“A wedding ceremony on a football field?” was the big question of the day when we told the family our Bride and Groom were getting married at the Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor on the actual turf of the “Big House” field. Little did they know that transforming a space as raw as a Big 10 college football stadium is right up our alley. Fast forward to an elaborate white floral ceremony structure, luscious linens, beautiful draped alcoves with crystal chandeliers, and so many other delicate details that made guests think of anything but football and sweaty locker rooms.
“The Big House” is a place that is very close to Chris’s heart, as he played football for Michigan all through college, and now displays his talents on the field for the NFL team, the Baltimore Ravens. Alexis would watch his games and cheer him on, and they share many memories as a couple in the charming town of Ann Arbor.
Throughout the planning process (and fun trips to Ann Arbor), we grew to know Lex and Chris as new friends, and immediately fell in love with their love for life, and their love for each other. In fact, we aren’t the only one’s that felt this way. With a guest list of 250 people and only 20 no’s, we quickly saw that these two had captured the hearts of everyone, including us.
Some highlights from the wedding day:
- WEATHER: “Rain or shine, this wedding is going to happen on the field!”, said the bride. (No pressure girls) A few days before the wedding, the weather forecast showed rain, and more rain, and more rain, on the wedding day. A bride’s worst nightmare! (and ours) The big day came, and the Accuweather App was flying high on our phones. Mr. Sunshine made an appearance during their photos, but then once the last pic was snapped, a torrential downpour came through. It was going to last for at least another 90 minutes. We went in the locker room to talk to our bride, and she said, “Rain or shine, this wedding is going to happen on the field.” So, after 14 years of doing these gigs, we knew just what to do. “Cocktail time”! We went straight into cocktail hour BEFORE the ceremony while guests waited for the weather to pass. Alcohol is always the way to a happy guest’s heart. The skies cleared, and we moved so quickly into the ceremony to catch the break in the clouds! All of the guests said the transition into cocktail hour first was so natural, they thought it was supposed to be that way! This is why we always have a “Plan B” because “we made it happen on the field.” Pro tip: This is why you have a first look!!! (to get all of your pictures done, so you can delay the ceremony!) Had they not done a “first look”, this would NOT have worked.
- BRIDAL PARTY: We have seen hundreds of bridal party entrances in our many years of planning, but this one takes the cake! Each couple had a full skit: flashing a polaroid camera like the paparazzi, “playing” football on the dancefloor, riding in on each other’s backs, you name it! (they did it). But our very favorite was the Bridesmaid that “ICED” the groomsman she was walking in with. She gave us a “sneak peek” of what she was hiding behind her bouquet. (Smirnoff Ice)! Disclaimer: For anyone reading this that was born before 1990, being “ICED” is when someone “surprises” you sneakily with a Smirnoff Ice, you better get down on one knee and CHUG!
- THE FIRST DANCE: “You and I” by John Legend. (enough said). If you haven’t heard it, you have to take a listen. Not only is it amazingly romantic, but the Bride and Groom nailed the dance. (thank you dance lessons) Literally, everyone in the room was crying at the end. If you see the way he looks at her (peep the pictures), you would tear up, too!
- THE JAMS: WOW! DJ Chokes with the Todd Everett Experience killed it. Everyone was on the dance floor all night. We are even considering packing him up in our carry on and bringing him around the world with us! (yes, he’s that good!) He had his full crew with him, and he was so accommodating every step of the way! We can’t recommend him enough! (and will definitely be using him again)
- THE “DREAM TEAM”: Amazing vendors made this big day perfect (at the end of the day, amazing vendors make us look…. well, amazing!) We just want to thank all of the people that made everything go so smoothly on the wedding day, especially when you are throwing curve balls (sorry for the baseball reference). It takes a strong and willing team to make “the dream”. These guys blew it out of the park (sorry, baseball reference again).
At the end of the day when everyone’s #1 goal is to make the couple happy, you are going to win the “Superbowl” every time! Enjoy the rest of these fabulous photos by Allie Siarto!
Photography: Allie Siarto Photography
Floral: Bartz Viviano
Strings: Horizon Strings
Décor: Event Theory
Shuttles: Golden Limo
Invitations: Rock Paper Scissors
Catering: Katherine’s Catering
Hotel: The Graduate Ann Arbor
Hair and Make Up: Detroit Glam