Getting married at the Michigan Theater
by Jeff Mortimer
"Historic theaters are kind of intrinsically romantic," says Russ Collins, executive director of the Michigan Theater. Maybe that's why eight to ten couples a year get married there.
The tab can range from $750 for a simple ceremony in the grand foyer to $5,000 and up for what Amanda Bynum, who's in charge of rentals, calls "the whole shebang": a ceremony followed by an evening reception in the auditorium, including dinner and DJ, for 100 or more guests.
"This is my thirtieth year, and I can't ever remember not doing weddings," says Collins; his own stepdaughter was married at the Michigan last New Year's Eve. "Theaters share a lot of characteristics with churches, synagogues, and mosques," he reflects. "You have seats, a stage area, and frequently music is incorporated as part of the ritual process.
"I guess the big difference is that we're not claiming to be sacred--and we don't have windows."
[Originally published in June, 2012.]