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

Fall Swan Lake Wedding – Emily & Justin – South Bend Wedding Photographer

Emily and Justin said “I do!” at the beautiful Swan Lake Resort in Plymouth, Indiana on October 23rd, 2020. Even though mother nature kept threatening to wash out the day, thankfully Emily and Justin were able to have their dream outdoor wedding!

Our day started with details. Emily and Justin gave their guests eucalyptus leaves to throw at them at the ceremony so I thought I’d incorporate them into the details.

I love the green hues and the geometric shapes of this ring shot. If you’ll notice, the shape of the ring is the same as the leaf! How cool! 💍

In the bridal suite, Emily was getting her final touches done as her mom looked on.

With Emily’s hair and veil in place, it was time to get dressed. Emily had everyone leave the room while her mom buttoned up her dress. She wanted to surprise her bridesmaids and future mother-in-law.

And boy were they surprised! 😱

After a round of hugs and tears, it was time for Emily’s finishing touches.

Before heading downstairs for her portraits, Emily did a first look with her dad. He was beaming from ear to ear!

Emily has this unprecedented beauty. She always looks radiant, like a goddess. 😍

Back upstairs in the guy’s room, Justin was getting some help with his finishing touches from his very silly groomsmen.

I wanted the portraits to mirror each other in the album so I took Justin to the same location. He knocked it out of the park! Sorry ladies… this one’s taken! 😍

The rain held off so we were able to do the first look under the gazebo like the wanted.

Since the rain had stopped,  I had the wedding party walk over to the golf course for some photos. You can really appreciate the beautiful fall colors on the golf course.

I snagged these 2 shots real fast before heading in. The sky was starting to get darker so I didn’t’ want to push our luck.

Back in the bridal suite, Justin’s mom pinned on his boutonniere then he put her corsage on. Emily placed her mom’s corsage on and then pinned her dad’s boutonnière on.

The rain stopped so we hopped back outside for wedding party photos.

Our beautiful ladies! 😘

Our handsome gentlemen!😍

Emily and Justin bought each groomsmen a unique cufflink, specific to their personality. Such a great idea!

We sent the wedding party inside and managed to get another 10 minutes of portraits before the rain returned. I was so thankful and I know they were too.

Ceremony time! Prayers were answered as Emily and Justin were able to have their ceremony outside just like they wanted.

During the readings, the wedding rings were passed around the wedding party and immediate family for a blessing. I’d never seen this before but thought it was such a wonderful way to incorporate their most important friends and family into their marriage.

During the sand ceremony, the mother’s poured the sand first and then Emily and Justin filled the vase together.

They exchanged vows and rings. 💍

Mr and Mrs Justin Rachal! ❤️ It was very important to Emily that we get this moment from both angles. She wanted to see the guests reaction as they kissed for the first time as husband and wife.


The Newlyweds!

Family formals! The Schulz’s and the Rachal’s!

Three generation kiss. 😘

The ballroom was decorated beautifully for the reception. Emily and Justin incorporated personal touches throughout the room.

Time to get the party started!  🥳

Emily’s dad welcomed the guests and her uncle gave the blessing.

After dinner, Rebecca (maid of honor), Travis (best man), Emily’s best friends and Justin’s sister (Gabby) gave very heartfelt and fun speeches. Everyone in the wedding party has known the couple for most of their lives and that’s rare. Emily and Justin are so very blessed.

Let’s eat that cake! 🍰

Their first dance as husband and wife.

Emily danced with her dad as Justin danced with his mom.

Instead of tossing the bouquet, Emily and Justin gave it to the couple that had been married the longest. They were so surprised. 🙂

Put on those dancing shoes! 💃🏻 🕺🏻

Emily loves all things pink so I thought it would fun to incorporate the blush pink color into their night shot. A small light with a pink gel lit the gazebo as my assistant lit Emily and Justin from the front.

And of course, a romantic black and white to end this perfect day! 🥰

To Emily and Justin – Thank you so much for taking me along on this beautiful journey with you! You both have been amazing to work with and anyone can see how much you love each other. You are beautiful people on the inside and out! I can’t wait to see what the next chapter holds for you as husband and wife. All my love – S

To see their full day, click here.


Photography: Sarah Sage Photography LLC

Venue & catering: Swan Lake Resort

Floral: Snapdragon-Designs

Cake: C’est La Vie Cakes

DJ: Infinity Music Service

Hair: Sola Salon (Marie)

Makeup: Amber Lynn Studio

Wedding dress and bridesmaids dresses: David’s Bridal

Suites: Men’s Wearhouse

Wedding Planner: Janice Cunningham

Invitations: MagnetStreet

Jewelry: JR Fox


comments +

  1. Julianna Green says:

    Would love to know if August 20 or 27 is available for wedding and reception. How much is the price and what else do you offer.
    Thank you 💗
    Julianna Green

  2. Julianna Green says:

    Would love to see if August 20 or 27 is available for a wedding and reception. What are the prices and what else is available

    Thank you 💕

    • Sarah Sage says:

      Dear Julianna,
      Thank you so much for reaching out. Sadly we are fully booked in August. If you have any flexibility of the month or year, we’d love to chat with you more. Here’s our direct line if you have any other questions (574-544-9805). Thank you!

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