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Jacqueline + Chris | Big Sky MT Wedding Photographer

I send out a questionnaire to every couple before their wedding. It covers an array of things in regards to the details of their big day. On this form Jacqueline shared that Chris’ mother had passed away and during the ceremony since he couldn’t walk her to her seat he’d be carrying her favorite flowers and would place them on a chair designated for her. She also mentioned that before Chris’ mother passed she had asked her best friend to take care of him and so after the first dance instead of a mother son dance Chris was going to surprise his mom’s best friend and ask her to dance with him as she has played such a special role for him. *insert tears welling up in my eyes and my heart about to explode*

As the questions went on I asked for family members names for family photos so I’m familiar with everyone’s names beforehand. Jacqueline listed her father’s name and next to it in parentheses she stated – deceased. My heart sank. I, myself, lost my dad. And I can tell you hard enough in itself, you really feel it on that wedding day. That he’s not the one there to walk you down the aisle and give you to the man of your dreams.

I had to stop reading the questionnaire and take that deep breath to hold back the tears. I never doubted that this couple was for me, that I was supposed to be the one to photograph them but at this point had this deep confirmation that we were all in this place for a reason. We were meant to be together on this day. And how incredibly important my job was as I understand their loss on some level. And not only could I wait to meet them but all the people she began listing. They’re family and friends have been everything and stepped up in their lives. This day was going to be overwhelmingly magical.

On Saturday we started gathering all the pieces to photograph with details and Jacqueline took me upstairs to her dress and my mouth dropped. It was beautiful. She then goes on to tell me about the “story” of her dress. After her father passed her and her brothers went to the house to go through everything and found all this cash. As if it was just left for her. She decided she was going to take it and buy the dress of her dreams for her wedding. This cash that her dad left, in her own words.. “This paper, this cash, that his hands touched” would buy the best dress of her life to hug her all day. And this piece of his shirt she had embroidered with a quote he once gave her and then sewed inside her dress. We ended this story in tears hugging each other. I cried again when she put it on cause it was simply perfect.

As Chris walked down that aisle with a bouquet of yellow tulips, his mom’s favorite, and set it on the chair next to his dad I cried again. All of their seating was benches except these two chairs up front. One for Chris’ mom with her bouquet of flowers and one across from her for Jacqueline’s dad with his jacket hanging on the back. Are tears welling up in your eyes now?!?!

They and all of their guests came from the south to Big Sky, Montana for a fall wedding and were surprised with the beginning of winter. It snowed that morning and by the afternoon the snow was just kissing the mountain tops. It was sooo pretty. But the sceneries beauty didn’t come close to matching the love these two have and all that was felt by everyone there.

When planning their wedding they expressed a real desire to spend as much time with their friends and family as possible so they decided to add on a day after session for more photos and we’d take just a few on their actual wedding day. So the next day we went on a drive, stopping along the way, photographing them in crazy places. Just having so much fun. And in the end we all struggled to say goodbye. Multiple hugs were given over and over haha. I’m so excited for wedding days to arrive and so sad for them to end.

Jacqueline and Chris, I’m not sure I can put into words how special you are, how special your love is, and how incredible of a gift it’s been to photograph you. You have now become a part of my own lifelong healing process. I hope you love these images and when you see them that they fill you up and not let you feel like anything or anyone was missing. Present or not, everyone was there. Thank you.

XOXO

 

 

 

I had to include a couple photos of their cakes haha cause while working on cakes Chris asked for a howling wolves cake topper. Jacqueline said no. So she surprised him with his own grooms cake with all the animals of the forest around it. Haha!

 

 

 

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