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This Minimal, Detroit Wedding Is a Work of Art

I don’t know what I love most about this wedding – the black and white color palette, the minimal letterpress stationery, the magnificent Detroit Institute of Arts venue, or the phenomenal Vera Wang dress (take a look at its stunning back cut out!). Every moment captured by Blaine Siesser Photography is modern yet timeless, and oh-so-good. But my favorite part of all is the intimacy of the gathering. Wanting to show their appreciation for their friends and family, the bride and groom gave handwritten, personalized letters to each of their beloved guests.

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From the Bride…. We wanted the wedding to feel more like an intimate dinner party for our guests and for each one of our guests to know how much we appreciated them being there. Celebrating with family and friends was the cornerstone of our day as well as staying true to our individual styles, so it was very important to us that the guest list was small and that the venue was private. Knowing that most of our guests would be coming from out of town, we also wanted the celebration to feel very iconic of the city Detroit. As we searched for wedding venues, we couldn’t help but feel like they all started to look the same until we saw the DIA. The marble flooring and intricate murals created the most perfect foundation for our unique vision. In addition to having one of the most amazing art collections in the world, we loved that the museum exhibited all the French architecture that inspired the design of the city.

The venue dictated the style of the day – modern yet timeless. The dress, the invitations, the photographer, and the décor for the day all flowed from there. In many ways, it was a challenge to find simple, elegant, and modern elements that highlighted how timeless we wanted the day to feel. To put our own personal touch – and as a gesture of appreciation – we gave each guest a handwritten letter, individually describing how much we appreciated their friendship and support, and had the letters waiting at their table settings.



Photography: Blaine Siesser Photography | Coordination: Simply Sweet Weddings & Events | Floral Design: Emerald City Designs | Wedding Dress: Vera Wang | Cake: Big Rock Chophouse | Invitations: Emily C. Bailey | Ceremony Venue: Cathedral Of The Most Blessed Sacrament | Reception Venue: Detroit Institute Of Arts | Rings: JB Hudson | Makeup: Elizabeths Head To Toe Birmingham | Hair: 6 Salon | DJ: Rock Out Entertainment | Transportation: Allstar Vip | Bridal Boutique: l'atelier couture bridal boutique

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Your Blueprint for a Modern Wintry City Wedding

Although this city wedding is layered with modern detailing, I can’t help but fall head over heels for the classic black and white captures that Blaine Siesser snapped up. And can we talk about this Alon Livne dress for a sec? Allll the heart eyes you guys. If you’re planning a city fete, might I suggest spending some time pinning this one in The Vault. Start to finish, it’s a gem darlings.

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From the Bride… We met when we were twelve and thirteen at Camp Tamakwa and our relationship just lead from there. He finally proposed on the Saturday before the College for Creative Studies finals week because he wanted to really catch me off guard. We had planned to go out to dinner with both sets of parents. My mom had continuously asked me to get my nails done all week, but I was too distracted by my work to think twice about it. The night of dinner I did not bother to put on makeup or do my hair, threw on a pair of jeans, boots, and a sweater. My parents repeatedly asked me to dress more nicely for dinner which I kindly ignored. Josh asked me to come to his place before dinner for a drink which I was happy to do to get away from my parents nagging me about my outfit choice. I walked up to his door and found that he was in a suit holding flowers, and that the hall was decorated top to bottom with balloons, flowers, and framed pictures of us. He got down on one knee and I said yes. It was simple, intimate, and romantic, just like us.

On our wedding day I was most excited for Josh to see me in my wedding dress for the first time during our first look. I could not wait to see him all morning. Looking back, my favorite wedding memory is seeing Joshua for our first look. Seeing the expression on his face is something that I will never forget. My favorite wedding photo was taken during those first moments. DeeDee Hoffman our planner and Bruce our florist designed most of our day and planned it beautifully. Some styled elements I really enjoyed though were the bridesmaids who wore black slip dresses from the reformation, with black strappy heels, and I left jewelry up to them as long as it was minimal and gold or silver. We custom designed our rings. They were both rose gold, but mine had a diamond set in the ring. Mine is engraved on the inside with “I got my eyes on you” While his says “You are everything that I see” lyrics from our favorite Drake song.





Photography: Blaine Siesser Photography | Videography: Visi Productions | Event Design: Dee Dee Hofman | Wedding Coordination: Dee Dee Hofman | Floral Design: Breath of Spring | Wedding Dress: Alon Livne | Wedding Cake: Home Bakery | Invitations: Cartoleria | Reception Venue: The Westin Book Cadillac | Wedding Shoes: Stuart Weitzmen | Bridesmaids Dresses: Reformation | Make Up: Chante Cutter | Hair: Luigi Bruni Salon | Lighting: Affordable Party Lighting | DJ: DJ Whip | Band: Your Generation in Concert | Groom's Suit: Freeds | Officiant: Temple Israel | Catering Director: Emily Fredericks | Ceiling Design: Mandel Display | Ceremony Venue: The Westin Book Cadillac | Linens: Event Theory | Photo Booth: Tap Snap | Rentals: Event Theory | Rentals: Elegant Events | Rentals: Pruett Custom Events | Room Draping: Ritz Event Furnishings | Veil: Heirloom

Traditional Ballroom Wedding at Detroit’s Henry Ford Museum

This loving couple chose to be wed halfway between their two homes: Cleveland and Grand Rapids at the historic Henry Ford museum in Detroit. This intimate affair, captured by Lauren Gabrielle Photography oozed sophistication. Every detail from 3-tiered cake draped in lush florals from Sweet Heather Anne to mad libs on each table created a sense of comfort the bride and groom hoped for on their special day. See every detail here!

From the beautiful Bride… I met my husband in a hospital in Cleveland. He was my clinical instructor, and I told him I wasn’t interested in dating anyone in the medical field. A few months later, I graduated and moved to Grand Rapids, but he managed to keep hold of my heart. After a year and a half of long distance dating, he completely knocked me off my feet with a surprise proposal. We chose to get married in Detroit, halfway between Grand Rapids and Cleveland, because that’s where the majority of my friends and family lived. Two weeks after getting engaged, we met up in Detroit and set out on a slew of appointments to find a venue and church.

We were just in awe as soon as we stepped foot into Lovett Hall and First Congregational Church. The Henry Ford Museum inspired the feel of our wedding. We both wanted something classic and traditional without being stuffy. I planned the wedding in a hectic 8 months, and I couldn’t have done it without some serious help. We hired a day of coordinator and it was one of the best choices I made. If there was anything amiss at the wedding, we had no idea because she made everything run smoothly. I’m not the craftiest person, and I’m so grateful for my dear friends that helped me make beautiful invitations, place cards and a website.

I’m eternally thankful for my childhood friend and wonderful photographer Lauren who captured the magic of our day. My husband was my calming voice of reason when I would get carried away on impractical elaborate ideas and my biggest supporter to get what needed to be done. Together we planned the biggest party of our lives and we were so thrilled to celebrate our marriage with the people we love.

Photography: Lauren Gabrielle Photography | Coordination: Beautiful Beginnings | Floral Design: Emanuela Candrianu | Wedding Dress: Justin Alexander | Cake: Sweet Heather Anne | Ceremony Venue: First Congregational Church Of Detroit | Reception Venue: The Henry Ford | Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Hair And Makeup: 6 Salon | Bridal Salon: Antonio's Bridal | Photobooth: Strike A Pose

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Elegant Woodland Wedding Inspiration

Rustic elegance is what wedded dreams are made of, but add in beautiful berry tones and metallic accents and it’s got SMP written all over it. From gold place cards that double as menus, to floating macaroons that surround a beautiful Sweet Heather Anne cake all amid an autumn woodland, this inspiration from the lens of Sarah Dunn Photography is downright dreamy.

From Kaitlin ParishoThe vision for this shoot was a mix of both rustic and elegant details. These images are full of natural details, and pops of beautiful berry tones, aubergine and metallic accents. We had several amazing vendors participate in the shoot from all over the US, and I am proud to showcase their talents – some new to the industry and others well established.

We have several lovely and unique details that range from gold hand lettered place cards that double as menus when opened, to floating glass orbs filled with macarons that surround a beautiful cake all amid an autumn woodland.

I scouted all over SE Michigan for our location and when I stumbled across the towering pine forest in Wixom, MI where the light flooded so gracefully though the tree canopy I knew it would be perfect location. The photos that Sarah was able to capture are absolutely stunning and clearly show the talent she has. The day of our shoot was a chilly 30 degrees outside (Michigan weather is always keeping us on our toes), and, from the light filled images she captured, you would never be able to guess.

Sarah chose to shoot digitally but, more importantly, also with film. I adore the romantic look that film captures, and it’s not something you see all photographers using. Lastly, our models were a real-life couple named Colleen & Ryan, who were high school sweethearts and had dated for over 9 years before recently becoming engaged! It is visibly clear in the photographs how in love they are and how comfortable they were with each other and in front of the camera!


Photography: Sarah Dunn | Planning, Design/Concept, Florals: Kaitlin Parisho | Wedding Dress: The White Dress | Cake:Sweet Heather Anne | Favors: Riles & Co. | Letterpress: Chelsea Coy Designs | Linens : Luxe Event Linen| Paper: Layers Of Loveliness | Rentals: Rusted Rose Rentals | Ring Box: Chalk Concrete Jewerly | Signage: Paper & Honey

Elegant Gold Infused Detroit Art Museum Wedding

Sometimes, a wedding is so lovely, it’s hard to find the right words to give it proper credit. Such as the case with today’s affair. A wedding that literally glows from the moment she dons her dress, to the very last dance. With a design by VLD Events, linens from La Tavola, photography by Jill Devries and a golden cake by Sweet Heather Anne, make sure to spend some time basking in the beauty.

From the beautiful Bride… When we started planning our big day, we had a few themes in mind. We wanted a wedding that was respectful of the day and what it meant; we wanted a wedding that was personal, without being cliché; and above all, we wanted a wedding that was super fun and memorable for everyone. And all of this on a budget, of course. Detroit’s incredible art museum (the Detroit Institute of Art, or DIA) provided the perfect atmosphere for the event, and with the help of a rock star team of vendors, the day was everything we wanted and more (we are only slightly biased).

Wedding day festivities kicked off with the Bride (Erin) and 20 yoga-inclined wedding guests venturing to Yoga Shelter in Midtown Detroit for a morning vinyasa class. The bridal parties then hurried to the historic Westin Book Cadillac to get ready. The bridesmaids and bridesmen sipped on champagne (a gift from the Groom, Scott) while the maids had their hair and makeup done; Erin returned the favor with an 18-year-old scotch for the groomsmen.

One of our favorite moments of the day – the first look – took place outside of a cool, urban garden in Detroit. Those emotions, that moment – we’re so grateful to have all of that captured by our amazing photographers. Detroit’s fickle fall weather was even cooperative, and we were able to take pictures outside of the museum with the bridal party and as a couple in the fading afternoon light.

The ceremony was held in the DIA’s magical Rivera Court. The room’s walls are covered with floor-to-ceiling murals painted by Diego Rivera in the early 1930s. We added nothing to the room, which was already lined with beds of calla lilies, except for a hand-drawn map of the museum, courtesy of the talented Kristen Drozdowski. Weeks before the ceremony, we presented the vows we had written to our officiant, JR Roberts. Each of our vows began with a short anecdote, which we planned to share with the audience. The surprise of the day came when – while Scott was delivering his vows – it became apparent to Erin that we had both chosen the same anecdote. Perfect.

We closed the wedding with a “champagne box” ceremony: We each wrote two letters, one to read that morning and another to read in the future. All four letters went into the champagne box to open on our five-year anniversary, along with a bottle of bubbly. The idea is that marriage and our love was something to celebrate, all the time. We sealed the box with a champagne toast during the ceremony.

Guests exited the ceremony through the American Art gallery, and headed to cocktail hour in the DIA’s Woodward Lobby. Although the museum’s Modern and Impressionist Galleries were open for guests to explore, almost everyone headed right to one of two specialty bars: the first, a champagne bar complete with a bar cart, fruits, herbs, juices, and champagne flutes adorned with gold sugar rims; the other, a scotch bar with five different kinds of scotch, served with large “ice spheres,” and decorated with the Groom’s cake representing the “Old Well” at the Groom’s alma mater, UNC Chapel Hill. Guests snacked on fancy passed apps, but the highlight was cheesy bread delivered hot from local favorite, Jet’s Pizza. As a bittersweet touch, we also set out a memory vase to honor Erin’s grandfather, whose funeral was the day before the wedding. The memorial helped us recognize the important emotions from the day before without putting a damper on the joyous emotions of the wedding day.

Guests then moved upstairs to dinner in the DIA’s Great Hall. With its to-die-for ceiling, gorgeous armor displays, and beautifully tiled floors, we wanted to complement rather than compete with the already amazing space. Reception decor included clean ivory linens, creative flowers to bring it life, and subtle (as subtle as gold foil can be) print materials. We also slipped Rivera Court postcards behind each guest’s menu as a souvenir. Erin and Scott entered the reception to “Lose Yourself,” by Detroit’s own Eminem — and later had our first dance to “The Luckiest,” by Ben Folds. The couple joined the bridal party at a long banquet table decorated with seasonal flowers, an armor-colored table runner, pears, ribbons, and gold acorns – and sat at chairs adorned with greenery and flowers (one of our favorite design elements). A Midwest-sized dessert spread followed dinner, including Georgetown Cupcake (the couple lives in DC), the Pumpkin Maple Groom’s Cake, and Mexican Spiced Chocolate wedding cake — both from Sweet Heather Anne. According to most guests, the traditional speeches before dinner – father of the Bride, little sister/maid of honor, and twin brother/best man – were the highlight of the wedding. Late night snacks of Michigan cider and donuts from Yates Cider Mill came in a close second.

DJ Mary Ann Productions rocked Top 40 and Motown tunes all night, with only a brief interlude when the bride lip-synced “The Jackal” for her fellow West Wing fans (pictures intentionally excluded). After the party, Royal Transportation drove a crowd to Cliff Bell’s – an art deco jazz club downtown – for live jazz and cocktails. And finally, after the after party, a few guests (including the parents of the bride!) visited iconic rival coney dog restaurants: American and Lafayette Coney Islands.

Although we leaned heavily on our incredible vendors to keep everything elegant and polished, we still “DIY’d” a few items. The mother of the Bride made over 150 ice spheres for the scotch bar (in sets of three, no less). And the Bride took online calligraphy lessons through I Still Love Calligraphy, allowing her to calligraphy the invitations, day-of signage, and welcome bag tags.

If we could change anything, we wouldn’t. We’d just have the same party again and again.

Photography: Jill Devries | Event Coordination: VLD | Floral Design: Katie Wachowiak | Wedding Dress: David's Bridal | Cupcakes: Georgetown Cupcakes | Invitations: Wedding Paper Divas | Bride's Shoes: Kate Spade | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Rent The Runway | Lighting: The Lighting Guy | Ceremony Music: Panache Entertainment | Wedding Venue: Detroit Institute Of Arts | Bridesmaid Robes: Plum Pretty Sugar | Bridesmen Robes: Lands' End | Cake Topper: Better Off Wed | Day Of Print Material: Smitten on Paper | Groom's And Groomsmen's Attire: The Black Tux | Linens: La Tavola Fine Linen Rental | Map Illustration: Kristen Drozdowski | Planning And Design Consultant: VLD | Save The Dates: Simply Pressed Print Shop | Wedding & Groom's Cakes: Sweet Heather Anne | Wine Box: Mark & Graham

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Elegant Ballroom Wedding

You can’t deny it: this wedding is seriously stunning.  It’s the epitome of ballroom elegance with some of the prettiest details you will ever see.  But beyond all of the amazingness (and it IS amazing) is a story of two middle school sweethearts who went from “going out” to tying the knot in the wedding of their dreams.  See every gorgeous moment captured by Coastline-Studios by pressing play.

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From Coastline-Studios… Tanya and Paul had one of the most stunning weddings we’ve ever seen with sequin, textured tablecloths, crystals and linens draped from the ceiling, candlelight, chandeliers, and some the most lush, white and blush flowers on every table… I have to say the girls on our team all got weak at the knees, it was just so beautiful. With help from Beautiful Day Planning, Tanya and Paul had the wedding they had been waiting over 12 years to celebrate (together since middle school, how adorable is that?).

From the Bride… Well, we have been together for a solid 12 years, and have never broken up! We are high school sweethearts and even date back to middle school.  Paulie was a grade older and had told one of our mutual friends he thought my twin sister and I were cute, and wanted to be introduced to me.  We “went out” for a few years on and off in middle school until I got into high school and then we decided to make it “official” and the rest is history.  We went to middle school, high school, away to Western together, he moved to Cincinnati for two years and we did the whole long distance thing.  As the saying goes “Distance makes the heart grow fonder!” I always new Paulie was the one… it sounds so cliche, but it’s true! I knew that some way, some how, when the time was right, we were going to make it work and go for the long hall.  12 years later, we are married!

Photography: Blaine Sessier | Film: Coastline Studios | Floral Design: Church Of Evangelical Faith | Wedding Gown: Roma Sposa | Church: The Cathedral Of The Most Blessed Sacrament | Reception Venue: Townsend Hotel | Shoes: Louis Vuitton | DJ: Rock Out Entertainment | Tux: Jos. A. Bank | Bar, DJ Booth And Stemware Rental: Special Events Rental | Dance Floor Overlay: Colonial Events | Hair & Make-Up: Hair By Erika Cortez | Wedding Day Coordinator: Beautiful Day Planning

Detroit Wedding at the Ford Model-T Plant

When people get creative while picking out a wedding venue, the result can be insanely cool. Think industrial with a side of vintage. Now throw in the Ford Model-T Plant, planning by VLD plus imagery by Jeffrey Lewis Bennett and this Detroit wedding is what you get. See even more right here.


Heléne & Alex met in New York City but recently started a new adventure together in Detroit, MI. They got ready at the Inn on Ferry Street before their wedding. A ceremony was held on Wayne State’s campus inside the Mcgregor Center which was designed by world famous architect Minoru Yamasaki. That evening a reception was held at the historic Ford Model-T plant on Piquette St. It was a pleasure working with the team from VLD on this wedding.

Photography: Jeffrey Lewis Bennett | Floral Design: Parsonage Events | Ceremony Venue: McGregor Center | Reception Venue: Ford Piquette Plant | Catering: Two Unique | Lighting: Colonial Events | DJ: Snapfuze Michigan DJ Services | Transportation: The Detroit Bus Company | Chairs: Andrews Party Rental | Getting Ready: The Inn On Ferry Street | Planning & Coordination: VLD

Detroit Waterfront Wedding from Turquoise & Palm Photography

Once upon a time, this was my dream wedding. Modern yet romantic, black, white and gold. Waterfront in downtown Detroit. A stunning, all white floral design from PassionFlower. And then I started my job at SMP. And I ran into so many pretty weddings (vintage, destination, glam, elopements)  day after day, that my dream wedding changed hourly. But thanks to Turquoise & Palm Photography, my first true love has been brought back into the picture, and I realize now I was a fool to leave my first love behind. You’ll see why it’s so stinking special in the full gallery, right here!


From the photographer… The couple, Chanae and George were married last summer on the waterfront in Detroit.  They wanted a very elegant and modern feel to their wedding day and chose a beautiful color pallet of black, white, and gold.  Chanae’s gorgeous Lazaro dress and Valentino shoes perfectly captured the feel of their day.  There were tons of glamorous details including lots of white florals, gold place settings and silverware, and of course gold couches in their custom lounge area.  The late night snacks and personalized wedding favors of individual bottles of Moet & Chandon for each guest really ended the night on a high note!


Photography: Turquoise & Palm Photography | Hair: Shana Williams Hair | Makeup: Angel Speights | Cake: Iversen Bakery | Calligraphy: Molly Jacques Illustration | Dress: Lazaro | Dress Shop: Birmingham Bridal Couture | Event Design & Planning: Dooby Design | Entertainment: Rodney Page Entertainment | Flowers: PassionFlower | Paper Flower Wall: Dooby Design | Invitations: Dooby Design | Linens: Linen Hero | Rentals: Special Events Rentals | Shoes: Valentino | Venue: The Rattlesnake Club | Videographer: Nick Jones

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Detroit Wedding from Heather Saunders Photography + Parsonage Events

When you have my job, you just have to deal with the fact that night in and night out, you are going to be dreaming of gorgeous weddings (not that it’s a bad thing). The moment I laid eyes on the first image of this soiree from Heather Saunders Photography, I was smitten, and knew I was in for a night or two of dreaming. But then I realized Parsonage Events was behind the absolutely stunning design (um, those flowers? I could die) AND TwoFoot Creative was the planner. Not to mention the beautiful sweets table from Sweet Heather Anne, because that would just be too much pretty. I think we’re all in for an afternoon of gallery perusing, and at least three weeks of wedded dreaming!


From the designer … As an event and floral designer, Naseem Ramin was a dream client come true. She came to our first meeting with a a stack of photos showing gorgeous, unconstructed bouquets and centerpieces. Other than her desire for big open blooms and a color palette of silver, raspberry, blush and hints of dark blue, she left the entire design up to Parsonage Events.

Because she was having her wedding and reception at The Whitney, one of Detroit’s beautiful and historical landmarks, we felt it appropriate to design with the age and style of the building in mind. The reception space spanned many rooms so we decided to use an eclectic mix of vintage or vintage style vessels. We used milk glass, pressed glass and an abundance of silver and gold mercury glass. Each arrangement was different but when you looked at the design together, it coordinated perfectly.

Parsonage Events used a beautiful mix of flowers including dahlias, garden roses, ranunculus and foliage like dusty miller and geranium leaves. Each of the boutonnieres were made up of a different floral element and the attendant’s bouquets were wrapped with different fabrics including grey and white chevron, raw silk and burlap.

Candle light was also very important to Nasseem. Parsonage Events filled every ledge and little nook with different shaped candle holders.

Lastly, Nasseem explained the importance of the pomegranate to her Middle Eastern culture. We incorporated full and sliced pomegranates in the long centerpiece of her beautiful head table.


Photography: Heather Saunders Photography | Floral + Event Design: Parsonage Events | Event Planning: TwoFoot Creative | Venue: The Whitney | Invitations: Bella Figura via Pulp and Ink | Shoes: Kate Spade | Dress: Oscar de la Renta | Sweets Table: Sweet Heather Anne | Envelopes + “Please Seat Me” Sign: Molly Jacques Illustration

Detroit Wedding from Julie Pepin Photography

I’ve never had such an immediate adoration for wallpaper as I did when I started sifting through these images but seriously Detroit, you’re bringing it with that wall decor. You know who else is bringing it? Julie Pepin Photography, that’s who. Because tucked inside this day are portraits as timeless and gorgeous as they come. They are the kind of photographs that children and grandchildren are going to be coveting years from now. They are family heirlooms in the making and you can see them all right here.

From the Bride…Right from the get go, Steve and I knew we wanted to get married downtown Detroit. The first few months were trying because we couldn’t find the right venue in terms of size and price. We looked into every place that that had experience hosting weddings (museums, theaters, and clubs) but the cons outweighed the pros for most of them. when I was just about to give up hope and let my mom convince me to have a banquet hall (which isn’t our style) our started researching places that aren’t known for hosting spaces. I was reading up on the old buildings in the business district…like the Dime, Guardian, and Penobscot. In my readings, I discovered that these places once had clubs and ballrooms in the upper levels. I contacted some building managers to see if such places still exist in these buildings…but many of them have gone through renovations and changes and have learned such spaces don’t really exist within these buildings (very sad!) The Dime Building Manger gave my contact info to Yvonne, the manager at The Madison and she contacted me saying, Madison is finishing renovations. Once it was Detroit’s 1st Film theater, and now it was being turned into a space and rooftop that can be rented for all kinds of events (quite the opposite most of these old buildings have gone through!) We were hesitant at first but when we saw the roof and view we were incredibly charmed. It was even better than what we envisioned. The reason we wanted Detroit was because our families are from there. Steve was born there, we went to school there, and some of are favorite places to be are there. We know the city has a certain stigma it can’t shake off by some family and friends, but the Madison venue is in the heart of Campus Martius where some of that splendor still shines. I couldn’t have asked for a better representation of what we wanted.

Favorite Moments… 1. When driving to the salon to get my makeup done, I had this epiphany that everyone we care about is in town ALL AT ONCE FOR US! I got overwhelmed and had to pullover. 2. My dad himself is a favorite moment all his own. Seeing him in that tux was amazing. My dad is a pretty casual guy and it was just cool to see him looking suave like that. He was totally out of his element but I could tell he was digging how he looked. His moves on the dance floor took me off guard and were unrivaled. Gerald the DJ was even impressed with my dad’s crazy music knowledge. Even crazier is how current my dad’s info is. He knew every pop and rap song that Gerald dished out when things were getting rowdy. 3. Seeing Steve on the roof for the first time. I can’t really describe what I felt. But it was pretty darn magical and perfect.


Photographer: Julie Pepin Photography | Floral Design: Tim Grebik Jr, Arden Park Detroit | Catering: Golden Spice Catering | DJ: Gerald Roesser | Hotel: Book Westin Cadillac | Cake: Groom’s Mother + Costco | Wedding Venue: The Madison | Wedding Dress: J.Crew | Shoes: BHLDN | Earrings: Fenton Fallon from J.Crew | Bridesmaid Dresses: J.Crew | Groom + Groomsmen Suits: Vera Wang | Make Up: Rouge | Hair: Juaquin Cameron, Scissor Candy

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Detroit Wedding from Jess + Nate Studios & VLD

Old Detroit’s history and glamour. That’s what this wedding is all about. I capital LOVE that. Well, old Detroit and a ridiculously adorable couple. VLD put together a “Four Seasons” soiree (with the help of Parsonage Events‘ fabulous florals) all the while honoring the sweet couple and all that was Detroit in it’s glory days. A winning trifecta, captured by Jess + Nate Studios. The gallery whisks you away to another time and place. Click here to see it!

To celebrate the completion of my PhD, Viet planned a week and a half escape to the island of Bora Bora. It was a dream trip. We stayed in one of those over-water bungalows and everything! Little did I know it really turned into our engagement trip! On the second night, he planned a special 4-course private dinner on the beach. HE popped the question after the first course, because he said he was too excited and couldn’t wait til the end. I really don’t remember the rest of that dinner at all. It was the proposal of my dreams!

We love the glamour and history of old Detroit and the Westin Book Cadillac is the epitome of that. It is absolutely gorgeous and was the perfect setting for the look and feel we were going for. We also loved having a hotel as the venue, which easily accommodated everyone and allowed us to skip dealing with limos or having our guests drive from place to place. We wanted a location that allowed everyone to have a great time and still be safe.

We were very lucky to be able to reserve the entire fourth floor of the Westin Book Cadillac for our event, which consisted of four separate spaces. Our incredibly talented wedding planner, Alison from VLD, immediately conceptualized the “Four Seasons” theme. Having access to 4 separate spaces is so rare, so we really took advantage of it.

Guests were brought to the fourth floor by escalator and arrived in the Italian Garden room, which was decorated to resemble Spring. Submerged tulips lined the room and pastel colored French macarons and flavored water was offered.

Guests were then allowed to enter into the Crystal Ballroom, which was where the ceremony took place. It’s theme was Summer and the lighting set the mood to a beautiful summer sunset with candles everywhere.

After the ceremony, guests were led to another room decorated for Fall for our cocktail hour. The room was decorated with different Fall elements and images of Fall trees were projected onto the walls. A specialty Fall cocktail made with apple cider also added to the effect.

Finally guests entered the Venetian Ballroom for the reception, which was decorated for the season Winter. This room made the biggest impact and we really wanted our guests to feel like they were walking into a completely different world. Branched trees lined with little white flowers lined the tables and gave the effect of snow on branches. The lighting gave the entire room a cool, yet welcoming feeling. Our team did an incredible job with this room and even the staff at the Book Cadillac were in awe of how the room looked. They kept commenting on how they had never seen it transformed like that before. It was pretty incredible!

One aspect of the wedding that was very special was a handkerchief that my Mom made from the fabric and lace details of her wedding dress from when my parents were married. I carried the handkerchief with me down the aisle and will always cherish it. It will be something that I will pass to my daughter on her wedding day.

My favorite memories from the wedding is dancing and celebrating with all of our friends and family. The whole day went by so fast, but we were prepared for the reception and made a point to enjoy ourselves there. After being told when to walk and where to go all day, it was great to just let loose and dance the night away as a newly married couple. Our goal was to just throw an amazing party and I think we did just that!


Photography: Jess & Nate Studios | Videographer: Two Penny Productions | Wedding Planing & Design: VLD | Lighting: Shane P. Designs | Venue: The Westin Book Cadillac | Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Bride’s Gown: Two by Rosa Clara from Le Salon Bridal | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Allure from ChiChi Styles | Men’s Fashion: Vera Wang, The Men’s Warehouse | Rings: Metals in Time | Veil: Nuage | Hair: Katie Terranova, Hairs to You | Makeup: Renata Makeup Inc & Andrea Duchesneau | Flowers: Parsonage Events | Cake: Decadent Delights | String Quartet: Panache Entertainment | DJ: DJ Addison

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Detroit Wedding from Amy Carroll Photography + VLD + The Gown Shop

I’m a Detroit girl at heart. Raised just minutes from this beautiful, old city, I love everything Detroit has to offer. Unfortunately, the image that Detroit demands in the minds of those who have never visited are not always positive. But today, we are going to change that. We’ve got a Downtown Detroit wedding from VLD that is be-YOND fabulous – and exactly portrays the city the way it should be seen – stunning and extra glamorous. The Gown Shop dressed this gorg bride from her dreamy veil, to her amazing gown, to the pretty peep toe pumps, and Amy Carroll Photography has helped us fall in love with her, her handsome groom, their amazing wedding, and the city they adore. Promise me you’ll give Detroit a chance with the gallery!

Click here to see the video + here to see the gallery!

After college, “life” took Tony and me to Detroit, MI where we accepted jobs with KPMG. Thanks to long hours and out of town clients, we were forced to spend a lot of time together. After working together for only a few months, we decided we should go on a date. I took Tony out on our first date. We went to Notre Dame for the ND vs. MSU football game. Did I have game or what?! Tony repaid the kindness by treating me to breakfast at McDonald’s on the drive down and dinner at Hot ‘n Now on the drive back. I had Tony wrapped around my finger after our first date as (1) this is Tony’s idea of the perfect date and (2) MSU won. From that date on, the rest is history.

We decided to get married in Detroit, MI as we are both from Michigan and both our families live in the surrounding suburbs. We thought a downtown Detroit wedding would provide a fun experience for our guests. I have always loved Old St. Mary’s church. Old St. Mary’s is a beautiful church with a lot of history. We visited several locations for the reception, but as soon as we stepped into the Colony Club ballroom, we instantly knew that this was the place we would have our wedding reception. The Colony Club is a classic Louis the XVI ballroom, which features historic chandeliers, gorgeous hardwood ballroom floor, floor-to-ceiling two-story windows, and a charming mezzanine.

I am a numbers person…not a creative person. I did a ton of research, which resulted in a binder with hundreds of magazine clippings and online printouts. With much help from our wedding coordinator, Alison Laesser-Keck of VLD, and our florist, Irish Rose, we were able to mold my scattered ideas into a clear vision. Also, the allure of the Colony Club ballroom helped with the decision making. The ballroom is breath-taking in and of itself. I wanted to build on the ‘awe’ that the ballroom already provided upon arrival. We ended with what I thought was a very simple and elegant wedding. Black and white is classic and timeless. Purple has been my favorite color since I was a little girl, so we incorporated purple into the bridesmaid bouquets and groomsmen boutonnieres. The ornate features of the Colony Club inspired the table overlays with gold accents and the centerpieces. The texture and the color of the antiqued hydrangea paired with the height of the curly willow added to the glamour of the ballroom.

Photography: Amy Carroll Photography / Shoes & Purse: Benjamin Adams via The Gown Shop / Dress: Modern Trousseau via The Gown Shop / Veil: Sara Gabriel via The Gown Shop / Jewelry: Haute Bride via The Gown Shop / Flowers: Irish Rose  / Ceremony: Old St. Mary’s Church / Reception: Colony Club  / Invitations: Minted / Hair + Makeup: Priss / Bridesmaid Dresses: Jenny Yoo / Tuxedos: President Tuxedo / Cupcakes: Just Baked / Favors: Vosges / Band: Higher Ground  / Cocktail Hour Musician: Phil DeMarco / Ice Sculpture: Michigan Ice Carvers / Videographer: Shutter Speed Productions / Guest Book: Carrie Havranek Designs / Flower Girl Dresses: Flower Girl Dress Shop  / Event Planning + Design: VLD

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
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These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
For membership information, click here
Glamourous Detroit Wedding from Jess + Nate Studios

Today, I was a very bad employee. As soon as I opened up this GORGEOUS wedding from Jess + Nate Studios, emails were forgotten, phone calls suddenly seemed irrelevant, and all I could do is sit here, trying to keep my chin off the floor, and take in all the gorgeous.  I have taken just enough time out of my busy schedule of hopelessly oogling to share it with my favorite people. So go ahead and spend some time in the gallery – I won’t tell your boss.

Click here to see the whole amazing affair in the gallery!

The first thing out-of-staters typically think of when they hear about Detroit is a repressed economy and abandoned buildings.  But what they don’t realize is that Detroit’s buildings are architectural masterpieces, designed with art deco details that are absolutely to die for – a prime setting for a special event.  After all, it was once called “The Paris of the Midwest” – and if Lisa and Danny’s wedding at the Fox Theatre (the very first wedding open to the general public in its almost 100 year history) isn’t a perfect example of how beautiful Detroit really can be, I’m just not sure what else to say.  

On to the details: The day started out with hair/makeup at Fiaz of Bloomfield Hills, followed by the bride and groom getting ready in separate buildings at the historic Inn on Ferry Street in the Midtown neighborhood of Detroit.  About an hour before the ceremony, Rochester Limo was on hand to transport the bride, her parents and her bridesmaids to the Fox, where champagne awaited them in the getting ready suites.  Group transportation, supplied by the Royal Bus company, picked up guests at 3 different hotels and dropped them off 15 minutes before the ceremony began.  

The Fox didn’t need much in the way of decor – it was definitely a fine line between accentuating what was already there and turning it into an over-the-top affair that was clearly not the bride’s style.  What she wanted us to do was let the decor be minimal, almost invisible.  By hollowing out real candles, placing them on the steps with faux candles in them, so that you could only see the flicker of the “flame”, we created an intimate (and safe!) energy to the ceremony space.   

The ceremony itself was interfaith, conducted by a Rabbi and a Catholic Priest.  The bride walked down the aisle to Carla Bruni’s “Le Ciel Dans Une Chambre”, a nod to their ten year history together.  They were married on the stairs in the Grand Lobby; and when they were pronounced husband and wife, DJ Graffiti (voted Real Detroit Best of) played “In Love with a Girl” by The White Stripes while they proceeded back down the aisle. It was the perfect way to switch the mood from romantic to energetic – and truthfully, it does not get any more Detroit than playing The White Stripes.  

During cocktail hour, guests traveled up to the third floor, while vendors flipped the ceremony space into the reception space below. 1920’s phonograph recordings played while hors’ d’oeuvres were passed and a full bar was available.  The guests were asked to be seated for dinner, and Lisa and Danny had their grand entrance, joining their immediate families in the middle table at the top of the Grand Lobby stairs.  Guest tables were decorated very simply with baby’s breath arrangements and pedestal candles; linens were white cotton and place settings were clear, white and very formal.  

The bride is a chef, so the meal was very important to her.  Five courses were served family style, consisting of dishes such as butternut squash ravioli and braised short ribs with a red wine reduction. The meal concluded with a selection of Lebanese pastries from Shatila Bakery in Dearborn; and a nutella cake, with a design inspired by the bride’s gown, from Decadent Delight in Ann Arbor.   

The guests danced to Motown until midnight. Afterward, group transportation was on hand to take guests to an afterparty at the Inn on Ferry Street, where a bar was set up for them, coney dogs were delivered, and DJ Graffiti and Dj C4 played until 3am.

Photography: Jess + Nate Studios / Venue + Catering: The Fox Theatre, Olympia Entertainment / Planning, Design + Day-of Coordination: VLD / Cinematography: Two Penny Productions / Officiants: Rabbi Tamara Kolton + Father Baldwin / Cake: Decadent Delight / Floral + Linens: Parsonage Events / Entertainment: DJ Graffiti + Snapfuze / Rentals + Lighting: Special Events Rentals / Chiavari Chair Rentals: Chiavari Chair Wedding / Bride’s Gown: Vera Wang / Bride’s Shoes: Ralph Lauren / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Kara Janx

These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
For membership information, click here
Wrap It Up Pretty Little Black Book + Prettiest of Pretty Friday

Each and every week seems to fly by us in a flutter of pretty bouquets, stunning gowns, and delish-looking cakes. But before we let you skip off to whatever wonders you have planned this weekend, we have decided to start a new little tradition around here. Prettiest of Pretty Fridays. All week long, I’ve been scouring our LBB photographers‘ blogs, waiting with bated breath for that image that stops me in my tracks and gives me instant goosebumps, ponytail to pedicure. This week, my eyes just about popped out of my head when I saw this gorgeous image of a very stylish bride (that veil!) walking down a very grand staircase in this Detroit Wedding from Jess + Nate Studios. Enjoy this last morsel of gorgeous and have a wonderful weekend lovelies! xoxo

The sweet soirees of this week are all right here:

an Italian holiday in the form of this highlight film
a glam, glam, glam pretty in pink soiree in San Diego
a sweet as honey Charleston affair with a fantastic amount of chic
a big congratulations to our LBB photographers who took home WPPI awards
a Santa Monica bride who spent her engaged days on SMP
a beautiful couple who belong on SMP in this Colorado fête
a new favorite love story a la this Tennessee soiree
a modern, contemporary, and gorgeous Ohio wedding
a Connecticut shoreline affair with nautical charm all over the place
a Northern Michigan soiree of one of our beloved LBB floral designers
a “pretty, rustic” southern sweetheart of a wedding in North Carolina
a beautiful Oregon soiree that has us falling in love

Raindrops on roses and a few of our other favorite things:

a DIY confetti tablecloth we’d love to see in metallic, multicolor, or white via Oh Happy Day
a gorgeous and whimsical Smog Shoppe wedding via Green Wedding Shoes
a gathering of fantastic bows we can’t get enough of via The Ritzy Bee Blog

Detroit Wedding from Epic Motion & Jess + Nate Studios & Flourish

My darling LBBers, you’ll definitely be happy you tuned in on this lovely Autumnal Saturday. Because boy, oh boy, do we have a special wedding for you to enjoy all weekend long. Epic Motion sent over the wedding trailer from this Michigan wedding, and their work had us begging for more. Cue the amazing images, from our favorites over at Jess + Nate Studios, of this fairy tale affair, planned and designed by the fabulous Flourish Event Design. We were all head over heels. And now it’s you’re turn to fall in love. So check out the stunning wedding (and click here for the full image gallery) and then enjoy the fabulous highlights from Epic Motion!

And after that decadent warm up, we’ve got the amazing highlight film from Epic Motion. Enjoy!

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Kendall + John Highlights from Epic Motion on Vimeo.

Nearly a decade ago, our story began.  John and I met in high school through our mutual group of friends.  Even though we were always with the same group of people during the four years of high school it took three years for John to get the courage to ask me on a date (I’m pretty sure this started his procrastination with the other milestones him and I have shared together).  It was completely worth the wait because after our first date to the annual Schultz firework extravaganza, John and I have been together ever since.  John and I have essentially watched and helped each other grow into the people we are today.  We are each other’s person and I’m thankful (even after waiting nearly a decade) that we can now begin a new chapter together.

When John and I started planning our wedding we decided we wanted to go a route that we haven’t seen before.  I am what John describes as old fashion, simple, timeless, and romantic.  We wanted to try to capture as many of those characteristics as possible.  When our wedding planner, Lindsey Nartker, of Flourish Event Design, got hold of what we wanted she immediately suggested The Colony Club in Detroit Michigan.  Once we saw it we were sold.  The antique look of the venue was perfect.  It has all our characteristics tied fabulously into one venue.  Once we determined our venue the rest just fell into place.  We decided to keep with gold, white, and blush pink colors to help keep the wedding soft and elegant.

From the beginning or our wedding day to the end everything was perfect, a fairy tale almost.  The venue was everything we had worked so hard to create.  It was amazing.  We find it difficult to pick our most vivid memory.  If we had to choose just one moment, we both would say our first look!  A time where the world stopped and it was just John and I.  We shared such a special moment right there in the middle of Detroit.  With such awesome photography and videography that one moment will be remembered forever.  By far a day that John and I will remember forever.

Photographer: Jess + Nate Studios / Cinematography: Epic Motion / Venue: The Colony Club / Floral Designer: New Creations Flower Company/ Event Planning & Design: Flourish Event Design / Invitation Designer: Paisley Quill / Cake & Desserts: Pin Wheel Bakery / Wedding Gown Designer: Christos / Bridesmaid’s Dress Designer: Vera Wang

These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
For membership information, click here
Epic Motion ~ Lauren & John’s Same Day Edit!

On Epic Motion’s website, they say that “No dream is too large. No destination is too far!” And that’s the really wonderful thing about the wedding industry!! Today’s first featured cinematographer is Ryan Koral at Epic Motion

Lauren and John’s same day edit has to be one of our favorites… they were so excited about every little detail from the day – so you can imagine the reaction we received as they watched this film shortly after dessert that evening. It really is an “epic” moment watching the same day edit with the bride and groom; the beauty and depth of their story is made more real to them as they experience it – by watching it.

Epic Motion

Based in Royal Oak, Michigan, a suburb just north of Detroit, we have a strong love for home as well as the other destinations we’ve filmed. The Epic Motion approach to the day is built on relationship. It’s very important for us to connect with our clients as well as for them to connect with us. People will sometimes ask what our style is… I’m never quite sure what to say, but it’s definitely a mix of goodness and fun. We believe in love. And we LOVE a good story.

Epic Motion is one of the event cinematographers named by Event DV in 2009 for excellence in the wedding industry.  And do you know the great thing about this FINE group of people? Wedding filmmakers are soooooooo supportive of each other! They are passionate about their given talents and have grown the wedding cinema industry from an ‘extra’ into a required ‘necessity’!  Congratulations, Ryan ~ it’s an honor to have you on the Style Me Pretty team!

Vintage Chic Afternoon Wedding From Widdis Photography

Vintage-Chic weddings are all the rage and this one from Kathy & Brian at Widdis Photography is absolutely precious!

From Kathy …Kristine and Tom had an elegant afternoon wedding at one of Detroit’s grandest mansions – The Whitney. A 115-year-old, 52 room mansion with glorious stained glass and ornate wood carvings set the scene for a ceremony and reception that reflected the couple’s desire for a vintage-inspired afternoon.

Kristine shopped Etsy for both her dress and bridal veil – settling on a Canadian designer Catherine Regehr gown that she had altered into a tea-length dress. With the fitted bodice and full skirt she created the perfect 1950s silhouette.

Tom pitched in on the wedding plans by making all of the candles with herbs out of their garden that decorated the reception areas. The favors that dotted the tables were adorned with an old English D for the couple’s beloved Detroit Tigers.

Really, really charming! You can see more of Kristine and Tom’s wedding on the Widdis Photography Blog.

* * *

There are also a couple of gorgeous winter weddings on their blog now, too!

Andrea & Dirk~ (intimate wedding at the White House Wedding Chapel in Warren)

Beth & John ~ (cool blue shoes!)

* * *

Thanks ~Brian & Kathy!  Congrats ~ Kristine & Tom!

Sophisticated Black Tie Wedding From Laura Davis Events

Just a bit about today’s wedding couple before we get to their ultra-chic black-tie celebration …

Andrea and Greg were originally scheduled to marry in April. However, shortly before that, they were in a serious car accident and the wedding had to be postponed. The following August, Andrea approached Tifany at Gourmet Invitations with a request for invitations and all of the other wedding-related paper pieces … from soup to nuts! She wanted the design to set the tone for the celebration that they were planning. They had decided to have a much smaller wedding, followed by a cocktail party and reception at the Royal Park Hotel in Rochester, Michigan. The point of this story is that Tifany would have one week to complete a process that typically takes 9 months! But she did it … with incredible results.

Pulling together a sophisticated, black-tie event in such a short time takes the talents of an experienced, creative team of experts. Enter Laura Davis Events. Laura Davis Events is based in metropolitan Detroit. Their weddings are some of the most highly recognized Michigan events, due primarily to their reputation for exceptional service, chic style and innovative designs. So … with the combined efforts of Tifany, Laura, and Marianne Thai (event manager)  — Andrea & Greg were married!

Gourmet Invitations Laura Davis Events

Andrea Greg Church Ceremony Laura Davis Gourmet Invitations

Andrea Greg Cocktail Party Royal Park Hotel's Conservatory

Laura Davis Events Gourmet Invitations Michigan

Laura Davis Events Gourmet Invitations Michigan

Invitation suite design was based upon the pattern in Andrea’s dress and is blind debossed.  Striking decor design was based upon a sleek black and white color palette. A note was inserted requesting ‘black attire only’.

Invitations Wedding Paper Pieces Gourmet Invitations Laura Events

The menus at the reception were personalized with each guest’s name and was also served as an event timeline. A monogram was added to the reception items and was even used in the custom lighting.

Laura Davis Events Gourmet Invitations Michigan

Congratulations Andrea and Greg!

Photography by Dionne at The Shooting Gallery.

Laura Davis Events and Tifany of Gourmet Invitations are in Style Me Pretty’s Little Black Book -The Best Wedding Vendors and are highly recommended professionals in the wedding industry.

Valentine’s Day “Anti-Recession E*Session” Giveaway From Epic Motion

On one of my late-night forays into our wonderful Little Black Book Blog-Land, I noticed that one of the great LBB cinematographers, Ryan Koral at Epic Motion, has announced a Valentine’s Day “Anti-Recession” E*Session Giveaway Contest. The deadline is “ASAP”, so we wanted to be sure that you guys had all the details. Epic Motion is based in the suburban Detroit area (but has clients throughout Michigan, the Midwest and beyond).

from Ryan …”In celebration of that wonderful Hallmark Holiday known as Valentine’s Day, we are doing something VERY exciting! We are giving an Engagement Session away for free to one lucky couple who meets the following criteria…

1. You are engaged to be married

2. You like to smile and laugh

3. You make a cute couple

4. You don’t mind spending an hour or two in the cold

5. You’re both pretty available the second week of February (hopefully the 11th or 13th) to film near Detroit

6. You’re tired of the recession already

Now that … is a great deal! But it’s short notice … so if you qualify, link over to Epic Motion and leave Ryan a comment. He’s going to need a picture of both of you, some brief stats about you and (… the SMP drill …) why you think you should win the E*Session!

Here’s a quick example of Epic Motion’s fabulous film work! Kate and Mike’s amazing wedding at the Pine Knob Mansion in Clarkston Michigan. For the full Highlight Reel  {click here}.

To see  samples from other events and weddings Epic Motion, visit their website and blog.

Epic Motion worked together with another of our great Little Black Book members,  Jessica Johnston Photography on Kate & Mike’s wedding. We’ll be featuring the beautiful photos a little later today so be sure and check back!

Pine Knob Wedding Michigan Jessica Johnston Photography

Jessica Johnston Photography Kate and Mike

Jessica Johnston Photography Epic Motion Kate Mike

To get in on Epic Motion’s Anti-Recession-E*Session, be sure to send Ryan a note now!

PS to SMP readers: We’ll announce the winner and post the Valentine’s E*Shoot as soon as it’s available!

Since this original post, we’ve added lots more photos of Kate and Mike’s amazing wedding {here} and {here}.

We also wanted you to hear what Kate had to say about her experience with Epic Motion

“At the beginning of the wedding planning process, I was certain that I didn’t want a videographer. I assumed that having one wasn’t necessary, but now I’m extremely glad that I changed my mind (with the help of my mom). I would have MAJORLY regretted my decision had we not had one. As all the married ladies know, the day goes by faster than you can ever imagine and there is so much that you don’t get to see. Now we’ll be able to relive the day whenever we want by simply popping in the DVD. I absolutely LOVE Ryan. He is one of the best in the business and his work speaks for itself. I was referred to Ryan by our photographer and he is the first and only videographer that we met with. At our initial meeting, he showed us a few demos and both my mom and I were nearly in tears. It was at that moment that I knew we had to have him shoot our wedding. He is an absolute blast to be around and was extremely unobtrusive on our wedding day. I’m so excited that we were able to work with Ryan and the rest of the crew at Epic Motion – they are all around great guys!

February 16 Update: The Highlight Reel from Kate and Mike’s Wedding is now on Epic Motion’s blog. It’s fantastic!