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Planning a Detroit wedding

Not that anyone cares about MY wedding, but I happen to be working very hard planning my upcoming nuptials, and working even harder to make it as “Detroit” as possible. I suspect there are other brides, or future brides, out there who would like to know about my struggles, my successes, and maybe some pointers about planning a Detroit wedding.

You may have noticed that Detroit is becoming a very popular spot. As a result, wedding venues in the city are harder to book than ever before. Our reception is at the Colony Club. It was my first (and practically only) choice. It has gorgeous architecture, can fit a huge group, and is very well managed. In my case, I need to have a tip-top sales person and wedding coordinator, or I will be hospitalized. I am naturally stressed all of the time, so having the right venue makes all the difference. Because this is Detroit and everyone wants to be married here, I had to book 14 months in advance. Take it from me – this is TOO MUCH TIME. I am losing my hair waiting around for this thing. But that’s what happens when you want perfection. Not interested in waiting forever? Some other fabulous venues include The Gem Theatre (same managment, amazing setting, great food), The Detroit Athletic Club, and The Book Cadillac. This isn’t an advertisement, this is just a girl with high standards telling it to you straight. Since the reception venue is the most challenging part of this “fiasco,” the ceremony venue came next. Now, you can absolutely have both the ceremony and the reception in the same place, but for me, I wanted to fit more of Detroit into the wedding.

One thing Detroit is NOT lacking is churches. Maybe a church isn’t for you, but I am speaking to the masses, and I know that generally speaking, weddings are in churches. For this Catholic gal, Old St. Mary’s was my number 1 choice. Not to mention that on the second day I was dating my fiance I texted him from this particular church and told him it was where we were getting married. It worked. There are exquisite churches in Detroit, and maybe you have seen some of them most recently with the Detroit Mass Mob. We are lucky to have such a deep history in this city. And as someone who wants to remind people of that history, I have chosen a breathtaking 121 year old sanctuary. Sure I have to be in and out within two hours because there is another wedding and a mass, but you only do this once (maybe).

So of course booking these two venues was the easy part. What about the nonsense that goes along with a wedding? The photographer, the engagement photos, where to have the photos taken, the invites, the flowers, the cake, the band, the booze; IT NEVER ENDS. But I made a few things representative of Detroit where I could. Our engagement photos were taken in Comerica Park. I am a huge Tigers fan. My fiance and I have been season ticket holders and our first date was at a Tigers game. NO, he did not propose to me at a game, and NO, I was never considering getting married at the park, but you can in fact do both of those things. But we did have a personal tour and photo shoot there since it was so “us.” I have never gotten so many texts. People were thrilled with our Tigers ticket save-the-dates. The pictures were spectacular, mostly because my photographer is awesome.

In planning where to take pictures the day of, my photographer has reminded me not to repeat any locations from the engagement photos. We already have enough pictures. So we are going to hit up the other sites we love in the city: Campus Martius (where the tree will be up as it will be Thanksgiving weekend), the lobby of The Guardian Building, perhaps the Fist of Joe Louis, and maybe the DIA. I just can’t get enough of the Great Hall.

When all is said and done, this wedding will not only represent who we are as a couple, but all that is beautiful in the city. It will be the most important day of my life, so it has to happen in Detroit.

Lauren McMichael
Lauren McMichael is an advertising account manager at SMZ, where her client list includes Broadway in Detroit and the Detroit Red Wings. Lauren is also a founding member of Detroit Passport to the Arts, which cultivates audiences within the Detroit arts and culture scene. Born and raised in Metro Detroit, Lauren is extremely passionate about the city. Aside from DVoice, Lauren can be found writing on personal blog, Black Tie Optional. Follow her @ellecavmc.