We held both our ceremony (The Loft) and reception (Galleria Ballroom) at The Madison Event Center (both located in their South building). The Madison turns out tons of weddings every weekend so they know what they’re doing. We held ours on a Friday to receive a 25% discount. The nice thing is that their packages are all-inclusive and they handle getting in touch with your other vendors week-off to coordinate drop off and setting up. We also used a lot of their preferred vendors, which saved us money on music, flowers, etc.
Lisa handled our ceremony day-off and Gina was the event captain for the reception. They were both amazing! They made sure everything ran smoothly and were so helpful with everything from playing our iPod for the ceremony to packing up the gifts at the end of the evening.
The one negative I have to say is in regards to the “promotions” they run. We booked nearly two years in advance. At the time we were looking at venues, they were running a “1 hour free for reception or ½ price open bar.” By the time we signed the contract, the promotion had ended about a week before. I took a chance and asked if we could still get it since it had just ended. I was told no, but there would be other promotions in the future that we could take advantage of. Ok, that worked. However, in the next 2 years not 1 single promotion came up that I was allowed to take advantage of. Every time I asked, I was told the promotions were for new bookings only. I wondered why I was told I could take advantage of promotions if I was never eligible for any that came up in nearly 2 years. I kept getting annoyed receiving mailers from the Madison in my mailbox that I couldn’t take advantage of. So make sure to sign while they are running a promotion or you’ll never receive any other deal.
The food is good enough – pretty typical for the wedding banquet hall type. I do recommend going to their monthly tastings a couple times – those events are worth your time. Overall, I do recommend The Madison, especially if you want a venue that will take care of the details for you. You really just have to show up, which I wanted.
Maize Music – A
Maize Music is a preferred vendor for The Madison. Simple and easy to deal with. Met with Nemar once and booked him. You plan everything via online planning tools, which I liked. The dance floor was rocking all night and Nemar did a great job of MCing too. Played a great range of music and everyone had a blast. He also went above the call of duty with some transportation issues at the end of the night, which really speaks to his character. Definitely recommend, especially if you want a party/fun atmosphere!
Barrie’s Florist – A-
We met with Barrie during a snowstorm initially and the meeting went well. We got her recommendation through The Madison as well. Very easy to deal with. Apparently something didn’t work when they were setting up our centerpieces. I was emailed the very next day with an explanation of how they had to change things around. Frankly, I didn’t even notice they were different than what was originally planned. But it was nice that they followed up with me about it.
I’m just upset with myself because when we were talking with her, we all concluded that the tables fit 8 and we’d have about 19. However, the tables fit 10 in our room and when our numbers came in we only needed 14 centerpieces so we overpaid by 5 centerpieces. You have to pay in full 5 weeks ahead, before the final head count is in so my only recommendation is to be really sure how many tables you think you’ll need so you don’t overpay. However, she did use the extra flowers for our cake table and spread them around. So it wasn’t a waste and the cake table looked beautiful. But if you’re on a strict flower budget, make sure you have the right table amount.
Marxey Makeup – A
Michelle is really fun to work with. She came to my apartment and did my hair and makeup, as well as the wedding party. I know I’ve seen some mixed reviews with getting ahold of her and planning your trial. She always got back to me promptly. We did have to rearrange my trial a couple times, but it ended up working out the day of my bachelorette party so I looked amazing for my night out on the town. She played music the whole time while we got ready and didn’t seem to mind our craziness! Her work is good too and held up the whole night. Definitely recommend.
Hatfield Productions – A+
We used Hatfield productions for our videographer and photo booth. The Hatfield team had a long day – started with us at 10 AM and were shutting down and taking the photo booth apart at 11:30 PM. They went everywhere with us: my apartment, the boys’ hotel room, Devou Park, The Madison. And then our highlights video was turned around by Monday morning. And it’s AMAZING. I can’t wait to see the whole thing and all the photo booth pics. HIGHLY recommend. They definitely go above the call of duty and are just awesome to work with. Two thumbs up!
Tres Bell Cakes – A
We were the last appointment at Tracy’s house in Norwood. Right after we booked her, she moved into a storefront in Reading. I can see why she needed a storefront. It’s just so good. She has great prices and a wide arrange of flavors. We had three different flavors and every one of them was amazing. My personal trainer, who is a health nut, had 3 pieces that night. Plus her other baked cooked goods are excellent too. If we’re ever near Reading, we stop in the store and grab a cookie or cupcake or croissant. Plus she has a great personality.
Courtyard Marriott Covington – B+
There were some online booking issues here and there and people getting credited to our block. A couple people had to switch rooms during their stay because of the hotel being booked up and that was kind of annoying. However, our coordinator (who was in Chicago) was helpful and willing to work with us the best she could. I heard no complaints about the hotel itself. We got upgraded to a King Suite and it was HUGE. We actually hosted our friends there late-night after the wedding and it was a blast/plenty of room. We got a free shuttle to The Madison because we booked 15 rooms through our block. So that made it easy and convenient for our guests. Overall, no real issues and would stay there again.
Pastor Brian Eastman, Officiant – A
We found Pastor Eastman through marriagechaplain.com. Very kind and easy to work with. He definitely knows how to play to his audience and everyone loved his ceremony. He got people to laugh and interact. He knows what he is doing! If you don’t have a regular pastor or priest, I would recommend him to perform your ceremony.
Photography/attire – My cousin gifted our photography and we obtained our attire in a different area. So we didn’t have any local vendors to review for that.
Overall, the day went smoothly and everyone had a terrific time. We’re married and that’s the important part.