Jen and Eric
Floral Designer | Floribunda Flowers
Jen and Eric
Floral Designer | Floribunda Flowers
Jen and Eric’s Wedding day had on and off showers, but that didn’t stop us from enjoying the day to the max! The ceremony and reception was held at The Scarab Club. Jen carried a blessed gift Eric brought her from his work travels from China. Their wedding was a very artistic, urban, and full of love throughout the day.
Our wedding was held at a beautiful art gallery in Detroit, MI. We were drawn to this space immediately – it was a beautiful, open and bright gallery space, but also has a full English garden and dark and moody library on the second floor. We loved the feeling of it being both modern and vintage! This was also reflected in our color palette which was pale, dusty lavenders and blues, with a splash of dark burgundy and black. Our goal was to have a modern, but relaxed wedding. We have been together for over 12 years already and really wanted to throw a big party to celebrate our love, and also our amazing family and friends. Because we have been together for so long we opted for very personalized touches on the day, rather than specific traditions.
We really wanted to take advantage of the natural beauty of the art gallery, so we kept our décor minimal with a few larger focal points. I scoured Home Goods for all the terrariums I could find in different shapes, sizes, and metal colors and we filled them with a mix of florals, greenery, and crystals. We added candles in every variety (candle sticks, tea lights, and gorgeous candelabras) where ever I could fit them. We also had four amazing and HUGE balloons to highlight our head table (which were a total blast to take pictures with and to make my brother-in-law carry around all day!). I (the bride) have a huge sweet tooth, so my favorite decor piece was our dessert table. We had a variety of our favorite treats, including macaroons, cake pops, and mini cupcakes, plus the cutest, tiniest cake for just the two of us. I loved adding elements of crystal throughout the decor, so we added rock candy to the table and to the cake. The best part of our decor might have been from our soccer teammates who brought our team flag and hung it in the garden space!
I wanted the florals for our wedding to feel like they were picked out of a garden – eclectic, beautiful, but still modern. We stuck to a palette of mostly off-whites and light purples to emphasize the garden feel of the wedding and added in dark berries to pick up on the moodiness of the rest of the gallery space. We also created a beautiful floral arch as our backdrop for our wedding. Our florist did an amazing job incorporating our wedding flowers, palette, and mood into this piece. The bridesmaids carried a simple bouquet of three white peonies wrapped in greenery. My bouquet was larger with mixed peonies, light purple roses, berries, and greenery. For me, the most special part of my bouquet were mementos from my family and now-husband. I was lucky to have two biological grandfathers and one step-grandfather with whom I was very close with. Unfortunately, they all passed away prior to my wedding, so to remember them my grandmothers gave me their wedding rings to attach to my bouquet. My now husband also visited Japan just prior to our wedding and brought back a beautiful charm for a long and healthy marriage that he got from a temple in Kyoto. These tokens reminded me of the men who were the first (besides my dad) to teach me unconditional love, respect, and genuineness, and the charm from my husband was a reminder not only of his love for me, but the ways in which he prioritizes and cares for our relationship.
We tried to add as many personal touches to our wedding day as possible. One of our friends officiated and DJ’ed our ceremony. She has a master’s in theology and has a similar progressive ideology about marriage and relationships, plus has officiated over 30 weddings (and, is a kickass DJ!) which allowed us to create a very personalized ceremony from start to finish. We asked a good friend to share a reading that I (the bride) read at her wedding ceremony two years prior and asked the groom’s sister to read a poem that was used at her ceremony as a reflection of the admiration we have for those relationships and marriages. We also each selected poems for each other to read as our wedding vows. My best friend’s younger brother (who is like my brother) performed our ceremony music, which was incredibly touching and made my grandmother cry. He also surprised us during the reception by performing another song that he felt reflected our relationship, which was incredibly touching. One of our favorite parts of our wedding was our soccer team serenading us with our team song in the garden.
We wanted to reflect the modern feel of our venue in our fashion choices, but we both also wanted to feel like ourselves on our wedding day. We were living in Massachusetts while planning on wedding in Detroit, Michigan, so it was really important to me to find a time during the holidays to go dress shopping with my family and friends. Because my time was so limited, I had a huge group of people with me and was lucky to find my dress during that first visit. My dress was fitted throughout with a high neckline and the back was sheer with a beautiful lace design that reminded me of flowers and having wings. I chose to not wear a veil, but instead designed a crystal headpiece with my mother by my favorite local artist. One of my good friends gifted me with beautiful blush-colored velvet heels with a 90s flair. My now husband gave me a silver cuff bracelet engaged with our wedding date on it. I wore my hair down in loose curls and kept my makeup simple with a bold, burgundy lip. My husband’s only requests were that he wanted to feel comfortable and not wear anything “too weird” (he knows I tend to go for more fashion forward looks than him). He chose a blue 3-piece suit with a white bowtie, which looked both modern and traditional. I gifted him with a watch to match and a bottle of Scotch.
The first time we met was in middle school. We grew up in the same town and both played travel soccer and had practice next to each other. Our teams used to scrimmage occasionally and the brides parents swear that she knocked him down a few times during those games. We re-connected through mutual friends when we were 19 years old. One of the bride’s best friends invited her to a University of Michigan football game that the groom happened to be attending as well. We hit it off and started talking on MySpace (it was the early 2000s!). We spent time “talking” at a college party and started officially dating not too long after. Our engagement was a long time coming. We knew we’d get married about five years into our relationship and by then were already living together. At that time we were both in school – Eric was finishing his undergraduate degree in engineering and I had begun my PhD training in clinical psychology. So, we were incredibly busy and broke, but happy with our relationship and life together. I spent the last year of my doctoral training in Denver, CO and was moving from Denver to Massachusetts to do my postdoctoral fellowship. We had about a week back home in Michigan before we moved to Massachusetts and planned a weekend trip with my sister and brother-in-law to our family’s cottage in Northern Michigan. Eric and I spent a lot of time there throughout our relationship going to the beach, wine tasting, and water skiing, so it was always a special place for us. After spending the day at the beach my sister suggested that we take a family photo before heading into town to my favorite brewery. My sister and brother-in-law pretended to set up the shot and when I turned around Eric was on one knee holding the most beautiful ring. Neither one of us remember much about what we actually said, except for me swearing at him for designing the mostly insanely gorgeous ring. My sister and brother-in-law captured the moment on camera. After, we went and had our favorite pizza and beer at Short’s Brewing Company.
For both of us, the most anticipated moment of the day was actually getting to call each other husband and wife. We had been together for 12 years by our wedding day and had waited a long time to be pronounced husband and wife. It was special and meaningful in a way that is hard to describe! Some of our other favorite moments were having a close friend sing us a song that he selected that he felt reflected our relationship during our reception. It was unexpected and so thoughtful. The week of our wedding my husband’s mother began experiencing severe pain due to a bulging disc in her back. Her pain became severe enough that she ended up in the ER the morning of our wedding trying to control the pain. Thankfully, she was able to attend the wedding and have her mother-son dance, during which she (in her wheelchair) spun around the dance floor. We have the best picture of her being spun in her chair and everyone reacting! She out danced all of us.
The best advice we got about wedding planning was to expect that something was going to go wrong but to have faith that at some point in the future you will find humor in those moments. I think that advice allowed us to have a sense of humor on the day of the wedding when things went wrong and to maintain our focus on why we were getting married in the first place. Throughout our wedding planning we tried to focus on celebrating our relationship with each other and with our family and friends. The pretty dress, and flowers, and details were just an added bonus! In terms of marriage advice, we prioritize healthy communication with each other. We’re always striving to be open and honest, but kind with one another. This allows us to talk about problems when they arise, rather than hold resentments, and to make adjustments.