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