If Wes Anderson and Marie Antoinette designed a dinner party, it would look a lot like the wedding of Diana Marsh and Matthew Finney. Set in Detroit’s new Shinola Hotel, owned by the Americana-inspired watch brand based in the Michigan city, the wedding combined the couple’s artsy vibes with the industrial aesthetic of the venue, chef Andrew Carmellini’s thoughtful food, and just the right balance between tradition and personalization.
Diana, owner of Thistle and Bess, and Matthew, a graphic designer, are both creative in their own rights and called upon the talents of many artistic friends to pull of the day, which included candy-colored pastels and lush florals. Dubbing them “friendors,” these pros designed paper flowers, put together covers of Radiohead and Beyonce songs, live-sketched guests, and DJ’ed a mix of Motown and hip hop. “We wanted to use our wedding as a chance to really let them shine,” Diana says of their friends. “In the end, it made all of the little details feel so much more special to us and hopefully to our guests as well.”
That said, nothing was more personal than the couple’s ceremony. After pre-ceremony cocktails, Diana and Matthew snuck away to change into a bridal cape and custom suit to exchange vows. Officiated by a friend, the ceremony included readings from Frida Kahlo and the rapper Common as well as a string quartet’s rendition of “Today” by the Smashing Pumpkins. “When the wedding was over, both Matt and I said that the ceremony was our favorite part of the day,” Diana says. “We were totally present in the moment and focused on the beautiful commitment that we were making to one another.”
The Shinola Hotel served as "basecamp" for the celebration, including pre-ceremony cocktails and accommodations for all of the guests. “We fell in love,” Diana says of first stepping into the venue's lobby. “The spaces were modern and gorgeous, with a classic-vintage twist, and filled with an impressive art collection with works by some of our favorite artists.”
Colorful invitations from Minted announced the day’s plans.
Matthew wore a custom navy blue suit from Indochino, which he had lined in a floral print and special embroidery. He paired the suit with a floral print tie and some unique footwear.
“Matt is a huge sneakerhead and traded his brown leather brogues for a pair of Jordan 1 x Off-White UNC’s,” Diana says. “Matt hadn’t worn these collectible sneakers yet and was saving them for an extra special event. What event is more special than your wedding day?”
She got ready in a robe that read "Detroit" in grand letters. She opted to wear her hair in a ponytail with loose waves for the big day.
Diana worked with the team at Reem Acra, her mother, and her sister to completely customize her bridal look. She first purchased a ready-to-wear Reem Acra gown, then had it shortened to a 1950s-style silhouette. She then paired the dress with a beaded cape from Reem Acra’s bridal collection, metallic block heels from Badgley Mischka, and pearl-and-diamond earrings from Sofia Zakia.
Diana’s hand-tied bouquet included flowers foraged the morning of the wedding: koko loko garden roses, pale pink lisianthus, pink grasses, and white thistles.
She adorned the tie with two antique brooches, one from Matthew’s family and one from hers.
A hairpiece of fresh flowers completed Diana's bridal look.
Diana and Matthew took photos around their hometown of Detroit before the ceremony.
The photoshoot included a stop for soft-serve ice cream covered in sprinkles. It would all foreshadow a 2 a.m. Detroit-style pizza run to Greektown after the dance party.
Before the ceremony, Diana greeted guests in a Needle and Thread dress. She then surprised everyone, changing into her custom Reem Acra cape and gown for the processional and party.
The couple said “I do” in front of an eight foot-by-eight foot floral wall of lush blooms. It included pastel-hued botanicals like ferns, baby’s breath, andromeda, carnations, and delphinium. “We wanted the piece to look like a floral tapestry, and it ended up being simply stunning,” Diana says.
The ceremony took place in Shinola Hotel’s Birdy Room, a sunroom-style space that features vaulted glass ceilings and brick accents. Diana walked down the aisle to a string quartet playing Beyonce’s “Crazy in Love” alongside her parents. “I lived out my bridal dreams,” she says.
The couple shared personalized vows they each wrote as well as chose meaningful readings, such as an excerpt from Common’s “The Light.” “We tailored our vows to commit ourselves to one another in a way that felt real and authentic to us,” the bride adds.
“The ceremony music was one more detail that made our wedding feel uniquely us,” Diana says of walking up the aisle to a Smashing Pumpkins song, “Today.”
Cocktail hour included two signature cocktails, one being the "Last Word," a drink invented in Detroit. Guests munched on bites from a taco bar and passed canapes like Carmellini’s famed lamb meatballs. The modern lounge area featured lightly hued florals inside tall cloches.
Paper flowers—featuring a mix of pink cosmos, yellow hellebore, and pale pink anemones—by Elizabeth Carter of The Striped Petal served as escort cards. “It was fun to have the paper flowers in many of the gorgeous photos, as guests put them in their hair and jacket pockets,” the bride says.
A mix of textiles, florals, and pastel-hues accented the reception, which took place inside a ballroom in the Shinola Hotel. Hand-dyed table runners and elegant linens topped the tables, which featured various candles, flowers, and terrariums.
Matthew worked closely with the catering team to design the menu. The family-style dinner included bacon-wrapped prawns, orecchiette pasta with pesto, and roasted chicken Rosalina with polenta. As a sweet treat, his grandmother brought mini Italian cannolis to be passed out on the dance floor as the party raged into the evening.
The couple’s cake was a true work of art. Inspired by a sequin sculpture in the Shinola Hotel, the confection featured thousands of hand-punched, edible sequins hand-set on the buttercream frosting. “We felt bad cutting into that masterpiece, but after we tasted the cake, it was totally worth it,” Diana admits. Guests chose from two flavors: olive oil cake with blood orange curd and vanilla cake with caramel praline buttercream icing.
Drawn On The Way’s Sarah Nisbett live-sketched the reception, the originals of which now reside in Diana and Matthew’s home. “From the fashions to the florals, Sarah captured the most beautiful moments in her drawings,” Diana says. “Now we have the most unique art pieces documenting our day.”
Ceremony & Reception Venue: Shinola Hotel
Coordinator: Victoria Stachlewitz of Events by Honeybee
Officiant: Anna Fishman
Bride's Dress: Reem Acra
Bride's Jewelry: Sofia Zakia
Bride's Shoes: Badgley Mischka
Bride's Pre-Ceremony Dress: Needle & Thread
Hair: The Village Parlor
Makeup: Hannah Butler
Mother of the Bride Dress: Ursula of Switzerland
Groom’s Attire: Indochino
Engagement Ring & Wedding Bands: Sofia Zakia
Floral Design: Susan McLeary
Invitations: Moglea for Minted
Escort Cards: The Striped Petal
Signage: Claudia Kimble
Music: Katie Van Dusen
DJ: Sara Aldrige
Catering: Shinola Hotel
Cake: Sweet Heather Anne
Favors: Bon Bon Bon Chocolate
Accommodations: Shinola Hotel
Photo Booth: Monnette Photo
Wedding Sketching: Drawn On The Way
Photography: Kate Headley