Wedding couple walking on cobblestone outside of their industrial wedding venue in Detroit, Michigan

The Making of an Elegant Industrial Wedding for Kristina and Brady

Detroit, Michigan
BY SHIRA SAVADA / 06 08 22
Photo by Larissa Cleveland Photography

Every wedding vendor team is created a little differently. In this series we explore how and why each couple selected the right wedding vendor team for their wedding day.

Kristina and Brady returned to the site of their second date during the summer of 2020, and with the help of Brady’s daughter and son-in-law, a bridge on the property was decorated with roses and candles to make his proposal all the more special. That thoughtfulness and family appreciation were just two aspects that would also be key components of their wedding day.

Living in Detroit, the Michiganders knew they wanted to showcase the city for their guests—and also wanted to get married by the end of the year. With a summer engagement and a December wedding date in mind, they considered what exactly they wanted, and then made their move.


Wedding Designer & Producer

Kristina and Brady reached out to Cassy Rose Events just two months before they were planning to get married, without any vendors secured or even a place to tie the knot. But they did already have a good sense of what they wanted their big day to be like.

At the time, local restrictions were in place for indoor gatherings, meaning only 30 guests could be invited. After Thanksgiving and an increase in Covid cases, the maximum number of people allowed to gather was further reduced, and it was at that point that the couple decided to postpone to the following May. Invites had already gone out, but luckily, with such an intimate guest list, the date change could be easily communicated.

So with health regulations constantly front-of-mind, Cassy and the couple moved forward, abiding by all the rules, but never willing to compromise on the celebratory nature of the wedding. In addition to creating a safe gathering, the goal was an event that was equal parts bold, glamorous, fresh, and modern.

An indoor ceremony in the-the-round with floral columns and black-and-gold chairs.

Wedding Venue, Caterer, & Cake

The bride and groom were in love with The Birdy Room at the Shinola Hotel before they even saw it in person. Having produced and designed many weddings there, Cassy was able to guide them in deciding how to utilize the spaces. They decided to host the ceremony in the larger ballroom (and in the round), and then immediately invite everyone into The Birdy Room for a multi-course dinner reception. (Since masks were mandated to be worn except when guests were sitting to eat, the cocktail hour was skipped).

And while the meal was the main event of the reception, it was also extremely important to this foodie pair. They wanted it to be an out-of-this-world experience for those in attendance. Thus, an 8-course meal was designed, with specialty cocktails throughout.

The exterior of the Shinola Hotel in Detroit, a venue that provides the perfect setting for an industrial wedding.
An industrial wedding reception space with a steel-and-glass roof gets an elegant setup with velvet chairs and white-and-red floral arrangements.
A plate of oysters at a wedding reception.
A pair of cocktails served at a wedding reception with branded orange peels showcasing the couple's initials.
A small wedding cake with fresh flowers perched on a gold cake stand.

Wedding Photographer, Videographer, & Stationer

With a still-condensed wedding planning timeline, Cassy knew she had to secure a top notch team in short order. Thankfully the hotel handled food and beverage, which meant that catering was checked off when the venue was booked, but the search for a photographer, videographer, and stationer began immediately. A wide web was cast to procure the best vendors for the job, and for the couple. Ultimately, Larissa Cleveland of Larissa Cleveland Photography, Blue Racer Productions, and Sweet Zion Paperie were booked, respectively, traveling from near (Detroit) and far (California and Colorado).

“We wanted to provide a celebration that was unique to any other and as special to our guests as it was to us. Sophie Ulibarri from Sweet Zion Paperie went above and beyond to incorporate traditional patterns from my [Slovakian] heritage with other designs inspired by our venue. She tied all the details together with a monogram that we will keep forever. Every guest experienced a personalized moment with her work with my favorite detail: our welcome cocktails that featured each guest's name.” —Kristina, bride

“Kristina and Brady love whiskey sours and we wanted a fun way to invite guests to dinner. With the help of Sweet Zion Paperie, we designed individual escort cards on rice paper, which dissolve to the perfect consistency and ‘melt’ with the froth of the drink. To pull this off, we did coordinate with the incredible bartending staff so that they had ample extras to practice with the week prior to ensure they got the timing right. We also provided two of each guest’s name, so there was some room for error. It was well worth the effort!” —Cassy Rose, planner/designer

A candid moment between a groom and bride at their industrial wedding.
A laser-cut boxed wedding invitation.
Edible rice paper printed with a monogram and seating assignment atop a cocktail served as an alternative to traditional paper escort cards at this industrial wedding.

Wedding Florist & Drapery

At the initial walk-through of the large ballroom, it was decided that floral design and draping would be key components in the transformation of the space to best suit the celebration. Violet Rose Floral Design took the floral installation to a whole new level, and Linens and Beyond’s luxe drapery warmed up the room beyond measure.

“With the floral design, it was important that we created something that felt really intimate. There were only 25 guests in attendance, and both the ceremony and reception spaces were large, so the best way was to add lots of flowers! Cassy sent me a beautiful concept of the ceremony space consisting of four main floral columns, and we took it from there. These columns were 12-feet tall so the trickiest part was figuring out a sturdy enough structure that would be able to handle that much flower weight. We ended up collaborating with the lighting team, who were kind enough to let us utilize their trusses, and that was the base of the columns. We then designed over 100ft of flowers that lined the aisle, connected the columns, and surrounded all of the chairs. We really wanted guests to feel like they were in a secret garden!

The reception florals—though not as lush as the ceremony—were just as impactful. The layout was designed to feel more like you were dining in an upscale restaurant, so there were several different table sizes which required different arrangements. Since some of the arrangements had to be small, we decided to use lots of lisianthus, whose curvy stems created a more artful and interesting arrangement. To make this space feel intimate we also added more than 400 pillar candles along the room’s perimeter.” —Natalia Januszewski, floral designer

An event space at the Shinola Hotel was draped along the perimeter and set for a ceremony-in-the-round with four large floral columns.
Pink peonies and white sweet peas were the main components of this bridal bouquet.
Pink and white flowers  arranged in a modern white compote centerpiece.
An industrial wedding venue got an elegant and modern treatment thanks to a mixture of specialty rental pieces and lots of candlelight.

Wedding Rentals

The design of the reception continued to evolve with a focus on securing specialty rental pieces that would really bring the spaces together, elevate everything, and make it a truly one-of-a-kind event. Chairs and linens were selected from Nüage Designs, Inc., tables and chargers from Event Source, flatware from Theoni Collection, and a couch for the photo booth came from Modernly Events.

Matte black plates and flatware are paired with monogrammed booklet menus with metal name plates and organic floral centerpieces.
A glass rooftop event space at the Shinola Hotel set for a reception in shades of gold and black.

Wedding Wedding Music, Hair, & Makeup

Choosing entertainment presented an interesting challenge. Because the pandemic regulations at the time prohibited dancing, Cassy Rose Events was on the hunt for an act that could be subtle enough to entertain guests but not encourage them to dance (or even make them feel like they should be). Ben Sharkey was the perfect choice to set the mood in a festive way, after a string quartet from White Pines Entertainment scored the ceremony.

Simultaneously, Kristina recruited her favorite glam team. As the owner of Eyedolize Lash & Brow Studio, the bride knew exactly who she trusted to do her hair and makeup, as well as her close friends and family members, on the big day: Lidija Shkreli and Carly Matyniak for hair, and Beauty by Mariam and Painted by Stephanie for makeup.

A pair of newlyweds dance as their band performs in the background of their industrial wedding venue.
A bride with lush lashes and a sleek updo and veil poses for a portrait in front of a mural.

Wedding Portrait Booth & Lighting

Two more additions rounded out the vendor team: Sean Cook Weddings set up a portrait booth at the reception (guests chose between a solid black backdrop or a curtain behind a settee surrounded by fresh flowers, and posed for beautiful portraits that they’d receive in a gallery post-wedding). And Visionary Sound Productions lit the spaces with a warm glow, and worked with the floral crew to erect the ultimate ceremony structure.

A portrait of a smiling groom and bride facing one another.
A portrait of a couple sitting on a velvet settee surrounded by flowers.
A floral-filled ceremony-in-the-round at the Shinola Hotel in Michigan.
A Formal Wedding for Kristina and Brady
Larissa Cleveland Photography