The New Black

There’s a reason the little black dress is a wardrobe staple. Black is dramatic, timeless, and chic, and it can give your wedding an undeniably romantic edge.

There’s a reason the little black dress is a wardrobe staple.

Black is dramatic, timeless, and chic,

and it can give your wedding an undeniably romantic edge.


For Gabriella Ammiano, an event coordinator with V Agency Events, the color black symbolizes Detroit at it’s finest. “Detroit has resilience like nowhere else,” she says. “We know how to take multiple punches and get up every single time. I wanted the vibe and couple for this (styled) shoot to reflect that.”

Dark, edgy, and modern, Ammiano’s concept for this styled shoot came to life in Castle Hall, the event space on the second floor of the legendary Grand Army of the Republic Building in downtown Detroit. The grittiness and imperfections of the building perfectly captured the “badass” vibe Ammiano was seeking to create.

“When coming up for the concept for the shoot, I knew I wanted to do something that was modern and edgy, that would appeal to young, trendy brides,” she says. “My design quickly evolved into a wedding concept for the badass couple, people who live their lives outside the lines and have their own unique style.”

To achieve the look, Ammiano incorporated edgy and minimal design elements, such as a DIY neon sign, charcoal wedding favors, black champagne bottles, and a stunning black lace gown from The Wedding Shoppe. Lush florals from Blumz by JR Designs brought a romantic touch to the design, bringing balance to the otherwise edgy concept.

Overall, Ammiano’s vision is perfect for a trendsetting couple looking for something different. “I got inspiration by thinking about what kind of wedding my friends and I would have if we were getting married tomorrow,” Ammiano says. “I think this is a modern concept for young brides who want to do something unique.”

PHOTOGRAPHY: Ami Williams Photography
CAKE: Elm Cakes
WEDDING DRESS: The Wedding Shoppe
TUX: The Tux Shop on Woodward
STATIONARY: LePenn Designs
MAKEUP: Jackie Wesner
FLORALS: Blumz by JR Designs
VENUE: Castle Hall


For wedding photographer Erin Schmidt, wearing black on your wedding day is all about having fun. During a recent promotional shoot, Schmidt chose a black gown “to show brides they can wear black and don’t have to play by the rules.”

The shoot, which stars a pair of Schmidt’s former wedding clients, was “just kinda me having fun,” she says. “I knew I wanted to reach out to friends of mine for florals and for wardrobe.” Her friends Cassie Tackett and Erin Hannum had recently started Ox & Opal, and they provided the black gown and a floral jacket that added a pop of color. Additional floral elements were designed by Chelsea Farrugia of Graham Stanton.

“I asked Chelsea to create a unique, non-traditional bouquet based off of the wardrobe selected,” Schmidt says. “I didn’t give her any other direction because I know how amazing she already is. She produced this chic and ethereal bouquet and even created a hat piece as well which was such a fun touch.”

Schmidt’s non-traditional shoot shows how couple’s can incorporate black into their wedding day in a way that’s whimsical, chic, and unique.

PHOTOGRAPHY + CONCEPT: Erin Schmidt Photography
FLORAL DESIGN: Graham Stanton


When Robin Wilson and Chelsea Farrugia of Graham Stanton got together with a dream team of local wedding vendors to plan a styled shoot, Wilson says they had one goal in mind: Create a “killer cocktail party with the buildings that made Detroit as our backdrop.”

With the city’s skyline in the background, Wilson, Farrugia, and the team of mostly female-fronted vendors put together a chic soiree on The Whiskey Factory’s rooftop.

“Black is easily our favorite color,” Farrugia says. “We were so excited to showcase black as not only a design element but really a driving force.”

Starting with a classic black Packard from Motor City Vintage Rentals, Wilson and Farrugia used a black, white and green color palette to ground their design and create cohesion. Additional elements, like a stunning orchid adorned cake by Bella Dolce Cakes, an architectural black bar with a dramatic floral arrangement, and stationery and signage by Jade Social and Plume & Proper, brought texture and nuance to the event.

“Our goal was to communicate a true rooftop party, a party we’d want to attend ourselves,” Farrugia says. “We love creating weddings and events with really dense guest experience in both design and logistics: A curated cocktail hour, thoughtful and impactful signage, a heavily-laden table for incredible dinner service, and of course a great dance and music space.”

PLANNING & DESIGN: Graham Stanton
PHOTOGRAPHY: Niki Marie Photography
BRIDE: MyThy Huynh
GROOM: Matt Tulpa
DRESS: The Wedding Shoppe
TUX: My Suit Club
PARTY MODELS: Haley Griffey, Tracy Evans, Collin English
MAKEUP: Roman Beauty
HAIR: Angela Kiryakos
VENUE: The Whiskey Factory
NAILS: Jessica Mojica
STATIONARY, SIGNAGE & LETTERING: Jade Social, Plume and Proper
CLASSIC CAR: Motor City Vintage Rentals
DESSERTS: Bella e Dolce Cakes
JEWELRY: Legacy Jewelry
RENTALS: Modernly Events, Display Group, Luxe Event Linen
LIGHTING & DANCE FLOOR: Band-Ayd Events Group, LLC

Featuring a wide range of design styles from classic femme to strong modern, Wilson and Farrugia’s design has universal appeal beyond the wedding industry. “We tried to keep it as ‘non-bridal’ as possible to communicate just a rad cocktail party vibe,” Wilson says.

“Every creator and participant was tasked with not only bringing their wedding-focused work to showcase, but we also encouraged a little letting loose, playing with the boundaries of formality and modern design,” Farrugia adds.

For Wilson and Farrugia, planning the perfect party is all about putting together the perfect team. “Our team represents mostly female-run, Detroit-based businesses with a love for a well-planned event featuring the highest quality goods and services,” Wilson says. “This isn’t your average dinner party — this is an exclusive soiree filled with Detroit’s brightest and best.”