9/17/11 Vendor Reviews (Dayton) - Long!

I read a lot of helpful reviews while planning for our wedding and wanted to help out other Dayton brides-to-be with my own reviews. We did a lot of research and were overall very happy with our vendor choices, with one exception which you will read about below.

Please send me a message if you would like any more information!

Venue: Dayton Art Institute
Grade: A

The DAI is an absolutely beautiful place to have a wedding, and we had our ceremony and reception there. Chuck Barnett was very organized and easy to work with. He also responded to emails and phone calls quickly. While the DAI is more expensive than other venues, the (friendly) staff does a lot of the work for you – they place chairs and move tables, set out menus and programs and other details, etc. – so you can just enjoy your big day.

DJ: All Sounds Unlimited
Grade: A

Our DJ, David Brown, kept the dance floor going all night! He did a great job reading the crowd, he played many of our requests, and he checked in with us a couple times during the night. Good communication before the wedding as well and easy to work with, and also affordable.

Ceremony Musicians: Elegant Entertainment
Grade: A

We had a string trio for our ceremony, and they were professional, arrived on time, and sounded beautiful. Donna McFarland was easy to work with leading up the wedding. My husband and I were unsure what songs we wanted, so we met with her and she played clips of music and made recommendations. She was also flexible when we wanted to add a song less than two weeks before the ceremony.

Florist: The Flower Shoppe
Grade: A

We were extremely happy with our flowers arrangements – we got many compliments on them – and my bouquet was just gorgeous. Mark Brueninghaus is very creative and actually came with us when we picked out our table linens so he could make sure our flowers worked with our color scheme. He also worked with us on the final price when his estimate came in higher than our budget.

Caterer: Elegant Fare
Grade: C

The food itself was very good. The chefs are creative and can make literally whatever you would like, which was appealing as my husband and I are real foodies. However the dishes at our wedding were not exactly like what we had at our tasting a few months before (different kind of Israeli couscous, not all pork dishes had the sauce, presentation not as elegant) so we were a little disappointed even though it was still good. Why the bad grade? Elegant Fare’s customer service is awful. Gail was our rep, and she was difficult to communicate with. She frequently took more than a week to respond to e-mails, didn’t always return voicemails, and she included food on our menu tasting that I had specifically said I did not like. Working with their wine vendor was equally difficult, and it took weeks to get a simple list of wines we were interested in. Elegant Fare is the exclusive caterer for the Dayton Art Institute, so this is the one vendor we had no control over. We never felt we got the attention we deserved even the week before the wedding.

Cake: JulieCakes
Grade: A

We probably got the most compliments on our cake! It was absolutely delicious (much better than Ele, in my opinion) and it turned out beautifully. Julie is very sweet and easy to work with. She used to head a couple bakeries in the Dayton area but now works out of her house.

Photographer: Lesko Photography
Grade: A

We are very happy with our photos. Dave Lesko and his assistant, Jenny, took both standard and unexpected shots. Dave is very good at capturing sweet candid moments and he is also good at working with families for those shots. Photography is one area where I spent more than budgeted because I wanted high quality. In some ways we knew what to expect since we loved our engagements photos, and we were not disappointed. Dave and Jenny also have great personalities and were easy to work with leading up to the wedding.

Hair: Style Squad (Cincinnati)
Grade: A

Angela was professional, friendly, and also fast. She did my hair, my five bridesmaids, and two family members. A few of my bridesmaids left their style totally in her hands and were thrilled with the results, including one who has a LOT of hair that she never knows what to do with. I had a hair trial a few weeks before so knew what to expect, but Angela checked in as she worked to make sure I was happy with the progress. Our hair also stayed in place all night.

Makeup: Makeup by Heidi (Cincinnati)
Grade: A

Heidi is very friendly and professional. She did my makeup and the makeup of my five bridesmaids and three family members. She brought out our best features without feeling too done up. I got a lot of compliments on how great I looked – not how great my makeup looked. Heidi is also very fast and affordable.

Dress Alterations: Mary Beth Woeste Sewing and Alterations
Grade: A

Mary Beth has been doing wedding dress alterations for about 30 years and clearly knows what she’s doing. I needed to have my dress hemmed, lace and beading moved up with the hem, and a complicated bustle put on because of the way my dress laid. Mary Beth did a beautiful job. She also worked with my mom on lacing up my dress so my mom knew exactly what she was doing on the big day.

Re: 9/17/11 Vendor Reviews (Dayton) - Long!

  • edited December 2011
    How long did it take Angela to style hair for you, your bridesmaids, and family members?  Did she do it all by herself or did she bring another stylist or assistant?  

  • katiebean1katiebean1 member
    First Anniversary First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Do you have an email for Heidi? I trid to google for a website but I couldn't find one.
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  • edited December 2011
    I scheduled half an hour per person for Angela, who worked by herself. She took more time on me (about 45 minutes), but was ahead of schedule much of the time with everyone else. Also, both she and Heidi (makeup) came to my parents' house, which was so nice!

    Heidi's email is mckenna@fuse.net. She doesn't have a website but is often recommended on these boards, which is how I found her!
  • utegogglesutegoggles member
    First Anniversary First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Sounds beautiful! Congrats!
  • edited December 2011
    Any chance you'd be willing to share photos of your hairstyle done by Angela?  I'd like to see if I like what she is able to do before I contact her.

  • dori851dori851 member
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    edited December 2011
    Congratulations & thanks for the reviews! It sounds like you had a fabulous day! :)
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