“For this shoot, I wanted to create inspiration for couples that don’t fit the model of what is ‘traditional,’” explains Sara Holland of At Your Door Events. “I love that our couple, Geneva and Jen, have tattoos and fashion-forward hairstyles... but most importantly I love that they have a deep connection to each other and represent so much of what is new and exciting in our wedding industry.” 

Sara selected the historic Ebell of Long Beach as the canvas for her study of the unexpected. When touring the popular venue, she noticed the beautifully varied tiles of the courtyard floor. A black-and-white sample with geometric shapes caught her eye and provided the foundation for the celebration’s palette with additional touches of red and gold. The pattern was also reflected in several details. Lastly, the edgy “Ride or Die” theme was carried out from the stationery to the dessert treats. The invitation suite encompassed all these elements and offered a glimpse of the forthcoming event.

The intimate ceremony was held in the grand ballroom that boasts lofty ceilings, as well as hand-stenciled beams and crown molding. Geneva was clad in a haute ebony gown with a cowl back and chapel train covered in appliqués and accented with beading and sequins. Her black diamond pendant necklace echoed her round stone engagement ring. She held a bold, earthy bouquet of crimson blooms – including peonies and orchids – and greenery. Jen was elegantly attired in an ivory blazer with leather lapels and cropped pants. The ruby pendant around her neck lent a dash of color, while the custom-made double ring of black gold and row of rubies on her right hand added a “cool factor.”

The couple exchanged vows in front of an exquisitely carved fireplace draped with foliage. A 24-foot-tall mirror on the wall above reflected the romantic scene. Clusters of candles in gilded vessels glowed at their feet and a crystal chandelier encased in a spherical gilded frame was suspended overhead.

The festivities moved to the adjacent courtyard, where natural light streamed through the skylight. Geometric-shaped place cards – a motif also repeated in menus – were arranged on a marble-topped vintage table. With a verdant wall and fountain as a backdrop, an ornate settee was paired with the sweetheart table adorned with leafy garlands, verdure, and crimson blooms in matte black and gilded vases. A rouge cymbidium orchid was the finishing touch to each stunning place setting composed of an ornate ebony charger, china with a ruby floral pattern, and a garnet glass plate.

A rich variety of desserts and wedding cake were displayed on a gilded Art-Deco stand. The delectable pastries included cake pops with beautiful sugar flower accents, cupcakes, chocolate cake pops dusted with gold, geometric and onyx jeweled treats, and frosted cookies bearing either the tile design or the “Ride or Die” motto. Gilded geometric shapes cascaded along the layers of the bridal confection, which donned different styles: the tile pattern, matte ebony, and white with gold brush strokes.

This styled shoot combined seemingly disparate and unexpected elements to magnificent effect. For more bold inspiration, make sure to check out our extensive weddings page. What surprising, daring aesthetic or details will you be incorporating into you nuptials? Let us know in the comments!