Wedding & Event Services

Take a ride with The Night Move

A couple of years ago I met Chris Ramos who started The Night Move in metro Detroit. Tom Hendrickson of metromode put together this great piece on Chris’s carbon-neutral transit company that runs to private shuttles for corporate conferences, tours, major concerts & events and a 6 PM to 3 AM loop every Friday & Saturday between Ferndale, Royal Oak and downtown Detroit.

There’s even a link to the fast-growing Michigan culinary tourism scene (beyond just giving people a way to safely consume our great beer, wine & spirits). Taste-full Tours works with The Night Move to provide opportunities to experience the stores, restaurants, markets, breweries and to meet the chefs and artisans who are making it happen. Anyway, here’s that video. I have to agree with Tom that Bob Seger’s Night Moves would have pushed this over the top!

Photo Friday: it starts tiny, it starts slow by caterpillars

caterpillars (Laura) has a degree in anthropology and studio arts, many cameras (mostly film) and a yard full of lionhead rabbits. She will also totally shoot your wedding, event, or portrait, so contact her.

Check out her Michigan slideshow. Her photo sets include metro-detroit, MCS and SuperSampler you may just want to dive into her Flickriver.

2008 Detroit Auto Show

Five Things You Need to Know About MichiganWelcome to a special edition of Five Things you need to know about Michigan presenting the 2008 Detroit Auto Show, held January 19 – 27, 2008 at the Cobo Center in Detroit, Michigan.

We say Detroit Auto Show, you say..?

murcielago roadster by joojantaWe’re going to continue to call the 2008 North American International Auto Show the “Detroit Auto Show” until we receive a convincing argument to stop. “North American International Auto Show” is just too long and NAIAS sounds like some kind of acronym thought up to make everyone happy that doesn’t. The NAIAS history page doesn’t explain why the Detroit Auto Show changed its name after 82 years in 1989. Concept Carz suggests that it was because Detroit Auto Show became an international event that year, but Edmunds says that BMW, Jaguar, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche and Volvo first joined the show way back in 1957.

Blogging the Detroit Auto Show

JalopnikIf you like your coverage on the irreverant side, look no further than the 2008 Detroit Auto Show on Jalopnik. Gawker’s car blog features coverage headlined by Detroit’s own Ray Wert, photos, video, an active user community and a weakness for bad jokes. Over at Autoblog they pile up the photos as fast as the car companies can dish them out – check out this post on the Cadillac Provoq fuel cell concept for a taste. If you like your cars oil-free, you should keep an eye on Autoblog Green (be sure to watch the video of the Toyota A-BAT – it’s got “cutest pickup” nailed down). Pretty much everyone with a blog is covering it of course, from Cars.com to Popular Mechanics to the My Little Pony blog. We were going to run down newspaper coverage as well, but it’s enough to give you the links to the Detroit News Auto Show pages – their article on The Race to Be Green probably sets the tone for 2008 – and the Freep’s NAIAS coverage.

Detroit Auto Show Photos

Plymouth Fury!The photo at the top right is murcielago roadster by joojanta from the Absolute Michigan pool. He has a great set of photos called NAIAS 200x with more. You can see a whole lot more by checking Detroit Auto Show and/or NAIAS on Flickr. The blogs & papers above are another great source of photos of production cars and concepts and you can get daily pics from the official 2008 North American International Auto Show media site through MSN. If you’d like to step back in time, check out this Detroit News Rearview Mirror feature The Detroit Auto Show: from beer gardens to tabernacles to Cobo Center and the 1957 Detroit Auto Show from the Michigan Historical Museum.

Detroit Auto Show Video

Once again, the blogs and papers above have video. For more, we turn to a YouTube search on Detroit Auto Show (see the most recently added NAIAS videos). A few notable ones are the Weekend Drive tour of the booths at the 2007 NAIAS, the Auto Channel’s 23 minute “Press Pass” tour (one of MANY they have), Wheels TV presenting to 2007 Concept Cars, Governor Granholm talking about the future of Michigan’s car industry and the Auto Network givingyou a look at the Opening Ceremony. One of the coolest things about a major show is the level of technical sophistication of the displays. A great example of this is the Jeep Waterfall.

Attending the Detroit Auto Show

The NAIAS web site – ok, so I’ll type it – has everything you need to know about attending the public show ($12 for adults this year) and the black tie charity preview. If you can’t attend, you might squint your eyes and see if this detnews.com virtual tour does the job for you. If you do attend and take pictures or video, we’d love it if you’d share them with us on Flickr and YouTube!

Anything else to add or ask? Post it in the comments!

Service Tax repeal appears certain


Capitol, Landing MI by Irina Vasiliu

Below you’ll find a news release from Governor Granholm regarding an agreement to add a 21.9% surcharge to the new Michigan Business Tax to replace the 6% Michigan Service Tax.

The Detroit Free Press and Detroit News have details on the agreement as well.

The Eleven Seconds to Midnight Gang rides again


Carousel by jnhkrawczyk

“We’ve got a shift starting in 36 hours that we’ve got to charge 6% more on … and I don’t know how to do it.”
-John Evans, president of Evans Distribution

Welcome to Michigan, where we somehow seem to be stuck in the Reality TV version of Groundhog Day: Your Government inAction. With just hours remaining before a confusing, unexplained and really random 6% Service Tax goes into effect, everyone who might have to pay the tax is watching the clock and wondering what Lansing will do. Read on for much more…

6% of x? Untangling Michigan’s Service Tax


Half Staff by Apocaplops

UPDATE Oct 25: Carol of ArborLaw.com writes:

I actually have the entire list of services descriptions covered by the law, on my blog at Arborlaw.com. When the law came out, I cross-referenced the NAICS codes (which are incorporated into the new law specifically by reference) with the section numbers from the bill and the expected new numbers for sections in Michigan Compiled Laws. If you want to see this to determine whether your business services are covered, go to http://arborlaw.com/blog/services-tax. (it’s a big list!)

Political analyst George Weeks writes that in decades of following how Lansing deals with financial crisis, I have never seen enactment of such a bizarre, crazy quilt, irrational, inexplicable, unfair and — most of all, confusing to taxpayers — tax.

Crain’s Detroit Business goes further, calling this The best tax plan lobbyists can buy. Law and accounting services are not taxed, but the broad category of management advice, strategic planning and financial planning and budgeting will be taxed. Hmmm. So a company buying consulting services to help it keep its doors open is making a “discretionary” purchase?

Like many in Michigan, we’re wondering which of the services we provide like online publications (probably not), internet consulting (probably so) or graphic design & marketing (who knows??!!) would be subject to the service tax.

Assuming that movements to repeal or change the tax fail, mLive’s blog gives some idea of what services might be subject to the tax come December 2007. The nebulous “consulting services” is made a whole lot clearer when you click over to see businesses classified under 5416 Management, Scientific, and Technical Consulting Services. It’s surprising to find that in addition the list includes items that are absolutely essential to the development of new businesses in Michigan like site selection, start-up consulting, marketing, and a host of science and technical services.

We invite you to add your thoughts, comments and suggestions for making some sense out of what looks like a fiscal nightmare for Michigan.

Shutdown averted … by a service tax


An appeal to reason by Apocaplops

StateGate seems like it might be nearing its conclusion with an 13th hour deal reached at 4 AM when legislators were apparently too tired to fight anymore. The LSJ reports:

“This budget agreement is the right solution for Michigan,” Gov. Jennifer Granholm said in a news release after the vote. “We prevented massive cuts to public education, health care and public safety while also making extensive government reforms and passing new revenue. With the state back on solid financial footing, we can turn our focus to the critical task of jumpstarting our economy and creating new jobs.”

Leaving aside the question (for now) of how much harder it will be to create jobs with a reputation as a state that is financially unstable, let’s take a look at what was added to an income tax hike – the “sales tax expansion”, a 6% tax on services. The Detroit News lists some of the services that might be taxed in New levy to tax 23 services.

The list appears to make little sense, with ski resorts subject to the tax but not golf course, janitorial service providers but not plumbers, tanning but not haircuts and financial & business consulting but not legal and accounting services. What do you bet that TV ads won’t be subject … and also that we’ll be hearing a lot more like this from every industry affected?

“Any service tax should be across the board on all services and not single out specific areas of the economy,” Stephen Kircher, president of Boyne USA Resorts’ eastern operations, said in a statement.

Michigan Valentine’s Day – How Sweet it Is!

If you’re looking for something unique for your sweetie this year for Valentine’s Day, Dianna Stampfler of Promote Michigan has 14 gift ideas and activities to consider. As usual, we’d love it if you’d add any other suggestions in the comments!

Vol I, No. 1: Introduce Your Michigan Business or Organization!

This is a page where we asked folks to say hello. Lots of them did!

The current version of Introduce Your Michigan Business or Organization is right there.

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Michigan History: St. Joseph – Wedding Capital, U.S.A.


fountain in the woods by catzinahat

Las Vegas boasts that it is America’s “wedding capital.” Yet, in the early years of the twentieth century, Michigan, especially the Lake Michigan town of St. Joseph, was the “wedding capital of the Midwest.” Michigan marriage laws did not require residency, allowed people to marry at the age of 18 and did not require any witnesses other than the county clerk, his wife or an assistant and the presiding officials.

The result was that hundreds of amorous couples, especially from Chicago, boarded a steamer for the four-hour trip to St. Joseph. Most couples chose Sunday to get married. Traveling to St. Joseph for a quickie marriage became so popular that the Chicago Tribune reported more steamboats had to be added to this “rapid matrimonial transit.” At times, crowding at the Chicago docks became so bad that “it required a squad of policemen . . . to restrain the bridal couples from pushing each other into the Chicago River in a frenzied effort to get into the boat.”

Once in St. Joseph, the couples sought the county clerk, justices of the peace and the clergy–all of whom performed marriages any day of the week–”day or night.” Newspaper accounts reported wedding ceremonies being performed at 2:00 A.M. The ceremonies usually took little time; the record time for performing a marriage was thirty seconds.

Eventually, quickie marriages caused the Michigan secretary of state to lament about the “development of the famous ‘St. Joseph marriage industry.’” Opposition forces finally changed the state law. Couples would have to wait five days after taking out a license before they could be married. On August 27, 1925, Michigan’s reign as the Midwest’s marriage capital came to an end.

For the full story on Michigan’s “weekend weddings” see the January/February 2007 issue of Michigan History magazine. For more information, a free trial issue, or to learn about Michigan History for Kids magazine call (800) 366-3703 or visit www.michiganhistorymagazine.com.

Update: Michigan Radio’s Jack Lessenberry did a Valentine’s Day interview with St. Joseph librarian, Alicia Allen about the history and then reflects on love and marriage in Michigan in his essay.

More St. Joseph links and articles at Absolute Michigan keyword “St. Joseph”!