It’s a big decision day.
Though we truly loved every venue we visited and the decision was not at all easy, we have decided, signed and made our deposit to celebrate our wedding at…
Now, there were plenty of reasons to choose The Crofoot. First, it was the first place I saw Mike play a show, back before we started dating, so we definitely have our sentimental reasons for liking it, but that’s just the beginning.
As we’ve mentioned before, we love restored historic downtown buildings. We live in one, we seek out downtown shopping and dining spots, and I spend a good deal of most days writing and thinking about these amazing buildings. From a historic preservation standpoint, The Crofoot is just the kind of building we love. It’s been renovated to be functional, modern and green, but also stays true to the architecture and integrity of the original structure.
And just look at it. It’s everything we were looking for in terms of aesthetics: it’s urban, it’s minimalist, it’s hip. It has exposed brick walls, high ceilings, wood floors and steel trim. And a stage. And an awesome neon projecting sign.
With those reasons before us, we were fairly sure we were going to pick The Crofoot after our tours in June, but we just weren’t ready to make the decision yet. After all, every place we visited fit the bill in one way or the other – how could we be certain this was the place?
Unfortunately, fate stepped in to virtually make the decision for us. Our recent hiatus from posting was not entirely due to our mutual busyness and procrastination, but also because my family has been suffering through a sudden and dramatic loss. In July my mother’s younger brother Dick died from a brain aneurysm at his home in Florida. At 59 and extremely active, it was an absolute shock. For my mom and her sisters, for my grandmother, for Dick’s wife and their children especially, it has been excruciating.
Along with the rest of our family, Mike and I went to Florida to be together. We came from Michigan, Texas, California, Georgia – even Guam. We’re a big bunch. All week, everyone agreed how odd if felt to be so happy to be together and so deeply sad at the same time.
Though we are spread all over the globe now, we are a Michigan family at heart. He’d lived in Florida for more than 20 years, but my aunts and cousins knew the best way to honor Dick’s memory was to immediately go out and get Detroit Tiger tattoos. They seriously did that. Much of the week was spent telling stories from my mom and her siblings’ childhood, from the happy and wild and hilarious time when they were all together as kids in Pontiac.
Mom, Dick and their sisters Julie and Lori all graduated from Pontiac Northern. They grew up in a house in a neighborhood near Madonna’s family. My grandfather worked for General Motors and my grandmother worked at Oakland University. When Mike and I saw Dick’s Pontiac Northern varsity letter leaning against his portrait during his service, we each separately and silently made the final decision about our wedding.
We knew that the next time our family would all be together would be next August in Pontiac for our wedding. We’re proud to be the only arm of my family still living in the Detroit area, and we’re especially proud to be able to give them all the chance to come back here to celebrate together. It won’t be the same without Dick. We know that there will be some sad mixed in with our happiness. But we also know that there isn’t any better place in the world for the Sumpter clan to continue to heal, continue to celebrate and to just be together again.
So yea for the Crofoot, and yea Pontiac. We now have a pretty big party to plan.