Gettin’ Registered

We were very proud of ourselves when we decided to have an online registry. After determining that this was an absolutely genius way to stick with Michigan stores, we promptly patted ourselves on the backs and checked “registry” off our list.

As it turns out, that was the easy part. Now, at the risk of sounding like I’m complaining about picking out presents for people to buy us, deciding on the stores, visiting them, picking out the gifts and then entering them all into our online registry was no snappy task. However, like all efforts to be more local, where this method may have been lacking in convenience, it will more than make up for in results. We’re super pumped to give our guests a chance to shop as some of these awesome Michigan spots:

So many exciting things! Right in Downtown East Tawas!

The Brew Krew, East Tawas

I have more than one favorite shop in Downtown East Tawas, but the Brew Krew is definitely high on the list. It has incredibly fun and cute kitchen and bath things. Since a whole hunk of our guests will be Tawasian, this will be their shop local option.

 

Meijer, All Over Michigan

In our first post about our registry, I joked about registering at Meijer. But then we came to realize that we did need some sort of large store that offered home goods that was easy to access for most of our guests. When you’re looking for that criteria in Michigan, there is really one, awesome option: Meijer. I love Meijer. I mean, it’s a million reasons in a single store, right?

That's right, I put tuna on our wedding registry. What are you gonna do about it?

Zingerman’s

Yes. We did this. There is pasta on our registry. And coffee. And Urfa Red Pepper Flakes. If the benefit of having an online registry is that the options are limitless, why not go to the limit with what we put on it? And if no one wants to buy us a fancy tin of tuna for our wedding, well, I’ll probably just ask for one for Christmas.

dnk2 Metal Arts

How beautiful is this?

Our friends and super talented metal artist Dace makes such cool stuff that we’ve already dedicated an entire post to his stuff. Everything he makes is custom, so anyone who wants to get us one of his pieces (please?) gets to work with him directly to make it happen. If I were to be getting us a wedding present, it would be one of his.

Leon & Lulu’s

We haven’t exactly gotten as far as putting Leon & Lulu’s on our registry yet, but we plan to. This shop in Clawson is full of quirky, fun home goods that really matches our style. We’re really looking forward to going there to do our registry…whenever we get around to that.

JC Penney

Honestly, I'd never paid much attention to JC Penney before they were mentioned in the news recently, but they have some seriously cute stuff!

Didn’t know JC Penny was a Michigan store? Yeah, it’s not. But because so many of our guests are coming from out of state and may want a more traditional wedding registry spot, we decided we had to choose one national retailer. We weren’t sure which one to pick, but after JC Penney’s recent publicity regarding hiring Ellen DeGeneres as a spokesperson, we decided including them on our registry was one small, but meaningful way to show our support.

Anywhere we’re missing?

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Picking the Blooming Flowers

It’s flower time. To understand what this means to us as a couple, it’s good to know a few things about Mike and me and our relationship to plants. If there was a reality television show about people who mindlessly mistreat plants (and why wouldn’t there be, if there isn’t one already?), I would be on it. I own several plants, and I continually bring more home. I don’t know what any of their names are. I don’t know how much sunlight they require or how often I should water them. I once saw a Starbucks barista giving a gardener some coffee grounds to fertilize her garden, so now I water my collection of barely alive plants exclusively with with leftover coffee. If we drink all the coffee on any given day, the plants just go hungry.

Summary: I like plants, but really should really not be in charge of them.

Mike’s entire philosophy regarding the flowers for our wedding is somewhere between disinterest and extreme disintrest. Collective summary: we need some serious help in this department.

In keeping with our commitment to Michigan, we at least know a few things. We want locally grown, Michigan flowers, and they should fit into our color palette. We’d also like to do something fun and creative with the flowers that shows off their Michigan-ness. Though the last one might be a little abstract, the first requirement, apparently, is doable. I was speaking with a florist recently (at a bar, mind you, not a flower shop) who listed off about a dozen Michigan flowers that would be in bloom in August. I retained none of the names, and have no idea what they look like. But I’m sure they’ll be fine.

What we’re really looking for is some unique, creative energy with the flowers. Fortunately, in the last year I happen to have met a couple of people who are more than up to the challenge. Here are two of the cool flower geniuses we’re considering:

 

Pot & Box, Ann Arbor

I was working on a story about creatives in Ann Arbor who left their jobs to start their own businesses when I was introduced to Lisa Waud, owner of Pot & Box. Not only was she a delightful person with a delightful story, but visiting her website was honestly the first time in my life that I thought, “Ooo! Flowers are cool!”

Here are some of the lovely magic Lisa does:

I love the use of the non-flowery flowers. I bet that's not their real name.

Something is so charming about the squarish-ness of this, no? And the purpley flower are super.

Our colors are bright and splashy. I like how this arrangement balances the bright colors and the whites and greens.

Carriage House Designs, Howell

I was falling in love with a lot of things in the fall of 2010. There was Mike, yes, but I was also head over heels with the place Mike introduced me to – Downtown Howell. Mike had just moved here when we met, and now we’re both downtown residents who couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. The Carriage House is one of the reasons why. If you’re anywhere near Howell and have even a few minutes to spare, it’s worth it to stop into this amazing store. It sparkles. Everything in the store is just begging to be squealed at with glee. Never have I seen a gift shop with such engaging, wonderful merchandising. When you walk into the store, you just want to burst into applause. It’s that cool.

And they do wedding flowers. Here are just a few of the beautiful arrangements owner Kim Wilson has designed:

It's just "wow" isn't it?

Now that's a boutonniere.

This centerpiece is almost the right colors. We could practically pick it up and put it in our wedding as is. Though, that one is probably dead by now.

 

Any other suggestions? Fun florists we should explore?

 

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Michigan-Made Wedding Cake (Pops!)

Here are some of the other delicious things made at The Bake Shop. Watch out. Drool is bad for keyboards.

Mike and are just aren’t cake people. In fact, one of the first things we talked about regarding the wedding was whether or not we could get away with not having a cake. It’s not that there’s anything wrong with cake, we just both feel very strongly that nearly every other desert food is better. Why eat cake when there is such thing as brownies? Who would chose a cake of any flavor over a mixed berry pie?

From the minute I tried cake pops from The Bake Shop & Coffee House in Owosso, however, I knew all of our problems were solved. Sure, the word “cake” is in the title, but let’s be serious: these are delicious, frosted, spherical brownies on sticks. And they’re AMAZING.

The Bake Shop & Coffee House in Owosso is jam packed full of Michigan-made fun.

This is no surprise, as everything Susan and April Treen – the masterminds behind The Bake Shop – make is magic. And better yet, their shop is also a retail store that features Michigan-made gifts. Could it possibly get better?

Oh yes, it could. Being the clever ladies they are, they have also constructed this amazing cake pop wedding stand so we can literally have our cake and eat it too. What geniuses. What artists of butter and sugar and all that is good.

Ta-dah! We can pick a delicious and quirky alternative to wedding cake and still please the traditionalists among our wedding guests. We win.

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A Wedding Party Party

Last week, someone designed a wedding expo-type event just for our wedding. Well, it really had nothing to do with us, but you would have thought it was custom designed for our wedding. It was called The Wedding Party, and it was a small event in the upper levels of the Ann Arbor Art Center and it exclusively featured local, Ann Arbor wedding vendors of only the chic-est caliber.

I was lucky to go, in fact, because the free event filled up its reservations weeks in advance. Some of the delightful vendors there include Elevated Press, Pot & Box and The Ravens Club. Here are some photos of the sweet stuff we saw:

How delightful!

A lovely arrangement by Pot & Box!

This fellow from J. Trees Cellars was super friendly and helpful, and he was giving out wine samples. So kudos all around to him.

Can you say, “yum”? I said yum after sampling each one.

Champagne cocktails! The Ravens Club was serving drinks made with champagne and peach puree, as well as champagne and bitters.

This was the big hit of the night. Mike and I were teetering on the edge of whether or not we wanted to do a photobooth, but Snapfuze really sealed the deal. I mean really, how could we not have a photobooth?

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Flower Girl Fun

My girls, Alexandra and Melanie Jane. Their adorableness will far outshine the dress'.

It’s time to start dressing other people.

My dress has been chosen, all the colors are picked, so it only makes sense to start playing dress up with people. I was actually scouring Etsy for bridesmaids dresses made in Michigan when I stumbled upon an adorable dress that was just a little too “adorable” for adult members of the wedding party. Fortunately, it’s perfect for my two flower girls, Alexandra and Melanie.

What do you think?

The dresses are made by Rachelle Sharlene in Detroit. I suppose I could go look at other options, compare and contrast and whatnot, but look at this dress! It’s so princess-y and fun, I’m a little jealous of it myself. I’ve also already shown the picture to Alexandra and Melanie and gotten their enthusiastic approval. Alexandra votes for red, and since that falls within our wedding colors, I say we’re good to go.

Unless I am being too hasty? Does anyone know of a great Michigan-made flower girl dress vendor I should check out?

You needed one more picture of these gorgeous girls, didn't you? I thought so.

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