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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 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


Calling All Detroit Married.2.Be’s!!!  If you’re looking to get married in, say, two months. Love the Detroit Tiger’s. Wouldn’t mind getting married on the radio and in front of hundreds of fans.  And, are interested in having your wedding ceremony on-field at Comerica park… you’ve got to check out this contest.

WWJ 950 News Radio is giving ONE lucky couple the chance to get married on the baseball field at Comerica Park on Saturday, June 19, 2010.  The time… right after the Detroit Tiger’s kick the Arizona Diamond Backs butts! And, right before the Saturday night fireworks display.  So, when you kiss the bride/groom, you’ll literally see fireworks!

How do you enter WWJ’s Wedding on the Diamond contest? Well, you’ll have 300 words to describe why you and you’re should be married on the field at Comerica.  Shouldn’t be too hard, eh? 

If you happen to be the lucky winner (you better write and tell me about it) you’ll win the Grand Prize Bridal Package which includes:

  • An onfield wedding ceremony service at Comerica Park 
  • A Bride’s Beauty Pampering Package from Bianchi’s Salon  and Spa
  • A Rehearsal Dinner from Mitchell’s Fish Market 
  • An Engagement Photo Session from B-Tech Lighting
  • His/her wedding rings from Ati’s Jewelers
  • Custom Wedding Photography package from B-Tech Lighting
  •  Game day tickets in a Luxury Suite at Comerica Park for the wedding party (total party of 20 guests) on the night on June 19.
  • Bridal Package from the Westin Book Cadillac including a two night stay in a luxury suite, dinner for two  at ROAST and 24 Grille, breakfast, complimentary valet parking, a sixty minute couples massage and two luxurious personalized Heavenly Bathrobes 
  •  A $500 gift certificate from Hagopian World of Rugs

And, let’s say you DON’T win the big package, you could still be selected to win some giftcards…

DEADLINE to submit your essay is: End of dayApril 30! Good luck!

To register, mail or drop off  your essay to:
WWJ Newsradio 950
c/o Wedding on the Diamond Contest
26495 American Drive
Southfield, MI  48034

Click here for complete rules


I know many of you got engaged over the holiday’s!  Congratulations!

We’d all love to hear your engagement stories and how your wedding planning is coming… Just leave a comment!


Eeek.  I have to apologize.  Life has been so busy lately and I’ve gotten a ton of emails from you all asking questions or asking where I’ve been!  So Sorry!  I’m getting back on my blogging track and have some changes planned for my post-wedding blog future!! 

First, I have to tell you – Honestly, I have NO IDEA where time has gone. There seems like there’s a million things I want to do and I don’t have time for anything but work!  Work as in my day job and work as in fixing-up and maintaining my humble abode.  So, I’ve stayed away from this blog diggity and my social media obession (Facebook) for the last few weeks.  It’s been a nice break, but now I’m ready to get to it!

What I’m going to do is finish up my Detroit vendor reviews and some other personal posts about my wedding.  Then, comes Change. 

The next phase of this here blog will focus on Metro Detroit wedding venues, vendors and other little helpful nuggets of info I can dig up for you Metro Married To Be’s!  I love the hunt for for a good deal, talented vendors and cool places to have a Metro Detroit Wedding.  (Me wants to beef up the Detroit Venue Guide and expand to Metro Detroit) 

AND – I’d like to highlight real Metro Detroit brides.  So, send me your pics!  I’ll have submission guidelines and all that jazz to ensure good quality images. 

Also – if you have any information you’d like to share, please submit it  to mydetroitwedding at



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!

You never know what people do when the black curtain is closed.  Here’s just a few of my Shutterbooth favorites.


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. )

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

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

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

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.)

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.

Jennifer Burkemeier at 313-961-5451 ext 12

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


Want to see something beautiful? Want to see a pair of wedding shoes that will make you green with envy, yet sigh with happiness?  Want to see the most stunning and vibrant wedding pic’s ever?  This is just a glimpse.  You have to see more…

I had to take pause (from basking in my own wedding glory) to share another Detroit wedding with you… Heather Saunders photographed this wedding in July 2009.  Heather’s simply amazing, isn’t she? Ah. I. Love. Her.

Augustina and Michael’s wedding was the first at the Fillmore Theatre in Detroit (most of you know it as the State Theatre) on Woodward Avenue, across from Comerica Park.  

The colors are rich.  The venue ornate.  The bride is breathtaking. The details are just so.  If this doesn’t say old Hollywood glam, I don’t know what does.

Oh, and recognize those shoes

Go see more.
Images courtesy of Heather Saunders Photography

Heather Saunders_Fillmore Wedding3

Heather Saunders_Fillmore Wedding1

Heather Saunders_Fillmore Wedding2

Heather Saunders_Fillmore Wedding4
Curious to know more about the Fillmore Theatre in Detroit?  Look out for my Fillmore Venue Overview post in the coming days! 

Sounds naughty, doesn’t it?  But, it’s not really.  It’s just a follow-up to the limo bus post.

Well, we decided to stick with the limo bus.  And, really, the issue was that we were told we’d have limo transportation and then in the the 11th hour we were told we would not.  Yeah, our jaws hit the floor.  But, thankfully, our vendor is standing by their original word and are providing us with limo transportation.  And, for that, we’re happy, thankful and relieved!

Can you imagine that we were already feeling a bit raw with the struggle to resolve the issue in the first place.  And, by the time I feasted my eyes on the limo bus, it was NOT what we had originally discussed.  I was told… Black. Stretch. Limo.  Then I see… Black. Bulky. Bus.  In my mind, I was thinking this sexy, stretch limo would pull up, and wisk me away to get married.  The bus… it’s not your ideal sexy. 

But, after thinking about it, the limo bus makes more sense.  Is it sexy?  Not so much.  Is it functional.  Hell yeah.  We won’t be crammed in a limo.  The chances of me busting a seam in the dress are significantly lowered.  So yeah.  Better choice.  Didn’t see it at first.  But, after trying on the dress and getting some genuine feedback, it makes sense.  Thanks for your emails and KDMB posts. 

Grateful, we are. 

Sexy.  Little.  Bus.

Glorified Shuttle bus with leather seats to boot

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 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

If you’ve been following for awhile, then you know I was considering a backdrop for the bridal party headtable. 

Ssrly.  Never.  Would we ever consider getting a backdrop if not for the current backdrop Greektown Casino Hotel offers, which we think is Fu-Go.  See below.   This is the only place we can put our 24 ft headtable (Bug, didn’t really want a captains table, so that’s out.). 

This is it. We’re not liking it.


The thing was, we booked Greektown Casino Hotel before we even saw the ballroom.  (The hotel wasn’t built yet.)  So, when we did, see the room we realized we wanted something to cover that wall up.  Not to mention, the room was a little monochromatic blah color in need of something drastic.

So, here I was looking for a backdrop on the tiniest sliver of a budget.  I called several companies and got quotes that were WAY out of my piddly price range.  Then, I started calling those places back to see how much it would be if I installed it myself!  Can you imagine me doing this the morning of the wedding?  Ha.  Zilla Monster, where?

Originally, I was looking for a black backdrop, but after talking with my photographer she suggested we get a lighter backdrop with some uplighting.  She’s the expert.  I listened.  Woudn’t ya know?  White backdrops were much less expensive. 

So, I circled back and got quotes.  I was looking for a backdrop that was H16 ft x L24 ft with uplighting for a spectacular, jaw-dropping price.  And, can you believe it?  We found it.

Two words.  Colonial Events.  They’re an events company located in Troy, Mich.  Love them.  Love Todd.  Love that they can help a budget-teer out!  And, they’re putting that bad boy up themselves.  They can transform anything…

Want or need pipe and drape for an affordable, won’t-kill-your-budget price.  Call them.  Talk to Todd and tell them Bridgette sent you.  Go on, check them out.  They do some cool things.

Colonial Events


Check this out!  Personalized Flip Books.  How fun are these?  We’ve heard of photobooths, but not so much about Flip Books!

As it turns out, BUG’s (for those of you who don’t know, that’s what I call my fiance) mom’s best friend Kathy is part owner of Fun With Flip Books.  And, she said she’d LOVE to do something for the wedding.  Whether it’s for the rehearsal dinner or setting-up shop at the wedding… So, it got me thinking, how novel would this be?  

I think this is pretty cool.  Especially, if guests could get their own personalized flip book.   It’s like a photobooth in that it’s a mobile photo studio that is set up at the wedding (or any event for that matter).  Basically, it’s a 10×10 video studio, your guests do their thing (whatever that might be) and in about two minutes, VOILA, they get their own personalized flip book.    And, Fun With Flip Books even brings costumes and props for your guests to play.

Here’s the low down.  Fun With Flip Books produces about 40 flipbooks an hour and the book itself is small enough for guests to put in their purse or pocket. 

Pricing: For a 3-hour event it’s $1050.  For every additional hour after it’s $200.  The price includes – personalized flip book covers, on-site technicians, table reminder cards, funny and tasteful props and complete setup and teardown.

Check it out.

Contact: Kathy at 248. 909.5915

Back in January I went on a hunt for a local florist who could provide an amazingly beautiful product for an incredible price.  Some of you might recall this post, where I vowed to find a florist who could provide me with everything I wanted for half the flower budget than the industry standard… which is $1450.  

So, I was looking for the following – plus set-up and deliver – for $750:  15 flower centerpieces * loose flowers for headtable * 1 bridal bouquet 1 toss bouquet* 8 boutonnieres * 3 junior boutonnieres * 2 coursages for mom’s * 2 ceremony flower arrangements * unity candle flower arrangement * rose petals to fill 2  flower girl baskets * cake flowers * and blooms for the bridesmaids hair! 

Well, I did find the perfect florist… and though we’re paying just a wee bit more than $750, I couldn’t be happier with our decision.  Don’t get me wrong.  You CAN get everything I mentioned for $750, but we’re choosing to go with the person we better connected with.  (Makes sense to me!)


I want to give you the rundown on my top finds for incredibly talented and reasonably priced Metro Detroit florists.  I was looking for someone who either worked out of their home or owned a local small business.  I wasn’t at all interested in booking a national or regional florist chain.  Why?  Because the overhead alone would so blow our budget.  And, besides, we wanted someone local and typically, those who work out of their home charge less.  I did a shout out on the Knot Detroit Message board and the ladies gave me three fabulous recommendations:

1. Michele Nonis – Michele is awesome.  She works out of her home in Warren, Mich.  She knows what’s she’s doing and has incredible confidence in her work.  She’s not afraid to tell you her opinion – even if it differs from yours – and she’s cool as a cucumber.  All her business is generated by word-of-mouth.  And, this woman is booked solid.  To us, that alone speaks volumes.  After she mapped out my vision and we listed everything out, she busted out her calculator and told us the cost.  It was a jaw-dropping surprise.  It was unbelievably reasonable.  Wow.  She’s crazy good.  So, we booked her.  I’ll share pics of her work soon.   
Contact: 586-776-1201

2. Lynn Jovic of Clever Bumble Bee Creations – Lynn is wonderful and will work with any budget!  She definitely could’ve met our $750 budget.  The wonderful thing about Lynn is that she’s flexible and will help you find creative ways to have beautiful floral arrangements that will fit your budget!  If you’re thinking of DIY flowers but don’t want the hassle, Lynn can do it for just a wee bit more than the DIY price!  Click here to check out Lynn’s work. 
Contact: 586-215-6676

3. Katie of Courtyard Flowers – Katie, the owner of Courtyard Flowers in Mt. Clemens, Mich.  is absolutely amazing.  What I really liked about her is that she understood your vision without you really having to explain it to her.  And, for the flower illiterate, such as myself, this quality of hers is a godsend.   She knows her stuff.  Unfortunately, she was out of my price range.  BUT, my price range was $750-1100.  You can definitely  get I wanted for under $2K.  Ssrly, I pouted when my budget-minded innerself said no.    
Contact: 586-468-7730

Anyways, there you have it.  Sorry it took me four months to post.  I’m such the slacker.  Good luck and I hope this helps with your wedding plans!

Morely Candy and Germack Pastachio Company.  These are two of my favorite Metro Detroit companies.  Remember school fundraisers?  I grew up selling Morley candy, which means I ate a lot of Morely Candy.  I would spend all my allowance money on the chocolate peanut butter blocks.  They’re one of my all time favs. 

I think these two are perfect choices to include in the out-of-town guest bags.  My advice would be to wait for a sale at the Morely Candy store and buy in bulk.  They have a perfect sampler box called the Four Favorites or the Almond Pecan-dy Crunch is always an oldie but goodie.


And the Germack Pistachio Company has an amazing assortment of nuts, fruits, taffy and chocolate-covered deliciousness.   Hands down, they have the best pistachios.  This is an old time Detroit favorite!  Also, if you buy in bulk or look for a sale, you’re sure to get a great deal. 


For those of you who hold the University of Michigan or Michigan State close to your hearts, here’s an idea for you.  Sparty Bars or U of M bars from Michigan-based Morley Candy Co.  I like this idea either for the out-town gift bags or for the wedding favors.  And, they’re good, by the way.  Really good.

Morley Candy Sparty or Go Blue Candy Bars – $2.25 each morely-candy-sparty-and-blue-bars

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

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!

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!

This is how we want to do it…   And we have just the place, too!  Isn’t it pretty? Isn’t it romantic? 

I need to figure out how to do this inexpensively.  More details to come.


Source: The Everyday Bride

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:


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!)



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

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: 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!

Rebecca at 313-442-1628

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 


Detroit News)

The Crystal ballroom in the newly renovated Fort Shelby Hotel in Detroit. (Source: Detroit News) I'll post my own pics on Saturday!

After much stalking, I finally have the Fort Shelby Hotel details.  And, they’ve piqued my interest enough for a visit.  Watch out Greektown!  

As we know, a lot of the Detroit reception and ceremony venues have incredibly steep prices!  But, the Double Tree Fort Shelby Hotel, they’re quite reasonable.  Here’s the details:

The Double Tree Fort Shelby Hotel, which is located on West Lafayette Street between First and Second Streets in downtown Detroit, has two ballrooms that will accomodate about 200 guests and a dance floor.  Each ballroom may be able to accomodate more, but they won’t know for sure until they until they lay out the room. 

Venue & Accomodations:
The renovated Crystal ballroom, which was the premiere ballroom back in 1917, is located on the second floor and features ornate cathedral ceilings, marble floors and three large windows overlooking the street.  The room can comfortably accomodate 200 sit down guests and a dance floor.   The minimum for this room on any Saturday night is $10K.  They don’t have defined prices for a Friday or Sunday wedding, but you’ll surely get it for a steal.

They also have a second ballroom, called the Terrace which is a not as extravagent as the Crystal ballroom, but does offer a more intimate feel.  The room also features two different entrances allowing the bridal party a separate entrance from guests.  This room also accomodates 200 guests and a dance floor.  The minimum for this room on any Saturday is $8K.  And, Friday and Sunday’s also are negotiable.

Your wedding guests can stay at the Double Tree for $99, which is a discounted rated from the $129 weekend rate and $189 weekday rate.  I’m sure with a little finnagling, you get could an additional discount for your guests that is competitive with what other Detroit hotels offer for wedding guests. (Greektown, Mariott and others offer more competitive rates.)  They also will be offering a Sunday buffet at their new Finn and Porter restaurant.  So if you choose, the bridal party and guests and other guests can reconnect for brunch the day after the wedding.

Packages for both ballrooms start at $75 per head and don’t include tax and gratuity – but, they do include plated dinner, standard bar, room charge, guest parking, chair covers and sash, a complimentary suite for the bride and groom the night of the wedding with breakfast the next morning.

Fort Street Church

Fort Street Church

Ceremony Site:
If you’re looking to have your ceremony at or near the Fort Shelby, they offer several different onsite locations and they’ve also partnered with the nearby Fort Street Presbyterian Church.  The great thing about this partnership is that you don’t have to be Presbyterian to be married here, they allow parties of different faiths to utilize their space.  I even think you can bring in your own minister – but I’m not entirely sure.  Also, I’m not sure what the fee would be…

If you’d rather wed at the hotel, they offer different indoor ceremony sites for your to chose from depening upon your needs and preferences. 

To date, they have about six weddings on the books for 2009 and are talking with several couples about their soon-to-be weddings. 

Pro’s: Great Detroit location just minutes away from other restaurants and the casinos.  Reasonably prices compared to other Detroit venues.  Offer guest accomodations and complimentary bridal suite night of the wedding.  Complimentary shuttle for guests that takes them within a 5-mile radius.  Free parking.  Offer ceremony site locations including the historic Fort Presbytarian Church!

Con’s: Packages begin at $75 and tax and gratuity are not included. 

Dee (313) 963 8900 Ext. 5024

Model D)

The new Doubletree Suites Fort Shelby Hotel in Detroit (Source: Model D)

Today marked the re-opening of the historic Fort Shelby Hotel in Detroit.  Now dubbed as the Doubletree Suites Fort Shelby, not only does this symbolize another step towards Detroit’s revitalization, but this offers couples yet another snazzy location for a Detroit wedding. 

Located on the Lafayette between First and Second Street, the hotel offers 203 suite-type guest rooms and 56 rental apartments on the upper floors.  Eventually, when the economy stablizes the apartments could be sold as condominums. 

The Fort Shelby first opened it’s doors in 1916 and served as one of Detroit’s premiere highrise hotels.  But like most great Detroit structures, the hotel closed its doors in the 70s.  According to the Free Press, the Fort Shelby was slated for demolition until Detroit-area real estate investors teamed-up with Doubletree to revitalize the property.

Surely, there’s more to come… And,  you better believe I already have a call in to talk with the event coordinator about wedding details.  Contact info and details to follow in another post.

Read all about the Fort Shelby reopening and revitalization:
Detroit News: Fort Shelby Poised For Gleaming Debut 
Detroit News: Ballroom at Doubletree Hotel Gets Classy Facelift
Free Press: Historic Fort Shelby Hotel to Reopen as Doubletree
Free Press: Fort Shelby in Detroit Goes From Eyesore to Elegance

Detroit News

Source: Detroit News

It’s no surprise that I’m a huge advocate of Greektown Casino and Hotel.  And, it’s not just because my fiance and I shared our first kiss there or that it’s our favorite place to try our luck.  It’s the fact that they’re service-oriented.  When you call them, you get a call back within 24 hours.  And, while I really don’t like to tattle on other Detroit venues, the other two Detroit casino’s either didn’t call me back or seemed impatient with my questioning and the fact that I wanted to meet on the weekend. 

Not with Greektown.  They’ve been helpful, patient, accomodating and just as enthusiastic as we are to plan the wedding.  And, anything is an option.  You have special needs or requests – they’ll work with you.   And, I have to reiterate that I have NOT seen the ballroom – I’ve seen a rendering and I’ve seen it during construction.  Talk about faith based on great customer service.

I know some people have been hesitant about booking Greektown because of the recent news reporting their chapter 11 status and the pending completion of their new hotel and banquet facility.  I say, there’s little reason to worry.   Here’s an update on Greektown:

Today, the Detroit News reported that Greektown and a consortium of creditors have signed a pact that will allow the casino to pave its own path out of Chapter 11 protections before February.  The article also said documents filed with the court show Greektown to be financially solvent.  If you remember just about two weeks ago, the News and Free Press reported that  Detroit city lawyers were claiming Greektown was in danger of running out of cash.   So, it seems that those city lawyers were incorrect!  Some would call that speculation.  

Also, Greektown issue a press release today stating that it’s now training 170 new full time and part time employees to staff their International Buffet which is due to open Dec. 22, 2008.  And, the casino is in the process of hiring 150 more employees to staff  its new hotel.  In total, the casino is adding about 400 new workers for the expanded casino and 400-room hotel.  So, in a town that’s riddle with news of layoffs, Greektown is offering creating jobs. 

The new hotel will open.  Wait and see.

On a side Note: No Spa – No Worries     
Last week, the Detroit News reported that Greektown Casino and Hotel would be forgoing construction of the previously planned upscale spa – at least for the Feb. 09 grand opening.   I say no worries.  There are plenty of area spas that will be happy to accomodate my wedding party.  And, as we’ve seen with MotorCity and MGM, the casino spas seems to be a bit pricey.

Check out my other Greektown Blog posts here.

Model D

Source: Model D

This past Wednesday night I found myself at the Colony Club for a professional event.  All I have to say is  – Where have I been?? And how come I didn’t know about this place?  I can’t believe I missed this gem in my Detroit vendor stalk!  It’s a perfect venue for a swanky Detroit wedding.  

And, while I’m perfectly content with my current reception location at Greektown Casino and Hotel, I can’t help but imagine dancing the night away in the Grand Ball Room at the Colony Club.  It really is breathtaking. 

Anyway, if I can’t have it, I want everyone else to know about it.  Here’s the scoop.

The Colony Club, which is under the direction of the Gem and Century Theatre,  is located right on the corner of Park Avenue and Montcalm in downtown Detroit.  If you can’t picture that, it’s right next store to the Fox Parking Garage, across the street from the coveted Town Pump and adjacent from the Centaur bar.  And, a short walk would take you to Hockey Town Cafe, Fox Theatre and Comerica Park.

Model D

Source: Model D

A Little History
Built in 1927, the Colony Club was one of four women’s clubs in the surrounding area which provided a social retreat for Detroit’s active women.  It was only open four short years before it fell into foreclure during the Great Depression.  Interestingly enough, in the 1960s it functioned as the Detroit headquarters for the United Auto Workers.  In 1984 Charles Forbes purchased the building and leased it to the Detroit Police Department.  And  upon the news of the Super Bowl XL making its way to Detroit in 2006, Forbes Management began spiffing-up the place.  The Club briefly re-opened for an ESPN event during Super Bowl XL Detroit and just re-opened again in the summer of 2008.      

What’s so impressive about the Colony Club is its Louis XVI Grand Ballroom.  With its gorgeous hardwood floors, antique chandeliers and floor-to-ceiling windows it’ll surely make for an impressive Detroit wedding location.  And, the ballroom has a mezzanine where the bride could toss her bouquet!

Here’s the skinny if you’re interested:
The Colony Club can comfortably accomodate a sitdown wedding with 350 people and a dance floor.  Wedding packages range from $65 – $95.  The minimum for a Saturday night wedding any season is $15K.  There’s no minimum for Friday or Sunday weddings and you’ll also get an additional $5 off per head on the wedding packages for booking one of those nights.

ME... sorry for the bad pic)

The mezzanine (Source: ME... sorry for the bad pic)

They do allow wedding ceremonies in conjunction with the reception.  You can hold your ceremony at the Gem Theatre for an additional $1500 or the Century Theatre fo an additional $800.  And they’re already booked from June through August in Summer of 09, with the exception of Fourth of July weekend.

Pro’s: Parking at the Fox Parking Garage is included in the wedding package.  Coat check service, which is located in the swanky first floor lobby also is included.  You can also have your ceremony here 0r at one of the other Gem and Century Theatre venues. Great downtown location close to bars and local hotels (Greektown, Athenium, Marriott, Hyatt).  Chivari chairs are standard.

Con’s:  Tax and gratuity are not included in the package price.  But, they do have all inclusive deals.  Depending on the package, it could be pricey.

Note: They’re currently reviewing their 2009 pricing.

Dawn at (313) 463-6243.

rooster-tail2While I’ve decided not to shake my tail feather at the Roostertail in Detroit, I thought I’d give them another glance-over.  It is one of the coolest landing-spots for a Detroit wedding.  So, I called them up this afternoon and asked them if they were reducing their 2009 pricing.  The answer is no, but they’re willing to be more flexible with their off season pricing.  Apparently, the sour economy isn’t leaving a bad taste in their mouth since they’re booked with proms and weddings throughout 2009 and 2010.

Here’s the skinny on their peak and off-season pricing:

Peak season April 1 – Dec. 31
During peak seasons, the minimum amount you must spend on a Saturday night is $17,800.  How does that break down?  Basically, the minimum number of guests you must have on a Saturday is 200.  At $89 per plate, (includes standard meal, standard bar, cake cutting, champagne toast, linens, tax and gratuity) at 200 people it adds up to almost $18K.  Once you start customizing the package, your reception can easily exceed $20K.   Now, if you choose a Thursday, Friday or Sunday to throw your wedding soire, the price will drop, but not so significantly.

Off season Jan. 1 – March 31
During off seasons, there’s a little more flexibility.  The standard price per head is $69 and the Saturday night minimum can drop down to about 150.  This amounts to $10,350.  I’m sure there’s a little more wiggle room for negotiating a price drop… 

Pros: Located on the Detroit River, it’s a beautiful Detroit wedding spot that will surely impress your guests.  If you choose, and the space is available, you can opt to have an outdoor ceremony overlooking the river or on their back patio.  They have plenty of parking and security on site patrolling the lot.  Linens are included in the package and they offer a variety of colors.  Special events are all they do, so they have this wedding business down to a science.     

Cons: Price, price, price.  And the owner is a bit insensitive regarding the harsh Detroit econonic environment.  Click here to read about my personal experience. 


The Park Shelton Condominum complex in Midtown Detroit.

The Park Shelton Condominum complex in Midtown Detroit.

I love the Model D – it’s an awesome, all-about Metro Detroit weekly online magazine and Website devoted to showcasing the positive and sustained transformation of Detroit.  So, if you live in Metro Detroit and want to know cool things to do in the area, you should subsribe to their free weekly newsletter.  (I love it, love it love it!) 

Last month they featured a story about a Detroit couple who had their wedding ceremony and reception on the Park Shelton rooftop in Detroit.  Located in the cultural midtown district on the corner of Kirby and Woodward, the Park Shelton is a perfect venue for an outdoor wedding location. 

Built in 1926, the historic 12-story structure was originally known as the Wardell Apartment Hotel.  More than a half decade ago, the Wardell was a prestigious landingspot for the likes of Diego Rivera, Bob Hope, George Burns and Raymond Burr.  As the city evolved, so did the Wardell, and in the early 1970s, the apartment-hotel  was converted into an apartment complex.  In 2004, McIntosh Poris Associates transformed the Wardell into the swanky Park Shelton, a luxury condominium complex.  If you’re looking to be a tentant, one perk happens to be its rooftop community area, among other things.

The Park Shelton Rooftop in Midtown Detroit.

The Park Shelton Rooftop in Midtown Detroit. (Source: Model D)

Park Shelton Rooftop Rental Details
So my next question is: If you’re not a Park Shelton tenant, can you rent the rooftop space?  The answer is maybe.  

Being the vendor stalker I am I called them up to get the skinny.   I spoke to the event coordinator Ms. Davis who was amazingly helpful in answering my questions.   Basically, the rooftop is reserved for the building’s residents.  If you’re a resident, you can have the space free-of-charge.  But, for non-residents potential rentals must be evaluated and approved by the property management.  

As it works now, management hasn’t yet transferred all rights over to the condo association yet, which is scheduled for some time next year, and they need to ensure the association approves the external event so it’s binding even after the tranfer.  Am I confusing you? I hope not…  Anyway, once the association has power, they’ll probably create a formal external rental process or they could nix external rentals all together.  (Hopefully, the latter is not the case!)    

Because of this unique situation its hard to quote a rental price for a ceremony or reception.  But, she did say $3,000 is a good ballpark figure when thinking about having both a reception and ceremony.  I’d assume there’d be a price drop if you wanted the area just for a detroit ceremony site. 

I think the rooftop would make for a fabulous outdoor ceremony site with the Detroit skyline in the distance.  And, they could always flip the space for an evening rooftop reception too.  Very cool.  The site can accomodate from 100-150 guests.

Pro’s:  Unique outdoor-only Detroit ceremony and reception location.  Overlooks Detroit.  Complimentary to Park Shelton residents! Ample parking.  Located in the heart of Detroit cultural center and down the street from great Detroit bars and hotels.

Con’s:  Could be quite pricey if you’re not a resident.  I don’t believe they allow tents due to the height of the building, so there isn’t much of an alternative in case of rain.    

Davina Davis at (313) 872-7275

(Check out Girl in the D’s blog post for more history on the Wardell/Park Shelton)

So, in my search to find the perfect ceremony location I called just about every potential ceremony site in Detroit!  Seriously, no joke.   Whatever I liked, Kenny hated!  I must’ve dragged him to Detroit more than a dozen times! 

Here are some of the locations we’ve already checked out:

An aerial view of Belle Isle Park in the middle of the Detroit River, between Canada and Detroit.

An aerial view of Belle Isle Park in the middle of the Detroit River, between Canada and Detroit.

Belle Isle– I called them and I’m not sure I want to have my ceremony there. They seem so unorganized. Also, they really don’t have an indoor alternative in case it rains. The conservatory has standing room only, and to be honest, I only want the bridal party and the minister standing.

Campus Martius – I love this location. But, for one, it’s very public, they don’t know their 2009 event schedule yet, and there’s really no indoor alternative. Parking might be an issue… I’d have to have guests take the People Mover from Greektown. (That would be kinda cool – but they might not think so!) I could get a tent in case it rains… it’s been done.

Coach Insignia at the Ren Cen – Located on the 72nd floor of the Ren Cen, this would have an awesome view of the river and the city. With floor to ceiling windows, this would be IDEAL. We’ll see if they’ll allow a ceremony only… But, do you think it would be tacky if we didn’t have drinks or appetizers there for guests… it is a restaurant???

The Atrium of the Compuware Building in downtown Detroit.

Compuware HQ – Sounds strange, but I had to check it out. I love the Atrium. It has kites hanging down from skylights and there’s a cool fountain in there… But, it’s so public. Hard Rock cafe has a little patio out there and anyone could walk in. Also, it’s kind of loud in there because of the fountain…

Detroit Historical Museum – Inside would be really cool, but I haven’t seen it yet, ‘CAUSE they didn’t CALL back yet. And, the outside of the building isn’t very attractive… More to come…

Detroit River Walk – Really? How would this even work. I haven’t really explored it, but it’s such a public venue…

Detroit Zoo – Yeah, this one’s not even in Detroit, but it would make for a unique location. They don’t allow ceremonies until 6p.m., which is kinda late. Kenny really likes this location if we could get an earlier ceremony time. I would prefer something in Detroit and closer to Greektown.

DIA – This was my DREAM location. This is my CHURCH. I would love to have the ceremony at Detroit Industry mural exhibit by Diego Rivera exhibit with the (wouldn’t that be AWESOME), but for some strange reason, they don’t hold ceremonies there, I think only receptions…. Big, big, BUMMER.

The First Congretational Church of Detroit in Midtown Detroit.

First Congregational Church of Detroit – The church is two blocks away from WSU Welcome Center. The church itself is beautiful, but right across the street is an ugly blue building with a large gravel parking lot and next store is a Churches Chicken – which Kenny does NOT like. Inside the church is beautiful. It’s not too ornate… I think it’s perfect. But Kenny’s not thrilled with it. What I love is that it’s more than a 100 years old and was part of the Underground Railroad! How cool, right? Oh, another cool thing is you can bring in your own minister…

The Edsel and Eleanor Ford House – How beautiful would this be? While it’s not in Detroit, it’s right down the street and has history. But get this, they don’t do wedding ceremonies. They do all types of showers and other events, but not weddings. Strange. Big disappointment.

Gem Theatre – I thought this location would be cool. But they only do wedding ceremonies in conjunction with the reception. Too bad, right?

Greektown Hotel and Casino – Hey, why not have it here? There’s a couple different options I can puruse with this venue… and it’s definitely a possibility. What I really wanted was to have it on the 14th floor balcony of the hotel (they have an outdoor balcony overlooking the Detroit River and the city) but I think the city won’t allow them to have events out there. Who knows, maybe the wind or something…) Once the hotel is competed in Oct. 2008, we’ll be able to take a better look. (Do you think we’ll go to hell if we have our ceremony at the casino?)

Martha Mary Chapel at Greenfield Village in Dearborn, Mich.

Greenfield Village – Not in Detroit, but nonetheless, a cool location. The only place they allow a ceremony here (all other locations you have to have the reception there) is the Mary Martha Chapel. So quaint! But, already booked… GRRRRR.

Guardian Building – The lobby is beautiful – it’s tiled with Pewabic tile in bright colors. Still haven’t received a call back from them. More to come…

Max M. Fisher Building – The lobby is cool – it’s open and has a lot of windows… Still haven’t heard back from them yet either. Sheesh!

McGregor Memorial and Conference Center – This is located on Wayne State University Campus. It’s kind of cool looking from the outside, but even cooler on the inside. The lobby has all glass windows. Kenny doesn’t really like it… And, people would have to walk a ways… not cool for the older folks.

Ren Cen Winter Garden – This is truly a beautiful location, but it’s open to the public. This would be a great place, if only I could keep the general public out for an hour tops! I have to call Hines Management! More to come…

The Whitney Mansion on Woodward Avenue in Detroit

The Whitney – The Whitney Mansion on Woodward is a gorgeous place and it’s right down the street to Greektown…But, the entrance is hard to find since condo’s are blocking it. The surroundings aren’t as pretty as we’d like – though it’s right by WSU, and parking is limited… I do have to say, the people there are great to work with…


As the old saying goes - Where there is a roostertail, so must there be a cock.

As the old saying goes - Where there is a roostertail, so must there be a cock.

Holy Prom Night!  That’s what comes to mind when I think of our experience at the Rooster Tail.  Well, a stark white, Miami Vice suit comes to mind too.  

This past August, when I was perusing the for potential wedding reception/ceremony locations, I came across the Rooster Tail.  The pictures are awesome.  I could not wait to get someone on the phone and book my date.  When I spoke to “Tom” on the phone, he was absolutely fabulous!  He talked about wedding packages and how linens were included and on and on.  He told me to come on Thursday of that week, but not to come in before 8 p.m.  Then, he lowered his voice and told me he shouldn’t tell me this, but that TNT was filming a reality tv show.  Tom said to come in, grab a drink, if I wanted to be an extra I could (that was a NO. But, I did accept the drink offer…) and that we could tour the place and talk about details. 

I was really excited.  It was between Greektown and Rooster Tail and the latter would be a little more pricey, but we could swing it.  I told Kenny about it, showed him the pictures and he was in.  Since I had a work-related meeting in the “D” that night, he would just meet me there at 8 p.m.  

Driving up to the Rooster Tail, I was a little surprised that leading up to this gorgeous facility was this very narrow, one way street with some very interesting looking houses.  (Basically, the Detroit nay-sayers – yeah, I have some of those in the fam – would want a police escort to the facility).  Kenny and I pulled up and I could tell he’s not so impressed with the drive in, but once he caught site of the building and the river, I could see that he was still interested.  

When we walked in, I thought (we’ll call her Anne, cause I don’t wanna use her real name) Anne would meet us at the door, like Tom had mentioned.  When we walked in, the place was pure chaos with people wearing headsets and holding clip boards were bustling around the place.  There was a makeshift bar right at the front door and a table with a picked-through food spread in the hallway.  We told one of the tv crew people we had an appointment to talk about a wedding,… people looked confused and we looked and felt uncomfortable.  In any other situation, I would’ve bolted.  I don’t need that.  But I wanted to see the place… A couple minutes later, out emerges a disheveled looking Anne.  She said that she had NO IDEA that Tom had booked any appointments, but that she would be more than happy to show us around. 

She offered us a drink, and of course, we obliged!  She then proceeded to pour me a half a bottle of wine – seriously, no joke – and Kenny the largest screwdriver I’d ever seen.  Then she poured herself a generous cocktail.  Once we all had our drinks in hand, Anne was going to take us out to the patio to take a look at their ceremony location site.  As we’re walking through the room, some TV chick stopped Anne and told her we couldn’t be in there.  Anne was seriously pissed.  When we turned around, toward the front door to go up stairs and look at the one of the ballrooms, in comes another couple.  Apparently, they had talked to Tom and he gave them the same story.  And, poor Anne had not a clue!  Now I’m thinking, what the hell are these people doing?  Are you for real?

Anne pours another couple drinks for our new couple and takes us all upstairs to show us the room and to talk about wedding package options.  And, YES, this was an awkward situation.  The first question I asked the other bride-to-be was when she was planning on having her wedding.  The last thing I wanted to hear was that we were looking to book on the same date!    She was looking for an August date.  Phew!

Anyway, we’re all around this table looking at albums and talking wedding shop.  All the other bride girl could say was that she wanted a Starry Night wedding and that she had to have a Starry Night wedding.  As she was saying this, she was bouncing up and down on her chair.  I thought Kenny was going to kill her.  But Anne, was cool with that stiff drink she had, and she told Starry Night girl that the Starry Night theme was more of a Prom thing.  It could happen, but that was their specialty for proms… It was the most hilarous exchange we’d ever seen.  “Starry Night, Starry Night.” Bounce, Bounce. OMG!  Thank  God for the wine!  I wanted to toss this chick into the river! 

Oh, and, Anne dropped the bomb that in order book, the minimum you had to spend was $18K.  That’s the STANDARD package with no upgrades!  WTF!  Kenny almost fell off his chair!    

Yes, it was a suit like this!  And, I'm pretty sure an identical shirt...

Yes, it was a suit like this! And, I'm pretty sure he had an idential shirt... And forget the badge, he was holding a cocktail.

Anyway, after the film crew finished taping, we were allowed to tour the main floor.  This is where we had a nice convo with Tom the owner – who just happened to be decked out in a white Miami Vice suit and a cocktail.  He started talking about how business was booming, despite the fact that Michigan was in a serious economic slump.  He said that he could still charge top dollar because most of the weddings at the Rooster Tail were destination weddings.  People would come from the East or West coast to have a Detroit wedding because they could get more for their dollar here.  And he said, the people who booked at the Rooster Tail were sports celebrities, etc.  Ok, Tom, I believe that one,… but, you were talkin’ to two Detroiters here on a budget.  Maybe it was the alcohol talking — or maybe it was just a sense of entitlement… I did like Anne though…

The end result: Kenny’s feathers were ruffled and he was not at all interested in the Rooster Tail.  And, I didn’t blame him.

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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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