I just got married on Saturday and I thought I'd share what vendors I used. Throughout everything I was trying to keep things as low cost as possible, and I know that can be really challenging, so I thought I'd share.
First of all, I can't recommend Ruth for alterations enough. She is in Eagan and doesn't have a website and runs her sewing business out of her house. I went with another bride for a fitting, who said she found her through her brother who took a wedding dress, a suit, and BM dresses there and got them all done for $200. I think my bride friend paid similarly. In my case, I had already had alterations done but I wasn't happy with them, so I took them to Ruth to fix it. She did a fantastic job and after multiple changes and visits, only charged me $50. With the number of brides that buy their dresses at the Wedding Shoppe and then pay a few limbs in alterations there, I definitely recommend taking outfits to Ruth instead. Her email is [email protected]
Attire- I first went to David's Bridal in Oakdale and had a perfectly good experience but didn't find anything I was crazy about. I went to The Wedding Shoppe and found my dress, but wanted to sleep on it before making a decision. I did some research and found out how expensive their alterations were, so I decided to keep shopping. At the time I lived in Bemidji and tried a bridal shop there called Formalities, which carried the same line so I ordered the same dress through them. I asked if I could have a discount for paying in full in advance and they gave me 10% off. Their alterations were more reasonable and they only charged me once even after I added on things like cups, but overall the alterations lady just seems a bit lazy and I ended up taking the dress to Ruth to fix it. It wasn't horrifically done, but it was shoddy enough to bother me.
A salesman at Mens Wearhouse in Tamarack Village was extremely rude to us. We ended up finding the same suit at Macy's on sale at about a quarter of the price.
Our venue was Oak Marsh Golf Club in Oakdale. It was by far the most affordable venue and catering we could find, and it was great. Food and staff were excellent, and many of the charges that were listed were not actually charged, for example having the backup indoor ceremony space. Staff was very flexible on that point and had both indoor/outdoor space set up and ready to go since the weather was very iffy that day, and we decided on indoor at the last minute. They had a sale going when we booked that included ceiling drapings and centerpieces, and the room rental was half off. Catering runs $24-30 pp, which is much less than most places we looked into, and the food was delicious. We had the Hawaiian buffet, which was fun and different.
Oak Marsh contracts through Buttercream and charges a cutting fee if you get a cake elsewhere, but they did say we could get cupcakes instead as a loophole. We found 5th Ave Cakes, part of Denny's 5th Ave Bakery in Bloomington, at a bridal expo and are very glad we did. Buttercream charges $3.50 per cupcake while 5th Ave charges $1 for plain ones and $1.30 for fancy ones, and they were delicious. We gave a rough idea of what we wanted and got a 6" cake plus 90 cupcakes, set up and delivered with a stand rental, for $250. They were very helpful, and the cupcakes disappeared in the blink of an eye.
Our photographers were a husband and wife team that call themselves Phodot. They were excellent. They would have been out of our price range but we booked their special rate at an expo. Everyone commented on what good ideas they had for photos and that they seemed to really know what they were doing. Definitely check out their portfolio as they have amazing work.
We got our DJ through Complete, again at a special rate. Our DJ was Jacque and he did a great job checking in with us and keeping the party going.
I booked Hair by Susi Boe last minute through The Buzz salon out of Red Wing. Her prices were extremely reasonable, complete with a house call trial that she worked very hard at. She did a great job. I do wish she had had an assistant as we ran out of time for my MIL, but I wasn't too surprised since I booked her the week of my wedding. She worked her butt of from 8 am to right before we left for the wedding, and she's fun to be around.
I think that's about it! Feel free to post or PM if you have any specific questions.