2016 Wedding Guide

Take the stress out of Wedding Planning with our guide to some of the best options in Washtenaw County.

For the bride and groom, a couple hundred decisions must be made to make sure the day runs smoothly. Finding a ring, proposing, picking a location, finding a cake, dealing with in-laws; and those are just the big decisions. It takes a toll. By the time the happy occasion actually rolls around, the sense of relief can be as palpable as the celebration.

So let us serve as your best man, maid of honor; your wedding planner. Our Wedding Wishlist will walk you through some wonderful options in Washtenaw County that can help you plan your big day.

The Dress

The Brides Project at Cancer Support Community

Monique Sluymers
2010 Hogback Rd., Suite 3
734-975-2500 | thebridesproject.org

The Brides Project is a bridal boutique…with a heart! Wedding dresses are donated to The Brides Project from all across the country. Some are “pre-loved” — donated by brides who want to see them dance another day. Many are donated directly from bridal salons or designers, so they are brand new! The best part is that the money raised from the sale of gowns supports families touched by cancer through the Cancer Support Community of Greater Ann Arbor.  Our dedicated team of volunteer consultants are also part of what makes your TBP experience unique. 

What are the latest trend you’ve noticed with wedding dresses? 

One trend we see in our shop is the bride who wants to make their dress one-of-a-kind. They start with a beautiful, affordable dress from our shop and then make it their own by working with our fabulous seamstress to add sleeves, unique buttons or an heirloom piece of jewelry. Wherever that inspiration comes from, we love watching our dresses leave and come back to us as a totally new dress. They truly become as unique as the bride wearing them!

What is a tip you would give to couples planning their wedding? 

Be mindful of your budget. You don’t need to break the bank to have a fabulous day! There are many ways that you can make your wedding spectacular for an affordable price. The Brides Project certainly does our part to help in that endeavor. Visit Pinterest for inspirational ideas to help get the planning started.  Then, just relax and enjoy the ride. Things won’t be perfect, but that is okay! It will be a good dry-run for marriage, because that is not always going to be perfect either.  Support one another, listen to one another and remember why you decided to do this in the first place: Love. It really is that simple!


The Ring

Abracadabra Jewelry Gem Gallery

​Pippa Jayne
205 E. Liberty St.
734-994-4848 | abragem.com

Since 1974 Abracadabra has been committed to carrying jewelry made from recycled metals, purchased at a local Ann Arbor refiner, along with conflict-free diamonds and ethically mined colored gemstones. Recycle, repair or replace your jewelry at Abracadabra, where we specialize in on-site repairs, appraisals, and custom jewelry designs. Featuring an exclusive selection from local artists and designer brands, alongside with custom Abra designs, this local gem will work one-on-one with you to create the perfect piece of jewelry to give, or add to your own collection.

What are the latest trend you’ve noticed in wedding jewelry?

We’re noticing a trend back to warmer metals, rose and yellow gold as well as a desire for one of a kind pieces with a more organic asymmetrical element.

What is a tip you would give to couples planning their wedding?

I actually just got engaged myself, so I’ll share the advice I’m telling myself — enjoy being engaged. Stop and remember these moments as they are all a special part of the journey. In regards to jewelry, plan ahead and don’t leave the rings that you will wear every day for the rest of your life to a small part of the planning. If you want a custom or designer piece these can take approximately 2-8 weeks.


Urban Jewelers

Mark Urban
215 S. Main St.
734-761-8120 | urbanjeweler.com

After 40-plus years of creating and designing custom jewelry, Mark and Cheryl Urban have seen significant changes in their business. When they opened in 1968, the average custom job took about 3 weeks to complete. Now, it may have to be done overnight, without sacrificing quality. They’ve gone from snail mail to e-mail and in advertising, from print ads to websites and mobile apps. However, the most recent change at Urban Jewelers is the trend toward lab-grown diamonds. Consumers are drawn to the fact that they are sustainable, environmentally friendly and conflict-free, issues that have occurred when it comes to mined diamonds. See the Pure-Grown diamonds and their collection of one-of-a-kind jewelry online. 

Current: What are the latest trends in wedding jewelry?  

Both yellow and rose golds are making a resurgence!  What’s old is new!

What’s a tip you’d give to couples planning a wedding?   

Allow adequate time if you having the engagement ring and/or wedding bands either custom-made or special-ordered.  One to two months is good…you’ll have enough to worry about at the last minute!


The Food

Tavolina Catering & Events

​Rula Bawardi 
301 E. Liberty No. 200
734-669-3551 | tavolinacatering.com

Tavolina, created by Savco Hospitality, is Ann Arbor’s most innovative catering and events solution, bringing the energy and refinement of Sava’s, Aventura, and Babo Market to you! Chiming wine glasses, shared moments of laughter, meaningful connections with family and friends; amazing things happen when people come together around a shared table. Tavolina staff — with over 15 years of experience in event planning and food service — have the expertise to help turn your wedding into the magical day of your dreams. Tavolina will work with couples to design a menu that suits their needs, and chefs will be on hand to ensure that the food is fresh and delicious. Tavolina services go far beyond menu design. Experts can help you find a venue, coordinate liquor choices, provide bartenders, rentals, and linens. Tavolina will also work to create custom themes, including entertainment and extras that will make your wedding unique and unforgettable. Together with Tavolina, your special day is sure to dazzle and leave you free to relax while knowing your guests are enchanted. 

What are the latest trends you’ve noticed?

Couples have a much more sophisticated palate, and they want to have creative food at their wedding. They try to personalize it by bringing their family recipes and traditional foods, or ethnic food stations. Couples are looking for unique and crafty ways to incorporate their personality into every little detail. While cakes are great, passed desserts are an excellent way to get guests to move around and to make sure everyone gets a bite of something sweet while forging connections.

What is a tip you would give to couples planning their wedding?

Identify the things that you must have and start from there. In the end, it’s about great food, great people and the love they’re celebrating.


Helen Harding
1906 Packard St.
734-213-7011 | eatannarbor.com

Eat is committed to wholesome, imaginative, and thoughtfully prepared food along with personal service. We care about our farmers, food producers, neighbors, food, you and your guests. From developing original ideas to sweeping up the last crumb, we are with you every step of the way. Whether a relaxed outdoor barbecue, a rustic family-style dinner, or an internationally-inspired stations meal, we deliver on your vision for a perfect day.  

What are the hottest trends when it comes to catering?

It seems like people are really branching out in the types of locations. It’s not just a choice between a barn, backyard or a banquet hall any more. (Although, we still do those and they’re still a blast.) Couples are hosting at farmer’s markets, art galleries, and industrial spaces. 

On the food side of things, every year there is an increase in the number of guests with special diets. In 2015, we had vegan and/or gluten-free guests to accommodate at almost every wedding. I think it gets challenging for couples who feel like they want to please everyone from the children, to the grandparents, to the handful of vegan friends — not to mention to like and be proud of the food that is being served!  

What’s a tip you’d give to couples planning a wedding?

Don’t get bogged down by the details! Details certainly make up a beautiful wedding, but in the end it all works out and it’s only one day — try to enjoy it. Also, be picky about your vendors. A good vendor team will allow you to really celebrate your wedding day.

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