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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Heather Saunders Photography
248.629.9408

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

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

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

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

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

Our Wedding Highlight

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

Two Penny Productions
248.345.8863

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Demetrios: 248-637-0620

Original Gown: Demetrois by Brides

Image: Heather Saunders Photography

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

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

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

What the ballroom looks like without a backdrop.

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

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

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

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

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

 Colonial Events: 248-589-3544 

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

Florist: Michele Nonis
Warren, Mich.
Grade: A

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Contact: Michele Nonis at 586.776.1201

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tell her I sent you. 

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

Images Courtesy of Heather Saunders Photography

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Red Salon: 248.203.1313

Courtesy of Heather Saunders Photography
Heather Saunders_BL9 

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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