Dark and Moody Wedding Inspiration at The Lion’s Share | San Diego

I’ve always admired uniqueness within photography and the wedding world. We see a lot of designs and ways of shooting that all start to look very similar after a while. I began craving something different for the shoots I design and photograph, so my inclination was to look outside of the wedding world for inspiration.


Dark and moody wedding inspiration at Lion's Share in San Diego, Blooms by Breesa Lee white green and red floral arrangement, black candles on a moss table runner

Silver antler candle sticks, Dark and moody wedding inspiration at Lion's Share in San Diego, Blooms by Breesa Lee white green and red floral arrangement, black candles on a moss table runner

Moody bride in black with veil and bouquet
One of the things I love to do is watch television and films, yet not in the traditional sense. Every second of the cinematic productions I watch, I’m looking at the lighting on the actors’ faces and the way the director of photography chose to frame the actors. It even distracts me from the dialogue and plot when the cinematography is exceptionally good.
Dark and moody wedding inspiration at Lion's Share in San Diego, Blooms by Breesa Lee white green and red floral arrangement, black candles on a moss table runner

Dark and moody wedding inspiration at Lion's Share in San Diego, Blooms by Breesa Lee white green and red floral arrangement, black candles on a moss table runner

Dark and moody wedding inspiration at Lion's Share in San Diego, Blooms by Breesa Lee white green and red floral arrangement, black candles on a moss table runner
My greatest inspiration for this shoot happened to be NBC’s Hannibal. While not for the faint of heart, Hannibal features some of the most beautiful lighting I’ve ever seen on television. The Rembrandt lighting and the very dark, soft qualities of the show’s light in general move me in a way that I can’t even describe. I can easily say the same for Showtime’s Penny Dreadful. These shows, both very dark and moody, feature some of the most creative cinematography and serve as the basis for the conceptualization of this shoot.
Black couture wedding gown by Paolo Corona Paris with sheer sleeves and a big silk bow for a dark and moody wedding inspiration shoot in San Diego by Cavin Elizabeth Photography

Black couture wedding gown by Paolo Corona Paris with sheer sleeves and a big silk bow for a dark and moody wedding inspiration shoot in San Diego by Cavin Elizabeth Photography, non-traditional luxury bride and groom wearing a black wedding gown

Black couture wedding gown by Paolo Corona Paris with sheer sleeves and a big silk bow for a dark and moody wedding inspiration shoot in San Diego by Cavin Elizabeth Photography, non-traditional luxury bride and groom wearing a black wedding gown
For selecting the perfect venue for this shoot, I knew I needed a non-traditional venue that had dark walls and spectacular window lighting for the soft light I desired. Scouting dozens of venues, I finally found The Lion’s Share. It had everything I was looking for plus some really distinctive décor, including the peculiar paintings and trinket-filled bookcase. They also specialize in exotic meats, which needless to say, perfectly complements the whole premise behind Hannibal.
Hannibal inspired wedding with bone meat dishes and a moss table runner with red berries at The Lion's Share
For the colors of the winter wedding shoot, black and deep grays were the clear leaders, while hints of gold, silver, and marsala lightened the palette to prevent the shoot from looking too dark. Plates from Not My Dish in cream, gold, and marsala were adorned with a little greenery that tied in the place settings with the moss runner. Chairs from CC Vintage Rentals featured a beautiful floral pattern that seamlessly rested next to the warm, inscribed tables from The Lion’s Share.
Marsala vintage wedding china with grey linen napkins and a black and copper place card, moss table runner with cotton and candles
Dark, yet delicate flowers from Blooms by Breesa Lee gave the tablescape an elegant and old-world feel. The gorgeous and lush bouquet was a delightful companion for our bride, who wore a very couture black gown by Paolo Corona Paris. Having come all the way from Paris, this striking dress features silk embellishments alongside the somewhat-transparent sleeves and peek-a-boo section of the legs.
Bridal red purple orange green and blush bouquet by Blooms by Breesa

Bride wearing a black Paolo Corona Paris dress with a red purple green and blush bouquet by Blooms by Breesa
This bride would wear nothing other than black to complement her beautiful blonde waves and glamorous makeup by Unveiled Bridal Beauty. Her accessories include geode earrings, a black tourmaline cuff, and a black stalactite ring from Love Tatum. She is a perfectly sophisticated and feminine match for our tall groom in black.
Black couture wedding gown by Paolo Corona Paris with sheer sleeves and a big silk bow

Black couture wedding gown by Paolo Corona Paris with sheer sleeves and a big silk bow for a dark and moody wedding inspiration shoot in San Diego by Cavin Elizabeth Photography, non-traditional luxury bride and groom wearing a black wedding gown

Black druzy ring in gold by Love Tatum
Invitations from Twinkle and Toast donned a soft purple watercolor that paired flawlessly with the black and gold calligraphy love notes and place cards. These love notes accompanied our dessert table that was decorated with gold serving utensils, pomegranates to further enforce the marsala hints, red wine, and a stunning black cake by Hey There, Cupcake! The cake, in itself, is a true work of art with paper flowers and gold foil accents.
Purple watercolor and black wedding invitations with copper calligraphy from Twinkle and Toast
Twinkle and Toast black name place cards with copper calligraphy

You are my sun my moon and all my stars copper calligraphy on black paper for a dark and moody wedding
Black cake by Hey There Cupcake with pink and red hand-painted flowers, black paper with Twinkle and Toast copper calligraphy
The end result boasted a very mature, cinematic ambiance for this wedding inspiration shoot. It was a truly magnificent collaboration for creating a unique affaire de mariage.
Beautiful candid image of a bride in a black wedding dress with hair and makeup by Unveiled Bridal Beauty in San DiegoUrban downtown San Diego wedding, non-traditional luxury bride and groom wearing a black wedding gown

Dark and Moody Wedding Inspiration Vendors

Photography + Concept/Planning: Cavin Elizabeth Photography  Instagram: @cavinelizabeth | Venue: The Lion’s Share | Flowers: Blooms by Breesa Lee | Cake: Hey There, Cupcake | Paper: Twinkle and Toast | Dinnerware Rentals: Not My Dish | Chairs: CC Vintage Rentals | Hair/makeup: Unveiled Bridal Beauty | Dress: Paolo Corona Paris | Jewelry: Love Tatum | Models: Chandlar Walby, @instachangram; TJ Herman, @theteej13