I want to become a society lady Rockin' a new rock?!

Brown graduates, Kelley and Jimmy moved from New York to Detroit and marked their new lives with an event that was as much a celebration of Detroit’s renaissance as it was their marriage.  They enlisted the help of Kathy Byrum of Dream Wedding & Event Planners to help them show off Detroit to their many out-of-town guests with fabulous local vendors and a stunning ceremony at Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament and a show-stopping reception at The Detroit Institute of Arts. Dusty florals and greenery installations by Katie Wachowiak dressed the day and an epic cake by Sweet Heather Anne finished it off. Befitting to the theme, the couple and their guests danced the night away under Diego Rivera’s ultra-famous mural and Blaine Siesser was on hand to capture each moment of Kelly and Jimmy’s day.

 

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What made the wedding special and unique?

When Jimmy and I had gotten engaged we had already made plans to move from New York to Detroit. Jimmy grew up in Detroit as did my parents and grandparents. We were so excited to be moving back during a time that has become known as the renaissance of one of America’s greatest cities and we’ve enjoyed spending time downtown exploring new restaurants and supporting local entrepreneurs. We knew we were going to have a lot of out of town guests so our biggest goal was to show off Detroit! I couldn’t imagine a better place to celebrate our new life together in our new city than the Detroit Institute of Art – a true gem of Detroit and rich with important history.

Tell us about the gown and where/how you found it!

I had the best dress shopping experience! I returned to New York where my little sister (and maid of honor) still lives and set up three appointments at different bridal boutiques for my mom, my sister and me to visit. I was nervous so before the day started I went to dry bar and got my hair done so I would feel confident trying on those dresses. Every appointment was different and special. Ultimately, I returned to the very first boutique we visited and bought the second dress I had ever tried on! I think I knew it was meant to be when the woman assisting me told me she had grown up in Michigan! The dress is Vera Wang’s Kathleen – a strapless mermaid gown with a hand-draped bodice and an inverted flange skirt. When my bridesmaids were asked what they thought my dress would look like, not one came close to guessing it right! And that’s what I loved about my dress, it was so unexpected for me but I felt like a total movie star on our big day.

 

 

What were some touches added to make the wedding personal?

We looked for little ways to add personal touches throughout the weekend. My favorite were the signature cocktail signs we had made with a sketch of our English Cream Retriever puppy, Wally, after whom we named our signature cocktail. On top of that, we had light-up cowboy hats for the dance floor as a nod to my having grown up in Texas. Our invitations had an olive branch emblem on them as a nod to Jimmy’s family’s Greek heritage. The song my dad chose for our father-daughter dance was One Shining Moment by Motown great Diana Ross. And finally, our gift bags were filled with special items from Detroit – a “Detroit vs. Everyone” branded water bottle, Detroit Tiger’s peanuts (Jimmy’s family has been season ticket holders for 30 years), a post card and visitors guide from the Detroit Institute of Arts, along with Sander chocolates.

 

What was the most memorable part of the day?

Gosh there were so many! From my first look with my dad, to dancing all night with the Diego Rivera mural surrounding all my friends and family, the moment I am always transported back to is when Jimmy and I exchanged our vows. Even though we were standing in front of 300 people, in that moment it felt like it was just the two of us in that church. It was incredibly emotional and I don’t think I’ll ever forget the look on Jimmy’s face.

Tell us how you met and became engaged.

Jimmy and I met in college at Brown University. He played football and I was on the field hockey team so we bumped in to each other quite a bit in Brown’s athletic training room. At first, I don’t think he was interested in a relationship but I wore him down over time and we were dating by the time he graduated! We both moved to New York out of college and after a few years we moved in together. The weekend Jimmy proposed I should have known it was coming. My parents were visiting New York to celebrate Easter and we had a busy weekend lined up. First thing Saturday morning we were supposed to meet at Bridget’s Garden, a garden located in Madison Square Park, that was named after my mother’s sister and a very special place to our family. I didn’t think anything of it when we got there before everyone else because my family is always late. After a moment, Jimmy grabbed my hands and said, “You ready?” and I instantly knew what was coming. He dropped to one knee and proposed. Meanwhile, he had hired a photographer to capture the whole thing! On top of that, when I came out of shock and we crossed the street to where my family was waiting, we found my family, Jimmy’s family and a group of my closest friends from all over the country waiting with champagne! The rest of the weekend was one big celebration. My sister had organized a big dinner that night at Buddakan in the Meat Packing district followed by a Tex-Mex brunch (my favorite!) on Sunday. Jimmy knew I wanted family and friends to be a part of our engagement and he nailed it!

Kelley // Jimmy from Life in Rewind on Vimeo.

Photography: Blaine Siesser // Wedding Coordination: Kathy Byrum of Dream Wedding & Event Planners // Invitation Designer: Written Word Calligraphy and Design // Florist: Katie Wachowiak // Ceremony Venue: Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament // Reception Venue: The Detroit Institute of Arts // Dress: Vera Wang // Cake: Sweet Heather Anne // Shoes: Badgley Mischka // Bridesmaid Dresses & Clutches: BHLDN // Jewelry & Veil: Jules Joyner Designs // Bridesmaids’ Earrings: Kendra Scott // Rings: George Koueiter & Sons Jeweler // Hair & Makeup: Hair Erika Cortez and Makeup Tammy LoMedico // Videographer: PJ Brown of Life in Rewind // Live Music: Your Generation in Concert // Linens: Event Source // Grooms Apparel: Custom // Officiant: Reverand J.J. Mech // Rentals: Gerych’s Flowers, Events and Rentals // Ceremony Music: The Paris Project String Quartet

 

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Ari and Rolan’s story, which started under the night sky in Haiti, is “deeply rooted in friendship, love, and fun” and their personalized wedding day at Roaring Camp Railroad was befitting of their romance. The couple enlisted Nicole Presley to help them bring their vision to life with a rustic barn ceremony and reception filled with greenery chandeliers, equine-centric touches like the groom’s custom leather suspenders and a gluten-free donut wall by Melinda’s Gluten Free Bakery as a focal point in honor of the bride’s favorite treat. Kristin Lin was behind the lens and captured the details and the adorable couple’s love in these images.

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What made the wedding special and unique?

I really loved that all of our vendors were people we knew and felt comfortable with. With the exception of our photographer (who soon became a friend anyway), everyone who was working on our wedding made it feel like a big family party where everyone was helping out. Another one of my favorite parts of the wedding were the dances. This really felt like a joining of families, and it was so special. My dad had passed when I was 16, so getting to dance with my husband’s dad (to the song I danced to with my father when I was little) was so sweet, and pretty emotional for everyone who got to see. As far as decor, we had an incredible donut wall set up! This was my favorite creative part of the wedding, and Nicole did an incredible job of making it come to life. We had hanging hoops of greenery decorating the station, a beautiful wooden wall, and three kinds of donuts– gluten free of course!

Tell us about the gown and where/how you found it!

My gown was simple, but so elegant. I had gone shopping with my family all day, and by the fourth store it was just my mom and I left feeling tired and ready to go. We only stopped by this second hand bridal shop because it was in a town we rarely go to, but it did not disappoint! All day I had been looking for a sweetheart, strapless, bohemian feeling dress, until I saw this dress hanging on a rack at Second Summer Bride. It was unlike anything I had liked, so I tried it on first. I fell in love right when I saw it, and found myself comparing all of my other options to this one. I wasn’t even expecting to buy a dress that day, but when I looked at my mom with tears in her eyes I knew we had found the one. We celebrated with the assistant who was helping us, picked a gorgeous handmade belt to go with it, and ended up leaving with the dress that night. That dress made me feel simply beautiful.

What were some touches added to make the wedding personal? 

Our favors were a little piece of us given to our guests. It was a cute little brown paper bag with a stamp on the front that said “besos” and our names. Besos means “kisses” in Spanish, which is my family’s language, but is also what Rolan and I would say while bidding goodnight to each other while we were dating. The paper bag held a handmade chapstick, that was made and assembled by a sweet friend. The donuts were another thing that made our wedding personal, because I only eat gluten free foods! Gluten free donuts are some of my favorite things ever, so it felt like we were sharing a special treat with our friends and family, and it was something we could all enjoy together. Our first dance song made my heart melt, and we actually chose it for this reason: the first line is “You came like a resolution, under a starry sky…” (My Lover – Birdtalker). Rolan’s and my story started under the night sky in Haiti, on a mission trip, so stars bring us back to our early days of blooming love.

What was the most memorable part of the day? 

After the ceremony we took family and bridal party photos, and then Rolan and I got to sneak away to take pictures alone. We got to be removed from the craziness of family portraits, away from our beloved (but 200) guests, and outside of the production of the wedding, and it all just sunk in. Our photographer did a really great job of celebrating with us for a second, but also just letting us be natural together and show affection. When I look back to that pause in the day I well up with tears thinking about how excited we were for our life together. We got to talk about how we felt, laugh, and kiss a little, as we prepared for the rest of the fun that was ahead.

Tell us how you met and became engaged.

I met Rolan at the first Cru event I went to. (Cru is a Christian college ministry, that is on a lot of big college campuses.) We were getting boba with a huge group of people and he walked up next to me and introduced himself. I ended up getting pretty involved in Cru, and through that Rolan and I got to develop a sweet friendship. He was someone that I naturally felt comfortable with, and I’ve always thought he was hilarious. He’s someone I always enjoyed spending time with, and looked forward to seeing. I remember towards the end of that year we were doing an outreach with Cru and I was telling Rolan I was bummed that I couldn’t grab coffee before I had work on campus, and after about 30 minutes into work, Rolan stopped by with a big (also nervous) smile and a coffee in his hand for me. That was when I started looking at him with hearts in my eyes. That summer was soooo much fun with our friends, and Rolan and I were just smitten. Dating didn’t work out for us heading into the next year, but fast forward a whole year of crushing and we found ourselves on a mission trip to Haiti. I’ll never forget the night Rolan and I got to sit under the stars and talk about what the past year had been like for us. We got to share our hearts and agree on how hard that year was, but also got to end with the sweet conclusion to *finally* date. After about seven months of dating, I remember being at our favorite coffee shop in Santa Cruz, and Rolan asking where I was on the thought of marriage. Long story short, we started to talking to parents, pastors, and friends shortly after that conversation, and at the eight month marker we were getting engaged! Rolan’s proposal to me was the most thoughtful, in our beloved Santa Cruz. He had a timeline of pictures laying out our story and an empty frame at the end. He told me he loved me for the first time (a commitment we made to save for our future wife/husband), said he had loved making all of those memories with me. Then he asked to make another one, and got down on his knee. Our friend that captured the moment described “the rich roots and branches [of the tree behind us] as a great stage,” and I can’t help but to agree. Our story is deeply rooted in friendship, love, and fun, and would not have been possible without God’s faithfulness.

Coordination/Calligraphy: Nicole Presley // Photographer: Kristin Lin // Venue: Roaring Camp Railroad // Gown: Stella York, Second Summer Bride Sacramento // Handmade suspenders: Kenny Wong // Donuts/Cake: Melinda’s Gluten Free Bakery // Rentals: Alexis Party Rentals // DJ: Scott Bolin // Catering: Rubio’s Mexican Taco Catering // Ring Box: The Mrs. Box

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“I want to be your husband forever, will you marry me?” Matt popped this exact question on the night of Amanda’s parent’s 40th wedding anniversary party. Amanda—of course—said yes, and the couple said “I do” the following spring at McGovern Centennial Gardens.  Keely Thorne Events planned the garden celebration with details in white including: florals and installations by Events In Bloom, a stunning cake by Jody Cakes, and an elegant tented reception. The vegan menu included vegan liquid nitrogen ice cream and giant vegan cinnamon rolls as party favors for everyone to eat for breakfast the next day. Lucky for us, the couple enlisted the expertise of Mustard Seed Photography who captured all the details in these bright and cheery photographs.

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What made the wedding special and unique?

The indoor/outdoor venue was truly amazing for our ceremony and reception. We were able to enjoy the natural beauty of Centennial Gardens and even had a butterfly join in on our photo shoot. The gardens are wonderful because they are so beautiful and calming to experience. Sharing this location with our friends and family was icing on the cake. At the end of the night in the pouring rain we had a great dance and exit and will remember those moments for the rest of our lives.

Tell us about the gown and where/how you found it!

The gown is made by Michal Medina. I found it at Now and Forever. I was the first bride to wear this design. I honestly never thought I would choose a dress like that. I felt like the most beautiful bride and wish I could wear that dress every day. I especially enjoyed spinning in my dress and having it lift off of the ground!

What were some touches added to make the wedding personal?

Our wedding cakes and much of the food were vegan. Everyone especially enjoyed the vegan liquid nitrogen ice cream! We also had giant vegan cinnamon rolls as party favors for everyone to eat for breakfast the next day.

What was the most memorable part of the day?

Every part of our wedding day was memorable, but some stand out moments were our first touch photos, walking up the aisle to the Jurassic Park theme song played by a string quartet, our choreographed first dance to “You are the Best Thing” by Ray LaMontagne, and spinning in my dress out in the grass in front of the hill with Matt after our ceremony.

Tell us how you met and became engaged.

We met through a mutual friend and watched Edward Scissor Hands at a movie watching party. I knew he was the one from the moment I saw him and he knew that I was there to see him. For our first date we went to Tea Shop in Chinatown followed by some Bahn Mis. We were engaged 4 and a half years later at my parents 40th anniversary party at my brother’s house, it was the perfect opportunity as all of many of our friends and family were already there. I was completely surprised and the conversation that ended with him on one knee started with me saying “Man, I really wish we were engaged already” and him saying “I don’t have a plan, but are you ready now?”. He had the ring in his pocket the whole night and everyone else was pretty much in on it but me. He got down on one knee and said “I want to be your husband forever, will you marry me?”

We also want to add that there were many many personal touches we added to this wedding, but a few more notable ones were the giant lanterns, dog treat party favors, koozies that said “our humans are getting married”, and our hash tags “lettucerejoice” and “itsjusttheveganing”. All the furniture and the array of tables, couches, bar highs, and pillows, coffee tables, and stools that could be moved or used as tables added to the elegant, but comfortable and relaxing atmosphere we wanted to have! This was the best day of our lives and we wish we could do it again and again! Everyone had such a wonderful time and it was so great having everyone enjoying it with us! Dog treat party favors courtesy of Cody and Lacy, our two beautiful furry children that we could not live without!

Photographer: Mustard Seed Photography // Planning: Keely Thorne Events // Florals and Event Decor: Events In Bloom // Paper Goods: Pendance Studio // Venue: McGovern Centennial Gardens // Dress: Michal Medina // Bridal Boutique: Now and Forever Bridal Boutique // Cake: Jody Cakes // Hair and Makeup: Sunkissed and Made Up // Band: Doppelgänger // Videographer: Bear Hands Media // Musicians: Divisi Strings // Shoes: Kate Spade // Ring Box: The Mrs. Box

 

Gina and Ronson’s wedding is a true vision in white. It’s romantic, happy and filled with elegance that dazzles against the stunning backdrop of Montalvo Arts Center. A garden-chic sensibility underlies the details designed by Natalie Choi Events and absolutely shines in the soft, white and green blooms in the installations and arrangements by April Baytan. We’re especially loving the illustrated timeline by Chasing Linen that kept all the guests informed in the most adorable fashion. And, of course, the four-tiered white cake by A Spoonful of Sugar topped with fresh, white florals is a perfect final touch on the loveliest of days and lucky for us, the ever-awesome Amanda Wei Photo was on hand to capture all of it!

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What made the wedding special and unique?

Everything. The wedding was special because it truly represented us. We shared the same vision from the food, dessert, colors and invitations so it was really special and amazing to see our vision come to life on our wedding day.

Tell us about the gown and where/how you found it!

The Cruz gown by BHLDN was everything I wanted: crepe, modern lace, a beautiful train and revealing back. Before I found The Cruz, I tried dresses at other bridal shops and tried on at least eight other dresses. The stylist pulled dresses I pinned on Pinterest but those styles did not look the way I imagined. At my third appointment, I went to BHLDN and the stylist asked what I was looking for and pulled out the Cruz. At a first glance, I don’t think I would have picked this off the rack because of the halter. I tried it on anyway and once the stylist clipped the halter, I instantly knew it was the one. I do believe it when people say you’ll just know when it’s the right one. You’ll feel it and you’ll know.

What was the most memorable part of the day?

The ceremony. I remember we were looking at each other the entire time while my dad walked me down the aisle. We both remember holding hands at the altar, waiting until Lili pronounced us as husband and wife. Our ceremony was shorter than others, but we were like, “What is taking so long?” Once we were pronounced husband and wife, it was amazing seeing and hearing our family and friends, celebrating this big moment with us. We’re so grateful to have our family and friends all in the same space, celebrating and sharing the moment with us.

Tell us how you met and became engaged.

The Story — We met during our sophomore year in high school and quickly became good friends. After high school, we dated for a little bit then realized the timing just wasn’t right. Gina moved to Los Angeles for college and Ronson stayed in San Jose. They separated and went off to do their own things.

Three years later, we ran into each other at the gym. Out of all the places, right? We went to Yardhouse to catch up and spent more and more time together. We realized that even though so much time has passed by, not much has changed between us. Talking to each other was easy. There was obviously something still there between us. We are very happy our crossed paths again and gave love a second chance.

The Proposal –We went hiking for my birthday weekend hoping to see some wildflowers. We were hiking along and I remember saying, “It’s so peaceful out here.” It was quiet and there was no one else on the trail. Ronson was trailing behind so I thought he was getting some water. He kept saying, “Honey, honey” so I thought he wanted me to turn around for a picture. I turned around and I saw Ronson, on bended knee holding a ring! He asked me to marry him and of course I said yes! I was very surprised and had no idea he was going to propose that day. He did such a great job surprising me.

Photographer: Amanda Wei Photo // Coordinator: Natalie Choi Events // Florist: April Baytan // Paper Goods: Chasing Linen // Venue: Montalvo Arts Center // Dress: BHLDN // Hair & makeup: Makeup by Quis // Cake: A Spoonful of Sugar // Catering: Catered Too // Linens: La Tavola Linen // Vintage Rentals: One True Love Vintage // Photobooth: Chroma Photobooth

 

You know the vibes are going to be rad when the bride tops her Grace Loves Lace gown with a custom painted leather jacket. Yep—Natalie wins! And her wedding to Caleb at New Orlean’s Race and Religious is just as cool as the painted palms on her jacket. Planned by Southern Couture Weddings, the details include vibrant florals by Root Floral Design, custom illustrated invitations by Scriptura, a courtyard wedding and an intimate dinner under the cafe lights. And what would a New Orlean’s wedding be without a second line? Natalie and Caleb enlisted Caitlin B. Photo to capture their celebratory walk and all the other details of their big day.

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What made the wedding special and unique?

Our venue, Race and Religious, was very unique and it really inspired the decisions we made. The wedding turned out to be the garden party of my dreams! The ceremony was held in the main courtyard with a seated dinner to follow. We ate under rows of string lights and were surrounded by brightly colored tropical flowers. I loved that our venue allowed us to have the wedding and reception all in the same place. We actually got ready and spent the night there, too! We also decided not to have a bridal party and our final headcount was 60 guests. It allowed our ceremony to be very intimate and it was important for us to be able to spend time with every guest and that’s exactly what we were able to do!

Tell us about the gown and where/how you found it!

The first time I saw my wedding dress was on Pinterest, I wasn’t engaged but I was OBSESSED. After discovering that the dress designer was located in Australia I decided to follow their instagram account, @graceloveslace, and when the day came to go dress shopping I would attempt to find something similar. A few months later they announced that they were opening their first American store located in Venice Beach! The week after we got engaged my mom and I booked flights to LA and made an appointment at the store. The very first dress I tried on, which ended up being the one, was the exact dress I had seen on Pinterest over a year before! The dress, veil, earrings, and shoes were all Grace Loves Lace. It was so surreal to be standing in the mirror and looking at myself in my dream dress, and I loved that my mom and I have that memory together!

What were some touches added to make the wedding personal?

Throughout the entire process I worked with Hannah Trahan at Southern Couture Weddings to ensure we incorporated Caleb’s and my personalities and story into different parts of the day. We focused on making the seated dinner really special for our guests by customizing the entire menu and the place settings along with tablescape to feel formal yet comfortable. The band from my hometown wowed my guests throughout the night; they learned songs specifically for our wedding that were special to us. I had a custom leather jacket hand painted with palm leaves that I threw on over my dress for the end reception and for our second line exit.

What was the most memorable part of the day?

The first look really was such a special part of our day. I was strongly against doing one for months but once we started working out timing details I realized that Caleb and I wouldn’t have had any time to take pictures together while the sun was still up. So we opted for doing a first look, and I am so glad that we did. I love that we had a quiet moment to enjoy each other because the rest of the night slipped by so quickly!

Tell us how you met and became engaged.

Caleb and I met studying abroad in Paris during the Summer of 2014. I only knew one person on the trip and Caleb knew no one! A few weeks into the trip we bonded over the fact that we are both self proclaimed foodies. We decided weren’t going to continue eating the horrible food in the hostel cafeteria and from that point on we went to dinner together every single night for the rest of the summer. About 3 years later Caleb and I went back to Europe on a multi city trip to celebrate his grad school graduation. Paris was our third stop on the trip, and we had already been in Europe for over a week, so I truly didn’t think he would actually hold out or hold on to a ring in a foreign country for that many days. To my surprise he did both and we got engaged in Paris where we met.

Natalie & Caleb Highlight Film from Aperçu Films on Vimeo.

Photographer: Caitlin B. Photo // Wedding Planner: Southern Couture Weddings // Florist: Root Floral Design // Flower Art: Catherine Guidry // Stationery: Mallory Hopkins, Scriptura // Venue: Race and Religious // Wedding Dress: Grace Loves Lace // Cake Designer: Bittersweet Confections // Hair & Makeup: Carli Escurieux with Bleu Salon // Band: Buck Johnson Brazz Band // Videographer: Apercu Films // Rentals & Lighting: Your Event Delivered // Groom’s Attire: Custom Brooks Brothers // Shoe Designer: Grace Loves Lace // Misc: Leaf and Petal (Rug for Aisle) // Catering: Palates // Transportation: Hotard Coaches // Ring Box: The Mrs. Box