Vendor Reviews (warning, long)

I know how important vendor reviews are.  I used a lot of good friends and most people were from Louisville, but I did want to post this here mainly because of my photog.  And because of how awesome everything else was. 

Photography: Jacquie Carman A+
Jac is a former Knottie that I met the first time I was engaged and on the Knot.  She's based out of the Columbus, IN area but her travel fee is super cheap.  She's a great friend of mine and I couldn't imagine anyone else doing our wedding photos.  Her package is $950 and includes epics, rehearsal shots, all day wedding coverage, DVD with rights to print and a $200 print credit.  She's seriously amazing.  I have teaser pics 12 days after our wedding and will have the rest next week.  LOVE HER!

Makeup: Jenny Ruark, Mary Kay  A+
I won the Princess Pampering package thru David's Bridal with Jenny and she was fabulous.  It was super cheap to hire her ($25) and she did a great job!  That included my trial, which was part of the pampering package, so I don't know how much it would be otherwise.  Let me know if you want her contact info. 

Rentals: Reliable Rentals  A+
We rented 160 white chairs and that was it.  They were great with delivery and pickup.  The delivery fee is steep ($70) IMO, but worth it. 

Cake: Astoria Bakery, Royal Oak, MI.  A+
This is DH's favorite bakery.  Since we did a dessert buffet for the reception, we just got a 6 inch black forest torte for us.  Friends picked it up and brought it down.  We just finished it today and it was still very fresh.  And the best part was the price--$20!

Dress: David's Bridal Louisville, Barbara A+
I actually bought my dress 3 years ago when I was engaged the first time.  I loved it and decided to keep it to wear for real.  After all, that dress was for me, not him!  Barbara was awesome to work with and really took the time to figure out what I wanted.  She's amazing.

Bustle:: The Sewing Room, Fern Creek  B+
They just put in the bustle for me.  I had some problems with it coming apart when I was just hanging out in my dress, but they promptly fixed it for me.  It was a 9 point bustle and I paid right around $100 for it 3 years ago. 

Strapless bra: Victoria's Secret A+
I know it's a funny thing to include in here, but I bought their 99 ways bra a few years ago and it's amazing.  Well worth the $50 I spent on it!

Shoes: Vera Wang for Kohl's A+
I wanted something blue and comfy and having an outdoor wedding meant I needed wedges.  These were fabulous.  Seriously the most comfortable things ever.  GET COMFY SHOES FOR THE WHOLE DAY.  You will not regret it. 

Groom's suit: Macy's A+
We knew we wanted to get a 3 piece men's suit for DH and found a great one at Macy's around Father's Day when they were doing huge sales.  It was actually on clearance, but they had one left in CA and shipped it to us.  His suit was Tasso Elba, shirt, tie and shoes were Kenneth Cole Reaction.  Best part...he now has a really nice suit!

Flowers: Nanz and Kraft--Bride's bouquet A+
I'm personal friends with Franklin from Nanz and Kraft and he did my bouquet.  It was beautiful and right on budget for me.  I told him $50 and it was $49.88.  And it was perfect. 

Flowers: J. Elizabeth Designs--loose flowers for bouts, bouquets, CPs, aisle decorations A+
I wanted light and airy and knew that baby's breath would do that.  I ordered 3 bumches of baby's breath and 3 bumches of green button mums (for the bouts and corsages) and it cost $31.80.  A BM and friend did the bouquets and MIL did the bouts.  They were perfect.  It's not hard to do these and I highly recommend just getting loose flowers and doing them yourself.  It's way cheaper! 

DJ: We did a DIY reception with friends doing the board and BIL's computer.  Had some glitches, but eh, whatever. 

Wedding night hotel:  Courtyard by Marriott Northeast/Priceline  A
We didn't care where we stayed, just wanted something nice and cheap.  I pricelined for the hotel two weeks before our wedding and got the Courtyard for $40.  Great hotel, great service, only bad thing is they didn't have a breakfast.  But it's right behind Panera, so it wasn't too bad. 

Wedding night dinner: Stoney River Legendary Steaks A++
Seriously, the best food of all time.  We had an awesome experience with everything.  Once they found out it was our wedding day, we were moved up in the wait queue, were not charged for appetizer, drinks or cofee, were given a slice of their chocolate ganache cake for free and just had exceptional service.  I really wish we were still living in Louisville because we would go back often.  HIGHLY recommend.  And the food was incredible.  I had the swordfish and it literally melted in my mouth.  YUM.

Videographer: Personal Friend

Hair: Personal Friend

Venue: Private location

Ceremony music: My boss' wife plays the violin and we asked her to do our music and another friend played guitar and sang for the unity candle song.  If you know a musician, ask them to give their talent as their gift. 

Paper goods: Designed by me, printed at my office and assembled by some amazing friends and my parents.

Desserts for the reception: Baked by us and good friends.  Star with Stellar Sweets did the chocolate covered strawberries as our gift (she's a personal friend) and they were awesome.  We had 13 items on the dessert buffet and they were all incredible.  And the best part....we spent less than $100 on all of the reception food.  For 150 people. 

Bride's rings: Rogers and Holland Jewelry in Detroit A
We picked out my ring while there for Easter.  It's not a normal engagement ring as the center stone is an aquamarine.  I love it and because we picked a non-diamond for the center stone, I got a one carat ring for less than $200.  My wedding band was custom made to fit with it.  Had some issues with the prongs, but the Ashcroft and Oak store at Mall St. Matthews (sister store) took great care of us.  Get the lifetime warranty.  Seriously.  Best $50 we ever spent! 

Groom's ring: Etsy sellers RobandLean A+
We wanted something non-traditional for his ring, so we headed to etsy.  Found his ring and knew it was the one he wanted.  They handmade it and had it to us in less than 2 weeks.  It's this ring

Aisle decorations and altar canopy: DIYwith sticks from the woods where the wedding was and driftwood from Falls of the Ohio State Park.  For the aisle decorations we used baling twine to tie bottles to the tops, then buried them in the ground and filled them with water and one sprig of baby's breath.  I got the idea from a blog where they showed 4 of them for $48 thru someplace like Pottery Barn.  We got the wood for free, my dad had the baling twine and we paid $1.50 for each bottle (Gold Peak tea). 

All said and done, we spent less than $3000 on our wedding including rings.  We worked our tails off and asked friends to help as much as they could.  We asked for people to give their talent as their gift to us and it made such a difference.  Our ceremony was very meaningful.  We had an incredible wedding and I'm so thankful to be married!  DIY means you have to work hard and be super organized, but it worked very well.  Let me know if you have any questions!

Re: Vendor Reviews (warning, long)

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    inkygirlinkygirl member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    And if you're interested, I post teaser pics on the Louisville board. 
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    angeltennis3angeltennis3 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Can I please have your makeup artist's info?

    Thank you for sharing!  Sounds beautiful!!!  I need someone like you to keep me budget conscious!
    Tara & Eric September 2011 Wedding Countdown Ticker
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    edited December 2011
    I really appreciate you taking the time to share this info!  I've been looking for a quality, not super expensive photographer and a make-up artist - it's great to know of some options that have worked well for others :)
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    inkygirlinkygirl member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    jblank, you should totally contact Jacquie.  She's amazing to work with.  I'll have all of our pics uploaded by the end of this week, just shy of three weeks after our wedding.  I have had friends who have taken 6+ weeks to get their pics back which is just crazy. 
  • Options
    edited December 2011
    inkygirl, I actually went to her site and left a message with my email and everything a few days ago.  haven't heard back yet!
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    inkygirlinkygirl member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Okay, I know she's been super busy with family sessions this week and she has a baby and she's trying to finish up my pics. [ :)]  I'm sure she'll get back to you soon!
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