Best South Bend locations for the perfect wedding photos

After the cake is gone and the gifts are opened, the one thing you will have left to help you remember that special day forever is your photographs. Many couples are choosing to increase their wedding budget, have a first look, and increase the time between their ceremony and reception all to make sure they have plenty of time to take the best pictures ever of their best day ever! One of the biggest questions we get from our couples – where should we go?

We have compiled a list of some of our favorite places…

University of Notre Dame Campus:

Notre Dame is easily one of the first places that comes to mind when someone asks one of the best local places to take engagement or wedding photos. The campus offers a huge variety of backgrounds and landscaping.

Some of our favorite places to take photos on campus are:

  • The Golden Dome
  • The Grotto
  • The Basilica of Sacred Heart
  • The Football Stadium


Saint Mary’s College Campus

Located about five minutes down the road from the Waterford Estates Lodge, Saint Mary’s is easily one of the most beautiful places to capture images in. The campus is much smaller than Notre Dame with a lot less foot traffic making it much easier to get the perfect shot!


St. Patrick’s Park

St. Patrick’s Park is absolutely one of our favorite locations! Not only is it located close to us, but there is easily something there for everyone and every image style. This location features a large red barn, fields and paths, beautiful trees and greenery, the river, many bridges, and gazebos.


Downtown South Bend

From the historic houses and buildings to the river and East Race, Downtown South Bend is a great spot to go to get many different backdrops for all of your wedding photos. Though you may have to do a bit more walking to get the perfect shot downtown than some of the other locations – it will certainly be worth it!

 

A special thanks to Westley Leon Studios for all of the above images!


Waterford Estates Lodge

Many of our brides decide to skip the travel time and choose to take all of their pictures on site at the Waterford Estates Lodge. Our property actually has some beautiful landscapes available to help you get the best image. Indoor or outdoor, we are sure to have the spot for your perfect pictures!

Hive and Honey Photography:

Kayla Knies Photography:

Stephanie McKenna Photography:

Mr. and Mrs. Klein – June 30, 2018

A lot of work goes into planning an event that offers your guests a one of a kind experience that will have them talking about it for years to come. Jessica and Ian did just that. Personal touches are a huge part of any celebration and this reception had it all! Kicking off the event, the bridal party entered the room to a mashup of songs and choreographed dances that left the audience in tears from laughing so hard, a commemoration service and song for the brother of the bride in tears with remembrance and special late night snacks such as a soft serve ice cream machine with toppings and a make your own Smore station left everyone in tears because they were so full!

We have had the pleasure of working with this couple for so many months and one thing we can say without a doubt is that they are so much FUN! Not only at their reception, which was a blast, but also just in their love for each other. They are so playful with one another and there is always so much laughter! This beautiful couple met at Memorial hospital where they are both nurses.

On Saturday, June 30, 2018, at 5 pm Mr. and Mrs. Klein kicked off their reception with a cocktail hour, some relaxed music and an open bar. This elegant reception featured silver, rose gold, and burgundy. Varying centerpieces, pictures of the couple, a personal kids table, a fun photo booth, sequence table runners, sports team drink coasters as guest favors, and so many beautiful décor signs that were hand made by a bridesmaid are just a few of the persona and unique features that could be found at this reception.

Menu:

Prepared by the Waterford Estates Lodge Food and Beverage manager, Doug Schultz

Appetizers:

  • Bruschetta
  • Beef Satay

Dinner:

Old World Polish Buffet

  • Green Bean Casserole
  • Kluski Noodles
  • Mashed Potatoes and Chicken Gravy
  • Polish Sausage
  • Sweet and Sour Cabbage
  • Fried Chicken
  • Garden Lodge salad
  • Rolls with handmade whipped butter

 

So much hard work went into place to pull this night off perfectly, a special shout out to all of their great vendors for all of their hard work!

Ceremony Venue: St. Monica Catholic Church

https://www.facebook.com/stmonica100/

Reception Venue: The Waterford Estates Lodge

www.facebook.com/waterfordestateslodge/

Event Coordinators: Katie Mast and Rebecca Bohn

DJ: Jared with Wagner DJ Services

https://www.faMrcebook.com/Wagnerdjservices/

Photographer: Lorrie Ann Photography

https://www.facebook.com/Lorrie-Ann-Photography-1524488184448024/

Videographer: Garret with Explore Media

https://www.facebook.com/Exploremediavideo/

Cake: West End Bakery

https://www.facebook.com/West-End-Bakery-111745162193895/

Makeup: Camellia Cosmetics

https://www.facebook.com/camelliacosmeticsMUA/

Mr. and Mrs. Austin – June 23, 2018

So many details go into coordinating a wedding and making it perfect. Because of this, many of our couples book more than a year in advance and over the course of that time, we meet, we email, we take lots of notes, and we do everything possible to help our couples plan the best day ever. Nikki and Ryan booked their special day with us about a year and a half in advance, so we had a lot of time to get to know not only their wedding and reception details but also them as a couple.

Nikki and Ryan met in High school in band class and had their first date at their prom. These high school sweethearts planned a beautiful day filled with delicious food, a ton of fun dancing, and so much love!

Saturday June 23, 2018 at 4pm we got to watch this beautiful bride walk down the aisle and say “I do” to her best friend. Our ballroom was beautiful with blue and silver accents and romantic lighting. The couple made special effort to make sure their guests had a one of a kind experience with a smoke machine, kids corner setup with coloring books and Legos, and a large array of delicious appetizers and food.

Menu:

Prepared by the Waterford Estates Lodge Food and Beverage manager, Doug Schultz

Appetizers:

  • Coconut Shrimp
  • Chicken Satay

Dinner:

Old World Polish Buffet

  • Green Bean Casserole
  • Kluski Noodles
  • Mashed Potatoes and Chicken Gravy
  • Polish Sausage
  • Sweet and Sour Cabbage
  • Fried Chicken
  • Garden Lodge salad
  • Rolls with handmade whipped butter

 

Bettina and James put a great team in place to help everything run smoothly! Check them out here:

Ceremony Venue: The Waterford Estates Lodge

Reception Venue: The Waterford Estates Lodge

www.facebook.com/waterfordestateslodge/

Event Coordinators: Katie Mast and Rebecca Bohn

DJ: KVAN Entertainment

Photographer: Dawn Plonski

Cake and Cupcakes: Adam’s Cake Shop

Makeup: Sephora

Officiant: Angela Clark with Beautiful Bless Weddings and Events

Mr. and Mrs. Jackson – June 17, 2018

On Sunday, June 17, 2018 we had the pleasure of celebrating with Mr. and Mrs. Jackson for their reception. This glamorous wedding featured a variety of centerpieces, gold flower petals, and black and gold balloons floating through the entire room.

This wonderful couple had their reception hosted for them by the Rwandan community and they had a BLAST! Cultural desserts, group dances, and some really beautiful speeches for the couple are just a few of the reasons that made it very clear how important this couple is to the community.

Menu:

Prepared by the Waterford Estates Lodge Food and Beverage manager, Doug Schultz

Appetizers:

  • Chicken Satay
  • Vegetable Egg Rolls

Dinner:

South Bend Grille Buffet

  • Medley Blend Vegetables
  • Roasted Red Potatoes
  • Roasted Salmon with Beurre Blanc Sauce
  • Herb Roasted Chicken
  • Garden Lodge salad
  • Rolls with handmade whipped butter

 

Thank you to the great vendors that helped make this day a success!

Reception Venue: The Waterford Estates Lodge

www.facebook.com/waterfordestateslodge/

Event Coordinators: Katie Mast and Rebecca Bohn

DJ: DJ Dover

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=603625512

Photographer: Japheth with Essence of Portraits Photography

https://www.facebook.com/essenceofportraits/

Cake: Martins Bakery

https://www.facebook.com/Martins004/

#Bowkerpartyoftwo – Mr. and Mrs. Bowker – May 18, 2018


One of the best parts of our job is getting to work with so many great couples and to help them bring their wedding vision to life. After about a year (sometimes even longer) of meetings, emails, and details we have the habit of getting attached to our couples and take their wedding day very personally so it is important that everything goes smoothly! Bettina and James were no exception! Talk about a couple that just radiates love! Every meeting we ever had with these two left us even more excited to see them finally say “I DO!”

Bettina and James met in Highschool and it took them over 11 years to get down the aisle, but let me tell you, it was worth it. All of the intricate details made their ceremony and reception such a beautiful display of their love story!

At 4 pm on May 19th, 2018 we were honored to watch this stunning bride walk down the aisle to her new future. This ceremony featured yellow and grey accents including bouquets and boutonnieres made by the bride herself! After the Ceremony and recessional, the Waterford team had only one hour to completely transform the Ballroom for the reception. Handmade centerpieces featuring the couples engagement photos, a digital monogram, and a very personal and unique guest book are just some of the personal touches that made this reception so special! This couple also had the cutest idea to put out money jars on their cake table and whoever had more money in their jar, had the cake smashed in their face after the cake cutting (we may have put some money in on the groom for this, sorry James! 😊 )

Menu:

Prepared by the Waterford Estates Lodge Food and Beverage manager, Doug Schultz

Appetizers:

  • BBQ Meatballs
  • Sausage and Florentine Stuffed Mushrooms

Dinner:

Old World Polish Buffet

  • Green Bean Casserole
  • Kluski Noodles
  • Mashed Potatoes and Chicken Gravy
  • Polish Sausage
  • Sweet and Sour Cabbage
  • Fried Chicken
  • Garden Lodge salad
  • Rolls with handmade whipped butter

 

Bettina and James put a great team in place to help everything run smoothly! Check them out here:

Ceremony Venue: The Waterford Estates Lodge

Reception Venue: The Waterford Estates Lodge

www.facebook.com/waterfordestateslodge/

Event Coordinators: Katie Mast and Rebecca Bohn

DJ: Shawn with Gorav Events

www.facebook.com/goravevents/

Photographer: Kayla and Kris with Kayla Knies Photography

www.facebook.com/kaylakniesphotography/

Cake and Cupcakes: Gigi’s Cupcakes

www.facebook.com/gigiscupcakesgranger/

Hair: Salon Rouge South Bend

www.facebook.com/salonrougeindiana/

Makeup: Lexi Pollock

www.facebook.com/lexi-pollock-1114327881918229/

Officiant: Chris Arrowsmith

Mr. and Mrs. Clark – May 5, 2018

The Grand Ballroom at The Waterford Estates Lodge in South Bend Indiana was pleased to host the ceremony and reception of DeeAnna and James Clark

DeeAnna is the daughter of one of our most loved employees, she is like one of our family members and it was such an honor getting to be a part of her special day.

The wedding ceremony was absolutely beautiful and there was not a dry eye in the house. The bride and groom went with coral and grey accents around the room with beautiful handmade decorations made with love by the mother of the groom including hand wrapped Clark bars (how cute is that?!).

The reception kicked off at 6 pm with the arrival of the wedding party.  The Waterford Servers acted quickly to get dinner ready for 100 guests immediately following the ceremony. The night was filled with great food, awesome service, great music to dance to and more. The smiles filled the room and a great feeling of joy and love was present throughout the evening.

 

Menu:

Prepared by The Waterford Estates Lodge Food and Beverage Manager, Doug Schultz

Appetizers:

  • Sausage and Florentine Stuffed Mushrooms
  • BBQ Meatballs

Dinner:

SOUTH BEND GRILLE BUFFET

#Oncloudnadolny– Mr. and Mrs. Nadolny – April 28, 2018

Planning a wedding requires a lot of organization and attention to detail… Planning a wedding from a distance is twice as complicated but I think it is fair to say that Sarah and Brandon did a wonderful job planning a reception to remember at the Waterford Estates Lodge. This delightful couple got married on April 28, 2018 and it was certainly an event their guest will be talking about for years to come!

Sarah and Brandon kicked off their reception at 5:30pm with a cocktail hour featuring a cheese and vegetable display and an open bar for their guests as they arrived and found their seats. As the bridal party was introduced by their fantastic DJ, Jared, of Wagner DJ Services, the guests had the surprise of their life as the maid of honor and best man came out as dinosaurs!

Mint, Coral, and Silver were the highlights of this gorgeous reception with elegant accents and unique personal touches from the bride and groom.

 

Menu:

Prepared by the Waterford Estates Lodge Food and Beverage manager, Doug Schultz

Dinner:

Old World Polish Buffet

  • Green Bean Casserole
  • Kluski Noodles
  • Mashed Potatoes and Chicken Gravy
  • Polish Sausage
  • Sweet and Sour Cabbage
  • Fried Chicken
  • Garden Lodge salad
  • Rolls with handmade whipped butter

This day could not have been possible without all of the wonderful venues the couple put in place to help make everything run smoothly!

Ceremony Venue: Good Shepherd Lutheran Church

Reception Venue: The Waterford Estates Lodge

www.facebook.com/waterfordestateslodge/

Event Coordinators: Katie Mast and Rebecca Bohn

DJ: Wagner DJ Services

www.facebook.com/Wagnerdjservices/

Photographer: a La Kaat Portraiture

www.facebook.com/alakaatportraiture/

Cake: Hoosier Mama Confections

www.facebook.com/Hoosier-Mama-Confections-162706413803407/

Photobooth: S and S Photobooth

www.ssphotobooth.com/

Wedding Coordinator: Shelby Nelson

#Finallyrobertsons – Mr. and Mrs. Robertson – March 25, 2018

On Sunday, March 25, 2018, The Grand Ballroom at The Waterford Estates Lodge in South Bend Indiana was pleased to host the ceremony and reception of Brandy Logan and Michael Robertson!

One of our favorite parts of working with brides and groom is just watching the way that they interact. Michael and Brandy were always so fun loving towards each other! The couple enjoys doing adventurous things together, like their first date, that was at Cedar Point.

The day of the wedding was a long day beginning early in the morning with hair and make-up appointments. Michael took the lead and allowed Brandy the time she needed to become a gorgeous bride. He handled all the final details and kept everybody on task. The wedding ceremony was beautiful. They were blessed to share this moment of their life with friends and family from all over. The ceremony was sweet and loving following with the couple “Jumping The Broom” together. How Fun??

After the ceremony, it was time for the Waterford team to ACT. We must completely transformation of the Grand Ballroom into a reception set-up to die for from the ceremony set-up in just one hour.  During this time Mr & Mrs Robertson took to pictures with friends and family all over the city. 3…2….1….whew we made it!!! Time to have a Party!!

The reception started at 5 pm with cocktail hour. The Waterford Servers passed appetizers to the arriving guests and allowed them to find their seats. Brandy and Michael entered the room with their wedding party in style. DJ Danny Mac led the party and introductions. The night was filled with great food, awesome service, great music, dancing and more.

Menu:

Prepared by The Waterford Estates Lodge Food and Beverage manager, Doug Schultz.

Appetizers:

  • Sausage and Florentine Stuffed Mushrooms
  • Beef Satay

Dinner:

SOUTH BEND GRILLE BUFFET

  • Roasted Salmon with Beurre Blanc Sauce
  • Herb Roasted Chicken
  • Mashed Potatoes with Gravy
  • Green Beans
  • Garden Lodge Salad
  • Rolls with Handmade Whipped Butter

A Special thank you to all of the wonderful vendors that made this day possible!

Ceremony Venue: The Waterford Estates Lodge

Reception Venue: The Waterford Estates Lodge

http://www.facebook.com/waterfordestateslodge/

Event Coordinators: Katie Mast and Rebecca Bohn

Photographer: Japheth-Essence of Portraits- Photography   

http://www.facebook.com/essenceofportraits/

Cake Artist: Specialty Cakes by Erica

http://www.facebook.com/CakeLaytea1/

DJ: Danny Mac with 99.9

Officiant: Patrick – Elder at Mt. Zion Baptist Church, Nashville, TN

http://www.facebook.com/mtzionnashville/

2018 Wedding Trends Unveiled

On average, 2018 couples are focusing on EXPERIENCE, EXPERIENCE, EXPERIENCE!

Although the average guest size is going down, the amount spent per guest is increasing with more interactive experiences and details that couples want their guests to notice!

Some wedding trends come and go, while others have remained consistent for years and years, but the great thing about trends is that you can pick and choose what is right for you!!

We are excited to provide some of our insight on what’s going to be “IN” for 2018. So before you continue to plan your big day, here are 8 wedding trends that are set to be HOT this year courtesy of WeddingWire!

Color, Color, and more Color

Color is the easiest way to bring your personality into your wedding. Choosing the right color palette is a huge part of the overall style and theme for your wedding and will be represented throughout your entire day. We have noticed that brides are selecting Bold, vibrant colors and tend to be avoiding traditional pastels in 2018. Colors like Burgundy, Ultra Violet, Plum, Apricot and Butter Yellow will be everywhere this season.

Ultra Violet was chosen to be the 2018 COLOR of the Year by Pantone. (see article here) We expecting to see hints of Ultra Violet all over the place this year at The Waterford.

Greenery and Hanging Flowers

Hanging floral and greenery displays began to appear in 2017 and continue to be a popular choice in 2018. These displays have been more elaborate and creative than last year and are an awesome way to add height or levels to your decor. They can also help to eliminate clutter on the tables and allow for open and unblocked views and conversations amongst your guests.

{Brooklyn Bride} Photo Credit: Stacey Simpson for Levi Stolve Photography

Low Centeripices and Cascading Bouquets

intimate floral arrangements have made an impact on the 2018 wedding season. These lower, full arrangements allow for easy conservation among guests, as well as the opportunity to bring more of the bride’s personality to the table through these displays. 2018 brides are wanting a more intimate feel among the guests.

{Budget Bride}

For 2018 when it comes to bouquets, bigger is definitely better.  The 80’s trend has returned to the wedding scene in the form of large beautiful cascading bouquets. They achieve a look of effortless beauty and are a great addition to any wedding.

Themed Food Displays and Quirky Dessert Tables

Whether it be a late night snack or doughnuts for dessert, in 2018 we will see brides leaning towards more comfort items when it comes to food and awesome displays. In 2018 brides are opting for more of a dessert table over the traditional wedding cake. Cheesecake bars, Doughnut towers, cookies, pies, let your imagination run wild!! YUM!

{FIVI}

Casual Groom Attire

Patterned socks, cool sneakers, cowboy boots, funky wingtips, the options are endless for grooms to pick their shoes and socks that best represents their style on their wedding day!

Metallic and Geometric Accents

The 2018 wedding season will be full of new ideas and needs for brides. 2018 brides want to push the boundaries and wow their guests and are exploring and experimenting with new shapes and materials in their decor. Metallic details have already proven popular in 2017 and will continue in 2018 with an emphasis on gold and copper.

{FIVI}

Geometric accents are a new, modern, and edgy twist that has recently become popular among bridal decor. 2018 brides have incorporated these geometric shapes into all aspects of their big day, from circle or triangle shaped arches when they say I DO, to quirky candle holders. Look out for this HOT new Trend.

Textures

Adding textures into weddings can help create depth and visual interest for the guests. Textures have always been important when it comes to the bridal gown (lace, sequins, and jewels) and with the wedding cake (petal frosting, flowers and pearls, and ruffles)but now we will be seeing this trend more in the decor itself with ruched chair covers, crinkle or petal taffeta tablecloths, and different greens in the bouquet and centerpieces

Natural Hair and Make-up

2018 wedding trends are going for the overall more natural feel and this is applying directly to the brides’ themselves. They are opting out of the layered on makeup and overdone hair and choosing to go for a more natural look.

{Elegantweddinginvites}

We are excited to see what wedding trends will come to The Waterford Estates Lodge Grand Ballroom in 2018. Are you??