A Contemporary, Romantic Wedding at CityFlatsHotel in Grand Rapids, Michigan

Shantonya Russell (30 and an academic adviser) and Marcus Scott’s (28 and an assistant store manager) wedding was all-out modern glam with a romantic

Shantonya Russell (30 and an academic adviser) and Marcus Scott’s (28 and an assistant store manager) wedding was all-out modern glam with a romantic twist. From Marcus’s custom ivory satin tux to the cool mood lighting during the ceremony and the skyward-reaching floral arrangements of classic blooms, the couple put their own contemporary twist on tradition. They chose a coral, teal and ivory palette with navy and silver accents, which captured the vibrancy of the spring season, while also maintaining an element of sophistication. CityFlatsHotel in Grand Rapids, Michigan, offered Shantonya and Marcus the ultimate backdrop for their day, the stunning ballroom with its beautiful woodwork, high ceilings and marble floors blending historic architecture with modern style. Chic & Pretty Events helped the pair bring their vision for an intimate, classy and contemporary affair to life, filling the chic space with plenty of warm candlelight and over-the-top centerpieces of hydrangeas, peonies, garden roses and tulips that felt more like artwork than floral arrangements. Blue and red uplighting was used to give the decor an edge and to set a youthful, festive tone for the evening. Normally reserved, the couple let loose on the dance floor, surprising guests with a first-dance mash-up. But that wasn’t all the night had in store. Shantonya and Marcus’s wedding party also took to the floor and blew everyone away with a choreographed performance of Chris Brown’s “Fine China Hustle.” A tip from Shantonya and Marcus: “We recommend all couples consider hiring a wedding planner. Hiring our wedding planner was one of the best decisions we made. It was money well spent, and we were able to fully enjoy the planning process without any huge stressors. Also, remember that it's your day and to take it all in. Enjoy every moment of your special day and don’t let anyone or anything steal your joy.”

Formal Modern Wedding Invitations
With the goal of setting a romantic, modern tone for the ceremony, Chic & Pretty Events filled the ballroom at CityFlatsHotel with arrangements of spring-inspired blooms, lots of candlelight and cool mood lighting. Fresh bunches of roses, peonies, hydrangeas and skyward-reaching tulips in soft shades of peach, pink and ivory guided the couple toward the aisle, while clusters of brightly lit floating candles infused the room with warm, inviting ambiance and a subtle, modern edge. When the ceremony started, the lights were dimmed, leaving nothing but blue uplighting and candlelight to illuminate the space, allowing the focus to turn to the altar, where the couple exchanged vows.
Modern CityFlatsHotel Ballroom Ceremony
For her nine bridesmaids, Shantonya went all-out classic and had the women wear matching long, one-shoulder gowns. The coral colored Pia Gladys Perey number she chose at White Runway captured the wedding’s formal, elegant feel, as well as the cheerfulness of the spring season. “I wanted their dresses to be romantic, classy and comfortable,” Shantonya says.
Wanting his wedding day look to be one of a kind, Marcus headed to Malcolm’s Custom-Made-to-Fit. He had a tuxedo custom designed for the event in a sleek ivory satin fabric. The tuxedo jacket featured a contempoary shawl lapel in taupe satin, with his trousers boasting a striped accent in the same hue. He paired the look with a coral tie to match the bridesmaid dresses and an orchid boutonniere, a nod to Shantonya’s bouquet.
Wanting her gown to reflect the wedding’s elegant, modern feel, Shantonya visited BiAnka Bridal, where she found a Hayley Paige mermaid-style that exuded class and glamour. The fitted satin bodice featured a simple draped detailing along the sweetheart neckline, while the silk organza skirt added texture, depth and volume to the eye-catching design. To up the gown’s glam factor, Shantonya accessorized with a bead-embellished sash, pearl and diamond drop earrings and a bead-embellished headband.
Chic & Pretty Events fused classic romance with modern elegance in designing Shantonya’s bridal bouquet. The hand-tied arrangement was filled with Juliet garden roses, French tulips, Shirley Temple peonies, spray roses and golden treasure phalaenopsis orchids in playful shades of peach, pink and coral. As a finishing touch, Chic & Pretty tied a champagne-colored satin ribbon around the bouquet’s base, securing it with a rhinestone brooch.
While the ballroom at CityFlatsHotel l in  Grand Rapids, Michigan, was transitioned for the ceremony, the couple and their guests headed around the corner to the Courtyard Marriott in Downtown Grand Rapids for cocktail hour. There, they sipped on the couple’s signature cocktails, a Mr. Lucky (Hennessy and Coke) and a Mrs. Perfect (Peachtree schnapps, vodka, peach puree and strawberry puree).
Romantic Hurricane Vase Pillar Candles
To create a cohesive look between the ceremony and reception decor, Chic & Pretty Events dressed the reception tables with clusters of brightly lit floating and pillar candles in hurricane vases, as well as eye-catching tall arrangements of hydrangeas, garden roses and peonies. The centerpieces achieved the day’s modern design aesthetic and were varied from table to table to give the room texture and depth.
When choosing a venue, Shantonya and Marcus wanted a space that reflected their simple, classic and modern senses of style. The CityFlatsHotel ballroom was the perfect fit with it’s intricate architectural details, dramatic lighting and impressive high ceilings. “Everything about it was grand,” Shantonya says. “It had a very intimate, romantic feel and we loved everything about it.”
Having taken a modern approach to their attire and decor, Shantonya and Marcus carried over this theme to the menu too. Instead of serving traditional wedding cake after dinner, the couple had Desserts by Lori whip up an assortment of decadent treats, including various mini cupcakes, dessert shooters in flavors like caramel apple, triple chocolate brownie and strawberry cheesecake, plus vanilla, chocolate and red velvet cake pops.
Coral and Silver Place Settings
CityFlatsHotel Ballroom Cake Cutting
After dinner and dessert, Shantonya, Marcus and their guests hit the dance floor where DJ A.B. was spinning a mix of energetic dance beats. The couple were taken by surprised when their wedding party cleared the dance floor and performed a choreographed line dance to Chris Brown’s “Fine China Hustle.”