Black Wedding Dress? Liz and Zach’s Wedding at Stan Hywet in Akron, OH
Q & A with the Bride and Broom:
Q: How & why did you choose your venue/ location? What was the theme/ vibe? Why?
Our big day was designed to be a celebration of our individualities and the union between us. True to our Morticia & Gomez Adams aesthetic, there was an abundance of dark, moody themes. The jewel tones blended together so well with the lush greenery of Stan Hywet that everything seemed perfect!
On the day itself, we made sure to include our favorite colors: his hunter green and my other favorites. Ultimately, it was our love for each other and who we are as people that drove the theme of our wedding: no religious traditions were observed in our ceremony.
Q: Did you DIY? If so, where did you go for inspiration and tutorials?
When it came to decorations for our wedding, we wanted something unique and special that would capture the overall aesthetic. We opted for a moody and gothic-influenced vibe, which incorporated a lot of second-hand and thrifted items, as well as repurposing things from our home to bring us joy. We were also fortunate enough to have a beautiful garden at our venue that added its own touches of decor without needing anything extra!
Q: What were the florals like at your wedding? Did you use flowers in any of your design elements like the bridal bouquets, centerpieces, or ceremony backdrop? Did they play an important part in the overall style of your wedding?
For our wedding florals, we opted for silk arrangements that could be kept for a lifetime as a memento of our special day. We complemented the lovely garden setting by adding gorgeous jewel-toned colors to match the bridesmaids’ dresses.
My own bouquet was lovingly crafted by my mother-in-law, making it even more special. To give the space an ambiance, Zach’s aunt added some beautiful wisteria plants with droopy blooms around the backdrop while I arranged small flower lanterns for each of the bridesmaids. Having so many loving and creative contributions from people welcoming me into their families made this day truly memorable!
Q: Did you personalize the day in any way (food trucks, guest entertainment, etc.)? What were some of your favorite parts of your wedding?
We put a great emphasis on personalization at our wedding, and the photo booth was the best way to do this. Guests had a great time with an array of props while creating their own personalized mementos they could one day look back on fondly. It was definitely the highlight that added a unique touch to our special day!
Q: Let’s talk about fashion. How did you both choose your wedding day look? Describe the looks in detail.
For Zach’s wedding day look, he opted for an all-black suit paired with an undershirt and tie. He was aware of the potential mismatching shades of black, and so got a dark green undershirt to avoid this problem—which looked great! As for myself, I chose to go down an alternative route with my wedding dress, selecting a stunning Victorian-style gown in classic blacks and reds. To compliment my outfit, I added a cape featuring crow feathers—reflective of our relationship—along with a matching boutonniere and hairpiece with dark and moody flowers. Our outfits perfectly showcased our personalities and celebrated who we are as a couple.
Q: A short brief about the couple, what do you do? where do you live, how did you meet?
We first connected on the dating app OkCupid, where I shared some answers about my favorite movies and video games, including Bloodborne. My match sent me an amazing message not just mentioning those things, but diving deeper into who I was as a person — it was so thoughtful and kind.
We talked for months online before finally getting to meet in person when we moved in together. Our house was always filled with laughter due to his love for medieval things, superheroes, and his sense of humor. On October 31st, 2020, that year’s full blue moon and Halloween falling on a Saturday, we celebrated with friends at a chili cook-off party.
After everyone left, we took a walk around the block admiring the Halloween decorations and enjoying the moonlight. Suddenly he stopped me, got on one knee, recited vows from the movie Corpse Bride that he had memorized for this moment, and presented me with a beautiful Alexandrite ring – eliciting an astute response of “Duh!”, of course! It will forever be one of my favorite memories; how he proposed is unbelievably sweet!
Q: What was the most anticipated or special moment of your wedding day?
When it came to our wedding day, one of the most special moments for us was trying to find the perfect song for our first dance. After a few nights of searching, it was such an exciting feeling when we found “our song,” and knowing that we now had a memory tied to it made the moment even more special. Additionally, we were so thankful when friends and family joined us in our first dance – seeing them walk in after only a few seconds of just Zach and I dancing together created such an amazing emotion.
Q: Advice for future couples?
Wedding planning is a unique and personal experience for every couple. Rather than trying to fit into what society deems your “wedding should be” focus on the special moments that define who you and your partner are as a couple.
Remembering why you are getting married and honoring each other every day through gratitude and sharing experiences is the best way to lay down solid foundations for lasting marital bliss. Whether it’s expressing your love through words or actions, ensure that you and your partner know how they give and receive love. With these tips in mind, have fun celebrating this new season of life!
A Few Words From Wedding Photographers Seth and Beth:
Q: How it was to shoot the wedding, the challenges, techniques used, the backdrops, etc?
It was a pleasure capturing the special moments at Elizabeth and Zach’s wedding. We couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful or unique ceremony! Every detail had been carefully planned, from the venue to the decorations, and it was truly a joy to be a part of their special day. The love they shared was evident in every moment, as was their families’ genuine happiness for them. It was an unforgettable celebration we will never forget!
Stan Hywet provides a stunning and one-of-a-kind setting for wedding photography. We had the opportunity to photograph a beautiful event here, taking advantage of all the gorgeous backdrops in this special place.
Lighting was a challenge for us when setting up interior shots, but we had so much expertise in using off-camera flashes that the end product looked great with no hint of any issues.