This dark wedding in Oregon was seriously magical! Lee and Nick chose one of Astoria, Oregon’s oldest buildings as their wedding venue and included so many unique and beautiful details. Keep reading to see more from their dark and moody wedding.
This couple is no stranger to all things spooky, so it was only fitting that they planned a dark wedding theme just weeks before Halloween, but I’m getting ahead of myself. Lee and Nick first met at Lee’s best friend’s Halloween party. Nick popped out of the darkness and scared Lee so much that she squealed.
That first meeting did not scare Lee off though (pun intended). Ten years later, the couple reconnected; first as friends, then as lovers. In January 2022, after a few months of dating, Nick took Lee home to Newport for what she thought was just another weekend with the folks, but she was in for a big surprise! Nick took her to Cape Foulweather and dropped down on one knee to propose. Lee said yes and the couple started planning their dark, moody, fall wedding at one of the most magical Oregon wedding venues, The Ruins at the Astor.
This moody fall wedding at The Ruins at the Astor was an especially special wedding for me to photograph. When I was getting back into photography in my 20s, I loved photographing old abandoned buildings and was always in awe of all their decaying beauty. When Lee and Nick reached out and shared their plans to get married at The Ruins at the Astor, I was so excited not only to document their love but also to have a chance to go back to my roots and photograph such a beautiful, historic place.
Constructed in the early 1920s, The Hotel Astoria was designed to be the tallest building on the Oregon Coast at its time. Sadly, partway through construction, the building caught on fire destroying the progress that had been made. After the fire, the hotel was sold off and did eventually open in 1924. Unfortunately, time was not kind to the hotel and over the next few decades, the building deteriorated. It was eventually condemned and declared a public nuisance but that was not to be the end of it. In 2008 the building was repurchased and carefully restored and renovated while maintaining many of its historical aspects. Today, it is one of Astoria’s most prominent buildings and has brought new life to this part of the city.
Lee and Nick’s fall wedding was so incredibly unique and beautiful. They chose super dark and moody colors – with Lee even wearing a black wedding dress – that accented the venue and fall season perfectly! Their day really showed how you can add so many unique and special touches to a wedding.
We kicked off the day with moody couples photos in the upper-level mezzanine of the ruins of the old hotel. Every corner we found contained so many incredible details that complemented the couple perfectly! Nick’s attired included lots of nods to his Irish heritage including his pin, ring, and pocket watch.
After finishing couple portraits, everyone headed over to get seated for the wedding ceremony. The couple kept things intimate with a small wedding party and only their closest humans in attendance as guests. During the ceremony, Lee and Nick shared handwritten vows and completed their union with a hand-fasting ceremony.
The couple’s reception did not lack details either! They invited a local tarot card reader who gave them a reading and they even used tarot cards for their table numbers. Their cookie and ice cream bar was delicious and included Tillamook ice cream, another Oregon local business.
Lee and Nick’s dark wedding proved that details really do matter and have the ability to make a wedding uniquely special. Everything from the venue to their attire and accessories was true to them!
Shooting at this Oregon wedding venue was an absolute dream for me and I couldn’t be more obsessed with the beauty of this historic building.
For more Oregon wedding venue inspiration, check out this vineyard wedding at Ponzi Vineyards.
Photographer: Taylor Denton Photography
Venue: The Ruins at the Astor
Wedding Planner: Double A Weddings
Florist: Trellis Florals
Catering & Rentals: Niblack Events
Wedding Dress: Sew Romantic Designs
DJ & Music: All Requests Live
Tarot Reader: Chariot