Hello ladies. I finally sat down and wrote a review of our vendors. I know it really helped me when I was planning. Overall, we were really happy with everyone we worked with that day. It's hard to believe it has almost been a month.
Ameristar Hotel and Casino (Ceremony, Reception, Cake) A-
Ameristar was incredible to work with. We worked with Jennifer the entire time and she was incredible. She answered all of our questions, worked with us through all our meal choices and was there for everything. We did have two things that we weren’t crazy about, but understood. We used the outside area by the pool for our ceremony and prior to our wedding they were redoing some of the concrete work outside the pool. Because of some unforeseen issues, they couldn’t finish until after the wedding. Some of the grass was torn up because of this. We thought this would be an issue, but really once we got the chairs set up, you couldn’t notice. We also wanted to use our decorator to drape fabric from the ceiling. We weren’t allowed to use anyone but their inside decorator. We weren’t crazy about it, but in the end it all worked out. Overall we were so happy we went with Ameristar. Jennifer and the rest of the staff were incredible. Everyone gave rave reviews on the food and the cake was incredible. An excellent space with so many extras as well!
Finch on the Run Entertainment (DJ) A+
Owner Brian Finch is incredible. My sister used him for her DJ so when we were planning we knew there was only one option, Finch on the Run. Brian is so welcoming and easy to work with. He has high energy and knows how to keep your dance floor full all night. We decided at the last minute to add a dollar dance and to throw the bouquet and Brian rolled with our choices. He is affordable and just so much fun. I would highly recommend him! He has become another member of our family and my entire family will use him for any event we need a DJ for.
Meri Valentin (Photographer) A++
I was somewhat nervous in choosing a photographer. Both of us aren’t big picture people, we are usually the ones taking the pictures rather than being in them. We went to a bridal fair where Meri happened to be and she offered to take a picture of my ring sitting in a flower and then she would email it to me. I know it may sound simple, but seeing that picture and then meeting with her relaxed any concerns I/ we had. Meri is so relaxed and laid back and does such incredible work. She has a great eye for details and is very affordable. We just got our picture CDs and there are so many great ones. We also love that we got the rights to our pictures. We look forward to using her for family photos in the future.
Harris Academy of the Arts (Ceremony Musicians)
Musicians: A+ Contact person: B
When we decided to do an outdoor ceremony, I wasn’t sure what to do about music. We considered just plugging in a CD player or iPod. I had dreamed about walking down the aisle to a mix of piano and violin playing. I happened to stumble upon Harris and am so glad I did. We had a soloist and they worked with her, even setting up a time for her to rehearse with them. They sounded beautiful and so many of our guests commented on how great they sounded. We did want to have a song played off an iPod for our recessional song and the lady I worked with said that it wouldn’t be an issue. When the two musicians got there, they didn’t know anything about it, and in the end, couldn’t make it work. They covered fine though and I don’t think many people noticed the difference. In the end for what they were responsible for playing, they did a great job.
Signature Ceremonies (Officiant, Andrea Talbot) A++
Andrea was incredible to work with. We met with her and felt so comfortable with her. She wrote an incredible ceremony for us and made the whole process so easy. She provided sample readings, vow phrases, etc. that we could chose from and that allowed us to create such a personal ceremony for us. Andrea connected all of these items together and made it such a beautiful ceremony. She was also very flexible to work with. We made a change a few months before the ceremony realizing that having a unity candle would not be smart for an outdoor wedding and adding a sand ceremony instead. Andrea easily added the change in, which added so much to the ceremony. Our guests remarked at how they all were tearing up.
Visualities Videography (Videographer) A
I wasn’t sure about a videographer simply because of the cost. I saw a post by another bride about Visualities Videography and how affordable they were and decided to check it out. I’m glad I did. Shelley was so easy to work with and the price was more than right. We did hit a slight road bump in working with them as about six months before our wedding, Shelley and her husband moved out of state. We were really worried we would just lose our videographer, but she really worked with us. She offered to either refund our money, we could pay for an airline ticket for her to come back and film for us, or she would find a trusted individual to do the filming and then she would do the editing. We were really excited to have something to remember our day, but really couldn’t afford to pay any more to have her do the filming. We opted to have her find someone and could not have been happier. Clark did an excellent job filming. He was never in the way, but in looking around I feel like he was everywhere he needed to be and more. We are scheduled to get our video this week and cannot wait!
David’s Bridal (Wedding Dress) A
I know many people have struggled with David’s, but I really enjoyed working with them. I scheduled an appointment for myself, my two attendants, and my junior bridesmaid to come in on a Saturday to try on dresses. I knew going in it was a weekend and it would be busy. They had a ton of people who had come in that day to try on dresses without an appointment and that made it crazy, but we still got everything done. The attendant we worked with was great at giving suggestions, but also allowing us to pull different dresses. I found my dress that day and am so happy with it. I also used David’s for my alterations. They did a great job overall. They struggled a little getting my hem right, but were more than willing to fix it. I am really happy how I looked in the dress that night!
Creating Atmosphere (Flowers, Decorations, Atmosphere) A+
I am so glad we went with Creating Atmosphere. Prior to meeting Dustin, we were actually planning to do our own flowers and decorations. I am so glad we chose otherwise. When we first met we gave Dustin everything we hoped to have and then our budget. Not once did I feel like we couldn’t have the day of our dreams because of our budget. He and Marsha were more than willing to give us our incredible day with the budget we gave him. Throughout the planning process, Dustin was good to work with. I know others have commented on how he can be difficult to reach, but after working with him, I can see why and it was never an issue for us. As our day approached Dustin focused all of his attention on us and I realized how he puts his everything in to that one design. I never felt like my day was just another day. Upon seeing our flowers I was blown away. I had requested lilies and roses and he had delivered. Walking into the ballroom took our breath away. Our head table was decorated with tons of flowers, crystals, candles, and all this glassware that allowed the candlelight to dance off of. I am so glad we changed our minds and allowed Dustin to create our event. He truly took our breath away and we both feel like we made a friend in the process. Truly worth every penny and more!
Save the Dates, Invitations and Programs
I actually created our own printing them off our home printer. We did use FedEx/Kinkos though to cut many of our inserts and they did a great job.