Nicole, thank you for taking the time to share your big day with us! You had such a gorgeous wedding. How would you describe your wedding theme?
I would describe my wedding theme to be “elegant industrial.” The theme of the wedding was very much a black tie affair.
We chose to have both our ceremony and reception at a venue rather than having it at a church. Our venue was a proving ground for Packard cars in the 1920s. Blake and I loved the idea of getting married at such an industrial, unique venue with a historical background. We love history.
Our hors d’oeuvres hour was held in the lodge garage, and our reception was held in the repair garage. Although there were 300 guests present at our wedding, the overall vibe was incredibly intimate. The presence of God was so evident throughout our ceremony.
Almost every guest told us they cried throughout the ceremony. (Blake and I cried so much during the ceremony that we ended up sharing the same handkerchief. . . . lol). Although we had hundreds of guests, we both truly felt like we were surrounded by our closest family and friends. Blake and I also wanted to be cognizant of how our guests would feel about the overall experience. We wanted to host an event that was both enjoyable and memorable for them as well.
We had a large variety of desserts instead of cake. We had macaroons, creme puffs, and authentic cannolis. We had a live jazz/hors d’oeuvres hour while the guests mingled. We also asked three extraordinarily, talented singers to perform three of our favorite love songs at the reception. The feedback we received from our guests about the day was absolutely priceless. I am so thankful we invested in making the day memorable!
What are some of your favorite or most special memories of your wedding day?
I think going into the wedding day, everyone was a bit apprehensive about the fact that we had to set up everything the morning of the wedding. There was another wedding the night before mine, meaning that the only time we could set up was the morning of. I truly still get emotional when I think about how surreal it was to watch a team of 50 people set up both our indoor and outdoor space in record time. We finished set-up half an hour early. If you know how weddings typically go, you know that this is quite a feat.
Several couples from our team of 50 traveled from different states all to offer their help and support. We felt so incredibly loved that day. Blake and I couldn’t believe how much our friends and family sacrificed for us that day. The memory of everyone working together, of friendships being forged, will forever be one of my favorites.
I choose to write my own vows . . . on the wedding day. I realize this is unconventional, but writing is my passion, and I wanted to make sure that what I wrote was sincere, raw, and in-the-moment. After I finished writing them I read them to my bridesmaids, and we all cried and laughed and reminisced.
The moments with my dad that day were absolutely priceless. We cried so many tears. We were a mess. But I so cherish those little moments I got to have with him. His moment of reflection during the wedding was so beautiful.
My favorite moment of the entire day was when our MC announced Blake and me, and we finally made our grand entrance into the reception. It was truly like time stood still. The music hit the moment the doors opened. Three hundred of our closest family and friends cheered and applauded. Blake and I both agree that it was the most magical moment of our lives.
Were there any funny moments or things that didn’t go according to plan?
Honestly, everyone involved would agree that the wedding day went so smoothly. Both the setting-up process and the getting-ready process were so completely serene. Our volunteers worked so well together; our guests loved the experience, and Blake and I truly could not stop gushing over how perfect the day was!
How did you find the perfect wedding dress?
To give you some context, I am pretty particular when it comes to what I wear. I had a very specific mental visual of the look I wanted to achieve. However, finding that look within my budget was a bit tricky.
I online-shopped quite a bit, but there is truly no way of knowing exactly how a dress will fit your shape without trying it on. So I went to a bridal boutique in downtown Detroit and found a dress I absolutely loved. Unfortunately, this dress was three times my budget. In an effort to help alleviate my disappointment, my mom booked a spontaneous appointment with a boutique in Birmingham, Michigan. I was there for about an hour and fell in love with a dress within my budget. The dress, however, was sleeveless and showcased a very deep V. This posed a bit of a problem. I explained to the alterations expert exactly what I wanted, and they truly surpassed my expectations. Antonio’s Bridal is unreal.
My train was actually detachable. It was custom made by a shop on eBay, and I feel that it completes the look perfectly. I really wanted the look to feel both unique and timeless. I drew inspiration from Audrey Hepburn in the movie Sabrina. If you know, you know.
Any advice for future brides?
My advice for future brides would be to utilize your connections. We saved money in so many different ways all because we utilized the strengths and talents of our loved ones.
One example of this is Blake’s cousin, Annalia, who was also one of my bridesmaids. She is an incredibly talented pastry chef and made several hundred copper-dusted macaroons for the dessert table. Several of our ridiculously gifted friends served as our entertainment for both the live jazz hour and the reception.
Additionally, try to really be in the moment on your day. Don’t worry about the little things, soak in the insignificant moments, and let the emotions envelop you. Don’t worry about how many tears you cry that day. Those tears and raw emotions play a massive role in the sheer beauty and memorability of your wedding day.
Anything else you’d like to share with us about your love story?
Ultimately, remember that your marriage is the most important outcome of your wedding day. Everything else is a beautiful byproduct. Blake and I went through pre-marital counseling prior to the wedding, and we both felt like we greatly benefitted from that experience and the wisdom that was imparted to us from Rev. and Sis. Walker. I am also so grateful for the many, many, many sacrifices and investments that both sets of our parents made. Our families truly worked together to help give us a dream wedding. We are so thankful!
I love your photography style! Who was your photographer?
Sam Aleman Photography — He is an unbelievable photographer and an even better friend. We are so blessed to call him friend!