I met Jackie and Dusten several years ago at one of their friends’ weddings that I was a second photographer at. I’ll never forget how cute of a couple they made, with Jackie’s vivacious laughter and personality alongside Dusten’s quiet and collected nature.
When I found out that the two of them were engaged after over 10 years together, I couldn’t wait to congratulate them and talk to them about wedding photography! I was so honored and excited when Jackie told me that they wanted me to be their photographer.
Jackie and Dusten’s Love Story
Jackie and Dusten met while Jackie was bartending. Rumor has it that Jackie mixes her Long Island Ice Teas a little too strong, and this led to a funny conversation between them. Of course throughout their ten-year history there were a lot of great moments, including the time when Jackie got Dusten’s truck stuck, and they spent all night getting it un-stuck (whoops!) But even that tough moment turned magical as they watched the sunrise together after they got the truck out.
As the couple was approaching their ten year mark, Dusten decided it was time to tie the knot. And he had the perfect way – Jackie has always been a fan of flying. She’ll tell you how she always chats to Dusten about helicopters, wanting to be a pilot, etc. So while flying over the Oregon coast in her first helicopter ride, Jackie got an even bigger surprise when he proposed! Talk about a crazy first ride! The couple carried the helicopter theme into their wedding, with Jackie arriving via helicopter!
I can’t wait to see what’s in store for this amazing couple – I’m sure they’ll spend many happy years together. But it’s also so fun to reflect and look at some of the amazing wedding moments along the way!
Capturing the Perfect Engagement Session – Complete with Horses
After getting some wedding details all lined out, Jackie and I started to chat about what her and Dusten envisioned for their engagement session. They told me how important it was to include their horses along with beautiful views and hopefully, some wildflowers. Because of this, we opted to wait for warmer weather so there would be wildflowers and easy access with a horse trailer.
They’re dream of a nature-filled shoot put a few great location options in my head! But one stuck out – we ended up at a local, red dirt road that has unbeatable views of the Wyoming landscape.
The start of the engagement sessions had cloudy, dreary weather, so we decided to get some shots without the horses while keeping our fingers crossed that the clouds would clear up. To our luck, halfway through our session the sun came out, and we were able to capture some beautiful golden light amongst the mountain backdrop.
Sessions with horses are always fun and interesting, but these two boys were champs and some of the best horses I’ve photographed. I always try to work slow with horses so I don’t spook them, but you do have to be quick enough to capture the shot before they move.
When horses are involved (or any animal really) I make sure to follow their lead by going in whichever direction they are moving, so I can capture an efficient, beautiful shot easily, without making the photo unnatural or causing the animal to be upset.
A Beautiful Country Wedding
Dusten and Jackie’s dream was to have a big wedding that included plenty of friends and family to celebrate. A small wedding was not an option for these two, so the news of COVID restrictions definitely added some pressure to the wedding planning. Luckily, Wyoming eased their restrictions just in time for Jackie and Dusten’s wedding to be exactly what they dreamed of – dancing, drinking (long island anyone?), and celebrating the night away!
Jackie kicked the wild ceremony off by flying in on a helicopter. And the ending was equally as fun as the beginning – Jackie and Dusten closed out the ceremony by riding off together on their beautiful horses.
After all that excitement on a hot summer day, the reception was a great way to cool down. Everyone enjoyed some drinks and live music from a great band. Wyoming country swing dancing is truly the way into every woman’s heart up here, and it definitely holds a special place in Jackie and Dusten’s . They kicked up their boots to Wicked Game by Chris Isaak for their first dance together and then ended with cake pops and a tiered cake with a custom top featuring a bride and groom on their horses.
This whole wedding was true to their story, and it had so many elements of who they are! It was such an amazing way to celebrate their love, and I was so excited to get to capture all of it.