Quintin Reed couldn’t really hold back his emotions when he saw his beautiful bride, Ashleigh Reed, walking down the aisle toward him at their Missouri wedding on October 7—so he just let the tears fall.
“The moment I saw her, I was overwhelmed with joy,” the 27-year-old kickbox trainer tells The Knot. “I was beyond happy that Ashleigh was about to become my wife. The moment that we have been talking about for years is happening and I could not have asked for anything more. She looked so beautiful! I kept thinking how lucky I was to be her soon-to-be husband.”
In touching images captured by their wedding photographer, Mindy Miles, Quintin can be seen first with his head back and his face up toward the sky. Then, he buries his head into his cupped hands as he breathes deeply to try to keep it together. (A video of the moment taken by a guest, which Ashleigh later posted to her Facebook, shows Quintin at one point almost brought to his knees by emotion).
For Ashleigh, 26, the weight of the moment really struck her when she started down the aisle on her uncle’s arm and saw Quintin tearing up.
“I thought he would be a little emotional but I never would have imagined he would have fallen to his knees like he did,” Ashleigh, a preschool teacher, told People. “As soon as I saw him sigh and look up to the sky, I lost my breath. It was the most romantic moment I had ever and probably will ever experience.”
Quintin tells The Knot, “When I saw her reaction, I could do nothing but smile because I know that she loves me with all of her heart. I kept envisioning our future together and also the bond that we’ve built up to that point of seeing her. I thought back when we were just friends talking on that swing back in college and how much fun we’ve had together. Loving her has truly been a highlight of my life. She brings my world so much joy.”
Miles, who captured the images that have since gone viral, tells us that witnessing the emotional moment was a truly memorable experience.
“When I saw both of their reactions, I was so moved [that] I started crying as well,” she says. “As a wedding photographer, you form a close bond with your bride and groom and it made my heart smile that such a strong emotional moment happened for them on one of the most important days of their lives. It’s the reaction every girl dreams of.”
The pair first met as college students at Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Missouri. They met by a swing and started dating soon afterward; both tell People that they knew right away that their connection was something special.
“The second I left him that night I called my mom to let her know I had met my future husband,” Ashleigh recalled. “He was then, and still is now, the most amazing human being I have ever met!”