Phoenix King of Kings Wedding | Jackie and Austin

Long-distance is hard. That’s practically a proverb; everyone know it’s true. It certainly has the power to break you and your relationship into tiny little pieces. But anyone who has endured it repeatedly, and for a long time, and come out the other side, like Jackie and Austin, will tell you it also has the power to forge the two of you into something bigger than life. Bigger than any distance, any forced silence, any loneliness. It can make you into an unstoppable force.

On the day of their Phoenix King of Kings wedding, Jackie and Austin officially recognized the long standing commitment in their hearts and took a well-earned respite from their time apart. They first met at a Christian government leadership camp they both staffed in high school. She was 16 and he was 18. The attraction was instant and as they began to learn more about each other, it only grew. Austin left that fall for the New Mexico Military Institute and, when Jackie came out to watch him play in the homecoming football game, he asked her father’s permission to date her.

I don’t know if Jackie’s father, Robert, had any reservations when he consented to Austin at the time (he has four daughters so I imagine lots of practice with this sort of thing), but by the time the wedding day rolled around it was pretty obvious to him and everyone else that, “Yes,” was the right answer. Jackie says that, from that day to this one, their story is one of “God’s immense grace and love.” And that love is written all over these photos, my friends.

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After a long and unsatisfying search, Jackie found her lace one-shoulder dress on the sale rack of all places. “It was just sitting there like no one wanted it,” she said, “and it was perfect.” Once her mom, Kim, helped her put it on, all the rest of us could do was smile and agree. Absolutely perfect.

one-shoulder wedding dress

Cowboy boots were just as perfect for horse-loving, easy-going Jackie. If you’ve seen their horseback riding engagement session at Catalina State Park or watched my intro video, you’re already acquainted with her love affair with Raz the Pinto Arabian.

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Austin and Jackie had their first look together inside King of Kings Church. The sanctuary was quiet, expectant, and filled with God’s love. The perfect spot.

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After they had some time to share their joy alone, Jackie and Austin tucked themselves away to get ready for the big moment. Their ceremony was simple and profound, the only hitch a slight ring fumble by the best man, Austin’s brother Logan, which just made for some laughs and a story to tell in the years to come.

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Jackie and Austin’s Phoenix King of Kings wedding was filled to the brim with people excited to witness the start of their “happily ever after.” In fact, when people began to be seated in the reception hall at the Estrella Vista Reception Center and Pavillion there were more people than seats! Usually fewer people show up than actually RSVP’d, but Austin and Jackie had the opposite problem! These two are just too loved by too many people… if you can call that a problem.

Phoenix King of Kings Wedding

After their ceremony we stole some time for photos with family and their bridal party of SIXTEEN! Once again we can see the “problem” of too much love from too many wonderful people. That must be really hard for them (wink, wink).  Seriously though, usually a group this size can be hard to wrangle but these ladies and gentlemen were all so thrilled to be a part of celebrating these two incredible people, they made it so easy on me. Doesn’t hurt that they’re all super gorgeous either.
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While their many guests enjoyed their awesome dinner, catered by Estrella, we stole outside for a few more photos just the two of them as the sun set. It just takes one look at these two together to believe in true love.
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On to the party at the Estrella Vista Reception Center, and boy was it a rockin’ one! Jesse Pacheco of JP Productions‘ music was ON POINT all night long and the staff from Estrella kept everything running smoothly. All the bride and groom and their guests had to worry about was having a great time. Looking at the photos, I think they achieved that and then some!


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After their last dance of the night, all of Jackie and Austin’s guests gathered outside Estrella Vista Reception Center. They sent the newlyweds on their way to their honeymoon in Europe with sparklers and shouts of well wishes. It was the perfect ending to their Phoenix King of Kings wedding, and the perfect beginning to a life filled with joy and love. As a recent West Point Grad and newly commissioned officer in the US Army (hooah!), Austin will no doubt be called by duty to spend time separated from his wife, and those long-distance times will be hard. We all know long-distance is hard. But I suspect, based on what I’ve seen, they’ll do just fine.

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Second photographer: Amanda Bynum, Amanda Bynum Photography
Videography: Dwell and Ramble Photography
Ceremony venue: King of Kings Church
Reception venue: The Estrella Vista Reception Center and Pavilion
Catering: The Estrella Vista Reception Center and Pavilion
DJ: Jesse Pacheco, JP Productions
Ceremony Music: Sabrina Harding
Cupcakes: Selah Beck
Bridal Party Hair: Lori Jowdy
Bridal Party Makeup: Bella Barr
Floral Design: Terry Ellot

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  • Wow! Such lovely lovely srory telling. Gorgeous images ReplyCancel

  • The lighting in all of these is beautiful! Great use of OCF…teach me your ways!ReplyCancel

    • Oh goodness, Winnie, thank you! I’ll tell you OCF is always such a challenge and practice is the best teacher I’ve found! The Estrella Vista Reception center has a great ceiling for bouncing the flash, so that was a big part of the magic here!ReplyCancel

  • ej

    What a gorgeous couple, very beautifully captured wedding, kudos!ReplyCancel

  • She seriously has the most beautiful smile.  These images are amazing!ReplyCancel

  • holly

    What a beautifully happy couple! These photos are lovely!!ReplyCancel

  • Emilyanne

    Oh their first look is too precious. Their wedding as a whole was beautiful and the way you shared their story really added to the connection in the images. 🙂 ReplyCancel

    • I’m so glad you thought so Emilyanne! One of my favorite things about being a wedding photographer is getting to know the couple and their love story, so I really enjoy sharing it along with their images!ReplyCancel

  • Erinn

    Such lovely images from a day filled with love! Great job and beautiful work. ReplyCancel

  • Elizabeth

    Misty!!!  These are awesome!  Is it weird that I want her arms!?  What a gorgeous wedding.  I loved the image of them inside the church.  Simple, gorgeous composition and seriously beautiful work!  Well done!  ReplyCancel

    • Thank you so much Elizabeth!! And no, it’s not weird at all to want Jackie’s arms because she is hella buff. Very enviable arms! One of the things she and Austin like to do together is lift!ReplyCancel

  • sarah

    all of these images are stunning, I really loved the first look images! ReplyCancel

  • Emily Moore

    They seriously look like they’re the sweetest couple ever!! The way he makes her smile is just perfection 🙂 You captured this wedding so beautifully!ReplyCancel

  • Lindsay Zilke

    I LOVE hearing their love story! My wedding photographer never asked us ours, but reading this makes me wish he did. Adds so much more to the beautiful images! Beautiful work! And I’m so in love with the brides gown! ReplyCancel

    • I loved hearing their story to Lindsay! It’s one of my favorite things about being a wedding photographer: all those unique and wonderful love stories. <3ReplyCancel

  • Alyssa

    long distance is one of the hardest things! their day was lovely and you did a great job capturing it! ReplyCancel

  • Gorgeous! I love your use of off camera flash and that Father/Daughter dance gave me all the feels! <3ReplyCancel

    • RIGHT Nicki?! That father/daughter dance gets me right in the gut every single time! The mother/son dance too now that I have boys of my own. I seriously CANNOT keep it together while I’m shooting those!ReplyCancel

  • Janessa Valentine

    Beautiful! You captured their love and beliefs perfectly!ReplyCancel

  • Stephanie Fishbein

    I love your use of highlight flash! ReplyCancel

  • Liz Cleland

    This couple is so photogenic. I love all the smiles!ReplyCancel

  • Hannah

    Beautiful post! I love the story that you wrote along with the photos. The style of your photography is gorgeous! ReplyCancel

  • Alekandra

    She looked absolutely gorgeous and i  loved the cowboy boots!!ReplyCancel