Hey knotties, I know this is long, but wanted to share feedback about the vendors we used for our 6/10 wedding. The wedding was beautiful and all in all a total success. We were on a fairly tight budget and did not have a wedding planner, so we went with some lesser known vendors and were fortunate to find some real stand out talent! Here's how they shook out:
Ceremony/Reception Venue - 20th Century Theater: A+++ We can’t say enough about this venue, they are amazing! Lindsey and Mark went so above and beyond our wildest expectations to make this day special for us. They really pay attention to every little detail and the execution was flawless. Our guests are still raving about the delicious food (when does that ever happen at a wedding?) and fun atmosphere! Best of all, the price was so affordable. They are so good about helping you throw an amazing wedding without nickel and diming you for every little thing – what the heck is a cake cutting fee anyway? We couldn’t figure that out, but unlike a lot of venues, 20th Century doesn’t charge one! Hands down, 20th Century was phenomenal to work with! Note: we went back and forth about whether to add the lighting package to spotlight me walking down the aisle and backlight the curtains. It made such a difference and our photos/videos really show the extra lighting. If you're torn at this venue, I'd spring for it - it was a beautiful touch!
Florist-Rose Braden Weddings: B In the end the flowers were gorgeous and Rose did a nice job. She went above and beyond what we discussed. That said, we had some hiccups along the way where some undisclosed fees cropped up. To her credit, ultimately she took care of those things and didn’t charge us for those things. If you want a florist to take care of things, Rose is your lady. I have a high need for information and am very visual, so I had a lot of stressed out encounters with Rose where I wanted more info about what she was thinking (pictures or examples) and just couldn’t get it. In the end, it was all beautiful and exactly what I wanted, but a little more info would have helped to ease my mind!
Bakery-Piece of Cake- A+ These guys are a hidden gem on the west side of town. Blink and you would miss the bakery, but they make a delicious, beautiful cake and you can’t beat the price! We admit, their website is waaay out of date. All of the cakes on the site (and pictures of happy couples) are from the 80s - ok, so they aren’t tech savvy, but they know how to make a darn good cake! We had 38 extra pieces of cake at our wedding and thought we’d be blessed with leftovers. Our guests gobbled up every single piece and are still talking about it!
Photographer-Lisa Rice Photography: More on Lisa soon, we're waiting for our pictures, but the teaser pic was fabulous!!
Photobooth-Shutterbooth Cincinnati: D+ Wow, what can we say? Fantastic idea. In fact, we are so glad we had a photobooth, it was a highlight of the wedding! The scrapbook was really worth the extra money, we've laughed our butts off looking at it! I really recommend a photobooth, but really would discourage working with Rob Schnee at Shutterbooth (the only Cincy franchisee). Communication is abominable. I’m talking weeks of lag time between return calls and email and then only after literally calling every day until I got a response. I didn't have a wedding coodinator, so it was really frustrating to have to chase his business. We paid up front in full by check and after a particularly bad week before the wedding where he missed a meeting, wouldn't return calls and hadn't coordinated logo and setup plan, we were very panicked he might take our money and not show. Not a good position to leave a bride in. Loved the photobooth but the ShutterBooth execution leaves a lot to be desired.
DJ-DJ Butlers Music by Request (Brian Benton): A+++ Brian was the life of the party. Our guests were blown away by how awesome Brian was and we were too! The music was great and he has the perfect DJ voice. He’s not annoying, cheesy or self promoting – which we wanted to avoid! He even brought the wedding party a round of drinks after the ceremony so we could wet our whistle without waiting in line to greet guests during the flip to reception. I know that’s not earth shattering, but it was just a nice touch that we appreciated!
Limousine - A Limousine Associates: A They did a great job! No muss no fuss! They were prompt, took us where we needed to be and the price was the best in town!
Rehearsal Dinner - Buca di Beppo: A This was a great place for our rehearsal dinner. We had a private room all to ourselves, it was close to the 20th Century Theatre and the food just kept coming! In fact, they sent us home with tons of leftovers! What a nice surprise to come home from our honeymoon and discover that my mom had frozen the leftovers so we had our first few meals prepared for us!
Hair Stylist - Mitchell's Salon and Spa (Carly): A I chose Mitchell’s because of proximity and, on the recommendation of another knotty, went with Carly for my updo. Wow, she was great! She was spot on with what I asked for, so nice to work with and my hair help up all night without a single dropped curl.
Nails - Venetian Spa: D I really did not have a good experience here. I had beautiful long natural nails that I had been growing out to give the manicurist something to work with for the wedding day and in one blink he cut them all off. Literally, below the fingertip, super short. It was just so disappointing. I think my guy was new. As the bride, there are so many pictures of your hands and my nails were already so pretty, it was a shame to walk out of there with a super short nails with just a so-so french manicure.
Makeup Artist – Brideface (Nancy): A+ I would never have splurged on this, I’ll be honest, Nancy is expensive! But she is a makeup genius! My Maid of Honor gave me her makeup application as my gift for the wedding because she knows how frugal I am and that I wouldn’t splurge here. Trust me, she’s worth the splurge! My makeup was soooo beautiful and yet very natural. It photographed beautifully and lasted flawlessly all night.
Alterations - Margaret Oldfield: B Margaret did a beautiful job on my dress, my veil, my rehearsal dress and my mom’s dress! The only reason I gave her a B is because she lives in the middle of nowhere…well, really past the middle of nowhere J She’s a far west sider (North Bend) and I’m a northerner. So fittings were a total pain. But she’s super nice and her work is impeccable. She did run a little higher than quoted, but in fairness, my dress was off the rack – so while I didn’t pay a lot for it, originally it was pricey and I’m told higher quality fabric is tougher to work with.
Wedding Gown – European Bridal: A I bought the dress for a steal at a sample sale. I loved how much personal attention I got at EB, despite being a sample sale, they were great to work with!
Tuxes – Folches: A FI and his guys were really happy with the service they got and that they weren’t subject to a high pressure upsell to spend more and get a free suit and all that nonsense.
Bridesmaid dresses – David’s Bridal: C All in all, they did fine. You get no personal attention at DB and they make everything just a little harder than it needs to be. But if you have out of town bridesmaids, they’re the most convenient place to take care of things.