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9/17/11 Vendor reviews SE wisconsin

Here's the start of my reviews finally! We got married in Racine, WI and our vendors were mostly from SE WI. I will add more reviews later...this is alot of info to type up!

Ceremony site: Johnson Park, Racine WI   (A)
This is a picnic area in the Johnson Park Golf Course that has a pavillion. It was large enough to hold hundreds of people so we could use the pavillion as our rain backup if we needed to. The place needed some cleaning up the morning of as there had been a party there the night before aparently but they make it clear in the contract that you may have to move picnic tables, trash cans, etc so we were aware. The pics that I have seen were beautiful---the park provides a nice backdrop! Plenty of room for us to have our ceremony there, do pics, have our cocktail hour, and we had a band playing. Everyone raved about the site.

Ceremony musician: Carol Christensen-Racine Symphony Orchestra   (A)
Was super easy to work with. We hammered out most details through email (my preferred contact method!) She was understanding the morning of when I called her and warned her that although she requires a tent for shade for her instrument, the wind was tearing ours up and we though we weren't going to have one.

Officiant: Judge Faye Flancher - Racine Co. Judge (A)
We were supposed to have Judge Barry as our officiant and Judge Flancher stepped up for us after his untimely death not long before the wedding. She was easy to speak to on the phone and we hammered out the ceremony details through email. She let us add in whatever readings we wanted.

Tux's: Men's Wearhouse in Racine (A)
No issues with any of the tux's. We had originally gone to DuBois Formalwear and had a horrible shopping experience! They weren't helpful and I left having no idea what we wanted to rent. Men's Wearhouse walked us through our options and it was a much more pleasant experience.

Chair rental: General Rental in Racine (A)
Delivery of chairs was done when we needed them and picked up when scheduled as well. THis is the first time I've rented anything so I dont' know if all places do it like this, but they set up a delivery 'time frame' so that made planning the morning a little difficult. And pickup had to be scheduled by a certain time otherwise the price went up significantly. If we could have afforded a wedding planner this would have been one area that would have helped with so I didnt' have to worry about the coordination of all this.

Hair and makeup: Urbantrends Salon and Spa-Sturtevant  (A)
I enjoyed urban trends! They were a little busy the morning of the wedding so I had to wait for makeup and my mom and friend ended up leaving me at the salon since we were falling a little behind, but it all worked out. My hair held up well and I think my makeup did too as far as I remember! I used them for my boudoir shoot too and was happy with makeup done that day as well.

Cocktail hour band: JosB from Racine (A)
We are very familiar with this band and used them to play cocktail hour music at the park. Our guests thought it was a great touch. They're a little more upbeat and play things like Marvin Gaye, Jason Mraz, John Mayer, ....maybe not typical cocktail hour stuff but definately a fun band to get the party started! People even did some dancing at the park!

Caterer: Gooseberries Market/Courtyard Catering- Burlington WI (A)
I tasted some Gooseberries cake at a bridal show and loved it so we went for our consultation. Chef Mike was very friendly and was really helpful with the menu. We ended up choosing him over another Racine caterer that came highly recommended because we got along with him so well and he seemed to guide us well. All of our guests raved about the food! We had a pear and gorgonzola salad (excellent and so much better than a typical dinner salad you usually get at weddings!), rolls, chicken parmesean, carved ham (H really loved the ham with chutney), a vegetable ragu the puff pastry top that was awesome!! They provide coffee and milk which was important to our family. They also did our appetizers at the park for just the cost of the appetizers---no additional travel fee despite the second location. We had mini chicken cordon bleu, and polenta triangles---both of which were also raved about! I am a vegetarian and they did a great job of finding something for our buffet that wasn't a pasta dish--that's all I ever get at weddings so I was set on NOT having pasta! Vegetarians and meat eaters loved the veggie ragu. The staff was VERY helpful all night. And the best thing was that during our tasting I loved the squash they made for us but I was out-voted for having it as part of the buffet. Chef Mike made me my own special dish of the squash for the reception and it was excellent! :)  We ended up going over budget on food (around $24/plate) but you can do buffets around $18/plate so they can work with you on price. It was well worth what we paid!

Cake: Cheesecakes by Jewels Racine (A)
This used to be a shop in downtown Racine but she has recently closed her retail location, now doing cakes (I think mainly cheesecakes but she might still do traditional wedding cakes) out of her home. We sampled cakes at Bridal Cakes by Ann in Kenosha and at Courtyard Catering. Both of which had excellent cakes. Ann was a little standoff-ish though and we got mixed feelings from her. The lady at Courtyard Catering was flakey and couldn't find the notes from our consultation on one occassion, and then on a second occassion, she called and left me a message again as if we had never talked so she scared me away! Jewels cake was fantastic and MUCH more reasonably priced than the other 2. I wanted a layer of chocolate cake with beer buttercream filling and she was excited to do this for us (Ann outright said no, and Courtyard wasn't sure). All 3 flavors we got were great and she was open to any design we wanted. Our wedding was outdoorsie so our cake was on a tree stump with our initials carved into it and had a moose wedding topper. She was excited to do something original and it turned out great! She was easy to deal with and I can't wait to eat our anniversary cake!! :)

Photobooth: Mugshotz Oak Creek WI (A+)
I LOVED Mugshotz!!! They were the cheapest photobooth deal I could find with all the bells and whistles that we wanted (guestbook, props, rights to photos) and the owner, Don, was the nicest person! I booked at a bridal show after I could check out the equipment and after that all communication was by email until the week before the wedding when he called to finalize details. I love vendors that respond to email so that was great for me. You can customize everything and he helped us get our photostrips all set up by emailing proofs to us. The photobooth was a HUGE hit. Our guests loved it and I LOVE LOVE LOVE the guest book. And better yet, by Tuesday after the wedding we already had our DVD's with the photos and a slideshow of the photos to share with our guests. I could not have been happier with Mugshotz! I'm trying to find a reason to get a photobooth again for an event.  :)
image 125 made the cut! RSVP date--August 22
image 108 are ready for photobooth fun! image 19 are camera-shy!
image 0 Can't find the post office!

Re: 9/17/11 Vendor reviews SE wisconsin

  • edited December 2011
    Crystal, I am so glad you did a review on Gooseberries since we have been debating about going with them! Can't wait to see your review on the Masonic Center.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • PaigeH30PaigeH30 member
    edited December 2011
    How do you get a hold of Cheesecakes by Jewels if the retail location is closed? Do you have a phone number?
  • edited December 2011
    Love to hear all the good reviews! Happy everything went so well:)
  • cc7003cc7003 member
    Fourth Anniversary 100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    In Response to Re: 9/17/11 Vendor reviews SE wisconsin:
    [QUOTE]How do you get a hold of Cheesecakes by Jewels if the retail location is closed? Do you have a phone number?
    Posted by PaigeH30[/QUOTE]

    I sent you a PM since it's her cell phone number. She did say I could pass it on to people but I didn't want to just post it!
    image 125 made the cut! RSVP date--August 22
    image 108 are ready for photobooth fun! image 19 are camera-shy!
    image 0 Can't find the post office!
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