COVID-conscious wedding planning in Detroit

groom beside bride holding bouquet flowers

Hey, ladies! It’s been quite some time since I’ve popped up to update this site, but it continues to attract readers in search of wedding inspiration, so I figured that we were due for some fresh content.

I was inspired earlier this week, when I spoke to a colleague who is in the throes of planning her January wedding. Wedding planning is HARD stuff to begin with, but I can’t recall a time when engaged couples in our area faced such a drastic level of uncertainty.

Major props to all of you who are managing the ever-fluctuating landscape of weddings in a COVID-conscious environment. This probably wasn’t the planning process that you’d been dreaming of or hoping for, but what’s most important is that HERE YOU ARE … engaged, excited and having found the perfect partner with whom you can weather life’s storms from here on out.

Let’s get to it. Highlighting some cool, new options that have become available in the Detroit area:

Bea’s Detroit “Tiny Wedding Program”

Image courtesy of Bea’s Detroit

In the heart of Detroit’s Eastern Market, Bea’s is a fresh, new space that houses a cafe, shop, available co-working and co-creating areas, and an outdoor rooftop. Launched just before COVID hit, the Bea behind Bea’s quickly pivoted, introducing the Tiny Wedding Program, aimed at events around 50 people (but able to accommodate up to 100).

Find out more about Bea’s weddings here.

The Whiskey Factory’s Minimonies

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Image courtesy of the Whiskey Factory

A micro ceremony is, naturally, a “minimony.” And the Whiskey Factory just outside of downtown Detroit is delivering big time for small events. Head over to Instagram and check out their Stories for a peek inside these tiny-scale events, that come complete with Detroit City Distillery cocktails, of course.

Find out more about The Whiskey Factory here.

J’Adore Detroit’s Quaran-tiny Wedding

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Image courtesy of J’Adore Detroit

Through the end of this year, J’Adore’s glam loft space in Eastern Market is offering a thoughtfully dubbed “Quaran-tiny Wedding” package that allows up to eight guests, with charcuterie and drink packages available. Visit their Instagram account for the latest details!

Find out more about J’Adore Detroit here.

The Congregation’s Private Events

Image courtesy of The Congregation

It’s not unusual to be married in a church … but it is unusual to be married in a church-turned-cafe-and-bar, so we’re awarding a bonus point to The Congregation, one of the newest venues in Detroit. With a cozy indoor space and an inviting outdoor patio and grassy area, there’s plenty of options for crafting your unique wedding and reception. Full venue buyouts are available.

Find out more about The Congregation here.

Has inspiration struck yet?

If not, consider checking out PeerSpace, a site that I’m newly familiar with, which provides access to private spaces in the same way that you can rent a home or room via AirBnB. New locations are frequently added and in addition to more traditional venues, you can find gorgeous old homes and cool outdoor areas, too.

If you have additional suggestions, please leave a comment below!

Detroit Institute of Arts Wedding Inspiration

Planning a unique wedding amid the stately surroundings of the Detroit Institute of Arts may seem like a daunting task. How can you possibly improve upon the grandeur of one of nation’s best museums? From the glamorous Great Hall, to the mesmerizing Rivera Court and cozy Kresge Court, the DIA is chock-full of spaces to fit your vibe, if you’re willing to drop a few bucks. (Get a glimpse of rental fee and required caterer details here.)

Whether you’re aiming for a bright and airy or dark and moody fete, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite snaps from Detroit photography blogs (find direct links to each site within the image caption) to provide some inspiration.

And, if the below photos aren’t enough, you can find even more to look at at these links to amazing DIA weddings:

See our round-up of the best Detroit wedding venues – including the DIA – here.

 

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Source: Jessica-Johnston.com (now Jess & Nate Studios)

Source: Brides.com

Detroit Institute of Arts Wedding Reception, DIA Wedding Pictures

Source: KellieSaunders.com Photography

Marking “Year One”

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We did a fantastic job of chronicling our first year of marriage … on Facebook. God forbid that site goes down in a fiery storm some day; all of our photos would be entirely lost! To preserve *some* of them, I turned to Zno.com (where I ordered our wedding album, which I adore) for a 15-page lay-flat book that I could populate with pics from our travels and festivities over the first 365 days.

As you can see in the photo above, I opted to add a title along the binding that’s just a little bit blunt. My vision is that in a decade, we’ll have a pretty little set of black linen books, marking each of our first 10 years. (Let’s hope that Zno stays in business for a long time so that my Type A personality can achieve matching albums!)

To attempt to make it a little bit easier on myself, as soon as I finished this album, I created another identical “project” on the website that I can pop into when I have time and continuously add photos to throughout “Year Two.” Now that I think about it, maybe I should set a monthly reminder on my iPhone …

Anyway. Photo albums not your thing? A few other ideas that I think would help to track the years nicely:

  • Annual Christmas or holiday ornament to adorn your tree
  • A journal in which each year gets a one-page summary or highlights reel from both of you
  • An add-to-it collection (think of a glass vase or trinket box with a shell added from a beach vacation each year)

What ways do you celebrate and document your passing years?

Year One

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It’s crazy to believe that it’s been one full year since we made it official.

And just when I thought things would become boringly slow, we’ve somehow managed to maintain the same chaotic pace throughout our first 365 days as wedded folks. A few weeks back, as I was plotting a way to mark our first anniversary, I began to tick off the travel that we’ve put under in our belt in “Year One.”

  • Bora Bora – New Zealand – Australia (Honeymoon!)
  • Toronto (Memorial Day Getaway)
  • Grand Bend, Ontario – a quirky little beach town (Fourth of July)
  • Vancouver – Whistler – Seattle (Summer Vacation)
  • Chicago (A Hamilton musical birthday surprise – MAJOR bonus points)
  • Palm Springs, California (Winter Vacation)
  • Maui (Self-declared Adult Spring Break)
  • New York City (Anniversary Trip)

Like, what the? Who and when did we manage time for all of this craziness? {And, just in case you’re wondering, I can assure you that we maintained a more-than-healthy savings rate through all of it; I promise that I don’t condone spending outrageously on travel!}

Anyhow, it’s been one helluva year. We’ve squeezed a ton of fun into it. Many a tiki bar. Loads of time with family and friends. Interesting career developments. The hunt for a new home… which is still ongoing.

I have grandiose plans to document many of these trips here on the blog, for fellow Detroiters that are hoping to escape every now and then. Until then, however, I figured that I’d share a few photos.

A Fixer-Upper Inspired Wedding

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I’m not sure if this wedding theme inspiration is surprisingly inventive, or means that I’ve simply been watching WAY too much reality TV, but I’m stuck on the idea of an event that takes its cues from two of my favorite renovators – Chip and Joanna Gaines.

Please tell me that you’re also a longtime fan of HGTV’s Fixer Upper. Because if you’re not, I’m going to suggest that you go and set your DVR stat. And then maybe pick up their book, because I’ve read it and it’s stinking adorable.

Known for her laid-back attitude and ability to cultivate beautiful, family-friendly spaces that blend the border between functional and fabulous, Joanna has become a bit of mainstream trend setter in the home decor arena. Since the successful launch of the show, she’s picked up a branded paint, furniture line, rug line, and even wallpaper line. I mean, she sounds like a busy lady.

But for a moment, let’s focus on some of the key traits that we leaned on in developing this wedding theme gallery …

  • The Magnolia Leaf: The name of the Gaines business and a bit of a symbol in much of the work that they do.
  • Soft, Neutral Colors: That don’t overwhelm, and create livable, nature-infused spaces.
  • Relaxed Style: Comfort, whether it’s soft furnishings or even cozy clothing (like the wedding dress we’ve included below!).
  • Shiplap: Another tried-and-true decor element oft used by Joanna.
  • Deeper Meaning: A common thread in all of their work, we love that the team uses family photos and poems / verses that mean something to their clients.

What do you think? Feeling inspired yet? Scroll below to take a look at the ways that Fixer Upper has inspired this wedding palette, then let us know what you’d keep or toss in your own execution of a Fixer-Upper-Inspired Wedding …

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These I-want-to-save-mine-forever Magnolia leaf place cards, labeled in stunning calligraphy. And can we mention the gold flatware? Mmmhmm.

via Southern Weddings

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The chairs. The linen draping. The sweet floral tucked into each. Need we say more?

via Styletic 

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A naked cake that sits atop a bed of wild flowers and greens. What could be more elegant {and delicious}? Side note, I love the way that they’ve used a raw wooden stand here, so that it’s just barely visible.

via Rustic Wedding Chic

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This intricate, blouson wedding dress is the perfect blend of luxe and leisure, in a shape that’s flattering on most.

via BHLDN

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Let’s start with the milk glass goblets, because why wouldn’t we? Fill ’em with sparkling water, kept cold in galvanized tubs {brilliantly affordable}, and then let guests sip away as they admire your heirloom family photos, displayed on a living wall.

via Pinterest // Southern Weddings // PopSugar (Top-left, clockwise)

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This “Life Well Loved” sign comes from {no surprise here…} Magnolia Market, Chip and Jo’s online shop! For $84, we think it makes a great prop at your reception entry, and then for your own home after the Big Day.

via Magnolia Market

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I couldn’t not include this gorgeous vintage-door ceremony backdrop in this roundup, but for the love, I just can’t find a source for the photo online! If you know who deserves credit, please leave me a comment!

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And last, but most certainly not least: Shiplap. I love the idea of a white-washed, freestanding bar made using shiplap. Alas, no one has made one and appropriately optimized it for search engines yet 😉 Instead, consider a display wall like the one behind this adorable doughnut stand … or this raw, vertically laid bar, topped with copper lanterns.

via Etsy // Style Me Pretty

Theme Inspiration: Clean + Classic

I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t have a private Pinterest board full of well-styled wedding photos nearly always open for scrolling on my iPhone.

The venue and the dress are critical first steps, but let’s be serious… the “theme” (or if you don’t want to call it that, the “look” or “style”) is what’s going to smack everyone in the face when they waltz into your space, ready to get their party on.

What sort of style do you imagine when you picture your reception?

  • Modern and Chic
  • Soft and Romantic
  • Industrial and Edgy

Ever since we booked our venue, I’ve been envisioning a theme that will offset the space and ensure a clean and sophisticated look. What’s been bouncing around in my head for the past few weeks, I’ve come to find, is often referred to as Gatsby-esque, but I’m going to stick with my “classic and classic” moniker instead.

I’m feeling all sorts of clean-lined black and white, especially in the form of table runners. In my mind, I’m laying those on top of black linen tablecloths and pairing both with gold metal accents. Think romantic white flowers and heavy gold candelabras. Gold-lined menus and black-ink calligraphy placecards. Sleek, gold utensils. Wait, I asked about that and it would be a $6 upgrade per person… so, scratch the gold utensils. You get the idea.

And just in case you don’t…

(That black-and-white dance floor though!)

Modern Wedding, Black and White Wedding

Sources (clockwise, starting at top left): Mod Wedding | Style Me Pretty | Jupiter and Juno | Style Me Pretty | Freixenet |