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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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