An Asheville Wedding with Ashleigh and Adrian!

As Asheville wedding photographers we shoot often at the Crest Center and Pavilion. We love it there too… even weddings in the rain. (I am a sucker for twinkle lights in the background of our photos and the Crest is full of them!)

Ashleigh asked me (Meriah) at the beginning of the day if I would be honest with her at the end of the day… she wanted to know if she was the most tearful bride we had ever had. She never asked me at the end of the day but all I have to say is “Ashleigh, you made our day!” As wedding photographers we love those tearful moments shared when there is supposed to be emotion. We are “moment junkies” after all! I would say there was a great balance of tears and laughter during your wedding!

I also have to say the way Ashleigh and Adrian met has been one of my favorite stories to date! That story and more about their wedding directly from them below! (Also Ashleigh and Adrian tell on me a bit… see how I made a major goof in a text message thanks to auto correct!!)

A bit about Ashleigh: Born in Orlando, FL but moved as a baby to NC and raised there.  I love the state North Carolina. I am a diehard Pittsburgh Steelers fan, my parents are from a small town near Pittsburgh, PA and they raised my sister and I watching them play.  I am a Neonatal Intensive Care nurse and absolutely love the sweet babies I help take care of.  I am a lover of animals and nature. I love being outside.  I love to laugh more than anything else.  And My family and friends are my entire world. 

A bit about Adrian: Born in Romania, Adrian and his parents escaped communism when he was five years old and moved with 3 suitcases to Canada. At the age of 10 moved to Cary, NC and built their lives there. He loves ice hockey and is a diehard fan of the Carolina Hurricanes and of course he now loves American football and the Pittsburgh Steelers (thanks to his beautiful wife’s family ;). He loves camping, playing hockey, and spending time with friends and family. 

How did you meet? We met on Halloween night 10/31/13.   I was planning to stay in Greenville, NC (where I was living and working at the time) in my PJs and watch scary movies.  On a whim at around 6 pm, after some influence from my mother, I decided to get dressed up and take up my sister (Katelyn) on her offer to drive to Raleigh and spend Halloween with Katelyn and some of her friends.  Meanwhile, in Cary, NC, Adrian was having his annual Halloween get together, watching scary movies while handing out candy to the trick-or-treaters .  Originally Adrian was supposed to have to work the next day, but having broken his hand playing hockey he was out of work at the time and decided he would be able to go out downtown Raleigh with his friends.  Adrian and I both just happened to end up at the same bar, one which he claims he normally would never go to (The Big Easy), but somehow his friends convinced him to go.)  There was a brief moment in which each of our groups of friends had left us each standing at the bar alone.  We made eye contact with each other.  Adrian approached me and asked “Who are you dressed up as?” to which I replied “Kat Von D, and what about you ?” and he responded “I’m Dexter, can I kiss you?”.  At first I was thinking who does this guy think he is? But then I looked up into those irresistible brown eyes and saw his handsome smile and I almost instinctively said “Yes”.  And so we spent the rest of the night at each others side, dancing and kissing.  It just felt right. 

Describe your first date? Adrian texted me the next day after Halloween and asked to take me on a “real date” . First he took us out to a nice dinner and then he took us ice skating afterwards. He even brought me an extra pair of thick socks because He thought I might wear a dress to dinner. And although he could have shown off his expertise in skating and hockey skills, he never let go of my hand or left my side the entire time.  I am very old fashioned and He has always been such a gentleman and I loved that about him right away.

How long have you been together? 3 years ago we met on this Halloween, we haven’t been apart since but we officially became a couple on 12/8/13.

What is your favorite hobbies and activities to do as a couple? We are known as the couple who never sits still, we are always on the go and love traveling. We love the mountains (mostly Asheville of course), the beach (Carolina Beach), camping, cooking, good beers and wine, and food. We love to laugh and our family and friends are extremely important to us. And of course our biggest hobby is preparing every year for our Halloween party by decorating, watching scary movies, drinking pumpkin beers, getting dressed up to hand out candy and have friends over to celebrate after.

Who popped the question and HOW? On top of Mount Pisgah, one of our favorite hikes that we do when we visit Asheville. We once found a secret spot hidden away from the rest of the crowd that we had one time decided to take our camping gear to and made pancakes at the top while enjoying another one of our favorites, Highland brewery beer. We had such a great time and memories there so Adrian made a secret plan and took us back to that spot on 10/24/15. I was just thinking it was a regular hike for a nice day. But once we got up to that spot he proposed! 😉 He had set up a GoPro to record the whole thing and even had a bottle of our favorite champagne in his backpack to enjoy after . It was so thoughtful and such a beautiful day. <3

Why did you pick Asheville and the Crest Center? Asheville is our home away from home. It has always been our favorite place to travel to when we have a few days off together. It’s the city we came to on our first trip as a couple together. It’s the city we first told each other we loved each other and the city we became engaged. We love Asheville. And the Crest Pavilion was so beautiful. It had gorgeous views of the mountains and everything we wanted for our day. Also, when we went to visit the venue to decide if it was the one, a lady bug landed on my arm as we stood out on the ceremony lawn. This made us both smile and know it was the right spot because on our very first date, a lady bug landed on my hand and Adrian looked at me and said that lady bugs are a good luck. We later learned from Adrian’s father, Viorel this story (in his words):

“In Romanian folklore the ladybug has a magical place and is most beloved: if it lands on the hand or arm of a not-married girl, watch it: the ladybug’s fly will show you where you will find the man of your dreams and the place where you will get married! … See? These 2 ladybugs knew exactly what they were doing!!”
What adjective best describes your spouse on your wedding day?
Adrian for Ashleigh: Breathtaking – adjective  meaning – astonishing or awe-inspiring in quality, so as to take one’s breath away.
Ashleigh for Adrian: Wondrous – adjective literary meaning inspiring a feeling of wonder or delight; marvelous.
What tangible detail of your wedding day did you love the most?
Ashleigh: I loved my wedding gown but more importantly my grandfathers basketball pin that was pinned inside of my gown. But my most favorite item was the embroidered handkerchief that Adrian surprised me with before the wedding, which I wrapped my bouquet in.

Adrian: The pocket watch that Ashleigh surprised me with as a gift before the  wedding, it was engraved on the back with one of our favorite Avett Brothers quotes, “I’m yours and that’s it, forever” “10.7.16”. Oh, and I liked our koozies 🙂

How many guests attended the wedding? Around 100

What did you and your guests eat at the reception? The houdearves included Bacon wrapped BBQ shrimp, brochette, and sweet&sour meatballs. The dinner buffet included chicken Marsala and steak sirloin, with rosemary roasted potatoes, and haricot vert greenbeans.  Our dessert bar included mini pies, mini cheesecakes, and mini cupcakes.  Our “non traditional” cake was actually a pie. We both wanted one of our favorite sweets which include anything Peanut Butter and Chocolate, so that is what we wanted to cut into.  A PB & Chocolate pie, instead of the traditional wedding cake which neither of us envisioned for our wedding day.

What is the one of the funniest things that happened on your wedding day? Adrian and I worked so hard (along with the help of our amazing bridesmaids and groomsmen) to not see each other the day of the wedding, until I walked down the aisle to him.  We were successful ALL day, even in the same hotel together, until the very last minute when I left to go get hair and makeup done just before heading to the venue.  He was walking down the hall toward the elevator as I was leaving towards the lobby, we both gasped and laughed, and he ran back the other way to hide while I ran to the doors as fast as I could.  It was so funny!  

P.S. (related to another occasion)
As we all know, it rained the day of our wedding.  But what was funny about this is the day we were doing our engagement pictures Meriah sent me a text referring to the possibility of rain and that we were still good for our engagement shoot because, and she texted, “I love shits in the rain”… auto corrected from  “I love shoots in the rain”.  This still makes Adrian and I laugh so hard 😉 (Meriah here… Yep, that really happened!!)
What was your first dance song and why did you pick it? Jackson Browne “Never Stop”. It was a song that Adrian played for me one night in our cabin in Asheville, the night he told me he loved me for the first time.  That song is very special to us.

What stood out to you the most when you think of your wedding? Just the feeling of being so happy and feeling so much love in the room.  It was radiating from everyone and between us.

What is on your “bucket list” to do together as a married couple? Our bucket list includes starting a family and having children, buying a home and having lots of animals including dogs, goats, and mini pigs. 😀 Traveling the country and the world, in particular getting to travel to Romania together for me to meet the rest of his amazing family and seeing his heritage. We would love to have a small ceremony there one day to celebrate our marriage with everyone.

Congrats Ashleigh and Adrian! Come back to Asheville and hang with us soon!

We all cried.
Ashleigh, her mom, and her sister. SUCH sweet moments.
First look with Dad. It was a super special moment.
Adrian and his mom. Her seeing him for the first time.
Adrian had several family members travel from Romania to attend his wedding.
Adrian’s crew prepped him for the wedding “Rocky Balboa” style. VERY FUNNY!
Even the minister got teary eyed during the vows!
They met this guitar player in a bar the month before. They loved the music he played and asked him to travel to Asheville to play for them at their wedding! He also sang them a special song during the reception.
The toasts were both funny and sweet.
Dad made us loose it.
The rain stopped and a fog rolled in. We slipped out of the reception for just a few more photos amongst the twinkle lights. These are some of my favorite moments of the whole evening.

Shout out to these professionals that made this day rock!

Venue coordinator – Jocelyn Huntley

Dress Designer – Elizabeth Dye

Where you purchased your dress –  The Sentimentalist (in Atlanta, GA)

Makeup artist –  Kim Atwood

Hair designer – Lauryn Doerr

Floral designer – Casey Collins

Caterer –  M7 Event Solutions and Caterer

DJ or Band – Sound Extreme Entertainment

Officiant –  Eric Bombeck

Cake designer –  Meg Schearer with Whisk Avl

Videographer –  James A. Vrazel with Beautiful Life Films

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