Jen + Jake | Gibson Mansion

I'm Jackie

Traveling wedding photographer + photography/small biz educator.

Mesmerized by the way two people love each other, each so uniquely.  I always leave room for dessert. Believe swear words are just sentence embellishers. Think indulgences are necessary in this life. 

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Parties with all the best people in their lives.

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Love stories in all forms without the white dress... or maybe they wore white, it happens.

Just my little thoughts on different topics of planning your wedding day big party or just you two.

Stories of two lovers making it all about them, as they should.

Jen first contacted me about a winter wedding in a little winter village and during our first conversations I just fell in love with her. But it was the end of summer and life was busy and I realized I hadn’t heard from her in a while and reached out to touch base. Turns out she changed her mind and decided nah she’d rather change the wintery mountains of Montana for a beach getaway in Belize and joked if I wanted to come. I wrote back not joking, yes I want to go. Then began our planning for her Belize destination wedding.

That Christmas her and Jake flew from Seattle to have an engagement party in Missoula, her hometown, and invited me to come for drinks. I couldn’t wait to actually meet them and their friends and they were all so amazing. I adore them all still. But one person was missing from their engagement party. Jen’s dad. Her dad was terminally ill and was currently in the hospital for some treatment although they were certain he’d be home soon and would definitely be in Belize for their wedding. Her only dream for her wedding day was that her father would be there to walk her down the aisle to Jake. The moment every girl expects will happen is sometimes the moment they wish will happen when the time comes. We drank we laughed and said see you in a few weeks!!

Just about a week or so later Jen text me that things were not well. Her dad would not be going to Belize but she had to have him be there at her wedding so they were planning a last minute ceremony in Missoula for her dad to be there a week before Belize. The details weren’t set but anyway I could be there for a few photos. I lost my dad when I was 12. I once walked down the aisle without him. This broke my heart that Jen wouldn’t have him in Belize and there was no way I wouldn’t be there to preserve the moments they do have. I told her you just tell me when and where and I’m there.

Just about a week before their Belize celebration Jen, Jake, her dad, her mom, his parents, their Bridesmaids and a few groomsmen gathered together at the old Gibson Mansion in Missoula on a cold winter day. Jen walked down the staircase to her dad waiting at the bottom to see her. This moment is the most impactful moment I may have ever photographed. Sweet and heart wrenching and so emotional as they embraced. Jen would have her dream. Her dad would sit by her mom as she married the man she loved in front of the fireplace. Her best friend doing the honors of marrying them.

These are some of the most meaningful images I’ve ever taken. Photos aren’t just about the scenery and the details around you. That’s not the magic of them. It’s the people in them. The moments shared. And I hope all my couples look at their images and can feel that moment again. Even if it’s not as big as this one or you can’t remember what exactly it was that was happening. But you can feel it.

This is just part 1 of Jen + Jake. We still went to Belize and went wild 😉

Xx, J.