Theknot.com was pretty much my saving grace while planning my wedding. I’m from KY but moved to Chicago a couple years ago. My husband (ha – still, so weird!) and I got married on my parents’ property in Hebron, KY and without theknot.com (and my Mom) I’m certain the day wouldn’t have happened!!
I loved everyone’s vendor reviews, so here goes mine! Rehearsal Dinner – Turfway Park, VIP Room (A+++): I’m not rating this necessarily because of the people that I worked with, although they were all very nice. I am rating this an A+++ because my husband and I had the BEST night before our big day.
This is a unique spot for a rehearsal dinner and the racetrack holds a special place in our hearts, so it worked. Believe me, it’s not for everyone! We had ours on Friday night, during Turfway’s last live racing night for the month of October. We wanted it to be casual – so everyone had programs, cigars, heavy appetizers and lots of drinks! Both families and our out of town guests had the perfect chance to mingle and talk about betting, etc. We even had a race named after us and were able to all go out to the Winners Circle following the race to have a group picture taken. Venue – My parents’ home (A+++++++): Of course I’m rating my parents’ beautiful home above all other vendors! Choosing to have the ceremony and reception at my parents’ was something that meant the world to them – and it just so happened it was the exact feel my husband and I wanted for our big day.
Simple, elegant, relaxed. If you can find a farm, a large yard with some privacy, etc. and this is the route you want to take – do it – but keep in mind that you need A LOT of help in the process. So many people were there to make our day special. I wouldn’t have had it any other way! Officiant – Frieda Hughes (A+): We knew we wanted a secular ceremony – but we also knew we wanted it to be longer than 10 minutes, personal and fun. Frieda met with us on 3 separate occasions to talk about the ceremony, share things about each other’s lives and just make us feel even better about what we were doing than we already did!
She is eccentric, very warm and caring, and she genuinely wants you to enjoy yourself during that special time. I highly recommend her. If you’re not a fan or don’t receive good vibes from Frieda, then I suggest MarriageChaplain.com – that’s how I initially found her! Photographer – Varland Photography (A+++++): I cannot say enough about this husband and wife photography team. They are the most amazing people, artists, friends!!
Toby and Annie will make your day brighter – they know what to say and when to say it. They have a way of getting the “right shot” without making you feel silly or awkward. Their style is very photojournalistic – extremely natural and they do not touch up with crazy colors or anything. Most of their pictures are NOT posed and that’s what my husband and I love most about them. http://varlandphotography.com/blog/2012/10/whitney-chris-preview/ If you’d like to see a few examples! Flowers – Roses and More/Secret Garden (A): I met with Janet several times. The shop looks like something out of a movie – panel floor boards, bulk flowers and vases EVERYWHERE.
When you walk in, you’ll think “oh my, this place is so unorganized!” But it isn’t. They are sweet people, they have excellent prices, and their product is strong. The only thing I would say is that I wish my sister’s bouquet was a little bigger and I wish they would have used the grey color of “antique” roses, not the more purple color. Either way, everything was beautiful. They even allowed me to take lamb’s ear (silver/grey plant) from my mom’s garden to incorporate in my bouquet. It was perfect! DJ – Cincy DJ Events, Ryan Lehmkuhl (A++): Ryan is awesome. He’s laid back.
He’s honest. He’s on time. I thought his voice was very natural – he didn’t talk too much but everyone knew what was going on. He played GREAT music all night and when my uncle walked up to him at the end of the evening to ask if he’d stay longer, he said no problem! We danced the night away – and to be honest, a lot of people didn’t even drink because they were dancing the entire time! I highly recommend him! Bartender – Epitome Bartending (A++): George is who I worked with and I believe he owns the company. They are Dayton-based.
These people are prompt, they always answer emails and phone calls with a day. Everyone commented about how awesome and quick they were – if you’re having even a private party (let alone a wedding) use this company!! Basically they give you a list of liquor/wine/beer to purchase, they’ll supply ice/mixers/soft drinks/cups. It’s an awesome concept and I’m a fan! Caterer – Lother’s Catering (A++): I’m a huge supporter of this local caterer. My sister and brother in law used Lother’s for their wedding 3 years ago.
The food was hot and didn’t even need seasoning – that’s pretty damn good when you’re trying to feed hundreds of people through a buffet. My wedding was much smaller, but the service was consistent. They were extremely accommodating and the servers were about as sweet as you could ever ask for! Pricing at Lother’s can’t be beat and although Johnny seems a little nutty sometimes, it’s because he’s busy with business! Hotel – Holiday Inn Airport, Erlanger KY (B): Ok, so we had about half of our wedding guests making the trip to KY from all across the country. We wanted to make sure everyone got to spend time together and there wasn’t any stress by renting cars, etc.
We worked with Molly at HI (who is awesome) and negotiated a private shuttle for us. Basically we paid $100/day to have 10 hours of shuttle service. Not bad when you consider how expensive limo transportation is! The reason I rated them a B is because when we got to the hotel, the room block was not in the remodeled part of the building. Not only that but they were not very eager to try and accommodate my husband and i for our suite – even though the older room they had us in was really, REALLY dusty and gross. The remodeled part of this hotel is really pretty and eventually we got it straightened out, but it took a lot of time that I just didn’t have. Ceremony Music – Doug Webb (A+): Doug is super nice. Ironically he taught my parents’ music class in high school!
He allowed my husband and I to make a trip to his home and listen to him play many samples of music. He and his wife play several instruments but we went with the violin solo! Cake – Rita Hodges (A++): She made my parents’ cake 31 years ago. I can’t even type enough about her or else I get teary.
She’s the sweetest lady and her cakes are DELICIOUS. She might make them out of her little country kitchen but I’d put her up against any bakery. The cake was a 3-tier with marble and red velvet layers. YUM! Day of Coordinator – Tres Chic, Kristen Kloth (A++): Kristen and her husband Rick are amazing. It was a little dicey trying to get in touch with her a couple times but in the end it all worked out.
She’s honest, extremely accommodating and so sweet! If you can swing this service in your budget – do it! She kept my Mom away from the property on the wedding day, which made her more calm…which made me more calm. Kristen rocks! Dress – Splendid Bridal, Florence KY (A+): I had dress anxiety, I’m going to say it. I tried on about 60 up in the Reading Bridal District and couldn’t find one that I loved.
You watch all those freaking TLC shows and I’ll be honest, it kind of creates too much hype! I consider myself a realistic bride. I wasn’t going to spend a mortgage payment, or two or three on fabric and buttons that I wore for one night. Some brides find that super important – but cost does NOT have to equal quality if you just have patience and LOOK! After that day from hell in the bridal district, I got up and met my Mom and sister at a bridal salon in Florence that I honestly had never even heard of. Tonya met us at the front – she’s super country, super bubbly and super helpful…oh, and she doesn’t work off commission so it was a pressure-free zone. I dug through a rack and found my dress – put it on and wore it around the shop for about 2 hours. The thing was 4 sizes too big, but the alterations were simple because there wasn’t any beading or lace on it. My Mom and I found antique estate brooches at a local antique show and made my sash. It was beautiful and it did not break the bank. Thank you Tonya for making sure I felt comfortable – that was one of the most important things about the whole day!!! Tent – Snappy’s (A+): Ellen is who we worked with and Snappy’s delivered a beautiful tent, gorgeous linens and every detail we asked for. They even made two extra trips to my parents’ because the temperature dropped and we thought we needed to pipe in heat!
These are genuine people to work with! Ok, my hand is cramping! Sorry for such a crazy long post – I had the best day of my life and as you can see, a lot went into making it happen. Overall, my husband and I had 70 people (the absolute closest friends and family), great food, great music, yummy drinks, an amazing location – and each other.
And that’s what it was all about! If anyone has questions or needs a reference, message me! Still can’t believe we’re married – I couldn’t be happier!