The Best Wedding Venues in Metro Detroit

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If you are in the beginning stages of planning your wedding, the first thing you need to do (after hiring a wedding planner, of course! is secure your venues. Once you book a venue for a specific date, you will then be able to book all the other vendors you need to make your wedding day perfect. But what venues are best? Here is a list of the best wedding venues in Metro Detroit from experienced wedding industry professionals!

Detroit Masonic Temple

Historic, GORGEOUS, and suitable for larger weddings, the Masonic Temple is a great choice for your wedding celebration! With two ballrooms and a chapel, there is space to host your ceremony and reception, the Masonic Temple makes logistics super easy for both planning and your guest experience. Add in the history and beautiful architecture of this building, you’ve got a winning formula for your wedding day.

Indian Springs Metropark

Design Quintessentials Best Wedding Venues in Metro Detroit Indian Springs Metro Park
Photo Credit: Design Quintessentials

If you’re looking to get out of the city and into a natural setting for your wedding, check out Indian Springs Metropark. The rustic Environmental Discovery Center is available as an indoor space, while other shelters provide smaller, outdoor spaces. Ching from Design Quintessentials recommends having an outdoor ceremony and an indoor reception.

Belle Isle Boat House

Best Wedding Venues in Metro Detroit | Belle Isle Boat House | Christa Graham Weddings and Events | Detroit Wedding Planner
Photo Credit: © Lighting With Love Photography

 

I just attended an event at the Belle Isle Boat House this past weekend. It is old in the best way possible! It was founded in 1839 as the Detroit Boat Club. The building has a very special feel to it. Peeling paint on the windows only add to the antique feel of the space. The charm of the indoor space is just the beginning. Look outside to see the gorgeous views of the Detroit River and skyline!

Waterview Lofts at Port Detroit

Best Wedding Venues in Metro Detroit | Detroit Wedding Planner | Christa Graham Weddings & Events

Ilze from Ilze Lucero Photography recommends Waterview Lofts at Port Detroit. If you want views of the Detroit River and a modern event space, this might be the venue for you! Add a yacht to provide a truly unique wedding experience!

Planterra Conservatory

Kari Dawson Photography Best Wedding Venues in Metro Detroit Planterra Conservatory
Photo Credit: Kari Dawson Photography

If plants are your thang, you definitely want to check out Planterra Conservatory! I have personally worked with Planterra as a wedding coordinator and can say they are very accommodating and easy to work with. Planterra is a full-service event space and includes catering and decor.

If you need some help narrowing down your wedding venue options, please contact me! Consultations are always free.

Do I need to give party favors to my wedding guests?

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The tradition of giving a gift to partygoers dates back centuries. Way back when, these wedding favors might have been silver, candied almonds, or lace love knots. A wedding was considered a lucky occasion, so these gifts were symbolic of the hosts passing their good luck on to their guests. (Source)

Party favors can seem like such a waste of money, especially when you look at your total wedding budget. In comparison to other, high-ticket wedding items, a party favor can seem like the easy item to cross off the list. So, do you really need to give party favors to your wedding guests?

The short answer is: No, you don’t. The longer answer: Party favors are a nice gesture, allows you to tell a bit more about your love story, and can create an extra element of fun to the party!

Party favors are a nice gesture.

When you take into account all that your guest had to do to attend your wedding…buy an outfit, devote almost an entire day to your event, possible time off work, travel time and expenses, buying a wedding gift and possible babysitter expenses…a party favor doesn’t seem like such a waste of money after all.

Tell your love story.

A party favor is a great way to extend your wedding theme or tell more of your love story! Choose a favor that represents a key moment in your relationship. Tell this story on a tag attached to the favor or in a beautiful frame on the favor table.

An extra element of fun.

Your party favor doesn’t have to be in a tiny cardboard box! Hire a photo booth and give photo strips to your guests. Or have a full dessert buffet to offer your guests a sweet ending to the evening!

Will people be upset if you don’t give them a wedding favor? Probably not. Will they appreciate the extra special touch if you do? Absolutely! So, if you can squeeze it into your budget, spring for it. But, if your budget needs some extra wiggle room, forget it and have a great time with your guests!!


Want me at your disposal to answer the tough questions like this? Send me a message!

Greenhouse Wedding

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I was recently blessed to work with the T & L families in organizing a beautiful greenhouse wedding & reception!

The wedding was in the GORGEOUS St. John’s Armenian Church in Southfield, Michigan.

Detroit | Ann Arbor | Lansing | Wedding Planner | Armenian Wedding

The ceremony was filled with tradition. It was mesmerizing to watch! I mean, look at those crowns!! <3

The party continued at Planterra Conservatory in West Bloomfield, Michigan. Planterra is a huge greenhouse conservatory. Flickering candlelight and snow gently falling outside…..MOOD!! I can’t get over how intimate this venue felt!

Detroit | Ann Arbor | Lansing | Wedding Planner | Planterra Conservatory

Detroit | Ann Arbor | Lansing | Wedding Planner | Planterra Conservatory

 

The best part of the night, though? The family! There was such a genuine feeling of love and celebration!

Detroit | Ann arbor | Lansing | Michigan | Wedding Planner

Detroit | Ann arbor | Lansing | Michigan | Wedding Planner

Detroit | Ann arbor | Lansing | Michigan | Wedding Planner

 

Happy Wedding Day, M & B!

Detroit | Ann arbor | Lansing | Michigan | Wedding Planner

Team of Vendors:

Photo Credit: Kari Dawson Photography

Videography: LightCraft Entertainment

DJ: Lawton Lunce

Transportation: Rockstarz Limos

 

How do I get married in Michigan?

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I’m engaged, so how do I get married in Michigan?

Michigan Marriage License Requirements | Christa Graham Weddings & Events

Where do I apply?

If you are a Michigan resident, you must obtain your marriage license from the county in which you live. If one of you is not a Michigan resident, you can apply in the county where the Michigan resident lives. In both these cases, the license is valid for the entire state of Michigan.

If neither of you is a Michigan resident, the license must be obtained from the county where the marriage ceremony will be performed. The license is valid only in that county.

Wayne County:  http://waynecounty.com/clerk/marriage-licenses.htm  

Washtenaw Countyhttp://www.ewashtenaw.org/government/clerk_register/files-from-home-folder/cr_marr_app.pdf

Monroe County: Apply in person at the county clerk office.

Oakland Countyhttps://www.oakgov.com/clerkrod/vital_records/Pages/marriage_license.aspx

If your county isn’t listed here, find the application on your county’s clerk office website.

What paperwork do I bring with me?

When applying for your marriage license, bring the following items to the County Clerk’s office:

  • Marriage Application
  • Driver’s License or Valid State ID with current address
  • Social Security Card
  • One additional approved form of identification (see below)
  • Payment (see below)

If born in the United States, these are approved forms of identification:
Certified copy of birth certificate with raised seal, Valid and signed US Passport, Letter of NO RECORD from state of birth, along with NUMIDENT from Social Security, or birth registration which includes parent’s names.

If born OUTSIDE the United States, take one of the following: 
Valid Passport (in English, with full date of birth, and valid I-94 card attached.), Valid Passport Card, or Certified Original birth certificate (in English or certified and notarized translation with full date of birth. NOTE: A notary other than the translator must notarize the translator’s signature.).

For a person with refugee status:
You must have the letter from your spouse that brought you into the U.S., along with a Valid Resident alien card, Valid Work Authorization card, Valid Green Card, U.S. Naturalization papers, or valid U.S. passport, signed by holder.

When should I apply for my marriage license?

Marriage licenses are only valid for 33 days from application date if you choose to observe the 3-day waiting period. However, if you opt to receive the license the same day of application, it is only valid 30 days from the application date. So, you should apply for your marriage license no earlier than 30 days before your wedding date. Please note: Whether you receive your certified marriage license the day you apply or opt to receive it 3 days later, you will need it the day of your wedding. It will need to be signed by your Officiant and two witnesses immediately after the ceremony concludes. 

How much does the marriage license cost?

 There is a $20 Application Fee for Michigan residents.

The fee is $30 for out-of-state residents 

If you wish to receive your marriage license the same day you apply, there is an additional $10 fee.


I hope this clears up some of the confusion for you! If you have any other questions about the legalities of getting married, please feel free to send me an email! If you need a wedding planner or day-of-coordinator, I am happy to provide those services, as well!

 

This information is accurate as of January 2018. Please check with your County Clerk for any updates or changes.

 

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Deciding your wedding budget

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Deciding your wedding budget and how to adjust for new items

Congratulations on your engagement! Deciding your wedding budget is one of the first decisions you should make after telling the most important people in your life that you are engaged. If you work through it and make some tough decisions in the beginning, then making decisions along the way will become more rational and less emotional. Whether it is just you and your fiance, or a third party added to the mix, it’s important to establish the ground rules from the start. Consider this practice for your marriage! My husband and I have budget meetings every 2 weeks and it has transformed how we speak and think about our money.

Who is contributing to your wedding budget?

If someone else (like a parent) is contributing to your wedding financially, it would be beneficial they can give you details of the offer. Details how much? Lump sum or installments? Will they give you the money or will they pay directly?

Who will be responsible for the decisions?

Deciding your wedding budget | Christa Graham Weddings & Events| Ann Arbor Detroit Michigan Wedding Planner

Will it be 50/50 between the two of you on everything? Will you have more input in design choices and your fiance on the menu? Let your experience and your expertise guide you here. For example, if you are naturally good at numbers, offer to keep an eye on the budget. It would be a nice gesture to ask any third parties contributing to the budget if they would like input on any decisions. They can also be the tie-breaker in case you two can’t agree on something. (Just make sure they are really able to make a neutral decision!)

What is important to you?

When you decide your budget, you should also rank the budget items in order of which are most important to you. This will help you make decisions if you need to adjust the budget as you start spending. Let’s imagine you’ve budgeted $4000 for your wedding dress, but the dress you fall in love with is $7000. The only wiggle room in your budget is to pull funds from catering. If you’ve ranked these things in order of importance from the beginning, you should have no problem making the decision whether to buy the dress or not!

Include some padding.

Deciding your wedding budget | Christa Graham Weddings & Events| Ann Arbor Detroit Michigan Wedding Planner

There is always something unexpected that comes up with a big project like planning a wedding. A budget item might be a lot more than you expected or you see a new fabulous idea for your reception and just have to include it! My suggestion is to include 5-10% of your budget as a buffer or padding. The larger your initial budget is, the higher the percentage should be. This padding will make those unexpected items much less stressful! And, if you don’t need it, then, yay you for coming in under budget!

Hire someone to help.

Deciding your wedding budget | Christa Graham Weddings & Events| Ann Arbor Detroit Michigan Wedding Planner

Of course, the easiest thing to do is hire a wedding planner that will help you determine your budget and allocate those funds. A wedding planner can also help you make decisions and be a neutral tie-breaker. With Christa Graham Weddings & Events, you have full control of your money paid to vendors. You never have to worry about handing over your entire budget to me. But, I will help you make decisions and remind you when vendor payments are due!

For a price list and more wedding planning and budgeting tips, click here!

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Wedding Budget | Wedding Budget Tips | Ann Arbor Detroit Michigan Wedding Planner

When someone else is paying for your wedding

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It is such a blessing to have someone contribute monetarily to your wedding! Chances are, it’s a parent or grandparent who has set aside a chunk of money just for this occasion. As happy as they are to contribute, things can become weird and awkward when money is involved. There are some things you can do to prevent any tension or guilt creeping into your relationship because of money. Before you spend a dime of it, here are 3 questions to answer when someone else is paying for your wedding.

 

1. What does this money pay for?

Does Grandma really want to buy your wedding dress? Is she not too happy about the open bar at the reception? Maybe she doesn’t care and doesn’t want a say at all in what her money pays for. In that case, great! As long as that is established at the beginning of budget planning, you’ll avoid any frustrating conversations later.

 

2. Who makes the decisions?

Does the person contributing to the budget also get to contribute the decision making? Does he get to make any decisions regarding your wedding? If not, consider asking him to be a third, tie-breaking vote in the case of a disagreement between you and your fiance. He might appreciate you including him, even in this small way, in appreciation of the gift.

 

3. Is it a gift or a loan?

Speaking of gift…don’t assume it is one. When someone contributes money to your wedding budget, make sure the terms and conditions are clear from the start. You don’t want to enter your marriage with unexpected debt! If you do decide to take a loan from someone for your wedding, decide on the repayment terms right away. Write them up and have the involved parties sign so the repayment terms are clear to everyone. Even if it comes from family, taking a loan is a business transaction and should be treated as such. (And remember, you can always politely decline to accept a loan!)

Answering these three questions ahead of time will hopefully put a stop to any awkward conversations later…after you’ve spent the money! Hiring a professional wedding planner that can help you navigate your unique scenario is also a good idea. If you are in the Detroit or Ann Arbor, MI area, I would love to speak with you and see how I can help plan your wedding!

 

Contact Me!

Woodland Wedding | Narnia Styled Shoot

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When the opportunity to help coordinate this photo shoot presented itself, I jumped at the chance! Kelsey had a great vision and it was brought to life by the great team of vendors below!

Check back, I will add more photos soon!

Woodland Wedding | Canton, MI Wedding Planner

Host & Photographer: Kelsey Butcher Photography

Bridal Gown: Bel Fiore Bridal

Floral & Design: The Botanical Studio

Hair & Makeup: Megan Quintana Artistry

Second Photographer: Leigh Anne Schaumleffel Photography

Stationary & Ribbon: Lairsey Paper Co.

Ring Box: The Family Joolz

Tableware: The Prissy Plate Company

Paper Florals: Fioribelle

Cake: Sweet Details ATL

Rings: D. Geller & Son

Models: Megan Brackett & Thomas Williams

Groom’s Attire: Xedo & Georgia TLC Events

Macarons: Cake Envy