You are currently browsing the monthly archive for January 2009.

I love Heather my photographer.  She’s AWESOME!  So, the other day I started getting worried that my enagagment pic’s turned out horrible.  Not because I don’t have faith in Heather, but because I’ve been victimized by the camera for years.  (Meaning… I don’t view myself as very photogenic.  Oh, and I’ve been told others don’t either!  HA!  No joke!)

So, I emailed Heather on Friday… Here’s the email trail:

SUBJECT LINE: SO, I  HAVE TO KNOW….

Hi Heather-

So, you have to tell me…  Are there any good ones?  Now I’m worried that I came out all googly-eyed, cause I’m a freakshow in pictures. And, I had the Jenny Granholm emerging on my face and when I took a look at myself after the shoot, I looked like a wreck!  (I sound crazy, don’t I? But I realize this!)

Just wondering…. Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek.  (I added the eek for drama!  It made me laugh!)

Bridgette

HEATHER’S RESPONSE:

you are hilarious!  you looked beautiful!  now you girlies are very critcal of yourselves,…  but I think they turned out fabulous.  I should have them to you by weekends end!  For now, this is my FAVORITE!!!!!  xoxoxo  Let me know what you think.

And, I love the pic she sent.  And, my mom loves the pic she sent!  It’s so artsy.  You better believe this bad boy will be hanging in my living room!  And, Heather is right, all of us brides take issue with somthing that others don’t ever really see!  Why?  Cause, we’re all our worst critics! 

Heather Saunder Photography.  Isn't this pic so artsy and urban?  I love it!  Thanks for the sneak peek Heather!

Source: Heather Saunder Photography. Isn't this pic so artsy and urban? I love it! Thanks for the sneak peek Heather!

 Heather Saunders Photography

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<Gulp> I’m ashamed to admit this. <Blush> But, I think I was a little Zilla Monster-ish the other day during my fourth ( fourth mind you) florist meeting.  And let me tell you, I felt horrible the next day, and well, guilty and embaressed.  While other factors played into why I turned into a Zilla, there are no excuses.  Planning a wedding can be stressful, but it should also be enjoyable!  What I feel most embarressed about is that I made my mom feel bad and in front of the florist, no less. <Crimson Blush>   And, while we have polar opposite tastes, she has been extremely supportive and helpful with the wedding planning.  She’s been incredibly resourceful and patient and wonderful!  And, she’s been by biggest champion every day for the last 31 years!  

zill-monster-cropped

Zilla Monster Siting: If you see an incredibly irriatable bride2be, please administer her a dose of reality!

And, get this, when I called her and emailed her the next morning, guilt-ridden, this is what she said:  

“Hey…don’t fret too much… you’ll get your stress level under control.  You just have to figure out a way to make decisions, hire people you trust to do the work and let the rest fall into place.  That way you can enjoy your special day.  Because, you know things will go wrong!!!  You have to have faith in your vendors!  I love you Baby!  Remember my Motto???  Let’s Just Try to Enjoy the Ride!”

And, she’s right n having faith in the people/vendors you choose for your wedding.   And up to this point, I’ve had such conviction with my vendor choices.  I need to get back to that, and trust that one of these fantastic florists will bring my vision to life.  And, if it’s not PERFECT, it’s not the end of the world. 

Thanks mom!  You’re pretty amazing.  I love you!

So, my mom keeps sending me Craigslist postings of things we DON’T need but she thinks it’s a great deal!  I thought I’d post the “worthy” items on this here blog for you all!  Don’t worry, I won’t post junk!  I thought these silver candelabras might make cool Vintage-esk centerpieces. 

Wedding candelabras – $250 (Macomb County)

Silver Candelabras

Description: I have 13 silver candelabras.  That are approximately 20″ tall before you add the candles.  They are real silver, but are still boxed so they should not need any polishing before the wedding.  I paid $50 a peice for them, but will sacrifice them for $250 for all 13.  I have only actually used one of them, so the other 12 have never been used. 

Not on her wedding day, they don’t!  

I’m personally not worried about this – And not because I think I’m ALL THAT – I just can’t recall ever going to a wedding where someone did trump the bride… Believe me, I’ve heard of girls who tried to!  Crazy, isn’t it?

But, who knows what your circumstances might be?  There are some crazies out there who like to try and trump the bride. (Yes, I call them CRAZIES.)  And, well, others are related to local or all-out celebrities.  If that were the case, what would you do in that situation?   

Here’s a great answer from Brides.com… I love this Answer!

Question: One of my cousins is a local newscaster, and I’m afraid she’s going to upstage me and my fiancé at the wedding. Will it seem rude if I don’t invite her? This is my day, after all.

Answer: C’mon, now. You’re considering withholding an invitation to a family member because you’re worried that you won’t be the star of the show? Take a deep breath and listen up: At a wedding, no one—no matter how famous—can take the spotlight away from the bride and groom. All eyes will be focused on the two of you. At the same time, having a little celebrity glamour adds a fun buzz factor.

Good answer, isn’t it?  Do any of you have any ridiculous “bride upstaging stories?  If so, leave a comment!

Hmmm…. Deep cleansing oil – and it looks and smells like olive oil?!?  At first I was apprehensive.  Who wouldn’t be?  But the women at my work assured me that DCH Deep Cleansing oil was an amazing – AMAZING – face cleanser that left your skin feeling refreshingly clean and moisturized. 

So, I’ll let you in on a little personal secret.  Until I came across DHC, I was never consistent with washing my make-up at night.  I mean, I used everything, but nothing got me into the habit until this miraculous skin cleanser.  Now, I can’t go to bed without it!  Thanks D ladies! 

Deep Cleansing Oil

Just an FYI for those of you who have never heard of DHC skin care products… DHC is Japan’s #1 direct mail skin care company.  They have some great products.  Check them out!

Not a surprise!  This seems to be the latest trend… I’ve chatted with several brides who’ve emailed me and they’re all (me included!) going with the Vintage Glam theme.  You’d think that we’d all have cookie cutter weddings, but the wonderful thing about Vintage Glam is that each and every wedding will likely have a completely different look.

I can’t wait to see how you all pull it all together!  I’ll be posting my vintage finds over the next several months.  If you’d like to share, send in your finds and where you found them. 

Soon, I’ll be heading down to Eastern Market for a look around the Antique Mall?  Care to join me?  Let me know!

A Couple of Vintage Brooches

Source: MainstreetVintage.com

Source: AlwaysTreasured.com

Old Hollywood Glam –  I love that wedding theme.  It’s a perfect fit for a Detroit Casino reception!  Check out this AMAZING wedding gown a fellow soon-2-be Detroit Bride has chosen as The One!  I love it!  Miss L and I are both having our wedding receptions at the fabulous new Greektown Casino and Hotel one day apart!   And, we have very similar themes, but very different color schemes!  I can’t wait to steal a peek come mid-September!   Her and her beau were engaged on Christmas Day 2008!  Congrats.  And, I love the dress!  It’s so Audrey Hepburn, don’t ya think?

Pronovias Haiti

Source: Pronovias Haiti

Dress: Pronovias Haiti

Source: New York Post

I just had to profile the Westin Book Cadillac and add it to the Detroit Ceremony and Reception Guide.  How can you have a Detroit Wedding blog and not mention this historical Detroit icon?

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. 

Venue Details:
The  Book has three beautiful ballrooms in which you could host your wedding or event. 

The Venetian Ballroom

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.

Inside the Book Cadillac

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!

Contact:
Rebecca at 313-442-1628

I am taken aback at how stunning this bride is!  Allow me to introduce, Detroit Bride Alessia. She was married to her longtime beau in a suburb of Detroit on New Year’s Eve 2008.  Talk about ringing in the New Year!

Isn’t her dress breathtaking?  When I saw the pictures after her Big Day, I was amazed at how incredibly beautiful she was in this tailor-made gown.   

Real Detroit Bride Alessia is breathtaking in her ML inspired gown!

Real Detroit Bride Alessia is breathtaking in her ML-inspired gown!

So, Michigan brides, I have to tell you her secret.  Alessia had her  designer-inspired, French lace dress made by Patty Weir of Haberman Fabric in Royal Oak, Mich.  I really haven’t seen anything like it!  It’s simply gorgeous.

So, if you’ve found the dress of your dreams, but it has an outrageously out-of-reach price… Call Patty.  She just might be able to make you the dress of your dreams for an incredibly practical price.

Contact:
Patty at Haberman Fabric in Royal Oak
248-541-0010

My mom, being the internet vintage stalker she is, came across this fabulous find.  While, it’s definitely not vintage, it piques my interest.  What do you think?  WAIT!  What do ya think, minus the seashells?  I think it will go beautifully with my dress.  Though, I want dangle earrings.

Freshwater Pearl Explosion

Freshwater Pearl Explosion Necklace

Source: Bridal Fashion Mall

Thanks to Vintage Glam Weddings, I came across this romantic DIY detail…  And you better believe I’ll be incorporating these icy beauty’s into the wedding for an intimate and romantic feel.

Vintage Glam Weddings (This is a Jonathan Fong creation.)

I’m thinking of putting them in some sort of glass bowl or vase on each bar.    And, to keep the ice cold, I was thinking about getting some frozen marble slabs (you know the ones that keep ice chilled) to set them on.  Can you just imagine the look with some votives around it?  Who knows what I’ll come up with!  Any ideas?

And, I have to tell you, I came across Vintage Glam Weddings and immediately fell in love – and my mom is hooked too.

How fun, my mom, my BM’s and I will make ice cubes with roses and purple lisianthus’.   Thanks Vintage Glam!

I just had to share this… Look at this amazing inspiration board that Miss Jaime from It’s a Jaime Thing came up with for my color scheme.  It’s sexy and romantic, isn’t it?  And I love those red heels.  HOT!  If you haven’t already checked out her blog, she has some truly fabulous ideas to share.  Take a peek.

 

Inspiration Board: Timeless Black and White Fused With Passion from It’s a Jaime Thing 

black-white-red-and-purple-wedding-inspiration-board-by-itsajaimethingdotcom

Source: It's a Jaime Thing

 Thanks Jaime!  It’s breathtaking.

I think I may be pouting.  Yep… the bottom lip is definitely out.  Tonight I met with a florist who is AMAZING.  She’s creative and when you tell her what you envision, she paint’s the picture more clearly for you in your head.   She really listens to what you’re saying.   And I knew, I just knew, that she would surpass our expectations on the BIG DAY.   But, she’s most definitely out of my ambitious price range.  She quoted almost $2K for everything we wanted.  After shaving some things down, it came to $1500+…. but still, I can’t get myself to squeeze the pocketbook for something that will DIE immediately following the wedding. 

But still, I’m sad.  Very, very sad.

Isn't this little girl so cute? Source: http://www.fotosearch.com

As you know…this is not the most fun thing to do… but in this economic climate, you can’t afford NOT to negotiate.  With some of my vendors, I was a harsh negotiator, and with others I wasn’t.  I look back now and wish I would’ve had the talk.   

Just the other night my mom and I were chatting about negotiating and I think she said it best.  Here goes, in my mom’s wise words:

“To have the type of wedding you want – with all the extras – at the price you can live with requires negotiation and compromise.  You may want a cocktail hour with and an open bar and hors d’oeuvres, a champagne toast, a lavish sit-down dinner, a sweets table, a premuim bar, upgraded linens… and the list could keep on going.   All at a price you already have in mind.  (ME:  This is sooooo true, isn’t ladies!)

But, you have to be realistic about what will be included in your package.  You have to think: What can be subsituted, replaced, downgraded or eliminated?  Maybe it’s something you haven’t even considered?  If you’re a willing and reasonable negotiator who is willing to compromise, you will get everything you want… but just maybe didn’t consider before. 

You want hors d’oeuvres passed by a white-gloved server?  Maybe you could subsitute it with less expensive appetizers?  Or eliminate the servers and have the apps displayed on a table with a nice linen cloth and votives.  Skip that sweets table and keep a premium bar.  You see where I’m going with this?  Negotiate and be willing to compromise!”

I couldn’t have said it better!  Go mom.  I want to add that you don’t have to stick to a package.  Talk with your contact and see what can be changed to drop the price.  I guarentee you that if you make some changes, that price will drop. 

And this goes for all your vendors.  Negotiate and compromise and see what you can get.  Good luck!

So… I’m eating my words about not wanting flower centerpieces.  I was originally thinking of just having lots of candles and flower petals scattered on the table.  This DIY look by Wedding Bee’s Mrs. Lemon is what I was envisioning. 
47b6d72
What I didn’t want to do was spend an outrageous amount of money on something that died the next day… So, my mom and I started shopping around for the look I wanted, but that started to quickly add up.  And then I thought, who’s going to set all this up? I didn’t want to set everything up myself the day of the wedding, because I know me under stress.   (I turn a blotchy red and break out!  Not a pretty look!)     So, I was thinking… could a professional do this for less money and less of a hassle?  I thought there has to be a FABULOUS deal out there!
`
According to The Wedding Report, couples spend an average of about $1450 on a florist.  (And I’ve know some couples who spent $3K or $4K.  Uh, uh, not us!)  So what we did was set our flower budget at half  the industry average.  So, I’m pricing out florists and this is what I want for about $750:
`
16 flower centerpieces * loose flowers for headtable * 1 bridal bouquet * 8 boutonnieres * 3 junior boutonnieres * 2 coursages for mom’s * 2 ceremony flower arrangement * unity candle flower arrangement * rose petals to fill 2  flower girl baskets * cake flowers * and blooms for the bridesmaids hair! 
`
My look: Deep red roses, purple lisianthus and tons of votives.
Wiki - Purple lisianthus

Source: Wiki - Purple lisianthus

Natures Desktop - Deep red rose

Source: Natures Desktop - Deep red rose

Think I can do it?  My mom is borrowing vases from a friend, Greektown’s providing the votices… I know it’s ambitious.   I have four florists appointments this month, most of whom work out of their home.  More to come on my ambitious assignment Feb. 1!

Here’s my first inspiration board.  This is a montage of what I imagine my wedding to be!  BTW – this is so much harder than it looks… Kudos to those other bloggers like Snippet and Ink, Style Me PrettyIt’s a Jaime Thing and others who make it look so easy! 

bml-inspiration-board-1

Photo credits starting at the top and going from left to right:

#1, 4 Garden Muse – Clematis,  #2 Tips.webdesign – Red Roses, #5 Knot For Life – Black Table Runner, #6 Celtic Weddings – Deep Red Rose, #7 In Photos – Purple Flowers (I don’t know that these are?),  #8 Cristalier.com – Table Scatter Crystals, #9 Miss Weddings – White Chair Cover, Black Satin Sash,#10 Natures Wallpaper – Purple and Red Sunset (This was taken in lower Michigan!), #11 Unwrap.com – Deep Purple Swirl, #12 Via Spiga – Black Patent Leather Peep Hole Heels, #13 John & Kira’s – Artisean Lady Bug Chocolates, #14 Macy’s – Suzi Chin Sleeveless with Sheer Black Neckline, #15 –Bliss Weddings  Purple Autumn Bouquet, #16 Variations – Black and White Wedding Theme  (Black monogram), #17 Bridal People – Black and White Invitations, #18 Flickr Bensonkuo – 2008 Luminato Festival, Ontario, Canada, #19 Bridal People – Diamond Shaped Tea Lights, #20 Zorpia.com – Red Rose

My maid of honor and I saw them at the Sept. bridal show at the Palace.  Look at us trying to be sooo cool!

My maid of honor and I saw them at the Sept. bridal show at the Palace. Look at us trying to be sooo cool!

How fun is a photobooth?  I love photobooths!  And having one at your wedding definitely increases the fun factor. What we like about the photobooth is that it’ll serve as part of the guest favors as they get to keep a copy of their fun pic and there’ll also be a photobook where the Shutterbooth attendant will paste in a second copy of the pic and your guests can write their wedding well wishes.  I love it!

So, I’ll be honest,  Shutterbooth is one of the first vendors I booked and I didn’t do a lot of comparison pricing.  (Which is so unlike me!) I know there are several other vendors out there, but I went with Shutterbooth because of what they offered and what the finished product looked like.  Not to mention, they have a great reputation.  And, I ended up getting a discount after attending a bridal show… details below.

Shutterbooth Profile
They are a nationwide vendor with its corporate headquarters located here in Royal Oak, Mich.  And the owners are personable and down-to-earth!  Very nice people.  For those concerned about appearances, the booth will not be an eyesore at your wedding.  It’s very professional looking and is black with a black velvet curtain.  It’s fairly large and can comfortable fit 10 people, though Kim at Shutterbooth said she’s seen 20+ people sqeeze in!  And, they will work with you to customize your own wedding logo (this is an additional cost), which serves as a great wedding favor.  

I received this coupon after I visited their booth at a bridal show.  Even though I had already booked with them, they honored the coupon.

I received this coupon after I visited their booth at a bridal show. Even though I had already booked with them, they honored the coupon.

All rentals include:
* Unlimited photos during the event
* Color, black and white or sepia prints
* Online photo gallery of all the prints for you and your guests to view after the wedding
* CD with high res images
* Full time photobooth attendant
* Free set-up and tear-down

Shutterbooth offers three packages: (If you have a question about prices, shoot me an email)
Basic package:  4 hours of service 
Deluxe package: 6 hours of service
Premium package: 6 hours or service, customizable logo, scrapbook

You can always customize your package.  For example you can get the basic package and add customizable logo and scrapbook.  I found that to be less expensive.  (That’s what Kenny and I did.) 

You can definitely get a discount on Shutterbooth by attending a bridal show and leaving your contact info… Also, it wouldn’t hurt to ask when you call them if you can get a discount without having to attend a bridal show.

Contact: 1-888-780-8837    Price Range: $850-$1450 

 

I don’t think I ever mentioned that I bought my dress!   I actually found it at Brides by Demetrios in Troy,  back in October.   It was my first and last day of dress shopping… (I really didn’t like dress shopping… there’s sooo many to choose from and there’s some really ugly – I’m talking UGLY ones out there.)  After hitting four or five salons, Demetrios was the last appointment of the day.  Everything I had tried on earlier was just ok.  And I was thinking, is this how it’s going to be?   Are my expectations too high?

Every weekend, Brides by Demetrios will have some sort of sale.  Don't be afraid to ask what kind of deal you can get!

Every weekend, Brides by Demetrios will have some sort of sale. Don't be afraid to ask what kind of deal you can get! The dress on the far right is the same as the dress below.

But, at Demetrios, I found several dresses that took my breath away.  And every time I tried on the next I was like, this could be it!  But, the moment I put on The One and the assistant cinched it into place, I just knew!  I literally sashayed out of the dressing room and my mom immediately teared up!  There was no doubt about it…. Funny, the dress was something that looked AWFUL on the rack.

Brides by Demetrios in Troy, Mich: I know from reading the Knot Detroit Message boards that Demetrios in Troy is hit or miss for service.  I personally had a fantastic experience!  Jackie took care of me and was wonderful and honest.   She also recommended dresses to me that I would have otherwise poo-pooed!    I suggest making an appointment with Jackie and going on any other day than Saturday.  Unlike many other Metro Detroit Bridal salons, they’re open on Sundays.  If Saturday is your only option, make a 4 p.m. appointment – there should be less chaos later in the day!  Purchasing Tip: You can always get a deal at Brides by Demetrios.  Like asking for 20 percent off the gown and veil if you pay in full.  Every weekend they have different deals.  And, if you register with them at a bridal show, you’ll get some sort of discounted coupon.

Because my wonderful fiance reads my blog, I will not be posting THE dress, but here’s the other two I was  considering…

Brides by Demetrios style 900 .  I love the trumpet style dresses.  And, never in a million years would I have considered lace, but it's so gorgeous.

Brides by Demetrios style 900 . I love the trumpet style dresses. And, never in a million years would I have considered lace, but it's so gorgeous.

Question:  How come they pose the bride model in such a way it detracts from the dress?  I don’t get it!  And, why do some bride models have outrageous hair and make-up?  I know fashion is fashion, but still… Come on!

Brides by Demetrios style 125. I would ditch the jacket and the hair! This image doesn't give the dress justice... And, the bride model's kinda scary!

Brides by Demetrios style 125. I would ditch the jacket and the hair! This image doesn't give the dress justice... And, the bride model's kinda scary!

I love this article.   It’s in response to Mitch Albom’s “Courage of Detroit” article I mentioned in an earlier post.  While Albom defends the Spirit of the people, Model D’s “Hey Mitch, Detroit Primed to Play More than Defense” article captures the spirit of the people and the city!

Although Albom’s article paints a more dismal picture of Detroit – starting his article off in a homeless shelter – he does defend its people.  But, I agree Albom should’ve highlighted Detroit’s recent revitalization effort and all the great new restaurants, bars and hotels that have opened downtown. 

Leave it up to the Model D to call Albom out!  This article paints the picture of the Detroit we all know!

Feeling ambitious?  You can hit two Metro Detroit bridal shows this weekend!  There’s one Saturday and Sunday.  What I found beneficial about these shows is you can usually get coupons for discounts on vendors.  For example, the last show I went to I got a phone call from Demetrios (where I bought my gown) saying I’d get 20 percent off my gown.  And, I also got $165 coupon off the price of my photobooth from Shutterbooth.  So, it’s easy to save several hundred dollars by attending one of these shows!  

This Weekend’s Bridal Show Info
Saturday, Jan 17-18, at the Novi Expo Center Michigan’s LARGEST two-day bridal expo is at Novi’s Rock Financial Showplace. This spectacular venue continues to be the bride’s choice when it comes to planning her wedding.  Hundreds of bridal professionals will exhibit and you can win tons of gifts and prizes!  Open noon – 5 p.m. both days.  Click here to sign up for exclusive prizes.

Sunday, Jan. 18 at the Palace of Auburn Hills Winter Bridal Celebrations.  Hundreds of local wedding professionals will attend.  Win up to $100,000 in free gifts and prizes!  Open noon – 5 p.m.  Click here for a $2 off coupon.

Tips

  • Set-up a new email account for all the bridal show spam. (There’s more than you can imagine…)
  • Take a wing person.  You can tag team and sign-up to win free stuff faster. 
  • Arrive fashionably late – you’ll avoid the lines…
  • Take return address stickers (with that new email address on it).  This way, you and your wing person can just stick on the contact info instead of having to hand write everything.
  • Bring an over-sized bag with comfortable straps to stuff information in.
  • Leave your fiance at home unless they beg you to let them come. 
  • OPTIONAL – Have a long brunch with a couple mimosa’s before you head to the show!

Good luck!

riverwalk_carousel_largeYou know, after spending the last week downtown, I’ve heard enough from those home grown Michiganders who bash Detroit.  Those who bash the People Mover when riding the People Mover.  Those who compare Detroit to other cities and say it’s such a disappointment. 

These are the people who don’t know Detroit.  These are the people who come down for events and then leave.  If you don’t know what you’re talking about, or you don’t have anything nice to say, simply keep your mouth shut.  Yeah, Detroit is fighting a bad rep.  And part of that is because native Detroiter’s or Michiganders perpetuate that stereotype by openly bashing the City to out-of-towners.  Yeah, Detroit has its problems, but we’re moving in the right direction. 

No, Detroit is not a Chicago.  It’s not a New York or L.A.  It’s Detroit.  No, we don’t have a mass transit system.  But we’ll get there.  We are moving in the right direction.  Detroit is Detroit and I’m proud to call it home. 

I’ve gotta make mention of this Mitch Albom article, “The Spirit of Detroit” that appeared in the January edition of Sports Illustrated.  I can’t tell you how many emails I received from people all over the country who used to live in Metro Detroit talking about this article.  Albom really captures the Spirit of the people of Detroit.  It’s long, but it’s a good read. 

And if you’re one of those locals who’re quick to put down Detroit, this article might make you think differently.  Although you might not know it… Even if you don’t live in Detroit, but live in a suburb of Detroit, out-of-towners consider you a Detroiter.

Ann Arbor News photo by Alan Warren

Source: Ann Arbor News photo by Alan Warren

So, this is done and over with… and surprisingly enough, I had a GREAT time!  My fabulous photographer Heather Saunders met my fiance and I at Greektown Casino on Sunday morning for a romp-around town to capture some great snowy Detroit pics. 

We had originally planned to do this Saturday, but that snow storm blew through and the session was a wash!  Seriously, I was dreading this… I hate pictures.  But, Heather is so easy to work with and she made me feel so comfortable. (Another confirmation that I’m sooo happy I booked Heather!) And, I have to give Kenny credit because he put me at ease.  I swear, that man is such a ham in front of the camera!

The session started off in Greektown, taking shots in some doorways, against some brick walls and of course on Monroe Street.  Then we hopped on the People Mover to get some urban pics around the city.  To end the session, we headed over near St. Andrews Hall and got some shots with graffiti covered brick.   I should have pics in the next coming weeks.  I’m curious to see how they came out!  I will post when I can.

SERIOUSLY – If you’re not comfortable in front of the camera, I strongly encourage scheduling an engagement pic session with your photographer. For me, the session eased my anxiety about having a camera around on the BIG DAY.

And kudos to Heather! Later this month and early next, she’ll have her work featured in five bridal magazines!  I’ll find out which ones and slap them on the blog!

This month I’m stalking out florists and linen vendors.  And, NO I wasn’t even thinking about renting linens or having many flowers,.. BUT, I came across the most reasonably-priced vendors.  There are deals out there, let me tell you!  I can’t wait to give you a full report after I meet with them all.  I promise, I’ll have it up by the end of the month. 

If you have any Detroit florists or linen vendors you’d like me to include, just leave a comment.  I’m looking for those who provide an outstanding service for an incredible price.  Know of any?

naias-patch-logoIf you live in Metro Detroit, then you know the North American International Auto Show is coming to town.  Actually, it’s already here.  Last Sunday marked the kickoff of press days where about 6000 journalists from around the world descended upon Cobo Hall to report the latest and greatest in cars – And, let’s be honest,  the not so greatest.      

I’ve been down at the show since Sunday and while it doesn’t have the glitz and glamor of past shows, there are some great vehicles coming out.  And, it’s a perfect opportunity for you to support the Detroit show and our city.  Come on down to Cobo, check out the show and then hit one of Detroit’s many hot spots.  Here’s a couple places to check out after the show… just jump on the People Mover…  See you down there!

TIP: Ok, here’s my little secret… don’t want to pay for parking, park FREE at the Greektown Casino parking structure and take the People Mover to Cobo.  It’s only 50 cents one way!  Bring some quarters or dollar bills with you!  And, you can jump off at any of the below stops to grap some food.

Cool places to hit after the show:
Angelina’s Bistro
In the mood for Italian?  Share a couple of dishes at Angelino’s Bistro.  People Mover stop: Broadway Station.

The Detroiter Bar – This oldie but goodie serves up burges and gyros.  Good place to grab a beer with friends! People Mover stop: Bricktown station.

Detroit Beer Company – This is a great place to grab a pizza or sandwich and a home-brewed beer. People Mover stop: Broadway Station.

Greektown – My fav for sure!  Greek fare and more. You can go up-scale, mid-scale or hit a hole-in-the-wall in Greektown.  Upscale… Mosaic, Alley Grill & Sweet Georgia Brown’s.  Mid-scale… Pegasus, New Parthenon (Greek), Fish Bones,Pizza Papalis, Locos (Mexican) &,  Jacoby’s (German). Hole in the wall…Plaka Coney Island.  And they have a ton of bars.  Eclispz Lounge in Greektown is snazzy! People Mover Stop: Greektown

MGM Casino and it’s many restaurants and bars Now this is a Vegas-style casino.  For sit down dining  they’ve got Wolfgang Puck, Bourbon Steak and Saltwater.  For bars, the have Ignite (which I love because it’s a plush lounge that makes you feel surrounded by fire), Agua and V. People Mover Stop:  Michigan Station. Please note, you will have to walk two or three blocks…

Roast or Motor Bar in the Book Cadillac Hotel – It’s a bit pricey at Roast, but they serve up some fabulous dishes.  (Plan to drop $150 for two) OR, if you’re just in the mood for drinks and app’s, hit the Motor Bar inside the Book Cadillac.  People Mover Stop: Michigan Station.

Oslo Sushi – Pining for sushi?  You should check out Oslo’s.  It’s quaint and has a New York feel.  I suggest a cucumber saki martini! People Mover stop: Broadway Station. Please note, it’s a two block walk.

Ren Cen – You can find several restaurants in or just across the street from the Ren Cen!  Inside you’ll find Andiamos, Seldom Blues & Coach Insignia.  Right across the street you’ll find Tom’s Oyster Bar and Sweet Lorraines. People Mover stop: Ren Cen.

There are so many more, but there’s a few!

What: North American International Auto Show
Where: Cobo Hall Convention Center
When: Public days kick off on Saturday, Jan. 17.  (If you’re in the industry, you can get a sneek peak on Wednesday, Jan. 14-16.
Price: $12 adult, $6 children 12-6, Free 6 and under.
Discount: Seniors get a discount and I’m pretty sure if you’re a AAA  memmber you get a discount.  (Contact AAA) 
Parking:  Park for free at Greektown Casino and ride the People Mover to Cobo.  Or, park at the nearby garages or lots.
Why: Support the Motor City

Sounds weird doesn’t it?  But those are our colors.  We’re going with a classic black and white wedding theme with red and purple accents.  The  bridesmaids will surely wear black dresses.  And, I’m thinking red roses, purple flowers and some greens for the centerpieces… White linens, black runners… and some other dazzling ideas…

I’m working on an inspiration board to slap up on this here blog!  If you’ve got some great ideas – send them to me!  I had no idea how time consuming those boards are!

A lot of you are waiting for an update on my Geektown Casino and Hotel visit.  I promise, I’ll get it up sometime this weekend.  After a much-needed two week holiday break, I headed back to work on Jan. 5, which also happened to be my b-day.  And last weekend, I caught that awful cold that’s going around!  So, much to my dismay, I’ve been working and sleeping instead of blogging this week! 

But, I do have a lot of updates about Greektown.  And, I plan to go back this Wednesday to see the completed ballroom.  I’ve got updates on florists and linens for knock out prices.  (My mom’s jaw dropped – literally – out of sheer shock at how inexpensive these quotes are – a sure STEAL!) I promise more to come about Greektown tonight or tomorrow and the other stuff next week!  Now I’m off to a snowy Detroit for my engagement pic session with Heather Saunders!

planet-fitness-logo

The best gym for the money. And guys get kicked out for grunting!

Getting too big for your britches? Literally? Yeah, since going back to work this past Monday after two weeks off, the seams of my pants were none too happy.  Actually, I think they were screaming for reinforcements! 

No worries!  It’s that time of year anyway.  We all know that with the New Year comes resolutions.  And a lot of those resolutions have to do with physical fitness.  Whether it’s to shed some unwanted pounds, tone-up or to be more active in general, getting to gym becomes a priority (at least for a couple months!)

If you’re looking to join a gym, there are some pretty great deals out there… and there’s quite a few gyms to choose from.   My personal favorite is Lifetime Fitness, but it’s the least favorite for the pocket book.  

If you’re looking for an inexpensive gym, check out Planet Fitness.  I joined last year and only pay $10 per month.  No, they don’t offer the pool, classes or a racquetball court, but really, all I need is the cardio machines and the weight machines.   Their slogan is the “Judgement Free Zone” and what I like about this gym is that they don’t allow meatheads to drop weights and grunt and all that stuff us ladies hate!  

Since I was feeling ambitious earlier this week, I called a couple other gyms to see if they had any New Year deals.   But still, none as good as the everyday Planet Fitness price. These are all single prices, no couples or day care is in the price range price:

Bally’sMonthly fees range depending on what you’re looking for.  They do have a pool, classes and racquetball.  Start-up fee = $49 and monthly fees range from $38 – $60.

LA Fitness Monthly fee ranges depending if you want racquetball.  They have daycare, a pool, classes (yoga, pillattes, etc.)  and racquetball.  Start-up fee is around $149.  Monthly fee ranges from $49.99-59.00.  At the Bloomfield Twp location they have a deal starting at $29.99 because it’s still a new facility.   I almost broke and signed-up!

Lifetime Fitness – This one really ranges.  If you work at a “corporation” they’ll give you $50 off the enrollment fee.  Pool, classes and racquetball are included in the standard membership.  Enrollment fee is usually around $100 and the administrative fee is $75.  Monthly fee is $59.99.

Now it’s just a matter of getting to the gym!

I love the Knot Detroit Message Board – LOVE IT.  Why?  Because the knotties who post are brutally honest and extraordinarily helpful.   Need a vendor and want references… give a shout out and you’ll get tons or responses.  Want to share a horror story and need a little love from those who understand?  Go to the Knot message board.  Both former brides and brides-to-be dish out great advice and will give their honest opinion because they’ve been there or are going through it.

Apparently everyone in my area shares my sentiments because after the holiday’s the Knot Detroit Message Board has been down (sporadically) in the evenings!  Which makes me wonder, just how many of you got engaged during the holiday??  Write and let us know! 

And, to reiterate that point – my mom told me she spoke to someone who’s involved in bridal shows and because so many Metro Detroiters got engaged over the holidays, the decided to add another bridal show.   

Congrats!  So when are you all getting married?

cascade

Soak your ring overnight in really hot water with a little bit of powdering dishwashing detergent.

Many of us newly engaged gals love to look down and admire the gemstone our fiance’s bestowed upon our ring fingers.  Even us not so newly engaged gals find ourselves entranced by our rings!    

Well, a lot of us battle with keeping the ring clean… instead of battle of the bulge, it’s battle of the gunk!  It’s truly amazing how fast they get dirty.  Every time I take it back to the jeweler for a cleaning, I hear him gasp in shock at how grimy it is.  And then he asks if I shower with it or if I put lotion on with it.  I say no.  Then he asks if I work out with it on… I say yes.  According to him, I should take it off when I get home!  And I think, what’s the point of having the darn thing on then? 

I wear it to work, wear it at home, wash dishes, clean the house, work out and sleep with it on.  I even wake up in the middle of the night to ensure it’s still securely around the finger. (Who knows why? but i do!)  I take it off when I shower, put lotion on, cook certain meals and make cookies.   So, you can imagine how filmy this thing gets.   And, I’m sure I’m not the only one who doesn’t take it off when they get home.  Right!?! 

Powdered Dishwashing Detergent?
So, I asked my jeweler what can I do to keep my ring clean?  I don’t have a jewelry cleaning machine.  He said I don’t need one.  He said the secret to keeping it clean is dishwasher detergent!  The trick is to soak the ring overnight in some hot water with a little bit of powdered dishwasher detergent.   And it works!  If you want, you can even take a little brush (I just bought a small toothbrush) to it.  All you have do is rinse it off and voila, you have a clean and sparkling ring! Easy, breezy.  He said it works better than most jewelry cleaners.  It’s easy and it’s economical!

Anyway, I thought I’d share that little tidbit of info!

I came across this read on yahoo news – it originally appeared in Redbook.  It’s funny, my mom gave me the heads up on most of these tidbits a long time ago!  No matter what the topic, my mom says it like it is! (She should have her own “Tell it Like it is Blog!”)  Take a read.  FYI it’s a long one!

Dating 101: Seven Things No One Tells You About Marriage
The surprising, enlightening, and sometimes hard truths married folks all face — and how they teach us about what love really means.

By Ylonda Gault Caviness for Redbook

couple embracing at their wedding

You’re smart. You know life is no storybook. But admit it: Somewhere deep in your subconscious lurk romantic visions of Cinderella, or maybe Julia Roberts. The images may be sketchy and a little outdated, but you can still make out the silhouette of the bride and Prince Charming riding off into the sunset.

 

In real life, sometimes your Disney fairy tale ends up feeling more like a Wes Craven horror flick — and you’re the chick who keeps falling down and screaming for her life. I’ve been there. Let’s face it, marriage is not for the faint of heart. You want to believe your pure love for each other will pull you through. And it does. But it ain’t always pretty.

 

That may sound grim. But here’s a secret: Sometimes it’s the least romantic parts of marriage that have the most to teach you about yourself, your partner, and the nature of love. Read on for some simple truths that will unlock the surprising treasures and pleasures in your imperfect, unstorybook, real-life love.

 

1. You will look at the person lying next to you and wonder, Is this it? Forever?

When you get married, you think that as long as you pick the right guy — your soul mate — you’ll be happy together until death do you part. Then you wake up one day and realize that no matter how great he is, he doesn’t make you happy every moment of every day. In fact, some days you might wonder why you were in such a hurry to get married in the first place. You think to yourself, “This is so not what I signed up for.”

 

Actually, it is. You just didn’t realize it the day you and your guy were cramming wedding cake into each other’s faces, clinking champagne glasses, and dancing the Electric Slide. Back then you had no idea that “for better and for worse” doesn’t kick in only when life hands you a tragedy. Your relationship mettle is, in fact, most tested on a daily basis, when the utter sameness of day-in/day-out togetherness can sometimes make you want to run for the hills. That’s when the disappointment sneaks in, and maybe even a palpable sense of loneliness and grief. It’s not him. It’s just you, letting go of that sugarcoated fantasy of marriage that danced in your eyes the day you and your beloved posed in all those soft-focus wedding photos. You’re learning that marriage isn’t a destination; it’s a journey filled with equal parts excitement and tedium.

 

Waking up from a good dream to face the harsh morning daylight may not seem like a reason to celebrate. But trust me, it is. Because once you let go of all the hokey stories of eternal bliss, you find that the reality of marriage is far richer and more rewarding than you ever could have guessed. Hard, yes. Frustrating, yes. But full of its own powerful, quiet enchantments just the same, and that’s better than any fairy tale.

 

2. You’ll work harder than you ever imagined.

Early on, when people say, “Marriage takes work,” you assume “work” means being patient when he forgets to put down the toilet seat. In your naivete, you think that you will struggle to accommodate some annoying habit, like persistent knuckle cracking or flatulence.

 

If only it were that easy. Human beings, you may have noticed, are not simple creatures. Your man has mysterious, unplumbed depths — and from where he sits, you’re pretty complicated, too. You have to learn each other the same way that you once learned earth science or world geography. And getting married doesn’t mean you’re done — it just means you’ve advanced to graduate-level studies. That’s because every time you think you’ve mastered the material, he’ll change a bit. And so will you. As two people grow and evolve, the real work of marriage is finding a way to relate to and nurture each other in the process.

 

“It’s like losing weight,” says Andrea Harden, 45, of Buffalo, NY. “You want it to be a one-time deal. You lost it, now just live. But then you learn it’s a lifestyle. That’s marriage. The effort is a forever thing.” So don’t be too hard on yourself — or him — on those days when you feel like you’re struggling through remedial math.

 

3. You will sometimes go to bed mad (and maybe even wake up madder). 

Whoever decided to tell newlyweds “Never go to bed angry” doesn’t know what it’s like inside a bedroom where tears and accusations fly as one spouse talks the other into a woozy stupor until night meets the dawn. If this scenario sounds familiar, I’ve got three words for you: Sleep on it.

 

You need to calm down. You need to gain perspective. You need to just give it a rest. I’ve found that an argument of any quality, like a fine wine, needs to breathe. A break in the action will help you figure out whether you’re angry, hurt, or both, and then pinpoint the exact source. Maybe the fight that seemed to erupt over the overflowing garbage can is really about feeling underappreciated. Could be you’re both stressed out at work and just needed to unload on someone. Taking a break will help you see that, and let go. Or maybe you really do have a legitimate disagreement to work out. Without a time-out, sometimes a perfectly good argument can turn into an endless round of silly back-and-forth, rehashing old and irrelevant transgressions as you get more and more wound up.

 

Even when you do manage to stay focused and on topic, there are some fights that stubbornly refuse to die by bedtime. And if you stifle your real feelings just to meet some arbitrary deadline, your marriage will surely be the worse for it. “This was a huge lesson for me,” says Andrea. “As women we’ve been trained to make nice. But the whole kiss-and-make-up thing just to keep the peace was eating me up inside. I’d let things build up inside me until I just exploded. Now I wait a while to get hold of myself — let the emotions settle a bit — and state my position. Even if that means reopening the fight the next day.”

 

4. Getting your way is usually not as important as finding a way to work together.

I can be a bit of a know-it-all. There, I said it. It’s really not my intention to be hurtful or brash with people I love. It’s just that a lifetime of experience has taught me that in most areas, at most times, I am right about most things. What shocked me several years into my marriage, though, was the realization that the more “right” I was, the more discontented my husband and I were as a couple. See, oddly enough, throughout his life Genoveso has been under the misguided impression that he’s right most of the time (go figure!). So we’d lock horns — often. That is, until I learned a few things.

 

Namely, that when it comes to certain disagreements, there is no right or wrong — there is simply your way of looking at things and your husband’s. “I used to be very black-and-white earlier in our marriage,” says Lindy Vincent, 38, who lives in Minneapolis. “Now I see that I’m not all right and my husband is not all wrong. There’s more gray in life than I thought, and that’s taught me patience and the value of compromise.”

 

5. A great marriage doesn’t mean no conflict; it simply means a couple keeps trying to get it right.

Maybe you think that because of my newfound wisdom, Genoveso and I never fight anymore. Ha! As important as it is to strike a balance, it’s also important to have a big, fat fight every now and then. Because when you fight, you don’t just raise your voices; you raise real — sometimes buried — issues that challenge you to come to a clearer understanding of you, your man, and your relationship. I wouldn’t give up our fights for anything in the world, because I know in the end they won’t break us; they’ll only make us stronger.

 

6. You’ll realize that you can only change yourself.

Ever seen the ’80s sci-fi cult classic “Making Mr. Right?” When the stylish heroine, played by Ann Magnuson, is hired to teach a robot how to act like a human, she seizes the chance to create a perfect guy. A hotshot commercial whiz, she uses her marketing prowess to shape John Malkovich’s android character into her personal version of the ideal man — sensitive, eager to please, and willing to listen.

 

There is a bit of that makeover fantasy in all of us — something that makes us believe we can change the person we love, make him just a little bit closer to perfect. We may use support and empathy or shouts and ultimatums, but with dogged conviction we take on this huge responsibility, convinced we’re doing the right thing.

 

Whatever our motives, the effort is exhausting. Transforming a full-grown man — stripping him of decades-old habits, beliefs, and idiosyncrasies — is truly an impossible task. And you will come to realize, sooner than later if you’re lucky, that it is far easier to change the way you respond to him.

 

7. As you face your fears and insecurities, you will find out what you’re really made of.

There were clues when Genoveso and I were dating, especially with the trust thing. Early on, I was supersuspicious of him. He used to say things like, “I’ll call you at 8.” Then, just to try to trip me up, he’d call at 8. I knew he was up to something, I just couldn’t figure out what. The same kinds of experiences followed after the wedding. Except occasionally he would actually mess up. And I had no sense of scale when it came to rating his offenses; everything was a major violation. Whether he teased me about a new haircut or came home late, I seethed for days and even let thoughts of divorce creep into my head. I figured, if he loved me — really and truly — this stuff wouldn’t happen.

 

I’d like to be able to say that this irrational behavior lasted only a few months and I eventually worked it out. Kind of, sort of, is closer to the truth. After years of looking deeply into my soul and talking to good friends and the best sister a girl could ever have, I’ve come to recognize certain things about myself. Not to get all Dr. Phil about it, but I’ve had to examine my history with an emotionally distant dad and a strong-willed mom and face up to all the ways, both good and bad, that those relationships have affected how I approach my marriage.

 

That’s the strange beauty of marriage: It’s full of hard times and hard lessons that no one can ever prepare you for. But in the end, those are the things that give richness to your life together — and make your love even deeper and stronger than when it began.

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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