DISCLAIMER: I did not get married. However I was recently in my cousin’s wedding, which took place right here in the Motor City. When I heard that they were going to have a Detroit wedding, almost a year and a half ago, I didn’t quite know what to expect. Of course this was also before I had moved to Detroit, where I have now been submerged into the city’s vibrant culture and beautiful historic architecture. Looking back, having the familiarity and love for the city that I do now, I think I would have reacted with much more enthusiasm and excitement.

Regardless, moving forward with planning and execution of the Rehearsal Dinner, Wedding Ceremony and following Wedding Reception, and the after-after receptions for both, there are a couple of places I wanted to highlight:


1.  Rehearsal Dinner at Vince’s

I felt like I was in a scene from the Godfather, and at any moment Michael Corleone was going to come running from the bathroom with a gun to assassinate a family enemy. This place was beautifully authentic, with paintings and old traditional wallpaper dating back into the early 1900s, met with singing mandolin melodies, wrapping around the entire restaurant. And the food was delicious too! Coming from a large Italian family myself, this was a perfect fit. You could tell the pasta was made with an old family recipe, with a taste and consistency similar to my own Nana’s. I highly recommend their angel hair pesto pasta.



2.  Night-Cap Cocktails at Firebird Tavern

I was thrilled to hear that Firebird made it on the itinerary, mainly because I knew it would have the end of the Red Wings game playing on multiple large screens, and because they served my new-found favorite stout on tap (if you haven’t tried the Neapolitan Milk Stout by Saugatuck Brewing Co., you’re truly missing out on an alcoholic delicacy). The handcrafted woodwork and exposed brick interior creates a real homey environment for a family celebration such as ours. First constructed back in the 1880’s, this 100+ year old building has made quite the comeback and fails to show any dramatic decay – the mix of architectural restoration and modernization really lives up to it’s “true American Tavern” claim. As expected, it quickly turned into a great night with a huge victory for the Red Wings and needless to say several rounds of drinks and shared laughter with the bridal party and the rest of the family.



3. Wedding Ceremony at Annunciation Greek Orthodox CathedralThis Orthodox Cathedral is absolutely breathtaking on the inside. It’s deceiving dulled brick exterior is tucked between Greektown Casino and a towering parking structure on the corner of Lafayette and the I-375 Service Drive. The uncomfortable old wooden benches and marble floors definitely show it’s historic age, dating back to 1910 when it was first resurrected. The acoustics allow for a beautiful humming ambiance of Greek chanting throughout any ceremony, with domed ceilings and high lit chandeliers. However, a tip to anyone standing in a Greek Orthodox wedding: be sure to hydrate, eat a full meal prior, and never ever lock your knees, during the 45 minute ceremony (yes, 45 minutes without a break to rest those poor feet from the dreaded heeled shoes every bridesmaid fakes a smile to squeeze into to walk down to aisle for the bride on her special day… you’re welcome, Maria). If you do not, you will become light-headed, and in some cases pass out; we almost lost a groomsman.



4. Wedding Reception at the Colony Club

IMG_6938Be prepared to take a trip back to the 1940s, complete with beautifully detailed trim along ceiling high windows, ambiance lighting, and in this particular occasion, Frank Sinatra and a 15 piece orchestra serenading the party and flooding the dance floor until midnight. A shout-out to the Rhythm Society Orchestra (RSO) who did an incredible job making the party a one-of-a-kind swing-dancing experience. This venue is absolutely extraordinary, and a perfect setting for 300+ guests of the “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” of 2014. Starting on the first floor with a light bar, room for cocktails and mingling, leading to the second floor – the main floor – with hardwood floors and beautiful windows, and led to the top mezzanine via a spiral staircase to overlook the rest of the main floor (complete with a bridal and groom suite on either end of the mezzanine for pre-reception cocktails and hors d’oeuvres). I felt like an elegant princess, and I wasn’t even the bride.


As I mentioned above, these are some of the main highlights from the extravaganza. These are not including the iconic places around the city such as the Guardian Building, Campus Martius Ice Rink, The Fox Theatre, etc. where the pre-wedding photos were taken. All-in-all it was a true honor to be a part of my cousin’s wedding and a real bonus that it all took place in this incredible city I’ve soon learned to call home.

Cheers to the newlywed couple, and cheers to the Motor City!