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

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

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

Bridge

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

You could go a couple different routes! 

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

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

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

Ah, the possibilites!  

DYI Ice Cream BuffetDIY_ice-cream_parlour_buffet_bigSource

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

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

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

Saunders Hot fudge Sundae

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

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

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

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

Thanks Morley.  And, welcome back Saunders.

Find a parlor near you.
Ice_Cream_Parlor_Basket

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

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

Now to the nitty gritty details…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

I promise.  I promise I’ll do this soon!   I’m going to add a My Vendor Review section to the blog.  I have some really wonderful things to say and some very honest feedback. 

But, I wanted to tell you when choosing a vendor, there are a couple things to keep in mind.  I can’t tell you how important it is to choose a vendor you trust.  You have to have faith in them.  And, for me, it was really important that we had good chemistry with vendors we were going to be working closely with… like our photographer, videographer and Day of Wedding Coordinator

When looking for a vendor or venue, I want to emphasize that some people are going to have good experiences and bad experiences with different vendors.  Even the best have a bad day.   So, don’t let one opinion stop you from looking into a vendor or venue.  Do the homework yourself.  Always go with your gut instinct.  And, rememeber, the best deal out there isn’t always the best choice.  But on the flip side, the best deal might be an up-and-coming vendor trying to establish credibility in the industry… You have to figure all that out yourself!

I can tell you right now,  I LOVED. LOVED. LOVED. Heather Saunders Photography, Two Penny Productions, Dorothy Bennick from Masonic, Erika from EcoPosh, Shutterbooth and Michele Nonis.   Details to come on all in individual posts.

Vendor

We’re nearing the final stretch!  The wedding is just three short weeks away.  And, the next two weeks are crazy busy with vendor meetings.  Surprisingly, it’s not crazy.  Just feel good busy.

Tonight, we visited the Masonic Temple, our historical ceremony site for our Detroit Wedding.  If you haven’t seen the place, it’s absolutely GORGEOUS.   I think we had forgotten how beautiful it is… it’s been almost a year since we signed the contract.   But, walking in, it took my breath away.  And Dorothy, Masonic’s event coordinator, is top notch.  There is something so very genuine about her and she instills this faith in you that your experience – from start to finish – will be a great experience.  And, believe me, she’s no nonsense.  At the very beginning, we knew what was possible and what was not. 

Anyway, we went over the final ceremony details, timeline, setup – Everything.   She told us what worked, what didn’t work so well and also brought-up some questions we should ask our other vendors, like our photographer and videographer.  We think she’s awesome. 

And, I’m relieved to say we finally nailed down our music.  We had no clue what our ceremony music would be, other than the song I’m walking down the aisle to… But, we we sat down with our organist Ava who went through tons of sheet music.  We choose some meaningful music.  I teared-up when I heard my to.b.song down the aisle.  Everything ties into our heritage somehow.  I can’t wait to share with you after the wedding.  For now, it’s a secret!

Visiting the Masonic tonight reminded me what we choose it.  It’s such a special place.  If you’ve seen the Ceremony Site Guide, then you know we looked at a million (well, it seemed like a million) places before we set our sights on the Masonic.   

I can’t tell you how happy I am about the wedding.  Everything is falling into place.  And, soon, everything I’ll be handing over the reigns to my amazing and fabulous DOC Erika from Ecoposh

The Masonic Temple: This is where we say ‘I Do’masonic-temple

I received so many emails from you all about the Detroit Free Press article announcing the Detroit Institute of Arts is hosting its first wedding this Saturday.  I have to admit.  I’m a bit envious.  In my opinion, it’s a perfect venue. 

Anyway, last Fall the DIA announced they would allow wedding receptions, I even included it in my lil ole Detroit Ceremony Site Guide.  I was particularly interested to find out if they allowed wedding ceremonies.  And, believe me, I was disappointed to find out they do not.  I even called to see if I could talk my way into getting my way.  Um.  Didn’t happen.  Their reasoning is they don’t allow any kind of religious or civil ceremonies of any kind.  (I even offered to make ours not so civil!)  What I take from that is they don’t want to set a precedent of any kind.  Who knows what kind of door that would open? 

Anywho, with the upcoming ‘I Do’ at the DIA, I thought I would give you a venue overview. 

Diego Riveria's 'Detroit Industry'

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, like I said, they don’t allow any kind of ceremony or religious events.  

According to the article in the Free Press,  DIA space offerings 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 theirs 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.  And they don’t allow wedding ceremonies. 

Contact: 313.833.7966

Having a reception at the DIA will prove to be pricey, but if its within your budget it’s well worth the price.  If you have your wedding there, be sure to send l’il ole me some picture to include on this here blog.  We all want to see, don’t we?!

Source

Tonight, we’re going to Kid Rock.  And you know, he’s a homegrown Michigander –  He gives Detroit so much love.  Leave it to The Kid to have a Detroit block party.

And, he’s introducing his new Michigan-brewed beer that he’s calling American Badass Beer.  The official launch is Labor Day weekend, but he thought he’d test it out on Detroit this weekend. 

So, literally, Kenny and I are going to have a Badass good time tonight in Detroit! 

Source

Introducing… Amy and Steve

Amy and Steve met, fell in love, and then got engaged in downtown Detroit.   The engagement included an elaborate scheme that had Amy thinking she was having dinner with Tiger’s head coach Jim Leyland.  So, it only made sense when planning their wedding to have it Detroit.  They are both huge supporters of downtown and wanted their friends and family to share in the love and pride they have for a city some people have a not-so-favorable opinion of… They think it’s a big mission accomplished! 

Amy and Steve had their ceremony at the amazingly beautiful Old St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Greektown.  After they said I DO, the couple went back to the place where it all began… an old time Detroit favorite…  Garden Bowl , America’s oldest active bowling alley, which is located inside the Majestic Cafe on Woodward Avenue for some fun shots. 

Before heading to the Roostertail for the reception, Amy and Steve stopped by at their favorite local watering hole, Foran’s Grand Trunk Pub at Woodward and Congress, for some local Michigan MIcrobrews. 

Amy and Steve incorporated the Detroit skyline into their save the dates, wedding invitations and menus which was inspired by the view from the room at the Roostertail.  Giving proper recognition to Detroit’s historical music scene, Amy and Steve asked that only Motown music be played during cocktails and dinner and the bridal party entered the room to Sam Roberts Band’s “Detroit ‘67.”

Enjoy.

05.09.09
Real Detroit Wedding: Amy & Steve
Detroit, Michigan

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All images belong to The Shooting Gallery.  Amazing, aren’t they?

Here’s a little taste of the next Real Detroit Wedding.  I can’t wait to post this wedding.  I’m loving these images by the Shooting Gallery.   They’re Fun. Happy. Beautiful.   

This wedding will introduce you to some old time Detroit favorites.

Stay. Tuned.  More to come.

DetroitCollage18

In the Reinvention of GM.  I believe in a comeback.

And, I can’t even tell you how I felt when I watched this GM commercial earlier this week. It’s honest and hopeful.  It’s one of the best campaigns I’ve ever seen. 

Take a watch. 

Kenny and I’ve been scouting the D for rehearsal dinner locations.  Unlike the guest list and linen drama, this has been fun. 

Usually, it involves a beer and a couple appetizers.  That gives us time to scope out the place, taste the food and check out the service. 

Here’s the top locations we’ve considered:

Bookies Bar & Grill – Located right around the corner from Comerica Park and down the street from Campus Martius, the new Bookies is kick-butt.  Good food, good drinks and friendly service.   The also have an outdoor patio on the third floor, which overlooks the city.  And, you wouldn’t know it, but they have a private VIP room on the second floor that is available for parties. which can accomodate about 50 people.  It’s got its own private restrooms and bar.  We were impressed. It’s ultra sleek in there. 

Parking could get hairy and pricey on a game day, because they don’t own the parking lot, but that’s what the street’s for!  You can work with them to tailor the menu and workout per person pricing.  Oh, there could be a room charge if you don’t meet the minimum $$ spent.

Hard Rock Cafe – At first, we were opposed because it was a chain.  But, now, this place tops our list.   Located in Campus Martuis in the Compuware building, the location is stellar.  While they have a limited public menu, their event menu is huge.  You can basically get whatever you want and they definitely work with you to meet your budget. 

They have a great beer collection, a decent wine menu and AWESOME service. 

You might think parking could be an issue in Campus Martius, but Hard Rock validates your parking if you park in the Compuware Parking Garage.  They have a cool private room too, that seats about 50.   Oh, and NO ROOM CHARGE. 

A couple other places that we looked at, but didn’t get the rehearsal dinner vibe were:

Pizza Papalis – Located in Greektown, across from the casino, we REALLY thought this place would be it.  Since we’re having our rockin reception at Greektown Casino-Hotel, we thought this location was solid. 

They have a great private room on the second floor that overlooks Monroe Street that easily seats more than 60+.  Parking would be a breeze (and FREE) at the Greektown Parking Garage.  Prices are reasonable and they work with your budget.

But, my fiance, being the bread stick conisseuir that he is, nixed the idea because he didn’t like breadsticks (which are made out of the chicago style pizza dough) and he wasn’t too keen on their deep dish pizza.  Bummer.   Who knows, you could love it!

Detroit Beer Co.:  Located on Canfield on WSU’s Campus, they brew some stellar beers.  They have an outdoor patio on the second floor and it’s a perfect place to people watch!

Majestic Cafe: Located in the Cultural District across from Union Street Station, they’ve got food, they’ve got bowling, they’ve got it all.  Super casual and fun place. 

Traffic Jam & Snug: Located on WSU’s campus on Canfield across the street from Detroit Beer Co., they brew their own beer and make their own cheese.  Great place.  Truly a hidden gem!

Union Street Station: A Detroit icon, located on Woodward in Detroit’s Cultural District, that serves American food.  Great atmosphere!

Everyone knows Detroit is hurting.  The U.S. auto industry is on its knees.  And no one feels the pain more than those who live in the region.  It’s not just a “headline” or a “news report” to us Metro Detroiters.  It’s a pay cut, mandatory time off, temporary shutdowns, or worse, a permanent layoff.  It’s very real to us here.  

If you haven’t been laid off, you know someone who has, or you, yourself, have had your salary slashed – and sometimes slashed again.  Those who were laid off from Chrysler last year, just lost their supplemental pay.  The Big Three’s retiree’s are losing their benefits and will likely lose more.  Dealerships are being forced to close, which, often times, means long-time family businesses will be dead.   And, there’s talk that GM could leave it’s Detroit-based world headquarters, which would devastate the Detroit economy. 

It hurts.  It’s painful.  It’s scary.  And, for those who shrug their shoulders and say “Let Detroit die,” are ignorant people who don’t really know what that would mean for the region or the country.   Read-up on it, and then share your opinion.  But, I don’t want to hear someone who lives in Southfield, Clinton Twp. or Waterford – or any other city or township in Metro Detroit or beyond – say Detroit needs to go away or Chrysler needs to die.  People.  Shut. Up.    Sorry, don’t mean to be brutal, but Detroit and the Big Three deserve better than that.

Surving in the current economic environment is tough.  And for those of us planning a wedding here is kind of scary.  Some of us just hope we still have our job come the wedding day.  Or, hope we find A JOB before the big day.  You definitely scale back with the plans.  And, you definitely consider doing many things yourself or not doing them at all.  But we’re still moving forward.  We’re working with what we have.  And that’s all we can do. 

Fiance and I both work in the auto industry.  We’re getting married in September.  We’re looking to buy a house.  And, YES, we’re scared – who wouldn’t be?  But we’re moving forward.   And if we can get through this together and take care of each other, we’ll be that much stronger.  Just keep on going, keep on doing and Detroit will get back up on its feet again. 

   

If you don’t already know, today is Flower Day at Eastern Market in Detroit. 

You can get flowers, fruits and vegetables for incredible prices and you’ll be supporting the local businesses.  BONUS!  

Not to mention, there’s antique shops – and believe me – there a definitely gems to be found!  Ssrly.

If you haven’t been there, you should go down and check it out.  There’s live music, BBQ ribs on the grill and lots to see and do. 

Go.  Visit Detroit and give it some love.

EasternMarket1.jpg image by Ramcharger13

Chrysler, you may have fallen today.  But, I have hope and faith that you’ll get back up. 

Get well soon.  Detroit needs you.

If you’re on the prowl for vintage accessories, this weekend is a perfect weekend to go down to Eastern Market.  They’re opening shed #2, so they’ll be more vendors down there.

If you’ve never been there.  Go. Please.  You’ll find home grown fruits and veggies, ecletic antique items and so much more.  And, for those Vintage glam wedding seekers, there are sure to be some good wedding finds there… 

And, while you’re down there, have breakfast at Farmer’s Restaurant  or grab a delicious sandwich at Russell Street Deli.

My trip there will have to wait till next weekend… As us Michiganders do, I’m heading North for the weekend.    

Today is Opening Day! 

You gotta love Opening Day in the D.  Every die-hard Tiger fan is downtown – despite if they have tickets or not.   Even people who don’t like baseball, don’t like the Tigers and don’t like Detroit (ssrly, are you crazy?) are downtown for Opening Day.  Even when the Tigers come off of a losing season(s), fans show-up for that first game and root them on as if they’ve won the World Series the season before.  You gotta love Detroit fans!

And this year, they’re doing something cool.  Kid Rock (you all know he’s a Michigander, right?  I thought so) is throwing out the first pitch.  Actually, he’s throwing out the first three pitches.  This is where the cool part comes in.  To show his support for Detroit, the auto industry and the Tigers, he’s throwing three ceremonial pitches to three longtime employees at the Big Three.  

I wish I could be there.  But, I’m working.  Yeah, I work on Good Friday this year.  Anyways, I’ll see all you other fans downtown tonight!  

I received a couple emails over the last week asking for suggestions about what to include in the out-of-towner guest bags.  And, it got me thinking… There are so many wonderful things about Detroit and Michigan that our guests should know about and experience, it’ll be hard to narrow it down.  For Bug and I, we’re all about showing them what this town and region is about. 

Over the next couple days I’ll post some ideas.  And, if you have ideas you’d like to share, please let me know!  I’d love to include them. 

This first one is my fav.  While all of these items aren’t made in Detroit, they’re definitely made in Michigan.

Detroit Old Time Fav’s
made-in-michigan-foods

Michigan Made Products and Image Sources:
Faygo, Vernors, Jiffy Mix, Kowalski Sausage, Stroh’s Beer (there’s also Stroh’s ice cream), Kelloggs’ Corn Flakes, Saunders Hot Fudge, Bettermade Potato Chips, Michigan wines.

Some other food items I didn’t include here are: Pinconning cheese, Cadillac Coffee, Mackinac Island Fudge, Michigan Cherry foods.   There’s so much out there! 

I personally love the idea of including the chips, soda and coffee. 

I can’t tell you how many Detroit ceremony sites we stalked-out this past fall!   Just take a look at the Ceremony Site Guide.  We went to most all of them! 

But after all that searching, we finally decided on The Masonic Temple in Detroit.   (Click here for a full venue profile and costs.)  Isn’t it stunning? 

Originally, we wanted to get married outside – so, this is definitely something completely different that what we were looking for.  And – we’re doing a candlelit ceremony. 

I love how midieval it looks.  See the stage?  I’m thinking of lining it with large candles and votivies.  Ideally, I’d love to have candles down the aisle, but I don’t my dress to go up in flames.  I want to make an entrance, but not like that!  See this post…

Any ideas on how I can incorporate more candles?  I’d love some feedback!

Our Ceremony Site: The Masonic Temple Chapelmasonic-templeSource

Fit For a King – Here’s the Groom’s room!
grooms-room

Fiance loves this room!  Really, I think it’s probably the number one reason he wanted it here so bad!  Ok, maybe not…

Another Bride…

Source: Amber Lights Blog

I love this image of the guests tossing white rose petals and the look of it on the red carpet!

Are you and your Valentine feeling daring this weekend?  Then I dare you to get down and dirty in the D!   The Dirty Show International Erotic Art Exhibition is coming to town this Valentine’s Day weekend. 

The show features Erotic Art in all forms –  Photography, Painting, Illustration, Mixed Media, Video and Performance. This annual Valentine’s ritual is now celebrating 10 years.   The show will be held at Bert’s Theatre in Detroit from on Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m.

Dare I say, it should make for an intersting weekend!

Love will certainly be in the “D” this Valentine’s Day!  Detroit is dishing-up a couple unforgettable “I Will” and “I Do” options!  Whether you’re thinking to drop the rock, tie the knot or simply head downtown for a romantic night out – love will be in the air this Valentine’s Day!

Say ‘I Will’ @ the Detroit Science Center: If you’re looking for an out of this world way to ask your Valentine to forever be yours… check out this contest at the Detroit Science Center.  It’s called the Detroit Science Center Star Trek Ultimate Wedding Package.    Any couple who attends the new Star Trek Exhibition on Saturday, Feb. 14, and proposes will be entered into an on-line contest to win a June wedding that will be held in the actual exhibit!   Click here for more details.  * How romantic if you and your Valentine head down if only to watch the proposals…  I love to watch proposals!  I’m such the people watcher!

Say “I Do” Hassle-Free – That’s right!  Forget Vegas!  Hello Detroit!  Each year Wayne County Clerk Cathy M. Garrett performs a mass multi-lingual Valentines Day ceremony at the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center for those wanting to get hitched.  The cost is only $50 per couple!  The ceremony begins at noon.  All you have to do is show-up at 11:30 a.m. with your Valentine, have your marriage licence in hand and be ready to say ‘I Do!’   They recommend you call and get your name on the list.  They also offer up private ceremonies for $125.  Talk about a hassle-free wedding!  Registration Info: 313-224-5514.

Take a Look @ Love – The Detroit Institute of Arts is hosting a special Valentine’s Day Tour called “The Look of Love.”  You and your honey can take a romantic tour that will connect art and passion.  Enjoy champagne and chocolate along the way!  Tickets are $20. (Doesn’t include champagne and chocolate.)

A Pampered Night Out – Book a couple’s massage… Check out the luxurious spa’s at either MGM or MotorCity Casinos.  Often times they’ll serve-up champagne and chocolate covered strawberries.  Afterwards you can book a room and opt to order take-out or have a quiet and intimate dinner at one of Detroit’s gems!  The massages begin at $100 per person.   

On a budget (and most of us are) click here to check out inexpensive things to do in the “D” on Valentine’s Day!

You’ve got to get your hands on this month’s edition of Hour Detroit Magazine.  It’s got some great bridal articles for us Metro Detroit brides / grooms.2.be.   One of the article’s is about nuptial hindsite and takes a look at what 10 Metro Detroit couples would have done differently on their wedding day.  Seriously, you hear it all the time… what people would change if they could go back.  My mom said she wishes they had more pictures!  And my sister-in-law wishes they had hired a videographer…   

And, there’s this great article about Michigan honeymoon destinations, which includes a favorite locale of mine… Chateau Chantel on Old Mission Pennisula in Traverse City.  It’s simply beautiful and a perfect honeymoon destination!  And, I have to make mention that the images of the urban wedding they featured, were taken by my photographer Heather Saunders.  Click here to get a sneek peak of the urban pics. She’s awesome!      

Anyway, there’s tons more in the February issue…  If you see one, grab it –  It’s worth the read!

Hour Detroit) The Cover of February's edition of Hour Detroit Magazine

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!

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.

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

http://www.flickr.com/photos/kathyspix/121335504/)

(Source: flicker kathyspix)

Last night, the fiance and I took my brother and his wife – both who live in Napa – down to the Motor City for a night out on the town.  My sister-in-law had never really been downtown before, so we wanted to show her some of our favorite spots.  We valeted at Greektown and hopped on the People Mover to show them the different districts and to show off Detroit a bit.  We jumped off at the Cadillac Center Station to check out Campus Martius and Compuware HQ and then walked over to Broadway to have a home-brewed beer at the Detroit Brewing Company.  Of course our next stop was Greektown where we had flaming cheese and lamb chops at the Pegasus.  And, that’s where we asked them both to be in our wedding.  They said yes!  Afterwards we headed to the casino for a shot at the slots.  And, it was a profitable experience!

Anyway, I wish I had these nifty little facts that I came across on the 1obest.com during our little tour of the Motor City.  If you’re taking an out-of-town guest on a tour of Motown, these are some fun little facts to share.

10 Best.com – Interesting Facts About Detroit

  1. Want to see the chair that President Lincoln was killed in, the plane Admiral Byrd used to fly over the South Pole, or the original Oscar Mayer Wiener Mobile? The Henry Ford Museum offers a look at such artifacts as it tells the tale of American ingenuity. The museum also details how Ford built his car company from a tiny Detroit wagon shop, which employed only ten people in 1903.
  2. Want to visit a stop on the Underground Railroad? Detroit was strongly involved in the network that abolitionists used to bring slaves to freedom from the South. Second Baptist Church, the city’s oldest black congregation, served as a station for escaping slaves in the mid 1800s.
  3. Detroit is known as the Motor City for more than just its reputation as the center of the nation’s car industry. The city was first to have a paved road, the first to install traffic lights, and the first with an urban freeway.
  4. The Plymouth International Ice Sculpture Spectacular is the oldest and largest ice-carving event in the nation. Each winter, professional and amateur sculptors regularly turn blocks of ice into spectacular works of art.
  5. With more than 11,000 inland lakes and over 36,000 miles of streams, Michigan really is a water lover’s haven. It doesn’t matter if you’re in Detroit or any other part of the state – you’re never more than 6 miles away from water!
  6. Detroit is home to the legendary Motown sound. Berry Gordy, Jr. opened a studio in 1961 that would spawn music greats like The Temptations, Marvin Gaye, The Supremes, and Stevie Wonder. The Motown Historical Museum includes the house where Gordy started Hitsville USA and his original recording studio.
  7. The Detroit Zoo made history by becoming the first of its kind to take animals out of cages and present them in naturalistic habitats. The Belle Isle Zoo featured a 3/4-mile elevated boardwalk that gave visitors great panoramic views of animal exhibits.
  8. Yes, there was a Detroit before the car. British and American soldiers faced off nearby in one of the largest military encounters in the War of 1812. More American casualties occurred during the Battle of the River Raisin than in any other single battle in the war. Americans rallied to the battle cry “Remember the Raisin!”
  9. Thirsty? James Vernor, a Detroit pharmacist, developed the recipe for the nation’s oldest soft drink, Vernor’s ginger ale, here in 1866. Vernor is buried among 52,000 others in the state’s most historic cemetery, Detroit’s Elmwood Cemetery.
  10. Detroit began in style – with a Cadillac. In 1701, French trader Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac set up an operations base in the area that would grow to become the future city. Naming the place Ville d’Etroit, Cadillac used it as a base to send furs to Canada.

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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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