are two of the most flexible people we've worked with - quick to follow our vision and ideas. With stunning mountain views in the back, and gorgeous golden light behind, meshing their natural chemistry with the perfect light surrounding was really such a dream.
Sam and Keith have the cutest story of how they met. I remember them sharing it with me during their engagement session, each adding their own perspective with that twinkle in their eye. "Keith and I met while interviewing for the same nursing position at Duke University hospital," Sam wrote. "Although we thought we were both competing for the same position, we were both offered the job and soon became friends and the rest is history!"
And, yes - it took very little convincing to spin Sam around in her FABULOUS dress.
Although they currently live in Charlotte, not Asheville, Sam and Keith knew this mountain city was the place they wanted to get married. "We knew all our family and friends would be coming from out of state and wanted to take them to one of our favorite cities." Crest Center and Pavilion seemed like the perfect choice for their unique wedding. "When we saw this venue for the first time we knew we couldn't beat the absolute gorgeous view it offered, and if we were bringing everyone to the mountains we wanted to show them off!" Indeed, the Crest Center does a fabulous job showing off the mountains of Western North Carolina!
At their reception, Sam & Keith's dance floor was packed all night long. It genuinely felt like a party, a get-together with family, a much-anticipated celebration. From their upbeat DJ to even grandpa boasting moves on the dance floor, their night was one we will not soon forget!
Samantha and Keith, it has been such a blast getting to know you over this past year! Being a part of your wedding at Crest Center was truly so joyful, and so much fun. We wish you both the absolute best in the next years to come!