A Modern Black-and-White Wedding in Detroit

Emily and Max

Rebecca Yale Photography

There's an unspoken rule at the University of Pennsylvania's law school: In order to maintain harmony within the small class, under no circumstances does one date within the program. Fellow students Emily Schreiber and Max Rosenberg, who met at orientation in 2010, are happy to plead guilty to breaking it. After noticing that Max was "kind of following me around," Emily struck up a conversation. They went out for frozen yogurt—with her roommate along as an accomplice—then on a proper dinner date, one that Max remembers as "all smiles, laughs, eye rolls, and, eventually, love." Postgraduation, the pair set out for New York City, where they both found jobs in corporate law. On a fall morning not long after, Emily awoke to breakfast in bed. "Max was holding coffee—and a ring," she recalls. Her verdict: a resounding yes.

They decided to marry near Emily's Michigan hometown. While searching for a modern, industrial venue, they stopped by the Detroit Institute of Arts on a whim, says Emily. "When we walked in and saw the incredible spaces, we just knew it was for us."

Eighteen months later, on May 16, 2015, 150 guests descended on Detroit. The legal eagles officially tied the knot Friday morning at the county clerk's office with their moms and Emily's sister as witnesses, then joined the whole gang for welcome drinks at a bar downtown that night. On Saturday, Emily's former roommate (the same one who had third-wheeled the pair's fro-yo outing five years earlier) presided over the vows, which were secular but held under a chuppah to honor their Jewish heritage. Max's sister gave the only reading, from Maynard v. Hill, an 1888 Supreme Court case legally defining marriage. At the reception, a live Motown band—an apt choice for a party in the Motor City—provided the soundtrack as the bride, who had changed into a second, shorter dress and funky heart-shaped sunglasses, led guests onto the dance floor. When it was all over, Emily and Max flew home with a new outlook. "As lawyers, we deal with contracts all day," says Emily. "But marriage goes beyond signing a piece of paper. It's about bringing together people and families." Case closed.

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A Black and White Invite

Rebecca Yale Photography

The "paint" splatters played up the artsy venue on the otherwise simple letterpressed stationery by Regas. Emily addressed the envelopes by hand.

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Mother-Daughter Moment

Rebecca Yale Photography

The bride's mom dressed for the occasion (and location) by wearing a "ball gown" with a modern spin: she paired a black floor-length skirt with a black t-shirt.

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À La Mod

Rebecca Yale Photography

A former dancer, Emily searched for a dress with a ballet feel and architectural elements to match the modern venue. Her Amsale gown, with an illusion back and button detailing, hit those notes and felt different from the strapless dresses she'd been seeing on Pinterest.

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Arm Candy

Rebecca Yale Photography

Valentino heels and a stack of metallic bracelets from Rent the Runway accessorized Emily's ensemble.

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His Look

Rebecca Yale Photography

Along with his Theory suit, Max sported a Brooks Brothers pocket square, Salvatore Ferragamo shoes, a Tom Ford bowtie, and ManuelRacim cufflinks. Not pictured? The watch from Detroit-based Shinola that Emily surprised him with on the morning of their wedding.

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The Ceremony

Rebecca Yale Photography

Post-vows, the newlyweds took turns breaking a glass under a swath of laser-cut fabric rented from the Chuppah Studio.

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The Wedding Party

Rebecca Yale Photography

Though the pair's three siblings made up the official wedding party, close friends and family joined in for a formal portrait taken by photographer Rebecca Yale.

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A Bouquet of Carnations

Rebecca Yale Photography

The bride's sister and sister-in-law carried white carnations, which stood out against their long black gowns.

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Artful Backdrop

Rebecca Yale Photography

Max and Emily took pictures indoors and out to take advantage of the museum's stately exterior. Some galleries stayed open during the reception so that guests could stroll through the corridors and view the historic venue's countless collections.

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The Escort Cards

Rebecca Yale Photography

Escort cards featuring black paint splatters mimicked the save-the-date envelope liners.

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A White Wedding Cake

Rebecca Yale Photography

Aluminum letters by Gauge NYC topped the buttercream-frosted vanilla-and-strawberry cake.

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The Reception Décor

Rebecca Yale Photography

Tables were set with centerpieces of hydrangeas, lilies of the valley, tulips, and snapdragons, and surrounded by transparent "Mirage" ghost chairs.

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Happy Together

Rebecca Yale Photography

The bride forgot to don her veil for the vows, so she wore it to the reception, along with a dress she'd originally bought for the courthouse. "She looked so happy!" says Max.

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Rebecca Yale Photography

Location and Catering, Detroit Institute of Arts Museum

Flowers, Parsonage Events

Photography, Rebecca Yale Photography

Stationery, Regas

Cake, Holiday Market

Music, Harry Hovakimian and Michele Ramo (ceremony); Chateau (reception)

Rentals, Special Events Rental

Bride's gown and veil, Amsale

Bride's reception dress, Shoshanna

Bride's accessories, Rent the Runway jewelry; Alexander Wang jacket; Valentino shoes

Hair, Emile Salon & Spa

Makeup, Hanan Cosmetics, 248-644-0277

Groom's tuxedo, Theory

Groom's accessories, Tom Ford bow tie; Brooks Brothers pocket square; ManuelRacim shirt and cuff links; Shinola watch; Salvatore Ferragamo shoes

Menswear, The Black Tux; Hugo Boss

Transportation, The Detroit Bus Company

Chuppah, Chuppah Studio

Cake Topper, Gauge NYC

Silk-Flower Boutonnieres, Saks Fifth Avenue

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