Sorry this may be long, but informative, I hope!!
1. Photography- J Bauer Productions -- A +
First and foremost, the greatest thing about him is that he
doesn't charge per hour. It's hard to determine what you will want captured and
if you cap the hours you don’t have any idea what you may miss!! He was
seriously there until the last song was played. He does about a10-12 hour day
AND you get TWO photographers for his price. His wife does about an 8 hour day
(She actually had to stay later because we were behind, and they wanted to make
sure all important moments were captured!). He will do the guy shots getting
ready and what not, and she will come and do the girl shots. Most people i met
with, you pay for the second photographer and again you have to determine the
hours you need. He has three main packages, but you can manipulate what you
need and want. With his packages, you get CDs with ALL pictures taken that day.
We got a package with an album, and the album draft was generated quickly and
we just love it. He even came to our rehearsal to check out the venue, and get
an idea where he wanted to get pictures for the day of.
The day of-- he kept in touch with my planner and scoped out
the weather and headed downtown early to determine the best location for our
group shots based on the weather. He had a plan, and there was no confusion.
The most important thing to me was getting pictures with my
four dogs. Joe was able to make that happen for me. He had us stop at our house
before heading for our downtown stop and in 15 minutes he got multiple shots of
us with our dogs and it was pain free (and my dogs are typically a pain to get
to sit still). The pictures turned out great and my boys are so handsome!
You can just tell he truly cares and wants to make it
perfect. He was willing to meet to discuss anything we wanted and he did not
try to up sell or pressure us into anything. He listened to what we wanted, and
made it happen. I would hire him again in a heartbeat! He is definitely worth
what you pay, based on hours alone! It doesn't hurt that the pictures are
artistic, amazing, and great quality!
2. Wedding Planner--Wedding Assistant of Columbus ( a nec for DIY brides)-- A+
BEST DECISION EVER.
I hired Susan as my "day of Coordinator". I use quotes because she was involved the entire time and did not just show up on the day of. If I did not have her, I would have been crying probably 90% of the entire planning process. She will help and guide you on anything needed, and tell you the truth( IE-Uggs are not acceptable in May....).
I looked at some other planning companies in Columbus, and Susan was not only the most affordable(plus I really feel like I got more than I even paid for) but also she made you think you were her top priority. She also offers a veteran discount!
She was patient with everyone during planning meetings and rehearsal. She met with all of us including my mom who asked a million questions and she didn't ever seem bothered (she also gave me cupcakes which didn't hurt). She even helped teach my dog to be a ring bearer.... dream come true, really.
You build your package and she can do as much as you want. You can have her do errands on the day of, go to meetings with you, etc. It's as much or as little as you want. She even made my centerpieces (last minute too... mine did not turn out well.) She was so flexible and keeps in contact to ensure that things are moving on in the right direction. She stays in contact with the other vendors and ensures that everything will be there for that day. She provides color coded timelines and I swear on the day of, she was in 5 places at once....
On the day, she comes equipped with an adorable fanny pack that somehow has everything you could possibly need. She sets everything up and makes sure everything is on time, everyone is where they need to be, and that everything is taken care of at the end of the night. She will deliver your gifts, and belongings and you get to walk away to enjoy the rest of your night.
If nothing else, utilize her blog, because it is informational, useful and pretty funny.
3. Venue-Ohio State Bar Association-A+
OSBA is DIY everything. It's pretty awesome because you save a lot of
money bringing your own alcohol. You get it from 8 am to midnight. this
is the only DIY venue i came across that gave you that much time.
You get basically 5 rooms. the entrance way, which is where we set
up the name cards. it's open and a nice walk in area, then typically
they have a cocktail hour in the red area room (next room in) and it's
pretty and elegant.The reception room. Additionally, you get the
boardroom and the Library. These two rooms were used as a girls room and
a guys room before the wedding. You also get to use their kitchen which
is large and a caterers dream.
We had my ceremony outside and it was so pretty. It is a brick patio
surrounded by trees and brick buildings with Ivy on the walls. It makes
for amazing pictures. The front of the building is so gorgeous and
great for pictures as well. The whole atmosphere is like an old building
in the heart of DC. It just has such a classic feel.
The lady I worked with mostly was Jan, but now Cheryl handles
wedding events. Jan was responsive and gave me details on the room size
with diagrams.They have an employee on site during the event to help
with any questions about the facility itself.
Another amazing thing is that a week before your wedding you are
allowed to drop off alcohol, decorations etc in their loading dock. You
can store it there after the wedding for pickup the Monday following
They allow you to string things on the ceiling as long as it will
not cause damage to the place (fishing wire, zip ties). It is tough to
find pictures of a wedding at OSBA online, but I assure you, the place
can be transformed beautifully.
I would suggest a day of coordinator for ANY completely DIY venue!!!
OSBA, is easy to work with but having to set up the decorations the day
of would have been tough. Other non DIY venues do that stuff for you so
you must consider this.