Iowa-Des Moines

Vendor Reviews - LONG!

Ceremony: St. Cecilia Catholic Church B: I’m giving them a B simply because they did what they were supposed to, marry us. The church is beautiful and they have large rooms available for the wedding party to get ready in which was super helpful. I was disappointed to get a call Wednesday afternoon before the wedding from the wedding coordinator at the Church informing me that the whole front sidewalk was torn up due to pipes breaking below them. The front of the church was nicely accented with bright orange construction fence the day of the wedding, but we got married none the less. Its nothing they could have prevented, but for paying what we did for the church I was hoping to get to enjoy the beauty of the entryway for photos and our grand exit. The recommended ceremony musicians were great at the ceremony, although a bit of a pain to deal with during the planning process. The church wedding coordinator and the musicians were also talking smack about my programs in front of me at the rehearsal which did not make me very happy. If they had asked to view a copy of the final programs before the rehearsal, then I could have made the necessary changes. 18 hours before the wedding is not the time to be complaining about them. But either way, the ceremony was beautiful and we were married which was the whole role the church needed to play. All in all I give them a B for doing what they were supposed to. B Photography: Nuzum Photography (Des Moines, Iowa) A: I loved our photographers, they were one of the best decisions I made during my planning process. I had another photographer booked, who was just a basic low budget photographer. When I saw an engagement shoot our photographers did I fell in love with their style. I was able to talk to them and work out a deal so that I was able to switch from my old photographers to them without loosing any money, even with loosing my deposit to my old photographer. I loved working with Steve and Ashely, they are a husband and wife team, so its awesome to get two angles of every shot. They never miss a beat, while Steve is taking photos of details or more photojournalistic type shots, Ashley is taking the posed shots, or the important shots of cake cutting, etc. My Husband is not very open to having his photo taken, and Steve and Ashely were able to make him very comfortable, and get some great shots of him. I highly recommend them, they are absolutely amazing! A Coordinator/Decorator: Cynthia Betts/Tonda Upchurch with Special Events A: During the planning process Cynthia was invaluable, she helped me our so much, I don’t know how I would have done it with her. We hired Cynthia and her crew to do centerpieces, set up and reception décor, along with florals. The flowers were amazing! She really nailed what I had in mind, a rustic, organic, textural bouquet with muted burnt orange and red colors. The centerpieces at the reception were beautiful, my one complaint is that is seems like she sorta ‘oversold’ them to me. Her descriptions included parts that weren’t there the day of the wedding, but they were still beautiful none the less. I was very pleased with them even as they were. Tonda worked with us directly the day of the wedding. She was amazing, she was on the ball, kept us on schedule, kept me stress free and did every little job that needed to be taken care of at the ceremony and reception. I can’t say enough about how tremendously helpful she was, I honestly have no idea how I would have done it without her. A Cake Baker: Andrea Rouse A+: The wedding cake was one of the highlights of the night for me, it was beautiful, exactly like I had imagined and tasted delicious! Andrea was super easy to work with, I probably changed my mine about 4 or 5 times during the planning process, but I was thrilled with what we finally settled on. I loved that Andrea comes to your house for consultations, it made scheduling that in much easier for us (especially with a little one) and she has a great selection of flavors to choose from. Her prices were unbeatable, we spoke with some bakers in the area who were more than double her cost per slice. The wedding cake the day of the wedding, however, tasted like it cost a million bucks. Am highly recommend Andrea! A+ Catering: Grand Times Catering A+: Julie and Lindie Phipps of Grand Times Catering are two of the nicest people we have even met, and they make the best BBQ I have ever had in my life! We hadn’t heard of them before a friend of ours recommended them, as soon as we met with them and did a tasting we knew they would be our caterers. We had BBQ sandwiches, Baked Beans, Potato Salad, Cheesy Potatos, Lemonade and Iced tea for $7.85/ per person! And it was SO good! We got so many compliments asking who catered, and there was plenty of food, everyone was able to get 2nds and we even took the remaining food home with us and the end of the night, already packaged up and ready to go. For a casual menu it was perfect, we loved loved loved everything on our plates and working with the Phipps was so easy. I highly recommend them! A+ DJ: Nick Walke with Jambox LLC A+: I cannot say enough good things about Nick and his crew. From day one Nick was amazing to work with. FI was difficult about hiring a DJ as he thought it would be easier (cheaper) to hook up an Ipod. I didn’t like the idea and my wedding planner (Cynthia Betts) contacted Nick on our behalf and worked us an amazing deal on his services. The day of the wedding Nick was fantastic. We had given him quite a long list of must plays, and he started off with quite a few of them. He easily read the crowd to see what was working to get them up dancing, and what wasn’t, and adjusted his play list accordingly, a key to being a great DJ. We were spitting out random requests at him later in the night (some of which we could only remember lyrics, and not the name of the song) and he always had them in his computer ready to play as the next song. I cannot even express how highly I recommend Nick with Jambox LLC and his crew. A+ Reception: Seven Oaks Recreation A: Carol at Seven Oaks was great to work with during the planning process. There were a couple miscommunications but everything worked out in the end. We loved Seven Oaks as our reception location, it was beautiful and rustic, like we were looking for. The rental fee included a bar tender for 6 hours which was great, and they were really flexible with hosting the bar options, open to whatever we decided we wanted to do. Carol drew us out a detailed floor plan which was very helpful for the setting up and decoration process, they provided enough tables and chairs for anything we needed. We loved the options of the ski lift for guests to view the fall foliage, bonfire in the evening, etc, although being as cold as it was we ended up passing on there options, although it was great to have a patio directly off the building for guests to enjoy as well. All in all our time spent planning and hosting our even at Seven Oaks was great, and I highly recommend them! A

Re: Vendor Reviews - LONG!

  • edited December 2011
    Thanks for that review!  How many hours did you end up using your photographers?
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  • edited December 2011
    Going into the day we had them for 5 hours, and we actually ended up adding on 2 additional hours that day, so we could get all the reception events covered. So it was about 7-8 hours total.
  • edited December 2011
    So glad to hear that everything came through so well for you!  :-)  Congrats again!
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