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

Sailing to the Alter – Megan & Sean – Notre Dame Wedding Photographer

What started out as a casual date to the ROTC ball, turned into the romance of a lifetime. Megan and Sean met freshman year of college, at the end of marching band rehearsal. Megan needed a date for the ball and one of her friends suggested Sean. What may have seemed totally random at the time, was clearly orchestrated by the Lord because here we are at their wedding day. ❀️

Megan loves that Sean supports her ambitions and how open and honest he is. Sean loves Megan’s thoughtfulness and that she’s a very loving person. Their faith is a big part of their relationship so when it came time to plan the wedding, there was only one place they wanted to get married; the Basilica on Notre Dame’s campus.

As the day began, I met up with the boys at the AirBNB. They had no problem being in front of the camera and jumped right in when it came time to get Sean dressed. And yes, there was plenty of suspender snapping. 🀣

Sean’s details contain some pretty cool backstories. First, the gold watch was a gift from Megan’s dad. Sadly the stitching ripped and Sean wasn’t going to be able to wear it. However, we happen to have a sewing kit in my camera bag so Grace sewed the leather pieces back together. Done and done!

Secondly, the socks may seem like normal funny socks but these pineapples with sunglasses are actually a hat tip to the instagram trend Sean started. He posted a photo of a pineapple wearing sunglasses and the post blew up. He started putting sunglasses on all kinds of fruit and created his own hashtag for it. Even though that was several years ago, Sean said you can still search the hashtag today (#fruitwithsunglasses). 🍍😎

Our handsome groom! I decided to do Sean’s portraits basically in the dark, lol. The bar/game room in the AirBNB was such a unique space that I wanted his portraits to feel like he was in the corner of a crowed bar on a Friday night. The extreme shadows naturally vignette the images and give Sean a very ‘James Bond’ look. Sorry ladies, this one’s taken. 😎

As the guys ate lunch, Grace and I drove over to check on our beautiful gals. Hair and makeup had just finished so the ladies popped on the couch and toasted our wonderful Megan! πŸ₯‚

Megan’s beautiful dress and details.

Love the ring box!

I was able to stand the rings upright (don’t ask me how) on Megan’s train. This was definitely a first and I love the shape. It reminds me of wings. πŸ¦‹

Megan’s mom (Dawn) and sister (Brenna) helped Megan get into her dress. I love the lace sleeve detail and buttons. ❀️

Love the reflection of Dawn putting in Megan’s veil. 😍

Our beautiful bride! Megan was all smiles. πŸ™‚πŸ₯°

The bridesmaids waited patiently to see Megan. I think it’s safe to say that they were excited! πŸ˜‰

After of copious amount of hugs, the gals grabbed their stuff and hopped on the bus. We met them in the vestibule where a bridesmaid gave me the idea for this beautiful shot. Well done my friend. πŸ˜‰

That moment when you see each other for the first time. ❀️

After opening prayer, the ceremony continued with two readings, the gospel and a very funny homily.

Megan and Sean exchanged vows and rings. πŸ’

The universal prayer. πŸ™

As Father Kevin prepared the alter for communion, I spotted some private giggles. These moments are the best. πŸ™‚

Sign of peace and communion. Sean’s father, mother and grandmother administered communion alongside Father Kevin.

Megan and Sean took a flower to Mary in the Lady Chapel.

Such a powerful moment.

This view never gets old… WOW! 🀩

It’s official! πŸ₯³

Mr and Mrs Sean Kelly!

Family formals up on the alter. The Mullaney and Kelly families.

Our wonderful wedding party!

The newlyweds!

If there’s enough time, I love to shoot in the aisle. It gives a completely different look and feel to the traditional photos at the front. Plus you can see the train so much better too! 😊

All of Megan and Sean’s guests were so excited to celebrate with them! πŸ₯³

We first finished the rest of the family photos and then it was the wedding party’s turn.

Love the color pallet Megan and Sean chose. πŸ’

With no cloud in sight, we embraced the sun to get all that awesome Dome action! 😎

Grace then shaded Megan and Sean so we could take some intimate portraits of them with that beautiful background. πŸ™‚

An instant classic! πŸ€—

God, Country, Notre Dame.

Megan could not stop giggling when I told Sean to kiss her hand. That genuine emotion is what it’s all about. πŸ˜‰πŸ˜˜

On our way to the Grotto.

Megan and Sean lit a candle and then placed it in their special spot. πŸ•―

Love these! 😍

It was such a beautiful day! β˜€οΈ

We hopped on the bus and drove to Saint Mary’s College, Megan’s alma mater. The sun was shinning so bright but that didn’t matter to the wedding party. They wanted to celebrate Megan and Sean on the iconic bridge. 😊

Now it was time for the wedding party group photos. The guys may have enjoyed tackling Sean a little too much. 🀣

The ladies were all smiles and gave Megan the biggest squeeze! πŸ€—


Our Saint Mary’s ladies!

Before leaving for the reception, I wanted Megan and Sean to have some private moments together. Le Mens Hall has the most gorgeous light. These two embraced one another. ❀️

A toast to the happy couple! πŸ₯‚

Of course we needed one on the bridge. Sometimes bright sun is a very good thing. β˜€οΈπŸ˜Š

Back on Notre Dame’s campus, the wedding party was cheering for the Irish! ☘️ 🏈

Such a sweet photo!

Reception time! The Downes Ballroom was decorated beautifully and that cake, wow! 😯

Megan and Sean walked in and went right into their first dance. They had some killer moves! πŸ•Ί

Let them eat cake! πŸŽ‚

As dinner was ending, several people stood up to toast the bride and groom. First off was Sean’s uncle.

Brenna welcomed Sean into the Mullaney clan and vowed he would not win at family game night anymore. 🀣

Danny, Sean’s younger brother, told Sean how much he admires and looks up to him. And also thanked Megan for being the only person never to have called him Sean. 🀣🀣🀣

Lastly, Megan’s dad, Kevin, welcomed Sean into the family with a pretty funny son-in-law joke and told Megan how proud he was of her. ❀️

Kevin then stayed on the dance floor for the father/daughter dance.

Sean and his mom, Sara, surprised everyone with their hilarious dance moves. πŸͺ©

Bouquet toss! πŸ’

Notre Dame alumni!

Let’s get this party started! πŸ₯³

As the sun was setting, I grabbed Megan and Sean for sunset photos on the terrace. One of the big advantages of having your reception at the stadium is definitely the view. We were lucky enough to catch the sun at the perfect time. β˜€οΈ

I wanted a different vantage point so naturalIy I climbed onto a pillar at the edge of the stadium (do not try this at home). So worth it! 😍

The perfect end to the perfect day! ❀️

To Megan and Sean – I can’t thank you enough for allowing us to capture your incredible day! You and your families have been so welcoming and fun, which just made the day even better! I’ve really enjoyed being on this journey with you. From phone and video calls, to Chick Fil-A dates and now, your wedding day. I’m so excited to see what the Lord has in store for you in this next chapter. All my love – S

To see their full day, click here.


Photography: Sarah Sage Photography LLC

Ceremony: Basilica of the Sacred Heart

Venue: Downes Club

Catering: Navarre Hospitality Group

Video: Vibrant Video Productions

HMU: Blushing Beauty & Co.

Floral: Country Florist & Gifts

Centerpieces: Fifty Flowers

DJ: DG Visionaries

Dress: Essences of Australia

Suit: Men’s Wearhouse

Cake: Adam’s Cake Shop

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