On September 26th Zach and I collaborated in a moody fall styled wedding photoshoot with the very talented @LIVISLENS photography & @HONEY_AND_SHAW florals.
With engagement season upon us, I thought sharing this might benefit some couples, or just be a fun read for those who are curious of the realization of mine that occurred on that cloudy day :]
We all arrived at Papago Park in Tempe, Arizona around 5:00, just in time to see the sunset and get the right amount of light. It was cloudy, but all of us, especially our photographer, made it work in regards to the slightly more dramatically romantic look her and our florist wanted.
While the set for the shoot was being creatively put together, Zach and I took turns practicing poses and laughing. These women made it so easy to have fun in a situation that is normally almost stressful because as a couple you want photos to turn out perfect. Even though these were not our original engagement or wedding photos, it was great to pretend all over again as if we were back in those wedding planning shoes, but without the stress. Not to mention that Zach was all smiles with multiple women around him telling him what to do ;]. I am kidding, Zach is actually a natural in front of the camera and what I love about him during these types of situations is that he knows me well enough to pose so that it flatters my body and doesn’t look awkward.
It might come as a shock, but just like all women at some point, I do get self conscience, and so does Zach even though most people would speculate that men do not feel that way. However, as we changed from our engagement outfits into what would be us on our wedding day, I realized something important.
I went back to the car to change into my wedding dress. I would like to call myself a professional car changer at this point, and thank goodness my wedding dress (curtesy of Grace Style and Bridal), is easy enough to put on by myself.
Now, before proceeding to this realization, I have to flash back to my actual wedding day. I had worked out for three months prior to that special day because I wanted to look my absolute best. When I was in the small bathroom with my maid of honor I was so pleased with what I saw in the mirror. Toned arms, flat stomach, hair extensions for days, and a glowing tan. What I hope some women additionally feel besides me, is the rare moment when we can look in the mirror and go, “Damn” with all the confidence in the world.
I felt beautiful.
Now, fast forward to the photoshoot that allowed me to put that dress on again, exactly 6 months later, no working out, hair that had been completely 9 inches chopped off, no tan, and the same dress.
I got out of the car after changing and proceeded to walk down to the set. Before I tell you what Zach’s expression was, I must tell you NO I was not expecting the same look he gave me on our wedding day when he saw me. That look was special and I always want to remember it as the one he gave me on that day. His expression was a new special. It was the same one he gives me when its date night and I put on a dress that I think makes me arms look big, and he tells me no it doesn’t; or when I am in sweat pants with my ASU hoodie on and my hair up; or when I am in glam head to toe. Its the same expression he gives me every day, no matter what I am wearing, or what I look like, and it was perfect.
As we started to pose, and our photographer started to take photos, it all seemed so easy. Looking at Zach for endless periods of time, spinning, twirling, laughing; it was all completely blissful. At each moment I felt so lucky and so confident despite the “not wedding day ready” me I was putting out there… and then it hit me like a really heavy sack of hearts and rainbows.
We were standing on top of Papago rock after hiking up it in my mermaid lace dress, Zach was holding my chin with one hand, and my waist with the other. I looked up at him, completely forgot that we were posing for the camera, and knew…
It was not the dress that made me feel beautiful, it was him.
Wedding + Family + Maternity + Graduating Seniors
Bio: I was born in North Carolina and raised in Arizona. I am happy in the desert, up on the mountains, and relaxing on the beach. I am a mom of 2 beautiful, fun loving children. I also work as a nurse. But my passion is photography. I am a self started photographer, and I am always learning. I love to connect with fellow photographers and take classes. And I can tell you that I love to photograph love! Weddings are my favorite along with engagement sessions, families, pregnant mothers and seniors. I am starting to design my own photography shoots and I get so excited about being able to develop and share my creative side!
Honey & Shaw
Wedding planning + Event styling+ Floral design
Name: Ashley Shaw
Bio: I am an artistic, creative, and independent boss babe. I have found my true passion in life, wedding planning! I love all things weddings. I love to explore the world with my husband, adventure to new places and learn new things. Planning and florals are my greatest accomplishments in life, they are my creative outlet and challenge my mind to always find new beauty in each wedding! Gluten free planning and food allergies are my specialty! Brunch is my absolute favorite and I am on a mission to find the best gluten free donuts in the world. Floral design is one of my favorite parts of creating a wedding. Spray roses, thistle, peonies, seeded eucalyptus, and hanging amaranths are just a few of my favorites. Give me a beautiful bouquet of flowers, a glass of wine, my puppies, and some How I Met Your Mother, and I have got a perfect evening.
Recent Accomplishments: featured on Phoenix Voyage. https://voyagephoenix.com/interview/meet-ashley-shaw-honeyshaw-chandler/
High school English teacher, Arizona State University, blogger.