Feels like I haven’t written in FOREVER, and I have to admit that I wanted to take my time on this entry…if I had written it closer to the wedding, I don’t think I would have been able to edit myself and y’all would have been reading for hours (if you lasted that long). So, without further ado, let me dive into what was one of my top 5 favorite weddings to be a part of and attend…the marriage of my dear friends Armand and Josh.
I had the pleasure of watching this relationship flourish from day 1, and when I say day 1, I mean sitting in an office and Armand telling me about a coffee date he was going on that evening. Well, date one turned into date 2,3,4 & 5 and then I lost count. And suddenly Josh was accompanying Armand to outings and brunches and then they moved in together, and I knew this was serious. And, as natural progression happens, they bought their first home, and in the back of my mind, I wanted them to get engaged so bad (but who didn’t?), but I wanted Josh to propose to Armand, catch him off guard (because if you know this couple, you know Armand is the party planner, the one who likes to surprise), and than that day came. I think I broke my husbands ear drums when I got the call that October (2017) evening, I screamed so loud and then cried like a baby, the pure joy that I felt for them when I heard those words “we’re engaged” felt like the day I got engaged, and then I went into planning mode (internally). I had to slow my role though with this one, because Armand is a planner, a designer, a creative, he was the one I went to for a second opinion when planning my own wedding. I had to remember, this was their day, and I knew Armand had it, and if he needed help, he knew I was there, but then the day came when he asked me to help set up the ceremony and do some behind the scene things, and I cried (again).
The ideas and visions were quickly put to paper and design boards, with drawings, and fabric swatches, and photos. Elements and pieces started to collect in their basement and I was so excited each time to visit their place and see what new things had been acquired, and was the first to volunteer to do mock set ups in the basement and living room when needed. Ceremony and reception spaces were visited and when I entered each space, I knew their day was going to reflect Armand and Josh individually, but more importantly, reflect them as a couple. I could not wait for that September day to arrive to take their vision and bring it to life.
The grooms and their attendees got ready at this quint essential Air BNB in downtown Detroit, with the back deck looking over the Detroit skyline, which was the perfect backdrop for photos before heading to the ceremony. which was held in the courtyard at La Dulce Vida. When I say that this was the perfect urban European oasis, I’m not kidding. Not many people would look at this space while dining and think, I could totally see myself getting married here…well, leave it to Armand and Josh to take an everyday ordinary space and turn it into this. We moved all the tables close to the front, setting the ivy filled iron gate as the perfect scene, this allowed for an intimate setting where family and friends felt so much a part of the ceremony. From the minute the guests entered the space, it set the mood for the entire evening. Josh’s mom made a beautiful welcome sign which included a quote from Maya Angelou and was adorned with garland and candles. The aisle was created using bohemian rugs lined with lanterns and candles, the space didn’t need a lot, and it was just the perfect amount of moody romance they were going for. My favorite moment of the day was being alongside the grooms right before the gates were opened and they walked down the aisle, together…The ceremony was so heartfelt, as Josh’s sister and Armand’s brother officiated, and had the entire space filled with laughter and tears and more love than I think the space could hold, love for each other, and love for this couple who brought so many people together throughout their dating. It truly felt like a room filled with family.
Guests enjoyed cocktail hour in the courtyard, while the grooms and attendees made their way around Detroit for some epic, Vogue cover worthy photos captured by Hallie Kohler, before making their way to the reception space.
I have always said, make your wedding day your own, and this couple did just that, not only with the unconventional ceremony space, but also, with their reception space. Armand had always said that he wanted some place that was a little urban, dirty if you will, but then wanted to bring the romance to it, give it life, make it pretty, and he did not disappoint! I met up with another planner, Jamay Stokes at MOCAD to help put the finishing touches on the reception space before it was revealed to the grooms. Their reaction when they saw the space was what planners live for! All those drawings and mock set ups came to LIFE, and jaws hit the floor. Somehow, this concrete modern art museum was turned into this magical, airy, intimate space. The gorgeous greens, florals, and 9 foot greenery chanedlier that hung over the 40 person captains table (yes I said 9 feet and 40 people head table) were created by none other than Sweetwater Floral, the linens, flatware and glassware from Event Source, paired well with mixed china that the grooms owned. The room was filled with candle light, blooms, gold and marble tones and invited the guests in, with what felt like a warm hug! The chain link fence doubled as a seating chart display and was decorated with greens, and we re-used the rugs and lanterns from the ceremony to help guide people into the home feel of the reception space.
Dinner was the perfect mix of summer and fall, stations filled with summer salad, veggie medley and some good ole’ comfort food, all cooked up by the talented Wandering Gourmet Catering. And what’s a wedding without some dessert? This cake from Love and Buttercream was part of the décor, marble and gold 2 tiered cake that accompanied macaroons, and donuts!
The drinks were flowing and the dance floor was never empty, not once (I quickly changed into my sneakers!). Armand and Josh have a love for music and I swear it was like we were all at CLUB A+J living it up that night! The tunes were spun by DJ Bangerz. But rest assured the entire playlist was curated by Armand and Josh and it was hard to leave when the lights came on!
This was by far, the most emotional wedding I have ever witnessed. From sibilings marrying them, to the speeches given by Armand’s best friend and Josh’s brother (there was not a dry eye in the whole place), to the heartfelt messages from the grooms…I’m getting emotional again just thinking about it. What’s that saying? Sometimes people come into your life and you know right away they were meant to be there forever. That’s exactly how I felt about Armand, and then, how I felt about Josh when I finally met him, there was just something about them that pulled at my heart. They are some of my biggest supporters, who I call to just chat with, or who I go to when I think this whole planning thing is crazy, they challenge me, give me advice, and light a fire under my booty when I need it. Individually and together, they are real, they are genuine, and they truly make my life better just by being in it (and I know I’m not the only one who feels this way!). So, Armand & Josh, from your beautiful wedding, to more importantly, your beautiful marriage…may you remain best friends, lovers of music, and each others biggest support. May you always enjoy nights out that end in music video dance parties, and nights in, in front of the fire. May you be strong independently but know that together, you are unstoppable, and last but not least, in the words of Miss Kourtney Taylor (groomsmaid)…May your love be modern enough to survive the times and old fashioned enough to last forever! Cheers my frineds!