Monday, June 30, 2008

The Family Jewels

A little over a month ago, I proposed to my girlfriend of over four years and she accepted (surprisingly, without hesitation). This last weekend, I began to better understand some of the pre-implications of being engaged. We spent the better part of the weekend traveling around southeast Michigan to see as many potential ceremony and reception sights as we could fit into two days. Typically, the ceremony and reception search process is beloved by the feminine and significantly less beloved by the masculine. With minimal preconceptions regarding the fun (or lack thereof) of the overall experience, I threw myself into the looking process and was pleasantly surprised by the adventure.

It goes without saying (but I will anyway) that weddings are big, big, BIG business, and there is a pretty adequate supply of sites to meet the available demand - country clubs, banquet centers, large restaurants, yacht clubs, and converted hotels, banks, and theaters, to name a few. I was struck by one main thought, not including the wedding-related issues, as I visited some of the available options. Despite a consistent stereotype to the contrary, Detroit and the suburbs are filled with amazingly beautiful locations. Ranging from Addison Oaks way up in Rochester to the Atheneum Hotel in the heart of Greektown to the Detroit Yacht Club on Belle Isle (yes, Detroit has a yacht club AND a river), Michigan is overflowing with striking estates, hotels, and conference centers - and this is only with a focus on southeast Michigan. In addition to this, those responsible for managing these locations are fiercely proud of their landmarks and maintain the many pleasing aesthetic qualities with a fantastic energy.

While some of these spots may not be as prominent as, say, The Henry Ford Museum or the newly-rennovated Detroit Institute of Arts, they, too, are our Michigan Family Jewels and should not be overlooked when considering the merits of Michigan.

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