Detroit • Northern Michigan • Chicago

©2020 by 97 Films

Detroit Opera House Romantic Jewish Wedding

Updated: Mar 3

There’s something unique and dramatic having your wedding and reception hosted at the Detroit Opera House. I filmed Ashely + David in so many of the picturesque settings: the gilded balcony and grand staircase, the exterior with thick granite pillars and gold doors, not to mention the ceremony and reception itself. The Detroit Opera House made my role as cinematographer and easy and enjoyable one. I got to team up with one of my favorite photographers, Niki from Niki Marie Photography for the day, together capturing every important and memorable moment.


photo credit: Niki Marie Photography


The day started with a relaxing morning getting ready for the day. Ashley and her bridesmaids wore matching white silky robes and during hair and make up, while David and his groomsmen got dressed and shared a quick drink to toast the occasion. First look took place in the opera house auditorium; love and admiration was written all over David’s face. Before the ceremony began, they signed the traditional Jewish ketubah surrounded by family and friends. 


The literal and figurative stage was set for the ceremony to begin. Fleur Detroit coordinated and provided flowers for the entire event, and they didn’t forget a single detail. Being one of Detroit’s most glamorous and opulent historic buildings, guests enjoyed sitting in main floor section in the magnificent theater. Ashley was escorted down the aisle by her mom and dad, and she and David took their place on stage under a floral-draped chuppah, backdropped by the opulent red velvet curtain. During the ceremony I filmed from the balcony and the professional lighting made the bride and groom shine at center stage. When David stepped on the glass and made it official, and the newly married couple exited the theater, the curtain slowly rose during an inspirational solo to reveal the entire stage set with a glittering reception. The audience was awed. 


photo credit: Niki Marie Photography


Once the guests were settled on their tables, ready to eat and celebrate Ashley + David, the newlyweds joined the party from the theater. There were hanging chandeliers over the guests, and the most spectacular floral installment suspended above the reception. It made the vast space seem more intimate. The Jerry Ross Band played the music for the reception, and got the dancing started. Filming everyone enjoying themselves, the bride and groom hoisted in chairs for the traditional Hora, and Ashley + David jamming with the band gave their special day a memorable and celebratory feel.


photo credit: Niki Marie Photography


Check out below for a Q+A with Ashley, the bride.


Tell us about the wedding. David and Ashley had a Jewish wedding - Ashley actually converted to Judaism prior to the wedding! David and Ashley knew from the beginning they wanted a classic and timeless wedding - one where they could look back 50 years from now and get excited all over again! They chose simple black and white colors with small pops of gold to highlight the beautiful venue. Once wedding planning began, David and Ashley had no idea where exactly they wanted their ceremony/reception to take place. They knew one thing, it had to be in Detroit! David and Ashley met and began their relationship in Detroit, both living their at separate times. This place holds a very special place in their hearts and they knew this would be the location of their wedding. After taking one look at the Detroit Opera House, they were sold! This historic Detroit landmark is the epitome of classic and timeless. The wedding kicked off with cocktail hour in the grand lobby on the main and second floor of the Opera House. The guests were then called into the theater where the wedding took place on the stage. Once David stepped on the glass, the happy couple were taken upstairs to a mezzanine box where they waited for the grand reveal. The opera singer began and created excitement with the guests, the band joined in and the curtain started to rise creating a grand reveal for their closest family and friends.


How did you two meet? David and Ashley met through their exes, initially meeting in the summer of 2013 while attending a concert in Chicago. They remained friends throughout the years - even attending each other's birthday parties. Life happened and one day they were both single again. Ashley was swiping through Tinder and to her surprise, there was David! Obviously she swiped right. Well, it was a match. They planned their first date at Valentine Vodka in Ferndale. Little did Ashley know, David had front row Lions tickets for the next day - if things went well (which they did!), David was planning on asking Ashley out on a second date. They have been inseparable since.


How did he/she propose? For months leading up to the engagement, their friends and family were taking bets on when the proposal was going to happen. Most were expecting this to happen on their vacation with Ashley's family in Hawaii. However, David wanted to keep everyone on their toes. One week after they returned home from Hawaii, David told Ashley that his sister Amy bought us plane tickets to come visit her for a weekend in NYC. Winter in the Midwest can be challenging at times and can certainly wreak havoc in travel plans. Their flight was cancelled and Ashley told David maybe it was best they just stay home. David was determined to make it to NYC and figured out a different flight for them to get on. They spent the first two nights with his sister at her apartment and one day while Ashley was out with Amy, David suggested they meet him at the Plaza Hotel for a drink. When they walked in David was sitting in the Champagne Bar at a table with a reserved sign. He informed them he was waiting for a table upstairs. When this "table" was finally ready, he led Ashley up the grand staircase where he stopped her midway and told her - 37 years ago his father proposed to his mother at the Plaza Hotel and that day he asked her to do the same. David, Ashley and Amy celebrated properly with champagne and moved their suitcases from Amy's apartment to the Plaza Hotel where they stayed that night.


What did you envision your wedding being prior to planning? We didn't know exactly what our dream wedding looked like before we started the planning process, all we knew was that we wanted it to be memorable and different. Once we found our venue, we started dreaming about what this magical day would look like. Our actual wedding day was more than we could have ever envisioned in our wildest dreams. It was the best day of our lives.


photo credit: Niki Marie Photography


What was your color palette and your style vision? Our color palette was black, white and hints of gold. Our style vision was classic yet sophisticated. The Detroit Opera House is so beautiful on its own, we wanted to showcase that beauty and enhance it. We used floral arrangements on the tables, the edge of the stage and since we are in a theater - we wanted to utilize that and hang a large floating floral arrangement over our head table. We brought in additional chandeliers and also hung them from the ceiling across to stage. To make things feel even more intimate, there were varying sizes of candles and candelabras on the tables and throughout the seating in the theater.


What unique elements or DIY details did you include? David's father passed away a few years ago and we wanted to make sure he was with us on our wedding day. David sewed a small framed picture of him on the inside of his tuxedo jacket. Ashley took a piece of the applique from her mother's wedding dress and had it sewn on the inside of the bust of her wedding dress. She also wore David's grandmother's garter which she wore on her wedding day!


What was your favorite moment? Our favorite moment was the first look we shared in the mezzanine of the Opera House. We also loved watching the grand stage reveal from the box and watching all of our guest's reactions when the curtain started to rise.


Describe your wedding day. Our wedding day was a dream come true. I've thought about this day my entire life and dreamed what it would look like. The day was filled with excitement from the moment we woke up to the moment we went to bed. It was so special to have all of our closest family and friends together to help us celebrate our marriage. It was such an exciting moment to see David for the first time on our wedding day, knowing that in a few short hours we would be married! After the ceremony, we had the best time at the reception and danced the night away! We truly tried to enjoy every single moment and savor the day knowing how quickly it goes by. It was hands down the best day of my life. It was such a memorable and magical day that we and our families will remember for the rest of our lives.


What is one piece of advice that you could give brides-to-be? Enjoy every single moment. Even during the planning stages where things can seem daunting and stressful at times, enjoy it! The entire planning process and wedding day (especially!) goes by so quickly. This is such an exciting moment in your lives, embrace it and enjoy the ride! Most importantly, do what makes you happy! This is your day.


Wedding Details


Bride Dress Designer Galia Lahav


Bride Shoe Designer Manolo Blahnik


Bride's Hairpiece and Earrings Maria Elena Headpieces & Accessories


Bridesmaid Dress Designer Adrianna Papell


Bridal Party Gifts BHLDN White Lace Robes, Matching pajama sets, Earrings, Monogrammed tote bags


Groom Suit Designer Armani


Ceremony and Reception Venue Detroit Opera House


Photographer Niki Marie Photography


Planner and Florist Fleur Detroit


Band Jerry Ross Band


Caterer Forte Belanger


Hairstylist Lena Gjoka


Makeup Artist Lorrin Betrus


Thank you Ashley + David for sharing your story! Are you getting married? Wahoo Congrats!! Send me an email [katie@97films.com] or fill out the contact form and let’s chat about how AMAZING your wedding day will be and how I can capture every single detail!


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