KYMBERLY ANDREN KNEW she wanted to arrive at her wedding ceremony in a vintage car. It’s a passion steeped in her family history. Her father worked at General Motors and drove rare vehicles to elite auto shows, and she, too, started her career in the auto industry at Ford Motor Co. But finding the precise car for her wedding was no small task.
“My [then fiancé] and I searched for months — we were looking for a specific style with Detroit roots,” she says. “Three weeks before our wedding [in 2011], we found it in Atlanta. It had been built in 1948 at the Packard Plant on East Grand Boulevard.” A week later, the car was shipped to Detroit, and then was later driven by Andren’s father, John, to the ceremony — a moment she says they will never forget.
Fast forward seven years, and that classic Packard has now chauffeured countless couples to their weddings, thanks to Motor City Vintage Rentals, a family- owned company that Andren, her husband, and father started shortly after her wedding. Just like at her own nuptials, Andren’s father is the chauffeur, a job he takes quite seriously. “He loves what he does,” she says. “He’ll make sure the groom takes off his blazer in the car so it doesn’t get wrinkled, he’ll hold the bride’s train, he’ll carry umbrellas, he’ll offer them water.” But perhaps his most beloved task is the marriage advice he gives newlyweds — after 38 years of marriage himself, he has some to offer.
There’s a two-hour minimum to rent “Hugo,” the affectionate name Andren gave the ’48 Packard. Couples can ride to the ceremony, to scenic locations around Detroit for photos, and, of course, use it as a getaway car after the reception. He’s a hit with guests, too: “Hugo still has his original engine — we could drive him to Chicago,” Andren says. “A lot of people are blown away that a 69-year-old engine is still running. Guests love taking pictures.”
As he has no rust, Andren guesses Hugo spent most of his life in the South. But here, with Michigan’s harsh winters, business is closed from November to March, when Hugo is stored away in anticipation of the next wedding season.
Although it’s just Hugo for the moment, the family is in the middle of a search to find their next classic car. “It’s proving difficult — we want the same elegant, timeless feel that Hugo has, but there are certain characteristics we’re looking for, and we want it to be older than Hugo,” Andren says. While she won’t give away much more, she will say that it will be black, like Hugo. “When you put a bride in a white dress next to it, she really stands out.”
For pricing and more information, visit motorcityvintagerentals.com.
An Affair to Remember
If you want to keep precious wedding items like your invitation, seating chart, and hair accessories for posterity, register for Savor The Library: Wedding Edition, a new scrap book-inspired organizer that contains folders, sliding cubby holes, and stickers you can use to preserve all of your memorabilia, from your day-of accessories and cake topper to your wedding documents, playlist, bouquet petals, ring pillow, and more.
Savor The Library: Wedding Edition, $99.95, at savor.us.
Tom Ford’s Girls Three-Piece Set, a new trio of miniature, clutch-sized lipsticks, will take you from your engagement party to the wedding day. It contains two soft neutral shades — one pale pink, one nude — that are perfect for a bridal shower and wedding ceremony, and a deep shade of berry, which would look gorgeous for a bachelorette party and rehearsal dinner. Icing on the cake? The lipsticks come in white rectangular packaging with gold trim, so you’ll look chic even when touching up your lipstick.
Tom Ford Girls Trio, $108, at Neiman Marcus, Somerset Collection South, Troy; 248-643-3300; neimanmarcus.com.
On The Move
The Wedding Shoppe in Berkley, which sells a variety of gowns from indie designers, has moved to 2186 Coolidge Hwy., into a larger, renovated building that now houses both the boutique and their alteration studio.
L’Amour Bridal in Farmington Hills has also moved, to 39221 Grand River Ave., into an industrial-style space where brides can find gowns from glamorous designers like Berta, Sareh Nouri, Rosa Clara Couture, and Randy Fenoli.
Just a year after launching her made-to-order invitations business, Royal Oak-based calligrapher Leah E. Moss is expanding into semi-customizable paper goods, a less expensive option for couples who don’t want to invest in custom invitation suites. Her signature whimsical, watercolor aesthetic is still prevalent. All headings are hand-lettered in the couple’s choice of font, and they can swap text color and envelope colors, Moss says. Every item will be available a la carte, so couples can pick and choose what’s relevant to their big day, from invitations and RSVP cards to place cards, cocktail napkins, ceremony programs, and more.
“There are also little bells and whistles you can add, like luxe ribbons, wax seals, and foil stamping, which can elevate invitations into a more handcrafted, custom piece,” Moss says. “It’s the details that make invitation suites truly one-of-a-kind. I love connecting with clients, discussing what matters most to them, and translating that sentiment into their wedding stationery.”
For more information and pricing, go to leahemoss.com.
You might not be getting married in France, but you can have your bridal shower at La Boheme, a bohemian, French tea cafe complete with mismatched tea cups, velvet-cushioned chairs, and circular wooden tables. (They even have bookshelves — a detail that heightens the cozy ambiance.) The cafe, located at 8100 Kercheval Ave. in Detroit, opened last year and can host intimate parties for up to 21 people. Guests will love the tea selection from Mariage Freres, along with the croissants, quiches, and crepes.
For more information, call 313-926-6240.
Something Old, Something New
For a neoclassical wedding venue brimming with nostalgia, consider the Detroit Foundation Hotel. Located at 250 W. Larned St., the building was formerly the city’s fire department headquarters and still has its large red doors in place — which just heightens its charm.
“Style and decor wise, everything is true to its original form, but we’ve updated it with cool, modern furniture,” says Emily Childers, the hotel’s director of sales. This mix of old and new can be seen on every floor, including the seven suites available for bridal parties and the fifth-floor event space where receptions are held. One wall is made entirely of exposed brick, another of floor-to-ceiling windows.
Up to 120 guests can be accommodated for an informal, high-top table reception, or about 80 for a seated dinner, Childers says. And speaking of food, that will be in good hands (literally) thanks to Thomas Lents, chef of the hotel restaurant, The Apparatus Room. Lents came from a Michelin-starred restaurant and incorporates locally sourced ingredients from Eastern Market into a variety of dishes inspired by (but not limited to) his time spent in France, Italy, and Ireland. Suffice it to say, your guests will not be disappointed.
To learn more, visit detroitfoundationhotel.com.
The day before your wedding, get your bridesmaids together for manicures and pedicures at Detroit’s The Ten Nail Bar, 1215 Griswold St., an upscale — yet laid back — nail bar, where they’re happy to pop open the bubbly for your group. You can also bring your own food and drink, which the staff will set up in the bar area and help serve for a fun, pre-wedding party.
For inquiries and bookings, go to thetendetroit.com.