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May 22 Vendor Reviews (Loooonnng)

I'm back from my honeymoon with reviews!
I truly had an all-star vendor team and the wedding went perfectly!
I recommend everyone on my list! Feel free to contact me for additional info!

VENDOR REVIEWS

PHOTOGRAPHER Kara Shultz
By far Kara was one of our absolute favorite vendors! She was one of the first vendors we booked after the reception location and over the course of the year Kara kept in touch and became a friend, sounding board, and much more! She did our engagement photos which we absolutely love! Neither myself nor my husband enjoy getting our pictures taken but she made it fun and natural. She actually also took some dog photos for my parents for a Christmas present too! Her work so far has been great and I can’t imagine I’ll be disappointed with the wedding photos! At the day of the wedding she showed up early and went to work! She arranged photos took some natural candid shots and generally kept me calm. Throughout the day she provided guidance when needed but generally kept out of the way.  At the reception she even ended up having to sew my bustle since it broke! She was wonderful and it really felt like having a friend along with us! Sunday night after the wedding Kara gave us a sneak preview of 2 pictures before we left on our honeymoon!
Grade: Pending Final Photos (As of Now A+)
Website : www.karaschultz.net

VIDEOGRAPHER Logi Productions (Dan & Emmett)
Wonderful team of two videographers! These guys were funny, kept out of the way and worked wonderfully with our photographer! They were quick to respond to emails throughout the planning process and very accessible.  I can’t really rate them till I see the final result but I really loved working with them. 
Grade: Pending Final Product
Website:  http://www.logiproductions.com/

FLORIST GNG Design
Gina was another wonderful vendor ! (We really had a great bunch). She was a great communicator, responding with 24 hours each time though usually much quicker! When we were researching we looked into another florist we really liked but she forgot our first meeting so Gina’s communication was a treat!
She took my raw ideas and ran with them. I gave her only a few basics and she created arrangements better than I could have imagined! The flowers lasted all day! ( We did decide to forgo hydrangeas due to their sensitivity but they were not missed!!)  She delivered and set up everything on time and even had spare bouts at the church in case they were crushed by the boys in transport.  She is super sweet and full of ideas and very affordable!

Grade: A+
Website: www.gngdesigns.com


HAIR Brides By Kelly
Our original vendor cancelled 2 months before the wedding so we booked LisaMarie fairly last minute.  She was affordable and had a ton of great reviews and pictures on the website.  I scheduled a trial with her and she was so sweet! She took two pictures I had for my inspiration and combined them into something so unique and so perfect for ME! She gave lots of tips for the day of the wedding too.  For the actual final hairstyle she did a wonderful job.  My hair was better than the trial and really stayed up from 8AM to Midnight! Between her and our make-up lady we were way ahead of schedule!  My bridesmaids loved her as well, one girl had short hair but after LisaMarie got done with her she had a great updo that looked like she had looonngg hair! 

Grade: A+
Website: http://www.bridesbykelly.com/

MAKE-UP Karismatic

Karisa was a friendly vendor whose work was beautiful.  My make-up looked natural and stayed on all night. She worked quickly and was done with 3 of us within two hours!  The only issue I had is the communication.  She was in the process of moving and remodeling during our planning stage so communication was sporadic at times and we didn’t schedule a trial till 2 days before the wedding! The timing worked out great but at times I worried if I really was leaving things up to chance.  If it wasn’t for the great reviews I may have ditched her early on but I persisted and the results were wonderful!

Grade: A-/B+
Website: http://www.karismatic.com/

CEREMONY Divine Mercy Polish Mission
This all-Polish Catholic Church is gorgeous! It’s only a three year old church but they are very organized! Despite being all Polish (as in no English masses EVER), they agreed to do a bilingual ceremony for us.
The Pastor was pragmatic though very traditional.  He was not demanding and he let us do the marriage prep things with other churches so we could get them done in English.  He did forget we rescheduled rehearsal but he showed up fifteen minutes later and still did rehearsal.  The wedding day he did wonderfully with the bilingual ceremony giving a very conservative sermon in Polish and then something a bit more contempory in English.  Overall the ceremony was beautiful and went smoothly! We did not know when/if we could kiss so we didn’t but since PDA isn’t us, it was ok.

Grade: A
Website: http://www.milosierdzie.us/

RECEPTION White Pines
I love LOVE love this reception hall!  It is so unique and so spacious! The staff is wonderful and accommodating!  We had several somewhat unique requests and they helped us figure out ways to make it work. We had several DIY projects that needed to be set up the day of and they pulled everything off beyond my imagination.  They even used some leftover petals from the wedding the night before to complete the look we had put together.  They cut down hydrangeas, put them in our vases, set up votives we brought, put out wine we had brought, set out the favors, the escort card table, and much more! When I walked in Saturday evening I was in tears at how beautiful things looked! Ginger was in contact with us throughout the night making sure everything was going as we wanted. And at the end of the night Ginger and her staff helped us pack everything! So helpful!!!   The space is really one of a kind and the staff superb! We had several compliments on the site, even from my very traditional Polish family who usually preferred the traditional banquet hall!

Grade: A+
Website: http://www.whitepinesgolf.com/weddings.php

LIMO M&M Limos
On time, clean, personable…not sure what more to ask of a Limo company.
They were affordable and got us everywhere we needed to go on schedule.

Grade: A
Website: http://www.chicagolandlimo.com/

LINENS Chair Couture
Carina and Czarina were yet another wonderful vendor we worked with. They communicated well and when I had a minor panic attack about our linens they met up with us in Starbucks and set up a mock table.
They really did a wonderful job at the reception site and everything worked out perfectly.  I also must mention they were more affordable than any other linen vendor that we looked at.

Grade: A+
Website: http://www.thechaircouture.com

BRIDESMAID DRESSES NetBride
We looked at and tried on dresses at House Of Brides but ordered thru Netbride.  They have a wonderful customer service department and ship quickly.  The dresses were much cheaper than at HOB and arrived a month early!

Grade : A+
Website: http://www.netbride.com/

BRIDES DRESS Eva’s Bridal Chicago
I wish I remembered who my consultant was but she was a godsend! She took my pictures and brought me several dresses that weren’t really what I pictured.  But she also let me and my mom pull several dresses.  What ended up happening is that I loved the dresses she pulled and hated the ones we pulled!
The dress came in three weeks early and fit perfectly with very few alterations needed.

Grade: A
Website: http://www.evasbridalsofchicago.com/


ALTERATIONS Teresa’s Bridal
This lady is nuts, and likes to procrastinate if you let her. BUT anytime you walk into her shop its crowded for a good reason! Her rates are low and her work is great.  She did a bustle, shortened it, adjusted the heavily beaded straps all for $100.  Now I did go against her advice for the type of bustle I wanted and it ended up breaking just as she said it would.  This lady is wonderful and works well and quickly.  She will make you a veil to match your dress if you like her too! If you are a worrywart like me, give her a date a week before your actual wedding so you can take you dress home sooner!  She will steam it for you too!

Grade: A+
Website: http://www.yelp.com/biz/teresas-weddings-and-fashion-chicago

TUXES Men’s Warehouse
Simple ordering process with this vendor.  Suits got in on time, and though one of the groomsmen got a the wrong jacket, they still got it in before the wedding. No complaints here.

Grade: A
Website: http://www.menswearhouse.com

FAVORS/CHOCOLATES Dan’s Chocolates
I had originally planned to make my own truffles but with all the other DIY projects I decided not to. I looked into buying truffles in bulk and Dan’s website came up.  The prices are fabulous! I didn’t think I could afford truffles but the bulk items are a great price.  The order came in quickly and was right on time.  The chocolates were small (as expected) and delicious! We had many compliments on how tasty they were!

Grade: A+
Website: http://www.danschocolates.com/

DYI FLOWERS
Costco
We ordered 300 yellow carnations from CostCo for our escort card platform. They came in on time and fresh .  They had very vivid color and it was pretty uniform.  They were not open all the way so they need to be ordered 2-3 days before the event. I would recommend flowers from Costco.

Grade: A
Website: http://www.costco.com/

Fifty Flowers
We ordered yellow tinted hydrangeas from this company.  They were the only ones that sold tinted hydrangeas that did not cost an arm and a leg.  The customer service rep called after the order was placed and verified that we understood how to care for them and other information.  They came in as scheduled and were so beautiful.  Vivid color, carefully and individually packaged, fresh, and perfect.  We had them delivered Thursday morning and they were still fresh Saturday night after 3 water changes.  They give you very detailed instructions on how to make them last and it worked.  The color did not bleed or fade and several people requested to take them home at the end of the night.

Grade: A+
Website: www.fiftyflowers.com

INVITES Liz Sage
We found Joy from LizSage on Etsy after posting an Alchemy request.  She was local and would work with materials we had already purchased.  She truly worked with what we wanted and even when we were being picky she would create new versions.  The end product was wonderful and perfect.  She gave us several options for printing , whether we wanted to print ourselves, or have her print, or have her print and cut.  After the invites were done we asked her to use the design for our escort cards, wine labels, table numbers, and monogram.  It all looked cohesive and created a great theme.  Joy was easy to work with and full of ideas.  She went above and beyond to get the right font with the right accent marks for our Polish versions and to get the right colors.  I would highly recommend her!

Grade: A+
Website: http://www.etsy.com/shop/lizsage

PAPER PRODUCTS Cards and Pockets
We ordered paper materials from this company due to prices and selection.  They had just the right colors and it was made easy to select them due to the samples they send to you for a low cost.  The paper is high quality and versatile.  Our invite printer loved their white cardstock because it was slightly textured and added just a little something to the invite.  They also  occasionally have a great promotion for 25% off on your order, great for bulk purchases!

Grade: A
Website: http://www.cardsandpockets.com/
   
DJ AndreTermanowski Music Non Stop Entertainment
Andre is a Polish-American DJ who specializes in bilingual events.  He really worked the crowd and played NON-STOP.  Several guests commented that he never left the DJ stand after dinner.  He played a mix that appealed to young and old, Polish and American, contemporary and traditional.  He communicated very well with us about the entrance and order of events.  I would highly recommend him not only for bilingual events but also American events.

Grade: A+
Website: http://mnsdj.com/

VEIL Bella Bridal on Etsy
I wanted a simple veil and that is exactly what I got! The first one I ordered was too short for the dress but I was able to easily exchange it for the one I wanted. The veil came in quickly and was just the right elegant touch.

Grade: A
Website: http://www.etsy.com/shop/BellaBridalVeils

PAINTED CHAMPAGNE FLUTES jfoleydesigns on Etsy
We wanted customized glasses for the toast and found a vendor who sold painted glasses.  We sent our monogram to her and she used it to make a pattern on the glasses.  She showed us a rough copy, then the pre-kiln painted version, and a final version.  She was very easy to work with and the her work is beautiful.

Grade: A
Website: http://www.etsy.com/shop/jfoleydesigns

REHEARSAL DINNER RockBottom Lombard Location
I am somewhat biased since my brother is the executive chef, but I love this restaurant.  The service is friendly and the food is delicious. They have a large variety to choose from so everyone was pleased.  And of course their beer is great!  We had a good time and were well fed and happy.

Grade: A+
Website: http://www.rockbottom.com/


VOCALIST Elegant Ensembles    Robyn Vitson

We wanted an American to join our church’s Polish organist so we hired an extra female vocalist to sing Ave Maria and a few other songs.  Robyn worked with our organist to select songs and he kept complimenting her.  She has a beautiful voice and sounded great in the solos and duets.
I would highly recommend her to anyone looking for something a little extra for their ceremony.

Grade: A
Website: http://www.eemusicians.com/index_fs.html

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