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

A True Blue and Gold Celebration – Jen & Jon – Notre Dame Wedding Photographer

Jen and Jon’s wedding day was beyond gorgeous. They incorporated blue and gold throughout their whole day, from the details, to the ceremony and of course, at their epic reception in Notre Dame stadium. Jen and Jon light up when the other enters the room.

They met years ago when Jon was actually applying for a consoler position at the company Jen worked for. Funny enough, Jen was the one that interviewed him. They became good friends and when Jen got another job, they quickly started dating. Now 3 years later, we’re here, celebrating the story of Jen and Jon.

The day started at the girls’ AirBNB where hair and makeup was finishing up. I started on Jen’s details as Grace captured her makeup. Jen wanted her lace handkerchief and custom ring dish in the detail photos. The handkerchief made for the perfect background. And the ring dish… perfect place for the ring shot. Check it out below. ⬇️

I’m obsessed with the reflection of the ring in the gold dish. πŸ’

In the middle of makeup, Jen received a gift from Jon. It was part one of his gift (that’s what the note said, lol). The scrapbook contained a sweet note from Jon, the bib from their first half marathon together and cute notes from Jon’s 4th grade students. Each student gave marriage advice and it was hilarious. 🀣

This girl looks gorgeous even without makeup. πŸ’„

Major props to Grace for catching Jen’s reflection in the makeup mirror. Love! πŸ’•

You know I had to do a hairspray shot for Jen. I love to shoot through the ring light to create a natural vignette to the photo.

A little toast with her gals! πŸ₯‚

As the ladies headed to the church, Grace and I went to the hotel to check on Jon and the boys. I captured his details first on the navy blue sofa. A perfect Notre Dame opposite to Jen’s gold details.

The boys were eager to help Jon look his best for his big day.

Jon then opened his gift from Jen. The biggest surprise was 2 new Tin Caps jerseys with their wedding date and last name on the back. Jon had brought his original one (22) without even knowing of the gift. The guys held them up to show off the date. Perfection!

A little bro time before the ceremony. πŸ™‚

Before leaving, I captured Jon’s portraits. Sorry ladies, this one’s taken! 😎

When we arrived at St. Monica, I knew I wanted to photograph the dress by the beautiful doors. With a little help from Jake (videographer), we were able to hang the dress from the main sanctuary doors. 😍

Jen was excited to get in her dress. πŸ‘—

It was all hands on deck as every gal had a part in getting Jen ready. The buttons on her dress ran the whole length of the dress so it was definitely a team effort. πŸ™‚πŸ˜‰

One final squeeze before walking down the aisle. πŸ€—

Jen did a first look with her dad. ❀️

For Jen’s portraits, I had her stay in the bridal suite (vs looking for another spot) because of how pretty the space was. Jen couldn’t look more beautiful if she tried. πŸ₯°β€οΈ

Ceremony time!

Jen really wanted the shot from the back of the church as she’s walking up. I got you boo!

That moment when you see each other. ❀️

After opening prayer and signing the Gloria, we had two readings, Father Patrick read the gospel and Father Logan gave a very fun homily. He spoke about the Lord of the Rings and how that represents the wedding rings in a marriage. πŸ’

Jen and Jon exchanged vows and rings.

A secret smile between them while Father prepared the alter for communion.

The nuptial blessing. πŸ™πŸ»

Sign of peace – which they did right at me. Love it! 🀣😊


As communion ended, Jen and Jon gave flowers to their mothers and then offered one to Mary. πŸ’

It’s official!!!

Mr and Mrs Jonathan Hake! πŸ₯³

Family formals on the alter. One of our rings bearers was not having it. 🀣

The newlyweds! ❀️

I’ve been fortunate enough to photograph here at St. Monica many times. Every time I do, I try to find a new way to create something beautiful for each couple. I wanted a grand moment in the sanctuary from a different angle and that incorporated the stain glass windows. I had Jen and Jon stand in the middle of the aisle while we lite them from the left and swooped the veil on the right. This is probably my favorite church photo ever… not just at St. Monica. 🀩πŸ₯°

Jen also wanted a photo with the beautiful doors; another photo I wanted to do differently. This time, I had them stand in the foyer, Grace lit them from above and then I had Jen and Jon walk out. These two photos tell the story of Jen and Jon going onto their next chapter together. Love! ❀️

As it started to sprinkle, Jen and Jon did a little dance just outside the doors.

Love the color!

Let’s celebrate! πŸŽ‰

The wedding party got on the bus and we hoped in our cars and headed off to campus. Jen and Jon wanted photos by the lake, however, we went to the wrong lake. After calling each other and realizing we were on the wrong side, I picked up my gear and ran across the lake. Yes, you heard my right, ran (gear and all) around the entire lake to find Jen and Jon. What started out as a negative was actually a positive in disguise. In the time it look to run around the lake, the rain stopped, the weather cleared and Jen and Jon got 10 minutes of quiet time together, which they were very thankful for. Silver lining! ❀️

Once I stopped panting, we started their portraits. All I can say is WOW! 🀩

So gorgeous! 😍😍😍

Grace and I hitched a ride on the bus, back to our car. We then drove to the Grotto so Jen and Jon could light a candle. I’m going to warn you now that there are a lot of these photos because I’m obsessed with them and couldn’t narrow it down. 🀣🀩

We made our way to God Quad for some veil fun! Both under and over!

Our awesome wedding party!

Got to love that swoop! 😍

On our way to the stadium, we stopped for some wedding party photos. The guys were up first.

Our beautiful ladies were next!

Love the florals by Always N Bloom! πŸ’

Such a perfect day! 😊

Before heading up to the ballroom, the wedding party toasted with a party shot. πŸ₯‚

The Dahnke ballroom looked amazing!

All the reception details. Each guest had a lotto ticket at the seat to which they could use the winnings to buy a dance during the dollar dance. πŸ’ƒ πŸͺ© Such a fun idea!

Let’s welcome Mr and Mrs Hake! πŸ₯³

Jen’s parents gave a welcome speech and made sure to embarrass Jen in the process. 🀣

When dinner ended, Joe (Jon’s brother), Natalie and Amanda (Jen’s sisters) gave their toasts to the happy couple. πŸ₯‚

Let them eat cake! πŸŽ‚

Their first dance as husband and wife!

Jen stayed on the dance floor to have a dance with her dad.

And then it was Jon’s turn to dance with his mom.

Jen and Jon thanked their guests for celebrating with them and then had a special surprise for Jen’s mom. Her mom used to say that she’ll never have a mother dance at a wedding because she didn’t have any sons. Well, Jen wanted to give her mom her very own dance. She pulled her out onto the dance floor to the song of Don’t Stop Me Now by Queen. They clearly had danced to the song before because mom check out those moves!

Then Jon and Jen’s sisters joined in!

Not too long after, Jen requested the song Wipe Out to which she and her family used each other as surf boards. It was hilarious. πŸ˜†

Now that’s how you open a dance floor! πŸ•Ί

As the evening came to a close, it was time for Jen and Jon’s night/evening shots on the terrace. The stadium made for the perfect background with that deep green turf.

One of Jen’s must-have moments was a sunset shot on the terrace. However the weather decided it would rather rain instead. Not to worry. I placed a light behind Jen and Jon with an orange gel on it to mimic the sun rays during sunset. With a little magic and some imagination, I was able to create that sunset shot for Jen; 4 of them in fact. ❀️

The perfect ending to the perfect day! ❀️

To Jen and Jon – Wow, what a day! I can’t thank you enough for choosing me and my team to be a part of your gorgeous day! The day was absolute perfection and I couldn’t ask for a better couple to share it with! If you haven’t figured it out by now, I’m a little obsessed with your photos so I hope you are too! I can’t wait to hear how the Lord works in your lives as you go onto this next chapter together as husband and wife. I’m here if you ever need anything. All my love – S

To see their full day, click here.


Photography: Sarah Sage Photography LLC

Hotel: Embassy Suites by Hilton South Bend at Notre Dame

Church: St. Monica Catholic Church

Venue: Dahnke Ballroom

Catering: Three Leaf Catering

Floral: Always N Bloom

Videography: Vibrant Video Productions

DJ: In-Tune DJ Services

Cake: Macri’s Italian Bakery

Rentals: Burn’s Special Events

Lighting: Events by Proshow

Makeup: Thee Makeup Team

Hair: Blushing Beauty & Co.

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