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

Culver Cove Fairytale Wedding – Nicole & Jake – South Bend Wedding Photographer

A fairytale wedding by the water is exactly what Nicole and Jake dreamed of. A beautiful outdoor wedding, surrounded by friends and family and of course, the lake. Even though their original plan was to get married in June, this gorgeous September day could not have been more perfect! ☀️

Our day starts with details! Nicole’s sparklingly wedding dress needed a photo location just as grand as itself. After a few minutes of searching, I found these huge windows that look out over the water. I love this image because not only does it tell the story of where we are but the leading lines give the image visual interest and impact!

Nicole was finishing up her hair and makeup in her suite. The suites overlooked the ceremony site and the lake which made them so picturesque.

A fun moment with the gals before getting into her dress! 🥰

Nicole’s mom (Jill) tied the back of her dress as her wonderful bridesmaids looked on. Jill did an excellent job. Most people can’t tie a corset that fast… I was impressed! 😉

Nicole was beaming from ear to ear the whole time!

Each bridesmaid got to help Nicole with her finishing touches.

Using those same large windows from earlier, I captured Nicole’s portraits before heading off to the guys. She’s a modern day Cinderella! 😍

Now it was time to get our awesome groom ready! Jake’s groomsmen made sure Jake looked his best and may have had a little too fun doing so. 😁

Jake is one of the few grooms that likes getting his picture taken. Needless to say, his portraits were on point!

It’s time for the first look! Jake was so surprised and literally couldn’t stop smiling. ☺️

After the first look, the wedding party joined us for pictures!

Next it was time for family formals. May I introduce the Matzinger’s and the Burdine’s! 🤗

Even though the sun was super bright, we still had to get a few photos by the water. After all, you don’t plan a wedding on the water and not have it in your photos! That blue is breathtaking!

Before the ceremony, we did a few more creatives and their individuals.

Our beautiful bride! 😍

Our handsome groom! 😎

Ceremony time! Nicole and Jake implemented a lot of personal touches into their day, including small bottles of champagne that were actually bubbles for the guests to blow at the end of the ceremony.

Jake’s niece stole the show with her flower pedal throwing ability. ❤️

Here comes the bride!

Picture perfect day!

Sand ceremony.

Exchanging of vows and rings. 💍

Their first kiss as husband and wife!

Mr and Mrs Jacob Matzinger!!!

After Nicole and Jake greeted their guests, I snuck them out by the water for an epic dip kiss!

I then bustled Nicole’s dress and then we walked back to the first look location for a few more photos. The light was perfect so I’m so glad we made time for these moments. 😍

It’s party time! Nicole and Jake created their reception decor themselves. Each item represents their love story!

Our newlyweds!

After dinner, it was time for speeches. Each speech was more hilarious than the last. Nicole’s dad literally made everyone cry from laughing so hard. 🤣

Cake time!

Their first dance as a married couple!

Parent dances!

Cake smash challenge! The person with the most money in their jar was the person to get a cupcake smashed in their face. Nicole got the most money but she decided that Jake should win instead. 😆

Put on your dancing shoes! 💃🏻 🕺🏻

Nicole and Jake ended their evening with a lantern release over the water. All the guests participated which made the whole dock glow!

And no wedding would be complete without a night shot. Since it was pitch black outside, I thought it would be nice to find a location inside for their night shots. There was a wall of mirrors (like a fun house) in part of the resort. I knew we could do something unique there. I had Nicole and Jake stand against the mirrors and I lite them from the side. You can see the reflection of the chandler and the spiral staircase in the mirrors. I did this in both color and black and white because I couldn’t choose.

I wanted to use the chandler in another shot but wasn’t sure how. Then I spotted a small staircase across the opening that Nicole and Jake could stand on. This elevated them higher than the chandler and also added to the grandness of the photo. This night shot shows the whole space, whereas the photos below are more intimate and are shot through the railing.

I love the warm glow that the lights provided us but you can’t go wrong with the classic black and white!

Fairytale ending indeed! 😍

To Nicole and Jake – Thank you for welcoming me into your lives and allowing me the honor of capturing your day! You two are amazing human beings and together, you are the perfect couple! I’m so excited to see you each year and watch as your love story continues! I wish you nothing but love and happiness! If you ever need anything, I’m always here for you! All my love – S

To see their full day, click here.


Photography & photo booth: Sarah Sage Photography LLC

Venue & catering: Culver Cove Lakeside Condominiums

Decor & floral: Bride and groom

comments +

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Rachel and Pete’s stunning black tie wedding was the stuff of dreams. The live band combined with the Palais Royale’s grand ballroom, made you feel like you were stepping back in time to the roaring 20’s.

a few favorites from

Elegant Black Tie Wedding

Maria and Ben are true high school sweethearts. They’ve been together since 8th grade and incorporated several Mexican traditions into their catholic wedding. Featured publication on The Knot.

The Knot Feature

Wendy and Michael’s Notre Dame wedding couldn’t have been more perfect. From the gorgeous weather, amazing details and loving family and friends, these two hit the wedding jackpot. 

Notre Dame Fairytale