Sunday, August 8, 2010

LaDawn & Kyle

Ceremony Location: Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory, Detroit @ Belle Isle

Reception Location: Belle Isle Casino, Detroit

Wedding Colors: Pale green , pale yellow & metallic gold

# Guests: 280

Emergency Kit Items Used: Scissors, tape, Ibuprofen

Wow, what a gorgeous but HOT July day it turned out to be in Detroit! LaDawn & Kyle's wedding day for me was also a throwback to my childhood in a way, taking me back to memories of visiting Belle Isle ~ the zoo, the conservatory, the beach, the aquarium. Belle Isle has quite a lot of history, both the Casino and Conservatory designed in the early 1900's by well-known Detroit architect Albert Kahn.

Prior to this wedding, I had not been to Belle Isle in years. At our first booking last winter, the island seemed so quiet and grey as anything does in the winter. But, at our final meeting and on this summer day, it was just blooming, pumped full of life and activity once again!

LaDawn and her court of ladies began the day at the Marriott Renaissance getting hair and makeup done. Likewise, Kyle and his men also got ready there in a different suite. With a bridal party of twenty-eight persons (yes, 28!), preparations needed to start very early!

My assistant and I arrived on the island around noon where the Casino building was opened for us. This is where the transformation began! Party Time Rentals started setting up the tables, and this is the room we started with:

Needless to say, we knew we had our work cut out for us, but we were confident that everything would get done! Belle Isle Casino is basically a building rental type of reception site. Therefore virtually everything needs to be contracted out and brought in from tables (the building has some round tables and also chairs which we used, but our bride really loved the look of long tables so these were rented) to flatware to plates to bartenders and servers. We love a good challenge!

Stephanie and her crew from Stephanie's Wedding Creations and Melissa from Irelynn Designs arrived with the linens and florals. Also, Jordan of AV7 set up uplighting, a GOBO monogram, and uniquely placed an uplight on the lower floor of the Casino directly under the glass block floor upstairs, which would later be serving as the couple's dance floor.

Slowly but surely, the room really began to look like a wedding reception would be taking place soon. Personal wedding items were placed, a candy buffet was set up, place settings and menu cards arranged, bar items unpacked. Everyone worked extremely hard to take this room from zero to wedding in just a few hours!

Meanwhile, preparations were also being done at the Conservatory building. Due to the nature of the reception venue and all of the work that had to be done there, the couple wanted us to focus on the reception. A close family friend and really sweet lady, Lenora Benvenutti, was on-board specifically to remain at the Conservatory to coordinate the ceremony along with a team of hostesses. The ceremony got off to a bit of a late start but went off as planned, complete with a dramatic exit for the newly married couple: a horse-drawn carriage to escort them around the island for post-wedding photos!

Guests then began filing over to the Casino building for cocktail hour out on the patio complete with a singer and festive music. Here they were served some light appetizers and fruits, lemonade, and two refreshing signature drinks sporting the wedding colors of yellow and green.

When all of the water glasses were filled, candles lit, and finishing touches made, the reception room was opened to the guests. The hostesses received guests and let them know their table assignments, and everyone made their way upstairs.

Photographer Jen MacPherson of Amanda Williams Photography and videographer Adam of S2R Productions arrived at the Casino building with the bridal party to get a few more photos and footage, and then the reception could get underway! LaDawn and Kyle decided that for the grand entrance, small groups of 3-5 wedding party members each would be announced together versus the traditional couple-after-couple kind of entrance. Seven groups were rounded up and entered the room on either side of the stairs, each with a different song to enter to. Also, the couple's first dance and cake cutting were done immediately following their entrance ~ a good idea for those who want to get some of the formalities and photo ops taken care of early-on, so that they may enjoy more of their reception later.

On to dinner and dancing! CJ of CJ's Catering (248-615-9254) and his staff did an excellent and professional job with dinner. The cake was provided by Chene Modern Bakery, and was cut and served for dessert. Bridal party and guests then hit the dance floor with sounds spun by DJ Byron (313-622-1080) and visited the photo booth by Rock The Booth.

The late start of the ceremony did not alter the flow for the rest of the evening; everything still got done as scheduled and the couple, their families, friends and bridal party had plenty of time to really enjoy the reception. In LaDawn's own words, this wedding was no cake-walk, but all of her planning and hard work paid off in the end.

Best wishes, LaDawn & Kyle! Thank you so much for letting us be a part of it all!

(Very special thanks go out to Melissa from Irelynn Designs, she really went above and beyond to help us out that day!!!!)

The long tables set up:

Place settings complete with linens, florals, candles, chargers, flatware, menu cards:

Cake table:

One half of the room after table set-up:

Gobo behind main platform of head table:

More table set-up:

Candy buffet with candies in shades of green and yellow:

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