Hi there, I’m Ashley Edmunds and I photograph weddings all over the world but my heart is in Virginia.
I grew up in Richmond, lived in the heart of Shenandoah for 7 years, and then found my way back to Richmond. Once you get to know me, you’ll see I’m a little Richmond obsessed. I can help you find the best restaurant, park, or brewery for any part of this wonderful city. I love photographing weddings here at home, in Charlottesville, Harrisonburg, DC, and beyond! When I’m not photographing weddings I’m most likely chasing River, my yellow lab trying to get a shoe out of his mouth, teaching my high school kiddos, or traveling with my amazing fiance Craig.
This is going to be a loooong post but one that I am SO excited about!! Believe it or not, this trip came to be on December 26th, 2020. Craig and I were feeling the Christmas blues and he kept asking me what I wanted to do for my 30th birthday coming up. I told him there was absolutely nothing that I needed but I was going stir crazy and would love to go somewhere fun where we could be socially distanced from others. We had a gift card for an alliance of bed and breakfasts around the country from his parents so looked up all of the bed and breakfasts and tried to decide where to go. It was a little like pointing to a spot on the map. We knew we wanted to go somewhere neither of us had been, somewhere we could socially distance, and somewhere that wasn’t negative 10 degrees. After all of this criteria, we decided on Sedona and the planning began!
To start planning, we made a list of must see’s and started mapping things out from there. We also could only afford the bed and breakfast for two nights so we went ahead and booked two nights in an airbnb. We also made this trip affordable by finding the best deals on flights and having my parents covering one of our excursions in place of getting me a birthday present!
Sedona is a gem and honestly was one of my favorite trips I’ve ever been on. We picked a perfect weather weekend and it wasn’t crowded at all. I’ll write about a lot of these photos in case you too want to plan a trip out west.
We flew bright and early in the morning so by the time we got there, it was only lunch time!! We had seen this restaurant on yelp and knew we wanted to go sometime so it was our first stop!! We had a flight of local beers, peach pizza (Amazing), and a stellar pear salad. This was our cute tiny airbnb. It was walking distance from most of the trailheads! After lunch we got into hiking clothes and realized we probably had enough time to hike up to see the sunset overlooking the city on a hike called airport Mesa. This was a 4.6 mile hike that our airbnb host had recommended.
We made it for the sunset (not without getting lost and having a slight disagreement)!!! Ha!
This point in Sedona is considered a Vortex. A vortex has energy run through it that you’re supposed to be able to feel. It was such an amazing experience.
On day 2, we woke up early because we were still on Virginia time and decided to do another hike that was on our must do list. Devil’s Bridge was a beautiful walk up to a 10 ft wide bridge that you can walk out on. This was about a 4 mile hike total.
I only had a slight panic attack on the bridge. This was the first of many that would come on our trip!
The excursion that my parents gifted us for my birthday was the Pink Jeep Tour!! This is a well known tour in Sedona that takes you off roading to the destination of your choice (they have 12 options). We decided on the Broken Arrow Trail up to Chicken Point. It was SOO much fun! We climbed huge boulders in the jeep for 2 hours and ended up at a beautiful overlook. Our driver, Vince, talked through a mic the whole time and told us all about Sedona history, plants, the red rocks, culture, and recommendations for the rest of our trip.
After the pink jeep tour we went to dinner at The Hudson which was a recommendation from my friend Christina. We had an amazing view and such a good meal.
Day 3 we woke up and decided to hike one of the most popular hikes in Sedona- Cathedral Rock. It is a rock scramble up to once again an amazing view point. I LOVED this hike because it really pushed me to climb and trek straight up hill for a mile.
Once we got to the top, we were some of the only ones brave enough to walk on this ledge!
After our hike we went to the Chapel of the Holy Cross which is a catholic church built right into the rocks. It was stunning to see!!
Next, we got to check into our bed and breakfast called Canyon Villa! It was a big upgrade from our airbnb and had a stunning view right outside our window.
About two weeks before our trip, I had the idea of wanting to take someones portraits in Sedona to have that for my portfolio. I wasn’t sure how to advertise myself out there and then realized how cool it would be to also have portraits of Craig and I (sorry Craig)! I found Hailey Golich who is one of Sedona’s top elopement photographers and we started making plans. She picked the location and oh my gosh was it stunning. She drove us 30 minutes up to Merry-Go-Round rock with her 4-wheel drive vehicle. Craig and I’s rental car would have stalled out the very first rock we hit. It was a bumpy path to say the least but once we got up there I was stunned. We witnessed a wedding and a proposal happen while we were getting our gear ready. We took turns photographing each other while the sun set and it was honestly one of the highlights of my photography career thus far! I have two more blog posts coming- one of Craig and I’s photos and one of the photos I took of Hailey and Mike.
We ended the shoot by getting a huge burger because Craig and I were too busy to get lunch this day! Earlier in the trip, I realized we were going through our to-do list pretty quickly which left Sunday wide open. Sunday was my 30th birthday so Craig left it up to me to pick what I wanted to do. I started zooming out on google maps and realized we were only 2 hours from the Grand Canyon!! I couldn’t believe we didn’t realize this when we were planning the trip from home. We woke up bright and early to head out to the South Rim and our bed and breakfast chef made me a bag of cinnamon rolls to go with hearts on it. It was so cute !
We got to the Grand Canyon and there were no lines, no crowds, and no traffic.
Once again, we were feeling brave and climbed out onto a rock that jutted out over the canyon with no fence!! It was worth it but definitely scary.
We saw the Grand Canyon and were back in Sedona by lunch time, it was perfect!! We cleaned up and headed to Tlquepaque, which is a beautiful outdoor shopping area near town. The architecture there was amazing. In fact, Hailey and Mike from our photo shoot the day before, are getting married here next weekend!
Okay, I have NO CLUE what I was thinking when this photo was taken. We were working through downtown Sedona killing time before our dinner reservations and this guy was holding his snake. Somehow he found out it was my 30th birthday and he was insistent that I hold the snake. I am SO scared of snakes and think holding them is honestly so dirty and gross. After I protested it for 10 minutes, I finally decided I’d do it and I have no idea why!!! Craig has a hilarious video of me freaking out if you want to see.
After the snake incident we made it to Mariposa for dinner and wow, just WOW. Mariposa is a fancy restaurant in Sedona that we had made reservations at when we booked our trip. We had steak, lobster mashed potatoes, and lamb. We also had prickly pear margaritas and prickly pear cheesecake, it was sooo good. Craig’s parents surprised me and picked up our tab for my birthday. It was such a sweet thing for them to do and so unexpected.
We woke up on our last day and realized we still had a half day in Sedona before catching our flight. We decided to head out to Slide Rock State Park. The state park was beautiful and had running water through it. We were told that during the summer, this park is PACKED with people swimming and laying out on the rocks- reminds me a lot of Belle Isle.
Next we headed to the airport and our amazing trip came to a close. We didn’t get in until 1:00am Virginia time and both had to be at work the next day. Needless to say, we are still catching up on sleep now. If you have any questions about anything we did in Sedona or an upcoming trip you have, we would love to chat. We had a blast and recommend everyone going here at some point in their life. More posts to come of our portraits!!!
Thanks for stopping by,