Joyful, fine art wedding photography for real couples. Serving Chicago, Washington DC and beyond.
Based in South Bend, Indiana. Available for travel.

The Wedding Mag Winter Cover Shoot – South Bend Wedding Photographer

Several months ago, I was asked to photograph the cover of The Wedding Mag’s winter issue. I was elated and honored by the request! What you may not know about magazines, or any publication for that matter, is that the vendors on the cover or featured inside often pay to be there.  So to be asked to photograph the full winter spread when I’m not a paid advertiser was a huge compliment!

The winter theme was ‘A Charming Escape’ and was set at Meadow Brook Barn in Goshen. We had real live llamas brought in (yes llamas) to show brides that you can truly create a one-of-a-kind wedding experience no matter where you are. The llamas were Bethza’s (professional hair and makeup studio) idea and I was so excited to not only get to work with the llamas but also to see how it would come together with our theme.

Our model for the day was Courtney who is the absolute sweetest person you’ll ever meet and was a blast to work with!  While she was getting ready, I started on the details upstairs in the reception space. Burns Rent-Alls created this gorgeous pallet of plum, navy and accents of lavender. Yellow Rose Florist created a beautiful center piece that was suspended over two glass vases. It’s such a unique look and something I’d never seen before. The flowers had accents of burgundy and gold and the greenery cascaded down the bouquet and centerpieces.

The stunning cake was made by Emily of Sweet Em’s Cake Shoppe, one of thee best cake decorators in town! She’s the sweetest person just like her name implies. 🙂 Take a look at the texture of the cake, it reminds of an oil painting; like Monet’s Waterlilies painting. Next to the cake were Kelli’s (of KB Macrons) adorable macrons in pistachio, cookies and cream, passionfruit, strawberry rhubarb and raspberry elderflower. They were so perfect and colorful that I wasn’t sure they were real.  I think we all ate about 5 a piece once the shoot was over. 🙂

In the bridal suite of Meadow Brook Barn, Courtney was just finishing up hair and makeup and getting into her beautiful gown by Elegant Designs. The intricate lace was both stunning and comfortable. Courtney looked so elegant but also said how comfortable she was and that she could actually move in the dress. This is extremely important when it’s time to boogie down on the dance floor on your wedding day!

Bethza made Courtney look like movie star with her gorgeous eye make up and soft lip color. We shot all day and her makeup was flawless the whole time; even in the direct sunlight. Marissa of L & M Hair Design gave Courtney a fun and spunky updo that fit perfectly with our fun theme and framed the face without taking away from all the lace of the dress.

We did some intimate shots of Courtney on this over-sized leather couch that Meadow Brook Barn has in their lounge area. It was very dark with low ceilings so you know what that means… lighting fun! I stuffed the small window with 2 pillows to knock out the small bit of natural light that was coming in. It was a distraction and didn’t provide any illumination so I covered it and then later PhotoShop the pillows out of the photos. I absolutely love this images because they’re so glamorous and editorial.

The day went by so fast but we all had a blast and I’ll have to admit, working with live animals was an unforgettable experience! Thankfully Ron, one of The Wedding Mag’s co-owners, is quite the llama whisper. 🙂

Thank you for the amazing vendors that helped create such a fun and unique shoot! And thank you to Ron and Ryan of The Wedding Mag for giving me this incredible opportunity! There’s nothing like seeing your photo on the cover of a magazine… ahh!

See the full spread here:


Magazine: The Wedding Mag

Photography: Sarah Sage Photography LLC

Venue: Meadow Brook Barn

Cake: Sweet Em’s Cake Shoppe

Macrons: KB Macarons

Hair: L&M Hair Design

Makeup: Bethza Pro Makeup Artist Studio

Dress: Elegant Designs

Rentals: Burn’s Special Events

Florals: Yellow Rose Florist

Llamas: Klein Himmel Llamas

Model: Courtney Kalka-Hager

comments +

  1. Ashley Ellis says:

    This is for your audit. But I love the llamas. They make me smile.

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