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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 marrid.2.be 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

 Source

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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

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

If you have any additions to the guide, along with details, please send to me!  I’ve been meaning to update the list, but it’s been wildly busy. 

So, if you’ve got some Detroit love, bring it on!

Thx!

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. 

For as much as I HATE being in front of a camera…. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my engagement pictures.  Thank you Heather for being you!  You made me feel comfortable in front of the camera, you took some amazing shots and I love my urban pics.  You’re awesome!  I love how they tell about the day rather than showing us looking at the camera!

For our engagement pic session my Bug and I headed down to Greektown on a snowy Sunday morning.  Here’s some of my urban favs!

Me & My Guy: Lucky In Love

All Images Courtesy of Heather Saunders Photography

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

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:
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. 

Contact:
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

Planning a wedding in a town beat down by the fledgling domestic auto industry, in a region where tens of thousands of people have or will lose their jobs, and in a state where the housing market continues to deteriorate, can be positively frightening.

 

I’ve lived in suburban Detroit my entire life.  Several members of my family have worked in the automotive industry all of their lives.  And – Kenny and I currently work in the auto industry.  If you live in the Metro Detroit area, it’s impossible to be unaffected by what’s going on at the automakers – especially, GM, Ford and Chrysler.  Not to mention the suppliers that supply parts and components to those companies.  Really, if you’re in the business of selling anything to any automotive company, you’re feeling the pain – From auto suppliers and paper supply vendors to local restaurants and hotel chains.  Throw in the Wall Street credit crunch and the collapse of global markets and you have a widespread economic crisis.  (Once again, I’m stating the obvious here!)

 

So, how do you plan a wedding in an economic downturn?  I’ll be honest, earlier this month I became really concerned with my wedding plans.  Some contracts were already signed and deposit checks cashed.  Would the fiancé and I both fare the changing automotive landscape?  How could we possibly accept money from our parents with their 401K’s plummeting?  How could we continue to plan and spend money on one day when I’d like to start shoving money in the mattress in case one of us loses our shirt? 

 

Panicking is not going to get you anywhere… But, rethinking your budget will ease the pain.  So, I took a deep breath and I called Kenny.  He was all for trimming the budget and renegotiating with some vendors, if that even was a possibility.  Well, it is.  I called-up one vendor and negotiated particulars, which helped save some dough.  And, if I want to further drive down the cost, I can make a proposal to their management.  I’m also working on sharing our ceremony location with another couple – which would shave off a nice chunk of change.  (Basically, we’d have an earlier ceremony time.)  

 

I started scrounging around (even more than I had) for the best possible deals.  And, there’s a lot out there… You can find great deals on the Knot Detroit Message Board, Craig’s List, eBay and from vendors who work out of their homes.  I’m even thinking about nixing flower arrangements for the tables and going with candles and rose petals…

 

I’m also cutting cost at home by clipping coupons, spending more frugally on groceries and other household needs and I’m no longer dining out with the gals.  (We’re dining in!)  And, one thing I did was open a new credit card that gives you 3 percent cash back rewards on all purchases.  I’ve been throwing all the wedding expenses on the card and earning cash rewards.  I’ve already earned $200.  The catch is you have to pay it off immediately – which I do.  (Already been through that credit card debt thing and I’m not goin’ back!)

 

The most important factor Kenny and I have is time.  We have time to investigate vendors and really think about what it is we want to do.  Not to mention, there’s a lot of time to figure out how to do things yourself that you would generally job out.  More to come on those crafty skills…    

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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