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AMANDA + JAMES

September 14, 2019

Ann Arbor, Michigan

PRIVATE RESIDENCE​

Event Design / Amanda McKey Designs

Catering /  Eat LLC

Dessert /  Sweet Heather Anne's and Sister Pie

Lettering and Paper / Amanda McKey Designs

Tabletop Wares / Whitetail Farm

Our role /

Event Management and Coordination

Photographer /Samantha James Photography

Hair & Makeup / Park Avenue Salon

Floral /  University Floral Shop

Rentals / Tecumseh Tent and A1 Rentals

Entertainment / Love Plus One Inc

From the very first email I had with Amanda, I knew that this wedding was going to be hands down one that felt so creatively aligned with what I love to do as a wedding planner and I couldn't wait to see what Amanda dreamed up.

Amanda is a creative entrepreneur based in Southeast Michigan who not only works as a designer and stylist at Whitetail Farms in her hometown of Dexter but also runs the creative studio Amanda McKey Designs where she dips into everything from hand lettering to watercolor illustration to custom wedding and event invitations. She described herself as a dabbler in the arts and deeply inspired to pursue her creativity from her grandmother, who the family calls Moom.

When Amanda described how she was transforming her family's farm into a wedding day that would look like The Siren Hotel of Detroit and The Leggs Inn of Northern Michigan had a love child, I was sold. Amanda described her and her fiance James as having a huge shared group of friends they have known since their high school days, and wanted above all a casual, fun filled day at her family's estate that really reflected their love of eclectic design and great times. 

I have told Amanda a few times now that hers was one of the easiest weddings I have ever executed as a coordinator because her family is literally loaded with talented people who were so hands on in pulling this day together. She had aunts who crafted flowers, her friend and boss from Whitetail Farms who handled decor and styling, and a great wedding party who took care of everything including chainsawing the trees that fell in the yard the Friday before the wedding during a surprise windstorm that also blew part of the tent down.

Another reason why this wedding was such a fun one to be a part of was because of the amazing vendor team that Amanda and James assembled long before they pulled me in to serve as their coordinator. Southwest Michigan based fine art photographer Samantha James Photography is known for her keen eye for capturing romantic details and paying special attention to the environment of a place which I felt was so important since Amanda poured so much of herself into this design. Local legends Sweet Heather Anne and Sister Pie Detroit brought the most decadent of summer dessert displays with a semi naked cake and cookie bar. And University Floral Shop based in Ann Arbor provided the most colorful, textural, and eclectic bouquets and florals that tied in the late summer and early fall vibes. 

And the rest? Amanda's handiwork. From the taxidermy clad bar situated in the family's garage to the enormous snack spread that awaited guests before and after the ceremony, the fun disco balls from Modernly Events, to the adorable custom illustrations of her, James, and their dog Lucy that appeared on the programs and cocktail napkins, this wedding was SO original in every way.