I wanted to get my vendor reviews out asap so hopefully I remembered all of them. So here we go!
Venue: Landmark Center. Grade: A-
I knew once I toured the Landmark Center that it was perfect for my winter wedding. It is so beautiful and the architecture alone really doesn't require any extra decor if you don't want it. Betsy was great with communication and when we went to meet with her, she always was prepared and knowledgeable. I wasn't quite as pleased with the alcohol service (they require you to go through the LC for it) because while we got a discount on our beer kegs, it felt like the amount they would give to each person was a little too small. Plus they distributed both the wine and beer in clear plastic solo cups, which my mom was not pleased with because she felt that for the prices we were paying, they could have used at least glass. Not a huge deal, just a little annoyance. Overall the venue was perfect and everyone loved it.
Photographer: Pixelposey Photography. Grade: A+ (pending final photos)
Troy and his assistant (blanking on her name at the moment) were amazing. Troy really clicked for my mom and I when we met with him several times because he felt like he was more of a friend than just a vendor. He was hilarious and so easy to relax around and his assistant was the same way. He did a great job of finding spots to take photos and kind of commandeer the timeline for the day and keep us all on task. We got a great price for him since we were doing a Friday winter wedding, and he was worth every penny and more. I LOVE our teaser photos and I absolutely cannot wait to see them all. Everyone complimented how great he was at the wedding as well. I will recommend him to anyone!
Videographer: Jason Lorge at Capture the Moments Productions: A+ (pending final video—should be getting this within a week or so!)
I got Jason’s info and rec from seeing others here on TK talk about him. We originally didn’t really have the budget for a videographer and I only wanted the best for the video since I love the modern wedding videos. About a week before the wedding, our budget loosened up a little and we were able to book Jason, and I am SO happy that we did. He was great with being there and up close without feeling like he was intruding at all. After watching the trailer highlight video, I was blown away by how awesome it was and how much footage he was able to get while we were so natural and unaware of him being right there. His prices really can’t be beat for his quality. My whole family was incredibly impressed with the trailer and I am sure he will be recommended from many of my family and friends after this.
Caterer: Deco Catering. Grade: B+
I loved our preview tasting, and was excited because I heard so many good things about Deco. I wanted to give them an A but their communication was a bit lacking. We were expecting to get some contact with them a few weeks before the wedding, but my mom had to seemingly pull teeth to get them to respond to her about a week before the wedding to finalize everything. I don’t know if that was because they had a lot of holiday events or what, but it was kind of a bummer. They did throw in a lot of freebies though, so that was nice. The food was fantastic and I was SO happy with all of it. I heard a lot of great compliments from guests too, so that was awesome. Overall I am really happy with the food we got!
Brides Dress: Classy Consignments Bridal. Grade: A
I have no complaints here. I went in and received pleasant service and they have a HUGE selection of consignment dresses. I found my dress pretty quickly and it was about 80% off the original sale price (it was a sample gown from a bridal salon so it even had never been worn before). The dressing room was tiny but that was to be expected for a small shop like that. Very happy with the great deal that I got!
Bridesmaids Dresses: Davids Bridal. Grade: A
My BMs and I went to the Roseville Har Mar location and had no problems or complaints. We got good service and the dresses came in with plenty of time and my BMs had no problems with their dresses.
Men’s Tuxes: Savvi Formalwear. Grade: B-
I was so happy with Savvi up until the week of the wedding. We got a great discount from a game I played at a wedding fair. J got his tux for free as well which was great. We picked the tuxes and ordered them from the Rosedale location. The manager helped us at that time and was really great. The ordering process seemed to go smoothly and I did like that the GMs could get sized anywhere and submit their measurements electronically since many of them were out of town. My complaints come when on the Wednesday before the wedding, my dad showed up to pick up both his tux and both of my brothers’, and they told him that one of my brothers’ tuxes wasn’t ready yet and would be there the next day. Considering we had submitted the measurements over a month prior, this seemed pretty unacceptable to me. They offered no real explanation for it except that it was on the next day’s delivery truck. This didn’t sit well with me since we had ordered them SO long ago, the delivery should have been organized better. Then when they were picking up the tuxes once it HAD arrived, for whatever reason the store did not have marked down that we ordered black shirts and white ties for my brothers (they thought it looked cool and wanted to be “different” as the ushers) and so didn’t have white ties available. WTF. We went through this whole ordering process and specified white ties and black shirts and then they just “don’t” have them? The girls at the store were pretty clueless as to what to do, and with only the day before the wedding, it was pretty frustrating. My brothers ended up having to go with the white shirt/black tie combo in the end which was fine but not what we wanted. Overall, a good business and decent prices, but I wish we would have gotten better service at the end.
DJ – Bellagala. Grade: A-
We went with Bellagala after getting one of those emailed discount deals (can’t remember which one it was). It was an amazing discount so we were pretty happy that we got a good company for that price. They have a really great online tool to make your playlists and it is organized pretty well. If you are willing to get the DJ assignment within a week before your wedding, the company is a good fit for you. I know a lot of people don’t like that, but I didn’t mind. We had Ethan as our DJ and he was super nice and listened to all our specifications about what we wanted. There were a few times where he was delayed in announcing something, but it wasn’t too big of a deal. My only complaint was that I felt his mix of music should have started into the dancing a little sooner, but again, not a HUGE deal. Glad we got such a great deal!
Photobooth: DIY Photobooth with Sparkbooth software. Grade: B
I had seen this software mentioned on TK so I looked it up and decided to download it. It was $59 so I figured with the purchase of one extra ink cartridge and some photo paper, it only cost about $120 for the whole thing which was significantly cheaper than paying a photobooth company! We set it up with our printer and my laptop in a corner of the atrium and we had one of my mom’s friends sort of supervise the station after dinner. It was really easy to use, or so I thought, but she had some trouble getting it started despite my very detailed written instructions, haha. I had to end up going over there and making it work, which was a little annoying but oh well. People enjoyed themselves and we have all of the photos saved to the computer so that we can print them and put them in a book eventually. A pretty good deal for what we got!
Bride’s Makeup & Hair: Smart & Chic Bride. Grade: Company- B, Artist- A
I gave two separate grades because I felt the company and the individual artist had different performances. I was trying to book with Smart and Chic right when their merger and management changeover was happening. It was frustrating for a while trying to get ahold of anyone to answer me about booking an artist. Some time in October or November, I was finally given an email explaining the merger of the company and take over of new management, and there was an apology for the poor communication. Once that was given, the communication and emails were much more prompt and sufficient. I had Amber B for both hair and makeup and she was fabulous. She got there right when I did and was super sweet. She listened to all of my ideas for hair and makeup and pretty much gave me exactly what I was looking for. It was awesome. I did the airbrushing and I am really happy that I did because my makeup stayed all night and even when I shed some tears, my makeup didn’t really run much. My hair stayed in place without feeling all crunchy and that was what I was most worried about. Even better, she kept my hair together by using only 4 bobby pins! That was amazing.
Officiant: Pastor Craig Richter. Grade: A+
Craig is a family friend that my great grandma worked for as his secretary at church for 35+ years. My grandparents and mom went to his church for a long time, and he married my parents. He also baptized me and my brothers, so he has a lot of close ties with my family. It was pretty special that he was able to marry us and when we met with him, he was so sweet and caring. His sermon was so personal and touching. Many people came up to us after the ceremony and told us how much they liked the ceremony because of our pastor. He is a really great guy and I am so happy he was able to be in my wedding.
Rehearsal Dinner Venue: Eagle Street Grill. Grade: A
We chose Eagle Street because of its proximity to the Landmark Center (it was walkable after the rehearsal) and because of its old 20’s esque feel. We rented out the whole basement floor which was designed like an old speakeasy. It was really fun and the food was fantastic. Everyone had a great time. The communication with their event organizer, Meg, was really prompt and she did a good job of keeping me informed. I would definitely recommend them for any event!
Wedding Hotel for Getting ready/staying overnight: St Paul Hotel. Grade: B-
I love the St Paul Hotel. The architecture and décor are unmatched anywhere else in the cities. The design fit perfectly with the theme/feel of my wedding so I was really excited to get ready there. We had an extended Landmark King Suite for the girls, and a regular King Suite for the guys to get ready. The getting ready room was gorgeous and was on the corner facing Rice Street and the Landmark Center, so we had a great view from the windows. We were planning on having a little after party in the larger suite after the wedding, and so there were probably about 10 of us in there, just talking and eating a bit of food (we were all so tired that it wasn’t as if we were partying with keg stands or anything). Security came twice and the second time told us we had to shut it down, which really upset my mom (it was the first time she could unwind all night since she was also essentially the event planner). We informed the hotel prior that we would be having people there after the wedding and they said it was fine. They KNEW we were going to do this and yet still decided to book people on the other side of us (we were on the corner so only shared one wall). I thought it was really poor planning on their part. My grandparents also booked a room for the night and had to cancel since my great grandma went to the hospital after passing out, so they were going to stay there with her until she could go home. My grandpa was irate when the hotel would not let him leave without paying for the reservation. It was an emergency situation and for good business practices, they should have released him from his reservation. I don’t know. The front desk was just kind of crappy over all to us(there is more to that but I don’t really want to type more of a novel than I already have). I love the building, don’t love the management.
Invitations and Programs: Michaels BRIDES collection. Grade: A
I got a ton of 40% off coupons and bought the invitations with these, making it $100 for 120 invitations and 180 programs, which I thought was a great deal. They were DIY so I downloaded the templates for the pages off of the invitations and programs, and then printed them from my computer. Printing went great and the assembly really wasn’t bad at all.
Bouquet: DIY but got brooches from fabulousbrooch.com. Grade: A
I decided to do a brooch bouquet so instead of paying a ton for antique brooches at antique stores, I got a ton of awesome brooches from this website. They were all between $2-3 per brooch which, with the other materials needed to make the brooch, made my bouquet about $100 total. I love it so so much and I love that I get to use it as art in my house now forever since it will not die.
I hope I remembered them all.
ETA: I forgot one!
Alterations: Brenda with Amazing Alterations. Grade: A+
I looooved Brenda. I heard about her from TK and that she had good prices. She is a little far for me to drive, so I was hoping she would be worth it. She totally was! Her office space is really plush and cozy, I loved it. She makes you feel like you are her only client, and she did some serious magic to my dress. I had a TON of stuff done to it and the price was super reasonable. She did it in incredible time. I had 3 appts within one month from the wedding! It was awesome. My 11 point bustle stayed in all night, so I was also really pleased with that. Overall I will recommend her to anyone!