Simona & Corbin | Sweet & Lovely Bulgarian Wedding at Sky Retreat

Oh these two…


Simona & Corbin are just the sweetest and kindest couple! I had the pleasure of photographing their wedding last month at Sky Retreat, and oh boy, what a treat! Simona is Bulgarian and her and Corbin’s big day was chocked full of Bulgarian traditions. I’ve photographed a lot of weddings and this wedding was unlike any other. Add to that the fact that Simona and Corbin are two of the most good-natured folks I’ve ever met AND the gorgeous backdrop… this wedding was a dream come true!

Simona really wanted me to focus on details rather than getting ready shots. Thus, I had the pleasure of focusing on her gorgeous details prior to the ceremony. One of my favorite things ever is this moon arbor! Absolutely stunning!


The photo on the right below is of the traditional wedding bread that is tied in with a Bulgarian wedding tradition. Read more below during the reception!


Simona was surrounded by her mom and bridesmaids as she put on the final touches. Y’all — this girl is GORGEOUS!! Her kindness and light shone even brighter on her wedding day! And let’s not forget Corbin’s handsomeness!


Simona & Corbin’s story is such a sweet one! They met while studying at Appalachian State University. Corbin immediately fell for Simona! They spent time together while working joint office hours in an academic office at ASU, slowly getting to know one another. Corbin knew he wanted to get closer to Simona so he took a romantic risk. One night at a party, Corbin overheard Simona talking about attending an Ed Sheeran concert. Corbin saw his opportunity to spend some time with Simona since she planned to go to the concert alone. Thus, he bought a ticket to the concert. Little did he know that his seat was across the stadium from Simona’s seat. So what did he do? HE BOUGHT ANOTHER TICKET IN HER ROW just so he could be close to her. How freaking sweet is that?!

Over their years together, they spent some time long distance resulting in Corbin driving 12 hours every weekend for a year to spend time with Simona (::swoon::). Finally, they reunited together in Washington DC. Corbin proposed to Simona in July 2017 while on a trip to Simona’s home in Bulgaria <3 Corbin now attends Harvard medical school and I am SO HAPPY that these two get to be together as they live their dreams and careers! Simona & Corbin tied the knot surrounded by family and friends in front of the stunning vista at Sky Retreat. 2019-11-01_0004.jpg

The ceremony was followed up with family photos and pics with their bridal party. I adored Simona’s choice of colors! The vibrant tones and sunflowers reflect how much happiness emanates from Simona & Corbin themselves.


The day started off rainy and overcast. However, by the time the ceremony and then portraits rolled around, the sky had cleared making way for a STUNNING sunset. Y’all. I. AM. DYING. over just how gorgeous these portraits are.


After bridal portraits, the reception kicked off with the Bulgarian tradition of the bread. During this tradition, the mother of the bride breaks pieces of the bread she has made, dips it into salt and honey and gives a bit of each to the bride and groom reminding the couple that life will be both sweet and salty. I love this honoring of the reality of life and relationships. Weddings are a joyous time, but the commitment of marriage is through the salty and the sweet — wisdom for the ages!


The second Bulgarian tradition of the evening was the “Kicking of the Kettle”. During this tradition, two flowers — one white and one red — are place into a kettle with a little water. The bride then kicks the kettle. If the white flower rolls out further, then the couples’ first child will be a boy. If the red flower rolls out further, then it will be a girl. Simona kicked out a white flower! Congrats!


The third Bulgarian tradition involved the “Breaking of the Bread”. The traditional bread is held above the head of the bride and groom. Then they pull and break apart the bread. Whoever breaks off the larger piece wears the pants in the relationship. To no surprise to anyone present, Simona got the larger piece!


The reception dancing was SO AMAZING! Simona is a skilled and competitive dancer. She and Corbin waltzed for their first dance. (Her dress was also made for twirling.) Corbin and his mom surprised everyone by breaking into the “hokey pokey” during their mother/son dance. HA! Simona also ballroom danced with her dancing partner to “Tennessee Whiskey”. They knocked everyone’s socks off!

Other dancing highlights of the evening included a traditional “Penguin Dance” (think “Peace Train” around the room to traditional Bulgarian music) with a groomsmen dressed in a penguin suit leading the way. There was also a traditional circular dance with everyone joining arms and dancing around the room. Oh! and a little mishap with the bouquet toss (oops!). The evening ending with a sparkler exit out in front of the Sky Retreat lodge.


I’m just so happy for Simona & Corbin and so grateful that they selected me to be their wedding photographer. I wish them ALL THE BEST as they start this new journey together <3


Venue: Sky Retreat
Catering: Gadabouts
Florals: Bouquet Florist
Videographers: Peak of the Mountain Productions
DJ: Block Party Productions
Hair & Makeup: K.M.A. Salon
Rentals: Miss Match Rentals
Dress: Paloma Fashion
Menswear: VIP Formal Wear
Cake: Hallmark Cakes
Day-of Coordinator: The Elegant Event

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