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

Beautiful Harbor Shores Wedding – Sarah & Lance – Michigan Wedding Photographer

Our wedding travels took us across the state line for Sarah and Lance’s St. Joe, Michigan nuptials. I met these two over a year ago and we immediately hit it off. They are a blast to hang out with and they are as obsessed as about their dog as I am about mine. 🤣🐶

Their love story began over two years ago when Sarah decided to ‘swiped right’ and share a Starbucks coffee with this cute Michigan guy. Add two years, a house and a cute puppy named Cooper and that brings us to today; their wedding day.

Grace and I arrived early to capture details. I always start with the invitation suite and I love that they used one of my engagement photos for the Save-The-Date! (It’s hanging in my office. ❤️)

When Sarah and Lance had their engagement session, I photographed Sarah’s ring on a bottle of Lance’s favorite bourbon. So when it came to doing the ring shot on their wedding day, it was only fitting that I photograph all 3 rings on the wine bottle they are saving for their 1 year anniversary. 💍

Lance’s details – complete with Cooper socks! 🐶

Lance’s groomsmen were eager to help him with his finishing touches. Maybe a little too eager. 🤣

Lance got all the guys personalized glasses so a toast was definitely in order. 🥃

Sarah and Lance wrote letters to one another that they read before the ceremony. Sarah surprised Lance with a watch. ⌚️

Handsome groom alert! 😎

I left the boys to eat lunch and as I headed to the ladies. When it came to where to hang Sarah’s dress, I couldn’t pick my favorite so why not both! 😊

I love that Sarah and Lance had matching boxes for their details. Made it extra personal. ❤️

I had so much capturing Sarah’s makeup application. I wanted to do something different with more creativity. I found a mirror on the floor so it set it up in the window and actually shot through it with another reflection under it. The outcome, 3 levels of reflection – so cool! 🤩

The ladies also shared a morning toast before the shenanigans begun. 🥂

Sarah’s mom helped her into her dress. That light is gorgeous! 😍

Sarah then surprised her bridesmaids with their own first look.

Love this! ❤️

Each bridesmaid helped Sarah with her finishing touches.

Our gorgeous bride! 🤩

Love her smile! 😊

Sarah did a first look with her dad too and surprised him with a personalize tie for him to wear. 👔

Sarah then read her letter and opened her gifts from Lance.

Time for the first look out on the harbor! Grace, myself and the videographers actually stood in the jagged rocks to get these shots. Would totally do it again but wouldn’t recommend. 🤣

Love that blue tones in the sky and surrounding boats. 🛥

Lance was so happy to see his gal! ❤️

Wedding party photo time! We all jumped in the shuttle and headed to the bluff by Silver Beach for photos. I was pleasantly surprised that we were able to find parking so fast.

The gals were up first! So much cuteness!

The boys were next and they nailed that walking shot! And they had way too much tackling Lance. 🤣

Hilarious socks for the win!

Our incredible group!

As the wedding party got back on the bus, Sarah, Lance and myself walked to the nearby garden for their portraits. And let me say, they killed it! I loved every shot. It was so hard to narrow it down. 🥰

Swoon! 😍😍😍

I can’t handle all the cuteness! 🤩

We all headed back to the hotel and lined up for the ceremony. Sarah and Lance got married on the shore line behind the hotel. It was so cool to see the blue sky and the boats in the harbor from the tent.

Sarah and Lance’s officiant was personal friend of theres who made the ceremony very personalized. Randy even talked about how much fun Sarah and Lance had during their engagement session. It was a humbling experience to be mentioned (by name) during the ceremony. ❤️😘

They exchanged vows and rings. 💍

Sarah and Lance placed their bottle of wine, along with letters to one another, in a personalized box for them to open on their 1 year anniversary.

It’s official! 🥳

Mr and Mrs Harris! 🙂

After the ceremony, we took family formals in front of the arch.

Our awesome wedding party!

And of course, the newlyweds!

As their guests went onto cocktail hour, Sarah and Lance took portraits on the shore as husband and wife. I’ve got to say, these two nail the walking shots! 🤩

Obsessed! ❤️

Reception time! The ballroom had beautiful light.

As Sarah and Lance made their grand entrance into the ballroom, they shared their first dance as husband and wife to the song When it’s time by Green Day. ❤️

I love the look on Lance’s face when he spins Sarah – so fun!

Let them eat cake! 🍰

Sarah’s dad welcomed everyone and Randy gave a blessing over the meal.

After a very yummy dinner, it was time for toasts. Sarah’s best friend, Kelly, from her days at Saint Mary’s, was up first. There was a battle between which team to root for, Notre Dame or U of M. I can tell by Sarah’s face in the 3rd photo that she will not be rooting for Michigan anytime soon. 🤣

Lance’s best man, Jake, was up next. He reminisced about their time at Purdue and their secret dance competition. 🤣

Next came the parent dances. Lance danced with his mom danced to The Prayer by Celine Dion.

Sarah and her dad had a very heartfelt dance to One Call Away by Charlie Puth.

Before the dance floor started hoppn’, we did a big family photo of all the Tepe cousins. 📷

Now let’s get this party started!!! 🥳

When it came to the night shot, our plan was to go to the beach for a sunset shot. However, the sun had been playing hide-n-seek all day so we weren’t sure if we’d even get a good sunset photo. Luckily, the main lobby of the hotel has a grand staircase with this very large chandelier in the middle. I thought it would make for the perfect (and super unique) place for their night shot. And bonus… I bet they’re the only couple with these particular photos because they’re taken from across the room, through the banister. Most people would have picked the easy angle and just shot from below but the moments are way more powerful from this angle. 🤩

For the last photo, we merely switched spots. I stood on my tip toes and shot through the chandelier as Sarah and Lance shared a romantic moment at the top of the stairs. I love all three for different reasons… which is your favorite?

The perfect end to a perfect day! 😍

To Sarah and Lance – Thank you for an incredible journey to today! You both are so fun to be around and your laugh is infectious. 😊 It’s been a pure joy working with you (and Cooper 🐶) and getting to know you better. I’m so excited to see what the Lord has in store for you in this next chapter. If you ever need anything, I’m always here. All my love – S

To see their full day, click here.


Photography: Sarah Sage Photography LLC

Venue & catering: The INN at Harbor Shores

Day of Coordination: 1928 Planning Company

Hair and makeup: Beauty & Bliss

DJ: Jellyfish Productions

Floral: Stella Event Design

Photo booth: Freeze Frame Photo Booth

Cake: Mimi’s Cupcakes

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