John Shellenberger and his beloved wife, Emily, in 1895

Historic Marriages in Southeast and West Michigan: A Journey Through Time


Marriage is a timeless celebration of love, tradition, and community, woven into the fabric of every town and city. The regions of Southeast and West Michigan, with their rich histories and diverse landscapes, have witnessed countless love stories that have shaped their cultural heritage. As a bride-to-be searching for the perfect wedding dress, you can draw inspiration from the stories and traditions of these regions. Our bridal stores, Jenna in White, with locations in Berkley and Grand Rapids, are dedicated to helping you find the gown of your dreams, steeped in the rich history of Michigan’s matrimonial legacy.

Brighton: The Romance of Mill Pond

John Shellenberger and his beloved wife, Emily, in 1895
This is a historical rendition of the wedding of John Shellenberger and his beloved wife, Emily, in 1895 at Mill Pond in Brighton, Michigan. John is depicted as a prominent business magnate in a formal suit, and Emily as a graceful woman in a classic 1890s wedding gown. The background features Mill Pond with its serene water and surrounding greenery, reflecting the idyllic setting of their wedding. This is an artistic interpretation and not a real image.

Brighton, nestled in Southeast Michigan, is a town where historic charm meets modern elegance. One famous couple who tied the knot in Brighton is the prominent business magnate John Shellenberger and his beloved wife, Emily, in 1895. They chose the serene Mill Pond as their venue, where the natural beauty of the surroundings provided an idyllic setting for their nuptials. Today, couples continue to find inspiration in Brighton’s picturesque landscapes, reflecting both its quaint charm and contemporary flair.

Ann Arbor: The Marriage of Ann and Arbor

wedding of John Allen and Ann Allen in Ann Arbor
This is a historical rendition of the wedding of John Allen and Ann Allen in Ann Arbor, Michigan around 1824. John is depicted as a tall man with a well-proportioned build, and Ann as a woman with Southern gentry demeanor, wearing period-appropriate wedding attire. The background features a rustic log cabin and oak trees, reflecting the early settlement and natural landscape of Ann Arbor. This is an artistic interpretation and not a real image.

The story of Ann Arbor’s name is a romantic tale in itself, rooted in the union of two pioneers. Ann Allen and John Allen, alongside Elisha Rumsey and his wife, Mary Ann, founded the town in 1824. The Allens and the Rumseys created a settlement that grew under the canopy of oak trees, which they fondly called “Ann’s Arbor” in honor of their wives. The town’s deep-rooted history is reflected in venues like the historic Cobblestone Farm, where couples can celebrate their love surrounded by Ann Arbor’s legacy. This charming blend of nature and history continues to inspire brides in Ann Arbor, who seek wedding dresses that echo this town’s unique origin.

Oakland County: Historic Elegance in Bloomfield Hills

Henry Ford II wedding to Anne McDonnell Ford
Henry Ford II wedding to Anne McDonnell Ford

Oakland County, with its diverse towns such as Royal Oak, Birmingham, and Farmington Hills, presents a mosaic of historic marriages. The wedding of auto industry pioneer Henry Ford II and Anne McDonnell in 1940 at the Cranbrook House and Gardens in Bloomfield Hills stands out. This venue, with its grand architecture and lush gardens, has long been a favorite for couples seeking historic elegance. The rich history of Oakland County offers a unique blend of tradition and contemporary elegance.

Detroit: Glamour and Grandeur

Edsel and Eleanor Ford enjoy a baseball game on July 13, 1934.
Edsel and Eleanor Ford enjoy a baseball game on July 13, 1934.

Detroit, the heart of Michigan, is a city where urban romance meets historic grandeur. The 1934 wedding of Edsel Ford and Eleanor Lowthian Clay at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul is a shining example. Iconic landmarks like the Detroit Institute of Arts and the Guardian Building have hosted countless weddings, each steeped in the city’s rich industrial and cultural history. Detroit’s revitalized urban landscape offers a unique blend of historic and modern venues, perfect for a bride looking for something truly unique.

Grand Rapids: Artistic Marriages at Meijer Gardens

Moving to West Michigan, Grand Rapids is a city where nature and art harmoniously blend. The wedding of furniture magnate Frederick Meijer and his wife Lena in the 1940s at what would become the Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park highlights this blend. Known for its historic churches and the picturesque Frederik Meijer Gardens, Grand Rapids is a haven for couples seeking a wedding infused with natural beauty and artistic elegance. Our Grand Rapids location of Jenna in White offers gowns that capture the essence of this vibrant city, ensuring that every bride feels connected to the local heritage and natural splendor.

Holland: Dutch Traditions at Windmill Island Gardens

Holland, famous for its Tulip Time Festival, is a town where Dutch heritage and timeless love stories flourish. The 1963 wedding of local Dutch heritage enthusiasts Jan and Mina DeVries at Windmill Island Gardens is a perfect example. Historic venues like Windmill Island Gardens and the century-old DeZwaan windmill provide a charming backdrop for weddings. The town’s rich cultural traditions inspire brides to choose dresses that reflect both their personal style and the area’s historic beauty.

Muskegon and Kalamazoo: Nautical and Artistic Marriages

Muskegon, with its stunning lakefront and maritime history, offers a unique setting for weddings. The 1920s wedding of shipping tycoon Charles Hackley and his bride, Louise, at the Hackley and Hume Historic Site is a notable example. Kalamazoo, known for its vibrant arts scene and historic architecture, offers a plethora of unique wedding venues. The wedding of artist Frank Lloyd Wright and his third wife, Olgivanna, at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts in the 1950s showcases the area’s artistic vibrancy. From the grandeur of the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts to the historic charm of the Henderson Castle, brides in Kalamazoo are drawn to dresses that reflect their artistic and cultural heritage.


Whether you’re inspired by the historic elegance of Southeast Michigan or the natural beauty of West Michigan, our bridal stores are here to help you find the perfect wedding dress that honors the legacy of your chosen location. Visit us in Berkley or Grand Rapids to explore a collection that embodies the rich history and vibrant spirit of Michigan’s most beloved towns. Let your wedding dress be a part of the timeless tradition of love and celebration in Southeast and West Michigan. At Jenna in White, we don’t just sell wedding dresses; we weave dreams and create memories that last a lifetime.

Tue–Fri 12:30 pm–7 pm
Sat 10 am–5 pm
Sun by appointment only


(616) 990-7411

708 Wealthy St SE, Suite B, Grand Rapids, MI 49503 (W Michigan) 

location 2:

(734) 276-9370

2685 Coolidge Hwy, Berkley, MI 48072 (SE Michigan)

location 1: