A Moody night of Romance on Detroit's Belle Isle.
As I further define our design it's not just about the pretty stuff. It's about the logistics, it's about how to prepare the team who is going to be setting because I will not be able to do my normal thing, it's about making sure the packing, drop offs, pick ups, layouts and everything else is also prepared. The concept boards and picking out the elements is only one part of completing a successfully designed event.
Want to check out a few more images I am using for inspiration? Head to ARC Design Studios on Pinterest!
"After drafting at least four different back-up plans we came to a final conclusion."
We have landed at our original plan with a few major COVID adjustments. We will be pushing forward with planning our event at the Belle Isle Casino for October! While we were very reserved in pursuing our original plan we have already started making adjustments to be sure to have a COVID friendly version. Still at the mercy of the state guidelines and our state ran venue's rendition of such, we have accepted that there is a chance we could have to cancel.
"While we know that there is no telling what October will look like, we are excited to be planning purposeful details to be prepared for anything that is thrown at us. This includes what steps we will have to take to cancel."
We are excited to share our journey with you!
Next month we talk about the design concept and décor elements!
Cheers! Slainte! Salud!
Photography: The Focused Soul Photography
What Now? This is the question that everyone is asking themselves as we venture into another year affected by COVID-19. We knew that 2021 would still not be "normal", but will it be "normal" enough to host the celebrations that so many of us have postponed?
Hi! Amanda here and it's been a minute since we have updated you on where Jesus and I are at in our wedding planning process. I think the title speaks for itself as we, just like so many, are asking ourselves: What Now?
To be honest there have been many different versions of our back up plan drafted. A long list of "if this happens we will.." and "if that happens we can..." and "if this and that work out then we will be good too.."
With so much still to be determined, the struggle in deciding what is the best, safest, and most solid plan to pursue can be maddening. Don't get me wrong, we know that starting our marriage is the most important thing, that the celebration comes second to our union. We are grateful for the fact that we got married last April and we wouldn't have done it any other way.
Here is what I can tell you, that even though I work in the industry it doesn't mean that I have all the answers for Jesus and I. To be totally honest, I find it hardest to decide what's best for us versus what I recommend to my clients.
So what do I do......?
I reach out, I talk to people that I trust, I talk to those in and out of the industry, I talk to family and to friends. Each person has their own perspective, but I find that by talking it through with others I start to think clearer on what I envision for the different versions of our day.
However, the most important person that I talk to is, of course, Jesus. Checking in with him regularly about our options, budget, details and newly narrowed guest list. Weighing our options, deciding what is important to us, and setting aside some basic parameters has allowed us to come up with a timeline and basic plan for when/if our backup plan becomes our new plan.
"We are healthy, we are safe, our family and friends are healthy and safe, and we are married. Those things that matter. The rest will happen and it will be perfect when it does."
Meet Mr. & Mrs. Jesus Sancen!
OH MY GOODNESS HELLO EVERYONE! So so so so much has changed since my last entry in Our Story. I am not even sure where to start! I guess I will start by saying YES we did get married!
Last time we checked in with everyone we were chatting about our 2020 Hallo-Wedding and how that affect my decor choices for the event.....Welll..... Let's just say we do not have to worry about that anymore......
"Out of all the weddings I have packed for, the bins I have loaded, the check lists I have used to prepare; this one was the easiest but also the most meaningful. "
Once we said our goodbyes and our family went back to their homes to stay safe, Jesus and I were blessed enough to pick up some of our favorite Italian ( shoutout to Dearborn Roman Villageeeee) food for a Wedding Dinner as a gift from my mother and step father.
We bought a small cake to cut that night and topped it with a small bride and groom bear figure that Jesus picked out on our recent trip ( Right before Covid) to North Carolina for Jesus to meet my grandparents.
It was a simple, sweet, and SAFE park ceremony. No glitz, no glam, and I think I even got my white blazer from Amazon...LMAO
But what is awesome... every time we walk Chevy through the park we take the longer route so we can walk through the circle. It will always be a special place for us and I am so grateful that we were able to create this additional memory.
"....Amanda, Instead of promising you the stars and the moon, I rather promise to show you everyday that I know how lucky I am to have you in my life" - Jesus
"....While I already knew I loved you, and I already knew that you would be the person I want to have as my partner for the rest of my time on this earth, I am being reassured every minute that I am stronger with you as my teammate." - Amanda
For the post about our day for this month I decided to bring up the ONE thing we keep getting asked....."Are you having people wear costumes?". We love the excitement our friends and family have for our Halloween nuptials but this question we never know quite how to answer. For those of you who do not know, or maybe I haven't mentioned it till now...our wedding date is 10.31.2020. YUP Halloween.....
Now Jesus and I did not plan it this way, when we went to our venue and looked at the dates available this was the LAST date in October open. Makes sense, most people are going to hesitate to book a Halloween wedding; however, for Jesus and I we didn't care. What better day to have a fall wedding than on the most FALL holiday of the year?
So this brings me to the conversation about how much Halloween?
Halloween is one of both of our favorite holidays but not one enough to focus our big day completely around....However, I think it would be silly to not take this holiday into account at all in planning some of our little details.
While just like all of " Our Story" posts I am not going to give it all away, but let's talk about what our options are...
The Dress Code
As mentioned in my intro this is THE question we are asked. While Jesus and I both love the idea of having our guests dress up in some type of costume, coordinated or individually, we struggle with the idea of how much of a " Halloween" party is this versus the fact that it is a wedding?
Do we want costumes in the photos?
Do we want to be wearing any type of costume? NOT me..I already paid for a beautiful dress, hair and for the makeup I will be wearing that day. I do not want to distract away from those things with a costume.
If we did allow costumes should they all match? OR be of a similar consistent theme?
Could we ask guests to all wear Black?
Do we provide some type of mask or prop for guests to wear once the party starts?
There are two different concepts that come to mind that would fit our wedding style and still play off the idea of the wedding being on Halloween..
1. Gatsby Theme / Roaring 20s'
2. Masquerade Ball
The Gatsby Wedding- Roaring 20's
While we still have plenty of time to make this decision I am eager to decide for good as soon as possible. The amount of influence the idea of Halloween and the coordinating concepts will play a large role in many of the small details!
Till next Month! Cheers! Slainte!Salud!
If you haven't already noticed I am marrying a verryyy handsome Mexican-American man this year. Both of Jesus' parents were born and raised in the agricultural parts of Guanajuato, Mexico and Jesus is one of 5 boys: Jesus, his twin Elpidio ( who is getting married this April!!), and three older brothers David, Jose, and Salvador.
I LOVE presence that his culture has in his life, I think it is one of my favorite things about about him. I think it makes him the warm, loving and kind man that he is today. He is proud of his culture and I find it so exciting the more I learn. I have more than enjoyed my time learning about the Mexican traditions, FOOD, music, and everything in between. I still have a good deal to learn so its a good thing that we are signing up for forever right??
This December we made our first trip together to Guanajuato and that was by far one of the best experiences I have had to date. While I could not speak the language fluently, understanding body language and tone allowed me to feel the warm welcome from friends and family that we visited. This experience only heightened both of our desires to make sure that we included some of the traditions you would find in a Mexican wedding.
So what about me... I mean you may have guessed it from the title of this page but my families heritage is Irish and Scottish. While we are a blend of things, these two cultures are the highest percentage.
When you look at me you would be able to guess that, especially when I was younger. I am pretty sure I came out of my mother with flaming red hair and covered in freckles ( not that all Irish people look this way but you know what I mean). Growing up we had a few small things we did as a family to celebrate our heritage, but it was our great greats that came here from Ireland.
In 2018 we as a family wanted to explore our roots in Ireland and Scotland and took a trip to engage in the cultures we come from. It was an amazing trip and I learned so much about myself and my family. It inspired all of us to not only explore our heritage but to travel more to explore others. It's like an itch now that we are all dying to go someplace to see the world around us.
While we are going to be paying respects to both of our families heritage it is even more important to us that every choice we make is personal to the two of us as a couple together. What traditions we keep, what ones we make our own, what ways we incorporate everyone, are all choices we will make keeping our desire to make it personal to us.. in the forefront. That would be my advice to any couple also working to blend two cultures together. Lay out your options, decide what is important to the values you want moving forward in the marriage AFTER the wedding, and represent those things in your special day.
One thing is for sure...... IT WILL ALWAYS BE A PARTY!
Cheers! Slainte! Salud!
The A-Team: Our Wedding Edition
One of the toughest parts of planning any event is making sure you HIRE the right vendors for the right services! Jesus and I have been lucky, we have done our research and have been able to book the best fits for our day.
While we are still putting the pieces together, here are some of the partners we are pairing up with this fall!!!
ARC Design Studios
I mean I would have imagined you guessed it....Of course I will be be designing our day. I will be gathering, prepping and preparing all of the decor over the next few months. While what that looks like will come in a later post.....
The question is...who is going to set it up for us? As much as I would love to be in my dress hustling around the reception space setting it myself.... You and I both know that is not possible.... Like seriously I tried figuring it out..its not..
No matter though, when making the call on who to ask it was easy. Now these two may kill me for this photo but I love it dearly. They both were present at our housewarming, turned engagement party, and I am so grateful to have such talented friends.
Kaitlyn has worked with my studio MANNNY times over the past handful of years. We graduated from the same program at Western ( a few years apart ) and then I hired her working as a visual merchandiser with me for a bit. She has worked a great deal of my west Michigan weddings with me and she knows how my mind works ( not an easy task believe me). She is one of my favorite people and is a shoot it to you straight kind of girl.
Amanda and I have been known as the Amanda's while working as visuals together in the showrooms. We never worked in the same store but traveled frequently together to help with new store setups and larger projects. Amanda, like Kaitlyn, is a hustler and very talented. Shes not afraid to experiment with design and try every solution till its right. Amanda is also the Owner of Frost & Layer Bakery we featured a few weeks ago!
Both of these ladies I know will take amazing care of us setting for the big day. They have partnered with each other in the past and have always done an amazing job. What is even better is that we get to party with them afterwords!!! We may add some other helpers to the day but these two are running the show!!!!
While we are in the progress of finishing the line up for this team we are so grateful to be working with these folks above.
As a vendor I know the best way to assure that your big day goes smooth is simply to hire the right people to help get you there.
Ar sceal, nuestra historia, our story....
Belle Isle Casino
1 Casino Way, Detroit, MI 48209
Oh man.. When Jesus and I first started talking about the wedding we were all over the place. We talked about destination weddings, barn weddings, small weddings, large weddings.. We really did not know where were would fall until we came here.
Detroit in general is a special place to us both. My parents were born and raised here, my grandfather teaching here, grandmother(s) working in multiple local Detroit locations. For Jesus he grew up here, born and raised.
One of my first trips here we spent a day at the Isle. Trips meaning one of the weekends I visited from Kalamazoo. I had never been to the isle ever so this was a first. We went kayaking ( who knew), rode in different rentals, and really just explored the busy isle. From then on it was a special spot for us. In the same year on the isle, Jesus and I ran a 5K together that completed his goal of running in 15 races in 2018. It was cold, it was rainy and I was sick, but honestly I still had fun.
As someone who is into architecture, the Casino is a dream.. Which is one of the reasons I am sure that I was drawn to it. The repetitive arches, the amazing windows, the two towers flanking ether side and the large outdoor spaces ( even though it will be a bit colder for us) are things I am drawn to. On the inside I appreciated the fixtures that were still original the columns, the inset tile details, ceiling changes and focus areas that made this spot unique.
For Jesus, I think the idea of being married in Detroit was special enough, plus it being on the Isle, but I think he also really loved how open and large the space was inside. He loves room where people can gather together. The large windows were another element he appreciated along with the different layout options we could use.
The Casino has two floors. For us we plan on having ceremony on one level and reception on the other. The lower floor has all the open space I am talking about. Large windows are what really drew us in with plenty of natural light. Being at the end of October we hope that the isle holds on to a bit of color for us..Fingers Crossed.. We love the marble detail, the combination of green, golds, the deep woods and contrasting ivory walls.
With the Casino the challenge is that you do everything yourself. WHICH for me, I mean that is amazing. I do this for other people all the time how cool is that I get to do it for Jesus and I ? With that being said it means we have to hire the right people.
We have a good deal of details to work out prior to making any real layouts. The biggest of them all being our guest list. While we have the list completed its a matter of how many people we can fit where, and can we still have all the other elements on the same floor??
We both could not be happier with this location. After taking both moms, a handful of siblings and multiple trips ourselves, we are all SO EXCITED to celebrate our day here.
So these is where it begins...Ar sceal, nuestra historia, our story....
It's funny, my life has taken a lot of turns in the last few years...
I am guessing that is cliche to say but it is the truth.
This past year, if you have been following us on Instagram or even on here you know, Chevy and I made the move back to Detroit.
While this move was for many reasons, one of the biggest ones was because I truly saw a life with this amazing man. They call him Jesus..LOL Whenever I type it I always think people will read it like the big man up stairs Jesus because it is spelled the same way. While no offense to the one all knowing but no...the move was not for him.. It was for HAY ZOOs, as he broke down for me the first time we talked.
I debated about writing out our story at all because while I am pretty open and excited to share this amazing part of my life, I also do not want to over share something that is so special to me.
I get to help others write their love stories all the time, be a part of their big day, share in their joys and in their struggles throughout the process, and I think that....to an extent..I would love to share ours. Here is the kicker.. it's nothing fancy... It's just love.
So here we are.. less than a year till we say I do...This is Ar sceal, nuestra historia, our story....
Photo Cred: Focused Soul Photography