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

Epic DC Engagement – Emily & Luke – Washington DC Wedding Photographer

On the most perfect spring day in April, Emily and Luke celebrated their engagement with an epic session throughout DC and Virginia. Emily and Luke met their sophomore year at Notre Dame and at graduation, Luke popped the question. These two moved to DC in 2020 and share a beautiful home and puppy (Ruth) together. They’ll be getting married next June at the place that started it all, Notre Dame. This is Emily and Luke’s engagement session story. ❤️

Emily and Luke picked up Grace and I from our hotel and we headed off to our first location, the Library of Congress. The library was open to the public so we played a fun game of avoiding tourists, for most of the morning. We started on the second floor of the library and these two seem to instantly feel comfortable in front of the camera. 📷

We found a quiet corner and decided to dance our cares away. 💃

Emily and Luke nailed their ‘burrito’ spin on the first try. 😊

We stopped on the landing of the stairs for a quick kiss. I tried to do an actual stair photo but the security guard just wasn’t having it.

So instead, I placed Emily and Luke on the landing and I walk all the way to the opposite side of the library for this epic moment. You wouldn’t know it by looking at this photo but Emily and Luke were surrounded by people.

Back on the second floor, we embraced all the colors of the library as Emily and Luke took a stroll together. 🙂

We attempted to go to another floor but again was stopped by security. No matter, we found an even better spot that had zero people in it. Just look at that light. 😍

So romantic! 🥰

As we were heading out, I was determined to find one more spot. The main floor was flooded with tourists and it seemed like there was no photo to be had. However, I walked around to the other side of the stairs to find this small hallway that was completely empty. The ceiling was hand-painted and the light was heavenly. I called Emily and Luke over and decided to do a reflection shot to amplify the grandness of the ceiling. Stunning! 🤩

We hopped back in their car and off we went to Bluemont Virginia. Once we arrived, we ate a very yummy lunch and may have tasted the local grapes. 🍇 😉🍷

Emily and Luke changed into their second outfit and we walked down the rows of vines.

I purchased a blanket at the gift shop (along with everything they had lol) which was perfect for a little snuggle among the grapes.

These walking shots could have easily been taken in Napa Valley. 🍷 😊

When it came time to show off that diamond, the grape vines came in handy. 💍

The light was just too perfect! 😍

As we started to make our way back up the giant hill, we stopped mid-way for a burrito spin or two. 😊

Emily and Luke make everything look so effortless. 🤗

When we finally made it to the top, Emily wanted to show off the grandness of the vineyard. We did two shots at the top of the vineyard; this lift and the walking shot from the top of the blog. Each tell a different story. Love! 💕

We all took a much needed water break and then headed back to the city. We continued our DC tour, making several stops at the art museums along the National Mall. This particular garden area was closed off but that never stops me. We were in there for about 2 minutes before we were kicked out. Oops! 🤣

Emily and Luke then shared a quiet moment together on the steps of the National Gallery of Art.

The giant black doors were the perfect backdrop for Emily and Luke’s dance party. I love that Emily spun Luke. 🤣🥹

Across the mall, Emily and Luke shared some snuggles among the florals. 🌸

We were just about to leave the area when Grace suggested a piggyback ride. The sun was starting to go down as Luke gave Emily a piggyback ride on the National Mall.

We made to the Lincoln Memorial as the sun was setting. The beautiful spring colors of the reflecting pool and grounds matched harmoniously with Emily and Luke’s outfits. 🙂

With the natural light gone, it was time to get creative. I loved how grand the pillars felt so I wanted to create a photo to reflect that. I had Grace light Emily and Luke while I amplified the size of the monument, showing the depth of location. I LOVE how it came out! 🤩

Next, I had Emily and Luke sit facing outward from the monument. The piercing blue sky became a key element in the photo so it was important not to minimize it. I had Grace backlight Emily and Luke which simultaneously enhanced the background while also creating a very intimate moment. Perfection! ❤️

By this time, it was pitch black out so it was time to go to our very last stop of the day, the Watergate Hotel. We were given special permission to shoot on the rooftop which proved to be the best ending to this incredible day. The wind was pretty chilly by this point but we didn’t care. Emily and Luke were dressed to the nines for their epic night shot that overlooked the city. We did three versions of it; standing, walking and a dip. Which is your favorite? 😍

After the last photo was taken, the four of us celebrated an amazing day with some cocktails and snacks on the roof. I couldn’t have asked for a better day and a better couple. ❤️

To Emily and Luke – Words can not express how grateful I am that you chose us to capture your wedding journey. Grace and I had an amazing time with you in DC and I’m thrilled to be seeing you again in just two weeks! I’m so excited to be a small part of your love story. All my love – S

To see their full session, click here.


Photography: Sarah Sage Photography LLC


Library of Congress, Bluemont Vineyard, National Gallery of Art, Mary Livingston Ripley Garden, Smithsonian Castle, Lincoln Memorial, The Watergate Hotel

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