Our wedding was March 21. We had beautiful weather and decided at the last minute to have our ceremony outdoors. We don’t have pro pics yet, but you can check out some amateur pics on our blog, amyjesse.com. I’m happy to answer questions about our vendors.
Rev. Jeff Maszal, Wedding Ceremonies by Jeff—We found him on The Knot and although we were hesitant about hiring someone from online, he turned out to do a great job. He let us pick the type of ceremony we wanted, and had lots of ceremony programs to allow us to choose from since we weren’t interested in writing our own vows. He even tried to help my sister and MOH figure out my complicated bustle in the hour before the wedding, but he was unsuccessful. The women got a kick out of that!
Rosalin’s Bridal Boutique (dress)—They had some of the best prices I could find, and Rosalin and her staff were not bitchy like most of the other bridal store employees I encountered in my bridal gown shopping experience. Her alterations are expensive, so I advise going elsewhere for that. Don’t let them touch your jewelry while you are there. I brought my “something borrowed” necklace to try on while I was there and Rosalin tried to turn it into a bracelet for me and ended up breaking it!
Men’s Wearhouse—My husband and best man bought their tuxes from the store in Potomac Yard. They were happy with the service and price.
J. Crew (MOH dress)—The dress looked lavender online, which is why I wanted it, but it turned out to be more plum in color. Overall it is a nice style and my MOH plans to wear it again.
Every Bloomin’ Thing (florist), Taneytown, MD—I loved working with JoAnn and her staff! They did an amazing job with our flowers! I loved my bouquet, but I think I liked my MOH’s slightly better. LOL. JoAnn is very knowledgeable about colors, and what would look the best with my style of gown. She had some really good ideas for table centerpieces too.
Karen Rodkey Cakes, Littlestown, PA—Karen makes absolutely amazing cakes! We selected red velvet and chocolate with a butter cream frosting. The cake was very moist, and the icing color turned out to be the exact color of lavender that I wanted. Karen was very patient with us when we were selecting a style, and respected our wish to have a simple, elegant-looking cake.
Ceremony and reception venue: Antrim 1844 Country House Hotel, Taneytown, MD—The food was excellent and the wait staff was very nice. We chose the Antrim because it has great food, is a beautiful location and has its own wedding coordinator. My original event coordinator left the Antrim a few months before our wedding. I had most of my contact with the new guy, Mike. Before the reception I had been e-mailing Mike all the details--seating chart, etc. I had to send him a revised seating chart the week of the wedding. He did not use it! Our parents and other "VIPS" ended up sitting far away from the bridal table. What REALLY made me mad was that Mike put new table numbers on the outside of my escort cards. When our guests arrived they were confused--the inside of the card had the correct table they were supposed to sit at (assigned by me) and the outside had an incorrect number. I called Mike to complain about this and he told me was the one who inserted the new numbers. NOT cool!
I spent hours working on the seating chart. Ours was especially difficult because we have family members who are on the outs with some people, and they did not want to be seated at the same table as these people.
Of course I noticed all of this at the reception, but did not want to confront Mike because I did not want to make a scene, and I did not want to ruin our reception. Some guests assured me that I was the only one who noticed this, yet some guests told me later it was total confusion when they all went to sit down and noticed two numbers on their escort cards.
Also, yesterday my brother-in-law told me he saw Mike interviewing 2 prospective brides and grooms within the hour before our wedding. There was much confusion on the part of our bridal party as to where they should be standing/moving, etc. in that hour before the ceremony started because of our last-minute change to have the wedding outdoors. I know people need to get new business, but I think the coordinator's priority in the hour before a wedding starts is to make sure the wedding they are currently running is going smoothly.
Karen Sayre of Eikon Photography—We haven’t received the final product yet, but we’ve liked our experience with her so far. Karen does documentary-style photography. I barely noticed she was even in the room at some points. A lot of people gave us compliments on her, and they haven’t even seen her work yet! She was very mindful of our time and did a great job of corralling family members together for pictures.
DJ Delights--We did our planning with Tom, but on the day of our wedding we had Kevin. We were both disappointed because we don't think he did a good job. He didn't play all of the songs that we requested he play. He also did not have the kind of personality that was engaging. We had heard that the DJs from DJ Delights are a lot of fun and get the audience up and moving, but Kevin did nothing to encourage folks to dance.
Veil—My sister made it! She’s a genius!
Hair—My niece is a hairstylist so she did it for me.
Make-up—Myself! I bought some new make-up in the weeks before the wedding and practiced different techniques and colors. I had no trouble applying it on the big day.