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Category Archives: Event Planning + Coordination

The Schvitz

As usually is the case when I get hit with the bug for a styled shoot, it all started with the dress. I was feeling an itch to create something. Something daring, unapologetic; something that represented me as a person, me as a designer, me as a woman existing in this world. I first laid eyes on the Mosshart gown from Daughters of Simone several months before this shoot came to fruition, and I knew it was what I needed. I still think this dress would be what I would wear if I got married again today.

So I had the dress. I had my floral vision. I needed a model who would be able to carry across the bad ass, but still soft and feminine vibe I was going for. I saw Darian through a friend’s feed, and was immediately just SHOOKETH with how beautiful she is, and how she carries herself. Cassie (Northern Native Photography) had Darian model for another styled shoot, and I had been following her on social media for a while, but never actually met. I took a leap, reached out, and was so delighted to find out that both Cassie and Darian were into my idea, and jumped on board. (side bar…social media is so strange, but so lovely, guys. Cassie is one of my good friends now, and I would have never known her without IG. She’s a delightful human, the kindest, and also DAMN funny, and her talent speaks for itself.)

I found The Schvitz also through social media – a real piece of Detroit history with a quite storied past. Current management got their hands on the space when it was rumored to be going under and reopened the bath house to the public. Its a beautiful space; you can hear the whispers of countless stories and secrets from its many uses over the past decades, and it really feels like the spirit of the city is alive within these walls. A former Jewish community center and men’s only bath house, it retains so much of its old world charm and character. The owner actually found an original Mikveh that is visible from the women’s locker room. After the original crew left its space, the house became a little more seedy in nature, and was known throughout the 60’s-80’s as a swinger’s club. Now, its a really special place where you can eat a steak dinner, steam, sweat and chill in an environment that strives to make all genders, religions, and races feel welcomed and respected.

If you need to feel refreshed and restored, go take a Schvitz.

I got to play with some weird textures, really structural blooms, and soft, flowy fabrics for the bouquet. I really wanted this shoot to just be about a woman and her dress, so I wanted the bouquet to be a piece of art that vibed well with those two things. I’m super proud of what I created, and Cassie photographed it just beautifully. Also, Darian knows how to wield a prop, guys. I have never seen a more natural, gifted model. I was seriously awed at how she knew to find the light, constantly serve up FACE, and pull out the emotion behind my vision so perfectly.

Can we take a moment of silence to honor this double exposure from Cassie?!? I have no words. Its perfection.

Photography: Northern Native Photography

Venue: The Schvitz

Model: Darian (@oybella on IG)

Dress: Daughters of Simone via Detroit Bridal House

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Brittney + Arthur

Brittany is one of those brides you dream of working with.  She’s organized, knows what she wants, and trusts my artistic judgement. We met almost two years prior to her wedding, and I knew we’d work together perfectly.  We planned her wedding for the historic Jam Handy, one of my favorite venues to work in and work with. Every ounce of the day was designed to create a space for Britt and Arthur to celebrate their love with their closest friends and family.

Also, you guys. Peep these getting ready photos that Shelby of Monnette Photo captured. The lighting? The bone structure?! I cannot. Arthur surprised Britt with a personal message written on the bottom of her shoes, and Britt surprised her dad with a super sweet tie that brought everyone in the room to tears.

Britt and Arthur did their first look at the Scarab Club, a stunning art gallery in downtown Detroit that has been a staple in the art community for over 100 years.

For dinner, Britt had pizzas on-hand from a local food truck, and custom-ordered ice cream sandwiches. HUGE hit, you guys. I mean, who doesn’t want to eat pizza. For like, every meal.

Britt gave me so much freedom in creating her bouquet, and I loved her timelessly styled dress, so we went with something equally classic – deep wine and neutral, fluffy whites.

Photography: Monnette Photography

Venue: The Jam Handy

Catering: Rolling Stone Pizza, Cool Jacks, Miss Mixology

Rentals: Luxe Event Linen, CN Party Rental, Modernly Events

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Jen + Alex

Disco Balls. KILLER music. Vegan Pad Thai. Sparkly platform heels.

So, basically, like my dream evening. When I met Jen and Alex for the first time, I was SO glad I said yes to coordinating their wedding. They are two Michigan natives, living in California, and are just really kind, interesting people. They share a love of music – and are my music festival spirit animals. The other really sweet part about Jen and Alex is how much they wanted their families to be involved in the planning. Since they were not local, I got to meet with their wonderful moms multiple times, and it was really fun to get to know their families. GOOD PEOPLE.

Katie of Vine Floral Design had a special bouquet made to remember and honor Alex’s late father, and I think it was the most special touch I’ve ever seen at a wedding.

Their ceremony was at the MacGregor Memorial Center on WSU’s campus (a mid-century mod DREAMSCAPE), and the reception was at one of my personal Detroit faves, The Jam Handy. I love how the space transforms so entirely for every different wedding held there, and this one was no different. Also, F L O W E R . G R A N N I E S.

I think my very favorite part of this event was the vendors I got to work with (in addition to the couple and their family themselves.) . The chose a husband and wife duo based out of California who are not only talented, but genuinely some of the very kindest people I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. They were so welcoming and wonderful to work with and I now have a place to stay anytime I visit Cali (right, guys?!). Then there’s Haute to Death. Do yourself a favor, and click on their link at the bottom here if you like to have fun. They’re an uber talented and unassuming pair who DJ’s some of Detroits greatest and most unique parties. Jen and Alex had stumbled on them at a Marble Bar evening and wanted to share their music with all of their friends and family.

Also, shout out to Maggie, the bridesmaid who rode a Bird in for her bridal party entrance. GOALS.

Photography: Geoff and Lyndsi

Entertainment: Haute to Death

Catering: Angel Food Catering

Venue: MacGregor Memorial Conference Center and The Jam Handy

Flowers: Vine Floral Design

Rentals: Modernly Events, Bloomfield Party Rentals, and Display Group

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Jules + Lindsey

Sometimes you meet a bride and know instantly you’re going to be friends. (Well, lets be honest, that happens most of the time for me). This wedding was special, in that it was a C&B double-header weekend. I already had clients booked for Julie and Lindsey’s date, but she begged me to plan theirs as long as I had a team to tackle the day-of, so I said yes. And I’m so so glad I did – I not only got to get to know this delightful couple, but I got to be blessed by the magic that is my team of people who handled the day-of coordination for this event. There is something really special about the Detroit wedding industry, in my experience – in that everyone is really open-handed and willing to jump in and help each other rather than compete with one another.

They wanted an intimate ceremony in a non-conventional space, while their reception was at the historic Cliff Bells. We searched high and low, and were coming up empty handed (planning a ceremony in prime wedding season only a few months out will do that to you.) Then we reached out to the Detroit Foundation Hotel to see if we could use their private dining room for a minimal ceremony space, and were given the green light! It was such a fun adventure being the first ever ceremony there, and getting to pave the way for hopefully many more to come.

Below is one of my favorite captures of any wedding. That’s Kristin, a dear friend, owner of Detroit Bridal House, and part of my hands-on team for this day. She took the kids out of Julie’s hands for a breather and got them doing the Mannequin challenge. It was really a priceless gift to give Jules some minutes of quiet as she got into her dress, and the kids loved Kristin (as everyone does). Also, MEGA shout out to Erin, our photographer. She’s one of my very favorite humans, she’s SO talented, and was a perfect match for these guys and their unconventional style.

Julie and Lindsey were uniting two families with their marriage; meeting their adorable kids and learning everything about this special union was a perfect reminder of why I am in this business. I love nothing more than seeing a powerful love move mountains.

Lindsey came up with the idea of something fun for their guests to do while they waited during cocktail hour for the grand entrance – a trivia game! We collected “who did what” statements from Julie and Lindsey and left the cards out at every table. It was a huge hit! We also had the pleasure of using Motor City Vintage Rentals to cart them around for some quick photos, and its an experience not to be missed if you’re a fan of classic Detroit motors.

Photography: Erin Schmidt Photography

Venues: Detroit Foundation Hotel, Cliff Bells

Transportation: Motor City Vintage Rentals

Cake: Love and Buttercream

Paper Goods: Invitations by Caitlin

Rentals: Luxe Event Linen

Team: Chelsea (HelloGLDN), Kristin (Detroit Bridal House), Meaghan (Birch Affair)

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Olivia + Brady

I had the massive privilege of doing not one, but two weddings in the beautiful backyard and home of the Schomers. Their home is situated on Paint Creek and is just the absolute perfect setting for an idyllic and cozy wedding. I honestly think this is one of my very favorite places to be, let alone pull of a beautiful celebration of love.

Every second of this wedding was filled with joy and laughter and happy tears. And even though it absolutely poured right in the middle of their outdoor ceremony (that we nixed a tent for literally that day because the skies were forecasted to be 100% clear), nothing was going to stop these two and their guests from enjoying every moment of the day.

We wanted to stay away from going super rustic in our decor to keep things modern and updated. (rose.gold.sequins.mmmmkay) We created a soft and romantic setting inside the tent with lots of draping and greenery everywhere. We had yard games, polaroid booths, food trucks, and amazing coffee.

Also, her BHLDN dress and the bouquet she gave me total free reign on ended up being a match made in heaven. Possssibly my fave bouq of 2018. (But I’m sure I’ll say that a dozen more times because #allfaves).

Photography: Kendall Borel

Videography: Daniel Cobb

Rentals: Luxe Event Linen and Colonial Events

Catering: Detroit 75 Kitchen, Cappuccino Man,

Dj: Mike Staff Productions

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Drew + Nat

Styled. Shoots. Are. So. Fun.

Especially when its my idea, my vision, and I get to hand-pick the whole team and fill it up with all of my friends who I love hanging out with. That’s what happened with this one!! I felt like there wasn’t enough diversity in what I was seeing as far as wedding inspiration goes in terms of options for a bride and groom who maybe aren’t as traditional. What happens if you just don’t like wearing white?! What if your favorite color is black (LIKE ME) and you just wanna wear a kick ass black dress for your wedding because it makes you feel good?

The entire inspiration for this shoot came from the dress. I randomly stumbled on it at Express one day, and tried it on and it was one of those perfect shopping moments where the dress zips up, and it looks and feels like it was tailor made for your body. I had to have it. It was drastically on sale, but there was no conceivable reason I needed a dramatic, puffed-sleeve, lace ball gown at any time in the near future…but that didn’t stop me.

We styled a sweetheart table with luscious fruits, gorgeous blooms, and lots of moody elements. The rentals from Modernly Events were the perfect modern accent, and can we please just take a moment for that cane shelf for the cake display?! And those freaking tarts from Whisk and Crumb? My mouth is watering.

We went with a really wild looking bouquet, with deep wines and lots of unruly greenery. Our shoot location was actually at the photographer’s parents home and they had this beautiful fern garden that was the inspiration behind all of my florals. I made a few wearables for our models – including the grooms simple anemone bout and a Queen Anne’s Lace live ring for the bride!

We were fortunate enough to snag some beautiful jewelry from local Detroit makers Pebble and Stone (rings) and Fate + Coincidence (earrings). They added the perfect non-conventional touch to our shoot. And our stylist did a messy braid with GOLD FLAKES IN IT OKURRRR. (Sara, the stylist, is actually my personal hair stylist. So you know she good.)

Our paper goods were a collaborative effort from Two If By Sea with paper goods and styling and hand-lettering from Annabel Reese. (Name choices by me <<LOST fans?? You dig?>>)

And if you’re astute, you’ll notice that the gorgeous video that is my home page is from this shoot!! We had Jamie with 3rd Street Films work on it, and I must say, I think its my favorite part of this creative endeavor. Link below for the full video with music! Jaime was actually my wedding videographer back in 2010, and he’s a creative force to be reckoned with, and one of the kindest people I’ve ever worked with.

Photography: Kerby Lou Photography

Rentals: Modernly Events and Event Source

Stationary: Two If By Seas Studios and Annabel Reese

Videography: 3rd Street Films

Models: Nat and Drew Daniels

Rings: Pebble and Stone

Earrings: Fate + Coincidence

HMU: Sara Landis Style

Sweets: Whisk and Crumb

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Caleb + Colleen

Caleb and Colleen hosted their wedding at a friend’s beautiful backyard in Clarkston, MI. To say it was an enchanted setting is an understatement….THEY HAVE MINI HORSES. Their friend made a beer tap that was just adorable, and we went rustic with our decor, but kept it elegant and soft. Her favorite flower is a Dahlia, so I had to add that in her bouquet. I got to create a weird and unique palette wall for their backdrop, and it fulfilled all of my barn wedding dreams. Finish it off with Cider Mill donuts from the fall Michigan staple, Yates, and that’s pretty much a perfect evening.

The girls all wore Jenny Yoo dresses in various textures.

We used embroidery hoops to create a whimsical hanging installation throughout the whole tent – I think this was one of my favorite installs to date.

Photography: Sarah Babian

Rentals: Firefly Premier Events

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Rachel + Brad

Rachel and Brad are a super fun couple who chose her parent’s beguiling backyard as their wedding site. And boy….are they lucky to have it. Its a STUNNING space right on Paint Creek, nestled in an idyllic opening of pure Michigan forest. We wanted to create an upscale backyard party atmosphere, with yard games, S’mores, and fireworks.

Rachel actually made the ceremony entrance doors herself, as well as her ceremony arch. (Hello, do-it-all women!!). We wanted the tent decor to be timeless and classic, so we went with simple greenery and wood accents. Rachel’s bouquet was the FIRST one I actually made for a client that wasn’t just practice for myself in my basement. I’m still proud of how it turned out, and how well it accents her dress.

I also got to meet Bob Mervak, their band leader for the evening. Bob and Brad knew each other for several years, and let me tell you…Brad was not wrong in hiring him. To this day, Bob and his band blow my mind every time a client hires them. I mean, who can sing 80’s ballades AND Sinatra well??! They always have a filled dance floor and are just a pure delight to work with.

Photography: Kendall Borel

Videography: Daniel Cobb

Rentals: Firefly Premier Events, Hotz Tent Rental

Catering: Delectabowl, Cappuccino Man

Entertainment: Bob Mervak Band

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Kelsey + Andrew

Kelsey and Andrew! These guys are long-time friends of mine and Cj’s, so I jumped at the chance to plan their wedding! Cj and Andrew have known each other since Middle School, and they’re part of our core group of friends who do all major life events together. While she had Blumz do all of her personal floral, I got to flex my designing muscles on her tablescapes and ceremony. This was my FIRST flowered wedding, guys!!

We held the ceremony at the outdoor space in Roberts Riverwalk Hotel with on the Detroit River, and the reception was at the historical Cliff Bells, where jazz greats have been playing for decades. With such a unique and storied venue, we didn’t want to get too distracting with decor, since the space is like an Art Deco wet dream as it is.

Also, can we just talk about how craft Kelsey is?? She MADE THIS SIGN, GUYS. Like, lighting and all. And she made their card box too!

All in all, it was such a fun time for me, and super special to be able to be a part of for my friends.

Photography: Jillian Bowes

Venue: Cliff Bells and Roberts River Walk Hotel

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Alex + Michelle

Alex. Calder. Is a gem. I got to know him from my previous life when I was a nurse and concurrently was handling event planning for Kensington Church. He had known Cj for a while from college, and he quickly became one of my fave coworkers. So naturally, when he and Michelle got engaged, I was pumped at the chance to do day-of coordination for them!

I got to meet Lindsey of Flourish floral design, who was a straight up GEM. And we got to work in the gorgeous Shepherd’s Hollow with my own wedding photographer and friend, Curtis Wiklund. It was such a fun time, and one of my first day-of coordination experiences!

Photography: Curtis Wiklund

Floral: Flourish

DJ: Mike Staff Productions

Venue: Shepherd’s Hollow

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