Julie & Tom’s wedding at Detroit Opera House in downtown Detroit MI.

A fabulous wedding at the Detroit Opera House in Detroit MI…

Julie and Tom’s wedding took place at the Detroit Opera House in downtown Detroit Michigan. We got the call from their parents through a referral from a previous client and a friend of their family. We had shot a couple of weddings for friends’ daughters. It was fun to see some people we recognized when we arrived. We started out near the dressing room at the Detroit Opera House for some getting ready photos. The dress, shoes and jewelry were passed out through the door for us to work with. Tom waited patiently near the stairs for the first look.

Patrick Abel wedding photograph
Patrick A. Photographer

We were to take a couple of family photos before the guests entered and took their seats. Things were running a little behind schedule so there was a bit of a scramble but we made it work! Julie entered with her father and all eyes were on the couple as they exchanged vows on the landing at the top of the grand staircase. The officiant was a friend of the family and did a nice job. You might notice a slight hiccup in the sequence of the service. The couple kissed and started back up the stairs when the officiant realized that the couple had not exchanged rings. A good laugh came over the crowd and they returned to their spots to finish out the service. We all had a good chuckle and everyone seemed to take things nicely and in stride.

Cocktails and conversation after the service…

Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres were prepared for the guests downstairs and a small trio of musicians played music during the cocktail hour. The couple was escorted through a side door and they hung out quietly in the theater. When I discovered where they were, I asked them if I could take a couple of shots of them and they agreed. This was an interesting wedding in the sense that the couple wanted mostly a photo journalistic approach to our photography. This was made clear to us when we photographed their engagement session. The goal as expressed by the bride and groom was to capture the feel and the emotion surrounding the day.

We often speak about some ratio of say, 70/30 photojournalism versus posed shots. This was an example where the couple wanted about a 90-10 split leaning toward the photo journalistic approach. On the other hand, we learned on the day of the wedding that the family was interested in capturing more of the posed shots. In a case like this where we get explicit instructions from the bride and groom, that tends to rule the approach we take. In this case, it created a little tension between us and the family. The father made it clear that he was paying the bill and we did our best to straddle that line without upsetting the bride and groom.

In this particular case, we got great feedback from the couple about our pictures however the family expressed some disappointment that there weren’t more posed shots. It can be a difficult situation and one that is challenging to navigate. We always do our best to try to please all those involved but sometimes there is a tension that is difficult to watch.

Dinner and dancing at the Detroit Opera House…

When the time came for the bride and groom’s grand entrance, they were introduced at the lower level as the guests looked on from the balconies above. It made for some gorgeous shots. They made their way over to the cake table then back upstairs for a lovely dinner. A couple of nice toasts were offered to Tom & Julie and everyone enjoyed a great meal.

After dinner we made our way up to the rooftop for a couple of sunset photos before the couple took to the dance floor. We’ve taken some liberties with the sequencing but I think you will enjoy our layout for this blog post. Some of my favorite shots are during the couples first dance. It was such a beautiful angle to see the guests above looking down on the dance floor as the couple enjoyed their first dance.

The party was on! People made their way downstairs to the dance floor for a lot of great festivities. It is a really neat space to photograph in because you’ve got the upper and lower levels to work with. It’s really interesting to get different angles in a space like this. We hope you enjoy these pictures and we wish Julie and Tom the very best in their new adventure!

We can’t wait for our next Detroit Opera House wedding!

In your journey to see more great wedding photography from downtown Detroit, check out Dave & Angie’s wedding here.

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The Knot Best of Weddings Hall of Fame Special Moments Photography
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Wedding Service:  Detroit Opera House Stairs
Reception:  Detroit Opera House Lobby
Photographer:  Patrick A.

Here we transition to the reception at the Detroit Opera House.

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