Holden Michael

Creative Director

“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.” -Maya Angelou

My interest in events and design started when I was 12 or 13 years old, watching television shows about weddings, wedding planners, and fashion. That interest turned to passion as I earned my Bachelor of Arts Degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management from Grand Valley State University. After several years of working for another event company, I chose to take the leap and open Holden Michael Events. I am so fortunate to wake up every morning and do what I love.

I want my clients to feel cared for throughout the entire planning process, knowing they can rely on my team and I to create the perfect wedding day. This is a very special period in a couple’s life, and I feel privileged to work with them and their families during this time. I love getting to know my clients and building relationships that often last long after the wedding day is over.

Personally, I believe in living well and dreaming big. I find inspiration everywhere. When I’m not working, I enjoy music, dining out, and spending a quiet evening with a good book. I always start my day with coffee and have an affinity for Starbucks. Cocktail hour is a sacred time, usually involving a martini. I’m constantly looking for ways to make daily life more enjoyable, whether it be in a lunchtime manicure or a surprise night out with my partner.

I have planned over 175 weddings, ranging from vintage-inspired barn celebrations to glamorous, museum events. It’s the great joy of my life to create world-class, memorable experiences for my clients and their guests. I would be thrilled to do the same for you!

Derrick Bassett-Alee

Event Manager

“The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.” —Oprah Winfrey

Derrick brings a breadth of guest service and behind-the-scenes production experience to HME in his role as Event Manager. Derrick provides Month of Coordination services, in addition to assisting Holden at larger events. His favorite part of the wedding day is that brief moment right after the officiant says, “you may now kiss your spouse” and the couple’s faces light up with joy and excitement – like it’s the first time they’ve kissed.

Prior to working at HME, Derrick designed lighting and additional production elements for a variety of theatrical productions across Michigan. His attention to detail and understanding of how subtle components take an event to the next level makes him an extremely valued member of the team. Additionally, his ability to multitask while focusing his attention on the guest’s experience and comfort helps to fulfill our mission at HME.

A passionate LGBT advocate, when not working on events Derrick enjoys spending time on the beach, volunteering with local theater groups, and exploring his faith.

Aleisha Balhorn

Event Assistant

“Ruthlessly prepare for it, and flawlessly execute it!” –Unknown

Currently studying Hospitality and Tourism Management at Grand Valley State University, Aleisha serves as our primary event assistant at HME. She assists at most events and is responsible for keeping Holden and the team organized, both onsite and in the office. Her favorite part of any wedding is when the bride and groom read their vows to each other.

Aleisha discovered her love for the wedding and event industry after completing her very first wedding last summer. She found her true passion was making the couple’s perfect day just that-perfect! Her dedication and enthusiasm helps make all our events run smoothly.

When not compiling binders and updating planning pages, Aleisha enjoys working out at the gym, going downtown for coffee, and shopping!

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