Planning a wedding is always an exciting adventure, but when a couple approaches you with a vision of infusing their special day with the unique charm and grit of Detroit, you can’t help but get caught up in their enthusiasm.

I recently had the privilege of planning a wedding at some truly inspiring and iconic downtown Detroit locations, where the groom’s Upper Peninsula roots, the bride’s Japanese heritage, and the couple’s shared love for this city came together in a celebration that was truly one-of-a-kind.

The day started off at The Siren & The Element Hotels where the wedding party spent the day together while getting ready for the festivities to come.

I worked with Twigs & Branches, a local floral company, to bring Tani & Rob’s ceremony vision to life. at an art gallery in The David Whitney Building. (We might have been the one and only wedding ceremony in that space!)

Tani & Rob chose to use the time between their ceremony and reception as a private moment rather than photos with the entire wedding party. They enjoyed an ice cream cone and some quiet moments together.

When it came to choosing the venue, there was no better option than the Guardian Building.

This stunning Art Deco masterpiece, with its breathtaking architecture and rich history, provided the perfect backdrop for the couple’s Detroit-centered wedding.

The grandeur of the Guardian Building symbolized the city’s resilience and vibrant spirit!

This amazing floral arch greeted guests as they entered the reception space. It was made with Wisteria, a nod to Tani’s Japanese heritage. It truly was a grand entrance!

As a nod to their favorite footwear, the couple opted for a sneaker formal dress code, encouraging their guests to express their individual style while keeping it comfortable. It was a refreshing departure from the traditional black-tie & cocktail dresses. They allowed everyone to let loose and truly enjoy the festivities. The dance floor was alive with a kaleidoscope of vibrant sneakers, adding a playful and personal touch to the celebration.

The bride’s Japanese heritage added another layer of cultural richness to the wedding. To honor her background, a Japanese taiko drum band performed to welcome guests into dinner, creating an electrifying atmosphere. The booming sound of the drums filled the air, captivating the guests and immersing them in the beauty of the tradition. Tani & Rob were presented with a set of drumsticks at the end of the performance!

Detroit’s reputation as the birthplace of Motown music played a significant role in setting the tone for the evening. A live band entertained guests throughout the reception, performing soulful tunes that had everyone grooving on the dance floor.

Tani & Rob’s Detroit-centered wedding at the Guardian Building was an extraordinary experience, seamlessly blending their unique personalities and their shared love for Detroit. From the soaring ceilings of the venue to the energetic beats of Motown and the pulsating rhythm of taiko drums, every element came together to create a celebration that was both meaningful and unforgettable. It was a joy to witness the couple’s vision come to life, as their guests indulged in delicious food, danced the night away, and embraced the true spirit of Detroit.

Event Team

Planner | Christa Graham Weddings & Events

Officiant | Friend, Miye D’Oench

Venue | Aloft at the David Whitney Building & The Guardian Building

Hotels | The Siren, Aloft, & The Element

Catering & Rentals| Elegant Appeal Catering

Photographer | Kayla Turpin Photography

Videography | Michaels Entertainment

Hair | @paigedoesbridal

Makeup | Configure Beauty Detroit

Bride’s Attire | Galia Lahav & Loeffler Randall

Groom’s & GroomsmenAttire | Proper Cloth

Bridesmaids’ Attire | Various

Transportation | Brentwood’s Detroit Trolley

Florist | Twigs & Branches

Taiko Drums | Raion Taiko

Band | Bluewater Kings Band