Detroit Ceremony and Reception Site Guide
Here is a comprehensive list of potential Metro Detroit ceremony and reception locations, the details and who to contact. If you would like to have a venue profiled or you would like to update information, please email me at MyDetroitWedding@gmail.com or leave a comment. We’re always looking to expand the list and keep it updated.
Belle Isle Park - Located on an island in the middle of Detroit River, this location offers panoramic views of the East riverfront, Winsdor and the Ambassador Bridge. There are several locations on Belle Isle where you can have an outdoor or indoor wedding ceremony.
Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory (Side Garden): This is a beautiful location for an outdoor ceremony. The outdoor space seats up to 200 people and it’s easy on a budget. The space rental is $150 and throw in another $200 for chairs. (You have to rent the chairs from an outside vendor, but they will provide you with a list. Also, don’t believe it includes an arbor for the ceremony.) When I called, they really don’t offer an indoor ceremony location. The inside can only seat 10, but has standing room for another 30-40, which includes the bridal party. I would suggest renting a tent in case of rain, which can sky rocket the cost of the ceremony, depending on the cost of the tent rental. Oh, and fall is bee season, so if you’re planning a fall wedding you might wanna keep that in mind.
Belle Isle Casino: A two-story, spanish stlye building located near the entrance of the island, east of the Scott Foundtain. The casino is available for either indoor ceremonies or receptions. It is a first-come, first-serve basis, despite if you’re just having a wedding ceremony there with no reception . The rental pricing is$900 for the first floor and if you want the entire building, it’s $1300. You must also rent chairs for guests. If you choose to have your reception here, you have to bring in a caterer.
The Scott Fountain: Constructed of Vermont White Marble, with more than 109 water outlets in the shape of human heads, dolphins, turtles, lionesses and animal horns, this is a gorgeous outdoor ceremony location. This would be open to the public, so your ceremony would not be completely private. Also, there is no indoor alternative in case of rain. A tent would have to be rented in advance. The rental price is $150 and you have to rent chairs.
They price of the rehearsal is baked in initial renting cost. You do have to book your rehersal date with them and ensure it doesn’t conflict with another event. Rehersals can be scheduled Monday-Friday.
Click here to learn more about the above locations and other Belle Isles attractions.
Belle Isle Pro’s: Economical and unique. Can accomodate a reception as well.
Belle Isle Con’s: No alternative indoor location in case of rain. And, it’s run by the Detroit Recreational Department and is not a private-run business. My experience with them was very scattered and unorganized. I didn’t feel confident in their competence. But, who knows, you may have a great experience!
Tracy Lawrence at (313) 628-2072 or (313) 628-2081
Campus Martius - I love this location. Located in the heart of downtown on Woodward Avenue, across from the Compuware building and Hard Rock Cafe, Campus Martius is a great locale for a true Detroit Wedding. The Park is a partnership between the The City of Detroit and the Detroit 300 Conservancy. The park is absolutely beautiful in the spring/summer/fall months with seasonal flower gardens and an urban view of Detroit’s skyscrapers. This would make for a very unique outdoor wedding location using the fountain or Compuware building as a backdrop. The pricing varies on the date and specific location you chose. Also, you would have to rent chairs for $300. The do not offer an alternative indoor location in case of rain. You would either have to rent a tent in advance or work with a nearby location (like Compuware) to arrange a back-up plan, which could cost additional $$.
Charles Wright Museum of African American History - Located in Midtown Detroit, next to the Detroit Science Center and adjacent from the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Charles Wright Museum is minutes from downtown Detroit. The inside of this facility is absolutely breathtaking with it’s marble floors and high circular ceiling. They offer several areas to hold a wedding ceremony, but I think the most impressive would be the Ford Freedom Rotunda - basically the atrium. This also can hold several hundred guests. I have worked with Charles Wright in the past, and they are very accomodating. Click here for rental details. I’m waiting for them to get back with me regarding specific details…
Pro’s: Breathtaking cermeony location. Guests could tour the museum following the ceremony. Can accomodate a reception.
Con’s: Parking can be confusing in that area. The site says minumum four hour rentals.
Facility Rental Office at (313) 494-5828, (313) 494-5831 or (313) 494-5893.
Coach Insignia at the Ren Cen - An upscale restaurant located on the 72nd floor of the Renaissance Center in downtown Detroit, this location offers an amazing panoramic view of the river and the city. With floor-to-ceiling windows, this is a great place to have a unique Detroit ceremony. They do allow just ceremonies and I believe the price is between $1000-$1500. If you book your reception here as well, the price will drop. The only thing about this location is, that’s it’s a restaurant. I thought it would be a bit strange to have a ceremony at a restaurant. But, you could always have a cocktail and appetizer hour immediately following the ceremomy to make the tie.
Pro’s: Unique urban location. Great to work with. Centrally located at the Ren Cen. Can accomodate a reception.
Con’s: The Ren Cen is large and guests could easily get lost. You or the guests would have to pay for parking.
Carol Brinson (313) 567-2622 x216
Comerica Park - If you’re a big Tiger’s fan, you could say ‘I do’ at Comerica park – right at homeplate. This would make for an interesting outdoor Detroit ceremony location. You could also have your wedding reception here as well. If you have a specific date in mind, it might be hard to nail it down during baseball season, but if you’re flexible, this venue could be a homerun amongst your guests. I’m waiting for more specific details regarding pricing, indoor alternatives and availability. Click here to learn more about rental policies.
Pro’s: Ample parking. Large venue for large weddings. Centrally located downtown. Can accomodate a reception.
Con’s: Could be pricey and too large of a venue for a ceremony. May not offer a good alternative indoor ceremony location.
Colony Club – The Colony Club, which is under the direction of the Gem and Century Theatre, is located right on the corner of Park Avenue and Montcalm in downtown Detroit. If you can’t picture that, it’s right next store to the Fox Parking Garage, across the street from the coveted Town Pump and adjacent from the Centaur bar. And, a short walk would take you to Hockey Town Cafe, Fox Theatre and Comerica Park.
What’s so impressive about the Colony Club is its Louis XVI Grand Ballroom. With its gorgeous hardwood floors, antique chandeliers and floor-to-ceiling windows it’ll surely make for an impressive Detroit wedding location. And, the ballroom has a mezzanine where the bride could toss her bouquet!
The Colony Club can comfortably accomodate a sitdown wedding with 350 people and a dance floor. Wedding packages range from $65 – $95. The minimum for a Saturday night wedding any season is $15K. There’s no minimum for Friday or Sunday weddings and you’ll also get an additional $5 off per head on the wedding packages for booking one of those nights.
Pro’s: Parking at the Fox Parking Garage is included in the wedding package. Coat check service, which is located in the swanky first floor lobby also is included. You can also have your ceremony here 0r at one of the other Gem and Century Theatre venues. Great downtown location close to bars and local hotels (Greektown, Athenium, Marriott, Hyatt). Chivari chairs are standard.
Con’s: Tax and gratuity are not included in the package price. But, they do have all inclusive deals. Depending on the package, it could be pricey.
Note: They’re currently reviewing their 2009 pricing.
Dawn at (313) 463-6243.
Compuware HQ – Sounds strange, but I had to check it out. Compuware Headquarters is located in downtown Detroit, next to Hard Rock Cafe and across from Campus Martius. The atrium would be a cool place to have a wedding ceremony. It has kites hanging down from a skylighted-ceiling and there’s a marble wall with a waterfall. The rental fee is a whopping $15,000! Holy Rental Fee, Compuware! Because of the liablility, the don’t rent it out too often, but when they do, they charge a fortune! A couple of things about the this potential venue is that it is kind of darker in there, even with the skyhights, because of the dark grey tones of the marble and floor. But, that’s something you could change with your colors and the use of candels. Also, it’s very public. There are several shops in the lobby and Hard Rock Cafe has a patio that’s located in the atrium (But, they will close it to the public for your day.) Oh, and it’s kind of loud in there because of the fountain…
Pro’s: Unique location. Guests could hang at Hard Rock or other bars between the ceremomy and reception.
Con’s: Outrageously expensive! Parking could be an issue. Either guests would have to park on the street, pay to park in a lot or use the People Mover. Loud due to the water fountain.
Kathryn Peterson at (313) 568-5755 or (313) 568-5662.
The Detroit Athletic Club: Located on Madison Avenue across the street from the Detroit Opera House and around the corner from Comerica Park and the Fox Theatre, it’s one of the premier clubs in the Detroit area. While the club is private, it does allow non-members to hold events there. They do allow just ceremonies, though it’s a bit pricey at $3,000. If you have the reception there as well, the price does drop quite a bit. There are several potential ceremony locations within the club that are beautifully decorated. It’s truly a classy place.
Pro’s: Beautiful and historical Detroit location. There is a balcony that overlooks Comerica park – and you can see the Comerica Park fireworks on a game night. Ample parking is available. Bars are located right around the corner, so the party can continue after the wedding. Can accomodate a reception.
Con’s: It’s pricey!
Just a side note - The DAC admitted its first female member in the winter of 1987. Can you believe it took so long? Good-bye good ole boys club…
Detroit Historical Museum – Located on Woodward, on Wayne State University’s campus and down the street from the Detroit Institute of Arts and the Science Center, the museum is right in the middle Detroit’s Cultural District. Seriously, getting married in any museum would be cool. Established in 1928 and run by the Detroit Historical Society, it’s one of America’s oldest and largest museum’s dedictated to Metropolitan history. You could hold your ceremony in a couple of different locations. They have 19th century street scene known as the Streets of Old Detroit, which can accomodate up to 200 people. (They only have about 125 chairs on site, so if you have any more than that you would have to rent chairs.) The rental charge for this location is $800. They also have an auditorium where you can have your ceremony on the stage. It seats between 135 and 140 people and the rental price is $300. The rehersal ceremony can be scheduled anytime during the week after 5 p.m. for no additional charge. Keep in mind, because this is open to the public until 5 p.m., you would not be able to start your ceremony until 6 p.m.
Pro’s: Cool, advant garde location. Very Detroit. Guests could possibly tour the museum immediately following the ceremony while the bridal party is taking pictures. Can accomodate a reception.
Con’s: Personally, I think the outside of the building is very unattractive. Ceremony start time would have to be after 6 p.m.
Alexis Draper at (313) 833-7935 or (313) 833-7979.
Located next to the Detroit Science Center and adjacent from Wayne State University’s Welcome Center, the DIA is a landmark in Midtown Detroit. This was my dream ceremony location. But, to my disappointment, they don’t allow any kind of ceremony or religious events.
The rooms they DIA is offering include the Walter B. Ford II Great Hall, which can accommodate 300-500 people; the Rivera Court, 150-250 people; Kresge Court, 150-200 people, and Prentis Court, 200-300 people. Room rentals range from $7,000 to $15,000 and menu prices vary from $50-125 per person. (Ouch for the rental!) Now, If you happen to be a member of the DIA, they will offer you a discount for any room rental over $1,000. If you’re interested in the specifics of rental pricing, clickity-click here.
With any venue, there are going to be restrictions and policies in place. The DIA outlines their here. Some rules include they must approve all decorations and signage, the DIA name usage on invitations and anything that you may use it on, and they do not allow smoking withing 25 feet of the building. (The smokers will be smoking on the curb. I don’t smoke, so it wouldn’t be an issue for me!) The good news is parking if free! Bonus.
Pros: Amazing location! They can accomodate a reception of any size. Ample free parking.
Cons: The price. OUCH. They have lot of policies and restrictions. Do not allow wedding ceremonies.
Detroit Public Library - Info soon to come!
Detroit River Walk - Located along the Detroit River, the Detroit International Riverfront is a planned 5.5 miles of public waterfront, linked by a continuous RiverWalk and parks, plazas and green spaces. As of June 2007, more than 2.5 miles of East Riverfront is open to the public, including:
- 1.5 miles of RiverWalk from Joe Louis Arena to Rivard Street
- 1.25 miles of RiverWalk from Stroh’s River Place at Joseph Campau Street to Mt. Elliot Park, as well as RiverWalk at Gabriel Richard Park
- Rivard Plaza and Pavilion, located at Rivard Street
- Gabriel Richard Park Plaza and Pavilion
There are several places to plan an outdoor wedding. Though, I don’t believe they offer an indoor alternative in case of rain. You do have to work with the Detroit RiverWalk Conservancy to plan a wedding ceremony. I’m still waiting for specific details.
Pro’s: Cool outdoor location overlooking the Detroit River. Ample parking.
Con’s: Very public venue. May have to pay for parking.
Leonard Marszalek at (313) 566-8200 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Detroit Science Center - Located next to the DIA and across the street from Wayne State University’s Welcome Center, the Science Center is truly a one-of-a-kind venue for a wedding ceremony. Evening rental rates are determined by the amount of time and space requested. There are several locations within the Science Center where you could have a ceremony.
The Planetarium and IMAX theatre have pit-oriented seating with dome theatres. They can change the lighting or ”turn on the stars” for ambience. The cost of the Planetarium is $650 and the cost of the IMAX theatre is $1,500. You can also have your ceremony on the Science Stage, which has bleacher-oriented seating, on the second tier level for $2,000. With this rental price, you would have access to the entire tier two space, so your guests could explore it afterwards. In addition to your ceremony, the Science Center can be your reception location as well.
Pro’s: Interesting and fun venue. Customize lighting in certain areas. Guests could possibly tour the center immediately following the ceremony. You can have your wedding reception here as well.
Con’s: Can be very pricey. Parking will be an additional fee. Because the Science Center is open to the public on Friday and Saturday, there may be specific times when a ceremony can take place.
Aimee Lloyd at (313) 577-8400 ext. 416
The Detroit Yacht Club - Located on the banks of Belle Isle, the Historic Detroit Yacht Club is one of the oldest and prestigious private Clubs in North America. The private club and marina is a Mediterranean design and was completed by George Mason in 1922. Mr. Mason also designed the Gem Theater, Masonic Temple and the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island. Unfortunately, they don’t allow just wedding ceremonies. However, you can have a ceremony in conjunction with a reception. Bummer!
Pro’s: Located on the Detroit River. Historic location. Ample parking and is also included. Can accomodate a reception.
Con’s: Only allow ceremonies in conjunction with a reception.
Jennifer McDonnel at (313) 824-1200 ext. 279
Julie Doherty at (313) 824-1200 ext. 231
The Detroit Zoo - Ok, so this the Detroit is not actually located in Detroit, but it makes for a unique location. The Detoit zoo is located in Royal Oak, Mich., about 2 miles from the Detroit City limit, it offers a couple different indoor and outdoor ceremony locations. I think this is a really cool location to have a wedding ceremony, but because the zoo is open to the public and does not close until 5 p.m. during peak season (April-October), they don’t allow wedding ceremonies to begin until 6 p.m. They rarely close early because they feel strongly about their visitor’s rights. If you push, they would allow for a 5:30 p.m. ceremony time. Regarding rental pricing, they do vary based on the particular location. The zoo also offers an alternative indoor location for a small fee. Regardless of your location choice, there will be a flat $200 fee for chair rental and set-up – also includes the arbor. And, they do allow you to just have your cermeony there without having your reception – It’s on a first-come, first-serve basis. Here are the location sites:
The Butterfly Garden: A beautiful outdoor location with seasonal blooms, the garden accomodates up to 125 guests. Inside the garden, it can only accomodate up to eight chairs – so the space is very limited. If you wanted to have an indoor alternative, they suggest the Rotunda Wildlife Intepretive gallery. The price (with indoor alternative) is $800 + $200 for chairs. The price (without indoor alternative) is $500 + $200 for chairs. **Prices are based on a two-hour rental.
The Wildlife Intepretive Gallery: This is a gorgeous indoor location at the zoo where you can have a ceremony and, if you wanted, your reception. This is a perfect infoor alternative in case of rain or is a great venue for a winter wedding. **The price is $800 for one hour.
The Rackham Fountain: Featuring bronze bears, which stand ten feet tall, sea lions, turtles and frogs, this makes for a stunning outdoor ceremony site. They offer the Ford Educational Theatre as an indoor alternative in case of rain (this price is baked in the package pricing below). There are two different pricing packages. 1) $800 (+$200 for rental chairs) – This includes parking at the main gate, zoo will provide trams and transport guests to the fountain so they don’t have to walk. 2) B$600 (+ $200 for rental chairs) – This includes parking at Lot B, which is a side entrance near the fountain. **Prices based on a two-hour rental.
Pro’s: Interesting location. Allow just ceremonies. Cool photography location. Accomodate reception as well. Economical.
Con’s: Start time is 6 p.m. in peak season because they don’t close an area early out out of respect to park guests.
Gail Varga at (248) 541-571 ext. 3305
Doubletree Suites Fort Shelby Hotel - The Double Tree Fort Shelby Hotel, which is located on West Lafayette Street between First and Second Streets in downtown Detroit, has two ballrooms that will accomodate about 200 guests and a dance floor. Each ballroom may be able to accomodate more, but they won’t know for sure until they until they lay out the room.
Venue & Accomodations:
The renovated Crystal ballroom, which was the premiere ballroom back in 1917, is located on the second floor and features ornate cathedral ceilings, marble floors and three large windows overlooking the street. The room can comfortably accomodate 200 sit down guests and a dance floor. The minimum for this room on any Saturday night is $10K. They don’t have defined prices for a Friday or Sunday wedding, but you’ll surely get it for a steal.
They also have a second ballroom, called the Terrace which is a not as extravagent as the Crystal ballroom, but does offer a more intimate feel. The room also features two different entrances allowing the bridal party a separate entrance from guests. This room also accomodates 200 guests and a dance floor. The minimum for this room on any Saturday is $8K. And, Friday and Sunday’s also are negotiable.
Your wedding guests can stay at the Double Tree for $99, which is a discounted rated from the $129 weekend rate and $189 weekday rate. I’m sure with a little finnagling, you get could an additional discount for your guests that is competitive with what other Detroit hotels offer for wedding guests. (Greektown, Mariott and others offer more competitive rates.) They also will be offering a Sunday buffet at their new Finn and Porter restaurant. So if you choose, the bridal party and guests and other guests can reconnect for brunch the day after the wedding.
Packages for both ballrooms start at $75 per head and don’t include tax and gratuity – but, they do include plated dinner, standard bar, room charge, guest parking, chair covers and sash, a complimentary suite for the bride and groom the night of the wedding with breakfast the next morning.
If you’re looking to have your ceremony at or near the Fort Shelby, they offer several different onsite locations and they’ve also partnered with the nearby Fort Street Presbyterian Church. The great thing about this partnership is that you don’t have to be Presbyterian to be married here, they allow parties of different faiths to utilize their space. I even think you can bring in your own minister – but I’m not entirely sure. Also, I’m not sure what the fee would be…
If you’d rather wed at the hotel, they offer different indoor ceremony sites for your to chose from depening upon your needs and preferences.
To date, they have about six weddings on the books for 2009 and are talking with several couples about their soon-to-be weddings.
Pro’s: Great Detroit location just minutes away from other restaurants and the casinos. Reasonably prices compared to other Detroit venues. Offer guest accomodations and complimentary bridal suite night of the wedding. Complimentary shuttle for guests that takes them within a 5-mile radius. Free parking. Offer ceremony site locations including the historic Fort Presbytarian Church!
Con’s: Packages begin at $75 and tax and gratuity are not included.
Dee (313) 963 8900 Ext. 5024
Dossin Great Lakes Museum – Run by the Detroit Historical Society and located on Belle Isle Park, the Dossin Great Lakes Museum is a historical maritime museum that showcases Detroit’s role on national and regional maritime history. They have a beautiful room overlooking the Detroit River, known as the Gothic Room, that would be a great place for a wedding ceremony. The room can seat about 40-60 guests and the rental fee is $400. Every event package includes admission for your guests, so they could tour the museum afterwards if they wanted (while you take pictures) and parking.
Pro’s: Very economical. Located on Belle Isle, it’s a great location for picture around the park and on the Detroit River. Can also accomodate a reception. Parking is included. Guests can tour the museum.
Con’s: They have never had a wedding ceremony there before… but, there’s a first time for everything!
Alexis Draper at (313) 833-7935 or (313) 833-7979.
The Fillmore Detroit - 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. )
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.
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.
Food 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.)
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…
Pros: 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.
Jennifer Burkemeier at 313-961-5451 ext 12
View more pictures of a Real Detroit Wedding at the Fillmore here!
First Congregational Church of Detroit - Talk about history! I was really impressed with this place. Located about two blocks away from the Wayne State University Welcome Center on Woodward Avenue, the First Congregational Church has rich history as a national Underground Railroad site. Established in 1844, the church was built at the peak of the Victorian era. The sanctuary is breathtaking with its hight, colorful ceiling and dark, mahagony pews. No worries about seating – it seats approximately 750 people! The cool thing about this church is you can bring in your own minister if you choose. The facility pricing ranges from $1000 – $2200. The most basic package gets you the facility for the rehersal and ceremony, two changing rooms (they’re nice and roomy), sound system and 12 pew torches. The most expensive package includes bouquets, aisle runner, unity candle and candelabras. There’s also an al a cart menu you can choose from. These prices do not include an organist. There is pleny of free parking surrounding the church.
Pro’s: Absolutely breathtaking. Historical. Different pricing options. Able to bring in your own minister. Can accomodate receptions.
Con’s: No air-conditioning, so be mindul of that! And, while the church itself is beautiful, the surrounding location is not as attractive. There’s an ugly blue building with a large gravel parking lot across the street and a Churches Chicken next store. My fiance was not thrilled. But, I was still impressed with the church.
FLAT 151- One of Detroit’s newest locations, it’s located on the 6th floor of the Murphy-Telegraph Building at 151 West Congress, on the corner of Congress and Shelby. With a panoramic view of the Detroit cityscape, it’s Detroit’s newest event space and photography studio. It has 8000 square feet of event space, 12 foot ceilings and accommodate any corporate or private event – including wedding ceremonies and reception. If you do have your reception there, you will need to an outside caterer. Check out the pictures. Pricing is yet to be determined.
Pro’s: Brand new urban location. Talk about a real Detroit wedding.
Con’s: The do have thick pillars throughout the loft, so larger ceremonies may be difficult to accomodate.
The Ford House – Ok, this one’s not located in Detroit either, but I had to check it out and thow it on the list. The Edsel and Eleanor Ford House is actually located in Grosse Pointe Shores, Mich., on Jefferson Avenue about five miles from Detroit City limit. Located on 87 acres, the house has a fine collection of original antiques and art and beautiful lakefront grounds. How beautiful would this be? Interestingly enough, the don’t do wedding ceremonies or receptions. They do all types of showers and other events, but not weddings. Strange. Big disappointment. But, they allow wedding photography for a fee.
Pro’s: You could have your bridal or baby shower here.
Con’s: Don’t allow wedding ceremony or receptions.
(313)- 884-4222 ext. 142
Gem and Century Theatre - Located on Madison Avenue, next to the Detroit Athletic Club and around the corner from the Fox Theatre and Comerica Park, the Gem and Century Theatres are a historical landmark in Detroit. Build In 1902, the Twentieth Century Club, a group of cultural, socially prominent women, built a Mission-style building to house their club. The building, now the Century Theatre, is built of red brick trimmed with white sandstone. I though this would be a real cool ceremony location, either in one of the auditoriums or lobbies, but they only do wedding ceremonies in conjunction with the reception. Too bad, right?
Pro’s: Accomodate wedding receptions.
Con’s: Only accomodate wedding ceremonies in conjunction with a reception.
Nicole Lakatos at (313) 463-4215
Guardian Building - A 36-story skycraper located on Griswold in downtown Detroit. Nicknamed the Cathedral of Finance, the building’s interior is lavishly decorated with Pewabic tile. The lobby is beautifuly absolutely beautiful with its Native American-styled Pewabic tile. The rental price is absolutely outrageous! Unless, of course, money is no object. The minumum price is $5000. This doesn’t include chair rental. Also, you are responsible for room set-up and tear-down. And, you are responsible for security, which is required if you have more than 100 guests. Their rate is $30 per hour. Depending on your event, insurance may be required.
Pro’s: Beautiful and historical location.
Con’s: Very expensive. You are resonsible for set-up and tear-down. Security and insurance may be required depending on number of guests.
Karen Smith at (313) 963-4567
Masonic Temple – Located in the Cass Corridor of Detroit, across the street from Cass Park, the Masonic Temple is the largest Masonic Temple in the world. Built in 1922, the 14-story, 210-foot is still home to 50 of Detroit’s Masonic organizations. The building is an impressive landmark in the city and is absolutely stunning inside. There are several areas where you could hold a wedding ceremony. The building has a lavish lobby at its main entrance, two theatres, two ballrooms and a Scottish-rite cathedral. Click here to view the different rooms and take a look at the wedding packages.
Run by Olympia Entertainment, they do accomodate just a wedding ceremony without a reception, but it is a bit more expensive. The pricing does depend on the number of guests and the time spent in the buildind. You are also responsible for paying for parking, security and electricty, which is outline in the contract. The price’ll be around $1,600. If you would like an organist, they will provide one for you for about $400. This fee includes the oranist’s time, organ mainenance and electricity. Also, if another party would like to have their ceremony there and you work out an agreement with them, the fee will do down. Or, if you also have your recepton there, the price will decrease several hundred dollars. Also, you must bring in your own ordained minister. Seats up to 425.
*This is where Kenny and I are getting married in September of ’09. The Scottish-rite chapel is absolutely perfect.
**It was just voted WDIV’s 2nd best place to have a wedding (August 2008).
Pro’s: Stunning location. Offer several places to be married within the building. Chapel is amazing. Venue also accomodated wedding reception.
Con’s: It’s expensive! And, the neighborhood appears a little seedy in some areas. Some street-walkers peruse the streets, but hey, that’s what security is for, right?
Dorothy Bennick at (313) 832-7100 ext. 251
Max M. Fisher Music Center - Located on Woodward Avenue, across the street from the Detorit Medical Center and down the street from Wayne State’s campus, the Max M. Fisher Music Center is the performing arts complex of the Detroit Opera House. There are several locations where you could hold your wedding ceremony. I think the Atrium
Lobby is a perfect place for a ceremony with its soaring four-stories, glass and mahogany finishes. The Woodward Windows, on the second and third levels, have floor to ceiling views of Woodward Avenue. They also have lounges and other rooms ideal for a ceremony. Check out room options and pricing. Just for the ceremony, the price will be more than $1000. Also, opera season kicks off in September, so the atrium is not available on many weekend nights.
Pro’s: Impressive location. Accomodates receptions as well.
Con’s: Can be pricey. Many weekends may not be available due to other priority events.
McGregor Memorial and Conference Center – Located on Wayne State University’s Campus in Midtown, Detroit, this building’s architecture is believed to be among Detroit’s finest buildings. The building’s high, sky-lighted lobby is a very cool place for a wedding ceremony and can accomodate about 100 people. The rental rate is $1000. If you also to have your reception here, the rental fee for the entire building would remain the same.
Pro’s: Will accomodate wedding reception. Can have entire building to yourself. Cool architecture. Great staircase where the bride can make an entrance.
Con’s: Pricey. Parking may be difficult and could be a long walk to the buliding.
Debbie at (313) 577-2401
Omni Detroit Hotel at River Place - This historic hotel is located on the East Riverfront of the Detroit River, right off Jefferson Avenue in downtown Detroit. This location makes for a perfect outdoor ceremony location overlooking the river. Unfortunately, the hotel will not accomodate wedding ceremonies if they are not followed by a wedding reception. They will however, accomodate your ceremony, if they don’t have the date booked for a complete wedding package about a month out. So, if you’re planning a shotgun wedding, this may be an option!
Pro’s: Beautiful location on the Detroit River. Accomodate wedding receptions. Ample parking.
Con’s: Don’t accomodate wedding ceremonies without reception (unless you’re booking a month out).
Park Shelton Rooftop - Located in Midtown’s cultural center on the corner of Kirby and Woodward, the Park Shelton is a newly renovated luxury condominum complex. Built in 1926, the historic 12-story structure was originally known as the Wardell Apartment Hotel. More than a half decade ago, the Wardell was a prestigious landingspot for the likes of Diego Rivera, Bob Hope, George Burns and Raymond Burr.
The rooftop of this swanky condo complex would make for a gorgous outdoor wedding overlooking Detroit’s skyline. But, because the location is a condominuim complex with a homeowners association, non-residents who want to rent the space face a unique situation. Basically, the rooftop is reserved for the building’s residents. If you’re a resident, you can have the space free-of-charge. But, for non-residents potential rentals must be evaluated and approved by the property management. As it works now, management hasn’t yet transferred all rights over to the condo association yet, which is scheduled for some time next year, and they need to ensure the association approves the external event so it’s binding even after the tranfer. Once the association has power, they’ll probably create a formal external rental process or they could nix external rentals all together. (Hopefully, the latter is not the case!)
Because of this unique situation its hard to quote a rental price for a ceremony or reception. But, she did say $3,000 is a good ballpark figure when thinking about having both a reception and ceremony. I’d assume there’d be a price drop if you wanted the area just for a detroit ceremony site.
I think the rooftop would make for a fabulous outdoor ceremony site with the Detroit skyline in the distance. And, they could always flip the space for an evening rooftop reception too. Very cool. The site can accomodate from 100-150 guests.
PROS: Unique outdoor-only Detroit ceremony and reception location. Overlooks Detroit. Complimentary to Park Shelton residents! Ample parking. Located in the heart of Detroit cultural center and down the street from great Detroit bars and hotels.
CONS: Could be quite pricey if you’re not a resident. I don’t believe they allow tents due to the height of the building, so there isn’t much of an alternative in case of rain.
Davina Davis at (313) 872-7275
GM Renaissance Center - Home to GM’s global headquarters and rising 73 stories above the Detroit River, the Ren Cen dominates the Detroit skyline. Constructed in 1977, the project was intended to revitalize the economy of Detroit. Now, it is more than five and a half million square feet in size and has seven towers. Rental prices vary on location and depening upon where you choose, you may have to get approval from GM. Hines Management oversees all outside events. The Ren Cen offers a variety of cool locations to have a wedding ceremony. They all can be quite pricey when it comes to rentals. Some of them include:
The Wintergarten: A beautiful, 5-story atrium with an oustanding view of the Detroit and Canadian riverfronts. This is a very public venue due to the surrounding retail establishments. If you are not utilizing any other venues in the Ren Cen, the space rental alone can be $7500. Need GM approval for this location.
Beaubian Place Rooftop: This is a cool outdoor wedding ceremony overlooking the city skyline, Belle Isle and the Detroit River. Can accomodate up teo 600 people. This location can get quite windy. Because the staff has to carry chairs up a narrow set of stairs, this location is expensive at $5,000 for the rental. For an additional fee, you can plan an indoor ceremony location alternative in case of rain or rent a tent.
There are also outdoor patios that can be used for wedding ceremonies. The price for these are around $5,000.
Click here for a more complete list of locations within the Ren Cen.
Pro’s: Cool location overlooking Detroit’s International riverfront, with many ammenities, inlcuding, hotel, restaurants, and more.
Con’s: Very expensive. Must get GM approval for certain locations. Must pay for parking. Guests may get lost in buliding, as the building is so large.
Hines Management at 313.568.5755 or 313.568.5662
Roostertail - Located on the Detroit riverfront, the Roostertail is a beautiful Detroit wedding spot that will surely impress your guests. At night, it offers a breathtaking view of the Canadian riverfront and the Ambassador Bridge. This venue allows wedding ceremonies in conjunction with a reception. You can opt to have an outdoor ceremony overlooking the river or on their back patio. The venue can accomodate more than 500 guests.
Pros: Very cool Detroit wedding site. They have plenty of parking and security on site patrolling the lot. Tax and gratuity are all inclusive in the package price. Also, linens are included in the package and they offer a variety of colors. Special events are all they do, so they have this wedding business down to a science.
Cons: Price, price, price.
St. Andrews on WSU Campus - This non-demoninational church is located on Wayne State University’s campus, closest to the Lodge Freeway. The inside of the church has beautiful stained glass windows inside and can accomodate seating up to 160. You do have to bring in your own minister. The rental price is $300. You will have to rent your own chairs… the building is empty. This also can serve as a reception site.
Pro’s: Centally located. Can accomodate a reception.
Con’s: Parking may be an issue. Have to rent your own chairs.
Debbie Moore at (313) 577-2401
The Westin Book Cadillac – Back in 1923 when the Book Cadillac first swung its doors open, it was the tallest and most prestigious hotel in the City of Detroit – and the tallest in the world. Located in downtown Detroit on the corner of Michigan Avenue and Washinton, the Italian Renaissance-style hotel was a place to see and be seen. (Click here to read about the Book Cadillac’s star-studded past) But after 60 years of glory, the hotel closed its doors in 1984.
In late October 2008 – after almost 25 years – the new Westin Book Cadillac reopened. The luxurious and elaborate 31-story hotel has three gorgeous ballrooms, 455 hotel rooms, one premiere and upscale restaurant (Roast) where the “Next Iron Chef” winner Michael Symon presides, as well as other eateries and bars. It also includes 67 luxury condo’s and penthouses on the top eight floors.
The Book has three beautiful ballrooms in which you could host your wedding or event.
Venetian Ballroom – The glitzy and glamorous Venetian ballroom, which has soaring ceilings and floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the city, will accomodate 220 guests and a dance floor. During peak season (May, June, Sept, Oct) on a Saturday you must spend a minimum of $30K. Off season $25K. On a Friday or Sunday during peak season, a minimum of $25K. Off season, a minimum of $20K,
Crystal Ballroom – This gorgeous room also has window and will accomodate 110 people with a dance floor. During peak season, this room can be yours on a Saturday for a minimum of $15K. Off season, $10K. On a Friday or Sunday during peak time, $10K. Off season is all negotiable.
Woodward Ballroom - This ballroom is the largest and most contemporary of all the ballrooms, though it doesn’t have windows. The Woodward will accomodate 450 guests including a dance floor. A peak season Saturday will cost you a minimum of $30K. Off season Saturday will be $25K. Friday and Sunday peak season 25K. Off season – $20K.
Included in your package is a bridal suite, floor length ivory linens, four votives per table and day of wedding coordination for those vendors who will begin their day at Book. If you’d like to have breakfast with your guests the next day, they’d be more than happy to accomodate you, though I don’t believe it would be at a discounted rate.
Accomodations: Rooms for your wedding guests would be at a discounted rate of $149 per night. If you wanted to rent a junior suite the day of the wedding that would serve as your getting ready area, they would give you a discounted rate as well.
Ceremony Site: Yes, the Westin Book Cadillac does offer a ceremony site for an additional $1,500. While they don’t offer an outdoor location, they do offer you an indoor site. Also, they do not yet have any partnerships with area churches.
Parking: They do have a self parking lot for guests, though valet was strongly encouraged. Valet is $8 per vehicle.
Pro’s: The swanky Book Cadillac offers a beautiful and historical site for a real Detroit wedding. It also is an all-inclusive venue where you could have your ceremony and reception and guest accomodations. If you’re looking for high arched ceilings and a bit of old hollywood glamour, you’ll surely get it at the Westin Book Cadillac.
Con’s: Price, price and price. If price isn’t a consideration, then the Book may be the venue of your dreams!
Rebecca at 313-442-1628
The Whitney - Built in 1894, the Whitney Mansion is a historical landmark on Woodward Avenue, just minutes from downtown Detroit. This location offers both an indoor or outdoor ceremony location. Inside, there are a couple different locations for a wedding ceremony that can accomodate about 150 people. An outdoor ceremony could take place in the side gargen of the mansion and accomodate about 120 guests. Pricing is $600 for any location you choose, and I think that includes an indoor back-up location. They do reserve the date regardless if you are having your wedding reception there. It is a first-come, first-serve basis.
Pro’s: Gorgeous Detroit venue. Can accomodate a wedding reception. Valet parking.
Con’s: While the mansion itself is absolutely beautiful, the surrounding area is unattractive.
Detroit Churches – Click here to find a Detroit church.