Vendor Reviews!

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+

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 your wedding!

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.


Re: Vendor Reviews!

  • 4.Cake- Our Cupcakery--A+

    My cake was amazing and designed exactly how we envisioned it! Many guests asked us where it was from because it was so good!

    We worked with Laura, and she was so nice! She listened and helped design a cake that would look like a wedding cake but also be personalized. One of the best things about Laura was that we had met with her two or three months before a wedding expo, and when I was walking around the expo 2-3 months later, she recognized me as one of her clients. It felt super personal and I could tell they valued their customers.

    The cake was affordable and they did not charge outrageous decoration fees,delivery fees, or rental fees. Everything was reasonably priced.  They do not try to up sell you on anything and they listen to what you want designed.The cake was delivered flawlessly! I plan to use them again for birthdays etc!

    5.Caterer-Nicole's Catering--A- (food- A, communication-B+ for last week only)
    Nicole and Dale are absolutely amazing people. They are so nice and helpful. We hosted my bridal shower at their actual shop and it was great.

    In regards to the wedding FOOD-- great! The Steak Merlot was amazing, and the herb chicken was pretty good, but it was hard to rival with the steak. ALL of her side dishes are amazing, and if it was up to me, we would have been eating an assortment of pasta salad, green beans and potatoes in all fashions...but that is not acceptable unfortunately. The servers were so nice, and I didn't hear any complaints about speed of lines etc.

    Nicole is great about budgets. 1.She will work with you and not try to sell you something out of your league. 2. If she sees a way she could charge you less, she will.  3.She offers specials some months. Nicole handles your rentals. This was so nice because it was one less vendor. 5.her prices, are just reasonable!

    During all the planning process it was fairly easy to get a hold of someone, but as it came closer to the wedding (and wedding season in general) it seemed as though there was some lack of communication between all three of us. However, everything was sorted out quickly and turned out great! I would suggest to create a list of questions as it nears the wedding to make it easier for both sides.

    Finally they were so flexible with payments, and changes. They did not give me a hassle on anything.

    Suggestions: If you are having signature drinks, or vegetarian meals(buffet) inform your guests with signs/verbal communication. Many people did not know I had a punch, but I also made it last minute and did not have a sign for our signature drink. I had a buffet and Nicole made separate veg meals for the number I indicated, thus they were not put out. Those guests were not aware that they just had to ask the staff for them, but everyone ate, and it was delicious!!


    Disclaimer-- I hate flowers. I kill all flowers. Originally, we were not going to have any flowers, but then we decided to do bouquets and boutonnieres. The girls at flowerman, sat with me and picked out all my flowers with me. They gave suggestions and stayed in my very small flower budget...but they did not skimp on any flowers. They ensured that I would have enough that would look good. A few months before my wedding, I changed the pink shade of our wedding color, and the girls changed my order no problem. A week before my wedding, I realized I needed to add something to my order, and again, no big problem, they were able to fix it so it would be perfect!

    They do prioritize by wedding date, so if you call you may not receive an immediate call back. However, I always heard back within 48 hours.

    You will either make your flower arrangements Thursday or Friday before you wedding dependent on availability. Making the flowers is actually pretty fun and the girls coach you through it all. They are so helpful and the whole thing is very fun. This was actually my mom's favorite event for the wedding. Make sure you ask ahead of time, how many helpers you should bring based on your order. It is a fun stress free event for you and your friends to hang out and get wedding stuff done!

    They always order extra flowers in case of errors. Also, they have you make extra boutonnieres in case there are any day of issues when putting them on!!

    The girls there are so friendly and it really is a good experience! My flowers were gorgeous! We actually plan to go back and "remake" my bouquet to hang and save because it accidentally got thrown out at the end of the night :(.

    Make sure you look out for discount deals! I ordered my flowers for a May wedding in November, and if paid in full, I received a 50% discount on my order (including on changes made in the future, or additions).

  • 7. Ceremony Music--Fermata Music-- C(communication)-A- Actual musicians and music quality

    Disclaimer-- I am sure that I had an exception because this company typically gets great reviews. The musicians did an amazing job, but my experience leading up to the day of made me not extremely fond of this vendor.

    We had gone back and forth on if we were going to book live music or not. We ended up booking March for a May wedding. The instructions say to contact them 4 weeks before the wedding with details on songs we want and order etc. I contacted them about 2-3 weeks before for a song list that we could choose from for Cello and Violin and set up a phone call for the following week to discuss options. They were unable to call me for our set appointment due to a delayed flight which was totally fine and reasonable.

    At this point we were talking 5 days before my wedding. I had looked up some modern songs on you tube and asked if we could get those played as well but because it was so close to my wedding and given the type of duet that we chose, they were unable to play those. He suggested that we should have gone with the piano violin option because they could accomidate more modern music and that he had wished we talked sooner. We had to pay a late fee to change because it was within a month before our date (however you are not supposed to contact them until a month out...so any changes made you'll be charged a fee). They went out of there way to contact a pianist from Cinci because all of there normal ones were booked. I requested additional modern songs, but  due to the timing they could not secure an arrangement and they suggested classical songs ( I wouldn't have switched if I could still only get classical songs). At this point, a day before my wedding, I was not getting responses to my email which scared me. But at the end of the day, he secured one of my requests to be played.

    Overall, the music quality was great, price was comparable to others, and I wish they would suggest an early contact point.

    8. DJ-- Team 3 Deep --A+ ( Facebook.com/team3deep)

    They are still working on a website. Rory was so great to work with. He traveled from Canton to do our wedding, and he did such an awesome job.  Our planner said that he was one of her favs to work with because they actually listened. He treated her as an extension of us. He listened to requests, and he did a great job or getting people up and moving. He really read the moments well, and it seemed like everyone had a blast. He actually downloaded a song that he didn't have on site because we want to do the Hora chair dance.  They are super flexible and the sell the experience, not the music. He doesn't just go through the motions-- he makes sure that the night is exactly how you want it. They have floor lighting and nice equipment etc. They don't have hidden costs. What you ask for is what you get at that price. They don't bill you for the use of this mic, or this speaker. It is straight forward and they work with you to get what you need in your budget. I really just felt like the read the night perfectly. They travel Cleveland, Canton/Akron, Columbus!! (FYI- Rory also brings another person to help and ensure everything runs smoothly. ) Your DJ can make or break your event, so make sure you have one that is willing to listen and adapt to what you want!

  • Thanks for all the info - sounds like you had a wonderful day ~ congrats!

    I hope lots of brides read this, because you include a few not PERFECT things (communicating signature drink for example) that would be easy to plan for for future brides.  #communication makes people comfortable!  
  • Yeah I have my hair, makeup, and then my fav etsy sites to share! Plus my pictures. Oh also my videographer but am not sharing until I get my video and see final product !!
  • omargotzomargotz member
    Second Anniversary 10 Comments 5 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited June 2014
    9. Hair-Blowout Bar Grandview--A-

    Service was great. Cassadi did my hair, and if you want a braid, go to her. She is amazing at them. I did my trials there and because I really didn't want an up do they just charged me for a regular blow out and a braid, even though she spent tons of time trying different styles on my head! So friendly, and easy to talk to! They do not sell or do extensions, but if you bring in your own, they will put them in and style them. I got mine at Sallys for $100 ( pay $5 for the beauty card, because you save $25 on the purchase essentially, so it's a $20 savings!) My extensions turned out great!

    I booked all my girls and my appointments there, and the accommodated all 6 of us plus my mom the morning of my wedding. It was a great experience and it was so relaxed and nice to all get your hair done at once and together but not pay $100+.

    My "-" comes from two things, both easily fixable! 1. My mom didn't love her hair so she was not 100% satisfied. If you guys can, tell the people ahead of time what you are wanting done because they can match you with someone who excel in that. We did not make them aware so unfortunately it was a mismatch. Blow out bar specialized in just styling hair, so naturally someone may be better at curls than others. It's just what happens! I personally thought my mom's hair looked nice ,but its really about you and what you're comfortable looking like. 2. Initially they had us all separated. Three were right next to eachother other, and two were around corner, etc. The stylists choose their chairs when they come in and don't have assigned areas, so don't be afraid to ask if they can pick chairs next to each other if you want everyone to be close! The place is not that big, but it was impossible for us to see each and chat around the corner. (it is set up like a real bar, it is so cute). I asked if we could move chairs and be closer, and it was no problem.

    10. Makeup- Farrah LeValley--A+
    Seriously one of my best kept secrets. Her makeup was flawless. She is as nice as can be. She travels to you, and does an amazing job. If you're looking for the natural look, she is fantastic. She works out of Premier Aesthetic and Laser Centre, but I found her through a friend. Her makeup is reasonably priced and she travels to you with no extra fees. She even brought an additional helper to ensure that she could finish everyone in time. My trial was awesome, and she adds makeup slowly so she knows exactly what you are looking for. She also gives you eyelashes (for keeps obvi). She writes down everything she does at your trial to ensure your makeup is perfect for your day! You can contact her at [email protected] However, if you use her, when she says she needs XX amount of time, she means it. She used every last minute she had perfecting our makeup. She is so detail oriented it's amazing.  

    11.Jewler--(wedding bands)--Carioti Jewlers downtown Columbus--A+
    Carioti is a word of mouth jeweler. They do not advertise, and you essentially need an appointment to go there. The building does not look like a jewelry store, and you get buzzed in. They have very nice jewelry and they are reasonably priced. I have a Tiffany engagement ring, and I love my wedding band just as much. I would never trade my Tiffany, but I saw things at their store that I would have been perfectly happy with. The people there are very friendly and take their time showing you everything. Very affordable, and nice stuff!! 
  • omargotzomargotz member
    Second Anniversary 10 Comments 5 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited June 2014

    **12. Columbus K9 Hilliard Ohio***

    I know you guys are thinking uhh what? Let me just tell you. If you ever need pet training or day care, they are the greatest around. I bring them up because they literally saved my life. My life is my dogs, and about 2 years ago my dogs were fighting non-stop. I finally found them to be my trainers, and Marlo did in-home training and helped me stop the fighting. Over the course of two years, Marlo and I have become friends, and I tell everyone I can about their programs.BUT the reason I am talking about it here is because on my wedding day, Marlo offered to handle one of my four dogs for our ceremony. She picked him up from my house, got him dressed for his ring bearer roll, kept him distracted until it was his time to perform and helped him perform flawlessly as our ring bearer. Our officiant asked for the rings, Marlo walked Riley in and let him off his leash, and Riley ran right to us (with the help of a squeak toy). After we got the fake rings, and the moment, Marlo came and grabbed Riley from a groomsmen, and took him back to the car, and took him home. She came to rehearsal, and was at my house when my photographer was getting our group pictures. She just did an amazing job helping me have the most perfect moment of my wedding. (This dog is seriously my heart. He is 9 and I have owned him since he was a baby). This is how dedicated these people are. I haven't even mentioned the fact that unfortunately, a week before our wedding one of the 4 partially tore his ACL and needed to go to the vet for evaluation ON OUR WEDDING DAY. (like what?!) Had we waited until Monday, he would not have been able to get surgery for 4 days, and he could have ruptured his ACL. Anyways, after the pictures, and before the ceremony, Marlo offered to take him to the vet 30 minutes away so that we could be relaxed on our wedding day. I can't begin to explain how amazing it was that she did that for us. She is truly one of a kind, and really cares about dogs and their well being. She bends over backwards for her clients and I just wanted to share a true gem I found. DREAM COME TRUE.


    Dog wedding collars-- another dog related treasure of mine. She made my dogs every day collars, and I just love them. We got all four ninja turtles and they are great. Her collars are actually cheaper than in store, and they are personalized! she can do names on them as well. BUT for my wedding, I ordered bow ties, and collars in our wedding color. She went out of her way to find special fabric to match my exact colors! She sent me pictures until we found the perfect one. I just love her stuff, and unfortunately, her collars hold up so well I have not had to order new ones!! 

    Personalized glasses-- Lisa makes the most amazing cartoon glasses. I got each of the girls a wine glass or rock glass with something relative to them. a picture of their dog, their cat, NYC backdrop,a cupcake, etc. The dog and cat pictures looked just like the ones I sent, and she did such a great job. She also did one of my four dogs, and I just can't believe how great it looks. I have ordered about 10 cups and everyone has loved them.

    Cake Topper--The item that stole the show. You have to order probably at least three months in advance, and send pics of dress, suit, you guys, detailed colors, etc. But when you get the topper you won't even believe how special and amazing it is. We had her include our four dogs ($10 per extra item) and our total bill was ~$150.00. However, this is one of the most special items we have from our big day. The people will not obviously look like you but they will have your hair color, height difference etc. It overall is so cute and so personalized that you will just fall in love. Everyone asked where I got it, and no one had seen anything like it. It seriously took cake toppers to another level. 

    Dog Wedding Suit--OH MY GOD, so cute. I ordered my suit literally 4 days before my wedding and happydapperdogs did not charge me fees and sent it two day shipping so it would get to me on time. SOOO NICE. Unfortunately, USPS decided that two shipping was their TARGET date, but in reality could not get it to me in time. No fault on happydapper, she tried! SO cute regardless.

    Mini Chalkboards-- i ordered two of these for my table numbers. I tied them on my dogs necks and wrote a table number and took pictures . I then used these as signs for my guestbook table. The person I worked with went to the store and bought pink ribbon that i wanted, because she did not have the right shade. She sent me pics before buying to make sure that it was right. Very friendly, and they are hand made! Good quality!!

  • omargotzomargotz member
    Second Anniversary 10 Comments 5 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited June 2014
    Links to my pictures: 

    Wedding album draft 

    Also here is a pic of Riley at my wedding before he went on stage, a picture of all of us together, and a picture with my wedding planner! 

    Honeymoon-Couples Tower Isle Jamaica  The nicest people ever! Such a great time. booked by:
    Bliss Honeymoon Laura was our agent, and she dealt with so much indecisiveness and never acted annoyed. Def worth the $100 fee (if you spend >$5k they deduct the fee). She sends power points of 3-4 locations and resorts and you tell her what you like and don't like and narrow it down together. She got us a great rate, and we even had a $300 credit on our account when we arrived (which we used to upgrade our room. SOO NICE and such a great atmosphere). 

    All I have left is my Videographer which was CFV. I have not gotten my video yet, so I will review upon receipt!! 
This discussion has been closed.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards