Old St. Mary’s Detroit Winter Wedding

Updated: Feb 13

Kristein and Don’s wedding was an elegant affair. To show off the city they love so dearly, they decided the beautiful Old St. Mary’s Church in Downtown Detroit would be the perfect venue for the wedding. Walking into the church, both the couple and I knew they made the right decision. It was heartwarming, even for me, to see all the masked faces with smiling eyes. You could just feel the love in the room as Kristein walked down the aisle in her stunning Sareh Nouri gown to her groom who looked at her in awe holding back happy tears.


Niki Marie Photography bride walking down the aisle at Old St Mary's Church.

Kristein walking down the aisle at Old St Mary's Church.

photo credit: Niki Marie Photography


Leading up to the ceremony, I had the pleasure of working with the talented and artistic, Niki Marie Photography, who snapped shots of of the bride getting ready at The Element Detroit at the Metropolitan Hotel, and the wedding party waltzing through the historic Parker’s Alley. It was the perfect backdrop to bring the spirit of the city alive. It’s so fun to see such a special day through different perspectives!


From the handsome black tuxedos for the groomsmen, to the bride’s glamorous hair by Nina Perez at 6 Salon Royal Oak and make-up by Linda Kanna, everything about the ceremony was classically gorgeous. They chose to have a traditional Catholic mass incorporating special Filipino traditions including the junior groomsmen wearing “Barongs” which is a national dress for men in the Philippines, and the bridesmaids dresses designed by Revelry were in vibrant emerald green, a symbol of truth, protection, love, and wisdom.


Niki Marie Photography bridal party in Greektown Detroit after their ceremony.

Kristein and Don's bridal party in Greektown Detroit after their ceremony.

photo credit: Niki Marie Photography


Although the mass at St. Mary’s was magnificent, the reception might have been my favorite part of wedding. The family transformed their backyard into a dreamscape by styling a tent with candles, greenery, and spectacular white flowers from Flowers for Dreams Detroit, who also designed the bridesmaids bouquets which were restyled into fabulous centerpieces for the backyard reception. DJ Joey A. kept the party going with amazing music for the guests to dance the night away!


Kristein + Don's Detroit Wedding Film.

Wedding Cinematography: 97 Films


The bride described the day as a bit chaotic having pivoted to a smaller ceremony and reception at the last minute, but you could never tell, and, that's what made it all the more memorable. Cindy from CLA Events made sure all the last minute details were incorporated in the wedding. Kristein and Don will definitely remember this day forever, and so will I. I’m so honored they chose me to share it with them.


Niki Marie Photography bride and groom in the streets of Detroit after their ceremony.

Kristein and Don in the streets of Detroit after their ceremony.

photo credit: Niki Marie Photography


Check out this Q&A with the happy couple for a more intimate look inside their super special love story and their advice to couples considering getting married during the pandemic:


How did you two meet?

We met in 2017 at a wedding in San Francisco. My childhood friend married Dons cousin. Don and I were partnered. Don lived in the Bay Area, California and we chatted about the confusing weather both our cities had. Our first date was when I flew to San Francisco for 36 hours for a Giants baseball game on Hello Kitty Day. We connected and we flew back and forth for 2 years before he was finally able to move to Michigan.


What did you envision your wedding being prior to planning?

We envisioned it to be fun, extravagant, warm, happy, surrounded by family and friends, a big party. However COVID had other plans. We knew we wanted to get married on our original date.


What is one piece of advice that you could give brides-to-be?

Stop and slow down. Consciously stop and think about the fact that this is your big day, during you day, and soak it in. Take a minute with your husband and look around at your reception, take it all in and know that this was all because two people fell in love.


Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Even though COVID and 2020 tried to throw a wrench in plans. Love will always win. I am a nurse and when COVID made its way to Michigan, it didn't slow down. I caught Covid in April and made a full recovery. Days before my bridal shower in August the governor limited indoor dining . September we flew with our bridesmaids to California so they could meet our groomsmen and Dons family. The Napa Valley wild fires polluted the air quality and a lot of our outdoor plans folded. October, our original venue told us they would not be able to accommodate our day as all the uncertainty surrounding COVID. We found a backup venue to host a smaller more intimate reception. Our groomsmen and a majority of Dons family decided it would not be a good idea to travel to Michigan, because at the time Michigan was becoming another hot spot. 10 days before our wedding, Dons grandma in Hawaii passed away but Dons mom wanted us to continue to have the wedding because that's what grandma would've wanted. Then of course 5 days before our date, the governor changed her orders again to shutdown indoor dining and venues. The next day my planner and I began panic planning. As heart breaking as the year was for everyone, it felt like 2020 was definitely against us. But we still had a lot to celebrate. Love conquers all and it will be a date to remember.


Are you getting married in Detroit? 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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