On a Roll

After a courthouse ceremony, an out-of-the-box couple skates into their future with a groovy celebration | Photographs by Jessica Reaves

DIANA MANKOWSKI AND MATT VENDERBY took a step outside the box — or rather, a step into the rink — when they were wed at the 15th District Court in Ann Arbor in April. They discussed marriage throughout their long-term relationship, and two years ago, Diana said that once she found the perfect vintage wedding dress, to the courthouse they would go.

After she found not one, but two vintage 1950s dresses, and when they learned that they could be married on their exact 10-year anniversary, they knew it was the right time to say, “I do.”

After an intimate courthouse ceremony, they took photographs at the University of Michigan Museum of Art and enjoyed brunch with immediate family members at Sava’s in Ann Arbor. They then headed to Rollerama, a roller rink in Brighton, for their groovy after-party, where friends and family indulged in pizza, pop, and of course, roller skating.

While they may have strayed away from a traditional reception, there was significant meaning in choosing a roller rink to celebrate their nuptials. “Early in our relationship, while I was deep into research for my doctoral dissertation, I was reading a lot about 1970s roller disco,” Diana says. “I loved roller skating as a kid and really wanted to go again. Matt readily offered to go with me. Knowing that he still wanted to go with me, that was the moment I knew I could love him.”

They invited about 45 close friends and family to the celebration, and in keeping with their easygoing wedding planning, they invited guests via a Facebook invitation. The event was simply titled “10th Anniversary Celebration,” and there was only a brief mention of their marriage in the description.

“We knew our commitment was never dependent on a piece of paper, and we felt like getting married was no bigger an accomplishment than any other major moment in life,” Diana says. “Why celebrate it differently? We definitely saw no reason to stress out about planning a big event or spend ridiculous amounts of money on a single party.”

From the beginning, they knew they wanted a simple, fuss-free wedding day that was uniquely their own. “Do something that is entirely what you want, what makes you happy, and that reflects who you are as a couple and as individuals,” Diana says. “We went way outside the box, knowing we would be happy no matter what anyone else thought.”

Diana Mankowski and Matt Venderby’s simple, fuss-free courthouse wedding ceremony was followed by a groovy roller skating party with family and friends at Rollerama in Brighton.