Welcome to a new series, "Real Detroit Weddings," which will be an occasional, ongoing new sub-topic of the Detroit Wedding Examiner, our area's leading wedding column/blog. The purpose is to spotlight real couples who were married in the Metro-Detroit area, to get a glimpse at their real wedding choices and to inspire newly engaged brides (and grooms!) with ideas and advice for their own weddings. All of the following information was provided by our featured couple.
Lindsay and Joe, married on October 10, 2015. How did you first meet and fall in love?
He was a customer at the bar I worked at and we instantly got along and we were good friends but always had something there just never acted on it. Years later both of our lives changed and seemed to line up and we hung out for the first time and we've been inseparably ever since. I knew I loved Joey from very early on in our relationship because I've never been as happy as when I'm with him, I've never once doubted how much he loves me because he shows me every day and he can always make the stress of the world melt away, from day one we both knew this was going to be forever.
How did the proposal go?
Joey proposed to me in the most romantic way possible. He told me we we're going to dinner and to Dave and Buster's which was a completely normal night for us. Then after Chili's said he had to stop home real quick but instead stopped at the park down the street from our house and made me get out. As we walked through the park I saw something lit up in the distance and as we got closer I saw a candle lit rose petal walk way to a gazebo surrounded by dozens and dozens of roses. When I walked inside there was a table with two roses and a ring box on it and the gazebo was filled with hundreds of roses and when I turned around I saw a sign he hand painted that said " Will you marry me?" and Joey was on his knee. I didn't give him much time to say anything because I was already freaking out and pulled him up to give him a kiss and may have possibly bit him on the shoulder out of excitement...maybe.
The Southfield Westin Atrium
The Southfield Westin Atrium
What made you choose that location for your Ceremony and Reception?
The location was beautiful and gave us the feeling of an outdoor wedding while being inside and avoiding all the anxiety of Michigan weather. We had the reception and ceremony in the same location to make the whole day a little smoother and because we just loved the location. I feel like It's easier and more time efficient to have everything in one location, for the guests and wedding party. The cocktail hour was held in the lobby so guest didn't have to move far but were also out of the way and didn't see the room get changed over from the ceremony to the reception which gave us more than enough time for pictures.
Tell me everything you can about your Wedding Dress!
My wedding dress is from Sophia Tolli. I searched online for a very long time and always went back to the same dress. I found four bridal salons in Michigan who carried the dress and only two were local. The first bridal salon was a bust and I tried on a couple dresses but none of them really did anything for me. Then at the next salon they had the specific dress I was looking for, I tried it on and without a doubt knew that was the dress and so did everyone with me. I tried on a couple other dresses to be sure and none of them even compared. My dress was a slightly darker ivory, like a mocha ivory, which looked amazing against my skin tone because I'm very fair skinned. It was a mermaid gown with lots of tulle and lace throughout. The lace didn't line the edge of the train instead it was throughout it so however the dress laid it looked beautiful. It originally had sleeves but I altered it to make it strapless which looked perfect with the sweetheart neckline of the dress.
What were your colors or what sort of look/feel were you going for with your overall wedding theme?
Our colors were black and white with a small accent of red. We both like a simple yet elegant look while still keeping it classic. We are very focused on details and did most of our wedding décor ourselves. The advantage I had is that Joey is a very talented artist and could make anything we needed. He hand lettered all the envelopes with calligraphy, designed the invitations, hand painted all the table numbers on the vases, made chalkboard signs and even frosted vases to make them more elegant looking and that's not even everything. We both wanted to make this day very special and unforgettable, and both tend to lean towards nicer extravagant things but you only do it once so why not?
Describe how you went about coming up with the Bridesmaids dresses and what you were looking for?
A. I left the bridesmaid dresses mostly up to the girls standing up. We decided on floor length dresses because it was in October and because of the large height difference between all the girls it would look more unison. The dress was going to be black which helps because almost every dress can be ordered in black. We looked a couple times but Joey's Sister who was standing up lives in Chicago so we had to make sure to plan a time when she was home to make the final decision. Luckily everyone loved the same dress and I left the shoes up to the girls as long as they were black because no one would see them. The dress was black, floor length with a small puddle train. It was a corset that tied up in the back and the front was ruched with a sweat heart neckline and one shoulder strap.
What would you say were the 5 MOST important priorities during your planning process?
Photo and-or Slow Motion Booth
Reception Entertainment (DJ or Band)
What made you decide to have a Videographer for your wedding?
We wanted to capture our wedding and all the memories forever. Remembering and looking at pictures is amazing but being able to actually watch our reactions of each other, to hear our vows and just to re live the day again is priceless. Our wedding day went by so fast it'll be nice to be able to slow it down and really soak up everything. We want to be able to look back 20 years from now and have all those emotions from our wedding day come rushing back when we watch our wedding video and you just don't get the same feeling or reaction from pictures. I'd say getting a Videographer was the best decision we made because you can't get that day back
so we made sure to do our research and as soon as we met Tom and saw his work we knew we'd be in safe hands.
Describe something that you feel didn't go exactly as planned dealing with your Wedding (Ceremony and/or Reception):
As crazy as it sounds there really wasn't anything that didn't go to plan. I expected something to go wrong cause it's a wedding and something always happens so I figured if I was ready for it I wouldn't be upset but nothing ever did. I think what helped was the fact that Joey was downstairs in the atrium since 8 am helping set up. He stayed down there all day and made sure everything was set up correctly and how we wanted it. I'm sure if he wasn't down there would have been a couple things done wrong but he fixed it before it ever became an issue so the wedding went smooth.
Describe what you felt your BEST decision was regarding the Wedding:
To marry Joey :) Its hard to pick the best decision because I think everything and everyone we had worked so well together and were all so talented it made the whole day amazing. Entertainment is a big one, I've seen some DJ's totally kill the mood of a wedding so having a good DJ was very important to us and our DJ did a phenomenal job. The photo booth was another decision I was VERY happy we made especially the slow motion camera. Everyone has fun at a photo booth and it gives you something to do besides drink, dance or talk to family cause that gets old. We added the slow motion camera to our photo booth because it looked fun and different but had never seen one before so we weren't sure if people would actually use it. We actually had a line most of the night to use the photo booth and majority of people were doing the slow motion camera. Everybody had a blast doing it and spent all night making videos. That was a great decision. [You can view the Slow-Motion Video from Lindsay and Joe's Wedding here.]
Describe what you felt your WORST decision was (or biggest regret) regarding the Wedding:
My worst decision by far was my shoes, I've never felt so much pain. Everyone told me to wear comfortable shoes but I didn't want to because these were cute and "didn't hurt that bad". Before the ceremony even started I couldn't feel my toes and by the time the ceremony was over and we were taking pictures I could hardly walk. I took my shoes off before the reception even started and still felt the pain the morning after. Other than that I loved the venue we picked and all our vendors, it's hard for anything to bother you on the happiest day of your life :)
What advice could you give to a newly engaged Bride planning their wedding?
Before anything make a list of vendors or things you will need for the wedding and then put them in order of most important to least important. That way you know what to spend the most money on and what areas you can look for deals on or if budget is tight just leave out. Another thing is book all your vendors as early as possible, you'd hate to find someone you love to find out they're already booked that day, so the earlier the better. Last thing but a big one is stay organized! Keep all your contracts, payments and anything to do with the wedding in order because you will be dealing with a lot of different people and it's impossible to remember everything. I made a contact sheet for the day of the wedding that had all my vendors names and phone number so if anyone needed to be reached their number was easily accessible for everyone. Anything to make sure the day goes smooth with no problems.
Here is your chance: Please feel free to tell us anything else you would like to say about your wedding! What made your day unique? What other advice do you have?
Our wedding was beyond my expectations! Even though we both planned it and I knew exactly how everything was going to be decorated it's completely different to see everything set up and put together. All the hard work and long nights had paid off but I wouldn't have done it any other way. We spent a lot of time working on things for the wedding and it got stressful but it's just so much better to know you made your wedding beautiful not someone else, it makes everything that much more special. My wedding day was not stressful in the least bit, it was fun and that's how it should be. Tom and Jason made everything fun and comfortable which shows in the pictures and video and it was just a relaxed atmosphere. Every time I think of that day I smile and always will :)
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Tom Santilli has been in the Detroit wedding industry since 2002, and in that time has established himself as one of the top in his field. His company, Complete Video Solutions , was named as the #1 Best Wedding Videographer in Detroit by local brides and Channel 4 FIVE consecutive years and is currently inducted into TheKnot.com's "Vendor Hall of Fame." He also has won several awards for his wedding production, and is a member of WEVA (Wedding & Event Videographers Association.) As the Detroit Wedding Examiner, he has helped hundreds of brides with their weddings, with a local knowledge not found anywhere else. Being in the industry for so long, he is an expert in all areas of wedding planning, not just videography. He welcomes your questions, article suggestions, or feedback, and he can be reached