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

Timeless Black Tie Wedding – Rachel & Pete – Chicago Wedding Photographer

On the most gorgeous day in October, two incredible people made a lasting promise to one another. Rachel and Pete met at work, well over 5 years ago. After Rachel changed jobs, she asked Pete out and the two have been dating ever since. Pete loves how passionate Rachel is and how she’s just so much fun to be around. Rachel was immediately drawn to Pete’s intelligence and was impressed by his talents in both sports and photography.

In April of 2022, they decided to spend their one year anniversary in Scottsdale, Arizona. A sunrise hike turned magical when Pete pretended to change his lens but instead popped the question. The surprises continued when they came back from the hike and their parents were waiting for them at a nearby restaurant, to celebrate. This beautiful journey has brought us to today. This is Rachel and Pete’s wedding day story. ❤️

Before the big day, Grace and I photographed the invitation ahead of time. I wanted to give myself enough time to capture each detail without the pressure of a time constraint. Their classic style consisted of crushed velvet ribbon, black and white accessories and deep emerald accents. This is by far my favorite invitation flat lay I’ve ever created. 😍

On their wedding day, our first stop was the Palais where the guys were getting ready. Each groomsmen was eager to help Pete look his best; even the dads got in on the fun. 🙂

They were getting ready in the Granda which had a gorgeous marble bar. Seems like the perfect place to toast our groom. 🍻

The dads got behind the bar and our honorary bartenders. 🍺

Handsome never looked so good!

Back at the hotel, the girls were deep into hair and makeup mode. I’m obsessed with Rachel’s dress and I’m so glad I brought my rack from the studio so we could properly show her off. 👗

Just before getting dressed, the gals shared a glass of champagne with our bride. However, it didn’t go as planned. 🤣

Nothing beats a wedding day snuggle. 🥰

Rachel’s mom and sister helped her into dress. 🥹

Even Pete’s mom, Mary, was there to share in the moment. 😊


First a surprise look for the gals and then a surprise look for dad. 😍

This gal is stunning both inside and out. 🥰

We all jumped onto the bus for the first look at the rose garden in downtown. It was a pretty windy day but that just made the veil shots even better. 🙂

True love. ❤️

Our beautiful ladies.

Our handsome men.

Time was running short and sun kept playing hide-n-seek so we only had few minutes for portraits. These two were clearly up for the challenge; so gorgeous! 🥹

Breathtaking. 🥹

Everyone jumped back onto the bus and we left for the Palais. We ran up to the lobby for a quick photo of the entire wedding party before heading to the church. They nailed it! 😊

Ceremony time.

That moment when you see each other down the aisle. ❤️

Rachel and Pete exchanged vows and rings. 💍

It’s official! 🥳

Mr and Mrs Stuckey. 😍

Family portraits. 😊

The newlyweds. 😍

I just loved the ceilings in this church. ⛪️

The perfect day. 😊

Receptio time.

As guests enjoyed cocktail hour, Grace and I photographed all the reception details. The gold details coordinated perfectly with the ballroom decor.

Now that’s how you make an entrance! 🥳

Rachel and Pete walked into the ballroom and shared a quick bite of dessert before having their first dance as husband and wife. ❤️

Love that train throw! 🤩

As the night went on, we heard some wonderful speeches from Rachel’s father and sister and Pete’s two brothers. 🍾

Then it was time for the parent dances. 😊

Party time! The band was absolutely amazing! 🥁 🎶 🎤

Here’s where we performed a little magic…

Due to a show in the theater, we were unable to take photos in the lobby and theater of the Morris Performing Art Center. However, we were given a second chance thanks to the incredible staff at the Palais. So here’s the amazing photos that would have taken place at the end of the night.

I call this photo, King and Queen Stuckey. 👑

So dreamy. 🤩

I love movement shots that tell a story. I had Rachel and Pete do several of these so I hope they didn’t mind. 🤣


Classic! 🥰

I love walking away shots. ❤️

My favorite!!! 😍

I happen to bring a bottle of bubbly to the shoot which turned out to be the cutest photos. However the best part was when Pete attempted to open it carefully but somehow the cork ended up in the chandelier. 🤣🤣🤣

Outside we go (on the wedding day) for gorgeous marque photos. 🥹

So much photo drama! 😊

Congratulations Rachel and Pete! 🥳🥳🥳

To Rachel and Pete – Words can not describe how incredible it has been to be with you on this journey. Grace and I hold you both in such high regard and feel truly blessed to have photographed your day. I wish we could marry you every weekend but that might not be realistic, lol. We love you both and wish you nothing but love and happiness. All my love – S

To see their full day, click here.


Photography: Sarah Sage Photography LLC

Venue: Palais Royale

Catering: Navarre Hospitality Group

Band: Blue Water Kings

Church: St. Paul’s Memorial Church

Hotel: Aloft South Bend

Makeup: Masterful Design Makeup Artistry

Desserts: Ciao’s Catering & Cakes

Floral: Blooms by Chris

Pin Lighting: Events by Pro Show

Transportation: Gladwell Party Limo

Tuxedos: Louie’s Tux Shope

Hair: Olivia Jones

Dress boutique: Becker’s Bridal

Jewelry: Revolve Athens

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