This wedding photography event was made possible by a DJ friend of mine who owns Michigan DJ Service. I have networked with James and Samantha for almost threes years now and they are awesome at evet planning and of course, Disc Jockeying.
I called Ashly on Wednesday to catch up on her plans, itinerary and all that jazz. The ceremony was going to be held at the Whte House Wedding Chapel in Warren, MI and the reception was at the American Polish Century Club. Before I hang up she added that they also want to go to a golf course that was right across reception venue.
She was a woman of few words but Sam assurred me that they are both easy going. And Sam was so right. She was all smile when she greeted me and Jake extended his hand to shake mine when I went into the room where he was waiting.
I knew then that my Saturday was going to be very eventful.
Ceremony – White House Wedding Chapel, 4860 E 13 Mile Road, Warren, MI 48092
This place is like a well-oiled money making machine.
As I usually do, I arrived about 45 minutes before my start time. I was kicked out. I was not happy because I did not get to scope out the place for good photos and composition. But I will explain later why kicking me out is actually a good thing. So I waited.
As my start time of 4:30 pm rolled in, I was welcomed with opened-armed, all smile staff. The lady that kicked me out was like Dr. Jekyll and Hyde. She was all smile and asked me if I have been around the chapel before. I don’t remember photographing a wedding there before so I said, “No.” She graciously assigned one of the staff to give me a tour of the place with smile no less.
From what I heard and read on the internet, this chapel used to be a mansion buit in 1943. That’s all I knew. Man, this place was awesome. The second floor has two rooms and one bathroom (I think). One of the bigger rooms was decorated and furnished to match the era when it was originally built. That’s where Ashly changed into her beautiful wedding dress. The window treatments, couches (including a reclining one) were really awesome props and backgrounds for photographers to use. The lady that ran the place must have been working there for a while because she gave me hints and tips as to where to pose the bride. I graciously accepted her suggestions.
I counted four rooms on the first floor. Immediately to the right after entering the chapel from the front was a relatively smaller room than where Ashly got ready. That’s where Jake and his crew were holed up. On the left side was another room that housed a dining table with eight chairs around it. Further down the hallway from the entrance was a vaulted ceiling main room.
The ceremony took place in this room. There is an elegant winding staircase to the second floor from the main room. The bride and her bridesmaid came down from this staircase during the procession. This room also had huge windows as a backdrop for the ceremony.
As I have mentioned throughout my review, this chapel is decorated and furnished to somewhat re-create the era when it was built. I can only surmise that couples who wish to get married here are also into Black and White vintaged photos.
Outside were three distinct landscape structures perfect for photographing formal family shots. A dark grey (almost black) curved half wall immediately the mansion with cascading water, a fountain and a gazebo. In front of the curved wall was a concrete bench and floor with the area was tiled with bricks.
The gazebo and fountain was landscaped with grass and well-trimmed small pine trees.
Parking , contrary to what most reviewers stated, was more than ample. They (the reviewers) didn’t probably know that, in addition to the spaces next to the chapel, there were more in the back right next to the gazebo and fountain.
As I mentioned in the beginning, this place is a money money making machine because they handle multiple events in a given day. Well-oiled because the events are handled by very nice and competent staff who know the business well. I was kicked out when I first arrived because I interrupted the event before Ashly and Jake’s were still ongoing. I felt not unlike a fool.
Reception – Century Banquet Center of Sterling Heights, 33204 Maple Ln Drive, Sterling Heights, MI 48312
Disc Jockey – Michigan DJ Service, Warren, MI