Modern Weddings Continue Trends Toward Personalization

By: Karen Dybis | March 17, 2021

Photo Courtesy of Jules Joyner.

Couples looking to formalize their relationships and get married in 2021 are likely to find some things never change – you will want a ceremony and a party with family and friends – but some things are different in the months and years following the pandemic and vaccines. These special events are going in new directions with fresh ideas as a result. 

One tradition that couples may want to consider is emphasizing the importance of the ceremony itself, wedding experts say. As far as trends go, creating personalized mementoes to highlight the day and to have with you in your future home together are becoming more important as couples look to mark the moment in permanent ways. 

Michigan artist Michelle Sider says one longtime wedding tradition of creating a Ketubah for the occasion has become a highlight for many couples as they prepare for the marriage ceremony. A tradition going back thousands of years, the creation of a Ketubah is an integral part of a traditional Jewish ceremony. 

What traditionally specified the rights and responsibilities of the couple to one another, today the Ketubah has become a very personal document and can be a special gift to those who receive it, Sider says. She creates one-of-a-kind, hand painted Ketubot with personalized wording for couples.

And while Ketubot originated in the Jewish community, the idea of celebrating a joyous event with a beautifully illustrated manuscript has now become mainstream. Sider has created works in her Huntington Woods studio that combine words and painting to celebrate the birth of a child, a birthday, vow renewal or wedding anniversary

Sider began crafting these keepsakes more than two decades ago when a cousin asked her to paint an original design for her wedding. It’s become one of the items she is known for creating.

“I found that I enjoyed the process of translating their ideas into images,” Sider says. “Wanting the piece to be perfect for my cousin, I spent a great deal of time preparing drawings and finding just the right scribe for the English and Hebrew text.”

A mosaic artist first and foremost, both styles converged when in 2012 Sider created a triptych mosaic for Rabbi Arnie Sleutelberg, rabbi emeritus at Troy’s Congregation Shir Tikvah, and his husband Robert Crowe. She detailed aspects of their relationship, heritage and background all in a mosaic. The middle section was then professionally photographed and the couple’s own words were imprinted upon it to create the treasured keepsake.

“It’s magnificently beautiful,” Sleutelberg says of both the mosaic and matching Ketubah. “It’s a scene of a triple window that opens up onto our lake.”

Much like the research Sider uses for her original mosaic or painting works, she begins the process by speaking with the couple to get a full understanding of what their relationship is like, what their dreams are and what they are planning for their future. She said she enjoys the creative process and chance to “distill their ideas into a beautiful design which has great meaning for them.”

Once a design is created and approved, she creates a color sketch. A couple may choose to have the lettering hand-scribed or computer-generated. Once the lettering is placed on its special paper, though, the real work begins. Sider carefully starts painting and has only one shot to get it just right.

“What I love the most about creating Ketubot is to experience the couple’s reaction when they see the final piece,” Sider says. 

Here are some other wedding specialists who will help you make the day unique. 

Jules Joyner Designs

Every bride dreams of what her wedding dress will look like when she takes the plunge into marriage, and Jules Joyner is the kind of dress expert who can take any image in your mind or from a picture and turn it into reality. Jules Joyner Designs is all about fabulous custom dressmaking. The process requires some time, so plan ahead. But Joyner promises working with her is fun and relaxing and at the same time.

Packard Proving Grounds

This Shelby Township venue has become a favorite for memorable weddings and other special events, especially if you love classic cars and automotive history. Imagine spreading out your ceremony and after party across its 14 acres and showing off your new marriage amid a backdrop of a spot featured on the National Registry of Historic Places. 

Rattlesnake Club

Detroiters across generations have celebrated many of its major milestones inside this beautiful restaurant and event space. The Rattlesnake Club is best known for its inventive menu that focuses on steak and seafood as well as its clean-lined interior that has impressive views of Detroit’s skyline and the Detroit river.

Moehring Woods Flowers

This Grosse Pointe Woods floral business offers fresh flower arrangements made by its expert florists. Owner Bruce Anderson is known across Metro Detroit for going above and beyond for his customers, thinking about what kind of flowers tell the story of their lives as well as putting together arrangements that are standouts for their style and beauty.