I want to thank all of you for your posts/advice over this past year. I was not very vocal on the boards but I found everyone's reviews helpful in searching for my vendors. I thought I would re-pay everyone by sharing my reviews. I hope this is helpful!Ceremony/Reception A
We had our Ceremony and Reception at Music Hall. The Ceremony was in the front Foyer and the Reception was held in their main Ballroom. I received numerous compliments on the venue. It is not your typical 'hall'. It is a historic building with lots of history and they put a lot of money into restoring the original beauty of the architecture. I choose Music Hall for 2 reasons: its size (my invite list was 300) and they allowed me to bring in my own Caterer. Yes, Music Hall is more expensive to 'rent' but you make up for it by 'shopping' out the Caterer and choosing whoever you want.
I dealt with Terri and Cindi at Music Hall. They were both extremely responsive and helpful all along. There was some last minute confusion about the open bar but Music Hall fixed it as soon as I brought it to their attention. Music Hall does have their own liquor license but the cost is very reasonable. We had 5.5 hrs of open bar (liquor, wine, beer) and it cost $28pp. This included tax and tip.
The only downside to Music Hall is its location being Over-The-Rhine. They have hired security during your entire event both inside and outside so they never run into problems. However, your guest have to go through 'the ghetto' to get there.Caterer/Decorations/Flowers A++
I hired Elite Catering out of Dayton. I can't say enough good things about them from the planning, responsiveness, creative ideas, food options, food display, cost, service etc. I had a seated salad to start and then a buffet. The food was amazing and the best part was their display of the food. It was not a typical buffet line. They made it look Grand! I was able to save cost on the buffet but it still was top notch. They also did all of my decorations and flowers. I have no complaints and everything turned out exactly as I had imagined. The dinnerware was the modern square plates which helped magnify the 'modern' feeling I was going for.Ice Cream Bar (I can't rate it bc I am biased:))
I really didn't have a choice here. My father owns an Ice Cream store. I did not do a cake. Instead., I did a sunday bar. It was the talk of the night! We pre-scooped vanilla and chocolate into cups. We had 8 different toppings so everyone could make their own sunday. It was a nice twist and everyone enjoyed it. My dad does do other weddings so feel free to contact him: Don Heyne Ritters Frozen Custard in Dayton 937-252-3355Photographer A+++
Adrienne Beth Photography
I have not seen the final pictures yet but I feel capable of rating her since she did my engagement pics. I just fell in love with her as a person. I gave her a tight time frame to get all of the pictures taken and she made it happen with time to spare. She certainly has an artistic eye and knows how to direct you so she can capture a fantastic picture. I don't know what her current pricing is but she was extremely affordable compared to other photogs when I was searching one year ago. I really like the fact that she gives me the full CD with rights so I can print the ones I like and not have to buy them from her to own them.Officient A
I have seen mixed reviews on the boards. It made me somewhat nervous but I was pleased with the ceremony. My husband and I wrote out our ceremony so all he had to do was read it. He did add a few comedic lines which got a few laughs. The only reason I am not giving him an A+ is bc the night of the rehearsal I was calling his cell non-stop to make sure he was on his way and he did not answer. He did show up at the time he was supposed to but it got my nerves pretty worked up. I just needed him to answer so I knew he was showing up Band A+
The Chuck Taylors
Love love love Greg Lee. Greg leads the band and was my main contact. We had numerous email exchanges over the past year and met face to face to review the evening timeline. Greg also played the piano for my ceremony. He is extremely talented and can play anything you ask him to. I wanted a band that could play a wide array of cover songs and The Chuck Taylors did just that. I had them play pop, country, 80s, oldies... They typically play at Hollywood Casino on Friday nights so you can go and listen to them there for free. Don't forget, Hollywood attracts a unique crowd and The Chuck Taylors adapt to the crowd (which is a great quality for a band to have). They were a little more 'wild' at Hollywood than my wedding. They wore black suite for the wedding while the casino calls for a more flashy attire.
I also had a personal friend DJ during the bands breaks so there was a good mix of live music v. club music.Invitations A+++
I went the DYI route and was so pleased with the end result. I bought the 'folder' type of cardstock from paperandmore so that I could tuck directions, hotel accommodations and more in the flaps. Everyone thought I paid a ton of $$ for my invites but I did 300 invites for $400! Yes, it took me a few hours but well worth it.Room Block A+
We had 60 rooms blocked and 45 of them were used. I dealt with Kelly Carrigan and she rocked! I had to change the block a few times but she made it all work without a problem. The location was perfect and my guests all loved the lobby bar.Makeup A+
Everyone's reviews on here are accurate. Heidi is a wonderful person. She is very personable and talented and AFFORDABLE. She truly needs to start charging more for her services. She did my makeup along with the MOB and half of my bridesmaids. She comes where ever you want her to. She only charges $25 for BMs and $50 for bride. No, she does not do airbrush. I am not a fan of airbrush so was not worried. My makeup stayed on all night and she made my lashed look fab! She books up quickly so don't hesitate in contacting her to reserve her for your day.Lighting F-
I should had listened to all of the negative reviews. They would take weeks to respond to my emails and never responded to any of my VM's. I hated dropping $1,000 on a service that I had no clue how it would turn out. I asked them numerous questions bc I do not know the first thing about lighting. I was very clear in my direction as to what I wanted but it did NOT turn out that way at all. I never spoke with them that night, saw them, nor have I yet to hear from them. I should had listened to my gut and hired another lighting company. Worst vendor by far.Photobooth A+
Huge hit!!! This was a last minute add on. I couldn't afford most booths but this one was $450 for the whole night, unlimited strips, props, and a CD of all the pics taken. I did not hire a videographer so the CD is a nice replacement (somewhat
. THere was a line to get in the booth bc all of my guests had so much fun with it! Day of Coordinator A++++
Best Friend Errand - Sue Glew
This was a last minute hire as well. I had planned the whole day by myself and thought I was capable of running the show. I realized that it would be nice to have someone there if an emergency were to occur. I had a few phone conversations with Sue prior to the night to let her know how the evening will run and to keep the evening 'flowing'. Sue does not typically do weddings but is fully capable. She ended up sending one of her staff employees to assist the night of my wedding and I am SO thankful I had her. It took so much stress off of my shoulders and she knew how to communicate with me and when. She constantly gave me updates and directed all of my vendors. It was such a blessing to have her there. Best part, they only charge $30/hr!!!!Bridal Party Spray Tan A+
Jen comes to your house and airbrush sprays you. It only cost $35/pp and the cost goes down the larger the party you have. She has two shades. Everyone looked fabulous. I have tan and pale girls so she was able to accommodate both skin types.
I did my place cards, programs, table numbers myself. I had a ton of fun with it and saved a lot of money. The place cards were envelopes with lottery tickets inside. The table numbers were photo frames with our engagement pics and the table number on them. The programs were very simple. I bought vellum paper from paperandmore and printed at kinkos.
Feel free to message me with any questions. I hope this is helpful!
Best of luck with planning! Have fun with it!