Real wedding: Ro + Kenan

Jessica Johnson sure knows how to shoot a wedding! Ro talks a bit about the day below….

When we started planning our wedding, we originally thought we would have it in Brooklyn, which is where Kenan grew up and where we currently live. We looked at a few New York venues and then decided that it made sense to look into spaces in my hometown of Detroit as well.  When we got there, I realized how strongly I felt about getting married in Detroit, where I grew up.  It just felt like the natural decision for both of us, and as soon as we saw Orchestra Hall we knew we had found our spot.  It had the perfect combination of the elements we were looking for.  The theater, where we had the ceremony, is steeped in history, and spoke to our sense of tradition.  What was really appealing to us was that in addition to the magnificent ceremony space, they had a more modern, completely adaptable attached space for the reception.

We used a combination of New York and Detroit vendors, and did a lot of work ourselves, with the help our our families.  The personal touches that we added were so important us, because they were a reflection of our shared vision for the day, and how we wanted to experience and remember it.  We brought all the candles for the ceremony from a Brooklyn Botanica and our families set them up on the stage. I made all the table lanterns myself, and we got the flowers we used for the centerpieces from  Fischer and Paige in the Chelsea flower market, and had them fedex’d to Detroit the day before the wedding.  We used a local florist in Detroit, Flowers by Gabrielle, for the Bridal Bouquet and flowers for the Bridesmaids and Groomsmen. We used framed photographs that Kenan had taken of various numbers around New York as our table numbers.  Kenan and I met 6 years ago while working the door at Brooklyn music venue, so we brought the beat up old wooden podium that we used to use to take tickets at the club and used it as the lecturn for our readers at the ceremony. We had friends of ours play the music at the ceremony, and a family friend officiate the service. We hired a Mariachi band from Mexican Village in Detroit to play at the cocktail hour, and our DJ, the world renowned Cosmo Baker, is a Brooklynite and a dear friend.  Kenan made a collage of all of our parent’s, grandparent’s, and sibling’s wedding portaits and we projected it onto a huge wall above the reception.

We are so thankful to the staff at Orchestra Hall for helping us with all the planning and details.  The stagehands, sound and lighting technicians, and Holly Clement, who runs the Front of House there were all absolutely incredible.  The food was excellent, and was provided by Epoch Catering, the in house caterer for Orchestra Hall.  Maria Scarvalles from Epoch was a pleasure to work with from day one, and was sensitive to all of our needs and requests along the way.

We are thrilled with our photographer, Jessica Johnston, for capturing the feel of the day so beautifully.  I am a photographer myself, so the pictures were the one thing that were completely crucial to me. The minute I saw her photos on her website I knew there was no one else who could have captured the spirit of the day.  She did a truly magnificent job.  With all of the little touches, there were a lot of things that could have gone wrong, but absolutely nothing did.   We really could not have had a more magical start to our life together.

[images by Jessica Johnston Photography]

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