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Pennsylvania-Pittsburgh

9/15/13 Vendor Review

Hi everyone, I hope your planning is going well! Here is my vendor review for my wedding that took place on 9/15/13 at Succop Conservancy. Also, here is a link to my wedding photos that were done by the absolutely talented, Caitlin Thomas

http://blog.caitlintphotography.com/2013/09/lena-john-married-at-succop-conservancy/

INVITES: SMITTEN ON PAPER: A+

I absolutely loved my invitations. They are based in California and they have so many different designs and small things that can be added onto an invitation. I ordered a sample and the paper quality is AMAZING. One of my favorite things about our invitation suite that we picked was the envelope addressing. SO BEAUTIFUL! Matched the invitation and it was nice to receive them and just put a stamp on them and send them out.

OFFICIANT: REV. MARK, A SIMPLE VOW A+++

Words cannot express how grateful I am for Rev. Mark and his wife Jeanie. They were an absolute dream to work with and met with us twice and answered our endless emails. Rev. Mark made our ceremony so personal and also helped us incorporate some Thai tradition into it as well. I can’t believe the number of compliments we received on how personalized our ceremony was. Jeanie was also amazing. She helped organize the wedding party and kind of gave us tips and advice on what we should be doing, where we should be standing, etc. She was definitely our captain for the day!

DJ: CHRIS BELL A+

Chris is actually a friend of my husbands and we are so glad we were able to have him DJ our wedding. Not only was Chris very easy going and easy to work with, he was great at communicating with us back and forth and was able to accommodate last minute requests on processional music (literally the night before). He also kind of got the hint of a song wasn’t getting people moving, he switched it promptly. He did the music for our ceremony, cocktail hour and reception.

 MAKEUP: CLARE OF CIEL COSMETICS A+

Claire is great! She used an airbrush for the makeup and it lasted all day and all evening. Even through my many tears during my 1st look and into my ceremony my makeup looked like she had just applied it. Can’t say enough good things about this lady.

 HAIR: CAITLIN K. A++

Caitlin is actually my regular hair stylist and I cannot say enough good things about her! One of my bridesmaids had opted not to get her hair done but when she saw my maid of honor walk out after getting her hair done, she was rushing to see if Caitlin could do hers done as well. My hair stayed the same the entire night and the waves never came out. If anyone is looking for a great stylist, I can give you her information.

 CAKE AND CUPAKES: SIGNATURE DESSERTS A+

Signature Desserts is one of my favorite dessert shops. While doing this wedding planning process, I literally only had them in mind to do my wedding. I went in to inquire about wedding packages and not realizing that a lot of places are closed on Sundays (my wedding was on a Sunday), they were so nice about trying to work something out with me so that I could still have them do my cake. I ended up picking a package that had a 10 inch round cake and about 140 cupcakes. Everything was delicious and we had multiple flavors of cupcakes as well. They also provide you with a fresh anniversary cake! If you don’t already have a cake person, please check them out. It’s family owned and they are the kindest people you will meet!

 ACCOMODATIONS: DAYS INN BUTLER C

What can I say? It’s a Days Inn, so my expectations weren’t high. But it is one of the only hotels in Butler that also has a bar inside. And this bar is slammed on the weekends! So definitely expect some “great” people to be around. They also do a lot of weddings there.. so if you’re looking to get a peaceful nights rest, this may not be the hotel for you. The employees who work here are extremely helpful. I completely forgot to drop my welcome bags off and when I called the front desk, they said they would go door to door for us (which they did, my bridesmaid said she had a knock on a door within an hour to give her the welcome bag). They were also helpful in getting us a rolling cart (we did a lot of DIY stuff that we brought to the hotel about 2 days prior to the wedding). The rooms are outdated, some are nicer than others. It is loud on the weekends, not only if you’re staying near the bar but just people wandering back to their hotel rooms. The bar at the hotel is HUGE and has flat screens, pool tables, and lots of other games. So that was nice to be able to have a place to go in the evening.

FAVORS: PITTSBURGH POPCORN COMPANY A

We wanted to do a lot of edible favors as we had a lot of guests who were traveling to attend our wedding. Pittsburgh Popcorn Co, was fantastic. The popcorn was delicious. I was even able to go in on Thursday and order the popcorn (they usually require a week notice) and had no problems ordering.

FLORIST: BLUMENGARTEN & FLOWER DISTRIBUTOR IN THE STRIP A++

I used Blumengarten to do our bouquets and boutonnieres. THEY WERE BEAUTIFUL! My entire theme for the wedding was to have everything look like I could do it, but better. I guess meaning that I wanted things more simple than elaborate. I met with Shari and she did such a great job at incorporating everything I wanted. My bouquet had spray roses, regular roses, seeded eucalyptus and multiple kinds of dahlias. For my center pieces, I had my then fiancé now husband head down to the strip district early Saturday morning and pick up some flowers from the little stands that are just on Penn Ave. If anyone out there is not super picky about their centerpieces and want to do some DIY, I highly recommend going this route.

CATERER: MEDURES A+

Medures was incredible. It was the most delicious food I’ve had in at a wedding. One of my many things that I was obsessed about during this wedding planning was that I wanted to have really good food that everyone could enjoy. One thing that I really liked was that they offered to grill our steak tips on site for a small fee. This was awesome because not only could you see them grilling the food but the smell was mouthwatering. The staff at Medures was also super helpful. We worked with Kristen for a food tasting and any additional questions we had prior to the wedding. Kristen was great at swapping out different appetizers and changing our menu leading up to the wedding. She also gave us great suggestions for what we should have on tables and different kinds of drink options. The actual catering staff the day of, were so kind and introduced them selves to us and helped us set up the tables. They even found us during the reception and asked us if we would like a new, hot plate of food since we were walking around table to table. At the end of the night they had all the extra food packaged for us and ready to take home. I’ve literally been eating Medure’s all week!

PHOTOGRAPHER: CAITLIN THOMAS A++++

Caitlin is by far one of my favorite vendors I got to work with during this entire process. She did our engagement photos as well and when I received those about a week later, I knew I had picked the right girl to do our wedding. Beyond the fact that I was thrilled with my e-photos, just talking to her every few months during the wedding process was really nice. We got to go over DIY details I was doing and it was just nice to check in every couple of months. The day of the wedding her and her second shooter Sam were beyond helpful. They both extremely helpful in keeping us on time for the wedding and just asking if everything was okay and if there was anything we needed. We felt completely comfortable with her and Sam and I think that really showed in all of our photos. It was really like we were having two friends who were shooting our wedding. Can’t say enough good things! I can’t wait to book her in the future for anniversary shots and family photos!

 VENUE: SUCCOP CONSERVANCY B+

After doing some research on venues that allow both an outside ceremony and reception on site, I came across Succop Conservancy. It was the first venue we looked at and we immediately booked it. I’m so happy it did. One of my main concerns and I think anyone would have this if they are doing an outdoor wedding is the weather. The weather was BEAUTIFUL. And so is just the general scenery of this entire place. It’s so peaceful and calm there. There were a few minor hiccups that happened with Succop. One was that when I booked in early January of 2012, I was told I was signing a contract for 2012 pricing. . come to find out in May or so of 2013 that I was told incorrectly and would be charged the higher price. It ended up being fine, but it would have been nice to know while signing the contract that the price was going to be going up. The other is that I did A LOT of DIY projects for this wedding.. one of those being flags for bunting to be hung in the pavilion. My fiancé had gotten there early in the morning to hang them with the groomsmen where he was told by staff members that he’d have to wait. Once I got there I went and spoke with them and said that I specifically told Davlin during my walkthrough that we would need a ladder and these would need to go up asap. Instead of working something out a male staff member just stated, “Well, that’s probably not going to happen.” EXCUSE ME! Luckily my maid of honor was there and bluntly stated that it took 3 months to get these flags together and a bride should only be hearing, “We can make that happen, let’s figure it out.” Long story short, Sarah was helpful in getting us a ladder though there was miscommunication in her notes about leaving one out it all ended up working out and I never had to see that male staff member the rest of the day. To end this on a happy note: the other staff and especially, Sarah and Davlin are both really responsive to emails and inquiries. Davlin wasn’t there when I got married but Sarah was insanely helpful and checked in with me many times throughout the day to make sure everything was going alright.

PICTURE THIS PHOTO BOOTH: A+

These guys are great! Courtney is the main contact and the owner of the company. I knew I wanted a photobooth at my wedding after attending my best friends wedding that was held in Oregon. They had an original photobooth (1 stool, really cramped and black and white). I went to a bridal show at Consol and tested a lot of them out and knew I wanted an enclosed one for everyone to get silly in and not feel weird about it because there is a crowd watching them. Courtney and her staff are the sweetest people! Not only were they great at helping people get props, bringing stools in for the children to sit on but they were helpful in getting every guest to put a copy of their photo in our guest book (that they provided in their package). I can’t wait to see all the photos that were taken.

RANDOM VENDORS WE USED:

 DirtyHippieStudios (Etsy): I used them to purchase tote bags for my bridesmaids. The owner of the shop was super accommodating considering I last minute ordered these 5 days before the wedding.

MoreSprinkledJoy (Etsy): I purchased some small chalkboard signs to distinguish which cupcakes were which and I also purchased decorative paper straws from them as well.

HCStationary (Etsy): I purchased small pins that had dinosaurs and outlines of Oregon and Pennsylvania on them. And they came out so CUTE!

 Missy Hagen Cookies:  I had Missy make almost 80% of my cookies. She makes the best buckeyes that I have ever had. Not to mention all the other specialty cookies she made for my day. Highly recommend her to anyone who needs help with their cookie table.

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