from Detroit, with love

Photo by George Street Photography
Photo by George Street Photo & Video

I was living in Boston when the movie 8 Mile was released. I’m pretty sure I was the only person in the theater from Michigan. The one who understood that “the 313” was actually an area code and that making fun of “Cranbrook,” was making fun of a private school. There was a scene that forever stuck in my mind where the guys were watching an abandoned building burn in one of Detroit’s suburbs. DJ Iz, the more “preacher-y” of the group, said, “Man, do you know how many abandoned buildings we have in Detroit? I mean, how are you supposed to take pride in your neighborhood with s*** like that next door?” It stuck, because it was true.

But twelve years have gone by since that movie was released and so much has changed. In 2006 Detroit hosted the Superbowl and city went under a makeover. Our sports teams improved. Businesses started to thrive. More and more, people were taking pride in the city of Detroit and the state of Michigan. We have slogans of “Pure Michigan,” and “America’s High Five” (my personal favorite), and of course, “Made in Detroit.” We’ve become a proud citizenry. And it’s with this pride that I introduce you to our couple, Emilie and Peter.

Photo provided by Emilie and Peter
Photo provided by Emilie and Peter

Our two New Yorkers met online. Emilie moved to Detroit after getting a job as a preservation specialist working jointly for the Michigan Historic Preservation Network and the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Peter gradually followed. They both fell in love with city and after Peter proposed, they knew that they wanted to get married in Detroit. To quote Emilie, because she said it so beautifully, “we believe in the city and wanted to celebrate the amazing energy, entrepreneurial and collaborative spirit, and show our friends and family how phenomenal the city is by having the wedding here.” Pride—it’s a good thing. They embraced everything they could from the city of Detroit and the state of Michigan. The dinner, the beer, the suits, the flowers, the locations, and of course, the cake. All were homegrown Michigan favorites.

Emilie and Peter’s spunk and sass fit right in to these colorful and unique, graffiti-laden backdrops highlighting Detroit’s worn spots.  Photos by George Street Photo.
Emilie and Peter’s spunk and sass fit right in to these colorful and unique, graffiti-laden backdrops highlighting Detroit’s worn spots. Photos by George Street Photo & Video.

In true Detroit historical fashion, Emilie and Peter had their ceremony and reception at the Ford Piquette Plant—the birth home of the Model T. Emilie said that as a preservationist, she wanted some history and originality in their wedding. The Piquette Plant has original wooden floors and ceilings, original windows, and the true Detroit industrial feel that they wanted. It certainly doesn’t hurt that there are Model Ts on the floor—talk about Motor City heritage! It’s a plus for us to deliver to unique places and this one is certainly near the top of the list.

Model-T cars provided the backdrop for mingling, dancing, and dining.  Photos by George Street Photo.
Model-T cars provided the backdrop for mingling, dancing, and dining. Photos by George Street Photo & Video.

So when you’re a preservationist and you have all this Detroit history in your wedding, what do you do next? Make up your own theme of course. In this case, it was industrial rustic. Basically, that meant old boxes, rusty metal objects and crates mixed in with fresh succulents (from Eastern Market), moss, and driftwood. Emilie said that someone pointed out that the décor seemed to symbolize Detroit’s current state of nature taking over many of the industrial buildings. Funny how that worked out.

Photo by George Street Photo.
Photo by George Street Photo & Video.

And then there’s the cake. We certainly weren’t going to stick rusty metal objects out of it, that’s for sure. We started with squares because that fit the style and added in a rich, deep purple to match their color palette. Next, Ellen handmade dark green gumpaste succulents to accent the cake. In the end, we had a sharp, angular cake with leafy green florals—pretty industrial rustic, don’t you think? Inside was a flavorful nutty carrot cake with cream cheese frosting.

Photo by George Street Photo.
Photo by George Street Photo & Video.

Thank you Emilie and Peter for letting us share your wonderful love story. Hopefully you will inspire more people to love, and take pride in their great city—be it Detroit or somewhere else. But for you, we know that Detroit will forever be in your hearts.

Thank you George Street Photo & Video for beautifully capturing this wedding and sharing the photos!

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