Detroit and its residents have a unique story - equal parts proud past and unsure future. These special challenges influence the wedding industry, the brides and grooms of the region, and how they choose to record their special day in film.
To get a better insight into Detroit Wedding Photography we talked to Marci Curtis a Detroit-Area Wedding Photojournalist.
Detroit Wedding Photography - Commuter Weddings
One of the most unique features of Detroit weddings, and big challenge for wedding photogs, is forced by the poor economic opportunities in the region. "About 70% of my brides are commuting into the state of Michigan for their own wedding. The huge job losses we've experienced over the past five years means that young couples are pretty much forced to leave the state in search of work," says Curtis.
This means that planning is vital. Couples need to agree on specific shots long-distance prior to the weekend, and the photographer often has to shadow a bride like the paparazzi throughout a grueling weekend.
Detroit Wedding Photography - Using the City as They Like
Many Detroit couples choose to use the city as a backdrop for their nuptials, and Detroit provides a wide variety of options. For couples that want a gritty urban feel there are many examples of urban decay. In fact, from one block to the next you may see a new hotel or an abandoned hulk. For those that want to celebrate Detroit's sporting history there are landmarks such as the Olympia Stadium and Joe Louis Arena, (the past and present homes of the legendary Redwings) and The Palace at Auburn Hills (home of the Pistons). Detroit also has an attractive waterfront with lots of new and innovative architecture to inspire couples.
Detroit Wedding Photography - Special Preferences
Curtis points out some of the more common tendencies of Detroit couples when it comes to their wedding photos.
1. "Even though Detroit has been written off by much of the country as a dying city, Detroiters feel a lot of pride and enjoy coming downtown for photos along the river front with GM's Renaissance Center or of the fountains of Hart Plaza with Windsor, Canada in the background."
2. "We've got a LOT of great universities near the Detroit area and that usually means there are some pretty good rivalries going on even within the wedding party. This community is very much divided into Green people or Blue people depending on which university they feel most affiliated with."
3. "Detroit sports fans are fanatics and those teams end up getting incorporated into a lot of wedding photos."
4. "We've also got a lot of world headquarters here, so while we don't have quite as many car themed weddings as you might expect, we do have weddings at places like "The Henry Ford Museum" or the "Henry Ford Estates" or people who want pictures taken in front of "Ford Field" (the Lions stadium) or "Comerica Park" (where the Tigers play). Couples often want these incorporated into their photos."
5. "We also do have some really nice older architecture downtown and there are some wedding and reception venues that really play to the city's strengths and culture. There is a diehard group that love Detroit despite it's broken reputation and there are plenty of young people who really celebrate the beautiful old buildings in downtown and out on Belle Isle."
6. "Most couples also feel they can get a lot more bang for their budget in a place like Detroit than they can in Chicago, where so many of them seem to have relocated. Certainly the market in Detroit is much hungrier and because so much of our client base is dependent on happy referrals, most of us can only survive by providing fabulous customer service, great prices and really creative and wonderful work that showcases our experience."
7. "Detroiters who choose to have a destination wedding or marry in another city often hire Detroit photographers and fly them in because the quality is top notch and the prices are so low."