Hello Knotties!!!! Haven't posted in a while but when I was actively visiting the community the reviews were my favorite part! Super excited to be able to write my own!!!! I am missing Pittsburgh terribly (we live in the Poconos now). Planning a wedding from OOT with a fiance who travels for a living was definitely difficult (as well as emotional, not having my mom and friends around) but we pulled it off! The fall semester started already so our honeymoon plans will be put off until next year! Hope all is well in wedding planning land!!!!
Gown: David’s Bridal: A
I went to DB’s on McKnight Rd. I was fortunate as I knew our sales rep, Jamie, from volunteering together. She made it a very fun experience! She no longer works there but anytime I went back to purchase misc items the staff was always super nice. I did not utilize their alterations though so I cannot comment on that.
Bridesmaid dresses: Candalina Bridal: A
I selected this shop because they carried the designer I wanted and were the ONLY ones (out of 3) that responded to any inquiries I made about pricing (I ended up moving 5 hours away and didn’t have the time to go to multiple stores). They allowed me to bring champagne and even had glasses waiting for us. Unfortunately, after seeing the fabric in person, it was just too heavy for an outdoor summer wedding. I can’t remember our sales reps name, but she was very friendly and made us feel comfortable (as did anyone we came into contact with there). The girls dresses arrived on time and the color turned out beautifully. We did not utilize their alterations.
Guys attire: Tuxedo Junction: A+
Our guys wore suspenders and bow ties from Etsy (no jackets or vests) but they did purchase their pants, shirts and shoes from Tuxedo Junction in Robinson. They were so accommodating as we live out of town, and made arrangements if necessary, to have items ready at multiple locations since our gmen were a bit scattered. Also because our venue was in Butler they had one man’s attire ready at the location in Wexford, which is much closer. My husband was the main contact but whenever they couldn’t reach him (he travels for a living) they called me and were wonderful to work with.
Invites: Ruff House Art: A+
I researched invitations for weeks!!!! Ruff House Art is based out of Kansas I believe. The quality of their work is superior! They happily worked with me through all of the edits and our final product was more beautiful than I could have imagined. We didn’t have a large budget for our wedding, but I knew I wanted more unique invites, so we spent a few extra dollars and it was well worth it!
Officiant: We had a personal friend from California officiate our wedding.
DJ: Michael Rey of Angel Productions: A
I met Mike through my previous employer, and while I had no solid feedback from his past experience, I really liked the idea of personally knowing as many vendors as I could, so I took a chance. He gave us a great deal, but even seeing his regular pricing, was great compared to other DJs I researched. I gave him a ton of “must play” songs, haha, I think too many. Some of the songs I really wanted to dance to were played while I was still “mingling” so I asked him to play some of them again later. His communication was great regarding song requests from guests (as I had told him only the BP was allowed to make requests). He had a great attitude, very personable. He had never been to Succop before and arrived early to make sure he could set up a smaller speaker at our ceremony location. I am very glad that I booked him!
Make up: Clare of Ciel Cosmetics: A++
Seriously, could Clare be anymore awesome?! I had her do my trial the morning of my bridal shower (which I cried several times at and then had to drive 5 hours home) and my makeup still looked ravishing!!! She came to us the day of the wedding and me, my girls, and my mom all looked fantastic the day of. She is worth every single penny!!!!!!!
Hair: I had a personal friend from a salon in New Castle, PA do our hair!
Cookies: Lori Hites: A+
As I’ve said previously, we moved 5 hours away, and all the family on my side lives in Michigan and Ohio. I asked our caterer if he could recommend anyone for our cookie table. Lori was super easy to work with and very reasonably priced ($5/dozen). We didn’t get to eat any cookies the day of, but thankfully my MIL snagged some for us and they were fantastic!!!!!! She even coordinated with our caterer and dropped them off at the venue for us.
Cake & Cupcakes: Bella Christies: A++
I heard of Bella Christie’s while doing a charity function for work about 2 years ago. My husband and I loved doing our tasting, they were so nice and laid back. The cake was pretty simple, 2 tiers w/raspberry and strawberry layers inside, 2 edible flowers, icing pearl strands, and lace around the bottom…. It was so much more beautiful than I could have imagined!!!!!! And veryyyy delicious (even a week later!!!!) We opted to serve mini cupcakes instead of cake. They had a TON of flavors to pick from, it was hard to narrow it down!!!!! While we only got to sample a few afterwards, we got lots of feedback that they were delicious!
Accommodations: Days Inn Butler: C+
This is important for anyone getting married in Butler as they have very few hotels in the area! I’ve never been there before so wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I got feedback from several people that they were told all the rooms were booked, they couldn’t do first floor rooms, or they had to book 2 days. While I’m not sure what really happened, as our friends/family could have easily not mentioned our room block when calling etc… I did notice that you have to talk to the sales manager to get reliable information. The employees at the front desk would give us different information whenever we spoke to them. But everything worked out for our guests and their rooms and they handed out our welcome bags for us.
The rooms …. Ugh, the rooms are so outdated. I wasn’t expecting 5 star rooms, but I thought they’d be a little nicer than they were. I think they spent all of their budget on the sports bar inside the hotel. The bar was the saving grace for this hotel. Not knowing what it was like, I expected a hole in the wall but wow, it is the complete opposite. The bar is stocked, there are leather sofas, lots of tables, games, big screens, etc. It was also wayyyyy more packed than I thought it would be! Thankfully everyone had fun after the rehearsal and after the wedding. The only thing that sucked big time was being able to hear everyone walking and being obnoxious in the halls! It was a nuisance but we survived.
Transportation: Shamrock: B
The free shuttle service via the Days Inn is a joke. They use the Butler Tourism shuttles and I had so much miscommunication the year prior to the wedding. Instead of using their shuttle for our guests we just used it to get the WP to the venue earlier in the day. My MIL booked a party limo bus for our guests. This was way more flexible than using the hotel shuttle. We had the limo for 2 hours prior to the ceremony and 2 hours after the ceremony. Everything was fine until…. the limo bus FORGOT to pick the WP up afterwards (which we had communicated about prior)! They took the guests back fine but then didn’t come back! We had to call and half an hour later it came back for us.
Okay, now for the good stuff
Florist: Gidas Flowers (Oakland): A
Lori and Carole were so awesome to work with. The only reason they don’t get an A+ is because they’re so expensive! I had two different types of centerpieces: bird cages for half of the tables and a collection of 3 mason jars for the other half (which I had to supply myself and will probably be posting for sale soon). They were stunning! Our bouquets turned out great as well. I had a few metal appliqués I wanted on mine and my 2 MOH’s bouquets that I forgot to give them! Well Carole arrived with the proper tools and was able to fasten them the day of. They were so nice and easy to communicate with through the entire process.
Caterer: Medure’s: A+++
Medure’s is the exclusive caterer for Succop (among other venues) and I was delighted to hear that as I went to HS in New Castle (where they are located) and I knew how delicious their sauce was. Our buffet included: chicken francoise, homemade cavatelli with red sauce, grilled steak tips w/mushrooms and onions, eggplant rollatini, roasted red and sweet potatoes, and long beans. OMG. DELICIOUS. They literally grill the steak tips RIGHT THERE ON SITE (the steak is an extra charge though). And the eggplant rollatini is just something out of this world. They served two butler passed hor d’eourves for cocktail hour but we didn’t get to sample any of those. They also had a bar set up on the patio next to the house for cocktail hour, which is so cute (you supply your own alcohol and non-alcoholic beverages).
We had a ton of leftovers, but because we are OOT, we only got to bring home a few small containers. Even 2 days later, the steak and cavats were just heavenly. Not only is Pete a dream to work with, his catering manager, Kim, was just as awesome. If you book a venue that has Medure’s as their caterer—you are in for a treat. And if you have the chance to bring in your own, I highly recommend them. My BF is getting married at the White Barn next year and I cannot wait to have more of their food!
Photographers: Palermo Photo (e-pics only): A++
Maria is awesome! We purchased a Groupon for our e-pic session and they turned out great! Maria is super awesome to work with and we would have went with her for our wedding photos but we had our hearts set on Hot Metal Studio.
Photographers: Hot Metal Studio: A+++
I miss them. Is that weird? Tiffany and Jonathan are SO INCREDIBLY AWESOME that by the end of the night I felt as if they were our long time friends. They went over and above throughout the day and I couldn’t imagine not having them there. While I have not seen the photos yet I am 200% confident they are going to be amazing. Just take a look at their previous work, sheer epicness!!!!!! A few friends commented after “your photographers were everywhere!” GOOD! I cannot wait to see what moments they captured that my crazy family faux-tographers didn’t, haha! I am currently trying to think of another reason to book them!
Venue: Succop Conservancy (Butler): A+++
I spent more time than any sane person should researching venues. And it all paid off. Even if Springwood had been in our budget I still would have opted for Succop. The only barely minor flaw is it’s location but once you walk onto the property you don’t care if you had to travel 2 hours to get there. We ended up with about 120 guests. We had our ceremony in the herb garden, cocktail hour in the Marcraig House and reception under the pavilion. The girls got ready on the 2nd floor of the house and the guys got ready in the cottage that is also on the property. Davlin, their awesome coordinator, had told us she wasn’t sure how well the arbor in the herb garden was going to hold up over the summer. So my FIL built a new one and we donated it to them. The previous one was still there so we used it as our entrance into the ceremony space. We are not very religious but something or someone was definitely on our side that day as the weather was ab-so-lut-ely perfect. And NO BUGS! Whew! Also, I read elsewhere people were worried about the ducks and their droppings… they set it up so the ducks now congregate near the pond on the opposite side of the venue so we had zero issues there.
They hold weddings Fri, Sat, and Sunday so it makes for odd rehearsal times and morning of setting up. We got lucky as the wedding scheduled the day before ours cancelled (yikes) so we were able to set everything up ahead of time. I wish I could live inside that house it’s so beautiful. I went a little crazy decorating it and had many compliments on how personalized it was. But you could totally get away with very minimal décor inside because of what is already there. There is more than enough space for the BP to get ready upstairs. Lots of natural light for hair and makeup as well.
You can have your ceremony in the herb garden or in front of the house. We opted for the herb garden because of the gorgeous weeping willow adjacent to it. It was pretty sunny so they set up some chairs in the back, under some shade, for a few elderly folks. The nearby airport makes for some annoying overhead noise but it barely lasted a minute. We walked out as Mr and Mrs to the chorus of Ho Hey by the Lumineers and it was epic.
We set aside an hour for cocktail hour while we did our photographs. There are SO MANY good areas for pictures that we couldn’t even get to them all in an hour! Davlin will work with you on how many tables you’d like and where you want them set up. The “cookie table” room has the most gorgeous ceilings. And four giant French doors leading onto an adorable patio.
We had some tulle hung on the pavilion beams and some vintage looking hanging fans hung above the dance floor. But honestly, it’s so pretty, you don’t need much. We had custom corn hole boards, a DIY photo booth, and they have a picnic table next to a bon fire and we brought the ingredients for s’mores (they provide the skewers). A few times while we were mingling, I stopped and looked around, people were everywhere! It was sooooo great to see them exploring the property and not just sitting at their tables all night.
Everyone went on and on about how amazing the venue was! And the smart phone pictures that I have seen are incredible! I also have to add how helpful the Conservancy staff is!!!! Penny, I believe her name was, was on top of everything! The entire day went on perfectly and I know it’s because of these amazing people (because I didn’t have a clue what I was doing lol).