Michael + Ashley married and partied at Tercero by Aldea in Glendale, Arizona.
“Well it’s Saturday night
You’re all dressed up in blue
I been watching you awhile
Maybe you been watching me too
So somebody ran out
Left somebody’s heart in a mess
Well if you’re looking for love
Honey I’m tougher than the rest”
When you come across truly special people in your life, you know it deep in your gut. This is the immediate feeling I had when meeting Michael and Ashley, or as those close to them say, Mike + Ash. Mike is a photographer and banjo man in touring band, Jared and The Mill. He and I became friends on Instagram a couple years ago after I came across his work of the American west and all the magic he captures when he’s on the road with his touring band. We quickly connected and met up to take photos are realized we had a ton in common including our love of Bruce Springsteen and Stephen Shore (two greats). When he and Ash got engaged, he was quick to reach out to me to capture their love story. It was an obvious and resounding, “YES!”
Mike + Ash met at a music festival, Mike captured by Ashley’s piercing blue eyes and amazing dance skills. (I can attest to both of those things). Meeting them, you see their lives so perfectly blended with the other while still maintaining all that makes them individually unique and amazing. Mike and Ash have known difficulty and they’ve come out of it with even more grit. With Mike on the road often, they’ve had to navigate loving each other from a distance and what it means to support each others dreams. Ash, the incredible strong woman that she is, has navigated crappy situations in her life and remains to be such a gracious and kind hearted and just fun loving person. The whole day of her wedding, where some brides might gripe or complain or roll their eyes, she remained affirming of everyone and just appreciative of the love and support that was being showered on them.
And let’s talk about this DAY. These two know how to throw a party. They are so lucky to be surrounded by a HUGE team of amazing people who love them. It was like a reunion for all their family and friends. I witnessed so many fierce hugs and was even on the receiving end of some of them myself. This was probably the best thing for me to capture, the amazing camaraderie behind these two and just the incredible connections that were formed because of their relationship.
In this post I hope you can see all of those moments and the grit and beautiful emotion between Michael + Ash. Here are some moments to look out for:
Mike giving Ash her favorite stuffed “lovie” during their first look, Ash and her mom connecting while they get ready, a funny groomsman with a sword, a first look and first dance with a brother, a shy nephew, a mother of the groom extending “cheers” to every table at the wedding, the groom and his friends receiving “CPR” on the dance floor, a guest appearance by Don Julio, the bride and myself gettin down on the dance floor, a cowboy in black and white, a quote from Patti Smith, piercing blue eyes, a rainbow hug with mom, hands held in prayer and solidarity. And many more.
In the words of the almighty Bruce Springsteen, Michael and Ashley are “tougher than the rest” and its a privilege to know them and witness their love.