The crumbling Packard Plant in Detroit... a crazy or amazing wedding venue?!
You know that episode of Friends where Ross + Emily check out their dream wedding venue only to find it in ruins? Yet decide that the history and symbolism of the space is so important they’re determined to run with it anyway? With the elegance of a romantic wedding amongst a historic, at times dilapidated property, this editorial reminds us just a little bit of that scene. Instead of London, it’s Detroit, and the venue in question is the Packard Automotive Plant. Once the world’s largest auto factory, the crew at Mitten Weddings & Events, along with photographer Samantha Leigh Studios embraced its forthcoming revival with an industrial, yet glamorous take on Detroit weddings.
Classic fashion and that vintage ride… Yep, we’re already sold. Find more info on this vintage Packard at the end of the post!
Oh Eleven Creative was inspired by Detroit’s rich history, the Packard Plant in all its decaying glory, and finally, its impending revival, when it came to designing the stationery. This contrast between remembrance and revival comes through in the invites, menu, and signage throughout.
Meagan of Mitten Weddings & Events says, It’s incredible to witness the resurgence of not only the physical places in the city, but also the energy and people’s presence in it. Especially in weddings, setting, energy, and the detail that connects them is what makes each one special and unique. Even in abandonment, the plant still proves to be full of life and beauty. Each shot is filled with the passion and love everyone has for Detroit, and the opportunity to showcase it in their own unique way.
Their model Kate donned elegant dresses from The Wedding Shoppe, furthering their exploration into the concept of contrast.
A bit of history behind the location… The Packard Plant was opened in 1903 and at the time was considered the most modern automobile manufacturing facility in the world with skilled craftsmen involved in over eighty trades. The factory complex closed in 1958, though other businesses operated on the premises or used it for storage until the late 1990s. Since its abandonment, the plant has been a haven for graffiti artists, urban explorers, paintballers and auto scrappers, and much of the wiring and other building material has been scavenged… In May 2017, Arte Express, the holding company for Palazuelo, held a groundbreaking ceremony for phase I of the project which will include the former 121,000-square-foot administrative building on the site. We are thrilled to be part of the Packard Plants comeback and can’t wait to see the renovations.
Natalia of Violet Rose Floral brightened up the bouquets with roses, ranunculus, calla lilies, and chocolate lace flower.
The Packard Plant industrial glam styled shoot was literally seven years in the making. Motor City Vintage Rentals (MCVR) bought our first Packard in 2011. It was such an honor to bring our 1949 Packard named “Hugo” back home to the city that built him. But not just to the city, shortly thereafter it became my dream to reunite Detroit history by bringing my Packard back to the very plant where he was made on East Grand Blvd in downtown Detroit.
Years ago I visited the formerly abandoned plant, which had no owner and was filled with everything but Packards, but I still held on to that dream. Fast forward several years, a dreamer & believer took ownership of the Plant. Slowly but surely positive change happened. It happened so much so it was recognizable. And that’s when I knew it was time to make a dream reality. It was time to reunite Detroit history: highlighting the current progress, celebrating the start of its comeback, showcasing glimpses of its destined future, and not just with Detroiters, but everyone.
In early 2018, after almost a year of searching all over the country, MCVR bought its second Packard. We chose a second Packard because celebrates American luxury, Detroit history, is timeless and elegant, and a car that people could relate to and be proud of. This 1940 Packard is named “Beau.” After being built at the iconic Detroit Packard Plant in 1940, “Beau” was shipped to a Los Angeles dealership. He hasn’t been in Detroit for 78 years… That is until MCVR brought him back in March 2018.
Congrats to the dream team below for bringing the Packard Plant back to life with this beautiful, historic vignette. Can’t wait to see what’s to come!
Photography: Samantha Leigh Studios / Videography: Bella Reel / Venue: Packard Automotive Plant in Detroit, MI / Wedding Planning: Mitten Weddings & Events / Floral Design: Violet Rose Floral / Hair: Jennifer of Kismet Studio / Makeup: Andrea Walker Makeup Artistry / Stationery: Oh Eleven Creative / Cake: Sweet Heather Anne / Rentals: Event Theory / Bar & Beverage: Two James Spirits / Table & Chair: Firefly Premier / Linens: Fabulous Events / Classic Car: Motor City Vintage Rentals / Wedding Dresses: The Wedding Shoppe / Jewelry: DuMouchelles Art Auctions / Shoes: Badgley Mischka / Nail Salon: The TEN Nail Bar / Groom’s Suit: Valente’s Men’s Formal Wear / Models: Kate Lazarski & Kevin Irwin II