Leah + Jordan | A Backyard Dark Wedding

Cake and Desserts:
Ink Sweets
Bridal Salon:
a&bé Bridal Shop
Hair & Makeup Artists:
Lady Vamp Artistry

It’s not too often you come across a bride that knows exactly what she wants despite conventions, isn’t afraid of her own unique tastes, and has the guts to implement it all through her wedding. Such was the case of Leah, owner of Ink Sweets when she married her groom Jordan in an outdoor ceremony that was everything she wanted: cool, casual, and carefree. As you’ll see from the photos, her avant-garde style was pulled off beautifully in a unique wedding that was equally fun and festive.

“I wanted it to feel like you were hanging out with your best friends in your backyard with some killer food and good cocktails.” So Leah and Jordan held their dark wedding in Jordan’s brother’s backyard in an intimate setting that made people feel at ease.

In an effort to create a unique vibe that didn’t feel like all the other weddings she had been to, Leah knew she wanted an outdoor dark wedding with contrasting elements that were relaxed, casual, and most of all — fun. Leah stuck to her favorite neutrals when it came to her décor, “Black and white is my jam. I love super clear, crisp contrast and I knew we would go with a black and white theme. It’s kind of my signature. I like the color but I change my mind on my favorite color palettes year to year and knew if I picked color I would probably look back at the images in horror 3-5 years later!”


When it came to her dress, that too was coordinated with the black and white color palette, but not in the conventional way of most brides. But as Leah best tells the story, she got the dress of her dreams in the most fortuitous way, “Oh…. THE DRESS! This is the best story. So, I knew I didn’t want to wear white and my mother was not happy about it. To appease her I took her to a&bé Bridal to try on dresses anyway just so that she could see me in a few. Well… I fell head over heels for the Phillips gown by local designer Tara LaTour. But, it was white so it was out of the picture. Plus, it’s a handmade, local gown so it wasn’t cheap and was out of my budget. Fast forward a few weeks and I was at a&bé for a networking event and that evening they were giving away a $2,000 gift card… and I thought ‘what the heck I’ll write my name down’ and then I WON! Tara was even at the event that night and dropped the news that she could … wait for it… MAKE IT IN BLACK! I ended up with the dress of my dreams all because of chance.”


With Leah and Jordan’s best friends serving as the bridal party “it can sometimes be stressful and expensive and we didn’t want to have to put all of our friends through that drama,” and lots of kids serving as “The Flower Brigade,” their bridal party remained in black and white (with the maid of honor in another one of Leah’s favorites, polka dots) and grey to keep it simple and coordinated. Leah’s bouquet was made of her favorite flowers (ranunculus and anemones) and coordinated with the dark wedding color palette of the day, “I’m very lucky to have a sister in law that used to be a florist and she was able to special order all of my favorites and arrange them herself. It was a really special part of the day,” recalls the appreciative bride.

Since Leah is the owner of Ink Sweets, we just had to ask about her pretty cake. In true Leah fashion, her style choices were dictated by the relaxed vibe she wanted for her whole affair, “I provided the desserts for my wedding with a little help from some friends. I made the cake which was dark chocolate and peanut butter as well as lemon pistachio, hazelnut s’more, and earl grey cupcakes. I enlisted the help of my friends for the additional cookies, donuts, and macarons! I decided on a semi-naked cake mainly because I didn’t feel like decorating a huge, intricate cake the night before my wedding. My favorite part of the cake is the ‘treat yo self’ topper that references one of our favorite shows, Parks and Recreation.”

Other personal touches to go along with the dark wedding vibe included bourbon bottles Leah had been collecting prior to the event, that served as vases, “It was a fun personal touch and we were then able to recycle them all at the end of the night,” recalls the practical bride.

And while Leah and Jordan strove to make this a carefree and fun event (which they most certainly pulled off), quite possibly the best part for them was their few moments alone, “After the ceremony, my husband took me back up to the house so we could be alone for a second and I basically just burst out in tears! Happy tears. We just hugged and cried for a few minutes and it was really special.”


If you loved this dark wedding, you have to check out our top picks for moody-hued bridesmaid dresses!