Ashley married Hon in a beautiful outdoor ceremony this past Saturday, June 2, 2012. The weather had been horrendous in the days leading up to the wedding...torrential rains, lightning, just overall a Mother Nature temper tantrum. When Saturday dawned, however, we all breathed a sigh of relief. Not only had the storms cleared up entirely, but the weather had also broken the nearly 90 degree temperatures, giving way to a 70 degree afternoon with a cool breeze and brilliant sunshine. In other words, a perfect day for a wedding.
They met when Ashley's lifelong friend Holly got married nearly two years ago. She'd asked her bridal party to meet at a local salon for traditional mani-pedis, choosing this particular place because her mom was friendly with Hon. Their eyes met over a bowl of soapy water...and it was instant kismet. :) In fact, when reading the vows they'd written during the ceremony, Hon said he had taken one look into Ashley's luminous green eyes and fell in love. Luckily, the feeling was mutual and their relationship was born. :)
Their family and friends were an integral part of the wedding. 8 bridesmaids, 4 groomsmen, 6 flower girls and 1 ringbearer...everyone looking sharp and fabulous.
All the events took place at the charming Ostertag Vistas in Myersville, MD. The sprawling farm with gently rolling hills and pastoral feel was a lovely backdrop to the sweet ceremony, officiated by Ashley's dear friend and artistic director Jessi Burgess. Even better was the two story rustic barn strewn with twinkle lights, natural light filtering in through the windows, and dreamy purple everywhere. Ashley's sister took several of the engagement photos from our session, and had them enlarged to mega size and put into black and white...they were in each room of the event. It was an awesome touch that really made the day theirs.
When Ashley, whom we've known for almost 5 fantastic years, told me about her wedding, there was the mention of "non traditional", "stilettos", a "short, gray wedding dress" and "lots of glitter." Normally this would frighten me, but knowing Ashley as I do, I knew she would do it in a way that made it classy and unique.. Ashley is a study in contradictions.
On the one hand, she's nature girl. Athletic, unafraid to wear her glasses in public, fine with getting dirty helping out a theatre crew. Then there's actress Ashley, with the fabulous eye makeup, cascading curls, and a mix of punk rock and glam.
I had a set idea of how I was going to shoot her wedding. Normally my own shooting style can be defined by sharp images full of bright, bold colors. I took one look at Ashley's new gown, a traditional wedding gown in a soft white with a million layers of petal soft tulle...and it changed everything. I wanted the entire look of the day to be awash in bundles of sunlight, with a soft, gentle, dreamy, romantic feel to everything.
As much as Ashley is strong and colorful and edgy and silly...her heart and soul are a million layers of petal soft tulle. The girl who tells everyone how much she loves them, all the time...without it ever being insincere. The girl who had 20 people in her wedding party because she enchants everyone she meets. The girl who didn't break a sweat or shed a tear during the chaos that was the wedding day, who never snapped at anyone asking her to do them a favor or calling her name for the gazillionth time...the girl who kept the end goal in sight (marrying Hon!) at all times. The young lady who married the love of her life on this first Saturday in June.
Special thanks to Donna, who helped "stage manage" the big day, to my sweetheart hubby Brian, who caught some truly integral shots as my second shooter, and to Ashley & Hon, for trusting me to document your special day. Many many years full of love, laughter, good health, prosperity, and of course, glitter. :)