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Elegant Ann Arbor Michigan Backyard Wedding

If you can think of a better way to begin a marriage than with a sentimental celebration in your parent’s backyard (complete with anemonesSweet Heather Anne and rustic touches), I’d love to hear it. Because as far as I’m concerned this Ann Arbor fete is downright divine. Kelly Sweet captured at home elegance and with Hey Gorgeous Events behind the day, and it’s a gallery that gives meaning to home is where the heart is.


From the beautiful Bride… I have always held a special connection to my parents house. It’s not only where I grew up, but it symbolizes an innate sense of comfort and support. Holidays and events at home have always been so special to me. Knowing this, Matt proposed to me on Christmas Eve of 2013 at my parent’s, surrounded by my family. Matt and I had been together for 7 years prior, so after the excitement of taking this next step together had settled, it didn’t take long for us to decide that the wedding should be held at my parent’s home. Convincing my parents to host 200 people in their backyard took a bit more time… Enter Rhiannon.

Rhi entered our lives and immediately brought a sense of calm to the whole event. I had a vision of what I wanted the night to look like, but Rhi truly brought it all to life. We envisioned a unique, elegant affair that our guests would still feel perfectly comfortable at. A subtle color palette, rich textures, and a touch of rustic materials came together perfectly for the day of. We worked with our paper company to create a black and white floral motif for our invitations, which translated perfectly through the whole event. Rhi even had a custom linen created for our cake table with the pattern.

I asked my bridesmaids to pick a gown in a shade of cool gray, veering towards blue. I hadn’t seen all of the dresses together until the morning of the wedding (which is SO unlike my Type A self) but I couldn’t be more impressed with how they all came together. We kept the guys classic with black tuxes and bowties. Rhi was able to bring in a soft blue tone in our florals, and was even able to find black centered anemones for my bouquet, which had been previously unavailable.

Looking back at our amazing photos from the day, I am so pleased to see how Kelly captured everyone’s pure joy. Matt and I are grinning ear to ear in every photo, and it’s a true testament to how perfect the day turned out. We are so grateful for such a special memory that we will always cherish.

Photography: Kelly Sweet Photography | Event Planning: Hey Gorgeous Events | Floral Design: Hey Gorgeous Events | Cake: Sweet Heather Anne | Invitations: Smitten On Paper | Catering: Katherine's Catering | Band: Newsmaker | Men's Attire: Vera Wang | Bridal Shoes: Joie | Photography - Assistance: Amy Hartman | Wedding Dress Boutique: Mimi's Bridal | Wedding Gown Designer: Watters

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Ann Arbor Wedding from Jeffrey Lewis Bennett + TwoFoot Creative

We always say that it’s the little details that you add into your day that will leave your guests with that warm and fuzzy feeling. So, so true in today’s wedding. Although the beautiful bride admits, her DIY projects took a little bit longer than anticipated, they were a big part of creating her wedding, her way. With Ana Skidmore of TwoFoot Creative and Jeffrey Lewis Bennett Photography by their side, this bride and groom have tons of wonderful memories to cherish forever. Take a look at the gallery for more of this delightful Ann Arbor wedding.

From the Bride… I met Steve at my summer job shortly before I left for
 graduate school. He was essentially my supervisor, but all of our 
co-workers were rooting for us. They used to spy on us from the second 
floor windows when we ate lunch together, and they conspired to leave 
us alone after work at happy hour. A couple of years of dating, 5
 years of engagement, a move to Michigan, and one Ph.D later, we
 finally tied the knot. We had spent most of our relationship living
 in southern California, but we quickly came to love Ann Arbor and knew 
it would be a beautiful place to plan a wedding. I knew I wanted 
a classic estate feel, and Earhart Manor was perfect. Located on the
 Huron River, the home has beautiful stone architecture, early 20th
 century furnishings, and mature landscaping. We were married between 
two white hydrangea trees on the west side of the manor, had cocktail
 hour on the stone patio, and moved on to a gorgeous tent for the 
reception. Out of some unholy combination of ambition and insanity, I 
decided to make the table numbers, bunting, menus, signage, and bar
 decorations, but in the end I think it came together well. We also 
brought in two ridiculously high-backed chairs from our living room 
and used them for our reception table. It’s actually a lot of fun to 
look at them every day and remember how much fun we had. We also
 planted the two hydrangea trees in our yard, side by side. It was a
 perfect day, due in no small part to my amazing planner and her staff.
 And I couldn’t be happier with the pictures, which I know we will
 always treasure.

Wedding Photography: Jeffrey Lewis Bennett / Wedding Venue: Earhart Manor, Concordia University, Ann Arbor, Michigan / Wedding Planning: Ana Skidmore of TwoFoot Creative / Floral Design: Wedding Flowers by Heidi / Cake: Sweet Heather Anne / Dress: Ivy & Aster (Blossom) via The Gown Shop Ann Arbor / Earrings: Haute Bride Design via The Gown Shop Ann Arbor / Rentals: Chair Covers & Linens / Lighting: Quest Productions / Ceremony Music: The Panache Group / Band: Collision 6 / Hair + Makeup: Posh Hair & Makeup Studio / Bouquet Preservation (on Canvas): Curly Art

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Ann Arbor Wedding from TwoFoot Creative + A Girl In Love

Planning your wedding creates so many new memories and pretty often, so many new friendships. You work side by side with your vendors – usually for months – and as Ana, the principal event planner at TwoFoot Creative will tell you, when the sun sets and the day is done, it’s often a bittersweet moment. Such is the case of Ariana & John’s classic Ann Arbor wedding. Seeing all of your clever collaborations come to life is a breathtaking moment that few planners – or couples ever forget. Brides around the globe will agree that the day goes by way too quickly – but these knock-your-socks off  images from A Girl In Love  do a phenomenal job of conveying this couple’s story – from first look to closing bell. Join us in the gallery for a tasty macaron from Sweet Heather Anne and the museum wedding reception!

From Ana of TwoFoot CreativeAriana & John were married on May 12th, 2012 in the Pendleton room at the Michigan Union in Ann Arbor, MI. I worked with them for the past year and it was bittersweet to see all their amazing details come to life – I am going to miss talking to them all the time! I arrived with Zingerman’s bagels and coffee in hand at 11am to the Bell Tower to make sure the ladies were getting off to a good start that day. Imagine Three did an amazing job with their hair and makeup, and then everyone got dressed and ready to go! Ariana & John had their first look at Ingalls Mall. Before the ceremony, as Ariana & John signed their ketubah downstairs in the Tappan room, guests began to arrive. They were given non-alcoholic welcome drinks with gold and white twisted straws that Ariana had imported from New Zealand. A quartet that her brother Jason organized played music in the background.

Immediately after the ceremony, guests were ushered downstairs for a group photo on the steps of the Michigan Union. We flipped the room for cocktail hour, and when they came back up, they were served drinks and appetizers for over an hour while all the details for the reception were finished. At 7pm on the dot, guests began their walk across the street to the University of Michigan Museum of Art (UMMA)! Ariana & John greeted guests as they entered the Museum. Guests found their seats via escort cards tied to champagne glasses. Once seated, they were greeted by a platter of Zingerman’s crudités (just in case they were still hungry after cocktail hour). After the couple’s grand entrance, we heard a few toasts and then dinner began!

Bill Hamilton Designs did an amazing job with all the decor for Ariana & John. A friend of hers (Sloane Harmony Design) created all the beautiful paper products. Zingerman’s served salad and a third course, and then the band (the amazing Killer Flamingos) came on for their first set. Almost everyone got out of their seats to dance! After a 30 minute dance set, guests sat back down to enjoy the third course which was followed by chocolate éclairs and coffee. The party really got started with the hora – and it was non-stop from there!

From the bride… We met in Ann Arbor, Michigan while going there to graduate school. We decided almost immediately after getting engaged that it would be the perfect destination for our wedding since I am from New York, John is from Wisconsin, and our family and friends are scattered throughout the country. We loved the beautiful atrium of the University of Michigan Museum of Art for the reception, but decided to hold the ceremony in the Michigan Union. John and I wanted the ceremony to be intimate, personal, and a real celebration of our relationship. One of our best memories was the letters that we wrote to each other that were read during the ceremony. My brother, a violinist, arranged all of the instrumental music for the ceremony, processional, and cocktail hour. We also invited a number of our close friends to participate in our ceremony, and we loved hearing their wishes for us.

Since the wedding would take place in two different venues, we decided that the ceremony décor would be natural, rustic, and capture John’s love of the outdoors, and the reception would have a more modern, romantic feel. We entered a room flooded with candles, walked down an aisle lined with floating lights and flowers, and were married under a chuppah constructed from branches.

After the ceremony and cocktail hour, we proceeded across the street to the reception. Since the museum is elegant and airy, we did not want to compete with the beauty of the space. Rather, we tried to complement it with neutral colors, burlap linens, simple table design, and gorgeous white and blush flower arrangements. After we had difficulty finding the perfect tables, our event planner, Bill Hamilton, built by hand long wooden farm tables, which became one of our favorite touches. We did add a little brightness to the space with a colorful photo booth backdrop, created with my mother’s help and a lot of crafting glue on the floor of our hotel room in the days leading up to the wedding.

John and I agreed that the most important aspects of the wedding were those that directly contributed to the enjoyment of our friends and family. We wanted our guests to have an endless amount of food, champagne, and delicious desserts. We hoped to encourage a dance party throughout the evening, so we both felt that live music was crucial. Although the day went by far too quickly, it was everything we hoped it would be, and we had such an incredible day with all of our favorite people.

Wedding Photography: A Girl In Love / Wedding Ceremony: Michigan Union / Wedding Reception: University of Michigan Museum of Art / Wedding Planning: TwoFoot Creative / Floral Design & Decor: Bill Hamilton Designs / Wedding Cinematography: Owen Video / Catering: Zingerman’s Catering / Cake: Zingerman’s Bakehouse / Macaron Favors: Sweet Heather Anne / Wedding Dress: Anne Barge / Rentals: Chair Covers & Linens / Band: Killer Flamingos / Paper Products: Sloane Harmony Design / Hair & Makeup: Imagine Three

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
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These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
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Ann Arbor Wedding from Heather Jowett + Petals Planning Company

At the risk of being a little too cheesy, this couple has got chemistry – and I’ve totally fused right onto it. Petals Planning Company planned a soiree perfect for two self-proclaimed chemistry nerds, complete with blooms in beakers. Based on Heather Jowett‘s images, I’d say the day was a knock out, or an A+ if you will. Make sure to do your extra credit in the gallery – because that is some homework you’ll absolutely enjoy!

Click here to see the full image gallery!

We met at a company picnic in New Jersey while not taking part in the Electric Slide. After several additional awkward encounters, we discovered we shared the same love of music and roller coasters. Our time together was short lived as I had to return to my home state of Michigan to finish out my last year of college. Not to be discouraged, Dan hopped on a plane and met me on Labor Day weekend. A trip to a theme park sealed the deal.

We decided that the two most important qualities in a venue were our ability to provide our own caterer and one that would have an intimate feel. We are planning to travel to Japan for our honeymoon and we wanted to bring Japan to our guests in the form of the dinner menu.
As soon as we visited the Matthaei Gardens we knew it was the place we wanted to get married. The conservatory used natural elements to create a quiet space that was ideal for the small, intimate ceremony we envisioned. We were also able to reserve the auditorium space to host our reception (using our own caterer!) which allowed us to keep the entire event under one roof.

We are both chemistry nerds at heart and wanted to pay tribute to this mutual love. At the same time we didn’t want it to overwhelm the senses. We wanted our wedding to be subtly nerdy while brightly elegant. Purple has always been my favorite color, and I loved how it played with the equally prominent cornflower blue. Pink and yellow were used as accents throughout the design.

What made our wedding so special to us were all of the personal touches we had included. My grandmother passed away two weeks before the wedding, so I wanted to honor her at the wedding. Dan’s mother passed away when he was younger, so we had already planned to incorporate a small dedication to her that would be more personal. We set the tributes by one another in the reception area so they would be a part of the celebration. I also attached my grandmother’s engagement ring to my bouquet for my “something old” and “something borrowed.”

We took every opportunity we could to insert bits of our personality into the wedding. Music was one of the things we clicked over, so we used songs by the first band we bonded over during the ceremony. At the reception, flowers were in flasks and test tubes, and we added stacks of science fiction novels from our book collection for an extra personal touch. Our wedding favors were small flasks with almonds to honor the Italian tradition.

Photography: Heather Jowett / Flowers: Sweet Pea Floral Design / Event Planning & Design: Petals Planning Company / Venue: Matthei Botanical Gardens / Invitations: BlimpCat / Shoes: Kate Spade / Dress: Modern Trousseau via The Gown Shop Ann Arbor / DJ: Mike Staff Productions / Videographer: Mike Staff Productions / Caterer: Food For All Seasons / Bride’s jewelry: YJ Design / Cake topper: Tilly Biedron / Flask favors and beakers: Lake Charles Manufacturing / Almonds: Oh! Nuts / Sash: Ivy & Aster via The Gown Shop Ann Arbor / Veil and headpiece: Sara Gabriel via The Gown Shop Ann Arbor

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Ann Arbor Wedding from Jeffrey Lewis Bennett + TwoFoot Creative

This wedding is possibly a little moodier that the weddings we feature regularly on SMP, but it is every bit as fabulous – and even maybe a little extra romantic. It looks like it was a phenomenal party put on by TwoFoot Creative and thanks to Jeffrey Lewis Bennett and his camera, we definitely feel as though we’ve gotten to know the couple a little bit – and we LOVE them. As soon as you pop into the gallery, you’ll fall head over heels as well!

True love happens when you least expect it, at least for Sarah and Nils it did. Their meeting wasn’t just by chance, and as they now reflect on how they met, they know it was meant to be. Nils had just returned from Germany, where he was serving in the US Army, to begin a dental specialty residency in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Sarah was also embarking on her professional career, also beginning a dental residency at the Hospital. Mutual friends introduced the couple and their story is continuing to be written. Nils often comments that it was “the best birthday gift a man could ever ask for, and that was to meet the woman of his dreams”. The two became inseparable almost instantly, and they knew there were destined to be bride and groom. However, with demanding schedules, the proposal was 2 years in the making. After long days of work, Nils and Sarah often drove by their favorite home, where they would often dream about their own home, life, and future together. It was on October 19th, 2010 that one such drive took place, and the romantic proposal in the front yard of that home, took Sarah completely by surprise.

The ten-month engagement was filled with fun and excitement. The detail-oriented couple enjoyed planning the affair from the beginning, deciding to focus on creating a modern event that reflected their personal style, and that family and friends would enjoy and leave knowing the couple more personally. Planning was easy because the couple had the same dream. Every appointment and little detail they planned together, which made it so much more special to the two of them.

The bride and groom could hardly sleep the night before the big day, which would take place at the historic Michigan Theater in downtown Ann Arbor, the town where the couple met. The Theater, built in 1920, had ornate elements with gilded textured walls, adding to the elegant feel. Emotional vows were exchanged on the main stage in front of their guests who were treated to champagne and popcorn in movie theater fashion. The couple was entranced to one another at first site and, during the service conducted by a patient and friend of the couple, never took their eyes off the other.

The reception was held in the Rogel Ballroom at the Michigan Union, also downtown. Amidst campus football game-day fever guest were transported by Pedicabs, while getting a tour of campus on a beautiful September day. Together, along with the help of their wedding coordinator and event designer, the reception was designed to feel like an elegant upscale nightclub with a great vibe. Dinner and all night dancing to a local band, the Killer Flamingos, kept guest both young and old rockin’. A photo booth was a popular sidebar element and a guest favorite was the caricature artist who drew couples as they are truly seen by others.

Following a next day brunch hosted by the Brides family the couple embarked on a two week California adventure of the coast between San Diego and San Francisco. It was on their first adventure as Husband and Wife that the next life adventure was conceived; a baby girl!

Photography: Jeffrey Lewis Bennett / Ceremony Site: Michigan Theater / Reception Site: Michigan Union / Wedding Coordinator: TwoFoot Creative / Floral and Event Designs: Bill Hamilton Designs LLC / Wedding Gown: Monique Lhuillier “Sunday Rose” from Roma Sposa / Crystal Belt: Monique Lhuillier / Bride’s Shoes: Enzo Angiolini / Bride’s Ceremony Veil: Erin Cole from Roma Sposa / Bride’s Reception Veil: Custom made / Bride’s Jewelry: Swarovski Jewelry Collection / Groom’s Suit: Armani Collezioni from Saks Fifth Avenue / Groom’s Belt & Shoes: Ferragamo / Groomsmen Tuxedos: President Tuxedo / Bridesmaids: Dessy Collection from B. Ella Bridal / Custom Engagement Ring and Wedding Bands: Metals in Time / Groom’s Watch: Bell & Ross Timepiece from Metals in Time / Live Band: Killer Flamingos / Linens: Chair Covers & Linens / Makeup: Jamie Clemons / Paper Design: JDesigns

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