Who Doesn't Love Pastels? A Colorful, Dance-Focused Wedding at Shinola Hotel in Detroit
In the warm embrace of a Northern Michigan summer soirée, Amy Beck and Gus Navarro discovered a magnetic connection that felt like destiny. “That first night, we figured out how much we were drawn to each other playing apples to apples,” Amy explains. Their playful spirits were a perfect match, and Gus’s charming complicity during a casual round of drinking games deepened Amy’s affection. “And Gus let me cheat at drinking games, which really sealed the deal for me.”
Years of shared summers and serendipitous moments led them to an unexpected day in 2020 when Gus decided to pop the question. “I thought for so long that I would know it was coming, but I was completely surprised,” says Amy. Gus chose Point Betsie—a sanctuary of fun bonfires and a cherished location for his beloved. “It was a place that was really special to my late grandparents as well,” she adds. Gus proposed on the sandy shores, clad in the casualness of swimwear. “I don’t know that I ever pictured getting engaged in a swimsuit- but everything about it was so thoughtful and perfect,” laughs Amy. The symbol of their promise to each other was imbued with history and love; “Gus proposed with a ring he redesigned from his great grandmother’s wedding band.”
As the wedding planning unfolded, Amy noted, “Big, bold colors and dramatic silhouettes drove the vision board our planner created for us.” This vision came to life in Detroit’s Shinola Hotel, where steel and glass bowed to flora and festivity. The venue, steeped in modern luxury, was transformed into an urban oasis, a nod to the couple’s penchant for natural beauty and shared joy in vibrant, living things.
“The flowers were so special to us,” Amy recounts, revealing how their wedding planner and florist collaborated secretly to create an enchanting ceremony space. Guests arrived at a spectacle of greenery: a room adorned with foliage that climbed the walls and hung from above, a lush archway framing the altar.
Wearing a mikado ballgown with a slit that exuded both elegance and daring, Amy traversed the aisle with the heirloom veil of her great-grandmother flowing behind her. Gus, the epitome of classic charm, sported a sleek tuxedo with his grandfather’s silver cufflinks.
The ceremony itself was infused with traditions, new and old. “For our ceremony, we had a portion that involved a hand-washing ceremony,” the bride explains, symbolizing the cleansing of their pasts and the beginning of a new journey together. Amy surprised Gus with stones from Lake Michigan, a sentimental call-back to their engagement, now resting in the water vessel used for the hand-washing custom.
For their reception, Amy performed a quick change into a resplendent second gown—a custom Andrew Kwon creation with a tiered tulle skirt that seemed to capture the very essence of celebration—and floated among guests. The dress, with its corseted bodice, embodied Amy’s vivacious spirit. Guests dined at dining tables bedecked in ethereal white linens and punchy florals in shades of orange, yellow and lavender.
A drumline performance, a cherished tradition from Gus’s time on the Michigan State Drumline, brought an unexpected treat to the dance floor. “It was a really special and unique thing to be able to have at our wedding,” the bride recalls. The night continued with a plethora of memory-making moments. The newlyweds, taking a moment amidst the jubilation, stood together, soaking in the scene before them. “I’ll never forget the feeling during our dinner,” Amy remembers. She describes the speeches by their nearest and dearest that wove the narrative of their lives, the outpouring of support that filled the room with tangible warmth.
In a spontaneous act of joy, Amy was called onto the stage, a sea of friends and family in tow, as they belted out the lyrics to “Dancing Queen” with mighty glee. As the evening waned, Gus and Amy offered their advice to couples embarking on their own planning journies: “Choose what will be the most important and impactful to your marriage, like the details of the ceremony. Bring in other details that will help create an amazing experience for your loved ones, like music or food and drink choices. And don’t forget to have fun!”