Episode 004: Park Place Gastro Pub Plymouth Restaurant Review

posted in: Podcast | 0

This week on the podcast, we’re talking about a great new restaurant in downtown Plymouth! Download the episode from iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play, Podcast Addict, or listen below!

In this episode, you’ll hear:

  • The weirdest thing about the Marvel Cinematic Universe
  • Some history of Plymouth Township, Michigan
  • All about a great new date night restaurant in Plymouth Township

This week’s sponsor:

Today’s podcast is brought to you by Brunch & Bubbly! This is a cross between a wedding planning seminar, a girls day out, and a wedding vendor event. Bring your girlfriends and get your wedding planned over mimosas! Get more information at www.christagraham.com/bubbly

Places/Products Mentioned:

Park Place Gastro Pub Menu: https://www.metroalive.com/include/pdf/11822-menu.2.6.18%20.pdf




Upcoming Events:

  • April 30-May 2: Detroit Tigers vs. Tampa Bay Rays
  • May 18-20: Motor City Comic Con www.motorcitycomiccon.com
  • June 2: Ferndale Pride- Some 15,000 people flock to Ferndale during this week, leading up to its annual street fair celebrating diversity and inclusion, featuring DJ’s, dancing and all-around good times. www.ferndalepride.com
  • June 22-24: Detroit River Days on the Detroit Riverwalk-3 day festival with carnival rides, fair food, and entertainment
  • June 25-Ford Fireworks Detroit at Hart Plaza on the River


Join our online community!



Episode 002: Inexpensive Date Night Ideas

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In our last episode, we talked about one of the most expensive restaurants we’ve ever eaten. This episode, we’re going to discuss INexpensive date night ideas. Sometimes you just don’t want to spend your whole paycheck on one night out! LOL


In this episode, you’ll hear:

  • The Underground Railroad & Detroit (possible upcoming episode topic?!)
  • Why inexpensive date nights are important.
  • Our favorite inexpensive date night ideas–both at home and going out.


This episode is sponsored by Christa Graham Weddings & Events. I provide wedding planning and event design services for any type of event. I also provide balloon decorations! All consultations are free, so there is no reason to not discuss your needs!


Places/Products Mentioned:

Allen Park Digital Cinema

Space School

Ann Arbor Restaurant Week

Taste of Ann Arbor

Christa Graham Weddings & Events


Join our online community here: www.datenightinthedpodcast.com/community


Listen to the episode here:

Date Night in the D Podcast Episode 000: Introduction

posted in: Podcast | 0

When I found out we were moving to Michigan, I instantly started researching Detroit, Ann Arbor, and many cities in between. As diverse as this area is, it was hard to find some of the information I was searching for. So, my husband, Orienthus, and I decided to start a podcast focused on local date night ideas, restaurant reviews, and some general relationship advice.

Our first episode is an introduction to us, how we got here, and what you can expect from our podcast. (Make sure to listen all the way to the end to find out what restaurant Orienthus hates with the fire of a thousand suns!)



Join our Facebook community and help us get the conversation started!


Podcast music courtesy of bensound.com

How to easily plan a party | Free printable

posted in: DIY Party Planning | 0

Even though I love planning weddings because of their grand designs, I also love planning intimate dinner parties and birthday bashes. I realize it isn’t always feasable to pay a party planner for these smaller events, so I designed this one-page printable party planner. It is easy to use and a great resource to keep track of everything party-related. Get ready for your party to be the talk of the town! 

So, what’s the hardest part about party planning?

“No one RSVPs anymore!”

“My ideas don’t match my budget!”

“I don’t know what I need to accomplish the look I want!”

“I just can’t stay organized!”

Are you ready to stop feeling these frustrations?

Then you need my favorite party planning tool!

Enter your email to get it free!

In this free party planning tool, you will find…

-a timeline that gives you a generous amount of time to plan your party and not forget any of the important party elements

-space to keep all your party planning ideas so you don’t go crazy trying to keep track of multiple sheets of paper

-a budget tracker so you know how much you have to spend

-a guest list so you know who’s coming, who hasn’t rsvp’d, and who needs a thank you card once it’s all over

-‘to do’ lists for the week leading up to the party so you aren’t frantically finishing up as your guests arrive

How do I get married in Michigan?

posted in: wedding | 0

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

posted in: wedding | 0

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

posted in: wedding | 0

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

posted in: wedding | 0

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

Princess Party

posted in: balloon decorations, event, party | 0

A few months ago, I had the pleasure of meeting Annette from Our Child’s Advocate. I volunteered to help with a fundraiser she was planning, which turned out to be such a fun event! Dine with Cinderella combined two of my favorite things: Disney Princesses and a good party! I was so happy to provide the balloon decor for this event. I can’t wait to work together again!

The stage was set with a huge balloon castle and drawbridge entry!

This provided a “wow” moment for the guests as soon as they arrived at the event!

Princess Party Balloon Decor | Christa Graham Weddings & Events | Detroit | Ann Arbor | Michigan

The event was held at the Hellenic Cultural Center in Westland, MI. It is such a beautiful event space, to begin with, but once you add pink and sparkles, it really comes to life! Inside the room, I built several balloon columns and two helium balloon arches over the dance floor. I also scattered balloons around the dance floor for the children to play with and toss around.

Princess Party Balloon Decor | Christa Graham Weddings & Events | Detroit | Ann Arbor | Michigan

Did I mention there would be multiple princesses attending the event?! Princesses by Bianca pulled off an amazing performance!

(All photos below provided by Jenny Dillon Photography.)

Princess Party Balloon Decor | Christa Graham Weddings & Events | Detroit | Ann Arbor | Michigan

Princess Party Balloon Decor | Christa Graham Weddings & Events | Detroit | Ann Arbor | MichiganPrincess Party Balloon Decor | Christa Graham Weddings & Events | Detroit | Ann Arbor | Michigan Princess Party Balloon Decor | Christa Graham Weddings & Events | Detroit | Ann Arbor | Michigan Princess Party Balloon Decor | Christa Graham Weddings & Events | Detroit | Ann Arbor | Michigan Princess Party Balloon Decor | Christa Graham Weddings & Events | Detroit | Ann Arbor | Michigan

The children even experienced a royal horse and carriage ride with Queen Elsa, herself!

(Junebug Ranch)

Princess Party Balloon Decor | Christa Graham Weddings & Events | Ann Arbor | Detroit | Michigan

Princess Party Balloon Decor | Christa Graham Weddings & Events | Ann Arbor | Detroit | Michigan

Of course, what is a princess event, without a photoshoot?

Princess Party Balloon Decor | Christa Graham Weddings & Events | Ann Arbor | Detroit | Michigan

Princess Party Balloon Decor | Christa Graham Weddings & Events | Ann Arbor | Detroit | Michigan

Princess Party Balloon Decor | Christa Graham Weddings & Events | Ann Arbor | Detroit | Michigan

If you would like balloon decorations for your event, please email hello@christagraham.com!