GET UP AND GO
Breathtaking scenery and unforgettable moments. The paradise of a Northern Michigan wedding is more than inspirational views, a flowerlined path, or sunset stroll on the beach. More than tee times with the guys or endless pampering for the girls. It’s having all those things at your fingertips. You won’t believe it if you haven’t seen it. Get up and go at grandtraverseresort.com/weddingsOwned and Operated by the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians
Mark Ingram Bride Daffodil sleeveless crepe contoured mermaid gown, price upon request, at Mark Ingram Atelier, New York; 212-319-6778; markingramatelier.com Stetson Deadwood cowboy hat, $173, at Scott Colburn Boots and Western Wear, Livonia; 248-476-1262; scottcolburnwestern. com Wrangler Fender Souvenir fringed denim jacket, $189, at wrangler.com Tory Burch Western ankle boot, $458, at Tory Burch, Somerset Collection South, Troy; 248-458-1307; toryburch.com on
Sareh Nouri Sarah Grace French Alencon lace off-the-shoulder slim flare gown, price upon request and available by special order, and Ariel Taub Chelsea veil, $350, at L’Amour Bridal, Dearborn; 248-308-2733; lamourbridalmi.com Stetson Deadwood cowboy hat, $173, at Scott Colburn Boots and Western Wear, Livonia; 248-476-1262; scottcolburnwestern.com Tacori RoyalT
14 letter from the editor 17 announcements
Local weddings and engagements 120 something blue
Say yes to a modern sapphire engagement ring
What’s new and now in weddings 25 food
Raise a glass with a chic mobile bar 27 stationery
Drawn to Detroit captures memories one building — and one wedding — at a time 28 planning
Give your gown new life after the wedding day 30 accessories
Bailarose's ballet-inspired line of accessories is perfect for brides-to-be 32 beauty
Travel essentials for a glow on the go 34 floral
Monica Brown brings a unique perspective to floral design 36 trends
Break tradition for an unforgettable wedding day 38 runway
Couture-inspired bridal looks with daring hemlines and sheer fabrics
79 real weddings
Find inspiration in these gorgeous local weddings
AFTER YEARS OF STAYING close to home because of the pandemic, this issue we have a serious case of wanderlust. And we’re dreaming big. In our honeymoon feature (page 64), we set our sights on some of the dreamiest destinations to cross off your globetrotting bucket list. Whether you’re craving the serenity of the Maldives, the adventure of Iceland, the rich culture of Croatia, the stunning vistas of New Zealand, the Mediterranean glamour of Mallorca, or the one-of-a-kind wildlife of South Africa, we give you all the details for a perfect getaway.
We’re also giving you a taste of the West with our cover feature (page 46), inspired by the rugged landscapes of Big Sky Country and the undeniable cool of modern cowboy culture — and yes, everyone’s favorite Western family drama, Yellowstone This issue’s fashion shoot showcases some of the season’s most wildly romantic gowns, all perfect for saddling up and riding off into the sunset after your vows have been exchanged.
If your case of wanderlust is as strong as ours, consider taking inspiration from this issue’s Real Wedding (page 72) and chose a
unique destination for your “I Do’s.” Wedding photographer Grace Kalil and her husband, Matthew Werick, knew they wanted a venue that was “photogenic from every angle.” The pair eventually settle on the Ancient Spanish Monastery of St. Bernard de Clairvaux in Miami. Originally built in Spain in 1133 A.D., it was brought to the United States in 1925 and reassembled, stone by stone. The historically rich monastery served as a stunning backdrop for their picture-perfect destination wedding.
If you and your beloved are homebodies rather than world travellers, never fear — our pages are filled with endless inspiration for planning the wedding celebration of your dreams. From a cake feature that’s double the fun (page 40) and Michigan’s most stylish mobile bars (page 25) to stunning florals by M. Dawn Floral (page 34) and Bailarose’s beautiful ballet-inspired accessories (page 30), we hope you find what makes your heart sing in this issue’s pages.
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Volume 21 • Issue 1
PUBLISHER Jason Hosko
EDITOR Rebecca Voigt COPY EDITOR John S. Schultz
CREATIVE DIRECTOR Lindsay Richards
SENIOR PRODUCTION ARTIST: Stephanie Daniel JUNIOR ART DIRECTOR Steven Prokuda
Gerard + Belevender, Shannon Bishop, Michelle Cuppy, Angela Flynn, Blake Miller, Giuseppa Nadrowski, Jennifer Pickering, Erin Schmidt, Elizabeth Swanson, Gabrielle Yanke
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IT DIRECTOR Jeremy Leland
DIGITAL DIRECTOR: Nick Britsky
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DIGITAL DEVELOPMENT SPECIALISTS: Jim Bowser, Marissa Jacklyn, Luanne Lim, Kevin Pell
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DIGITAL MEDIA ASSISTANT: Robyn Banks
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COMMUNICATIONS & EVENTS LEAD: Cathleen Francois
MARKETING & EVENTS INTERN: Crystal Baker
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TOP NOTCH PARTY BUS & LIMOUSINE
Travel in luxury and comfort on your special day. Enjoy the night without worry and make the night memorable with your family and friends with our professional limousine transportation service.
Top Notch Party Bus & Limousine is Metro-Detroit's premier transportation service company. We pledge to deliver the best in quality and class while ensuring your safety and satisfaction. W hether you are getting married, celebrating a birthday or having a night-out, we are here to transport you to your destination with luxury and comfort.
1 Regan Blissett, Richmond, to Austin Wright, Richmond
An August 2023 wedding is planned.
Photograph by Meggy D Photography
2 Hannah Miller, Rockford, to Riley Weaver, Caledonia
A July 2023 wedding is planned.
Photograph by Kassidy Rhodes
3 Taylor Steel, Lake Orion, to Bret Shrader, Novi
A June 2023 wedding is planned.
Andraya Croft Photography
4 Angela Polmanteer, Kalamazoo, to John Edwards, Detroit
A March 2023 wedding is planned.
Photograph by Emily Kyle Photography
5 Angela Marinich, Yale, to Nick Pantely, Bloomfield Hills
An April 2023 wedding is planned.
Photograph by Kellie Saunders Photography
6 Ashley Busch, Ann Arbor, to Zachary Rondot, Huntington Woods
An August 2023 wedding is planned.
Photograph courtesy of the couple
7 Emily Foust, Novi, to Michael Scudillo, Garfield, N.J.
A September 2023 wedding is planned.
Photograph by Emily Kyle Photography
8 Robin Sanders, Dearborn, to Ryder Del Signore, Bloomfield Hills
A June 2023 wedding is planned.
Photograph by Capture Couture LLC
1 Maria Anneke, Jakarta, Indonesia, to Jason Tedjasukmana, Birmingham
Married June 14, 2022
Photograph by Chelcie Lou Photography
2 Renee Hartert, Westland, to Jonathan Pernak, Westland
Married April 9, 2022
Photograph by Golden May Media
3 Sara Kauffman, Commerce Township, to Jake Pilarski, Romeo
Married July 16, 2022
Photograph by Onyx and Opal Creative Co.
4 Kristen Ickes, Toledo, Ohio, to Scott Whitfield, Bingham Farms
Married October 23, 2021
Photograph by Kellie Saunders
5 Allison Fisher, Wixom, to Luke Russell, Farmington Hills
Married August 20, 2022
Photograph by Samantha Leigh
6 Angela Bluhm, East China, to Adam Chavez, Farmington Hills
Married September 2, 2022
Photograph by Girl With the Tattoos
7 Alexandria Wessel, Brighton, to Douglas Bemis II, Farwell
Married October 15, 2022
8 Candace Sparkman, Macomb, to Jarred Gilliam, Yale
Photograph by Erika Christine Photography
Married October 22, 2022
1 Want to see your announcement in Metro Detroit Weddings? Tag @metrodetroitweddingsmag on social media or visit detroitwed.com/submissions for more details!
2 6 4
new and noteworthy
WHAT'S NEXT AND NOW IN THE WORLD OF WEDDINGSwritten by giuseppa nadrowski
When Amanda and Jackson Austin wed at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament in October 2021, they drove off in a 1968 Ford Mustang to their reception at the Guardian Building. As they roared down Woodward, the gown Amanda wore barely fit in the classic car. It was a cinematic start to their life as newlyweds.
“We got so much attention. People were honking on the road and asking, ‘Is this real? Is this a get up?’ The car just demands attention,” Amanda says. “We didn’t think we were doing anything unique. We just knew we had a car that we loved and it was different … and it was ours.”
The retro muscle car, Paris as it’s affectionally known to the couple, was the spark for their recently launched classic automotive rental company, Petrol Vintage.
The couple, who purchased the car specifically for their wedding, “wanted something very specific. Very Americana,” says Amanda, a vintage enthusiast with a love of weddings, history, architecture and the 1960s. “It was hard to find something like that around here, so we just bought it!”
A self-declared “car guy” who grew up in a Ford family, Jackson always knew he wanted this specific auto for his wedding — it was bought before the engagement ring, the couple jokes. “I would always hear stories and see photos of my grandpa and
my uncles racing up and down Woodward with their hot rods,” Jackson says. “So for me, older cars have always had this really cool factor. Sentimental too.”
The classic burgundy coupe isn’t your traditional wedding day accessory — and that’s exactly what Amanda and Jackson loved about it. With its black racing stripes, Magnum 500 wheels, and the growl of the V8 engine, it’s the perfect fit for anyone wanting that iconic American drama.
“Our wedding photographer, [Anastasia Shaydakova of Anastasia Photography], was so in love with this sports car on our wedding day that she was like, can you guys please offer this to my couples because I
know who my couples are and I know they are young and lively and fun, and so she was like, please can you help me,” Amanda says. “She then was like, please find me a beautiful white car … And we found one! It was one of my dream cars, too — a 1984 Mercedes Benz.”
Their wedding photographer suggested they come up with a business name, and on August 1, 2022, Petrol Vintage was officially born.
“It’s been a fast two months and ever since we launched, literally that day, our life flipped … but we are definitely grateful for that,” Jackson says. “A dream of ours is to eventually get a location, so people can come and see the cars. So that they can experience them. All it takes is for people to sit in the car and feel how fun it is.”
Petrol Vintage offers three distinct vehicles in their fleet. Their beloved Mustang, Paris, is available to rent for staging and photography only. Betty, the white convertible Mercedes Benz, is by far the couple’s most popular car, as anyone over the age of 25 can rent and drive it all day. “I got to see a couple pull up to the Shinola Hotel in that car and everyone was out there screaming and clapping for them,” Amanda says. “It was a couple’s getaway car. There was no staging. They were driving off in it and it was so amazing.”
The third is a jaw-dropping 1970s Checker Marathon Taxi Cab. In mint condition and worthy of a museum floor, Ivy, as it’s known, is available for rent, features a spacious backseat, plush velvet cushions, and includes a chauffeur.
With hopes of adding more to their fleet in the future, Amanda says, “Our goal is to stumble upon something that is so unique and almost too good to be true.” Jackson adds, “We want to offer different experiences with each car.”
“We are not looking to do anything people can already get. We are really looking for those niche groups of people that can’t find what they want,” Amanda says. “I just want people to feel like they had this once-in-a-lifetime experience in their dream car.”
For more information, visit petrolvintage.com
Sareh Nouri 2023 CollectionEvening
success first-ever collection, Nouri has launched selection
The collection features timeless Nouri’s shoulder shimmer. season are gowns Nouri’s
After the success of her first-ever eveningwear collection, designer Sareh Nouri has launched yet another stunning selection of soireeready styles. The collection features timeless examples of Nouri’s sophisticated glamour — think dramatic off-theshoulder designs, tuxedoinspired detailing, and liquid sequin shimmer. New this season are gowns featuring Nouri’s breathtaking florals. The Laylee gown (named after one of Nouri’s daughters) features a chic and everclassic structured shift silhouette crafted of a mesmerizing floral organza gazar. Each piece is made to order in Nouri’s design and production studio in New Jersey. Offered in a variety of sizes and colors, Nouri also offers additional customization. For more information, visit sarehnouri.com.
Husband and wife duo Ashley and Austin Lonetz, the photographers and owners behind Diffuse Media, have recently launched your next must-book wedding vendor — Bubbles, the 1977 Volkswagen Transporter Van turned photobooth bus. “Austin and his family worked tirelessly to restore her back to her original glory, including removing countless amounts of rust, sanding down to the bare metal, repairing holes, adding new coats of paint, and completely redoing the interior,” Ashley says. “She has a lot of personality and gets lots of attention wherever she goes.” Packages include unlimited prints, 2-4 hour run times, attendant, props and more. For more information, visit bubblesvwbus.com
Rust Belt Market’s The Green Room
Until recently, Ferndale’s ever-popular Rust Melt Market’s wedding venue did not have a traditional bridal or groom suite to offer its clients. This year that has changed with The Green Room, a beautifully designed space that seats up to eight and evokes a luxurious bygone era. “With a mission to provide sanctuary from the hustle and bustle of event prep and party hype,” the room can be used for changing, hair and make-up, photography, “or even as a private lounge to sip bubbly with the couple’s closest friends.” Rust Belt’s co-owner, Chris Best, a licensed residential builder, was behind the design and building of the space that mixes art nouveau and speakeasy design elements. Luxurious features include finishes in green, brass and stone hues, antique frames, two custom-made doors from Ferndale craftsman, Laprairie Woodworks, diamond-tufted upholstered moss-green plush seating, a custom Detroit Wallpaper foiled wall covering, greenery styled by The Plant House, a custom, 8-foot full-length Hollywood-style lighted and dimmable floor mirror built by Best, a replica antique General Electric mounted fan, a refinished steel and glass 1930s antique single pane window, director’s chair, Marshall mini fridge, speakers and one of our favorite features, Best’s grandmother’s antique settee.
For more information, visit, rustbeltmarket.com
From a vintage horse trailer to a micro-business, Sugar Honey is metro Detroit’s beloved mobile macaron purveyor. “We specialize in handcrafted macarons, using as many high-quality, seasonal, and locally sourced ingredients as possible,” says owner Victoria Lizabeth. “All macs are gluten-free, and we offer non-dairy options for those with allergy restrictions.” Sugar Honey began in 2021 as a pop-up outside of local businesses, but today the Mac Truck, as Lizabeth calls it, is offered for special events, weddings, late night snacks, bridal showers, and more. Custom macaron towers, favors, and even wedding cakes are also available. For those wanting to add a little more flair, custom signage, florals and décor can be used to tailor fit your style.
For more information, visit sugarhoneytruck.com
salut on wheels!
Byrdie Barwritten by g iuseppa nadrowski
FROM OUTDOOR weddings to bridal showers and bachelorette parties, mobile bars are rolling into events all over Michigan. Here, we’ve rounded up seven distinct mobile bars — think vintage horse trailers, revamped campers, custom trailers — each with its own unique design and offerings, and each ready to take your event to the next level.
Byrdie Bar may have that chic vintage look, but don’t be fooled. Owner and founder Kristine Mannino had the luxe trailer custom built into her ideal mobile bar, one that also features a cool back bar with three stools. “I got to decide every inch of her and really bring everything I knew from brick-andmortar bars into mobile form,” Mannino says. “The bar is the number one most visited spot at parties, and far too often people underestimate the importance of high-level cocktail and drink service. That’s where we come in.” A favorite of guests, Byrdie Bar’s Signature Cocktails are a feature in some packages. “They’re made to order with fresh juice, handmade syrups, and a mix of ingredients like herbs, bitters, different rim garnishes, and more to really stand out. Anyone can go to a bar and order a vodka soda, but a Fig
and Honey Margarita — you’re only getting that at Byrdie Bar,” she says. Fun add-ons include items such as yard games, balloon garlands, and a cocktail lounge.
Pricing: From $995 Service area: 50 miles of travel from Berkley is included in the base price, with a $2/mile surcharge beyond that zone. For more information, visit byrdiebar.com.
The Black Barrel Bar
“Our renovated 1971 Airstream Land Yacht mobile bar shed its shiny sheen and traded its camping gear for cocktail glasses in 2019,” says Gwen Vryhof Bultema, owner of The Black Barrel Bar. Known for its sophisticated design, the handsome bar features handcrafted walnut cabinetry, stainless steel appliances as well as a double tab, half barrel keg system and cooler.
“My husband and I are in the hospitality and service industries,” Vryhof Bultema says. “He and I are both passionate about creating space and opportunity for individuals and communities to connect. The Black Barrel Bar allows us to serve and to cultivate relationships with folks from a variety of backgrounds, offering them a unique, fun, and elevated experience where they feel seen and heard and loved.”
Packages include full bar service (think the bar, the bartenders, the glassware, and the alcohol). Bar-only rentals are also available with a licensed and approved caterer or venue to serve.
Pricing: From $4,000 Service area: The Black Barrel Bar serves Grand Rapids and its surrounding areas, with occasional events beyond West Michigan. For more information visit, blackbarrelbar.com
VIA Bar Detroit
Unlike traditional mobile bars, VIA Bar Detroit is transforming the event scene with its retro-luxe 1959 camper that features a fully furnished social lounge for up to six guests, dual service windows, “and the opportunity to partake in spirits of your choice with our unique BYOB concept.”
Founded by Kiya Barden in July 2021, VIA’s rental packages include outside decor risers, four wooden chairs for an outside lounge area, two stainless steel beverage bowls, floral décor and disposable drinkware. Licensed bartenders are available at an additional surcharge. Additional upgrades include VIA’s luxury picnic setup (suitable for up to 12 guests). “I travel abroad quite often and would always see bar carts and unique event details,” Barden says. “I wanted to create something similar, but provide a dual experience — inside with the social lounge, and outside with a modern, picturesque aesthetic.”
Pricing: From $1,100 Service area: Rental packages include 20 miles of travel from downtown Detroit. Long range travel outside of the metro area may also be possible. For more information visit, viabardetroit.com
Happy Bar Services
Happy Bar Services offers two charming vintage mobile bars, one of which was converted from a 1978 Champion Horse trailer and the other, a 1967 Pathfinder Camper. “We are one of the first mobile bars in Michigan, launching in 2019 in the West Michigan area,” says Wendy VanWagoner, CEO of Happy Bar Services. In addition to bartending at their mobile bars, Happy Bar Services is also “happy to bartend from the venue or clientprovided bars.” Packages include transportation, set up and take down of the bar, one professional certified bartender, ice, bar tools, cups, cocktail napkins, garnishes, mixers, and juices, as well as assistance in menu planning, an alcohol shopping list, a standard countertop drink menu, and décor add-ons.
Pricing: From $1,300 Services Area: Happy Bar Services operates within a two-hour travel distance from Rockford, with occasional travel beyond its standard service area. For more information, visit happybarservices.com
Sidecar Pony Bar
Since 2015, Sidecar Bartending has provided “everything needed for a full-service bar, including professional bartenders, bar options, mixers, garnishes, glassware, ice, among other offerings,” says owner Kathy Sullivan.
“Our signature cocktails made with fresh squeezed juices and homemade syrups are always a hit at events.” Among her standout offerings is the Sidecar Pony Bar, a vintage 1970 horse trailer that can be used for both indoor and outdoor events thanks to its petite size.
The Pony Bar includes five hours of service, two bartenders, and two taps for beer, wine or cocktails.
Sidecar also offers standard 6-foot bars for regular bar service and the Sidecar Bubbly bar a chic champagne bar.
“When we started there were no other mobile bars in Michigan, and we were one of the first in the Midwest,” Sullivan says. “We have grown so much we are now adding additional mobile bars, kegged cocktails, mixers and Sidecar Bar-in-a-Jar Infusions to our services.”
Pricing: From $300 Service Area: Sidecar serves events in Southeastern Michigan. For more information, visit sidecarbartending.com
The Mini Bar Detroit
Opened in February 2022, The Mini Bar Detroit has taken the area by storm with its sleek black 1977 converted horse trailer. Owners, fiancés, and “built-in bartenders” Jordan Acord and Dani Diehl (who have their own big day set for June 16, 2023!)
spent years in the food and beverage industry before deciding to launch their own venture. “We love to be versatile by accommodating any and all requests. Our clients can have a peace of mind in knowing that we are more than just a bar service,” Diehl says. With the interior featuring enough space for two people to bartend, two lines can be formed when grabbing a drink. “Two lines allow for the initial rush of cocktail hour to be cut in half. All your guests should have a drink in their hand within the first 15 minutes of cocktail hour,” Diehl says. Package extras include offerings such as coffee service, soda service, yard games (think Giant Jenga, cornhole and Connect 4), a luxe champagne shelf, and coming soon, a cocktail lounge.
Pricing: From $800. Packages range from $3 per person to $7 per person based on what experience you are looking for.
Service Area: Metro Detroit and surrounding areas.
For more information, visit minibardetroit.com
Sip Mobile Bar
Founded in 2020, owner Haley Zwerk of Vassarbased Sip Mobile Bar has just launched a more affordable self-pickup and drop-off option. A horse trailer turned sleek white cocktail bar, this brand-new offering — now the face of Sip Mobile Bar — is “the ultimate luxury,” Zwerk says. Features include a beautiful tile backsplash, quartz and butcherblock countertops, two tap CO2 system, and carefully selected fixtures and décor.
“Our high-end finishes and on-trend décor along with our reputation for providing an exceptional
customer experience makes Sip Mobile Bar stand out amongst our competitors,” Zwerk says. Nearly 500 vintage glasses in a variety of colors are also offered as an add-on option. Delivery of Sip Mobile Bar is also available for an additional cost.
Pricing: From $600$800
Service Area: Sip Mobile Bar serves all of Michigan. For more information, visit sipmobilebar.com
DRAWN TO DETROIT ARTIST LEAH CARROLL CAPTURES HISTORY ONE BUILDING — AND NOW, ONE WEDDING — AT A TIMEwritten by g iuseppa nadrowski
THREE YEARS AGO, artist Leah Carroll launched Drawn to Detroit, a collection of freehand drawings inspired by the city. A self-taught freehand illustrator and registered art therapist, Carroll unexpectedly began Drawn to Detroit during an assignment for her graduate program in Art Therapy at Wayne State University.
“In my second year of graduate school, our course work included an assignment to create 10 art pieces in our medium of choice. As an elementary art teacher at the time, I did not create much, if at all. I had always enjoyed drawing and decided to try my hand at the Grand Army of the Republic building. I sat at Beacon Park for a few hours while the spring afternoon absolutely flew by,” Carroll says. “Looking back at that drawing, I barely knew what I was doing, I just knew that I loved the process Eight buildings and many hours at my favorite coffee shop later, I completed my assignment!” At the end of her class, Carroll and her peers displayed their work from the semester — an exhibition that would lead to her first commission, The Owen House of The Inn on Ferry Street.
From custom illustrations to original drawings of Detroit’s iconic architecture, Carroll’s work is featured on everything from beautiful prints to magnets, totes, mugs, ornaments and more. “Each drawing is created in real-time, viewing the building,
and/or by a photo taken of the structure in its current state,” Carroll says. “The history and grit of Detroit architecture is what draws me in the most For me, the most historic buildings hold the most memories. Which is what I love about what I do — preserve memories through freehand illustrations.”
In 2020, as her collection of buildings grew, Carroll began offering save-the-dates that featured her original drawings. As more and more wedding-related requests began coming in — and eventually a commission for a full invitation suite with a custom color illustration of the bride’s wedding venue — Drawn to Detroit Wedding became official.
Through Drawn to Detroit Wedding, Carroll offers a full line of wedding stationery, including save-the-dates, guest books, invitations, detail cards, RSVP cards, thank you notes, and of course Carroll’s favorite, custom magnets as wedding favors. In addition, Carroll offers her couples the choice of printing their suites through the female owned-and-operated printing company, The Printed Event.
For Carroll, working with brides goes back to what she finds most fulfilling in her work. “I love being able to help different brides bring their vision to life and ultimately help celebrate a memory in the making,” she says.
For more information, visit drawntodetroit.com
GIVE YOUR GOWN NEW LIFE AFTER YOUR WEDDING DAYwritten by an gela flynn
ONCE YOU’VE SAID “I do,” what do you do with your wedding dress after the big day? From donating to repurposing, there are countless ways to honor those glamorous gowns after the wedding.
There are several options for dress donation. Locally, there’s The Brides Project, a non-profit organization based in Ann Arbor. They accept wedding gown donations, as well as veils, shoes, belts, and other accessories. Simply fill out their form online and either ship the dress to their shop or drop it off (they recommend calling ahead before dropping off items). The donation is tax deductible and gives other brides the opportunity to buy the dress of their dreams at an affordable price. Additionally, all purchases benefit the Cancer Support Community of Greater Ann Arbor. “Everybody wins with this,” says Jan Romans, director of The Brides Project. “The bride that donates wins because she’s doing a great thing, the bride that buys wins because she gets a great deal and a great dress, and of course the cancer patients win, and that’s who we really want to help.” thebridesproject.org
Make some fast cash by selling your dress via consignment shops. Once Again Bridal Shop in Clinton Township offers brides an opportunity to pocket some cash after their big day. “If you enjoyed your dress that much, somebody else would like to enjoy it as well, at a little bit of a lesser price,” says storeowner Patricia Mok. “You also can recover some of your money that you spent on just the dress.” The shop accepts dresses three years old or newer and will determine the reselling cost. Once it sells, they send the bride a check for 50 percent of the selling price. As a bonus, they also sell accessories, bridesmaid dresses, and motherof-the bride dresses on consignment. onceagainbridal.com
Not sure what to do with your dress? Or perhaps you’d like to keep it as an heirloom to pass down to a family member?
If so, having the dress professionally cleaned and preserved is an ideal option to ensure its longevity. Janet Davis Cleaners in Royal Oak is one local dry cleaner that can carefully pack away your dress until it’s ready to be worn again.
Sure, there might not be another reason to wear a full bridal gown after the wedding is over, but those yards of satin and lace can be transformed into a new garment. Companies like Unbox the Dress can stitch dresses into keepsake robes, pillows, ornaments, and more. unboxthedress.com
A BALLET-INSPIRED LINE OF ACCESSORIES PERFECT FOR BRIDES-TO-BEwritten by blake miller
WHEN NATALIE PAUL was just a young g irl, her penchant for sewing began simply. “I’d sew ballet ribbons on my pointe shoes or sew things onto my costumes,” says the former dancer. As the years passed, Paul’s love for both dance and fashion grew, and the native Michigander found herself at the University of Michigan as a dance major. It was there as an underclassman that Paul began designing and fabricating costumes for dancers in various productions, all while teaching herself the nuances of fashion design and marketing.
After graduation, Paul moved to New York City, where her love for fashion blossomed further. But her transition into designing her own pieces didn’t come until a visit in 2007 to a holiday market at Grand Central Terminal. “I didn’t buy anything that day but it really inspired me,” Paul says. She was so inspired, in fact, that she began scouring Manhattan’s garment district for fabrics and trimmings to design her first piece: a headband.
Paul began casually wearing her hair accessories and “people on the subway or on the street would come up to me and ask where I got my headband,” she says. An ad in The New York Times in 2008, though, changed everything. Luxury department store Henri Bendel was looking for up-and-coming designers. After seeing her work, a buyer from Bendel purchased Paul’s entire collection and the line took off.
The ballet-inspired collection of headbands, fascinators, and hair accessories was featured in Teen Vogue and on Gossip Girl
Years later, Paul and her husband moved back to Ann Arbor where she became a Google executive. But her passion for design continued, and soon Bailarose was formed.
“My style is a mix of strong, modern materials but also really graceful,
romantic, and elegant things,” she says of the line of ballet-inspired hair accessories and jewelry. “I mix in vintage pieces with newer fabrics and materials.”
The collection ranges from headbands, hair clips, and fascinators to earrings and statement necklaces. “I’m an explorer, always on the hunt for things for my pieces,” says Paul of sourcing materials for her work from all over the world.
“Every piece has a story behind it, just like any ballet performance.”
To learn more, visit bailarose.com
Every guest receives a two-room suite (double the size of a traditional hotel room), complimentary drinks at our manager’s reception and made-to-order breakfast each morning. Featuring over 8,000 square feet of flexible event space, on-site restaurant, in-door pool, 24 hour fitness center, local shuttle, electric vehicle charging stations, outdoor patio with fire pits and more. Contact us today.
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MONICA BROWN BRINGS A UNIQUE PERSPECTIVE TO FLORAL DESIGNwritten by angela flynn photography b y erin schmidt
SINCE 2014, Monica Brown of M. Dawn Floral Design has been providing couples with custom flower arrangements to celebrate their big day. While her company may be just shy of 10 years old, Brown herself is a wellseasoned entrepreneur.
At the age of 12, she started her own nail technician business, influenced by her grandmother who owned a salon and taught at several local cosmetology schools. It wasn’t until several years later
in 2001 that a family wedding ignited her interest in floral design.
Her sister was planning her wedding that year, and their family’s go-to florist was no longer available. Instead of using another vendor, Brown and her sister purchased artificial flowers and created their own arrangements. “It just kind of took off from there,” she says. “Family and friends were calling to have their weddings done, as well.” Thus, Silk Memories by Monica was born.
A friend introduced her to fresh flowers by taking her through a local wholesale shop, and she soon shifted from using “permanent botanicals” to fresh flowers. With this transition, Silk Memories turned into M. Dawn Floral, which officially launched in 2014.
She now provides floral arrangements for around 40 weddings per year. In addition to centerpieces and bouquets, Brown also creates wedding brooms for couples to jump the broomstick. “I have couples give me the colors they’re interested in and sometimes they have an actual theme that we’re working with,” she says. “I love doing them because each one is so unique.”
She may have a creative eye for design, but she also is an accomplished scholar, having a bachelor’s and master’s in social work. Her background in therapy and social work also helps her successfully partner with clients as they plan their big day.
“My expertise with therapy and working with families comes into play a lot when I’m doing consultations,” she says. “I want to calm couples, and I think that’s something too that comes from being a therapist and talking to people in a way that lets them know they can trust you.”
For as much as she helps couples bring their floral vision to life, her business also brings her a sense of peace as well. “Being a therapist and social worker, and having a difficult job in terms of holding people’s emotions and experiences, to be able to take time away from that and do something different such as floral design, it’s kind of my therapy!” Brown says. “That’s one of the things I love about it.”
To learn more, visit mdawnfloral.com
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BREAK TRADITION FOR AN UNFORGETTABLE WEDDING DAYwritten by rebecca voigt
IT’S TIME TO BREAK THE RULES
Weddings are steeped in tradition, but the most memorable celebrations step outside of the box in ways both big and small. From making a fashion statement with multiple dresses to asking your adult sibling to serve as ring bearer, some of metro Detroit's top wedding professionals share the unique ways they’ve seen — or would like to see — couples break tradition on their wedding day.
One unique way that I’ve had the pleasure of seeing couples push the envelope on their wedding day is when they include their pets into the day. Whether it be having their fur babies present when they are getting ready, the actual wedding ceremony, some pictures added to their cocktail napkins or even a framed painted pet portrait where the couple snaps some photos. How sweet is it to see a German Shepherd in a tuxedo walk down the aisle with a wood sign around his neck? It’s probably one of my favorite wedding ideas ever!
—Shannon Bishop, Hair Stylist, Shannon Bishop Hair
Two dresses are better than one for sure it adds photographic interest and it’s dress insurance in case something happens to the first. Pick out a fun second dress that you can really move in for the late-night dance floor!
I just love watching couples do it their way all around! Don’t like cake? Don’t have a cake! Don't want bouquets for your bridesmaids? Give them wearable floral instead! Have your grandparents or friends be the flower girls instead of small children. You don’t need to serve the traditional chicken or beef — you can serve tacos for dinner! Wait to take your honeymoon when it makes sense for you, not just because it’s the day after your wedding. Remember this is your day and your time to share with family and friends who you really are as a couple.
I love to see couples breaking away from traditional white weddings and embracing color. You can use color to set your wedding apart and, more importantly, reflect your unique style and personality. Colorful florals or a wardrobe change to a playful outfit for the dance floor are great ways to incorporate color into your celebration.
—Liz Mally, Owner and Lead Designer, Betsy and Bobbie
My favorite way that couples break tradition is opting for a bold, colorful wedding cake on their big day. Even a cake in a solid color can be striking when guests are expecting white.—Erin Schmidt, Owner and Lead Photographer, Erin Schmidt Photography
—Heather Leavitt, Owner, Sweet Heather Anne
I’d love to see more couples get creative with their seating displays. It’s traditional to see a table of escort cards, which are commonly small folded tents, with the guest’s name and table number. Instead of going this traditional route, I love to see couples creating large displays that may be interactive or oversized. I've designed oversized seating charts that included a life size photo of the couple or a three-piece display that was designed to mimic a passenger boarding schedule because their reception was held in an actual renovated train station. A few interactive seating displays I've designed include a board that had a photo collage of their family and friends that was revealed as guests pulled off small envelopes with their names and seating cards inside of them. Another one was for a foodie couple whose event planner partnered with me to set up a display with painted cast iron skillets and applied custom labels to each of them with the guests’ names and tables along with a sign that read, “What's Cookin' Good Lookin” — so fun, right?! All of these non-traditional ways of getting guests to their seats provide couples with another area to incorporate their wedding branding into their decor, fun photo opps, and something unique and one-of-a-kind for their guests to experience, all while giving the couple the ability to infuse more of their personality and things they may love to do.
Our favorite trend is couples doing their engagement ring shopping together. There are so many engagement ring options beyond what is considered traditional and everyone has their own lifestyle, personal style, and story to tell through their jewelry and in planning their wedding. Getting married is a big life decision and it's exciting to see both partners getting involved in the ring buying process. At Elaine B. Jewelry we are all about relationships, stories and processes. We love hearing about couples’ lives together and designing the perfect ring for them.Le’Trice Penn, Owner and Lead Designer, LePenn Designs
—ElaineJaeger, Founder and Lead Designer, Elaine B. Jewelry
I love when couples choose to break the rules and do their own thing. I’ve seen people find fun ways to incorporate their pets, wear pops of color, rock pantsuits instead of dresses, and so much more. Picking one thing that I would like to see is excluding littles as ring bearers and flower people. Too many times I’ve seen littles break down in tears or even throw full tantrums when it’s their turn. Yes, they may have done a fabulous job during rehearsal, but rehearsals aren’t in front of a full room of people they may not know. I saw an IG Reel that was brilliant! A bride had her brothers take those positions and it was everything. They made the guests laugh, had exaggerated movements to a fun, romantic song, and just had a good time. I’d love to see more of that, and if I ever have a wedding, I’m so going that route.
Anyone who knows me or has worked with me knows that I always tell my couples “Do You” — which can mean many things and has taken on multiple definitions and presentations over the years. For example, I recently worked with a couple who had very specific things that they didn’t want for their wedding day and some other inclusions that were non-negotiable. At the end of our initial meeting, I told them that what they wanted was an “Un-Wedding,” which we deemed as a celebration of their love and future together with very minimal inclusions built on what is considered wedding protocol. The end result was a wedding ceremony and dinner with their closest family and friends aboard a local yacht, followed the next day by a celebration attended by 200 plus guests that took the place of a traditional reception. The celebration was held at their lakeside home and included a variety of casino tables, personalized casino chips, a snack table featuring Michigan small businesses, custom drink service, an ice cream cart with multiple dipping options, an epic 32-foot grazing and small bites table, lawn games, and lake access. Ultimately, their love was the primary focus. The “Un-Wedding” was a celebration that I hope can set a precedent for more couples to toss protocols to the side and “Do You” when it comes to their weddings.
FROM DARING THE written
FROM DARING HEMLINES TO ROMANTIC SHEER FABRICS, THE SEASON’S COUTURE-INSPIRED BRIDAL LOOKS written by jennifer pickering
the rounds in seasons. is for the a pair of shoes, and it can as an for the
Shorter hemlines have been making the rounds in the bridal world for several seasons. This style is perfect for the bride who wants to show off a fantastic pair of shoes, and it can be worn as an option for the reception.
Sheer wedding dresses seem like a more risque choice with their barely-there fabrics, but they are done in such an elegant way with embellishments that they are a couture bridal fantasy.
Whether the couple cuts it at their reception or saves it for their anniversary, a perfectly paired mini cake creates a big impactBELEVENDER
MILK + HONEY
Cake and Crybaby Cakes, as well as the squiggle and over-piped cake trend, Milk + Honey's cake pair features varied buttercream piping and tossed sprinkles. Lemon cakes with mixed berry jam, lemon curd, and vanilla bean Swiss meringue buttercream, approximately $700 for pair of cakes, milkandhoneymakes.com
The sculpted rice paper on fondant with a brushing of white pearl luster dust on Sweet Bree’s twin cakes evoke the romance of a veil blowing in a breeze. Champagne cake with fresh raspberry filling and mocha cake with salted caramel filling, starting at $6.50 per serving, ilovesweetbrees.com
Ines di Santo Amal vertical beaded sheath gown with illusion slit, $9,390, and overskirt, $5,790, at Roma Sposa, Birmingham; 248-723-4300; romasposa.com
Ariat Heritage round toe western boot, $160, at ariat.com
HARNESS THE BEAUTY OF THE WEST IN THE SEASON’S WILDLY ROMANTIC GOWNS
Mark Ingram Bride Daffodil sleeveless crepe contoured mermaid gown, price upon request, at Mark Ingram Atelier, New York; 212-319-6778; markingramatelier. com Stetson Deadwood cowboy hat, $173, at Scott Colburn Boots and Western Wear, Livonia; 248-476-1262; scottcolburnwestern. com Wrangler Fender Souvenir fringed denim jacket, $189, at wrangler.com Tory Burch Western ankle boot, $458, at Tory Burch, Somerset Collection South, Troy; 248-458-1307; toryburch.com
La Premiere x Inbal Dror Elise gown, $5,000, at L’Amour Bridal, Dearborn; 248-308-2733; lamourbridalmi.com Stetson JW Marshall fedora, $207, at Scott Colburn Boots and Western Wear, Livonia; 248-476-1262; scottcolburnwestern.com Ranch Road Boots Presidio short western bootie, $548, at ranchroadboots.com Elaine B. Jewelry Orbit ring with pavé, $900, at Elaine B. Jewelry, Ferndale; 248-565-8758; elainebjewelry.com.
Reem Acra Sparkling Sky strapless embroidered couture gown with organza trimmed neckline, price upon request, at Reem Acra; for inquiries contact email@example.com Wrangler Fender Souvenir fringed denim jacket, $189, at wrangler.com Stetson Lariat cowboy hat, $325, at Scott Colburn Boots and Western Wear, Livonia; 248-476-1262; scottcolburnwestern.com Elaine B. Jewelry Looking Glass 2.14 carat salt & pepper diamond ring, $4,000, at Elaine B. Jewelry, Ferndale; 248-565-8758; elainebjewelry.com
Justin Alexander Signature
satin A-line gown with side cutouts and detachable off-the-shoulder tulle straps, approx. $3,237, at Piera’s Bridal Couture, Shelby Twp.; 586-566-7800; pierasbridal. com Elaine B. Jewelry Mars 1.82-carat VS2 F color lab diamond engagement ring, $6,370, Eclipse ring, $840, Minimalist contour ring with pavé, $1,030, Stardust contour ring, $1,550, X ring with pavé, $830, and Concentric midi ring, $68, at Elaine B. Jewelry, Ferndale; 248-565-8758; elainebjewelry.com
Chosen Ziva corset gown with hand draped tulle bodice and ruched tulle sleeves, $4,595, at Beloved Bridal, Ann Arbor; 734-834-4696; belovedbridal. com Nocona Belt Co. Ranger belt, $55, at Scott Colburn Boots and Western Wear, Livonia; 248-476-1262; scottcolburnwestern.com Elaine B. Jewelry Mars 1.82-carat VS2 F color lab diamond engagement ring, $6,370, Eclipse ring, $840, and Stardust contour ring, $1,550, at Elaine B. Jewelry, Ferndale; 248-565-8758; elainebjewelry.com
Ines di Santo Amal vertical beaded sheath gown with illusion slit, $9,390, and overskirt, $5,790, at Roma Sposa, Birmingham; 248-723-4300; romasposa.com
Pronovias Nahal floral tulle gown, $2,840, at Bridal Couture, Birmingham; 248-645-0500; bridalcouturemi.com Stetson JW Marshall fedora, $207, at Scott Colburn Boots and Western Wear, Livonia; 248-476-1262; scottcolburnwestern.com Elaine B. Jewelry Gemma lariat necklace, $780, You & Me Marquise necklace, $820, and Elements 1.04-carat green tourmaline ring, $690, Eclipse ring, $840, and Stardust contour ring, $1,550, and at Elaine B. Jewelry, Ferndale; 248-565-8758; elainebjewelry.com Ariat Encore Rose western boot, $160, at ariat.com
La Perle by Calla Blanche Camden fringed bell sleeve sheath gown with illusion sweetheart neckline, $2,200, at Piera’s Bridal Couture, Shelby Twp.; 586-566-7800; pierasbridal.com Stetson Deadwood cowboy hat, $173, at Scott Colburn Boots and Western Wear, Livonia; 248-476-1262; scottcolburnwestern.com Elaine B. Jewelry Elements ring with tourmalated quartz, $690, Concentric stacking ring, $110, and Concentric midi ring, $68, at Elaine B. Jewelry, Ferndale; 248-565-8758; elainebjewelry.com
Sareh Nouri Sarah Grace French
Alencon lace off-the-shoulder slim flare gown, price upon request and available by special order, and Ariel Taub Chelsea veil, $350, at L’Amour Bridal, Dearborn; 248-308-2733; lamourbridalmi.com Stetson Deadwood cowboy hat, $173, at Scott Colburn Boots and Western Wear, Livonia; 248-476-1262; scottcolburnwestern.com Elaine B. Jewelry (left hand) Looking Glass 2.14-carat salt & pepper diamond ring, $4,000, Minimalist contour ring with pavé, $1,030, and X ring with pavé, $830, and (right hand) Elements ring with tourmalated quartz, $690, at Elaine B. Jewelry, Ferndale; 248-565-8758; elainebjewelry.com
Gone are the days of pina coladas on the beach. In 2023, magical places that marry wholly different cultures with exquisite cuisine and adventures are a must for newlyweds. Here are six that will have you checking destinations off your bucket list.
With a short six-hour flight from Detroit, it’s not surprising that Iceland has quickly become a top destination for newlyweds. This idyllic country features just the right mix of adventure and romance, not to mention culture and cuisine. Start with two days in Reykjavik, the country’s capital and largest city, where you’ll want to walk or bike Laugarvegur, the city’s main shopping district that’s chockfull of luxury storefronts and boutiques. Be sure to check out the Hallgrímskirkja, a stunning, contemporary church inspired by Icelandic traditions, and at night take a tour to see the Northern Lights from downtown. After a long day touring the city, lay your head at Reykjavik Edition. This luxury hotel is centrally located to everything in Reykjavik and boasts a modern aesthetic with a Nordic twist.
Then it’s time to hit the road for three to four days popping in and out of towns via Ring Road. The Blue Lagoon is one of Iceland’s most popular and picturesque attractions and can best be seen with a stay at The Retreat at Blue Lagoon. The backdrop of the black lava on Reykjanes Peninsula coupled with the cobalt blue steaming water makes the trip Instagramworthy. Along the drive on Ring Road, adventure awaits with quick hikes to two noteworthy waterfalls, Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss. No matter how you see the country — by car, foot, ATV, helicopter, or even horseback — Iceland boasts a plethora of adventure options.PHOTOGRAPH: ISTOCK
Couples who crave a bit of sand and sun but with a dose of rich culture and history, too, will want to add Mallorca to their honeymoon list. As one of Spain’s Balearic islands, Mallorca offers crystal clear blue water with the stunning backdrop of boat-lined marinas, limestone mountains,
and beautiful villas dotting the white sand shoreline. What it lacks in the quietness you might find on a Caribbean island, it makes up for in its Spanish architecture, wineries, and impressive upscale Mediterranean cuisine. Mallorca truly offers a little bit of everything, from charming mountain villages with quaint
cafes and shops to dynamic nightlife. One day touring Palma is a must with its Mallorcan fortresses and stunning gothic cathedrals. Stop by the Moorish Almudaina royal palace and 13th-century Santa María Cathedral, both iconic landmarks. A must is lunch or dinner at El Camino, where outstanding tapas and fresh-caught seafood abound. For adventure lovers, Soller offers biking and hiking to the tops of pine-clad mountains high above the turquoise blue ocean. But a visit to Mallorca wouldn’t be complete without getting out on the water. Seeing the island by boat allows you to take in the scenery that would otherwise be missed sitting on the beach.
There are plenty of accommodations to choose from in Mallorca, but Belmond’s La Residencia should be on the short list. A brief 45-minute drive from Palma, La Residencia is easily one of Mallorca’s most elegant properties. Nestled in the rocky hillside town of Deia, the hotel consists of several separate dwellings that seamlessly blend together, allowing guests to roam the property as if it’s their own private estate.
Too often New Zealand is overlooked for nearby Australia. But it should be the top of honeymooners’ lists with its stunning scenery of snow-capped mountains against rolling farmlands, abundant adventure options, and amazing wine offerings. Known for its dramatic landscape, which ranges from the subtropical beaches of the North Island to the glaciers and fiords of the Southern Alps, New Zealand has no shortage of adventure. Thrill-seeking couples can try their hand at bungee jumping and heli-fishing one day and lay low the next with a beach hike or game of golf.
To save time, you’ll want to choose between the North and South Island, with both offering a bit more of what couples want on a honeymoon: wine tasting, golf outings, hiking, fishing, ATVing, and more. On the North Island, a stay at Relais & Chateaux property Cape Kidnappers offers the best of New Zealand all in one place. Situated atop a grassy cliff overlooking crystal clear blue water, the property features rustic-inspired accommodations coupled with impeccable cuisine and world-class golf.
The New Zealand landscape is oftentimes best explored off road, so a Can Am tour through rugged terrain or a helicopter tour over the heart of Hawk’s Bay and Kaimanaw Forest Park with expansive views of Mt. Ruapehu’s crater lake is an outstanding way to take in the back country.
One last stop on the trip, though, has to be to Marlborough, the heart of New Zealand’s wine country. This breathtaking landscape is the exact place you’ll want to unwind after all of the adventures on the first leg of the honeymoon.PHOTOGRAPHS: COURTESY OF VELODROME COFFEE COMPANY; AARON PETERSON
While it does take more than 16 hours to get to South Africa from Detroit, consider the long flight well worth it. South Africa should not only be on couples’ bucket lists, it should be boldfaced and underlined as the ultimate destination. The country features some of the most diverse landscapes in the world, from sandy white beaches where the crystal blue waves of the Atlantic and Indian oceans crash along the rocky moss-covered cliffs to arid deserts and valleys covered in vines.
There’s no shortage of things to do here, which means the country checks off all the boxes for all types of travelers, from foodies and adventure lovers to culture
buffs and fashionistas. Pepper in a couple of days in Johannesburg to start. The capital city is considered the heart of the country and is chockfull of museums such as the Apartheid Museum, which provides an important look into the country’s apartheid history.
Then head via plane two hours to Cape Town where the honeymoon really begins. South Africa’s wildlife is not to be missed, and the best way to see it is by booking a trip with luxury travel operator &Beyond. &Beyond runs KwaZulu-Natal’s Phinda Private Game Reserve, which features seven rich ecosystems, including a sand forest, savannahs, wetlands, and mountain bush. Elephants, rhinos, lions, leopards,
and buffalos are all living freely, and &Beyond brings you up close to all of them with their luxury accommodations coupled with tours throughout the countryside and reserves.
There’s so much to see and do in South Africa, but be sure to take time to visit some of its wineries as they’re some of the best in the world. Stellenbosch and Franschhoek, also known as Cape Winelands, is a 45-minute drive from Cape Town and well worth the trek. It features hundreds of wineries with tasting rooms, restaurants, and day spas perfect for making honeymoon memories.
Twenty years ago, Croatia may not have made the top 50 honeymoon destinations. Today, though, this historic European country has become immensely popular with its gorgeous coastal cities along the Adriatic Sea, world-class dining options, rich history for culture buffs, and idyllic pastoral landscapes.
A visit to the country would not be
complete without staying a few nights in the capital city of Dubrovnik, which means “pearl of the Adriatic” and it more than lives up to its name. This coastal city is one of the Mediterranean’s top destinations (so it may not be the best option during the summer when it’s booming with tourists) for good reason: it’s the perfect coupling of white sand beaches, turquoise blue water, and palm
trees with a rich culture scene and impressive history. One day touring the city should include walking the Walls of Dubrovnik and exploring old town. There, walk through a small “hole” in the ancient city walls to Buza, a bar atop the cliffs overlooking the Adriatic Sea. If possible, get out on the water and see the rich geography and picturesque architecture. Book a stay at Sun Gardens Dubrovnik. This luxury ocean-front hotel feels more like an intimate boutique property on a remote island in the Mediterranean, but it’s also in proximity to the culture, history and nightlife that Dubrovnik offers.
But there’s more to Croatia than Dubrovnik. With more than 1,200 islands and many off-the-radar quaint towns, there’s a plethora of places to see while there. One of the best destinations is Zagreb, a small town boasting impressive arts and architecture, not to mention an array of charming cafes and storefronts.
There’s a reason the Prince and Princess of Wales head to the Maldives for romantic getaways. This wildly private country consisting of approximately 1,200 small coral islands offers the exclusivity and privacy some couples yearn for. If it’s an escape from reality and relaxation you want, the Maldives is the perfect honeymoon spot. With possibly the whitest sand beaches in the world coupled with standalone luxury bungalows over the bluest ocean, there’s no shortage of wow factor here.
Getting out on or in the ocean is a must when exploring the Maldives. Scuba diving or snorkeling three of the country’s most beautiful reefs is the best way to see it all. Bana Reef is one of the most popular reefs and features some of the most exotic and beautiful ocean life in the world.
Colorful Palette Surgeonfish (aka Dory from Finding Dory) and giant squirrelfish swim alongside breathtaking coral that you just can’t find in the U.S.
There’s plenty of luxury accommodations in the Maldives, especially if the privacy of an over-thewater bungalow is on your short list of honeymoon must haves. Kothaifaur Maldives offers the option of a beachfront villa or more than 30 over-the-water accommodations. The modern aesthetic results in a luxurious yet casual vibe where you can indulge in fantastic local cuisine without ever having to leave the property.
A DESTINATION WEDDING PERFECT FROM EVERY ANGLEBY ELIZABETH SWANSON
Grace Kalil and Matthew Werick embrace on the grounds of their wedding venue, the Ancient Spanish Monastery of St. Bernard de Clairvaux in Miami.
WHEN GRACE KALIL and Matthew Werick got engaged, they already had a list of wedding Do’s and Don’ts. After all, Kalil is a Michiganbased wedding photographer and Werick often works as her second shooter — so they’ve seen it all. “We wanted a destination wedding, something we’d never experienced before at work,” Kalil says. “We were also particular about how the venue would stand out in photos. It had to be photogenic from every angle. We wanted our photographer to be able to snap a picture at any turn and have it look candidly beautiful.”
After scouring venues throughout the United States and Europe, they landed on the Ancient Spanish Monastery of St. Bernard de Clairvaux in Miami. It was originally built in Spain in 1133 A.D. but was bought by famed newspaper publisher Randolph Hearst in 1925. Hearst dismantled and brought the building to the United States, where it was reassembled, stone by stone.
“We are both Catholic — we flew our priest in for the ceremony — and we loved the history of the monastery,” Kalil says. “We visited it twice before our wedding. Both times we sat on a bench, watching the way the light hit the stones and seeing little lizards scurrying beneath our feet. We never wanted to leave.”
Kalil and Werick met through friends in 2019. Their relationship happened to hit just the right timeline so that no relationship milestones were altered by the pandemic. Werick is a biologist but enjoys having a creative outlet; when Grace asked if he wanted to help her shoot weddings, it only brought them closer. In October 2021, Matthew proposed and they started planning their dream wedding, which they celebrated on November 18, 2022.
“We notice that couples complain their wedding was such a whirlwind, that they don’t get a chance to talk to everyone,” Kalil says. “Having a destination wedding weekend allowed us to spend quality time with everyone
before the ceremony, so that by the time the wedding day came, we could all just relax and celebrate together.”
The couple crafted a black-tie affair that was truly a guest experience: flambe crepes and a string quartet at cocktail hour, a harpist at dinner. “We didn’t want there to be a lull in the day,” Werick says. “We didn’t want people to be just waiting for cocktails and dancing.” Kalil adds, “I am super romantic, so we added more slow dances than you usually see. We wanted to enjoy every moment.”
It was important that they enjoyed each moment of their wedding day together, as a couple. “We see so many weddings where the bride and groom are separated until the ceremony, but that’s what the bachelor and bachelorette parties are for,” Kalil says. That’s why they decided to do a first look. But instead of wearing her wedding dress, Grace chose a custom morning dress and changed into her gown just before the ceremony to maintain an element of surprise.
There to photograph every moment was their photographer, Anastasia Shaydakova of Anastasia Photography, who Kalil spent months searching for on Instagram. “I would scroll for hours,” she says. “I thought it would be difficult to give up the camera and let someone else take the lead, but then I found Anastasia and we just clicked. She’s even inspired me and changed my style as a photographer. Being a wedding photographer helped me plan my wedding, but getting married also helped make me a better photographer.”
Shaydakova’s candid, intimate style of photography is what attracted Grace — and the couple will cherish the images for years to come. “There’s something to be said for documenting the quieter moments of the wedding — those intimate moments that are full of emotion,” Werick says. “Even having a whole wedding weekend, it all goes by so quickly. But it will be so meaningful to have these photos to look back on for the rest of our lives.”
carly & craig
Carly Giles, Livonia, t o Craig Killeen, Westland March 5, 2022
WEDDING & RECEPTION Packard Proving
Grounds PHOTOGRAPHER Adrienne and Amber
Photography PLANNER Tricia Finn GOWN
Casablanca Bridal, Gina’s Bridal Boutique SHOES
IDIFU GROOM Men’s Wearhouse RINGS Orin
Jewelers BRIDESMAIDS Baltic Born HAIR & MAKEUP Bridesmaid Beautiful FLOWERS Mayesh
Detroit, Massey Gould, and Tricia Finn
CENTERPIECES & DECOR Tricia Finn
CATERING Chowhound Gourmet CAKE & DESSERTS The Buttercream Shoppe and family
MUSIC & ENTERTAINMENT DJND Entertainment
LINEN Your Event Party Rental STATIONERY Minted
jill & jonathan
Jill Zientarski, Commerce Township, to Jonathan Berti, Troy December 11, 2021
WEDDING St. Patrick Catholic Church
RECEPTION Shepherd’s Hollow Golf Club
PHOTOGRAPHER Frankie Photography, LLC
PLANNER Graham Stanton GOWN Essence of Australia, Beloved Bridal SHOES Badgley Mischka GROOM David’s Bridal and Otaa tie RINGS Massoud Jewelers BIDESMAIDS Azazie
HAIR & MAKEUP Configure Beauty Detroit
FLOWERS & CENTERPIECES Graham Stanton CAKE & DESSERTS Holiday Market MUSIC & ENTERTAINMENT The Block Party DECOR Modernly Events STATIONERY Etsy and Prints of Love TRANSPORTATION Top Notch Party Bus and Metro Cars For
sarah & romano
Sarah Fioritto, Shelby Township, to Romano Sbrocca, Shelby Township June 11, 2022
WEDDING The Old St. Mary’s Catholic Church
RECEPTION The Palazzo Grande
PHOTOGRAPHER The Carters GOWN Atelier Pronovias, Piera’s Bridal SHOES Manolo Blahnik
GROOM Men’s Wearhouse RINGS Michael Agnello Jewelers BRIDESMAIDS Piera’s Bridal HAIR & MAKEUP Houda Hourani FLOWERS, CENTERPIECES, DECOR & LINEN Bellisario Florist CAKE & DESSERTS Elegance in Sugar and The Palazzo Grande MUSIC & ENTERTAINMENT The Fantasia Band STATIONERY A June Event TRANSPORTATION Dream Limousine VIDEOGRAPHER Red Byrd Creative OFFICIANT Bishop Robert Fisher For more information on
cheyenne & trevor
Cheyenne Hawthorne, Livonia, to Trevor Page, Northville
WEDDING & RECEPTION Meadow Brook Hall PHOTOGRAPHER Mallory Tahy Photography PLANNER Meriwether Social GOWN Vagabond, Lovely Bride SHOES Christian Louboutin GROOM The Black Tux RINGS Larson Jewelry of Novi HAIR & MAKEUP The Shampagne Room FLOWERS & CENTERPIECES Love Story Events CAKE & DESSERTS Sorellas Bakery MUSIC & ENTERTAINMENT The Cabin Guyz DECOR Handwritten by Hawthorne signs STATIONERY All She Wrote TRANSPORTATION Rockstarz Limousine For more information on Meadow Brook Hall
sarah & nicholas
adrienne & elizondo
Adrienne Marrissa Gomez, Waterford, to Elizondo Gonzales, Waterford September 12, 2021
WEDDING & RECEPTION Shepherd’s Hollow Golf Club PHOTOGRAPHER Copper Twig Collective GOWN Piera’s Bridal SHOES Village Shoe Inn GROOM Men’s Wearhouse RINGS Jared The Galleria of Jewelry BRIDESMAIDS David’s Bridal HAIR & MAKEUP Jazmyn Lopez and Kenia Delgado FLOWERS & CENTERPIECES Yesterday’s Florists & Gifts CAKE & DESSERTS Pammi Cakes MUSIC & ENTERTAINMENT Russel Cole VIDEOGRAPHER Immersion Culture
For more information on Piera’s Bridal go to pg. 11!
michelle & dylan
Michelle Shember, White Lake, t o D ylan Walsh, Commerce Township June 25, 2022
WEDDING Christ Church Cranbrook RECEPTION Lafayette Grande PHOTOGRAPHER Patty Leonor PLANNER Loren Taylor, LDT Events GOWN Christina Wu, Gina’s Bridal Boutique SHOES Badgley Mischka GROOM The Suit Bar Clothier RINGS & JEWELRY Vrai, Blue Nile BRIDESMAIDS David’s Bridal HAIR & MAKEUP The Makeup Loft FLOWERS Fenner’s Floral CAKE & DESSERTS Cupcakes & Kisses MUSIC & ENTERTAINMENT Prestige Entertainment STATIONERY Cardinal & Straw TRANSPORTATION Detroit Classic Cars VIDEOGRAPHER 414 Wedding Films
kelsea & adam
Kelsea Barnhart, Commerce Township, to Adam Tandon, Commerce Township
WEDDING & RECEPTION Bay Pointe Golf Club
Hannah Marchien GOWN
The Brides Project SHOES Kate Spade GROOM
Brighton Tux Shop RINGS Lewis Jewelers HAIR Shear Serenity Salon MAKEUP Rosa Alcantara
FLOWERS Sage Green Floral Shop MUSIC & ENTERTAINMENT Fifty Amp Fuse
Fort Street Presbyterian Church
631 W. Fort St., Detroit | 313-961-4533 | www.fortstreet.org
Welcome to the beautiful, historic facilities of Fort Street Presbyterian Church. All denominations are welcome in this 1849 Victorian and Gothic landmark. Our Gothic revival sanctuary seats up to 1,000 people. With over 20 years of experience, our wedding coordinator is happy to work with you to custom design a wedding that meets your spiritual, aesthetic and emotional needs.
julia & nikhil
Julia Roberts, Grand Blanc, to Nikhil Patel, Farmington Hills June 4, 2022
cara & leo
Cara Podeszwik, Plymouth, t o Leo Kukhar, Staten Island, N.Y. September 23, 2022
WEDDING & RECEPTION Pine Knob Mansion PHOTOGRAPHER Lars Hjelmroth GOWN Eve of Milady, Piera’s Bridal GROOM Men’s Wearhouse RINGS Tapper’s BRIDESMAIDS Bill Levkoff, Studio Bridesmaid HAIR Marissa Gatie, Bianchi’s of Troy MAKEUP Angelina Gojcaj, Bianchi’s of Troy FLOWERS & CENTERPIECES Viviano Flower Shop CAKE & DESSERTS Sweet Eats by Erin and Home Bakery MUSIC & ENTERTAINMENT Prestige Entertainment STATIONERY Minted
kaitlin & matthew
Kaitlin Christenson, Sioux Falls, S.D., to Matthew Austin, Rochester August 5, 2022
WEDDING Crouse Chapel RECEPTION Gabriel Farms & Winery PHOTOGRAPHER Shanell Photography PLANNER Brooks Floral & Co. GOWN Pronovias, Luv Bridal SHOES Badgley Mischka GROOM Custom RINGS & JEWELRY Hans Moellers Jewelers rings and PS With Love Jewellery earrings, Etsy HAIR & MAKEUP Vogue Salon FLOWERS & CENTERPIECES Brooks Floral & Co., flowers sourced from Open Sky Organic Flower Farm CATERING Crow’s Nest Catering CAKE & DESSERTS Bride’s sister MUSIC & ENTERTAINMENT Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra and Nick Austin DECOR Vintage LINEN Darlin’ Handmades STATIONERY Maeve Parker VIDEOGRAPHER Nights in Nostalgia MISC. Northern Blessings Alpacas
THE FACES OF LINGERIE
A customized fit and extraordinary lingerie are the secrets to an exquisitely happy bride. Keeping the tradition alive, Lisa Hardy Hamill and Kim Hickson, granddaughters of Betty Harp, know that what you wear underneath your gown is just as important as the gown itself, and determines your silhouette and comfort — ensuring you’ll look and feel your best on one of the most memorable days of your life.
At Harp’s Lingerie, you’ll be showered with excellent
customer service and fit perfectly for undergarments that will accentuate the loveliness of your wedding gown. Harp’s carries a wide variety of intimate apparel for all your everyday and special occasion needs. Hard-to-fit sizes are their specialty; they carry band sizes from 32-54 and cup sizes from AA-N.
Come in and experience the Harp’s difference! Since 1947, Harp’s Lingerie has been fitting generations of brides. Let them help you shine on your special day.
rachel & bryan
Rachel Smith, Westland, to Bryan Galczynski, South Lyon August 22, 2021
WEDDING & RECEPTION Greencrest Manor
PHOTOGRAPHER Clary Pfeiffer PLANNER Modern Day Collective GOWN Essense of Australia SHOES Emmy London GROOM Tom James and Karl Lagerfeld RINGS & JEWELRY Ritani and family heirloom BRIDESMAIDS ASOS HAIR Beauty Full Salon MAKEUP Eric Gerson Makeup FLOWERS, CANTERPIECES, DECOR, LINEN & CATERING Modern Day Collective CAKE & DESSERTS Bella e Dolce Cakes MUSIC & ENTERTAINMENT Preludio Entertainment STATIONERY Blossom and Ivory design and Porridge Papers printing VIDEOGRAPHER Shore & Summit
ALESSANDRA BRIDAL Warren • 586-574-2233 alessandrabride.com
BAVARIAN INN LODGE Frankenmuth • 855-652-7200 frankenmuthweddings.com
Troy • 248-822-8115 antoinesalonoftroy.com
BAVARIAN INN LODGE Frankenmuth • 855-652-7200 frankenmuthweddings.com
Bloomfield Hills drellen.com • enveeaesthetics.com
BLAKE’S ORCHARD Armada • 586-784-5343 blakefarms.com/banquets
FORT STREET PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH Detroit • 313-961-4533 fortstreet.org
THE FACES OF BRIDAL BOUTIQUES
THE WEDDING SHOPPE 2186 COOLIDGE HIGHWAY, BERKLEY, MI 48072 248-541-1988 | THEWEDDINGSHOPPE.NET
The Wedding Shoppe believes finding your wedding dress should be the most memorable experience during your wedding planning. They also understand that finding your wedding dress isn’t easy — which is why they have highly trained bridal stylists to guide you on your journey. You and your guests will celebrate saying “Yes” to your dress in one of The Wedding Shoppe’s nine luxurious bridal suites. With more than 800 wedding dresses to choose from, it’s like visiting four bridal boutiques all at once! In addition to stunning wedding dresses, you’ll also find veils, headpieces, jewelry, belts, jackets, and other accessories to complete your bridal look. Their expert alterations specialists will have your dress fitting like a glove for your big day.
From start to finish, The Wedding Shoppe provides an exceptional bridal experience you’ll never forget. To fi nd your perfect dress, reserve your private bridal suite today.
GRAND TRAVERSE RESORT AND SPA Acme • 231-534-6000 grandtraverseresort.com
HARP’S LINGERIE Birmingham • 248-642-2555 harps-lingerie.com
KRAMAR JEWELRY Royal Oak • 248-968-3010 kramarjewelry.com
PLANTERRA CONSERVATORY West Bloomfield • 248-661-1591 planterraevents.com
THE WEDDING SHOPPE Berkley • 248-541-1988 theweddingshoppe.net
THE FACE OF PERMANENT MAKEUP ARTERSEILA GORANI — ANTOINE
2838 W. MAPLE RD., TROY, MI 48084 248-822-8115 | @ERSEILAG
With 18 years of experience in the beauty industry, Erseila Gorani has perfected her passion for permanent makeup. Gorani, of Antoine Salon in Troy, stays up to date with the latest techniques in the evergrowing beauty industry and is an educator, as well.
Trained by masters of the craft of permanent makeup, she has successfully completed 20 training and master classes. Gorani offers lip blush, microblading, powder brows, nanoblading, combo brows, eyelash enhancement tattoo liner, eyebrow permanent makeup removal, eyelash extensions, lash lift and tint, brow lamination.
Her priorities are always safety, comfort, and great results. She takes the utmost care to ensure sanitary precautions are in place, creating a clean and safe environment. To that end, all of the tools she uses are disposable.
For a customized experience, Gorani encourages a free consultation to meet the clients’ expectations and answer any questions they may have.
SAY YES TO A MODERN SAPPHIRE ENGAGEMENT RING
A MODERN, ARCHITECTURAL engagement ring designed to let abundant light shine through the stone, Elaine B. Jewelry’s Oval Aura Ring features a 1.50 carat Madagascar sapphire in a 14k yellow gold bezel setting. This one-of-a-kind, minimalist beauty is the perfect choice for a bride who wants a ring as unique as her.
Oval Aura Ring, $3,990, Starshine Countour Ring, starting at $800, and Stardust Countour Ring, $1,550, at Elaine B. Jewelry, Ferndale; 248-565-8758; elainebjewelry.com
FOREVER STARTS HERE
Experience your special moment in the newly reimagined Westin Book Cadillac Detroit. Your wedding visions are endless in our refreshed ballrooms and event spaces. Connect with our Wedding Specialists today.