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

Mr & Mrs Saxton – Winter Wedding – Fort Wayne Wedding Photographer

I literally could not wait for Kelsey & Isaac’s wedding! From the day we met at Panera last year, I knew we were the perfect fit! Plus their engagement session was not only a blast but their images… wow! These two are probably the coolest (and most organized) couple I’ve ever had the pleasure to work with. Kelsey is a type A personality like me so naturally we bonded over white binders with post-it tabs. 😀 And we can’t forget Isaac. He would literally give Kelsey the moon if she asked; he loves her so much. He’s in the Marines, as well as 3 of brothers, so I was elated to photographed a military wedding!

When you pick January to get married, you usually do so because you want a winter wedding… simple enough right? Unfortunately, old man winter had taken the month off and left us with rain and 60 degrees. Good old Indiana…

Knowing this I decided to purchase clear umbrellas for the bridal party. I didn’t want Isaac and Kelsey not to have any outdoor photos, especially when they picked such a beautiful place to get married. Again, the weather was too much for us to stay out long but at least we got some photos.

Our day begins at Tangles Salon & Spa in Fort Wayne. All the gals were finishing up their hair and drinking ‘water’ out of their matching bridesmaids tumblers. Kelsey’s stylist was having a little too much fun with the hair spray! lol

Before leaving, we got a few quick photos of all the girls on the couch of the salon. These ladies really love our girl! All day, they asked Kelsey and myself how they can help. 🙂

Off I went to the country to meet up with Issac and the guys. Issac’s father (Dave) has this really cool barn on their property with a pool table, ping pong table and pretty snazzy bar. Naturally I found the guys getting their hair cut and drinking at the bar. Isaac’s barber was kind enough to come early and give all the guys a hair cut for the big day.

I wanted to do something different than just, here’s a group of guys standing by the groom… boring. So I huddled them around the bar (which they didn’t mind lol) and got out my gels. I set up 2 lights with different color gels on them to match the colors of the wedding. From the moment I started, I could tell we were in for some shenanigans. These boys were not bashful at all… there was really no limit to what I could have asked them to do. haha

Isaac opened his gift from Kelsey which was a very nice, military grade watch. I had to bribe him to take the watch, his shoes and his sword with me for detail shots. He’s very protective of his shoes for some reason, and made sure to give the a good shine before I left. 🙂

Arriving at Goegleins for detail shots, I found my assistant, Beth Ann, helping with setting up the ceremony and reception spaces. There was a party in the reception area the night before so the girls were limited in what they could do ahead of time. While they did that, I jumped right into details. I had so much to work with, I didn’t know where to begin! Normally there is small amount of details but Isaac’s uniform affronted me some many different ways to create each image. I shot the invitation first and absolutely had to use his sword. When I did the individual details, I accidentally switched the perfume for the cologne. It’s a private joke now and hopefully they’ll smile when they look back at this images.

The ladies were still doing their makeup so I headed off to the guys so Issac could get dressed. With the rain coming down, we had to shoot inside but were very limited because we didn’t want Kelsey and Isaac to accidentally see one another and all the other spaces were currently being decorated. Thankfully there was a small staircase at the back of the venue with brick walls and a big window. The guys all helped Isaac get dressed and then Isaac went around and inspected each guy.

As the guys went to grab some food, I took Isaac’s portraits. The light from the window was so beautiful but wasn’t very bright because of the overcast. This meant I could only photograph him in certain parts of the stairwell so both A: he could be seen and B: so that the rest of the brown background wouldn’t be seen.

Even though he giggled through most of it, (thanks Josh), I love his images! They are very unique and give dignity and respect to both the wedding day and the uniform. Let’s face it… if you can wear sword on your wedding day, you’re going to wear a sword.

We ran outside with the umbrellas and got just about 5 minutes worth of photos as a group. The guys still had fun with it, make no mistake about that, I just wish we could have stayed out longer. We then rushed back and took their individuals under the awning of the venue.

As the guys dried off, I took detail shots of both the ceremony and reception spaces. I loved this space so much! Even though outside didn’t look like a winter wonderland, the inside sure did. The gorgeous color pallet and twinkle lights gave the images a warm and inviting feel. The whole room made you want to snuggle up by the fire and drink hot coco. Plus you all know red is my favorite color so I was in heaven!

With Isaac tucked away, it was time for our beautiful Kelsey to get into her dress. I took her and girls back to to the same stairwell so that their images would mirror the boys. Kelsey’s dress could not have been more perfect for her; it fit her like a glove. And the lace train… yes please!

The intimate moment with mom was so special.

Kelsey’s portraits were movie star quality. Her poised and elegant expressions reminded me of the 1920’s. I literally couldn’t take enough photos of her!

She’s so unbelievably gorgeous!

A quick 5 minute run outside for pictures with the girls and individuals, then it was time for the ceremony.

The ceremony was a true family affair as each immediate family member had an important part of play in creating this dream winter wedding. Most importantly being Isaac’s brother Jeremiah who surprised everyone as he performed the ceremony. He had gotten ordained online as a gift to Isaac and Kelsey. He was not without his jokes and personal stories but that’s what made it so perfect!

Mr & Mrs Saxton!

We literally recessed down the aisle and ran right outside for bridal party photos. Each person grabbed their buddy and umbrella and ran to find shelter. This group was real troopers as they had to deal with wet, cold feet and rain hitting them in the face as they tried to smile. But you would never know it to look at them though… they were ready to give 200% for Kelsey and Issac!

Just a few quick outside moment and back in we went. Love these!

It was time to get very creative as we lost all the light but still needed images of Kelsey and Issac together. Using a whole lot of creative juices, lighting knowledge and an awesome assistant, I created intimate portraits that are truly unique and specific to them.





Family Formals.

Introducing Mr & Mrs Saxton!

Their first dance as man and wife.

Cake time! Yes Kelsey did lick the frosting off the sword. haha

Jeremiah explained the missing man table that was set specifically for those who served our country that could not be here to celebrate because they gave the ultimate sacrifice. He then led us in pray and dinner was served.

Speeches came next with a very heartfelt moment from Issac’s best man and dad, Dave. I personally couldn’t stop laughing has Kelsey’s two maid of honors gave their speech in all FRIENDS terms. As a diehard fan, I only hope someone gives me a toast like that someday.

Kelsey’s dance with her dad; very sweet.

Isaac danced with his grandmother. She was beaming from ear to ear.

Before opening dancing started, Kelsey and Isaac did a Dash 4 Cash game. The bridal party had 60 seconds to go around and find the most money possible. They gave it their all as they were pushing one another out of the way and stealing dollars away that the other team had collected. It was a pretty heated few minutes. lol Girls won!

Time to get our groove on!

The Nurses!

Uncles & Aunts!


Last but certainly not least was the night shot. The rain continued to pour so my brain was spinning on what we could do. We had exhausted all other areas of venue and outside was just too wet. As I did a lap around the outside of the venue, I found the far south side had outside lights and a beautiful window at the top of the peak. I knew I could keep Kelsey and Isaac pretty dry since I’d only have them step slightly out from under the awning and I’d have enough light to see their faces because of the sconces. But it was missing something. How could I take this local and make it grand?! And then I realized that I could pay tribute to Issac’s service by adding red and blue gels on each side of the door. Attaching the gels to a light and bouncing them off the building would create a beautiful hue one each side of the couple.  I ran upstairs and grabbed all my gear, got it in place and then grabbed Kelsey and Issac.

I did 4 variations because let’s face it… these two rock! Two close up and two epic wide moments. I love the dip most of all but what’s your favorite? It was the perfect way to end the perfect day!

To Kelsey & Issac – I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… I wish I could photograph you two every day! You’re amazing, perfect for each other and just plain cool to hang out with with. I felt like a real member of your family the whole day and honestly, didn’t want the fun to end. Even though we didn’t get the weather we wanted, I truly believe you have such unique images that will stand the test of time and make you forget all about that silly rain. I’m thrilled that this is not our last venture together since you have the client for life. I’ll get to see you both every year as your love story continues. Love you always – S

To see their full gallery click here.


Photography & photo booth: Sarah Sage Photography LLC

Venue & food: Goeglein’s Catering

Salon: Tangles Salon & Spa

Floral: Amy, Designed by Geogleins

Cake: The Cake Canvas

DJ: Alomar Entertainment

Dress: Patty’s Bridal

Decor & makeup: Bride

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