Modern Detroit Wedding on Belle Isle

Modern Detroit Wedding on Belle Isle.

The Belle Isle Conservatory? I'd never been, or even heard of it, but I immediately pictured somewhere lush, leafy, and green -- a glass-paned walls, stone pathways winding around giant, exotic cacti and birds of paradise sort of place. The thing is, I wasn't wrong.

Kari and Kelly told me that they chose this spot because it felt true to their adventurous and outdoor-loving roots. A natural sanctuary amongst the grit of the city, Belle Isle offered a mix of textures: from spiny desert plants to the elegant glass dome of the conservatory, and just down the path an old timber-framed dining hall perched at the edge of a calm, willow-lined riverbank. At sunset, we piled into their little car and drove to the far end of the island (full dislcosure, it wasn't very far) and hiked up into a grassy wildflower field (my favorite) to catch that golden glow as the sun dipped down into Canada across the river.

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Historic Martha's Vineyard Wedding

An Historic Martha's Vineyard Wedding.

A sweet and salty fish-smell that can only mean an ocean filled my nose as I neared closer to the Massachusetts coast, about an hour and a half south of Boston. I'm a child of freshwater -- the ocean takes on a magical otherworldliness every time I visit. This ferry was industrial and oceanic. I drove right on board, and as we set off my car windows were starting to pick up a misty, fine-grit. Letting forth a deep vibrating note every few minutes, the boat (or maybe I should say ship) cleared the fog and I caught my first glimpse of Martha's Vineyard. Boats. Lots of boats. Sailboats, artfully crafted -- some unassuming, some elaborate -- mostly all made of wood. This is a place with history.

(Side note: my Google search for a "brief history of Martha's Vineyard" informed me that no history of this place is brief. I'm sub-par at paraphrasing, so I'll let you do your own research.)

So back to this story. 

This is a story about Matt and Torie, a story of their love and their incredible ability to bring people together. They chose Grange Hall on Martha’s Vineyard, a historic place of gathering, to host this celebration — a gathering to top all of their past porch grill parties and holiday soirées. As vineyard emerged out of a thick fog on the ferry ride over,  that first sight of the glittering harbor and a sunny cottage-speckled island felt like a dramatic reveal suited to the magical festivities that were about to ensue. A lively mood and family-style vibe defined this September wedding weekend. Kicking off with rosé and oysters on the half-shell, Matt and Torie hosted a convivial rehearsal dinner party in a grand old shingle-style house overlooking the misty bay. The following day, accompanied by a funky and soulful jazz band (friends from home in Brooklyn) and the mouth-watering smell of a pig roast in the adjacent gravel parking lot, they exchanged heartfelt vows, shared a tasty meal and joined friends and family on the boisterous dance floor.

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