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Mikey + Ashley’s Palm Springs Desert Elopement

Their sweet high school love story

If you know us at all, then you know we’re not just photographers – we’re photographers who pride ourselves on serving our couples an above and beyond experience. A big part of that is getting to know you before your elopement on the most authentic level possible, which is why we wanted to include a bit about Mikey + Ashley’s sweet love story at the beginning of this blog post. We’re romantics at heart, so we love ourselves a gushy love story, no doubt about it!

Ashley shared with us that she and Mikey met toward the end of their junior year of high school, back in 2009. They were getting ready for the annual Powderpuff Football Game (what a throwback), where the senior girls played the junior girls. The football players were helping coach the girls & show them drills, and apparently Mikey was one of the coaches helping Ashley’s group (literally the start of a high school sweetheart romance novel, right?). She said that they were doing a drill where they had to pull each other’s flags, and she accidentally grabbed Mikey’s butt instead of the flag – or was it fate?😉

The next day, Mikey went ahead and found her MySpace account, messaged her, and asked for her number! Guess he was definitely a fan of what she thought was an embarrassing moment🤣He and Ashley had both just gotten out of long-term relationships and were focusing on enjoying their senior year, but their “just friends” stage didn’t last long before they couldn’t stop the connection between them. After graduating, they moved to Tennessee together to go to college, which ended up being the beginning of their life together!

Fast forward to 2023: they’ve been together now for 14 years, and he asked her to marry him in 2019, with the most magical proposal in Costa Rica. Talk about a dream come true for these two long-time lovebirds🥂

Ashley said that growing up with each other has been fun and challenging, for sure, but that marrying her best friend is the best feeling in the world. Her favorite things about Mikey include his affection for animals (especially their cat), his adorable laugh, and the way he save scute animal videos on Reddit to send to her later. Now that is real love!

We were so honored to hear Ashley + Mikey’s story, and to get to photograph them in + tell the story of this stage of their relationship. Now that we’ve spent a few paragraphs love-bombing these two, let’s get to the dreamy day in the desert that we’re here to show you!

Sunrise Palm Springs elopement portraits in the desert

Picture this: you and your love get up at the crack of dawn, you get pampered by your hair and makeup team, and you put on the elopement outfits that you’ve spent so long waiting to wear. You make your way to the Palm Springs desert as the sun barely starts to wake up, and you get to experience the magic of the sunrise over the mountains as you walk hand-in-hand for the first of your elopement portraits. What a way to kick off your special day!

If that sounds familiar, it’s because, well, it’s exactly what Ashley + Mikey did. We met up with these darlings bright and early at 5:45 a.m. way out in the desert of Palm Springs. Spring had begun to turn to summer in California so the air was pleasantly warm, a slight breeze blowing through the desert that created the most beautiful atmosphere for this shoot. From the moment we arrived, Ashley + Mikey were nothing but relaxed, casual, and totally natural – as if they stroll through this spectacrular landscape in snazzy elopement attire every day 😉

While we do love ourselves a good golden sunset on a summer evening, there’s something extra special about a quiet morning watching the sun rise over the desert. Don’t limit yourselves to sunset or early evening for portraits on your elopement day – we are so down to get up when it’s still dark out and meet you for a dreamy sunrise session! Let’s create magic from blue hour, to golden hour, all the way to the moment when that bright daylight starts to shine✨

The dreamiest floral-filled vintage Thunderbird

Now, it wouldn’t be right to showcase this gorgeous desert elopement without dedicating an entire section to the vintage Thunderbird that Ashley + Mikey got to pose with, rented from Coachella Valley Classic Cars. Not only was the car itself a total stunner, featuring a shiny cream-colored exterior and retro-red interiors, but it was also brimming with the most breathtaking floral arrangements we may have ever seen. 

Just behind the leather seats was an enormous floral piece spanning the entire width of the car, bursting with shades of red and pink to match the rich red interiors of the car. Kolibri Flower Lab did an impeccable job creating an arrangement that was filled to the brim with beautiful blooms and greenery, but didn’t overwhelm or take away from the scene; instead, it complemented the car and the desert landscape so beautifully. 

It’s safe to say that our new favorite prop for photoshoots is a gorgeous classic car, decorated with matching florals – if this sounds like your vision for your elopement portraits, we’re already on our way!

Retro desert elopement inspiration galore

If you’re planning your own elopement and have been searching for desert inspiration to help you get started, then you’ve come to the right place – because Ashley + Mikey are delivering all the retro desert elopement inspo you could ever dream of. Besides the whole damn vintage convertible, these two were serving up some fire retro-inspired outfits, too. Ashley wore a stunning minimalist gown that made her look like even more of a queen than she already was, featuring a clean, square neckline, a train that draped on the ground just a few feet behind her, and gorgeous cutouts with sheer material on either side. We were obsessed with the way these curved cutouts added just a little bit of spice to a beautifully-classic, open-back gown🔥

And when we tell you we haven’t even gotten to the best part of her outfit yet? The SLEEVES. This gown came with two detachable, arm-length puffed sleeves, made of light tulle and giving Ashley the most gorgeous vintage look. Sleeves are always a hell yes in our book – they’re such a simple yet elegant way to elevate your bridal look, and infuse an extra little bit of your unique personality + style!

Now we haven’t forgotten about Mikey, don’t you worry – because this man rocked a killer dark velvet suit, which he kept fairly minimalist with black shoes, a white undershirt, and no tie. We have been loving seeing grooms think outside of the box when it comes to their wedding attire, be it with their tie of choice (or lack thereof!), the material of their suit, or the color they choose. His dark look provided the perfect contrast to Ashley’s dreamy, whimsical bridal look – and both of them out in this epic desert landscape was just out of this world!

The Palm Springs elopement vendor team

We always love shouting out fellow talented wedding & elopement vendors, so we wanted to say a huge thank you to the Lovers Workshop for organizing this Palm Springs desert elopement shoot, and to the rest of the talented creatives who made it possible! This vision was absolute magic, and so is the way it was brought to life💛

Couple: @mikeyxashley

Host: Lovers Workshop

Florals: Kolibri Flower Lab | @kolibriflowerlab

Hair/Makeup: Alexis the Stylist | @alexisthestylist888

Car: Coachella Valley Classic Cars | @cvclassiccars

Dress: Raw Golden Rentals | @rawgoldenrentals

Palm Springs Elopement Photographers & Super 8 Film

If you’ve made your way to the end of this blog post, then consider this your sign to book us for your Palm Springs destination elopement🌴

We’re Dan + Ish, a Palm Springs elopement photography & Super 8 duo who would be so honored to capture your own desert elopement! Whether you’re inviting 10 of your closest friends or you’re keeping it private, we offer a variety of custom elopement experiences and packages to fit your dream day. 

We’d love for you to get to know us a little bit more here, and you can get a peek at what it’s like to work with us for your special day here! Let’s make some magic together, darlings✨

The Journal


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