Well, we had a wonderful wedding day, and I wanted to share some ridiculously long reviews of our vendors! I cant remember who else we might have hired at the moment. But we really had a fantastic team of vendors who helped us have an amazing day. I would recommend all of them (although the last two, with some reservation). Hope this helps some future brides!Venue- Pittsburgh Golf Club - A
I LOVED my venue. It's pricier, but you get what you pay for. The PGC is like an old southern mansion, with a beautiful high ceiling room with a wraparound balcony that is great for pictures. For a wedding of 80-150 people or so, it's a fantastically cozy place. We did our ceremony here as well, and they flipped the room efficiently and it looked beautiful. When the cocktail room ceiling wasn't completely renovated to their specification by the time of my wedding, they called me, offered my alternatives, and refunded me part of my room rental cost (even though it really came down to some wooden elements that weren't painted and I could barely tell). The food is simply fantastic, and all my guests have told me it was some of the best wedding food and cake they have had. Our cocktail hour food also got a milliion compliments. Karen, the coordinator, was always prompt to respond to my emails and kept such good track of all our vendors and such that we had no need for a Day-of person. Really a fantastic space and a hidden gem in Pittsburgh.Hair - Brooke Rockwell Hair - A
Brooke's sister Harbor did the hair for me and my bridesmaids (5 people total), as well as a trial for me. She did a fantastic job!!! It rained on our wedding day, and we took pictures before the ceremony...my hair still looked fantastic and held up all night. I really loved how all my girls looked as well. She was also incredibly efficient, and finished all our hair in just over 3 hours! Plus, she came to my venue so we could do hair/makeup in the same place. I'd highly recommend Brooke Rockwell hair. Minister- A Simple Vow - A
Rev. Mark and Jeanie did a wonderful job with our wedding. We wanted something non-denominational but Christian, that had meaning but was still fun and light-hearted. Rev. Mark hit exactly the right feeling we were going for with his ceremony. They were very accommodating of us including readings and vows with meaning for us. Jeanie did a fantastic job coordinating our ceremony and making things run smoothly the day of. She even shooed everyone to pictures to give my husband and I a few moments to ourselves to let it all sink in. We were very lucky to find them and highly recommend them! Makeup- Ciel Cosmetics - A+
Clare is AMAZING! We got all 6 of our people done with airbrush makeup for an amazingly affordable rate and it took much less time than expected. I LOVED my makeup, and felt beautiful all day because of her work. And I got so many compliments throughout the evening on how amazingly natural my makeup looked. I would highly, highly recommend her! Florist- Val Brooks - A+
Val was simply an amazing, amazing find. Some older knotties had used her, I contacted her, and just LOVED meeting with her. She works out of her home, which I think makes some people nervous, but she has done floral arrangements for years and does FANTASTIC work. I gave her some pictures of flower arrangements, and my centerpieces looked EXACTLY like those pictures - the bouquets looked even better. 2 months before the wedding, I told her I wanted to add 2 fireplace mantle arrangements and she knew exactly what I wanted them to look like before I even said it! The day of, they looked even better than expected. Val's also just a sweet person - she handed us our bouquets, and helped my sister take some pictures of my rings and flowers just because. And her prices were unbeleivably affordable. I cant tell you how many compliments we got on the flowers...even a friend's mom who is a gardner took a million pictures so her own daughter's wedding flowers can look just like mine (and her floral budget is 4x what mine was!) Do yourself a favor and hire Val for flowers. One of the best wedding decisions we made.Randi Voss Photography - A++++
My H and I had some amazing vendors at our wedding. But Randi was our favorite. She was the first person we hired, nearly 1.5 years before the wedding, and she has been incredibly responsive to us ever since. When she's shooting you, she makes you feel calm and natural, so you get amazing pictures. Sometimes she would stop and show us one or two pictures so you realize the types of photos you get when relaxed. She is also incredibly quick with her work - today, 3 days after the wedding, we already have access to a bunch of her pro pictures!
My H said it best: "It's nice to have a vendor who seems like they're going the extra mile not because you are paying them, but because they genuinely care about you having a good day." That's Randi hands down. While I know there are more affordable photographers in the area, I truly feel we underpaid for the quality of Randi's work and service.
DJ- Red Hot Chameleon - A
We hired Craig after hearing great things from 2 former brides. And we made the right choice! Craig set up way in advance to accommodate our ceremony in the same room as the reception. He kept the music flowing from cocktail hour through to the end of the night, found some traditional ethnic music for us at the last minute, and helped us keep track of reception timing to make sure we had enough time to dance (things fly by!). He has a great announcing voice, and got all of our crazy eastern european and hispanic names pronounced correctly! Highly, highly recommend.
Limo - A Tortorice Limo - A
We loved A Tortorice! They showed up on time, and even allowed us to move up our starting time by a half-hour the day of. Our driver, Joel, was kind, professional, and knew where he was going (he had a GPS). He also picked us up at the end of the night and was very kind, waiting for us for over 45 minutes while we said goodbye to guests. We had heard nightmare stories about many limo companies in the area but were so lucky to find A Tortorice!
Cookies- Potomac Bakery - A
We got 300 cookies or so from Potomac Bakery for our cookie table. We tasted cookies from every bakery we could find (Lincoln, Potomac, Vanilla Pastry, Kribels, Party Cake, Oakmont, and Prantl's). Party Cake and Potomac had the best tasting cookies by far, but Potomac offered us a better value. They allowed me to order via phone, delivered the cookies (trayed) to my venue the day before, and were awesome to work with. Everyone raved about the cookies!
Ceremony Music- Sterling Strings of Shenango - B
Our one major hiccup was sterling strings. They came to me highly recommended. And they played beautiful music and I loved it. The problem - they played the wrong bridal processional. There I was all ready to hear the song I picked out YEARS ago (I used to play classical music) and I heard the wrong song. It really threw me off for my walking down the aisle moment. I found out the next day that the cellist left the sheet music at home for my song because she had to take her son to the ER that morning. While I totally understand that, I gave her my number and an emergency contact number. Someone should have called either of those numbers the day of to say that the sheet music was left at home and allowed me to pick my next-favorite song, not have me completely unaware that the song was wrong until the moment I walked down the aisle. So I have to give them a lower grade because although I understand emergencies, I think it could have been handled more professionally.
Hotel Block - Hilton Garden Inn - B
The room block person, Josh, was ok until we booked, but then became very unresponsive. We were also told all renovations would be done by March, and in April for our wedding, there were still major renovations in the lobby, which was not cool. That said, everyone got rooms, they handed out our OOT bags, we didnt pay for our room at all because of their nice incentive program, and their shuttle got all our guests to and from the wedding. I'd use them again, but you will have to really keep on Josh to get things done.