A Simple Wedding at Thomas Welsh Activity Center in Harrison Township, Michigan
Despite meeting in a high school play back in 2003, newlyweds Melissa Russell (27 and a hair stylist) and William Sicheneder (29 and in technology sales) didn't begin dating until 2011 when the long-distance friends decided to meet up for coffee. "He told me he had just moved back to Michigan," Melissa says. "I was so excited, but I tried to play it cool." When Melissa mentioned that she had recently begun playing guitar, Bill offered to give her the occasional lesson in exchange for haircuts. "Our guitar lessons turned into dinner, which turned into dates and we've been inseparable ever since," Melissa explains. Two years later, Bill proposed by indiscreetly leaving a ring box in his guitar case at home. "I went to grab something out of the case and was confused when I saw the box," the bride says. "I turned around with my heart beating out of my chest and there he was, on his knee." For their June wedding in Detroit, the couple exchanged vows on Wayne State University's campus at the McGregor Memorial Conference Center. The venue's cathedral ceilings and vaulted windows were a huge draw, simply because Melissa and Bill knew they needed plenty of natural light in the space. "The floors and pillars are made of marble -- it had the simple, elegant feel we were looking for," Melissa says." Post-reception, the newlyweds and nearly 200 guests celebrated at the Thomas Welsh Activity Center in Harrison Township. Sliding glass doors allowed party goers to enjoy the sunny, 70-degree day while the venue's interior was swathed in shades of coral, pink and gold. "I love summer and sunsets and really wanted my guests to feel relaxed in the space," the bride says. "Since the windows were behind the head table, I found a variation of tissue pons and fans and hung them up behind us. With the sun shining through, it was a detail that I absolutely loved."