Perfect doesn’t even begin to describe this wedding day! Caitlin and Greg got married on December 7th (my birthday) at a beautiful Lutheran church in Berrien Springs, Michigan. I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Caitlin and Greg over the past year and I can tell you whole-hearted that they are some of the sweetest people you’ll every meet.
Our day started with details at the church. Since there wasn’t any window light in the foyer, I opened the entry doors and photographed the details in the walkway. A little chilly, not going to lie, but the light made it all worth it. I love Caitlin’s flowers! They’re made of wood and will last forever. Plus, they probably weight an 1/8th of of real flowers.
Caitlin was getting ready in a small room just off the foyer. The church had these beautiful stain glass windows so I thought instead of lighting the whole room, let’s use this gorgeous light and turn ordinary into extraordinary. Yes I know that sounds cheesy but just look at the result!
She’s the most beautiful person inside and out. 🙂
Next we headed downstairs to the youth group room to check on the boys. There was another big window in the corner of the room so I knew I could mirror Greg’s portraits to Caitlin’s. We moved everything to the other side of the room and focused in on just the moment.
Greg’s portraits! It’s still amazing to me how the beautiful simple window light can be on the face. And by zooming in on just Greg, we eliminated all the stuff in the background.
We walked outside the church for their first look. The church has a beautiful stone exterior and iron doors so I wanted to make sure to capture those elements in the moment.
They were both beaming from ear to ear. 🙂
We jumped in our cars and drove to the reception location for pictures. Our original idea was to go to the beach but the cold temperatures and local events caused us to rethink that plan. It was a blessing because I think the images on the golf course go more with Caitlin and Greg’s winter theme and we had so much more space and zero sand.
This bridal party may have been cold but they gave their all for Caitlin and Greg.
I loved the cranberry dresses with the navy! It’s a winter feel without looking holiday. Plus the fur shawls were super cute and warm.
Now it was time for creatives.
I told Greg to pull Caitlin along like they were going for a walk. This type of pose shows off the dress and lets the wind blow naturally through Caitlin’s hair.
You can really tell that these two love each other so much. They were literally smiling all day non-stop!
Individual portraits. Up first is our beautiful bride!
Now it’s our handsome groom’s turn!
We all got back in our cars and headed back to the church for the ceremony. Dad gave his daughter away with not a dry eye in the sanctuary.
The sanctuary was so beautiful and full of light. Most churches are very dark so this was a pleasant surprise. The images speak for themselves.
Mr and Mrs McNair!
Family formal time! The Wagner’s and the McNair’s!
I had a vision for a gorgeous portrait of the two of them in the aisle of the church. I had my assistant hold a light on camera left with a gel to warm their skin. I love how it turned out!
Back in the cars to head to the reception! The Pebbblewood Banquet Hall was beautifully decorated in festive decor and a big Christmas tree that guests could decorate with a bulb that they signed.
After a very yummy dinner, it was time for speeches from the Maid of Honor and Best Man.
Cake cutting time!
First dance as man and wife.
The always fun bouquet and garter toss! Caitlin and Greg faked their guests out by not throwing the bouquet and garter at the end of the countdown. It made everyone laugh and allowed me to get some great images of Caitlin and Greg.
Before the dance floor opened back up, Caitlin and Greg surprised me by having everyone sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to me. I was totally surprised and kind of felt like a celebrity (if only for those 90 seconds). 🙂
As the night wined down, it was time for the night shot. I wanted to go outside and bounce light off of the trees. This proved easier said than done as it was hard to find the right spot outside and it was also impossible to match the cranberry color with the color gels I had. My assistant, Grace, tried for about 30 minutes to come up with a combination of the gel colors I had that would make the cranberry color. After several attempts, we simply used a red gel and I changed the color in Photoshop.
We did both a silhouette and a two light set up where Caitlin and Greg were lite from the front. I love both for different reasons. The silhouette is very intimate while the other two are fun! The perfect way to end a perfect day and perfect birthday!
To Caitlin and Greg – Thank you for trusting me with your memories and for making me feel so special on your big day. I hope you love your images as much as I loved capturing them for you. I truly loved everything about your day so I hope you did too! If you ever need anything, please reach out anytime. Merry Christmas! Love – S
To see their full gallery, click here.
Photography: Sarah Sage Photography LLC
Church: Trinity Lutheran Church
Venue & catering: Pebblewood Banquet Hall
HMU: The Mane Attraction
Cake: Melissa Hendrix
Dress designer: Cocomelody
Suits: Louie’s Tux Shop