It's super long, but here they are, all finished! They are also on my married bio, along with more pics! We got our disc of professional pictures today and they're great! Hair - Belle Epoque I don't normally go to this salon, but was looking for a downtown salon close to Club 1000 and a co-worker recommended this one. Darcy was the stylist that worked with me, although a few other stylists did the bridesmaids' hair. My hair turned out even better than I had hoped for! I loved the practice trial, but loved the day-of style 100 times better! The bridesmaids were all happy, too (as far as I know of!). We were able to bring in our own orange juice and champagne for Saturday morning mimosas and they even set up a table in the front window for us. Super cute environment and friendly employees = a great experience and way to start the day! They are on facebook or here is their website: http://www.belleepoque-kc.com/.
Make-Up - Emily Holmes I had gone back and forth on whether or not to do my own make up. I went for a trial with a professional make-up artist in April and hated it!! I was still undecided three weeks before the big day, so my friend suggested her hair stylist (who also applies makeup). I was a bit skeptical because I had already been disappointed after my first trial...I didn't want to get my hopes up only to be let down again. I went for a trial two weeks before the wedding and loved it! Emily was completely open and listened to the things I disliked about my first trial. I got so many compliments on my makeup on the day-of and was even told I could be a model in a bridal magazine! Even better, she only charges $35 AND came to me at Club 1000! Contact me if you would like Emily's number!
Cake - Kristin Lynch with Kristin's Cake Where do I even begin--I absolutely LOVED our cake! Seeing the cake was one of my favorite moments of the day. It was perfect and exactly as I had imagined! I had full trust in Kristin from the very start. The taste was amazing too...it was very moist, even a week and a half later after returning from our honeymoon! Numerous guests have told me that my cake was the best wedding cake they have ever had and I couldn't agree more. I might have to make it a yearly tradition to order a cake from her! In addition, her prices are great too, as she bakes cakes out of her house as a side job. She was very organized and quick to return our $100 deposit. Kristin is fantastic and I believe she can do ANYTHING you want! Here is her website: http://www.kristinscakegallery.com/index2.php#/home/. Kristin's Cakes is also on facebook!
Flowers - Linda Baca with A Floral Affair Linda was recommended by my cake baker, as she was the florist in her summer '09 wedding! I don't know a lot about flowers, so I wasn't super picky about the kind of flowers; my only requirement was that the bouquets be a mix of bright pink flowers. Linda was super nice and had a lot of great suggestions. She was very accommodating when I changed my mind a few times. The bouquets, arrangements for alter, and boutonnieres all turned out great! Great prices too...a couple hundred dollars less than another florist I met with!! She also threw in a free boutonniere for the ring bearer (didn't want to charge us for someone so young) and a free toss bouquet. Service on the other hand, wasn't as great as I had expected, given I was paying her hundreds of dollars. It wasn't horrible, but she wasn't the best at returning calls and it always took her awhile to respond to my emails. The flowers arrived about a half hour late on the day-of and were delivered by a girl I had never met. The delivery girl wasn't super friendly or helpful in pinning on boutonnieres. In the end, not a huge deal, but service could have been lots better! (Note: Linda did not do any of the reception decor - just flowers and alter arrangements for the ceremony.) Here's the website: http://afloralaffairkc.com/A_Floral_Affair_-_Kansas_City/Welcome.html.
Caterer - Brancato's We worked mainly with Brian Ingalls and, other than a few times when he didn't respond very quickly, he was great! The food was excellent and like the cake, I've been told by a number of guests that it was some of the best reception food they've ever had! They also supplied our table linens and have many different color options, as well as many colors of napkins to choose from. We decided to go with the rolled china option, which means they place the plates, napkins, and silverware at the buffet. However, we wanted the pink napkins on the tables with brown linens to add to the overall display of the room, so they allowed us to fold the napkins ourselves and they placed for free. They also supplied champagne glasses for the wedding party and table number stands at no additional charge. My mom said Brian was wonderful during set-up and very nice. He was also wonderful throughout the evening of the reception, asking Craig and me many times if there was anything we needed. Here is Brancato's website: http://www.brancatoscatering.com/index.html.
Photographer - Chris Bendet with Bendet Photography Chris and his wife, Dawndy, are absolutely amazing! I knew I wanted to hire him from our very first phone conversation. In fact, he was $500 more than another photographer we liked, but I wanted to hire Chris so badly that I gave up buying Starbucks for a year to make up the difference! He had lots of experience photographing at Club 1000 and was excited to be back for another. Our package included an engagement session and guestbook with the engagement photos, as well as the copyright to all wedding photos and a $300 credit towards wedding prints and/or an album. He was very open to some of the ideas I had and willing to take some photos like favorites of mine I found on the Internet. Our wedding party was very impressed with Chris and agreed that they never had as much fun taking pictures as on our wedding day! We rented a trolley and drove around the Westbottoms for pictures...Chris had scouted out the area multiple times the week prior and had taken pictures of each location to show us what he was thinking! He realized the night before that there was some construction that may slow us down, so he arrived 30 minutes early to ensure we'd have enough time. I was a bit concerned at first because we only had him for seven hours (which made planning the order of reception events a little tricky), but he ended up staying a little longer and the time factor wasn't even an issue. It's only been twelve days since our wedding and we ALREADY have the disc with over 1000 images. They are AMAZING!!!!! He also put together a slideshow with music that displays about 100 of the photos and burned that to CD as well. I couldn't be happier with the way our pictures turned out. I would recommend Bendet Photography a million times and will probably head back his direction for baby pictures in a few years! Here is his website: http://bendetphotography.com/. He's also on facebook!
Videographer - Matt Bishop with MI Studios Matt is my cousin, so of course I only have positive things to say about him! He lives and works in Davenport, Iowa (the Quad City area of Iowa/Illinois), but has done weddings all across the country. In just four short years, his business has far exceeded expectations. He was even voted "Best Wedding Video for 2009" on the Knot! He is so high in demand that our wedding date was planned around his availability because I wanted him as my videographer so badly. Despite being my cousin, he was very professional and seemed to capture every important moment of the day. We haven't received our video yet, but I have no doubt in my mind that it will be amazing, like the rest of his work! For more information, plese visit his website at http://www.mistudios.com/ or find his business on facebook!
DJ - Dave Pyle We received many compliments on our DJ...though I'm not sure it was him or the playlist I made. (See my planning blog for the playlist.) He did have a huge selection of songs to choose from, with very recent songs, and pretty much stuck to our playlist throughout the evening. The dance floor was packed the entire night, so I have no complaints!!!
Venue - Club 1000 We rented both the 3rd (Studio 1000) and 6th (Penthouse 1000) floors for our ceremony and reception, respectively. The venue was awesome. It's beautiful inside--mostly white interior, white chairs, and huge white light-lined windows with a great view of the city. The location is great, too--downtown KC and walking distance from many hotels. It requires very little decorating, as it's already very elegant. The bride and groom even get to go to the roof for pictures on the day-of. However, I'm so glad we're done dealing with the owner, John. He is very intimidating and controlling. You are required to choose from their list of vendors and he's not at all flexible with allowing otherwise. You will also be charged for the rehearsal and time it takes to decorate--things which I feel should be included in the rental of the space. He says he's very organized...that's a complete lie. He had agreed to let us come in Friday before to decorate, but in the meantime booked another event for Friday event. He failed to let us know as he had no record of telling us that; therefore, we had to scramble around at the last minute to make other arrangements. Due to the inconvenience, he said he wouldn't charge us to decorate, but then "forget" he told us that. We asked for the bar to serve Boulevard products, and he agreed; yet there was no Boulevard beer at the reception. There were times throughout our engagement when we'd send an email with questions and never get a response. When we met with him the week before the wedding, he kept answering the phone and doing other things, rather than giving us his full and undivided attention. He also criticized the DJ we hired just 10 days before our wedding (even though the DJ was from his required list), which I felt was very unprofessional. In the end, it was nothing major or anything that ruined the day, but it seemed like a lot of unnecessary stress and aggravation leading up to the event. We're still waiting for our damage deposit... His assistant, Carla, on the other hand is awesome. It's a great venue, and I wouldn't not book it, but be prepared to deal with a jerk throughout the entire planning process. Here is the Club 1000 website: http://club1000kc.com/.
Wedding Gown and Tuxes - Mia's Bridal I wasn't overly impressed with Mia's, but didn't have any problems either. My gown arrived on time and everything went as planned. I went in for two fittings, and both ran very smoothly. Mia is very sweet and professional. We worked with Jessica for the tuxes. I loved her! She made things very simple and was very organized. All of the tuxes fit and there were no problems. We received 10% back on my dress for renting our tuxes there and (I think) got two of the tuxes for free.
Bridesmaid Dresses - David's Bridal None of my bridesmaids are in Kansas City and I wanted to make it easy for each girl to order their dress. David's Bridal made it very easy for each girl to go into their local store, try on the dress for size, and order it! Each dress arrived less than a month after it was ordered! The girls loved the style of dress and said it was very comfy. Make sure you make an appointment before going into a David's, as they're kind of picky about that. Rehearsal Dinner - Classic Cup We really wanted to show our out-of-town guests different parts of the city. Since our ceremony/reception was downtown, we chose the Plaza for our rehearsal dinner. Stephen Malloy at the Classic Cup was great to work with. He was out-of-the-office a lot, but always seemed to return my calls in a timely manner. We were in the basement of the restaurant, a place which they call the Cellar. It's very private and has very access from a free parking garage. They have a nice selection of meals to choose from...you choose three and your guests order from those three on the night-of. Included in each was a salad, entree, and dessert. We choose the option for a cash bar and everything ran very smoothly. We received many compliments from our guests and I feel the restaurant was well worth the money. Transportation - Crossroad Tours We rented a trolley to drive us around the Westbottoms for pictures. The trolley arrived promptly and the driver was completely okay with our photographer directing him where to go. We were able to bring aboard a cooler of beer and bottle of champagne for the ride! Crossroads always responded very quickly to any email or question I had and notified me right away when I over payed them by $100. Very friendly and nice staff. We had zero problems with this company and I would recommend them anytime! Here is their website: http://crossroadtours.com/.