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

Classic Black Tie Wedding – Maria & Ben – Chicago Wedding Photographer

Maria and Ben’s love story is one out of a fairytale. They met back in 8th grade, over 12 years ago. Ben asked Maria to the movies and they’ve been inseparable ever since. It’s so rare to find couples that are high school sweethearts these days, let alone middle school sweethearts. That kind of love is what people write love songs about. ❀️

Maria and Ben have traveled to some pretty amazing places during their tenure of dating. But nothing would compare to their trip to Positano Italy when Ben proposed to Maria on the beach. These wonderful 12 years have lead us to today. This is Maria and Ben’s wedding day story. 😊

Grace and I arrived at the hotel to find the gals were enjoying some Starbucks and getting their hair done. We took all their gorgeous details and headed down to the atrium for the best light. I’m obsessed with Maria and Ben’s black and white/champagne invitation and the elegant theme of the day.

The pearls on Maria’s shoes turned out to be the perfect place for the ring shot. It took a minute to get them to balance but it was totally worth it. πŸ₯ΉπŸ’

As Grace headed to the girls’ suite to capture makeup photos, I was off to check on the guys. Ben’s groomsmen were happy to help him look his best for his big day. 😊

Downstairs in the atrium, we did a few family photos and then Ben’s portraits.

Sorry ladies, this one’s taken. 😎

What better place to hang the dress than by a grand piano. 🀩

Maria’s hair and makeup was flawless. πŸ’„

Then her mom helped her into her dress. πŸ‘—

Maria’s bridesmaids helped with the finishing touches and then we went back downstairs for her first look with her dad.

Such a sweet moment. ❀️

Love πŸ’•

Maria looked absolutely stunning. She was a modern day Cinderella. πŸ₯°

Ceremony time!

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

Father Brian opened in prayer and then invited everyone to join him in singing the Gloria.

Their ceremony continued with several readings, the reading of the Gospel and a very sweet homily.

Maria and Ben then exchanged vows and rings. πŸ’

As custom in the hispanic culture, Maria and Ben also exchanged gold coins (Arras) and wore a branded lasso.

Maria and Ben kneeled before the alter for the offering of communion.

Once communion had ended, Maria and Ben offered a flower to Mary in the Lady Chapel.

It’s official! πŸ₯³

Mr and Mrs Dowd! πŸ₯°

After the ceremony was over, we took family formals at the front of the church.

Our wonderful wedding party. 😊

The newlyweds! 😍

Amazing! 🀩

After finishing the rest of the family photos, we started on bridal portraits. πŸ™‚

Their floral was absolutely gorgeous! 🌺

Next it was time for some wedding party shenanigans! 🀣

Such a great group! 😊

With wedding party photos done, we were able to continue bridal portraits around campus.

This small corner of God Quad has the best light. 😍

Heavenly! πŸ₯°

A quick walk down to the Grotto where Maria and Ben lit a candle. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky so we embraced the sun for a full contrast look.

Check out all that photo drama! 🀩🀩🀩

Our last stop on campus was the Fitzpatrick Arch. The overgrown vines create such a stunning backdrop. 😍

Obsessed! 🀩

Everyone hopped onto the bus and off we went to the Palais. Grace had gone ahead of us and captured all the stunning details of their reception. 😊

Each table was a different city that Maria and Ben had been to together. (We got Chicago!) ❀️

Now that’s an entrance! 🀩

Maria and Ben then shared their first dance as husband and wife. ❀️

As everyone found their seats, we began the festivities with speeches. Maria’s dad, Fernando, welcomed all the guests and said how proud he is of his little girl. Then Maria’s two sisters both swore in their toasts that they were the better sister. And lastly, Matt, Ben’s brother, told the everyone that Maria and Ben were often late to first period because they were at Chick Fil-A and Starbucks. Can you blame them? 🀣

Those sweet moments when you think no one is looking. 😊

After dinner, Maria and Ben shared the dance floor with their parents. 😊

Then it was time for some cake. πŸŽ‚

The perfect cake kiss! πŸ’‹

Family and friends group photos!

Maria and Ben continued the fun with two traditional hispanic wedding dances. First Maria and Ben stand on the chairs as their guests run under the veil, trying to knock them over. Then they danced around the room as honored guests carry baskets of fruit and other gifts for the happy couple.

The dance floor is officially open! πŸͺ© πŸ’ƒ πŸ•Ί

We snuck away from the party for Maria and Ben’s evening portraits. We were going for epic and I think we nailed it! Their black tie wedding attire mirrored perfectly with the 1920’s decor. 😍

I am here for all that drama! 🀩

Maria changed into her party dress and her and Ben rejoined the fun. We stayed a few minutes after to capture their epic glow stick party. πŸŽ‰

Congratulations Mr and Mrs Dowd! πŸ₯³β€οΈ

To Maria and Ben – What an absolutely perfect day! Thank you for bringing Grace and I along on this incredible journey with you. You were amazing to work with and we couldn’t be happier for you! I can’t wait to see what blessing the Lord has planned for your life as husband and wife. All my love – S

To see their full day, click here.


Photography: Sarah Sage Photography LLC

Venue: Palais Royale

Catering: Navarre Hospitality Group

Hotel: Double Tree by Hilton South Bend

Floral: Poppies by Polly

Video: Vibrant Video Productions

Cake: Macri’s Italian Bakery

Lighting: Events by ProShow

Transportation: Royal Excursion

DJ: Luniks Entertainment

Makeup: Stephanie Sullivan

Hair: Wild Rose Hair Artistry

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