When two Wolverines fell in love

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Photo by Heather Jowett
Photo by Heather Jowett

As a born and bred Ann Arborite, I was dedicated to the great University of Michigan Fab Five basketball team of ’92 and ’93. Therefore, the “infamous” moment of my childhood was not as grand as Neil Armstrong walking on the moon, or as tragic as Kennedy getting shot. Oh no, my moment was when Chris Webber infamously called a time-out when we had none and it ultimately clinched the Championship game for North Carolina. I remember everything about that moment. Needless to say, I was a diehard. But life moves on, right? You might understand then, how excited I was when, 20 odd years later I met a couple that were as into the Fab Five as I. So much so, that they named their dog Jalen, after Jalen Rose, another of the fantastic Fab Five players and the groom’s favorite. After hearing that, I was hooked.

Colleen and Jeff were grad students/law students when they were officially introduced. While they were aware of each other in undergrad at Michigan—the sorority cheerleader and the frat boy—neither necessarily “knew” each other. Not until several years later on a fateful night in 2007 when the Michigan football team lost to Oregon. Nothing like Michigan sports bringing people together. As Colleen said, “the rest they say is history.”

Photo by Heather Jowett
Photo by Heather Jowett

In a random twist of fate, during our consultation, a woman stopped in to pick up a set of toppers we had made for a wedding cake. When Colleen and Jeff saw the gumpaste bride and groom, they just had to have their own set. And when I mentioned how we could also make a little Jalen dog, well, they were pretty floored. After all, our pets are our children but there was no way that Jalen was going to be allowed in their museum wedding. This was a fetching and save-able way to honor her.

Off we went to design a heavenly white buttercream cake with ruffles to mimic the bride’s dress. As the figurines were meant to be the showstopper of the cake, we designed the only extra addition to be a pale yellow—not maize!—peony with navy blue berries for an accent. A week before the wedding, armed with numerous photos of Colleen, Jeff, Jalen, the wedding dress, the tux, and hair up-do photos I was ready to go with these figurines. In about 3.5 hours, their set was complete—and quite darling if I do say so myself.

Photos by Heather Jowett
Photos by Heather Jowett

Their wedding and reception were at the University of Michigan Museum of Art (UMMA). A classy affair honoring their story with numerous touches of the good ole’ Michigan blue. They had it all. Colleen had some seriously sparkly navy blue shoes. There were some clever cocktail napkins and a signature “guestbook.” We also made them Zingerman’s Bakehouse custom block M cookies for their wedding favors.

Photos by Heather Jowett
Photos by Heather Jowett

What a truly festive Ann Arbor/U of M wedding. I’d like to add that when I got to scroll through their photos I was overjoyed to see photos from Crisler Arena—home of the Fab Five. Now that’s what I’m talking about!  So of course I had share those as well.  Congrats Colleen, Jeff, and Jalen—thanks for letting us share in your wedding.

Photos by Heather Jowett
Photos by Heather Jowett

And thank you to Heather Jowett for sharing these amazing photos!