Photographer: Heather Saunders Photography
Royal Oak, Mich.
Grade: A+++++++++++++++++

Heather Saunders is an angel behind the lense.  She has a sense and a way about her that brings the beauty out of you. It makes for breathtaking photos. Most every image she takes is artwork. Really. No lie. No exaggeration.  She is the artist. And she has this innate ability to paint the most beautiful picture of your wedding day. 

When it came to choosing a photographer, I knew I wanted to have chemistry with the person behind the camera. I’m not so comfortable in front of the lense.  I’m just not. So, I wanted to find someone who could make  me feel at ease. I wanted to be natural, relaxed and not even worry that a camera was there. Now, I didn’t have to worry about my husband because he’s the biggest ham any camera has seen. He’s a natural in front of the lense!   (To read my previous posts about my thoughts on wedding photography, click here and here)

Anyway, when I first saw Heather Saunders’ image online, I knew. JUST KNEW. She was the one. I checked out her site and was as smitten as a bride.2.be could get! When I called her and talked to her, she was so very humble as I GUSHED about her work that I knew I would like this lady!  From the moment I met her we gabbed like old school mates.  She’s easy to be around. 

Heather was exactly what I was looking for in a photographer and in a person I wanted to share my day with. (If you think about it, all your vendors share your day – they help MAKE your day. You have to TRUST them.) And, Heather’s photography also was exactly what I was looking for. I didn’t want formal. Staged. Stiff. Traditional. Typical.  Heather is anything but all that! She’s edgy, sylish, relaxed. It’s amazing what she can do!     

We LOVE our wedding pictures.  LOVE them.  The canvas wraps we ordered are impeccable.  Everything she does is perfection. We couldn’t be happier with her.  And, we’ll NEVER stray from her. EVER. 

You must ring her. Check her out.  See for yourself.  And, tell her I sent you over for a chat!

To see more My Detroit Wedding pictures from Heather Saunders, click here.

Heather Saunders Photography
248.629.9408

Videographer: Two Penny Productions
Livonia, Mich.
Grade: A+++++++++++++++++++++
 

I’ve fallen madly in love with Two Penny Productions. Not only are they most creative videographers you’ll find in the Metro Detroit area, they are truly phenomenal to work with. They’re good people. And, they’re one of the best wedding decisions I made.    

Ok, we’ve all seen wedding videos before.  And so many of them are LAME. Painfully lame. But, from the moment I saw Two Penny’s wedding highlight videos, I knew they were the ones. I didn’t even meet them – I just called and asked where I should send my deposit check. Ssrly. No joke. We didn’t meet them until 10 days before the weeding. Crazy, I know. Just watch their videos and you’ll understand why. 

I love their style, love their creativity and I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my video! They captured so much more than I could’ve ever imagined. They have talent.  

And what they did with our video is they made it into a documentary. They had us  meet up with them after the wedding to talk on camera about some of the events surrounding the wedding and then the actual day itself.  And then they made it into this beautifully emotional and FUN documentary. So, when we got our dvd, it had our 2-minute highlight (see below), the 25-minute documentary, the entire ceremony, much of the reception and video bloopers.  It was like something you rent from the video store where you can choose your selection.  Completely impressed. amazed. crazed with excitment.  Wow. 

Our Wedding Highlight

 

 

There’s nothing more beautiful than being able to watch your own wedding. It’s magical. People tell you about the ceremony, but actually seeing it is completely different.  It’s like being 6-years-old again and waking up on Christmas morning.  It’s that kind of excitement. Two Penny made our wedding video into digital artwork.  REALLY. Truly amazing. Breathtaking. <sigh> 

And to think I almost didn’t book a videographer… (read about that here and here)  

Honestly, I think a wedding videographer is more important than upgrading the bar. More important than upgrading the meal.  If you don’t have the budget for a videographer, I would seriously consider WHAT can be downsized, nixed, hacked, chopped, WHATEVER, so you can get someone to capture your day. 

And, all I can say is you’ll definitely get your money’s worth with Two Penny.  I think they’re the best money can buy. 

Rob, Hyun. I love you.  You are incredibly talented individuals.

Two Penny Productions
248.345.8863

 Ssrly, he’s like Erica Kane from All My Children

Both parties are citing irreconcilable differences

They look like an irreconcilable difference, don’t they?

Calling All Detroit Married.2.Be’s!!!  If you’re looking to get married in, say, two months. Love the Detroit Tiger’s. Wouldn’t mind getting married on the radio and in front of hundreds of fans.  And, are interested in having your wedding ceremony on-field at Comerica park… you’ve got to check out this contest.

WWJ 950 News Radio is giving ONE lucky couple the chance to get married on the baseball field at Comerica Park on Saturday, June 19, 2010.  The time… right after the Detroit Tiger’s kick the Arizona Diamond Backs butts! And, right before the Saturday night fireworks display.  So, when you kiss the bride/groom, you’ll literally see fireworks!

How do you enter WWJ’s Wedding on the Diamond contest? Well, you’ll have 300 words to describe why you and you’re marrid.2.be should be married on the field at Comerica.  Shouldn’t be too hard, eh? 

If you happen to be the lucky winner (you better write and tell me about it) you’ll win the Grand Prize Bridal Package which includes:

  • An onfield wedding ceremony service at Comerica Park 
  • A Bride’s Beauty Pampering Package from Bianchi’s Salon  and Spa
  • A Rehearsal Dinner from Mitchell’s Fish Market 
  • An Engagement Photo Session from B-Tech Lighting
  • His/her wedding rings from Ati’s Jewelers
  • Custom Wedding Photography package from B-Tech Lighting
  •  Game day tickets in a Luxury Suite at Comerica Park for the wedding party (total party of 20 guests) on the night on June 19.
  • Bridal Package from the Westin Book Cadillac including a two night stay in a luxury suite, dinner for two  at ROAST and 24 Grille, breakfast, complimentary valet parking, a sixty minute couples massage and two luxurious personalized Heavenly Bathrobes 
  •  A $500 gift certificate from Hagopian World of Rugs

And, let’s say you DON’T win the big package, you could still be selected to win some giftcards…

DEADLINE to submit your essay is: End of dayApril 30! Good luck!

To register, mail or drop off  your essay to:
WWJ Newsradio 950
c/o Wedding on the Diamond Contest
26495 American Drive
Southfield, MI  48034

Click here for complete rules

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On Oprah today they talk to real couples about what’s NOT going on in the bedroom and why.
And, what really caught my attention in the trailer was this woman who refuses to kiss her own husband said the THOUGHT of kissing her husband made her skin crawl.  Another couple hasn’t had sex in 2 1/2 year.  (I think I would shrivel and wilt.)
Anyway, I’m going to DVR it because I’m so very interested in how these couples got to where they are and why this women won’t even kiss her hubs!
Rea

I’ve have become a statistic and it ain’t pretty. 

You know the old adage ‘you are what you eat’? Well, since the wedding I’ve eaten all the baked goods my little heart desired – and then some.  Well, wouldn’t you know it… I now have a muffin top. Yeah, you heard me right. I look like some kind of baked good that resembles a cupcake. Not a pretty site.

 My Detroit Wedding Stats
Average weight prior to the proposal: 130 lbs.
Weight on wedding day: 128 lbs.
Current weight: 140 lbs. (give or take a couple)

I call this phenomenon the Freshman 10 of Marriage. Never in my life have I gained weight with such a vengeance. In the first six months of marriage I’ve been overly enthusiastic about food and quite careless about weight gain.  I find this all to be very, very strange because I’ve always watched what I’ve eaten, eaten in moderation, and I’ve always worked out to some extent.  

Muffin TopThis is not me ppl… not yet

So I did a little meandering online and have come to the conclusion that I’ve become a statistic. Weight gain after marriage seems to be a worldwide phenomenon. 

Let’s get to the why. In my own hungry – I mean humble – opinion, I think it was the time of year and regional location. We married in September in Michigan. Prior to the wedding, it was summer and we were active. Then came the honeymoon in which we slept. we ate. we sunned.  And, when we came home it was pretty much October. It got colder and we became less active. Then came the winter blues. Happens every year. That’s my reasoning.

Now, here’s what the experts say:

In a Time article entitled (get this) “First Comes Love, Then Comes Obesity?,” researchers theorize, after questioning 1,293 couples, that mealtime may become more important than it was when the people were living alone. Gym memberships may not get the same workouts they did before nuptials. And maybe, after months of prepping to squeeze into crinolined and cummerbunded finery, couples just let themselves go. 

This is what the About.com nutrition expert says: While married people tend to be healthier than single people, there is also a tendency to gain weight when you get married or partnered. Why does this happen? It may be due to a reduction in physical activity; it is tempting to stay home and snuggle on the couch with a nice glass of wine. Some people believe that when people find a partner, they may no longer feel the need to pay much attention to their weight. Another reason may be due to the desire to take care of each other and indulge in comfort foods together.

Take a looksie at this study: One in Five Brides Gain Weight After the Wedding It says that women just don’t care as much as they used to about their body image.

Oh, and check out these articles:
It’s official: Marriage leads to weight gain
Cornell studies examine how weight relates to dating and marriage
Gain a spouse and you’ll likely gain some pounds, too

I didn’t think it would happen to me and it has. You best believe I’ll be running my padded arse off this Spring. I’d prefer not to look like my favorite baked good.  Cause like I said, it ain’t pretty.

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The Thank You’s are out!

I can now blog my little heart out! And, I can work on my new and improved My Detroit Wedding format. Can’t wait, bride.2.Be’s! 

A new and improved website will be coming soon!  With the Thank You’s in the mail I can now work on my new site guilt free… what a relief…

My last wedding deposit!

7 months
19 days
And several agonizing seconds

That’s what it took to get our wedding Thank You cards out.  So, dear friends and family who read this here blog, they’re on the way. And, we’re sincerely sorry for the delay.

So, based on the many emails and the one brave reader who posted a comment on my previous My Detroit Wedding Confession Post, I know I’m not alone. Ok, I KNEW I wasn’t alone. Many of us our guilty of breaking bad!  (For example, my brother’s wedding was in September of 2007 and they STILL have to get their thank you’s out. Yes, my mom is mortified.) 

Here’s what I’ve heard, read and gathered – It doesn’t matter how much time has gone by – six months, one year or even two – get those bad boys out! Ok, so you blew Emily Post’s little etiquette rule of getting them out three months after the wedding date.  But that doesn’t mean you aren’t thankful and you don’t have etiquette. It just means you’re a little late.

My mom and the ladies at her work, which from this point forward I’ll refer to as the clucking hens, talk about this kind of stuff all the time. And, you bet your arse they remember who sent thank you’s and who didn’t.  And you can bet your 401K  that your parents and in-laws get the occasional Thank You card question, comment or SIGH. (For the record, I hate the sigh…)  

Believe me I KNOW Thank You’s can be quite the feat to tackle. All that writing and thanking and remembering can be exhausting – especially if you had a large wedding. So, here’s some tips if you’re late in getting those thank yous out:

1. Buck up. Get over the embarassment that yes you’re later than etiquette dictates with your Thank You’s. Remember – It’s NEVER too late to get them.  Would you rather run into Aunt Gin, Uncle Buck or your Gram and not have those out or have them out and be late?  I choose the latter. So does Emily Post!

2. Make your equally grateful husband to take half the Thank You’s.  Sit down together, chat about the wedding and bust those out.  It’s therapeutic. (Kind of. That’s more pep talk for you to get on it!)

3. You don’t have to finish them all in one sitting. Give yourself a reasonable time frame and each finish X amount a day. (You fill in you the number)

4. If you’re exceptionally mortified by the time that’s passed, write “It’s about time” on the envelope, or write something humorous in the card to acknowledge it’s been a stretch from the wedding date to the execution of your Thank You cards. Of course, this depends on your crowd. If they’re a stuffy bunch, this might not fly. In that case, just get em out and hold your head up high.

 5. Drink wine while writing them, it eases the pain of embarassment. (But don’t drink too much or you might have a disaster on your hands)

6. Reward yourself when finished. 

If you’re a Thank You card etiquette offender, write a comment and tell us how long it’s been.  You know my story!

In the last several months, many of you have asked WHERE in Detroit did you have your Detroit wedding?  And the answer is: Greektown Casino-Hotel.  I know – you’d have to comb the site to figure out where we had our reception.  Well, here’s why… 

When I first began blogging back in Fall 2008, I had written several posts RAVING about how wonderful Greektown Casino-Hotel was and how happy we were with our venue.  These posts had generated a fair amount of business for them. (Ok, A LOT of business for them. One thing I love about this blog is that it’s generated some business for my wonderful and extremely talented vendors! Thank you, dear readers!)

However, because we were no longer having a positive experience with Greektown in the several weeks leading up to the wedding, I had pulled all posts relating to my reception venue down.  Why?  Because the last thing I wanted to do was give bad advice to married.2.be’s and I didn’t think they were deserving of any more free publicity.

And, those of you who’ve been following know very well, I haven’t publicly written a peep about our experience!  Well, I did that for a couple of reasons.  1) We believe they breached our contract and we were considering taking legal action, (ssrly, we contacted a lawyer! Look for My Where’s the Beef Post!) and 2) I wanted to write objectively and not solely based upon emotion. 

While NOTHING could have ruined our beautiful wedding day, the Greektown experience was quite disastrous.  Now, if you ask our wedding guests, they probably wouldn’t be able to pick up all the points, but some were certainly clear enough.

Let me tell you, there’s nothing worse than dealing with an incompetent and inexperienced vendor in the weeks leading up to your very own wedding!

To be fair to Greektown, I think Greektown’s wedding coordinator was responsible for many of the issues.  She blatantly disregarded many of the details.  She was inexperienced and she proved to be incompetent. I know, harsh, right!?  But, I say it like it is.  (Please note, that particular wedding coordinator no longer works there.)

While I won’t go into the nitty gritty details about our particular situation (at least not in this post), I will tell you Kenny and I sat down with Greektown to go over everything that went wrong – line item by line item.  It was one hell of a list. But, it was important for us to let them know because we truly think Greektown is one of the best locations in Detroit to have the kind of wedding we wanted to have.  Needless to say, the VP was mortified and put several countermeasures in place so those things wouldn’t happen again.

Sorry for the long post.  It feels good to purge. And, I’m happy I waited to post because I think it’s important to remain objective.  Some people have GREAT experiences with a vendor/venue and others don’t.  With that said, it doesn’t mean your experience will be like mine.  It’s important to make your own judgement call.

Anyway, I still plan to post a My Detroit Vendor Review about Greektown Casino-Hotel, so stay tuned for the grade!

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So… I made a promise to myself back in January.  I promised I would NOT blog until we got our wedding Thank You cards out.  

I was under the impression that we had one year to get our wedding Thank You’s out the door and into the hands of our friends and family.  Of course, I thought I’d send them the moment I returned from the blissful honeymoon.   Well, I didn’t.  So then, I thought I’d get them out before Thanksgiving.  (As a reminder… our wedding day was Sept. 19, 2009.)  When I missed the Thanksgiving deadline I gave myself until Jan. 1, to get those bad boys off my plate.  Did I, you ask?  NO.  I didn’t.

According to Emily Posts Wedding Etiquette, I’m a BAD, BAD, post bride.  She says I only had three months to get them out.  Here’s an exerpt from her etiquette book:

Contrary to popular myth, the happy couple does not have a year’s grace period. All thank you notes should be written within three months of the receipt of the gift. Ideally, a response should be written on the day you receive a wedding gift. If that’s not possible, set a daily goal. It’s a lot easier to write three or four notes a day than to have to write a hundred notes in a month after the wedding 

So, it’s March 30, and my lovely Thank You cards are still sitting on my dining room table waiting to be completed.  Technically, we’re 3 1/2 months late.  (In all honestly, I’m standing my ground and waiting for my husband to complete his portion.  I had asked him to write them for his family and guests and he agreed.)

Am I embarrassed?  Of course I am.  I had my bridal shower Thank You’s out in record time – THREE DAYS.   I’m itching to blog.  And more importantly, I want everyone to know how very thankful Kenny and I are that they shared such a magical day with us!

With that said, if those Thank You cards aren’t in the mail by April 1, well, all I gotta say is THEY BETTER… cause I got some bloggin to do.

Please leave me a comment and give me a guilt trip. I need it.

I know many of you got engaged over the holiday’s!  Congratulations!

We’d all love to hear your engagement stories and how your wedding planning is coming… Just leave a comment!

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Hi All – It’s almost been a month since my last post!  There are so many wonderful Metro Detroit wedding ideas I’d like to post!  And, I need to wrap up those vendor reviews!

I just wanted to let you know I’m still around!  December and January are my busiest time at work due to the Detroit Auto Show.  (GO, check it out.  Give the D some love and then hit up Greektown or Bricktown  or Midtown!)

I plan to get back behind the keyboard soon.  And, like I said, I’m working on that new wedding website. 

Bridge

The Davids Bridal gown sale has been extended until Monday, Dec. 21.   Thought I’d share!

No appointments are necessary, but it can get pretty crazy in there!  I’d make an appointment just in case and go super early to miss the crowds!

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Bridal Salon: Brides by Demetrios
Troy, Mich.
Customer Service Grade: A-
Alterations Grade: B-
Customer Service and Selection: A-

All in all – I had a good experience at Brides by Demetrios.  They had a broad selection.  Their salespeople didn’t try and doll me up like a cupcake with then trendy gowns – and they listened to what I liked and disliked and had me try on a ton of dresses that fit with my tastes, not their own.   (Check out my original post about them in October 2008).  My salesperson was easy going and helpful. 

They were among the salons that had some negative customer service reviews, but I didn’t have that experience.  They are a busier salon because they’re open on Saturday’s and Sunday’s.  I think it’s important to think about the time you go and try not to go at a peak time because we all know it can get crazy when several brides are trying on gowns at any salon.  So, make an appointment!  

They are reasonably priced and often have sales.  And, I asked what kind of discount I could get if I paid for my dress and veil in full at the time I purchased.  They gave me a 20 percent discount.  I thought it was a deal!

 Alterations: B-
Demetrios also had some bad reviews when it came to alterations.  My thinking was – you only really hear about the bad reviews as opposed to the good reviews.  And, if there was any issue with alterations, the salon could resolve the issue and get me a new dress if need be, right quick.  I didn’t want to take the chance and go some where else and not have the salon liable.  Since I was having some more complex alterations, I stuck with them.

 Price – I had heard alterations were pricey at Demetrios.  And, yes.  They were.  Alterations were almost half the cost of my dress!  I almost died!  But at that point when it’s so close to the wedding, you don’t care.  I just decided to drink a Bloody Mary afterwards and not worry about it. 

My one complaint about my dress alterations was that the seamstress didn’t want to take in my dress as much as I wanted.  And for me that was unnerving.  I know me.  I am a realistic individual and had NO intention of looking like I had been stuffed in my dress and had it sewed on the day of.  I just knew the longer I wore my dress, the looser it became, so I wanted her to take it in to account for that.  Understandably, she was worried that I would pop a seam.  But as I suspected, on my wedding day, I found my dress to be looser and less form fitting that I wanted. 

Also, I wasn’t entirely happy with the overall alterations.  I wanted it to fit and feel better than it did.

Here’s a pic of my dress on the model.  Overall – I was happy with my experience at Demetrios and I’d definitely add them to your bridal salon hit list.

Demetrios: 248-637-0620

Original Gown: Demetrois by Brides

Birmingham bridal salon, Roma Sposa is having a Year End Sale and is offering up to 80 percent off selected floor samples.  (That’s about 50-60 dresses for your girlies to choose from!)

The sale is all next week.  Be sure to make an appointment as they are an appointment only salon! 

Roma Sposa: 248.723.4300

Image: Heather Saunders Photography

Pipe & Drape: Colonial Events
Troy, Mich.
Grade: A+

This crew is SOLID.  Like the stalker I am, I called around to other Metro Detroit places that rent pipe and drape and Colonial Events beat out all the prices. 

I didn’t even think of renting pipe and drape for the wedding reception.  Well, not until we actually saw the ballroom set up for a wedding in the same way ours would be set.  The story is – we booked our reception at the Greektown Casino-Hotel before the hotel was complete.  So, we never actually saw the ballroom – we only saw schematics of the ballroom.  It was a jaw dropping deal – and we liked the atmosphere of a casino wedding in the 24-hour buzz of the Greektown corridor, so we booked.  

What the ballroom looks like without a backdrop.

I have to tell you, when we saw the ballroom when it was finished in February 2009, I wasn’t at all impressed – it was blah in comparison to their stunning lobby and plush bistro.  Then, a couple weeks later, Greektown had their first wedding reception and I popped-in to take some pics.  It wasn’t until I saw this (left) picture when I realized that I needed some sort of backdrop to cover the doors and the exit sign.  This look just didn’t go with my intimate and romantic idea I had in my mind for our wedding… 

Well, Greektown’s event coordinator at the time quoted me some prices on a backdrop their in-house A/V crew could put up and said to call then closer to the wedding.  But when I called them a couple months before the wedding to confirm, there was a rather large discrepancy with the price.  

Long story short, I found Colonial Events and we booked white pipe and drape and had four uplights with purple gels for one bad arse out-the-door price.  (TIP: I called my photographer to see which color backdrops and lights would photo best.) 

Ssrly, it completely, COMPLETELY changed the atmosphere of the room.  It was so intimate and romantic.  They helped make a blah room breathtaking. 

LOVE THEM.  They were easy to work with and we had NO issues at all with them!  Check out a previous post I wrote about them.  While our backdrop was fairly simple, they do all kinds of creative and beautiful pipe and drape solutions. 

 Colonial Events: 248-589-3544 

Here’s the ballroom WITH a backdrop.  Big difference, right?Courtesy of Heather Saunders

So, I heard this on the radio last week as I was stuffing my face with a Twinkie.  (Ok, the last part wasn’t true, but I had been thinking about one…)  Yeah, I heard on Detroit’s AM talk radio station WWJ 950 that a study showed one in five brides gained weight after a year of marriage.   

The study which was conducted by Yakult, a Japanese-based yougurt maker, says that roughly 22 percent of brides put on an average of 21 pounds after the wedding!  Of the 3000 brides surveyed, more than half said they no longer worried about their weight and appearance.  Twenty-two percent felt they no longer felt they needed to impress their significant other.

And get this – 21 percent of the bride’s said they had argued with their partner about the additional weight gain! 

And here’s the biggie – The study revealed that more than a third of the women found it difficult to eat healthily during the first year of their marriage because they no longer had the wedding day or honeymoon to motivate them.  And, a Yakult spokesperson from said that some brides seek comfort in food when the face the post wedding anti climax of having the wedding and honeymoon over. 

Interesting, huh?

I have to tell you, I laughed out loud at my desk when I heard this.  Because, well, I put on some weight after my Big Day.  Nothing too noticeable, since I’m wearing Michigan winter clothes.  But, I did.   It’s cold in Michigan and I can’t run three plus miles with the dog anymore.  (Just for the record, we BOTH get flabbier in the colder months)  Not to mention, eating and drinking becomes an indoor sport.  Ha! Look at me making excuses already!  I’ll let you all know if I can shed the pounds come Spring. 

Check this Slim Fast ad out.  I posted it because I love the picture… But, I don’t think Slim Fast is a long term solution to weight loss.  With that said, I can see how someone on this diet program could gain weight after the wedding if they stopped cold turkey and threw their diet out the window.  My advice would be, if you’re going to lose weight for the wedding, think of it as a life style change you can live with well after the wedding, as opposed to a wedding day goal!

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Florist: Michele Nonis
Warren, Mich.
Grade: A

You know, I think this woman is wonderful.  She truly cares about the integrity of her work.  And, she has confidence in her ability.  It’s easy to have faith in her - And, that is so incredibly important when you’re choosing your wedding vendors. Having faith in the people you choose to make your wedding everything you imagine it to be.  If you try and micro manage you’ll drive yourself Mad Hatter mad!  Michele will tell you that too!

Michele Nonis is very competitve with her pricing – I mean a jaw-dropping good deal.  I met with four florists and called around to others, so I know how good we got it.  She’s able to charge these lower prices because she works out of her home and doesn’t have the overhead of a storefront – and I think she likes to be able to give people what they want for an affordable price. 

A week before the wedding, I found out that our recepetion venue didn’t have votives other than these (when they had told us they had two other kinds), and Michele was able to take care of that in a snap of a finger.  No worries.  So easy. 

I have to tell you, I loved all the flowers.  Absolutely loved them.  The bouquets were BEAUTIFUL.  Really, they were breathtaking.  In all honesty, since I’m brutally honest – the boutineers weren’t my favorite of the bunch, but they were still classy.  (Sorry MN.)  

Now that I got that one little criticism out of the way, I want to tell you when I walked into the ballroom, it was as beautiful and romantic as I hoped it would be.  She had decorated the headtable beautifully with flower petals and votives of various sizes with floating candles.  It literally made my heart skip a beat when we walked in.  It makes me smile just thinking about it. 

And the flowers on each the guest tables were stunning!  Loved the colors, loved the flowers, the candles, EVERYTHING. 

Michele took the image I had in my head and she brought it to life.  And, many of our guests commented on how intimate and romantic the room was.  It was perfect.  Thanks Michele!

So, if you’re looking for a extremely talented florist who charges a reasonable price, give Michele a call.  She is amazing.  And wonderful to work with too! 

Contact: Michele Nonis at 586.776.1201

Eeek.  I have to apologize.  Life has been so busy lately and I’ve gotten a ton of emails from you all asking questions or asking where I’ve been!  So Sorry!  I’m getting back on my blogging track and have some changes planned for my post-wedding blog future!! 

First, I have to tell you – Honestly, I have NO IDEA where time has gone. There seems like there’s a million things I want to do and I don’t have time for anything but work!  Work as in my day job and work as in fixing-up and maintaining my humble abode.  So, I’ve stayed away from this blog diggity and my social media obession (Facebook) for the last few weeks.  It’s been a nice break, but now I’m ready to get to it!

What I’m going to do is finish up my Detroit vendor reviews and some other personal posts about my wedding.  Then, comes Change. 

The next phase of this here blog will focus on Metro Detroit wedding venues, vendors and other little helpful nuggets of info I can dig up for you Metro Married To Be’s!  I love the hunt for for a good deal, talented vendors and cool places to have a Metro Detroit Wedding.  (Me wants to beef up the Detroit Venue Guide and expand to Metro Detroit) 

AND – I’d like to highlight real Metro Detroit brides.  So, send me your pics!  I’ll have submission guidelines and all that jazz to ensure good quality images. 

Also - if you have any information you’d like to share, please submit it  to mydetroitwedding at gmail.com.

 

Source

Elizabeth’s Head to Toe
Birmingham, Mich.
Grade: A

Ah, Elizabeth.  LOVE her.  Elizabeth has a quaint little spa right below Red Salon in downtown Birmingham.  There’s been many days where I walked in feeling blah and walked out feeling fabulously relaxed.  Elizabeth can make you feel beautiful from head to toe. (I know… I sound like ad, but it’s the truth.)  Whether you’re looking for a facial, a massage or a pedi – It’s a magical place.  Really it is.  Some of you may know Elizabeth from Touch Spa.  Well, it’s in the same place, different name, and now one single owner who’s following her dream.  (LOVE that about her… and her old partner.  Both of whom are following their own dreams.) 

Choosing Elizabeth for my wedding make-up was a no-brainer.  First, she’s been doing my arch for the last seven years. (I lack all talent when it comes to the brows)  She’s seen my everyday look and I knew she wasn’t going to “paint” me up to look like someone I didn’t believe myself to be.  And that was important for me.  I wanted to be comfortable with my look.   Second, she’s super talented.   And she’s honest.  If it won’t work for you, she’ll tell you.   And lastly, she can do foundation like no one’s business and it lasts all. night. long.  No lie.  No touch-ups for me.  Not once.  Except for the lips.  (When you marry, you seem to smack your lips all over your new hubby!)

Let me tell you, I actually dreaded my hair and make-up trial.  Why?  Because I have never been able to convey what I wanted in a way that the artist was able to capture it.  Well, Elizabeth did me up and I felt BEAUTIFUL.  And, I was worried that I wouldn’t feel beautiful and feel like myself on my wedding day.  Though, I do admit, I did blend in my make-up a bit.  (sorry E)

Oh, and I wanted to mention that for my make-up trial I went with a purple palatte.  But after looking at the pics I decided to go with a smoky charcoal look and Elizabeth nailed it (without a trial run).

Anyway, there are very few wedding vendors that I didn’t comparison shop  because it doesn’t always come down to the best price when it comes to hair, make-up and photography.  Don’t do it ladies!  If you have to splurge, do it on your make-up!  And, really, Elizabeth is quite reasonable.

You can book Elizabeth in the salon or she will travel to you.  So, if you’re looking for someone to capture the beautiful person you can be on your wedding day, check out Elizabeth.  I LOVE her.

Tell her I sent you. 

Elizabeth’s Head to Toe: 248- 203-9933

Images Courtesy of Heather Saunders Photography

I know I’ve been MIA with this here bloggity blog.  I’ve been painting, painting and PAINTING.  So it goes when you move into a house with dark wood paneling that screams the 70s!

But, I’m off to a bridal shower in Almont and then I’ll get back to my vendor reviews and Detroit wedding love. 

Sorry!!

Have you heard about this?  These two fashionista’s from Harvard Business School created this website service where you can rent couture and designer clothing. It’s la lot like Netflix.  Become a member on Rent the Runway.  Choose your designer piece, they mail it to you, you wear it and mail it back. 

According to a LA Times article, the service rents more than 160 styles and features high-end designer togs from the likes of Diane von Furstenberg, Herve Leger, Proenza Schoulerand, and “Project Runway’s” fourth-season winner, Christian Siriano, whose dresses, which sell for up to $3,000 but can can be rented for about $200.

Talk about fashion being easier on the pocketbook.

Christian Siriano 

2009.09.19.23.26.52.4The Wedding “Do”
Red Salon – Sara Celina
Birmingham, Mich.
Grade: A+

Honestly – I’ve never really liked any updo I’ve ever had.  Really.  It’s true.  But, I knew I wanted it up for my wedding -Something soft and romantic.  

So, what did I do?  I procrastinated.  I didn’t search and seek out metro Detroit hair stylists and go through a million trials.  I asked my longtime brow girl, the ever-talented Elizabeth from Head to Toe, who I should go to for my wedding “do.”  I told her the style I kind of wanted and she said Sara Celina of Red, which is the salon located right above her spa. 

When I talked to Sara, I think I may have sounded crazed and told her I hated all the updos I’ve ever had… and even mentioned a bad prom do.  And you know what she said ever so cooly to me?  “Honey, I don’t do prom.  I do Red Carpet.”   That’s when I knew, this woman was bad arse.  

I had COMPLETE faith after my trial, which was a breeze.  

And, I didn’t think it was possible that I would love my hair as much as I did.  She did soft curls with a loose bun at the nape of my neck.  She nailed soft and romantic.  Still in awe of her mad skills.  

If you’re from the Detroit area or you’re planning a Detroit wedding from afar, definitely check out Sara Celina of Red.  She is absolutely amazing!  And she’s cool as hell.  That’s a bonus.

Red Salon: 248.203.1313

Courtesy of Heather Saunders Photography
Heather Saunders_BL9 

I can’t say enough about Heather Saunders.  She’s simply amazing.  I truly believe in chemistry with your wedding vendors and as soon as I met Heather in her quaint little Royal Oak, Mich., studio I KNEW she was the ONE.  It was like knowing which wedding dress was THE ONE when you tried it on!  She just FIT! 

She is incredibly talented.  Geniune.  Fun.  And we LOVE LOVE LOVE her.    

Here’s the My Detroit Wedding sneak peek she posted on her bloggity blog.  see more on her blog. They’re prettier there too!

More to come soon.  Thank you HS!  We love them!  <sigh>

My Detrot Wedding Sneak Peek
 Courtesy of Heather Saunders Photography

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Heather Saunders Photography is BAD ASS_11

Have a Happy Halloween!  I can’t wait to peruse the bloggy blogs to see all the Halloween-inspired weddings that come of tonight! 

For now, here’s my favorite Halloween-themed inspiration board. 

halloween-wedding.jpgSource

This is definitely not a Trick, but a TREAT!  If you reserve Shutterbooth for your wedding by Nov. 1, you’ll get $200 off your rental. 

Hurry!  Hurry!   The deal expires Nov. 1, 2009!

Shutterbooth

Are you having a Detroit wedding and want to show off the Detroit local flavor?  How cool would it be to have a Saunders Ice Cream cart or station at your Detroit Wedding?   Hot fudge, carmel sauce and cream puffs to boot!  Take a look at these Saunders dessert toppers..

You could go a couple different routes! 

1. Have a Saunders icecream station or cart with an attendant wearing a bowtie and a classic wedge cap!  Or, if you’re going for a more formal feel, ditch the cap and go with a bowtie!

2. A DIY Saunders ice cream buffet with all kinds of ice cream love. 

3.  We’ve heard of passed appetizers… but what about passed ice cream? 

Ah, the possibilites!  

DYI Ice Cream BuffetDIY_ice-cream_parlour_buffet_bigSource

Or look at this novel idea!
mobile-ice-creamSource

A Detroit favorite is making a comeback.  And, it plans to go national. I say, it’s about time.  Chances are if you grew-up in Michigan, you know the name Saunders.  And hopefully you’ve been lucky enough to have a Saunders Hot Fudge Sundae or Cream Puff.  I know I’ve had my share.   

Simpy put, the Saunders candy brand is to Detroit as Godiva is to Belgium or Hershey is to Pennsylvania.  

Saunders Hot fudge Sundae

Detroit Icon Born
Fred Saunders opened up his candy store on Woodward Avenue in downtown Detroit in June 1875.  Not only did Saunders sell candy, but his store featured hot fudge toppings, ice cream, baked goods and fountain counters.  Legend has it that in 1876, Saunders was the first to serve ice cream soda.

As you can imagine, his store quickly became a Detroit dessert icon!    Over the years, the company expanded its business and opened more than 57 stores throughout Metro Detroit.  He became the leading purveyor of candies in the Detroit area and began selling directly to national supermarket chains.

A Dying Brand
Unfortunately in the late 1970s the brand took a hit and over the next 30 years its stores and toppings became increasingly more difficult to find.  (I still remember when they closed my favorite Saunders ice cream parlor in the late 1990s.  We’d rollerblade miles to get there.)  It had gone through a series of owners and at one point had gone bankrupt.  

Its Resurgence
But, in 2002 Morley Candy company purchased the iconic Saunders brand and began to breathe some life back into it.  In 2007, Morley opened Sanders retail outlets in Livonia, Birmingham, Grosse Pointe,  Wyandotte and in the Palace of Auburn Hills.  It now plans to take the Saunders to the national retail market

Thanks Morley.  And, welcome back Saunders.

Find a parlor near you.
Ice_Cream_Parlor_Basket

You never know what people do when the black curtain is closed.  Here’s just a few of my Shutterbooth favorites.

2009.09.19.21.15.56.22009.09.19.21.22.27.12009.09.19.21.32.41.42009.09.19.21.31.09.22009.09.19.21.48.53.12009.09.19.21.55.43.42009.09.19.21.48.53.32009.09.19.22.33.09.12009.09.20.00.04.34.32009.09.20.00.02.58.42009.09.19.23.38.38.22009.09.19.22.53.53.22009.09.19.23.48.56.32009.09.19.23.26.52.32009.09.19.22.33.09.2

The Fillmore marquis daylightIf the name doesn’t ring a bell, then you haven’t been down Woodward Avenue lately.  To us native Detroiters, the Fillmore is better known as the State Theater.  Its 2007 name change was due to concert-giant Live Nation’s expansion of its Fillmore brand name.  According to this article the newly branded Fillmore’s will feature signature “dark, sophisticated” red paint, distinctive chandeliers, and vintage Fillmore and Fillmore East posters throughout. 

Talk about a beautiful Detroit venue.  Even before the paint and the chandeliers, its Renaissance Revival style of architecture with its high ceilings and ornate details gave this venue a rich, almost gothic feel.  Now, with its vintage additions and movie house roots, the Fillmore is the perfect Detroit location for an Old Hollywood Glam or vintage-style wedding.        

Now to the nitty gritty details…

Fillmore Detroit stageVenue Overview:
Located next to the Fox Theater and across from Comerica Park, the Fillmore has a prime Detroit location right on Woodward Avenue.  Built in 1925, the venue was originally constructed as a movie house back in the day when Detroit population was thriving and movies were gaining popularity.   The Fillmore, which is 12 stories tall,  has a  theatre with a n impressive grand lobby and two levels of seating.  The lower level seating can is removed for dancing during concerts and other social events.  (I spent many years dancing in that space back when it was Club X. )

Availability
Because The Fillmore is a concert-centric venue, they primarily book weddings and other events in June, July, August and September because they generally have concerts every weekend in Fall and Winter. 

Accomodations
They can comfortably accomodate a 380-person sit-down dinner with a dance floor.  

And, If you’re interested, you can also have your ceremony onsite at the Fillmore – and you’d have your pick of a couple different locations, like the lobby or a balcony on the second floor,  They can accomodate about 100.

fillmore detroit chandelierFood and Bar 
They have an outside cater for food, so you would have to work with them separately to discuss menu and pricing. 

Bar - They offer three different 5-hour packages.  Beer and wine = $15pp.  Full open bar with well and some call = $20pp.  Premium bar = $25pp.

What is included
Staff, parking, tables and chairs, floor length linens (your choice of 50 colors), custom lighting*

They offer an upgrade in linens and chairs.  You can upgrade to chivari chairs with your choice of gold or mahagony with either a white, black or ivory pad for $4 per chair.

* The Fillmore staff sits down with each couple and a technical manager to to chose the color of lighting thoughout the venue.  (They can customize the lighting of the chandeliers.)

Pricing
Reception (includes ceremony if you choose) - $6000 room charge (This does not include any catering costs)

Ceremony only charge –  $5500.  Rehearsal dinner is included.  Price is negotiable, but because they have a 4-hour work minimum in place for their staff, it’s difficult to negotiate.  You could always have your cocktail reception here as well…

Wedding Fillmore July 18 2009-04Pros: Gorgeous Detroit location. Unique wedding venue.  Allow ceremonies.  Great surrounding location. Custom lighting.  Choice of linens.  Linens and chair upgrades in house.  And, there are so many different things you can do with this venue.  Parking is included.

Cons: PRICE.  Have to work with an outside caterer. Timeframe in which they book weddings is limited.  Website is difficult to find and offers no rental information.

Contact:
Jennifer Burkemeier at 313-961-5451 ext 12
website: http://www.livenation.com/venue/the-fillmore-detroit-tickets

View more pictures of a Real Detroit Wedding at the Fillmore here!

 

Email Me

MyDetroitWedding(at)gmail.com

Email me if you have a question or if you'd like to submit your real Metro Detroit wedding or other inspiration ideas.

Married September 19, 2009

About Me

I love my guy. I love my town. I could have a torrid affair with every cake, cookie and cupcake I come across. I love sharing a good bottle wine with good people! And, I truly enjoy blogging about wedding finds. Which is why...

Change is Coming!
When planning my wedding I loved researching and stalking out Metro Detroit venues, vendors and other finds. Now that I'm married, I'd like to turn this blog into a Metro Detroit Wedding resource for all of you. So, change is coming soon!

Please share great venue, vendor and other finds with my by emailing me!

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