After graduation in May comes peak wedding season in June. To get ready, Current talked with some local professionals and two couples who recently tied the knot in Washtenaw County. These newlyweds share the joyful moments celebrating their love as well as their top picks and tips for flowers, music, food, fun, fashion and venues.
Sonia + Chris
Married November 10th, 2018
How did you meet? We met in the MBA program at the University of Michigan.
Who popped the question, and how? Chris did in our apartment, and as a bonus had Sonia’s family fly in from New York so we could all celebrate together!
Did you have a long engagement? Not really— we were engaged for about a year.
Did you ever want to elope and just get it over with? Of course!
The two worst points were: deciding on a venue/date, and the week before the wedding.
Three words to describe the wedding itself: Relaxed, fun, joyful
Was your wedding big or small? We had about 180 people. Big enough that we could invite a lot of people who we wanted there, and small enough that we could spend time with everyone.
What made your wedding special? The people who were there! We loved celebrating the day with close family and friends.
Three words to describe your partner: Kind, honest, and witty
What was your first impression of your partner? He was really easy to talk to— not to mention adorable!
Three words to describe your partner: Loving, creative, and charismatic
What was your first impression of your partner? That she was smart, caring and fun (and that we had a lot of the same values)!
911 N. University, Ann Arbor,
The League- the perfect, nostalgic spot for anyone who went to Michigan
Red Poppy Floral Design
Amazing florist across the bar! She also did flowers for our rehearsal dinner and welcome drinks. Tracy gets your vibe right away and goes above and beyond to make things beautiful. Can’t recommend her enough.
Abby Rose Photo
201 E. Liberty, Suite 6,
Ann Arbor, 734-846-2852,
Phenomenal photographer who takes beautiful pictures that don’t appear too schmaltzy or sentimental. She has a fantastic eye, and she has a great way of getting all the shots you want without you even knowing she’s there.
Blue Water Kings
We heard so much great feedback about the band, and we were definitely dancing all night!
Tips and tricks for future couples.
I think the best thing you can do when planning a wedding is to decide the kind of experience you want for you and your guests. We decided we wanted a down-home party, and that helped us make a lot of decisions (like our venue) and prioritize what was important (like the band!)
359 Metty Drive, Suite 4, Ann Arbor, 734-930-4270, katherines.com
Especially great options for a large vegetarian crowd, which we had!
Wedding and reception venue
Frutig Farms – The Valley
7650 Scio Church Rd, Ann Arbor,
We can’t stress this enough: the best venue ever. Amazing team, beautiful barn, perfect for a relaxed, but still elegant, celebration.
Kristin + Dorian
Married October 14, 2017
How did you meet? We say we met while we were both grad students at the University of Michigan. Which is true, but really we met on what Dorian calls a “swiper.” Not Tinder–a classier one called Coffee Meets Bagel. So an algorithm set us up.
Who popped the question, and how? We had been talking about it for months and had even secretly bought a ring together (with an emerald, for May, Kristin’s birth month and the month we met). The plan was to wait until after the holidays so we could meet each other’s families, but Dorian couldn’t wait and spontaneously proposed, about five months after we met!
Three words to describe your expectations for the wedding: Vertiginous, unreal, exciting
Three words to describe the wedding itself: Intimate, overwhelming, green
Was your wedding big or small? It was medium-sized at about 80 people. We were limited by the venue, which had a maximum capacity of 100.
What’s the story behind where you chose to celebrate your wedding? We met and fell in love in Ann Arbor, and so even though neither of us is from Michigan it felt important to us to get married there. We love Ann Arbor, and it was a bonus that Matthaei is affiliated with the university (as we both were).
Three words to describe your partner: Perceptive, intense, gentle
What was your first impression of your partner? I thought he was the most beautiful man I had ever seen. And he was disarmingly open. I’d never met anyone like him–he didn’t fit in any box and I just loved the way he thought and expressed himself.
Tell me about your dress!! My “dress” was actually separates! I was very set on having a long-sleeved dress with lace, and the selection of those was limited, especially on a budget. So I ordered a custom-made top from Wear Your Love and wore it with a skirt from Lulu’s.
Three words to describe your partner: Generous, bright, open
What was it like seeing her walk down the aisle? I couldn’t stop smiling. She was dressed in white and wearing a sort of leaf-crown and carrying flowers, and she came surrounded by all these trees: it was like an apparition coming out of the natural world. Angels move vertically, but she was moving horizontally–right towards me!
Lindsey was the very first vendor we booked after our venue. Her photographs are beautiful and evocative and we had no doubt that we wanted her to shoot our wedding.
Tips and tricks for future couples: Consider the Spotify playlist! We solicited song suggestions on our RSVP cards and got complete say over everything that was played. In general, 1) you don’t need all the (usually expensive) things that you’ll be told that a wedding “needs,” and 2) with a little creativity, you can figure out how to make your wedding your own without completely losing its rootedness as an ancient tradition that connects you to the past.
223 E. Main St, Manchester,
We did a tasting and it was delicious. Neither of us really like cake, so we had a bunch of different pies! It felt right for a fall wedding.
The Pretzel Bell
226 S Main St, Ann Arbor, 734-994-2773, thepretzelbell.com
We wanted somewhere downtown that we could walk to from our house in Kerrytown, and so that we could show off Ann Arbor to our guests (most of whom were out of state). The Pretzel Bell had an awesome private event space where we could have our own open bar. We loved it.
Chelsea Flower Shop
203 E. Liberty St, Ann Arbor, 734-662-5616, chelseaflowershop.net
We passed it regularly walking home from campus. Their prices were amazingly reasonable – we had considered doing DIY flowers but this was as good a deal as some of those options and saved us a ton of stress.
Wedding and reception venue
Matthaei Botanical Gardens
1800 N. Dixboro Rd, Ann Arbor, 734-647-7600, mbgna.umich.edu
We fell in love with the idea of a greenhouse wedding. It seemed like a way to have a wedding that felt like it was in nature and sort of outdoors without the stress of depending on Michigan weather in October (good thing, because it rained during our whole wedding day!).
Smitten with the Mitten
by Lisa Roberts
Owner of Rock Paper Scissors, Ann Arbor
Ann Arbor’s Local Wedding Scene
With the 2019 wedding season in full swing, couples have locked down their venues, signed their photography contracts, are ordering their invitations, and meeting with florists to determine this season’s to-die-for blooms! Each wedding season brings new trends, new ideas, and new ways to share a couple’s love and commitment. Over the past three years we’ve seen a steady increase in “Local Love” themed weddings— or weddings that share a couple’s love for the great state of Michigan. These couples plan their weddings, from engagement through the big day, with local companies and small businesses focusing on the local details that make their hometowns so special.
Rock Paper Scissors challenges clients to share their personalities and get creative with their printed paper goods by using artists, vintage maps, and hand lettering to create unique save-the-dates, invitations, and signage that all depict couples’ hometown love with distinctive flair.
Our favorite save-the-date so far this year is a die cut five inch state of Michigan designed with modern calligraphy and a clean font. The envelope is lined with illustrations from the couple’s favorite Ann Arbor places— a coffee cup from Roos Roast, the Big House, Argo Canoe Park, and Zingerman’s Deli, among others.
Illustrating the Law Quad, creating local maps for wedding invitation detail cards, and lining envelopes with old issues of the Michigan Daily are some recent client collaborations we worked on this winter. For an upcoming Detroit wedding, we utilized illustrations of the Ford Piquette Plant, Comerica Park, the Detroit Skyline and even a Ford Model T to create a local and unique feel with their invitations. We are carrying the illustrations into the “day of” materials for this couple with coasters, napkins, and illustrated signage that will tie everything together during their Welcome Party and their reception.
Recently, clients have asked us to partner local favorites to create a welcome bag filled with locally-sourced sweets and treats for out-of-town guests. We used Cherry Republic dry snacks, Michigan shaped candies called Michigummies, Dave’s Sweet Tooth Toffee, Zingerman’s Cold Brew Coffee, and we added a Midwest Supply Co. (also an Ann Arbor company) Michigangster mug and printed a local guide of things to do in the Ann Arbor area.
The local wedding scene doesn’t end here. Clients looking to truly showcase how “smitten with the mitten” they are can find expertise amongst Ann Arbor’s extensive list of wedding professionals. Local venues like Webbers and Cornman Farms, and floral designers like University Flower Shop and Red Poppy Floral work with local farms and suppliers to provide the most perfect locally grown seasonal blooms. Local event planners, photographers, calligraphers, DJs, formal wear and gown shops round out the robust market for Ann Arbor weddings ,helping clients share their local love!
For more information on Rock Paper Scissors, visit our website (bit.ly.com/rpswedding)