This will be long....and in no specific order at all.
Brett Maxwell photography. grade: A+++++
You'll see some photos of makeup, hair, table set up, aisle set up, etc. You can use these photos to guide your decisions about our vendors.
Brett-he was AWESOME! Brett did our engagement photos too, which can also be found on his website (brettmaxwellphoto.com) He just offers one package. It included engagement photos and all day for the wedding AND he was the most reasonably priced photographer we found. Besides that, he also knows what he's doing. He's a great person to be around socially, and he really has an eye for photojournalistic photos. He was excellent and I'm so glad we went with him. We're also planning to do a "trash the dress" session with him. So, look for that later.
she was my florist, decorator, linen rental, charger rental, etc. She was everything and she was awesome!!! You can see some photos above of the reception set up. I loved my bouquet and all of my girls bouquet's. She was great to work with. She had excellent ideas and built off of what she realized that I wanted for the wedding. Some other florists/decorator's I met with wanted to push their ideas on me. Beth, was able to build the ideas I already had into something amazing.
We rented a limo bus. It was great! We were very satisfied. The only thing is we did not get the bus we rented. Again, it was great, just a surprise was all. I'm not sure if we were upgraded or downgraded as I did not actually view the bus in person to begin with (my mother did). Anyways, we had a good time.
grade: A and TBD
We hired Matt and his second shooter. We literally hired them like 2 weeks before the wedding, and I'm so glad we did. Everyone says you won't remember anything that happens on your wedding day, but I thought nahhh no way. WAY! I have no idea what happened the entire day other than saying "I Do". So, my advice, hire a videographer. Matt also did our growing up montage/slideshow for me in a week! I can't wait to see our wedding video!
Everyone at the Lexington were AWESOME! I think I dropped off things almost every day the week of the wedding. table cards, menu cards, favors, etc. They set everything up and it was great. All of the staff are so great to work with and the Lexington is beautiful!
I've gone to Zoe for the past couple of months for eyebrow wax, massage, etc. When I asked them about getting a french manicure for the wedding the told me about this new thing called a gel overlay. See, I have long nails, but I also have oily nail beds. So, everytime I get a mani the polish peals after a matter of hours. The gel overlay makes your nails almost like fake nails, but with out the edward scissor hands feeling. (Whenever I get fake nails I feel like I can't use my hands). It's been 2 weeks since my mani at zoe and my nails still look like I got them done yesterday. Seriously, they are great and I would recommend them for all of the services they offer.
DJ: Steve Thelen - Music Unlimited
I really liked Steve. He was great to work with before the wedding. He even bought a special light for our grand entrance that we did to the Chicago Bulls starting line up song. I only grade him slightly down b/c apparently he did not please many of the guests, in particular my brother and my mom. I heard the people would request songs and he wouldn't play them. Instead, he would play a slow song and the dance floor would empty.
He also seemed somewhat unsure of himself. Every hour it seemed that he would come up to me to make sure things were going all right. Then, after our grand entrance he followed my husband and I out and took us to the next ballrooms b/c he wanted us to meet his daughter who was DJing in the next room.
Like I said, I really enjoyed Steve, but you gotta please the guests too.
We ordered a small cake from Shorty like 2 weeks before the wedding. It was very plain. We ordered it to have dowels in it and my sister stacked the 2 rounds. Cake wasn't a very big deal on my list. We ordered some loose flowers from Twiggies and my sister put the rounds together and decorated it. It was great for us.
We had a small cake from Shorty's and a bunch of different cookies from Sweetie's. The cookies were sooooo good! This was a hit with our guests. honestly, who doesn't like a good cookie? We had a couple different varieties. One of my friends husband's actually went and bought her some more a couple of days after the wedding for her birthday. She loved them.
Angela did my airbrush makeup and also for my mom, MIL, step mom, and 3 of my bridesmaids. I think we all looked great. Best part - the makeup stayed put ALL DAY! I cried and sweated, and it still looked flawless. PLUS-angela is a great person on the inside too! She was great to work with. Also, she came to my bridal suite the morning of.
Stillman's modern Barber's.1701 South Waverly Road Lansing, MI 48917 - (517) 484-4400
We used Danielle Guana (who is my normal stylist) and Mo (not sure of her last name). They popped out 8 hair styles/updos in about 4 hours. Seriously, they rocked it! We had 4 girls with very long, very thick hair too. Everyone looked great. You can see the photos! They also came to my bridal suite. It was really great to just be able to wake up and have everyone come to me. Very convenient for us to hang out in the comfort of our suite instead of a salon.
paper products - vistaprint and Target AND myself!
I designed and ordered our Save the Dates, thank you postcards (shower), thank you cards (wedding), and menus from vistaprint. They are AWESOME!
I bought some print yourself invites from target. I purchased paper from www.paperandmore.com and printed inserts. I then bought some ribbon from JoAnn's and tied them together. I think they looked great! I used the extra paper for our programs.
The Wedding Bell - theweddingbell.net
I loved the Wedding Bell. They were always so nice and on top of things. I did do a dress search here, but did not find "the one." I called around and ended up going to a place in the Detroit area that had many of the pronovias dresses that I wanted to try on. I did find the one there, and since the Wedding Bell is the only Lansing bridal store that carries Pronovias collection, I ordered it through them. We also then ordered the bridesmaid dresses through them as we got a discount b/c I ordered my dress there. My mom also ordered her dress there (at a discount) and we ordered tuxes there. Myself, my mom, and 2 of my bridesmaids all had alterations done there and Hilda was fantastic! She even made my garter from fabric left over from alterations on my dress. It was great!
The only reason I give them a minus is because when my Brother in law went to pick up his tux and his son (my ringbearer) tux, they noticed that my ringbearer's vest and tie matched the groomsmen. It wasn't a huge deal, but he was supposed to match the groom. Also, I did not purchase my veil there, but I did bring it in for my fittings and I did have Hilda do some work on it. I left it with them and planned to pick up the dress along with my veil the Friday of our rehearsal. Well, when I went in the owner could not find my veil. That's a freak out moment right there, but more than that it was my sister's wedding veil that was also my something borrowed. Double freak out! It took a while, but she did find it. Apparently, it had someone else's name written on it! ack! Anyways, the point is they found it and steamed it for me. The only other complaint I have is that though the tuxes looked great, ALL of the guys shoes were horrible. Not in comfort, but their soles were completely worn off and the guides were sliding around. My dad actually went back for another pair b/c his sole was actually falling off.
I did love my experience with The Wedding Bell and I would definitely recommend them above any other wedding shop in the Lansing area, I tried them all.
My advice: hire great vendors! I wasn't worried about a thing the day of b/c I knew we'd hired great vendors and had great friends/family there. Just relax and enjoy.
Also-make sure you assign food to someone. I asked my step mom to bring some fruit and muffins for us girls to eat for breakfast while we were getting our makeup and hair done. She went above and beyond. She also brought some bread and sandwich meat to the church for sandwiches later. I'm so happy she did! no one passed out!
Hope this helps. Feel free to email me at [email protected] if you have any questions.