Since Ali and Derek were married this past Saturday I can FINALLY share her amazing bridal session with you! I was so excited when Ali asked to have her bridal session in Downtown Asheville. This almost never happens and we had so, so, SO much fun. We went all over the downtown area!
I also had the awesome opportunity to hang out with both Ali’s parents as they helped out with with the session. Thanks guys!
Savanah and Jimmy… what can I say but that this was one FUN wedding at the Farm in Candler. As Asheville wedding photographers we crave the “moment junkie” shots. There are so many of those from this wedding I had a hard time narrowing it down for the blog!
Savanah may be one of the funnest people I have ever met. Her passion and love for her friends and family is overboard. She was also super duper kind to me and with her words to us and comments about our photography. It meant the world to us because Savanah is all about some photos! 🙂 And, of course, we were happy to oblige.
You will hear more from us throughout the blog post, for now, here is a bit more from Savanah about their wedding day!
A bit about Savanah: I am from Key Largo, Florida. I lived in the keys until I was 18 and then I went to University of Central Florida. I am the most indecisive person in the world so I switched my major about 5 times until I finally stuck with legal studies. I then applied to a bunch of law schools and when Jimmy and I first visited Charlotte after being accepted to Charlotte School of Law we both fell instantly in love with it here. We moved here in 2013 and plan on staying here to grow old together. My passion is animals, I love them more than anything (and champagne). I became a vegetarian at 6 years ago and have stuck with the thought that “animals are my friends and I don’t eat my friends.”
A bit about Jimmy: Jimmy is also from the keys, Tavernier, Florida. He grew up there as well, moved to Gainesville for college and then after two years transferred to University of Central Florida to study elementary education. Jimmy graduated from UCF and worked as a physical education teacher for about a year and then when he and I decided to move to Charlotte, Jimmy decided to go back to school for physical therapy. Jimmy got accepted to the physical therapy assistant program and he and I graduated law school and PTA school only 2 days apart.
How did you meet? We actually went to the same high school and only knew who each other were. Savanah did the morning announcements every morning and Jimmy always jokes that Savanah would have to say his name all the time when she got to the sports section because he would win every sport he played. We never hung out or really even officially met during high school. It wasn’t until one night at our favorite bar in Orlando during college that we recognized each other from our home town and went up to each other to start talking. From there we started hanging out and instantly had a connection.
Describe your first date? Funny. One morning after we had gone out, Jimmy asked me if I wanted to go to lunch. I said yes and suggested one of my favorite restaurants and he asked if we could go to firehouse subs instead. I said sure, even though I didn’t even like that place, and it turns out the reason he wanted to go was because he had a coupon for a free sub that he used on himself and didn’t even pay for my lunch. Hahaha I’m not sure what got me to say yes to a second date, but the next date was a lot more successful 🙂
How long have you been together? 8 years.
What are your favorite hobbies and activities to do as a couple? We love anything outside, kayaking, hiking, playing cornhole, we love to play games together, travel, going to breweries, and anything that involves being with our pets.
Who popped the question and How? Jimmy asked me on Christmas Eve, 2015, when we were home in the keys. Every year we go over to my grandfathers house for Christmas Eve to have some champagne and appetizers and to sit out by the water. This time my family was there as well as Jimmy’s parents and we were all just hanging out and I could tell Jimmy was really quiet and seemed a little off. When we went down on the dock with our drinks and food to watch the sunset, Jimmy said “look there’s a dolphin” I was looking out at the water and kept saying “where” getting frustrated that I couldn’t see it. I turned around to look at Jimmy because I figured he didn’t really see a dolphin and he was on one knee.
Why did you pick Asheville and the Farm? We love Asheville so much and always have had the best time whenever we visit. We knew we wanted a mountain/rustic feel so Asheville was perfect.
What adjective best describes your spouse on your wedding day? My best for Jimmy would be passionate.
What tangible detail of your wedding day did you love the most? My necklace from my mom and my dad they gave me as my wedding gift.
How many guests attended the wedding? 145
What did you and your guests eat at the reception? Mahi mahi with coconut mango sauce, grilled shrimp and avocado tacos, salad, rice pilaf, and fresh sautéed veggies.
What was the flavor of your wedding cake? Lemon cake with blueberry frosting and fresh blueberry filling.
What is the one of the funniest things that happened on your wedding day? One of the funniest was definitely the dance Jimmy did or should I say “performed” when he took my garter off, I did not know that was coming!
What was your first dance song and why did you pick it? Our first dance song is called “Give in to Me” by Garret Hedlund and Leighton Meester. It’s from one of my favorite movies country strong (Jimmy will say I’ve seen it about 1000 times). But, the first time we both watched the movie and heard the song we really loved it. I downloaded the soundtrack and every time the song would come on we would say it was our song. The night we got engaged, we were driving in my car and my music was on shuffle and that song came on as soon as we started driving. We knew it was meant to be and immediately that night said it would be our first dance song.
What stood out to you the most when you think of your wedding? That’s a hard question! Probably just being together and with all of our family in one place having so much fun. It was also amazing when you and Michael brought us in the car to go to another spot to do some pictures, it was nice to step away as a couple and have a little time just us.
What is on your “bucket list” to do together as a married couple? Travel for sure! We plan on going to Greece within the next 6-10 months for our honeymoon and we are so excited!
We love these Father of the bride cuff links.
Savanah and Jimmy wanted fun photos with their bridal party (as well as the regular “smiling at the camera” photos.) We were happy to oblige! These photos tell a story or two I am sure!
I commented to Savanah that I have never seen a bride kiss her bridesmaids more! We laughed. It is just who Savanah is! She is super affectionate and I, Meriah, may or may not have been kissed by Savanah at the end of the night too. 😉
That face though…
Da girls! You can tell these gals have fun together and have some stories to tell. 😉
These moments with Savanah and her parents show how much they love each other and enjoy drinking champagne together!
Savanah and her matron of honor! Of course Savanah’s mom was freaking out a bit thinking they would look all disheveled when they were finished. This is typical Savanah and Courtney right here though!
Jimmy got Savanah a right hand ring as a wedding present. This is her showing it to him around the side of the door.
Let the ceremony begin! Rain brought on a lot of emotions and some really fun photos!
The bridal party danced down the aisle. It was epic!
Savanah was goregous!
I think Jimmy agrees.
Right before the kiss, the rain gave one more “hooray” by down pouring. Then it stopped for the rest of the day! The kiss shot was during that gust of wind and rain. Everyone cheered!
These two. SO gorgeous!
The rhododendrons were Savanah’s glorious idea. 🙂
10 points for the butt grab Jimmy!
That one moment when the sun came out and this moment happened.
Savanah and Jimmy allowed us to take them across the street to get some mountain shots. Those mountains and those clouds are why we never get discouraged over rain on a wedding day! It was stunning.
And, of course, the butt grab. 🙂 again. 🙂
You would have to know Savanah… but this is typical and Jimmy knows it. Owning horses herself, she has to cross a fence and walk through a field of horse poop in her wedding dress to go pet them. Gosh! I love that girl. Sorry Jimmy, there is nothing you can do about her. 😉
Introducing Mr. and Mrs. Vetter!
Dad’s speech was HILARIOUS.
“The word I would use to describe Savanah is ‘Shenanigator’ one who instigates shenanigans.” We couldn’t agree more with the MOH, Courtney.
The parent dances were simply amazing and chock full of beautiful moments!
“Your turn to come dance with us, mom! ”
Why yes! Jimmy picked up his momma and twirled her around! 🙂
One more dance… Savanah and her grandfather to the song “You make me feel so young” by Frank Sinatra. It was perfect.
Savanah’s parents kicked off the dance party! And boy was it a DANCE PARTY!
Savanah and Jimmy wanted some night shots back at the ceremony site. We are so happy they did!
This bouquet and garter toss was one for the books.
Seriously though… Jimmy did push ups while taking off the garter. Oh my gosh! Everyone was crying with laughter.
10 minutes later, after his magic mike dance, he finally get the thing off! lol!
We love you Jimmy.
Yes!! Congrats Jimmy and Savanah!! Here’s to many more years to come. We Mozingos can’t wait to hang with you again.
Shout out to these professionals that made this day rock.
As Asheville wedding photographers it does not get more iconic than the gorgeous Basilica of St. Lawrence in downtown Asheville and the stunning Omni Grove Park Inn.
Kathleen and James allowed us the privilege to photograph their amazing day here in Asheville. The word that comes to mind when I think about this couple is “genuine”. They were simply themselves on their wedding day. They had genuine smiles, genuine love for each other, and a genuine friendship. We were drawn to their joy!
Their ceremony was held at one of the most beautiful churches I have ever seen, The Basilica of St. Lawrence here in little ole Asheville 😉 When you enter the Basilica your jaw drops a bit while beholding its beauty. The ceremony was heart felt and lighthearted. One of my favorite parts of the ceremony was communion. All of the guest were allowed to come and take communion and/or receive a blessing from the priest. After this, they either went to the Kathleen or James for the second part of the communion. You could really tell Kathleen and James are loved. The warm smiles and well wishes were beautiful to witness.
The reception at the Grove Park Inn was one of our favorites to date. As you will see in the images below the wedding reception details were not sub-par! They went all out for their 200 plus guest and you could tell the guest were impressed and honored to be at such a gorgeous, elegant, and luxurious reception. As Asheville wedding photographers we love to get to capture such beautiful details at receptions!
What stood out most to us at this reception though was the beautiful moments. Michael and I pride ourselves in being “moment junkies”. This wedding did not disappoint! The toasts were full of laughter and tears. It was evident that Kathleen and James have great relationships with their parents because the “parent dances” were full of sweet moments. And can I just say that the bride danced with her 90-something year old grandfather! It was so fun.
Now it is time to let them tell us a bit about themselves and their day!
A bit about Kathleen: From Moline, Illinois. Went to Notre Dame – majored in film and irish language and literature.
A bit about James: From Cary, North Carolina. Went to Notre Dame – majored in mechanical eng. and industrial design. He works as a Designer for Fjord in Chicago.
How did you meet? Somehow we had all the same friends for years but never met each other until a month before graduation. We met at a friend’s apartment – we talked to each other the whole night and pretty much never stopped hanging out…
Describe your first date? For our first date we went to O’Rourke’s Pub and Kilwin’s Ice Cream. When he pulled out a gift card to use on our meal I knew he was the one.
How long have you been together? 3 years, 3 weeks, 5 days and counting…
What are your favorite hobbies and activities to do as a couple? Hanging out with our dog Bear, watching movies, making/building things, roasting coffee, drinking coffee, reading, hiking, and just talking.
Who popped the question and HOW? We had planned a trip out to Colorado with our dog, Bear, for a week long hiking adventure. After a 19 hour, two-day road trip we arrived in Beulah. The next day we explored the small town and hiked up to “Flag Mountain” – a smaller mountain in the middle of town with an American flag from WWII flying at the very top. We made it to the top and while I was distracted taking photos, James retrieved the ring from his book bag. When I turned around he was down on one knee with a huge smile on his face. It started raining almost immediately after so we quickly ran down the mountain through the rain. It was the most epic hike of our lives!
Why did you pick Asheville and the Grove Park Inn? We love the mountains and architecture, plus it was close to our family 🙂
What tangible detail of your wedding day did you love the most? My mom made a handkerchief out of lace from her wedding dress and lace from my grandmother’s dress – I used it as a wrap for my bouquet.
How many guests attended the wedding? 220
What did you and your guests eat at the reception? Salad: hand harvested greens, merlot-poached baby pear, goat cheese, champagne vinaigrette
Entree: seared beef tenderloin, pearl onion jam, caramelized onion mashed potatoes, grilled white asparagus, baby broccoli, reduction
What was the flavor of your wedding cake? chocolate cake, mocha chocolate mousse cream, vanilla buttercream frosting
vanilla cake, crunchy almond nougat cream with vanilla buttercream frosting
vanilla gluten free, dairy free cake
What was your first dance song and why did you pick it? Let’s Stay Together by Al Green. We don’t listen to pop music so we knew it had to be an oldie. I have really fond memories of listening to Al Green with my Dad, and James and I really love old soul music, so it seemed like a good pick.
My, how we love a clear top tent for a beautiful Spring wedding! It looked as if Grove Park Inn had a green house on the Mountain View Terrace.
We loved how they had “family style” seating at their reception with these lovely farm tables! It felt cozy and was very family oriented.
Shout out to the Omni Grove Park Inn for this amazing cake!
We loved all of Kathleen’s wedding details. She had classic elegance in her attire.
This spring wedding bouquet for the bridesmaids is to die for. Shout out to Flora for this awesome arrangement of spring time bliss.
Let’s back up to the getting ready shots. Kathleen’s mom helped Kathleen with her dress and veil.
May I also mention that I adore having a red headed bride. Maybe it’s my Irish roots that make me drawn to red heads. Kathleen was stunning!
Onward to the Basilica of Asheville! Kathleen and her bridesmaids rode in a trolley to the church.
We love how genuine James’ smile is! Michael spent some time photographing the groom prior to the wedding.
But we also love how he can totally pull off the GQ look as well.
I, Meriah, so enjoy getting to capture the moments right before the ceremony. I tried to just hang back for a minute and capture candid moments. This is Kathleen praying right before the ceremony. She was all by herself and was really taking in the moment.
Kathleen’s mom joined her for a few moments together. I don’t know what was said but I love these moments.
James’ mother and sister joined them shortly after!
Watching the guest arrive. 🙂
Let the ceremony begin!
That moment after the walk back down the aisle. SUCH joy.
We loved how the bridesmaids and jr. bridesmaids had on different spring dresses. Kathleen did well in picking out their attire.
These two needed very little posing instruction. They are SO in love and it is obvious.
Shout out to Verge Events for all of these little details. We love how everything flowed together in matching style!
Since the meal portion of the reception was under the clear top tent the Skyline Room at the Grove Park Inn was used for dancing and additional seating. We loved how there were games provided for the guests to play as they hung out together.
Cocktail hour provided many scrumptious appetizers and an amazing cheese and jelly spread!
Candid moments of laughter and jolly times are some of our favorite things to capture.
Kathleen and James allowed us to take some extra time during the golden hour to capture more moments with them. The lighting during this time is superb!
Oh those moments with the cake!
Father daughter dance!
James and his mom!
Grandpa sure knew how to cut the rug! We loved getting to capture him and others having so much fun dancing together.
This is when we give a shout out to DJ Kipper. He is absolutely one of our favorite DJ’s in town with his hand picked mixes. I think he was a hit with the crowd as well!
Congrats to Kathleen and James! Michael and I wish you a very happy and long life together!
Shout out to these Asheville Wedding Professionals that made this wedding amazing!
- Wedding coordinator – Stephanie Douglas with Verge Events
- Wedding design – Sarah Murray with Verge Events
- Dress – Dame Couture
- Makeup artist – Bride did her own makeup – Blush Asheville for others
- Hair designer – Bride did her own hair – Hughes Hair Design for others
- Floral designer – Flora – Tyler
- Caterer – Grove Park Inn
- DJ or Band – Dj Kipper
- Officiant – Rev. James Bracke C.S.C. (Bride’s uncle)
- Cake designer – Grove Park Inn
- Rental company – Classic Event Rental
- Transportation – Gray Line Trolley