Detroit, MI is unlike any place you have been, and if you grow up nearby, you take for granted the entire soul of the city- it isn't until you're away you recognize the overall vibe and energy the city brings until you come back. Detroit has had bad reputation, sure- but now-a-days, its THE SPOT and seeing it grow rapidly into something beautiful has been incredible. No joke. From the high class restaurants, to the cheap (and delicious) coney dogs- from the Detroit Opera house to the late night house and techno shows- Detroit offers a little bit of everything for everyone. Undoubtedly, one of my favorite places to be.
So, when Tiffany Elie (Tiffany Elie Hair + Make-up Artistry) reached out to me pre-pandemic asking if I wanted to collaborate again on a styled classic bridal shoot, I immediately thought- DOWNTOWN DETROIT.
We spotted this stunning- 71 floors up- restaurant, Highlands on Instagram, and knew we HAD to shoot there. The views! The decor! The... EVERYTHING- this place had it all, including (dun dun da dahhhh) a venue for events! Literally THE PERFECT PLACE. So after a few weeks of going back and forth trying to nail down a shoot date (Thanks, COVID) I finally had a firm schedule of when I was back in Michigan, and it only gave us 2 weeks to get everything in order. Luckily, we weren't the only two people itching to create new content.
The Wedding Shoppe (gowns) quickly joined, along with Bella Reel (videography), The Flower Kitten (bouquets), 3 beautiful models (Skylar, Sophia, + Hayley), and Mayday Macarons (dessert-yum!). Dream team ASSEMBLED! Now- for the hard part- all the moving parts and who needs to be where when?
If you're one of my brides, you know I LOVE making schedules, and collaborating with others to make sure we have enough time to do the things we want to do, and also have a little buffer just in case things happen that we can't control- like traffic, or finding parking spots. Literally nothing makes me feel more accomplished than accomplishing details so we all are on the same page- and it makes it so easy for everyone involved. Tiffany and I went to work, and we were lucky enough to have a spot at Highlands to get the models dressed, then get last minute touch-ups- because traveling in wedding gowns is NOT fun. We planned it out- models hair + make-up, change at Highlands, get touch-ups, and start shooting!
I'm not exaggerating when I say Highlands is an EXPERIENCE. We met Todd (event coordinator) at the elevator and extended 71 floors up into the air on The Detroit River. Once we walked out of the doors, I was in awe. The gold accents, the emerald green impressive bar, the mid-century modern vibe. YEP. This is where we needed to be. The kitchen was getting ready for their opening for the night, and we were lucky enough to have the place for an hour or so-uninterrupted. The aroma of just the prepping items made us all extra hungry, and I promised myself, "The next time we are in Detroit, Trevor and I need to come here for dinner."
After our hour (or so) of time in the main restaurant, we went to the event space located just one more floor up, and finished up our first looks. The models changed into their second look, and we headed down the elevator, out the doors, and to the river walk to catch some golden hour rays.
Legit, a pedestrian stopped in his tracks and had to gush about Skylar and how she is the most beautiful thing he's ever saw. Poor sucker thought she was an actual bride and kept saying, "OMG HE IS SOOO LUCKY." Haha- too funny... but also, can you blame him?
After many many many more genuine and kind passing-by people congratulated the models, we shuffled off to get them changed in their final look for photos at The Detroit Public Library. Oooooh how the marble steps and oxidized copper did NOT disappoint. Heart eyes forever over here!
Everyone left the shoot hungry (starving, really), feeling full of gratitude, and a little more confident. The amount of energy everyone brought to the table- the "game day" hype- and the positivity spread all day was just a lot of goodness. Very exhausted and ready for pizza, I had that incredible Detroit soul settling into my heart.
Until next time <3