Our friendship with Derek’s family goes back to 2009, when we photographed his sister Danielle and Alex’s Ritz-Carlton Naples wedding. It was a very small wedding with only close family and friends, and we just clicked with everyone so well. We spent time with them again while photographing Derek’s family in Miami for their jewelry business, Phillips House. Then we went to Burning Man with Danielle and Alex, and then went again with just Alex the following year.
So by the time we arrived in Miami this April for Derek and Ashley’s wedding, it was like seeing family, with a few new additions thanks to Danielle and Alex’s beautiful children.
Ashley and Derek work together at Phillips House, so, like us, they are together nearly 24 hours a day. It was fun watching their chemistry – like two best friends who are extremely comfortable with one another but who also still flirt with each other. Their love is playful and goofy, yet strong and steadfast. They’ve been through a lot already in their three years as a couple, and they’ve proven they are there for one another.
Ashley and Derek married in the round at the new Faena Forum in Miami Beach, a modern, circular building that makes quite the statement on Collins Avenue. Their reception was a high-energy dance party just like they wanted. At the end of the evening, we followed them back to Faena Hotel for one last portrait, with the famous gold mammoth skeleton created by artist Damien Hirst.
Filmmaker Vlad Chaloupka was with us for this awesome wedding weekend. His highlight film is coming shortly!