**Vendor Cost/Location/Reviews Here!**


Re: **Vendor Cost/Location/Reviews Here!**

  • edited December 2011
    I just went back through to add approximate costs to give you a ballpark idea of how much these vendors cost.

    Officiant: Rev. Gary D. Friske, West Bloomfield : 
    B-  ~$300
    Nice guy, got the job done, easy to communicate with, and gave us a good deal since we were having trouble finding and officiant within our budget.  He was a little bit too talkative at some points during the rehearsal and didn't know when to quit, to the point that he made my shy younger brother so uncomfortable that he cried.  He also used his own microphone equipment outside during the ceremony which didn't work.

    Venue: Tina's Country House, Macomb : A  ~$7000
    Very pleased with the gardens and outdoor set up, the indoor set up of the reception, and the staff.  Everyone was really great to work with.  The food was AWESOME.  Everyone was raving about the bowtie alfredo - highly recommend going with that.  We chose roasted potatoes as well but they were less than desirable.  Everything else food wise was very good.  I felt very taken care of and not worried about anything that was going on.  My only complaint is that they lost a wicker basket that I brought to the venue holding our bubbles for the ceremoney!  I'm sad about that.

    Bakery: KJ's Confections, Shelby Twp. : A  ~$450
    This would most certainly have been an A+ had we not had some slight issues with our deposit.  The first check we sent in was lost, so we paid on credit card instead, and later they apparently found the check and cashed it anyway, so we had to backtrack and refund the card.  Nothing major, just a bit frustrating.  The cake and petite cupcakes we ordered were AMAZING though.  They were a big hit.  I'm extremely pleased with the set up of our table, the taste, everything.

    DJ: Mike Staff Productions (Matt Candela), Troy : A+  ~$1100
    No complaints.  Phenomenal job.  Music was perfect, kept everything going, even helped us through some mishaps.  

    Florist: Courtyard Flowers, Macomb :
     A-  ~$600
    Katie was really nice and helpful after our first florist bailed on us (who gets an F, of course).  She did a great job and I was really pleased with the flowers.  Although I really liked the centerpieces, they seemed to be a bit on the small side.  It wasn't really made clear at our meetings exactly how big they would be.

    Photographer: Pure Amour Photography,
    TBD pending pictures! ~$700

    Videographer: Coworker of DH, TBD pending video!  ~$200

    Rings: Rogers and Hollands, Somerset Mall,
    Great service, quick turn around time.  No complaints!

    Wedding dress: Group USA, Great Lakes Crossing Mall, B  ~$500 with alterations
    For the price of these dresses, they can't be beat.  I got my dress on a sale day as well and so I really made out well.  The customer's service experience is a bit lacking, but I wasn't expecting a lot for the type of store that it is.  The thing that really got under my skin was after making and showing up for an alterations appointment in the pouring rain, I was informed that the alterations associate had called in sick that day.  No one had bothered to inform me and it wasn't exactly a picnic to drive in a monsoon through construction and try to transport my dress inside without ruining it.  We rescheduled and the alterations turned out just fine.

    Tuxes: Men's Warehouse, A for Madison Heights, B+ for Sterling Heights
    We were a little worried about not being able to get fitted until Thursday before the wedding, but it all turned out fine.  One of my brothers used the Sterling Heights store and when he got his tux back it was very obviously too big on him.  I learned that they only took his measurements and did not actually let him try anything on.  It seemed that we received better customer's service at the Madison Heights location than the one in Sterling Heights.

    Bridesmaid Dresses: David's Bridal, Madison Heights, B  ~$100 each
    Customer's service was less than to be desired; my bridesmaids and I were treated a lot like children when we went in to try on dresses and were largely ignored.  The dresses all came in quickly though and the price was appropriate.

    Hair & Make-up: Act II Salon and Spa, Shelby Twp, : A for me, B for bridesmaids  ~$150
    I was really happy with both my hair and make-up.  My hair is somewhat difficult to hold a curl but my stylist Angela did a great job and kept at it after some stubborn portions of my hair.  My complaint would be that the pricing there seems a bit too expensive.  Two of my bridesmaids were very unhappy with their hair; both of their stylist were impatient with them and rushed through even though they were unhappy. Thankfully my stylist and another that worked that day went back through and fixed their hair free of charge.

    Invitations: VistaPrint, A  ~$150
    The invites turned out as expected and were an appropriate price.  I'm not super crafty and wasn't really interested in designing anything extreme, plus I couldn't get over the fact that people would just be throwing these away anyway, so I didn't put a lot of work in here :)  They did the job and looked nice.
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  • edited December 2011
    Ceremony Site: Greystone Golf  and Banquet Center
    Officiant: TBD
    Ceremony Music: Ultimate Entertainment, Inc.- Joe

    Reception Site: Greystone Golf and Banquet Center- Maggie, the cordinator is AMAZING!! Love her!
    Caterer: Greystone is providing the food.
    Chair Covers/Linens: They are included as part of our package.
    Bakery: Home Bakery in Rochester, MI The price is around $595.00 and the Cakes are DELICIOUS. Tiffany at the bakery is great to work with so far!!
    DJ: Ultimate Entertainment, Inc- Joe, the owner is our DJ. He knows a lot about music and the way a wedding should flow. Flow is a BIG part of what he is known for. So excited, I can not wait.
    Favors: DIY- Minature Cannister Jars (bought at Michaels, mostly for 14.99 for 18) filled with personalized MMs in our colors.
    Lighting: Most likely will not have any lighting.

    Limo: TBD
    Florist: Floral Designs by Lori in Rochester, MI. Still working out the budget details will update when I have the final details!
    Miscellaneous equipment

    Photographer: NLR Photography- Nick is an up and coming photography who has been working for his father who owns his own photography company. Got a great deal because he was recommended by my Aunt. $1000.00 for 10hours all rights to the pictures, no limit on pictures and locations. Gives you the photos on CD so you can print which ever ones you want and will also print some professionally too. 
    Videographer: TBD if I will have one or not.
    Photobooth: Not having one.
    Picture Locations: Greystone mostly not sure where else.
    Engagement Pictures: Free with wedding photographer. Not sure where I will take them, thinking about Rochester they have some pretty parks especially in the fall.

    Beauty / Attire
    Rings: Ace Diamond for my rings, still have to buy FI.
    Wedding dress: David's bridal. On sale for $500.00
    Alterations: Most likely at David's Bridal.
    Tuxes: TBD
    Bridesmaid Dresses: TBD
    Hair: TBD
    Makeup: TBD

    Save the Dates:TBD
    Invites: DIY Kits from Michaels. Got them on sale for 27.99 for 30.
    Programs/Menus: Don't think I am going to do a Program. It is not a "high" priority for me.

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  • lndskellylndskelly
    edited December 2011

    Ceremony & Reception Site

    Waldenwoods – Hartland, MI – Day of: A++   Communication: A

    Ceremony cost: $800

    Food & Service: $78 per person including tax and tip

    Day-of bridal room: $285

    We had our wedding ceremony and reception at Waldenwoods and it was all amazing! The location and the Cromaine lodge are beautiful! The staff was incredibly nice and fun to work with and they accommodated every request I made. They are incredibly organized, courteous, and they think of every detail. We had an outdoor ceremony and little did I know that during the ceremony we were under a tornado watch but the staff was watching the radar like a hawk and they did everything they could to make sure we could have it outdoors like we wanted. It all went off without a hitch! The food was great and everyone commented on how good it was J I cannot say enough good things about Waldenwoods.


    Rev. Kirk Haas from Secular Ceremonies – Inkster, MI – Day of: A+    Communication: A

    Cost: $275

    As an atheist couple it was very important to have a secular ceremony with an officiant who understood our wishes and what we were looking for. Kirk gave us a beautiful and heartfelt ceremony we will always remember. He is very personable and funny – great to work with!

    Ceremony Music

    Go 4 Baroque – String Trio – Canton, MI  Day of: A     Communication: A

    Cost: $405

    They were very easy to work with and played lovely string music during the ceremony. All communication was handled in about 3 phone calls – one to get info, one to book (contract and payment were done through mail), and one to pick out processional and recessional songs. No muss no fuss!

    Chair Covers/Linens

    Special Occasions – Day of: A

    Cost: $4.50 per chair cover with double sash

    This vendor was handled by Waldenwoods as they are the only vendor allowed for linens. They did our chair covers and all standard table linens and they looked wonderful.


    Achatz Pie – Chesterfield, MI – Day of: A++ Communication: A

    Cost: $240 for 17 pies and 10 pounds of cookies

    These pies are soooo delicious!! Achatz uses natural and local ingredients to make their amazing pies and I could eat them every day. They looked really pretty and some had heart cutouts on the top.


    Pro DJs – Grosse Pointe, MI – Day of: A Communication: A-

    Cost: $1000 for 6 hours of reception music and ceremony microphones

    The ceremony microphones worked great – everyone could hear us without noisy feedback or static. During the reception they played very enjoyable dinnertime music and during the dancing they kept people on the dance floor just about the whole night – the only lulls were when my groomsmen requested dumb songs to be silly. Whenever I requested a song they made sure to play it right away. All of our planned dances went great and they had a huuuge selection of music – had everything we wanted.  We had a DJ and an MC and both were energetic and fun. I was kind of oblivious to the music when I wasn’t dancing (though I was dancing a lot!) but everyone has since told me they loved the music that was played throughout the night.


    DaSweetZpot on Esty – Day of: A+   Communication: A+

    Cost: $2.50 per 3oz jar of jam

    Our jam favors were so precious. Each jar came with a personalized label for our wedding and they were super cute. The jam is homemade and so tasty! They were so nice to work with even when I was a bridezilla after a couple of jars broke during shipping. They rush sent me double the number of replacement jars and really went above and beyond with their customer service.


    Viviano- St. Claire Shores – Day of: A-   Communication: A

    Cost: $1100 for 6 bouquets, 7 boutonnieres, 11 centerpieces, flowergirl petals, and 3 kissing balls for ceremony décor

    Wonderful flowers for a great price! I loved all the flowers they did – they were so fresh and vibrant and exactly what I wanted. Meeting with them was always enjoyable as they were organized and friendly. However, the only hiccup is on the initial day-of delivery they forgot my bouquet. They got it to me well before I needed it though so they made up for it.


    Krautner Photography – Shelby Township, MI – Day of: A++++  Communication: A-   

    Cost: $1800 for engagement photos, 8 hours of day-of coverage, 3 slideshow disks of all photos, guestbook, 10x10 wedding album, printable high-res disk of all images, online ordering and proofing

    I honestly cannot say enough good things about Heather Krautner. Her photos are amazing and she’s so fun to work with. Seriously, I die over my wedding and engagement photos. One day I looked through all 1100 wedding photos like 6 times. I cannot get over how awesome they are! She has a great eye for an interesting photo. She owns her business and she is the photographer so she’s very busy. You’ve got to be a relaxed bride and trust that she will have everything covered, because she will. I cannot wait to go back to her for maternity and baby photos J


    Rock the Booth – Westland, MI – Day of: A++   Communication: A

    Cost: $760 for 5 hours of day-of us, disk of all the photostrips, prop box, unlimited day-of printing, scrapbook of all photostrips, online ordering

    Love rock the booth! Their photobooth is awesome and there were 3 choices of color (B&W, color, or sepia) for the prints. They created the scrapbook at the event and it is so fun to look through and see how they decorated each page and what our guests wrote. We had so much fun with the props and everyone enjoyed the photobooth. LOVE and totally worth it!


    Lewis Jewelers – Ann Arbor, MI

    Cost: Hers $2300 His: $1400

    Lewis is a really good jeweler and this is where we bought my engagement ring. We went to them to have my wedding band custom made to fit the unique shape of my wedding band. They are well priced and nice to work with. My husband originally wanted a tungsten carbide ring but when he saw the palladium bands he had to have it.

    Wedding dress

    Fantastic Finds – Lansing, MI – A+

    Dress: Justin Alexander #3465 – $1070

    I found the Justin Alexander dress in a magazine and had to have it – Fantastic Finds was the closest shop to me that had a sample dress and I’m so glad it was them because they were the nicest bridal shop I went to during my dress search. Ordering and picking up the dress was a painless process and the shop is so cute!


    Bella Alterations – Livonia, MI – A+

    Cost: $150 for shortening the hem and taking in a tiny bit at the bust line

    Wonderful to work with and did a perfect job on my alterations. The whole process only took two appointments - one fitting and one to pick up. I also took one of my bridesmaid’s dresses to her and it was $50 to have it taken in. Price is totally reasonable and she’s nice to work with.

    Groom’s Suit

    Men’s Warehouse – Westland, MI – A

    Cost: $550 for a 3 piece suit with alterations

    Quick, painless, and perfect suit!


    Groomsmen’s Ties

    Cyberoptix Tie Lab – Detroit, MI – A+++

    Cost: $30 for custom tie

    These ties are so sweet! We had custom ties made in the perfect colors for our wedding. They have tons of custom designs and they can do any ink color imaginable. Ties that don’t suck!

    Hair & Makeup

    The Makeup Loft – Plymouth, MI – Day of: A-   Communication: B

    Cost: $500 for Brides hair and makeup and 5 bridesmaid’s hair, plus travel fee and tip

    I really loved my hair and makeup, both on the day-of and for my trial. The only thing was the makeup got a little smudgy around my eyes over the course of the day but actually I look great in all of the photos. My bridesmaids were not all in love with their hair or makeup though, but I thought they all looked great. Communication was touchy sometimes and there were a couple of times when I didn’t get a call back. Overall I would recommend them.

    Save the Dates & Invites

    Vistaprint – Online – A-

    Cost: $400 total for 90 Invites (Color envelopes, invite, response card, reception card), 60 save-the-dates, and 20 rehearsal invites

    No complaints with vistaprint. Always loved what I ordered just wish the envelopes were a little thicker paper.


    Bridal Accessories

    Calicogarden – Etsy – A

    Cost: $35 for haircomb

    Just gorgeous!

    Beautybelles – Etsy – A

    Cost:$15 for garter set

    Perfect and in my wedding colors

    RomancingTheBling – Etsy – A

    Cost: $75 for necklace

    It’s cubic zirconia but everyone thought it was the real deal!


    Pie Topper

    Garden4Arts – Etsy – A

    Cost: Custom turtle pie topper $95

    Pricey but so adorable!




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  • baileyleevbaileyleev
    Fourth Anniversary 100 Comments
    edited March 2012


    Bride's cousin

    Ceremony Music

    Family Friend


    Reception Site

    Arnaldo's Banquet Hall – Riverview, MI – Day of: A+   Communication: B

    Food & Service: $30.25 per person including tax and tip and upgrades

    We held the reception at Arnaldo's, we used ballroom 1 on a Friday night. Minimum 160 people. We did get free standard bar because it was the off season. It's a beautiful room and the food was good (lots of compliments). However, we did not feel the service we recieved from Robin was very good. Mario and John were great, but we mostly dealt with Robin and she was usually in a rush and we felt less-than important. There were also several mis-communications, etc. Overall the guests raved about it and we couldn't beat the price. 


    Chair Covers/Linens


    linentablecloth.com – A

    Cost: $3-5 per overlay

    Shipped quickly, looked great! 


    Pink Elephant Cupcakes – Grosse Pointe, MI – Day of: A++ Communication: A

    Cost: $320 for 14 dozen specialty cupcakes

    Cannot say enough good things about Stephanie! EVERYONE has since told me how amazing the cupcakes were! She gave us a deal, but her regular pricing is super reasonable as well! We had mint chocolate bumpy cake, white cake with buttercream, and cookies and cream. We had about 150 guests and only about 5 left over. 


    Nate from Moonboogie Media – Auburn Hills, MI – Day of: A Communication: A-

    Cost: $550 for 6 hours of reception music 

    Nate was great, made it easy. He was a bit hard to get ahold of to book, but he had also just had a baby. Everything after that was smooth sailing and we were very happy!


    Popcorn Buffet/Popcorn Wagon (Frankenmuth) – Day of: A+   Communication: A+

    Cost: $260 for 1200 cups of popcorn

    Everyone RAVED about the popcorn! We had a ton left, but have been giving it out to some very happy family members. Popcorn Wagon was awesome, i ordered online using a 20% off code. It arrived on the exact day I requested!



    French's Flowers, Livonia, MI – Day of: A+   Communication: A+


    Leigh is amazing at what she does! We loved the flowers and everything turned out so great! She is a family friend, so the pricing was a little different, but I would highly recommend them!


    Nicolelee Photography – Monroe, MI – Day of: A++ Communication: A+  

    Cost: $1800 for engagement photos, 8 hours of day-of coverage, disk with all photos edited and full printing rights. 

    I cannot recommend Nikki enough, she is amazing. Not just her photography, but as a person! Her work speaks for itself and her pricing is reasonable!



    Wedding dress

    David's Bridal – Novi, MI – B+


    No big issues, I knew what I was walking into a David's Bridal, but was on a budget. Everyone loved the dress and I felt beautiful!



    Bella Alterations – Livonia, MI – A+

    Cost: $190 for hem, bustle and small front bustle

    They were great! My MOH and MOB both had alterations done here as well! Everything was great!

    Groom’s Suit

    Men’s Warehouse – Livonia (lauren park place), MI – A-

    Cost: Free with 5 other Rentals

    Had a few issues with the guys suites (wrong sizes, no buttons, etc.) They fixed it quickly and were very helpful.


    Hair & Makeup


    Save the Dates & Invites

    Vistaprint – Online – A-

    Cost: $120 total for 70 Invites (invite, response card, reception card), 60 save-the-dates

    Thin/cheap envelopes, but very happy otherwise.


    Day of Coordinator 

    Tammara from Grand Jour Events -  Day of: A+++++++++++++++++++++

    Communication: A++++++++++++++

    Cost: $400 for 8 hours.

    Tammara and her assistant were amazing, they fixed any "could be problems" set up everything, took down everything, they were completely amazing! Cannot recommend enough!

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  • edited December 2011
    Ceremony Site- Crystal Garden Chapel $800
    Officiant- TBA
    Ceremony Music- myself

    Reception Site- Arnaldos Banquet Center
    Caterer- $36.00pp plus $9.00pp for open bar
    Chair Covers/Linens- TBA
    Bakery- Cakes by Stephanie
    DJ- Paul Taylor, Sunshine DJ
    Favors- Rockthebooth.com  $550 for 4 hours
    Lighting- included in reception

    Limo- TBA
    Florist- TBA
    DOC- TBA
    Miscellaneous equipment- none needed

    Photographer- Jason Laurain Photography $1000
    Videographer- TBA
    Photobooth_ Rockthebooth (see favors)
    Picture Locations- TBA
    Engagement Pictures- included in wedding package, Jason Laurain

    Beauty / Attire
    Rings- Tiffany Jones Designs, NYC
    Wedding dress- Davids Bridal- $850
    Alterations- TBA
    Tuxes- TBA
    Bridesmaid Dresses- TBA
    Hair- my friend- Attitudes Salon
    Makeup- my friend- Atitudes Salon

    Save the Dates- DYI mixbook.com
    Invites- TBA
    Programs/Menus- TBA
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  • edited December 2011
    Ceremony Site: Northville Hills Golf Club- A+
    It was $500 to use them for the ceremony.  It ran smoothly and the team did an awesome job. 

    Officiant: Wayne Byrum: A 
    He was $260 and did an awesome job with the ceremony.  He also came to rehearsal and made sure we understood what to do.  He was great to work with. 
    Ceremony Music: Our DJ: Brendan Pfaff: A+
    Brendan is great.  He played all Disney music for our prelude and played all the music I wanted for the ceremony. 

    Reception Site: Northville Hills Golf Club: A+
    It was 33/person for steak, 31/person for chicken, and then 29/person for premium open bar. 
    Caterer: Northville Hills
    Chair Covers/Linens: Northville Hills: $3/chair
    Bakery: Sweet and Savory Bakeshop in Oxford: A+- 1200 for a three tiered cake and 75 cheese cake pops.  The cake was the best cake I have ever tasted. We had so many compliments and it looked beautiful. 
    DJ: Brendan Pfaff: A+ He was 700 and did an amazing job.  He had the dance floor full all night. 
    Favors: Rock the Booth: Everyone loved the photobooth and we got a great scrapbook out of it. 

    Florist: Michelle Nonis:A+++++ Michelle is awesome.  My flowers were so gorgeous and she was 1600 for 7 bridesmaids bouquets, my bouquet, 14 centerpieces, flowers for the arch and headtable, candles, 7 groomsmen bouts, 2 dads, 2 grandpas, 3 moms, 4 grandmas, my godmother, flower girl/ring bearer...etc. 
    Miscellaneous equipment

    Picture Locations
    Engagement Pictures

    Beauty / Attire
    Wedding dress
    Bridesmaid Dresses

    Save the Dates
  • edited December 2011
    Ceremony Site - St Anne's Church Warren, MI - can't remember....
    Ceremony Music - Dr David Wagner - $200 I think but watch out he refused to play anything until he was paid the day of (not that he asked for it before the big day either).  I mean to the extent of stalking my dad before the ceremony...it was super weird and kind of unprofessional.

    Reception Site - Cherry Creek Shelby Township, MI.  I think $65/person included everything dinner, room rental, staffing, open bar, etc.  Kelly was amazing to deal with!
    Chair Covers/Linens - Bellasarios
    Bakery - Just Baked $2.50 per cupcake.  They were awesome to deal with, delivered and cupcakes were DELICIOUS and a huge hit at the wedding.
    DJ - Mary Ann and I will recommend her to anyone asking for any event.  She was absolutely AMAZING, kept the party going all night long in that the reception site had to kick us out and had great transition timing since I surprised the groom with a visit from our school mascot Sparty.  She was incredible!
    Favors - Perfect blend coffee favors: I made them so around $2-ish per favor

    Limo - Millenium - $850 for the Princess party bus and 8-person limo to get the boys to the church.  They were great to deal with as well.  They had a mishap with the boys limo the day of the wedding, called and said they were sending the hummer.  Of course I said absolutely no problem and immediately called my soon to be husband saying he had a surprise coming :)
    Florist - Bellasarios.  They did beautiful!

    Photographer - Nabil Ashi.  ~$1,800 for almost 12 hours and I cannot say enough about him.  He was great to work with, comfortable, took absolutely amazing pictures, all my friends have commented on how he just had the ability to capture the true moments and emotions.  He has great pricing for pkgs, including engagement shots, ours and parent album, individual prints all included.
    Photobooth - Rock the Booth $550 for 4 hours....WORTH EVERY PENNY!  This thing was so much fun and a great way to capture additional memories and guests to write a little something special.

    Beauty / Attire
    Wedding dress - Demetrios (in Atlanta, GA) - DO NOT USE!  Oh wow were they the worst place ever to use between ordering the wrong sizes, recommending 2 sizes too big for the girls, making me look like I pooped my pants with the bustle.  It was a disaster.  Thank goodness for the Demetrios in Novi, MI that we used for final checks.  They eventually gave 2 of my bridesmaids dresses for free and my alterations for free since they were a complete f-up on my account.
    Tuxes - President Tuxedo $180/tux
    Bridesmaid Dresses - Demetrios (Atlanta, GA) - see above = AWFUL!
    Hair - Bridesmaid Beautiful $50 per up-do and $50 per air brush make up.  They were great to deal with and did an awesome job on the girls.  Needless to say it was great just waking up that morning and not have to hustle and travel to meet timelines.  They did such a great job and are all so sweet!
    Makeup - same as above

    Overall best vendors by far were:  Mary Ann (DJ) people are still coming up saying what an awesome DJ she was and Nabil Ashi (Photographer)
  • edited December 2011
    Ok...here are my vendor reviews!!!  As you'll notice, the lowest grade is an A-.  But don't take that to mean I didn't scrutinize things or that I'm completely oblivious. :)  I'm a perfectionist by nature, and these vendors really were amazing.  I would recommend each and every one of them to you. Sorry in advance for the length, but feel free to contact me with any questions. Enjoy and happy planning!!

    Ceremony Site: Martha-Mary Chapel - A ($950 but normally $1500)
    The Martha-Mary Chapel is on the grounds of Greenfield Village.  It was absolutely lovely.  The chapel is lit by candle light and has a pipe organ (which was my only requirement)!  The only details that might pose a problem for other brides is that it has a strict capacity of 125 people seated, ceremonies can only be scheduled for 3, 4, or 5 pm, and you only have the chapel for 1h 45min for set-up, ceremony, and pictures which is kinda tight.  Other than that, it was just perfect!

    : Rev. Jordan Hartley - A+++ (free)
    He's my uncle and Godfather, so he was phenomenal. :)

    Ceremony Music: Carol Wheaton - A+ ($165), Cousins - A+++ (free)
    Carol was our organist and she was great.  Very friendly, learned new music, and gave great insight.  She was really nice to work with.  My cousins sang and played guitar for our unity candle song and it was just precious.  I couldn't have asked for anything more special.

    Reception Site: Lovett Hall, The Henry Ford - A++ ($1500 room rental)
    We ended up booking Lovett Hall after we lost our original venue, and we could not have been happier.  It was exquisite, and more than anything we could have ever hoped for. Amazing.  Emily was our coordinator provided via The Henry Ford and she was so accommodating and helpful and wonderful. The only gripe I have is that e-mail communication was a little slow and sometime questions got missed.  I'm sure this could have been avoided if I called more, but I was dealing with a 3 hr time difference that makes phone communication very difficult.  Other than that she was amazing.  The best part about The Henry Ford is that they were never pushy. It was so nice and refreshing.
    Caterer: The Henry Ford - A+ ($19,000 food & beverage minimum)
    Outside caterers are not allowed at The Henry Ford, but that is A-Ok.  They food is ridiculously delicious.  One thing I loved is that they used local ingredients for everything.  Another thing I loved is that it was well staffed so that the guests were served their food at pretty much the same time.  I always felt uncomfortable at events where one table is just getting their salads while another is indulging in the main course.  The cocktail hour was also delicious.  The hors d'oeuvre options are a great mix of exotic and palate-friendly for even the pickiest eaters.  Yummm. We are still getting compliments of the food!  The price (obviously) is the only downside, but this could be much less for a Friday or Saturday wedding or a wedding out of "wedding season".  Either way,  you will not be disappointed.

    Chair Covers/Linens: Sposa Seating - A+ ($1.75/chair cover+sash, $5/runner) Sposa Seating was so easy and stress free to work with.  Maya has great communication and has a friendly ear and wise words in those last few stressful days. :)  The chair covers looked fabulous and consistent from chair to chair and I couldn't be happier with them.  Highly recommended!

    Bakery: Carmen Humes - A+++ ($2/slice)
    Mrs. Humes has been doing our cakes since 2002 when she did my graduation party cake. She works out of her home which is why she can keep her prices sooo affordable. And her cakes are so good that I didn't even get a piece of my own graduation cake.  I mean, who runs out of cake?! Cake is always left over.  Our wedding cake was no different.  We ordered a cake for 20 pieces over our guest count, and there were only 7 pieces left by the end of the night.  Also, honestly, I would have been perfectly fine not having a wedding cake since I don't have much of a sweet tooth, but wow.  The cake ended up being one of my most favorite details of the entire day.   If you would like her information please let me know!

    Joe Spiteri - A ($900)
    Mr. Spiteri is an excellent DJ and emcee.  He has an amazing knack for reading the crowd and kept the dance floor full the entire night.  He also did a great job of keeping guests in the loop like a good emcee should.  I've never seen so many people gathered around a cake cutting in my life. I didn't give an A+ because there were 2 must play songs I had listed that did not get played, but DH's did.  I also did not go up and remind him either, so that's something I could have done that I didn't do. All-in-all though, he did a phenomenal job and was incredibly responsive to the guests!  Even The Henry Ford staff was telling us how great he was which is a huge compliment since they see and hear it all!

    Favors - Photobooth (see below)

    Shuttle: Royal Transportation Company - A ($495)
    This is virtually one of the only companies I could find that allow you to split time for the purposes of shuttling guests between the hotels and the reception venue.  Other companies make you pay for that idle time and the next cheapest offer of the 6 companies I contacted was $4000.  No thank you.  Anyway, the shuttle ran for 2 hours to get guests to the reception and for 2 hours to return guest to the hotels (and there was 3.5 hours in between those shifts).  They were very easy to work with and had fabulous communication.  I never actually set foot on the shuttle (so I can't give it a +) but the guests really appreciate it and had no complaints.  They also transported a rather animated groomsman at the end of the night (trying to lead a PG-13 chorus of "The Wheels on the Bus") so God bless 'em. :) 

    Michele Nonis - A+  ($1110)
    I love Michele. She was so nice and very responsive to my ideas.  And the flowers were...wow.  So fresh.  So vibrant.  So gorgeous.  She gets them from local farmers, so I love the whole support the local economy deal.  This price included my bouquet, 7 bridesmaids bouquets, 5 boutineers, 4 corsages, 2 pomanders, 17 centerpieces (that included votives), flowers for an 18 (!) person head table, and a throwaway bouquet. I have no complaints.  Highly recommend, Michele!!

    Photographer: The Camera Chick - A+++  ($1250 for 2011 pricing)
    I cannot tell you enough how much we love Sandy and Tim.  It's true love. Seriously.  I booked The Camera Chick and the end of May 2011 (!) when our original photographer went MIA.  We were very lucky to snag them on such short notice as this was the only Saturday that was available the entire summer.  It was so meant to be.  Sandy and Tim are so nice and so personable.  I wish I could meet them for happy hour everyday or something.  They just feel like your old friends.  And they certainly go above and beyond.  They even ran behind horse and carriages carrying equipment and taking pics with no gripes.  The price includes 2 awesome photographers, unlimited time/locations, thousands of pics, hundreds of edited pics, and the rights to all the images. My MOH who is getting married next August has since booked them for her wedding which is a great compliment considering she got a pretty in depth preview of their work.  Did I mention how much we love them? :)

    Photobooth: Rock the Booth - A+++ ($550 for 4 hours service + $100 for scrapbook)  Amazing. This was such a hit with the guests and Rock the Booth was excellent to work with.  They have great communication and are very friendly.  We used the booth for wedding favors and we got the scrapbook (which is an addition) as our guest book.  People are still just raving about how much they loved the photo booth as well as the company itself.  And the scrapbook is going to be one of our most cherished keepsakes.  A photo booth is definitely something you should make room for in your budget for if you're at all considering it.  Amazing fun and amazing memories.  Do it.

    Picture Locations: Greenfield Village - A+ ($600)
    So I have a price here because in order to do pictures in the Village, you have to rent historic transportation.  This can be Model T's or horse drawn carriages.  We went with 2 carriages: 1 4-seater and 1 16-seater.  The first carriage is $400 and additional carriages are $200 each and you have them for 1 hour at this price.  We did pictures all around the Village and the wedding party just kept saying how amazing the pictures are going to look.  It's just gorgeous there.  One of the coolest things ever that happened is we made a quick stop a neat looking train shed for just a few shots.  I saw an engineer in the background and hoped he'd stay there because it's cool, but sadly (or so I thought) he disappeared.  A few seconds later steam started billowing out from this steam engine and he started driving it out! AH!! It was so cool! And then he spun it on the turn table by hand.  Wow.  It was ridiculous. Definitely one of my favorite memories from the day and totally in line with how awesome the entire Henry Ford staff had been from security gate guards to the wedding coordinator.  Just awesome.

    Engagement Pictures: Winnie Forbes Photography in Seattle, WA - A ($300) 
    We did our e-pics at Discovery Park in Seattle, WA (where we live). Winnie was so great to work with. She's young, fresh, and friendly we really enjoyed working with her.  We also brought my dog along and she captured some of the most adorable pics ever. :)

    Beauty / Attire

    Rings: Vatche from Diamond Ideals - A ($1500; mine), Overstock.com - A ($50; his) Both companies were great and both rings look awesome!

    Wedding dress
    : Casablanca 1914 from Antonio's in Birmingham - A ($850) I had a great experience at Antonio's and Vida was great!  They have a really nice selection and just moved to a new locations that has a great boutique feel. One thing I really loved about trying on dresses there was that Vida pinned the dress up to fit you rather than using those bulky clamps.  It was just a nice touch.

    Alterations: Vida at Antonio's - A ($350)
    Yes, it was not  the cheapest. But Vida actually makes wedding gowns and my dress was all lace.  The bulk of the price came from bustle which was pretty difficult.  I think it ended up with 15 points.  But that bustle ended up being one of my favorite parts of the dress.  It was just gorgeous!

    Tuxes: Men's Warehouse - A- ($125 for groomsmen, free for groom)
    Everything looked really sharp in the end, but the quality of service you get from store to store just varies so much.  And I really wish they would just measure correctly the first time.  Ten of the 12 tuxes had to get some component altered/switched/etc but it was ill-fitting.  But it all looked really nice in the end.

    Bridesmaid Dresses
    : Alvina Valenta via RKBridal.com - A ($180)
    These dress ran $280 in the stores (way too much), but I called around to get the lowest price, and then rkbridal.com has a guarantee that they will be the lowest quote by 5%.  So I ordered all the dresses through them and total cost per dress came to $180.  There was no tax and I think about $30 shipping but I just covered the shipping cost.  RKbridal.com was so great to work with, and they also have brick and mortar store which should help easy your mind about ordering online.  The dresses came out beautifully! Definitely keep them in mind!

    and Makeup:  Jason at Changez Salon - A+ ($189)
    I went to Changez in Royal Oak on a referral from another knottie.  It was awesome.  I loved Jason.  He was like my soul mate, and we both love Mr. Dressup.  The $189 was the price of a package that included trial hair and makeup and day-of hair and makeup.  Also, the salon did all my bridemaids'  and moms' hair for ~$50 each. Not too bad!  They also let us bring in delicious breakfast foods and drinks to enjoy during our pampering.  Will definitely go back!

    Save the Dates: Various sources (~$1 each)
    For our save the dates everyone got a postcard of a different Old Hollywood star.  The postcards came from different sources with the majority coming from the UK (oddly enough): old Hollywood star postcards from Kramers General Store (A - ebay), pictureproductions.co.uk (A), long-black-nylons.com (A+).  I then designed a rubber stamp that had all of our info in it and ordered it through rubberstamps.net (A+).  It was awesome.

    Invites: DIY with the help of Paperandmore.com and Costco (~$1.25/invite) I had so much fun doing our invites and all the paper supplies came from paperandmore.com (A+).  They were fast, the cheapest for my needs, and the quality of their product is awesome.  Samples are also very easy to get.  We had the printing and cutting done professionally (DH's one request) at Costco (A++).  Wow...they were awesome and BY FAR the cheapest. For 200 pages of color printing (one-side) and cutting, I paid $67. Yeah, you basically can double that for anywhere else.  It was a great deal and they looked great. 

    Programs/Menus:  DIY


    Rehearsal Dinner: Hockeytown Cafe in Detroit - A+ (~$20/person)
    Hockeytown Cafe went above and beyond for us and we could not be happier with them.  We had a large RD, and therefore needed a large space.  We originally had the Celebration room on the second floor, but due to some other disgruntled person who would have been below us that evening (who also booked last minute), Hockeytown Cafe offered for us to stay in room or have the entire roof for no extra charge.  Ummm...roof, please! It was amazing, and we are still getting as many compliments on Hockeytown as we are for the wedding.  The food was delicious, the staff was great, and they have a sound system to which you can hook up your own iPod.  It was awesome, and better than we could have hoped for.

    Hotel Block: The Henry Hotel - A+ ($99/night)
    We used The Henry (formally a Ritz) for our hotel block.  Wow, were they accommodating.  They were very nice and very easy to work with.  For that weekend, rooms were running at ~$200/night, but our guests got a special rate of $99. It's an amazing price for a stunning hotel. With 10 rooms, we also got a complimentary stay in one of their suites.  A-mazing.  The bathroom had 2 showers. Two!  And it was large enough to accommodate myself and 13 other bodies comfortably to get ready the day of.  On the wedding night we came back to champagne and strawberries and a sweet note from the hotel.  It was a really nice touch.  The only negative was that the room key needs to be used in the elevator and only takes you to your own floor.  So running to other rooms to see friends and family isn't as easy.  But that's pretty minor.  Overall, The Henry was awesome and they treated everyone like royalty. :)
  • edited December 2011
    Ceremony Site
    - Chapel at the Academy of the Sacred Heart (Bloomfield Hills, MI): A- / $975 (non-member rate) : On site coordinator was amazingly organized. Chapel has AC, but the dressing room did not so it was slightly stuffy even with the fan. Beautiful chapel and grounds.
    Officiant - Deacon Brian Carroll: A+ / $450: Very nice man who agreed to marry us out-of-staters. If we lived in MI, we would definitely join his parish. He gave a very sweet and humorous homily.
    Ceremony Music - Brian Ivan (Classical Guitarist): A / $300: Excellent communication. Learned and played a custom request for us.

    Reception Site - Penna's of Sterling (Sterling Heights, MI): A+ / ~$7,750 ($51.95 pp): Price includes a delicious family style dinner (cooked fresh on site), 6.5 hr reception/open bar, and pizza as a late night snack. Mary Lou of Penna's had excellent communication and organization. We had two other weddings going on at the same time, but we never heard either of them.
    Bakery - Millitello's (Shelby Township, MI): A / ~$500: We ordered the Pineapple Mandarin Orange fresh fruit torte with homemade whipped cream. It was delicious.
    - Scott of JD Entertainment: A / $1020: Easy to use website made organizing and requesting songs a breeze. He honored our requests and do not play list. Dance floor was packed all night.
    - Sander's Candy (Clinton Township, MI): A / $450: Custom gift box with 2 candies of our choice. We chose Milk Chocolate Caramels with Sea Salt and Milk Chocolate covered English Toffee. We ordered 30 extra and had none left by the end of the night.

    Additional Vendors
    Limo - Dream Limousines: A / $660: 3 hour white Mercedes party bus rental plus driver's tip. Driver was on time and the limo was in spotless condition.
    Florist - Viviano Flower Shop (St. Clare Shores, MI): A / $319: Price includes 6 bridesmaid bouquets, 1 bridal bouquet, 5 boutonnieres, and delivery. We also ordered centerpieces and a church decorations from Vivianos, but I don't have a price for those (thanks mom!). Delivery was on time and everything looked great.

    Photographer - Amy Boeve: A / $2,500: We chose the wedding photography and photo album package since we were not in town to do an engagement shoot. Amy was awesome throughout the whole process.  We prioritized family photos and she was great at getting everyone organized and in line for each photo. She made me feel comfortable in front of the camera and I can't wait to see the all the photos.
    Picture Locations - Academy of the Sacred Heart chapel & gardens and Penna's of Sterling.

    Beauty / Attire
    Rings - The Gem Lab (in Henrietta, NY): A / $3,000 total for engagement ring and both our wedding bands.
    Wedding dress - Alessandra's Bridal (Warren, MI): A / $700. I went with Jasmine Collection F361 (w/o flowery strap) $500, then added Swarovski crystal belt $200. This was the first bridal salon I visited and I found my dress in under an hour with the help of Pam.
    Alterations - Alessandra's Bridal (Warren, MI): A / free basic + $150? for bustle. Fittings were a breeze and it only required two fittings. The seamstress had excellent ideas for the bustle and executed it well.
    Tuxes - Men's Warehouse (Rochester, NY & Troy, MI): A / $125-$175? Easy to pick up and drop off. Quality was great.
    Bridesmaid Dresses - Jasmine B3098 in eggplant: A- / $130-$180 depending on which salon it was purchased from. Dresses tended to run long so a majority of the girls had them shortened to their preference.
    Hair & Makeup - Scott from Azenza Salon (Birmingham, MI): A+ / $125 for both. Excellent. Both hair and make-up lasted all day. My makeup matched perfectly to my fair skin tone and it felt natural and light.
    Hair Accessory - Rhinestone Encrusted Floral Barrette from DanaCastle on Etsy: A / $42. Excellent quality and was able to have it changed from a comb into a barrette.
    Necklace - Rhinestone Center Necklace and Rhinestone Chain from MayLui on Etsy: A+ / $50 (necklace only). I received so many compliments on this necklace. Excellent quality and customization options.

    Invitations - Wedding Paper Diva's Rustic Frame in Verbena: A+ / $300 for 110 invitations, response cards, and reception cards using sale discount. Customer service was awesome. The original order was printed lighter than the sample which made it hard to read on the textured paper so they reprinted it for me in a darker shade free of charge. Quick turnaround time.
    Guest Book Poster - Wedding Tree by Fancy Prints on Etsy : A / $45 . I cannot wait to frame and hang this. Post came with instructions and a pen so guests could sign. Seller provided a digital proof of my custom colors and the final poster looks great.

    Rehearsal Dinner - Ike's Restaurant (Sterling Heights, MI): A / $16.95pp + $7.95pp beer, wine, & soda package: The food was great. My favorite was the baklava for dessert.
    Hotel Block - Hampton Inn & Suites Sterling Heights A+ / Free for us / $94 for regular or $104 for suite: We stayed there the night before and the night of the wedding and the compped our rooms on BOTH nights. The hotel was great. They let us stay in the pool past closing, the rooms were clean and spacious, and they had a free breakfast buffet. They ran a free shuttle to Penna's all night so none of our hotel staying guests had to drive.
    Post Wedding Breakfast - Ike's Restaurant (Sterling Heights, MI): A / $11.95 breakfast buffet. The food definitely hit the spot so early in the morning. Ike's was quick to refill any low items and made sure everyone had something to drink.
    AlternaTickers - Cool, free Web tickers
  • edited December 2011
    Ceremony Site
    Stone Creek Banquet Center B Great  pre planning but rehersal and wedding day we were givin a different co ordinater and procedures were changed
    Officiant Michigan Officiants (Rev Jeff) A+ reasonable, professional and knowledgeable
    Ceremony Music

    Reception Site Trenton Kof C Chandelier Room B Pretty inside, very accomadating, but hall smells bad (we used scented candles to cover) and not attractive from the outside
    Caterer Tims Catering A great food, priced reasonably and excellent service
    Chair Covers/Linens came with reception package
    Bakery Bridgetts Sweet Creations (Woodhaven) B Cake was complimented, very good.  I wasnt happy with the lettering, it was crooked, but the rest was beautiful
    DJ Out of the Blue DJ Service (Steve) A++ Best DJ I have ever seen ! very good at running the show. polite and responsive to the crowds wishes
    Favors Hobby Lobby
    Lighting Orange County Entertainment (michigan) A++ went above and beyond! my wedding planner made some mistakes and I had no problem getting things corrected. Very reasonable lighting prices!

    Limo Bozzos A Great family owned business. Great customer service. Nice ride!
    Florist Westborn Market (cake flowers) A Westborn florists are knowledgeable, friendly, and accomodating.
    Miscellaneous equipment
    Dunkaroos party rental (chairs) C Had issues with chair delivery times partially due to mistakes made by the wedding planner,but we asked for an earlier drop off time and were denied, but then rushed because she had another wedding after ours. Would not let us adjust the chair count after the deposit was made.

    Photographer Vivid Image Photography A
    Picture Locations
    Elizabeth Park, Stone Creek Banquet Center, Trenton KOC
    Engagement Pictures Downtown Monroe (Vivid Image Photography)

    Beauty / Attire
    Rings The Jewerly factory in Livonia A Very reasonably priced beautiful jewerly. I exchanged my diamond for another with no problems. Got bridesmaid necklaces there also.
    Wedding dress Ebay B Got a gorgeous custom made gown for $97, but waiting for the dress was a little stressful. It is difficult to get a perfect fit without actually trying it on, but I bought a larger size than I needed and planned on having it altered. It was beautiful!
    Alterations family member
    Tuxes Mens Wearhouse A Our best man was deployed 2 weeks before the wedding and we had no problems making changes and no extra fees. Wait times can be long when they are busy though.
    Bridesmaid Dresses Davids Bridal A Had a bridemaid gain weight a few weeks before the wedding and they were willing to exchange the dress for free.
    Hair VIP Salon Brownstown A $65 for an updo + tip. Very well worth it! my hair was perfect!
    Makeup family member

    Save the Dates
    Shutterfly A+
  • edited December 2011

    Ceremony Site- Kerrytown Concert House, Ann Arbor- $450 including rehearsal- A
    Officiant - Robert Songer- $150 including rehearsal and custom ceremony- A
    Ceremony Music- Bagpiper, Kris Hunt- A+.
    I wasn't sure about bagpipes, but my husband is Scottish and it was important to him. It was absolutely beautiful. Kris is the 2nd in command at the St. Andrews Society of Detroit drum and pipe corps. We were supposed to have Dave Martin, who is #1, but one of the members of the St. Andrew's Society had a daughter getting married, so Kris was sent as a replacement. He did a fantastic job!

    Reception Site- Weber's Inn, Ann Arbor- A
     $6500 minimum for the Atrium ballroom before tax and gratuity. Weber's was great about everything and we didn't feel nickle-and-dimed. Everything we needed was included (Champagne toast, table linens, setting up of escort cards and personal items, a room for me and hubby, discounted rooms for guests, etc.). We ended up being under out minimum with 117 guests and ended up getting some upgrades too. The food was good and the service staff was awesome- no tables full of glasses or dishes, they were quick to get everyone's meals to them, no line at the bar the whole night, etc.).

    Caterer- Weber's Inn- A,
    The food and service was very fast, no meal snafus and I noticed they let some people change their meal choice the day of the wedding

    Chair Covers/Linens- Weber's Inn- A
    They provide a limited choice of colors of table cloths and napkins. I purchased table overlays from tableclothsfactory.com and Weber's set them up on all of the tables. Tableclothsfactory worked out great for me, even though I saw some bad reviews of them. The table overlays were perfect and arrived quickly. I paid $7 for each overlay and $7 total for shipping.
    Bakery- Weber's Inn- A+, $225 for 120 cupcakes in 5 flavors with a 6" cake for me and hubby to cut. They even included some to-go boxes for cupcakes and the cheesecake bar. The cake was delicious, but I didn't have a cupcake until 2 days after and it was soooo good!
    DJ- Adam Barragato with 3DJ Services- $350- A
    Adam danced the whole night, made announcements as planned and kept the party moving all night. The only thing is that he is particular about what kind of music he will play. If it's offensive or too sexual in any way, he will NOT play it. This worked out well for us because we were having a wedding reception, not hosting a night at the club. It may not work out well for people that want a more clubby atmosphere at their wedding though.

    Favors- N/A we did a photobooth instead of favors
    Lighting- N/A

    Limo- Bozzo's limousine, New Boston- A-
    I would have given Bozzo's an A, but they told hubby a few days before the wedding that he couldn't pay the whole remaining balance on a credit card, but had to pay the driver's tip and gas money in cash the day of the wedding. We wanted to have everything taken care of so we didn't have to worry. We tried to pay them far in advance, so it seemed like they should've been able to give the driver gas money and tip him out themselves. The driver was courteous and professional and the party bus was clean and well-stocked with ice, water, glasses and napkins.
    Florist- Norton's Flowers and Gifts, Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti- A+
    Ok, my mom is one of the owners of the shop, so I don't know what we spent, but I was very vague about what I wanted because I knew the designers would not let me down. I basically told them green and white flowers and told my mom some of the flowers I wanted included. Everything looked better than I had hoped for!
    DOC- N/A
    Miscellaneous equipment- N/A

    Photographer- Lovella Photography- A++, $1200 for 6 hours with 2 photographers, a DVD with printing rights and a $200 print credit
    Lindsey and Brandon were awesome! I got a lot of comments about how nice they were. We ended up getting behind schedule at the reception and added another hour to the package (I think it was another $200, but I'm not sure) a half an hour before they were supposed to leave and they were awesome about it. They made everyone feel comfortable taking pictures and managed to wrangle in our huge wedding party. I can't wait to see our pictures!
    Videographer- N/A
    Photobooth- Flasbooth- $800-900, A
    Robin and her assistant were great. Everyone had a great time and loved the props they brought. I had people tell me how happy they were with the prop selection compared to other photobooths they'd seen before. The guests also loved that they printed out a copy of each photo strip for everyone in the booth. They also don't copyright protect their photos on their website, so you can copy and paste them, share them on Facebook, Tweet them or print them out for free. Our picture gallery was on their website the next morning. We also added another hour to their package at the reception and they were great about staying later.
    Picture Locations- Kerrytown, Ann Arbor and Island Park in Ann Arbor- A
    Island park was an awesome spot for pictures- easy parking, water, bridges, woods, playgrounds, benches, classic revival structure and plenty of space.

    Engagement Pictures- N/A. This was included in out photography package, but we swapped the engagement session for the DVD with print rights of all of our wedding pictures instead

    Beauty / Attire
    Rings- Jared- A
    Wedding dress- Allure Bridal in Livonia- A, $399
    I tried my dress on at another shop and wasn't happy with the service there, so I called Allure to see if they had my dress and asked how much it was. It ended up being on sale for half as much as it was at the shop I tried it on at! The size was almost perfect and my dress came in in 12 weeks ( they said 12-16 weeks).
    Alterations- Enrica's Golden Needle in Belleville, MI- A++, $125
    I grew up in Belleville and moved to Ann Arbor 13 years ago. My mom used to get all her clothes altered there because of Enrica's attention to detail. When we went in for my first fitting, she remembered my mom by name and she hadn't seen her for 14 years! I have a convertible dress, so there was a little more to alter than with a normal dress. She took the inner dress in, hemmed the outer skirt, fixed the closure on the outer skirt (because she "wasn't happy with how the manufacturer finished it and it should be prettier"), fixed the hooks around the removable skirt and did a 3 point bustle.
    Tuxes- Men's Warehouse- A, $175, groom's was free.
    There were some issues with fit and a pocket square snafu, but everything was fixed quickly and all the guys looked great.
    Bridesmaid Dresses- All the women chose their own black dress and they all looked fabulous! So glad I did it this way. I think they spent anywhere from $40- $300, but the budget was their choice.
    Hair- Van Buren's Salon, Ann Arbor- A+, $60 for me, the bridemaids' and moms' hair ranged from $50-70, depending on what they had done.
    Van Buren's was awesome! They let me bring in my makeup artist because they don't have one on staff and put up with my rowdy friends for hours. All the ladies' hair looked great and they got everyone done ahead of schedule.
    Makeup- Katrina with I Make You Up- $40 for the trial, $80 for my airbrush, $50 for the bridesmaids and my mom's airbrush makeup- A
    I was very happy with my makeup and all the girls were happy with their makeup as well. I would have given her an A+, but she got a little behind schedule. Once we told her we needed her to step up the pace, she did and everyone was ready in time.

    Save the Dates- 123print.com- A, $25 for 100
    Invites- Vistaprint.com- A, $70 or so for 80 invitations, reception cards, RSVPs, envelopes, etc. because I used the Living Social offer for $10 for $50 worth of stuff. There was an issue with the invitations ( there was a line of ink on the back that shouldn't have been there) and they fixed it right away, apologized profusely and I had my replacements in 2 days.
    Programs/Menus- We didn't do menus, but my lovely husband made all the programs himself. So he gets an A+ because he did them all by himself. I think the paper ran $18 from Office Max
  • Sue-n-KevinSue-n-Kevin
    Seventh Anniversary 5000 Comments 25 Love Its First Answer
    edited December 2011
    LInks to vendors in my bio below.

    Ceremony Site: Greenmead Village Chapel, Livonia: A+++: $1000 for Livonia resident for chapel AND reception venue. It is so lovely there. It only holds up to 100 people, but our total attendance was under 80. They supply 2 ladies to work the rehearsal, they walk you through everything (as an historic village, they have certain rules), and get the bridal party down the aisle, keep the ceremony moving.

    Here's a pic before it was decorated

    Officiant: John Davis from Davis Entertainment: Grade B. $160 for officiant services, but only because we also used him for DJ services. For us it was easier to just get an officiant who was already coming, and his services as a DJ were great. He read vows I sent him, and has sort of a weird cadence when reading them. But he was efficient and drove all the way from Grand Blanc (where he lives) for the rehearsal and then the next day again.
    Ceremony Music: Violin and guitar: Angela Dunning-Cauchi: Grade A+. $275 for rehearsal and ceremony. Angela is a friend of a friend. I heard her play at a friend's wedding, and her version of "Ave Maria" made the hair on the back of my neck stand up. She is a "stay home mom" who happens to be an amazing musician. Her email (she gave me permission to share) is [email protected] . She played "Canon in D" for the wedding party, "Trumpet Voluntary" for my procession, "Starry Starry Night" for the candle lighting, all on the violin, and "All You Need is Love" on the guitar for our recessional. One of my daughter's friends who is NOT for hire has a beautiful voice, and sang "Ave Maria" and the recessional.

    Reception Site:
    Greenmead Village: A++++, cost with chapel $1000 for Livonia residents. This worked for us because we had a small wedding . You have to have under 100 for the banquet area as well. We ended up with 80, and the room available is just right, could possibly fit one more table of 10 along with the dance floor, DJ, cake table and gift table. They have restrictions (no open flames) due to their historic nature, and only allow you in for 2 hrs before guest arrival times. You bring in your own liquor and food, and this worked for us. We had to have a DOC to do the set up, but it was still worth it.

    Holiday Market A++++: roughly $20 per person plus 4 staff people at around $1000. EXCELLENT FOOD. It was the BEST WEDDING FOOD I have ever had, and my guests all raved......even some of the skinny chicks had 2 plates full!!! We had Michigan Salad (mixed greens with dried cherries, candied pecans, maytag blue cheese, raspberry vinagraitte), beef tenderloin with veggies for sandwiches, chicken piccata, green beans with garlic, rosemary roasted red potatoes, pasta with red sauce. They also made a sundae bar at about 9:30 pm with 4 kinds of Rays Ice Cream (the raspberry sorbet is fabulous), sauces, various chopped nuts and candies and sprinkles plus whipped cream. They also picked up Bates Burgers and fries at cost and served that in a lovely way around 10 pm. The guests just loved this touch, especially the oldsters who grew up in the Livonia area, as well as the teens.
    FYI for brides: If you can bring in your own caterer, look at non-standard options like gourmet stores. Most do catering of some type and their food is amazing and they are more willing to negotiate than standard caterers. They do this because they don't just make money on their catering, but are also gourmet markets. Vince & Joe's, Joe's Produce, others do this, look into it. After our taste tests we went with Holiday Market, but only because they had done this venue before and their food was a touch above the others, but they were all good.

    Holiday Market, A+++, $180 for cake that serves around 120. We had the yellow cake with Passion Fruit Mousse, buttercream. It was SO GOOD. We have the rest in our freezer and are taking slices daily, LOL

    Davis Entertainment, grade A, $600 with the veteran discount due to my fiance's vet status. John Davis has over 400,000 songs, from the swing era, 80's, Motown, hard rock, etc. I am guessing here that he does not have a lot of the current music trends that my 16 y/o daughter and her friends wanted, as we continually asked for them and didn't hear much. However, it's just a guess. We asked that the "Home Run Song from The Natural" be our entrance into the reception since we are huge baseball fans, and he found it and had it for our entrance, so he is willing to supply what you want. Just not sure how much he has of the current genre.

    Did my own, 2 glass coasters per person from the Knot shopping site, 99 cents per pair on sale. Purchased white opalescent cardboard and made guest monograms on my home printer and inserted those into the openings on the coasters meant for photos. I didn't have any left, so all was good.

    Lighting: DJ brought it. It was fairly good. Because of the small size of our venue, he was limited in his ability to use it all.

    Aristocat Limo, Warren: A: We just had "transfers", a LIncoln Navigator there that seats 10-14 (I say more like 8-10 comfortably), I think it was about $270, then a simple town car to drive my parents back home around 10 pm, $150. The Lincoln Navigator's cooling system worked well for those in the front of the limo........I was in the back and it was a bit less effective.

    Costco all the way baby! A+++: I have a fairly large garden and have arranged my own flowers for a long time. I ordered flowers directly from the woman who sets up their kiosk at the Roseville store (Maria, 586-260-8531). I thought I had a "secret source", like an addict who has a secret seller, but found out she does about 15-20 weddings per weekend! Call her about 2-3 weeks before the wedding and you can place an order with her for the bulk flowers you want. We ordered 70 stems of white Asiatic Lillies, 8 dozen white vendella roses, and a ton of baby's breath. It came to about $200. We arranged to pick up the order the Wednesday before the wedding so the lillies would have time to open. Otherwise I'd say arrange to pick up your order on Thursday. It's now a week after I picked them up and the roses are still gorgeous. The lillies open upward along the stem, so the ones recently opened are fabulous, the ones lower that were open when we got them are sort of wilted. Baby's breath lasts forever, LOL.

    I also ordered the 20 piece bridal package from their website for $399. You have to order 30 days before your wedding, but I think I called them 25 days before and there was no problem. They will change out any of the centerpieces for bouquets. It's impossible to change the corsage and bout count unless you are switching one for the other, because their packaging is set up "just so" and they use the available openings. They arrived in gorgeous condition, and even now, 6 days after they arrived, they look fabulous (I've kept them in water before drying them). The roses in the bouquets have white pearls in the center and are beautifully hand wrapped with white organza ribbon. There may be local florists who can do it for this price, but I didn't have time to shop around.

    DOC: Shelly from Simplicity DOC (in my other post I erroneously said Jill, but they are both great). A+++++. $550 for (I think) 8 hrs on the day of the wedding, plus 1 meeting beforehand. I don't know where I would have been without Shelly. I had SO MUCH DIY stuff to arrange, and she did it all within 2 hrs due to the venue's access rules. Everywhere I looked on my wedding day, there was Shelly, helping me, guests, whomever. Because of all the DIY there was also a lot of packing up, and she did it as well. We drove off to the hotel and she was still there, LOL. However, our wedding did end a bit earlier than most (11:30 pm). She was invaluable and I think this was one of the best decisions I made for our wedding vendors.

    Miscellaneous equipment: Bartender, Davis Entertainment, $270 for 2 bartenders, one signature drink, and 2 pony kegs of beer. His wife and daughter do the bartending, and they set it up very professionally and did a great job.

    WINE: We purchased our own wine from Champane's Wine Cellars in Warren on 13 Mile between Van Dyke and Mound. I've lived in Warren for 16 yrs, and never went there. I will now! I'd grade the assistance of their wine manager and prices A++. We purchased 5 bottles of good champagne, another 19 bottles of whites, reds and 2 dessert wines (total of 24 bottles) for $220. Great selection, very helpful. We went in and told them we wanted to average about $10 per bottle, some were more, some less, but they were all great. We were done in less than an hour. I think we had 3 bottles of champage left, and 4 unopened bottles of wine. Many of my guests were accomplished wine drinkers and they liked everything that Champane's helped us choose.

    Photographer: Brian Jones, from Captured by Brian. Brian is the hubby of a former Knottie (Taryn), and she offered his services when I first joined the Knot. He did a great job, but I've only seen a couple of finished pics. He is NOT available for hire, as he's finishing his master's degree and a new dad. Maybe someday, LOL.

    Picture Locations: Greenmead Village in Livonia. It is a public park, and they have lovely gardens and structures. Free, LOL.
    Engagement Pictures: Also Greenmead Village.

    Beauty / Attire
    Wedding dress: I made my ceremony dress, my reception dress was a sample sale purchase from Alessandra's in Warren. $235, alterations $165. They are great to work with, and so friendly. They seem to have a fairly large selection of BM dresses and MOB/MOG dresses, a few flower girl dresses. Can't speak to their selection of wedding dresses, but I've seen other great reviews on selection and price from other Knottie brides.

    Tuxes: Our guys just all bought black suits. I got them silver silk tie and pocket square sets from Macys.com when they were on sale for $25 each (I think). Kevin's vest/tie/pocket square set was under $50 from an online sale at JC Penney's website.

    Bridesmaid Dresses: I told everyone to just get their own black dresses. Worked out well since they were various ages/sizes.

    Hair: Deux Adore: A++++: $65 for me, I think $45 for the BM. Stephanie does a GREAT JOB.
    Makeup: Deux Adore: A++++ we went with airbrushed, and it was AMAZING!!!!! I was worried because I'm an *ahem* older bride, as were 2 of my BM. It didn't make us look older, in fact it was fabulously light and covered well all day. I think it was $65 with false eyelashes for me, $55 for the gals.

    Save the Dates: DIY (I bought vellum paper from Joann's, folded in half and had a pic of us from our engagement session inside)

    Invites: DIY (from a sales table at Michael's, $5 for 50)

    DIY (found scrapbook paper at Michael's in black and cream, used those for the covers, then used ivory resume paper folded in half for the inside, all held together with black ribbons)

    FABULOUS ONLINE SOURCES: I did a lot of DIY stuff, and used the following online sources to score some great deals and make my vision come true

    as I said above, the flowers were fabulous. I'd highly recommend them to anyone. As a Costco member, I also received coupons over time that I used for things.........got 2 packs of LED votives on sale, plus had 2 books of photos made up for our guestbook (and one to keep).  

    I ordered the "jelly balls" from them to fill the glass vases, at $2.50 per bag it was the cheapest source I found. One bag, when water is added, fills a 10 inch high glass cylinder vase 3/4 full. You have to put them in the vase about 6-8 hrs before you want to put the flowers in because it takes that long to "bloom" and fully hydrate.

    I also ordered a full bolt (45 yards?) of ivory tulle from them to put on the fence in front of the chapel and on the handrails of the chapel. I also used it for my veil, LOL. It was also the cheapest price I found online, I think $20 for 45 yards.

    I also ordered small white battery operated strings of lights from them. The strings of lights are waterproof, the battery pack (3 AA's) is not. These can be wrapped around a vase or tall branch, with the battery packs hidden. I think they were 6 feet long and about $4.50 each.

    www.rhinestonejewelry.com :
    I got my headband/tiara from them. The downside to this website is that while the rhinestone jewelry is inexpensive, they have it set up for multiple orders. For example, I fell in love with the headband, but it was $54 for 6 of them. I don't think I saw ONE lovely headband for that price, let alone 6 ! So, I bought them, sold one to another knottie at a get together, then wired 2 together to make a great cuff bracelet. They have rhinestone jewelry of all types, belts, belt buckles, pins/brooches, shoe clips, plus rhinestones by the yard, etc.

    This is a great source for decor that you can't find elsewhere. They have cyrstal beaded door-hanging things (like the 1970's door curtains) that are inexpensive and can be purchased and cut to fit on manzanita branches, etc. They also have lovely candle holders I haven't seen elsewhere. It's worth a "look see" at their website to find what you want.

    Other jewelry sources: I made my bridesmaid's matching necklaces and earring sets and bought a bunch of inexpensive necklaces at places like Forever 21, Fashion Bug, etc, and then deconstructed them and made them into new pieces.
  • db1985db1985
    edited November 2012
    Our wedding went perfectly and all of our vendors were awesome!! We made some great choices and I couldnt have imagined any better!!

    Ceremony Site- Grosse Ile Yacht Club---A+ 
    Had Ceremony on back lawn, beautiful view looking out at lake $150 for ceremony fee, $250 tent rental, $2.50 per chair w/cover

    Officiant- Nichole Bertucci, A Simple I Do in Waterford, MI---A+   $250 + $50 travel fee   www.asimpleido.net
    Nichole was super responsive to all of my emails and very informative about the marriage license process.  We didnt meet her until the day of the wedding and filled her in on the details right before the ceremony.  She did a great job and really made us feel at ease.  She has 2 ceremony options, a simple prewritten ceremony (what we chose) and a personalized ceremony for a bit more.  The ceremony was very simple yet thoughtful and touching and the guests enjoyed it.

    Ceremony Music- The Music Butler (our DJ), we just added an extra hour to our package to cover the ceremony (see review below)

    Reception Site/Caterer- Grosse Ile Yacht Club---A+
     Awesome view of Lake Erie,  The venue has one wedding a night and is the perfect size for a wedding of about 125 or less. All the staff was super friendly and helpful.  Sandy Cullen (the manager) did a great job and was running helping the serving staff and making sure the groom and I had everything we needed all night.
    Buffet Package $50/person for 2 entrees with starch, veggie, and pasta sides and 2 appetizers, bar included in package, but adding $4/person for upgraded bar, cake cutting also included

    Chair Covers/Linens- White Chair covers and linens provided in package, Sandy went out of her way to get us fushia bows for the chairs to match our color scheme :)

    Bakery Cakes by Stephanie in Monroe, MI---A
    Got a 3 layer cake plus an additional round cake for the kitchen,  $325 for 120 servings and will get free anniversary cake (we choose to serve the top layer) All of the samples we tried were delicious but we chose white cake with a choice of cherry or mocha filling.  Cake was delivered on time and was decorated as we described to them.  We only got to try one of the flavors at the wedding, but it was really good!

    DJ The Music Butler in Sterling Heights, MI---A+  $800 for 6 hrs, then adding extra hour for $100 to cover our ceremony   http://www.themusicbutler.com/
    Mike Ziamba did an awesome job.  Our guests commented how much fun he was.  He really did a good job keeping us on schedule, he came to check in with us multiple times to make sure we were ready for the big moments (toasts, dances, etc) and did a good job of keeping the guests on the dance floor.  We gave him a list of songs and different artists we enjoyed and he did a good job filling in and selecting songs our guests enjoyed.

    Favors  We did not do favors, used the money for an upgraded bar :-)  I dont think anyone missed them

    Simply Beautiful Rentals in Monroe, MI---A  $10-$13 a table for centerpieces (they also do head table and special table arrangements if needed) [email protected]
    We selected two different centerpices.  Heather and Luke dropped them off a few hours before the reception.  Did a good job setting everything up and the centerpieces looked great!  We were going to make them ourselves, but it was so convienent to have someone else make and set them up for you and then not to have to worry about what to do with all of them after the wedding!!  At the end of the night we had the wait staff gather everything on one table and they came back to pick them up after the reception had ended.


    Florist Linnaea Floral Designs-- In Grand Rapids, but serves all of MI--- A  $400 for bridal bouquet, MOH bouquet, 3 BM bouquets, toss bouquet, 9 bouts, 7 corsages, includes delivery    http://linnaeafloraldesign.weebly.com/ 
    Lisa at Linnaea was super excited about our ideas when we met with her.  We priced out 3 local florists, and for only $35  more than the cheapest one, Linnaea was able to offer us almost double the flowers.  She dropped them off the Friday before the wedding.  The bouquets we kept in a dark, cool room and the corsages/bouts we kept in the fridge.  Everything looked great the day of!!  Everyone commented how beautiful the colors were.  We love that we are supporting a small business that is just starting out!

    Photographer- Pure Amour Photography in Oxford, MI--   We chose her small package which is  $700 for 5 hours and CD with Print rights and then added an extra hour for $75   http://www.pureamourphotography.com/ 
    Amy was great, she was like having another bridesmaid the day of the wedding making sure I had water and that my dress was laying just so.  She is very detailed oriented and gets shots quickly and efficiently.  She did our family shots in record time (we both have huge extended families) and blended right into the background for the candid shots throughout the reception.  I havent seen the pics yet but I'm sure they will be amazing as all of her sneakpeeks on facebook have been great!  She does take a bit to respond to emails 

    Picture Locations- Just at our ceremony/reception site 

    Engagement Pictures- Free, we had a friend take some pics for us on Univ Michigan campus and they came out great!!

    Beauty / Attire
    Rings Maloofs in St Clair shores $400 for his (4mm yellow gold band) $480 for hers (1/4 ct yellow gold diamond wedding band)

    Wedding dress- David's Bridal,  Headpiece from PrincessBrideTiaras.com,  Veil from Davids Bridal
    Alterations Davids Bridal $100 for hem and 3 point over bustle

    Tuxes- FI bought his suit from Lord and Taylor, was 50% off and free alterations,  Groomsmen will be wearing black suits they already owned

    Bridesmaid Dresses Davids Bridal, gave my girls some guidelines (length, material, color) and let them pick their own

    Hair Biundo Salon in Monroe, MI---A 
    I had 2 trials with Cathy, one updo and one partial updo.  She nailed it day of.  It was exactly what I had envisioned.  The bridesmaids had other hairdressers and everyone looked great!!  $45-$50
    Makeup- Airbrush at Biundo Salon--- A+  Billie Jo did awesome!  I had airbrush makeup which looked great, but my favorite part was the eyes.  I did fake eyelashes and the lashes and makeup really made my eyes pop!  I felt like a true princess!  She did all 5 girls makeup and really captured their usual style while still making them look special for the wedding (one rarely wears makeup and was very happy that she looked dressed up but not overdone!)  2 of the girls changed their minds and decided to get makeup at the last minute and she was able to fit us in no problem.   $50 airbrush and $25 lashes

    Save the Dates A friend designed them for us using one of our Engagement pics, then we uploaded and printed online using CatPrint.  It was about $36.00 for 55 STDs with Envelopes

    Invites- A friend who is doing free lance graphic design did them for us. They came out awesome!

    We are printing using CatPrint $260 for 100 invites, 100 Thank you cards, and 115 RSVP cards with envelopes.  They also mail a free hard copy proof for your approval before printing order

    Programs/Menus/Table number cards/signage  I am designed these myself in photoshop.  Programs and menus we had printed at CatPrint.  $106 for 45 5x7 menu cards and 80 5x7 double sided programs.  The table numbers and other signage I am just printing at Kinkos
  • erinkris76erinkris76
    edited December 2011
    Ceremony Site: Holy Redeemer in Detroit.A+ in general but D in communications .About $500
    Officiant Father Richard A+ Very easy going.
    Ceremony Music A+ a great organist at the church. He knew his music. The music was awsome inside the church About $ 100-150

    Reception Site: Marriott in Livonia A++++ The event manager there is GREAT! She response very quickly by email. She even contacted my vendors to make sure everything ran smoothly. They are very accommadating.When I was looking for a lighting company they did not mind having them come there to show us their products. Help us with Room Blocks. Willing to change their menu to fit your needs. ABout $66-80 per person.
    Caterer: Food from hotel resturant Sweet Lorraine's A++++- Everybody said the food was great. Some guys ask for seconds:)
    Chair Covers/Linens:Affordable Elegance Chair Covers and Linens: A+ Great. They will contact the reception for set-up. Everything was beautiful.  Just for 100 they will tear down for you. I paid about 1400 for 21 tables,  190 chair covers, napkins, head table, cake table, gift table, 6 high tables, 190 Charger Plates and tear down.
    Bakery: family
    DJ: friend
    Favors: DIY
    Lighting:Mercury Sound and Lighting: A++++ People at the wedding LOVED the lighting. We got Pin spots and LED?-The lights change thru out the night, gave us a club feeling-great for dancing and setting the mood for dinner, 1st dance etc. About 1900

    Limo: Millennium Limoousine A+ The Driver was Great, Came early for pick up, very easy going. No problems about driving around Detroit for pictures. We use the Tiffany limo bus- very clean and modern.I believe it says it holds about 26-28 people but we had 23 people and it was tight. but then again we had tall guys on the bus:) ABout $1200 for 8 hours
    Florist Jen House from A Moment in Time, who was also the DOC A++++. All I said I want purple and blue flowers and shown her a couple of pictures. And she did the rest. ABout 2300 for  10 bouquets, 15 boutonnieres, 2 corsages, 19 centerpieces including candles and vases, and flowers for guest table, and cocktail tables.
    DOC: Jen House from A moment in Time A+  I didn't worry about anything on the day of. She saved us for the ceremony part. We had problems with the church at the rehearsal but she came in on the day of and coordinating everybody even though she was not planning to do that part of it. I don't know what we would do without her.  I strongly suggest getting DOC for your wedding. ABout $500 for just Day of to $2000 for help planning your whole wedding.
    Miscellaneous equipment NA

    Photographer: Bryan Mitchell A+++He is a photojournalist. I felt during the day I was I those reality shows cause he did not interfer with taking pictures. He was more documenting the day. I loved it. He stayed with us the whole time about 15hours!!  He is very helpful. We paid about 2800 for engagement pictures, unlimitied hours, we will recieve a slideshow of the pictures, photobook, and CDs
    His blog to get idea of his engagement pictures and wedding is

    Videographer: Friend
    Photobooth: NA
    Picture Locations: Downtown Detroit: A+++ Thank you people of Detroit for giving us a great memory. Everybody was friendly and was not annoyed when we tried to take pictures at Comerica, or Layette Coney.
    Engagement Pictures: Included in Package with Bryan Mitchell.

    Beauty / Attire
    Rings: Kays Jewelerys A+
    Wedding dress: Dianes Dream Bridal in Livonia: A+  Not very pushy, willing to let me try on as many dresses I want. No appts needed. excellent. I paid about 900 for my dress.
    Alterations: Did my Alteration at Dianes Dream Bridal but the lady who does it is seperate from the store. I give her a C. I  had no problems with her but one of my bridesmaid she did not do a good job on her alteration around her bust area. I paid around 200 for hem, cups, bust area, and bustle.
    Tuxes: Mens' Wearhouse  A+ about 160 for tuxes.
    Bridesmaid Dresses: Dianes Dream Bridal A+: Gave discount if you get bridal dress there too. Very accommadating. I had nine girls and I had 3 dress they could choose from. No problems Paid about $130
    Hair: Family
    Makeup: Friend

    Save the Dates NA
    Invites: DIY
    Programs/Menus DIY
  • courtney1188courtney1188
    Fourth Anniversary 500 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Ceremony Site - Stone Creek Banquet Hall in Flat Rock - $800 - A
    We could of paid less for the site only, but paid more to have them provide and setup all the chairs, and also for extra time in the staging area. It was a pretty basic setup and looked as promised in pictures I had been shown. It is a very pretty site!

    Officiant - Rev. Stephen Goodrum - $500 - A++
    Steve was a last minute fill-in and I am SO GLAD we found him. Our officiant, an old family friend, bailed at the last minute and thank goodness Steve was available for both our rehersal and ceremony. He did a great job, everyone loved the ceremony. We didn't get to meet with him until the rehersal since it was so last minute but I immediately felt comfortable with him, he is very personable and I would highly recommend him!

    Ceremony Music - Toppermost Beatles Tribute Band - $200 - B
    All the band had to do for the ceremony was setup speakers with an ipod and microphone. They were accomodating of some last minute changes on locations of the speakers, which was nice. But I'm not giving them an A because they didn't start the recessional music until FI and I had finished walking back down the aisle - there are some not so pretty pics of me making a 'where the eff is my recessional music??' face.

    Reception Site - Stone Creek Banquet Hall in Flat Rock - approx $45 a head - A
    This price includes the venue, cheese and crackers, a salad bar, an open premium bar, a buffet with 3 meal choices, and a late night snack of grilled cheese and chips. Stone Creek was great to work with, the building is gorgeous - all stone with floor to ceiling windows in many spots, basic chandeliers, small fountains outside, and a park surrounding it. It is attached to a community center, which was a concern of mine but did not affect the wedding at all, there is a fairly separate entrance and no noise crossed from the community center area into our hall. The food was excellent and we had no problems with the service. Jann, the manager, was very helpful in figuring out seating and how to best arrange the room. Only reason they didn't get an A+ is that they forgot to charge us the cake cutting fee and took it out of our security deposit, which was definitely an error on their end. But above all I was happy with the location, it was beautiful and the neutral colors alleviated my concerns about things clashing with my color scheme.

    Caterer - Exclusive to Stone Creek, included in their review. The food was all very good!

    Chair Covers/Linens - Affordable Elegance Chair Covers and Linens in Troy - approx $1200 - B-/C+
    The reason I chose AECC is because I fell in love with their flair chair covers and sashes and had to have them, and no other company in the area carries them. They were gorgeous, but there were definitely some hidden fees I wasn't thrilled with - they didn't let me know until I called to make my final deposit that it was extra $ if I wanted the sashes tied in the special design shown on their website rather than a standard bow. Overall I felt that their prices were quite high considering the name - they run some good deals, but make sure ou know EXACTLY how much EVERYTHING you want will cost, down to how the napkins are folded and how the sashes are tied to avoid any last minute surprises. Initially I had trouble getting ahold of someone, but once I actually booked them Jessica always responded very promptly to any questions I had.

    Bakery - Cakes by Stephanie in Monroe - 2.75 a slice - C+
    This is a tough one, because the cake flavor was excellent. However, I don't think that the cake that was delivered to us looked anywhere near as nice as the picture I showed them. Luckily the cake wasn't a huge deal to me and it was still cute, but...well, I'll show both pictures. I think the problem is that fondant should of been used - in our initial meeting we were told they generally use buttercream and were told they could achieve what we wanted using that, but it didn't happen. So if your dream cake is buttercream, perfect. But if it requires the smoothness or look of fondant, I'd look elsewhere.
    What I requested (minus the flower):

    And what I got:

    Band - Toppermost Beatles Tribute Band - $800 - B-
    I know what you guys are thinking...a Beatles tribute band?! Yeah, it was the only thing FI wanted at the wedding. And when they were playing they did an excellent job, they even had my groom and his band join them for a few songs. But at the start of our reception when they were supposed to start playign they were nowhere to be found, despite the fact that our coordinator had e-mailed them a timeline and gone over it with them just prior to the reception starting. For some reason they waited to get dressed until the time they should of been getting on stage! Also, they just didn't get the concept of the anniversary dance - they had couples sit down after each song instead of just inerting several announcements into one song! So our anniversary dance lasted...oh, four or five songs. Despite our coordinator frantically trying to tell them between each song and being ignored. Luckily none of our guests had seen an anniversary dance done before, so I don't think they realized it was wrong.

    Favors - DIY - $100
    I bought little 2X2 fuchsia favor boxes at Michaels, you have to assemble them put they're very reasonable, with ribbon and favor tags. Then I got Lindt truffles on an awesome sale at Walgreens and stuffed the boxes with them.

    Lighting - Free gets an A++++ from me! My fiance's band has their own stage lights which the lead singer/groomsmen so nicely brought with him and set them up for us.

    Florist - Linnaea Floral Design - $1100 - A
    This is a new-ish company owned by two sisters, Lisa and Erin, and I really enjoyed working with them! I had NO idea what kind of flowers i wanted, just a color and a bunch of pictures that they turned into a great vision, other florists had given me very generic ideas or told me they couldn't get the flowers I wanted, but Lisa and Erin offered alternatives and had great ideas. My price included my bouquet and 4 bridesmaid bouquets of ranunculus and garden roses, 2 rose corsages, and 16 centerpieces (half manzanita branches with roses and half garden rose pomanders), as well as tealights on the tables and flower petals lining the aisle. Only tiny complaint would be that the manzanita centerpieces didn't look exactly what we had talked about, they were in a super tall vase instead of the short one we'd discussed and I'd pictures. In the end this was probably better for conversation purposes for the guests. They were one of my favorite vendors!

    DOC - Tammara from Grand Jour Events - $350 and worth every penny! - A++++
    I am so glad I hired Tammara! As with almost all weddings, there were a few minor glitches, but she handled them all for me and did a great job making sure evrything was setup exactly as I wanted it and that the whole day just kind of flowed properly. I loved that she also communicated with my vendors to make sure we were all on the same page as far as the timeline goes.

    Photographer - Amy Schrodt of Pure Amour Photography - approx $1500 A+++++++
    I LOVE Amy's work, she is the most amazing photographer and her packages are so reasonable, I believe they start around $700. We chose a package with engagement pictures, a longer time frame, and a very nice album that includes ALL of our proofs, so that drove up our cost, as well as mileage, but I am so happy we found her! I would recommend her to anyone, she takes just gorgeous photos, and was never at all intrusive, I often almost forgot she was there snappkign away. We have gotten a sneek peak already and it is truly gorgeous =)

    Beauty / Attire
    Wedding dress - Belladonnas in Wyandotte - A
    Belladonnas was extremely patient with me - I came in for an initial appointment, which was great, ended up buying an exclusive dress somewhere else...and changing my mind and ended up buying one of their samples that I fell in love with while shopping for BM dresses. I wish I knew the associates name because she seemed so excited and happy for all the brides, I do remember she had dark curly hair and glasses and was younger. They got me a new corset string for the sample and I got a good deal. A warning though, I wouldn't get the dress altered there - their alterations department is totally separate from them and super pricy, I've had bad past experiences.

    Alterations - Pam Thomas in Toledo - $270 - A+

    My dress required a TON of work to hem and bustle it - because of it's special design it required you to detach and reattach lace, and the full tulle skirt meant she had a lot fo work to do! But she did a great job, made the bustle incredibly simple, and was very low priced. She is super popular among Toledo brides.

    Tuxes - Men's Wearhouse - A+
    One of our groomsmen picked up his tux AFTER the cutoff for alterations, with him and FMIL insisting it would be fine, which of course it wasn't, the shirt was way too small! By some miracle they got him a shirt that fit in time for the wedding, I was very grateful!

    Bridesmaid Dresses - Belladonnas in Wyandotte, A+

    We had a very scary moment with the BM dresses because the manufacturer sent one in the wrong color! But by the time they called to tell me, Belladonnas had already arranged to have the dress in the right color rush ordered and got it in time for me. And all fo the dresses fit perfectly with no alterations! They handled the problem very well.

    Hair - Once again, free gets an A+ from me! My SIL did my hair, she is a stylist and did a lovely job =)

    Makeup - Aleksandra Adams - $80 for onsite airbrush - A+
    Aleksandra was super receptive to the feedback I gave her at the trial. My makeup looked exactly how I wanted it on my wedding day, which was special but nothing too over the top, and she was right on time for arriving and how fast she did our makeup.
  • yesiknowyesiknow
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Ceremony Site- Harper Woods Community Center (Small Hall) $75
    Officiant- Pastor Nathan Farr (My Pastor) $200
    Ceremony Music-Captured Couture $60

    Reception Site- Harper Woods Community Center (Large Hall) $650 for 4hours and 90 minutes set-up I paid an additional $100 for 2 more hours of set-up.
    Caterer- My Mother Cooked
    Chair Covers/Linens- Chair covers by anna $350 for 208 chair covers & sash
    Bakery- Joy's Magic Kitchen I had a 4 tier cake made to serve 323 people- $700. Cake was not only beautiful but tasted delicious alot of people asked me who made that cake.
    DJ-Captured Couture $300 I booked a package deal with the photographer and recieved 15% off my total bill for the DJ and photographer. He was great he had everything I asked him to have and he was very helpful and checked with me throughout the night to make sure everything was to my liking.
    Favors- CDs- I made them the supplies were donated
    Lighting- DJ provided

    Limo- Did not have one event was at same location
    Florist-  I bought all my flowers for my bridesmaids, centerpieces and my bouquet at Hobby Lobby. Bridesmaids-$5 a piece ($25), Centerpiece flowers-$3 a piece ($48) and My bouquet was $12.50.
    Miscellaneous equipment- Punch Containers $15 each ($30).


    Bridesmaids Bouquets

    Photographer- Captured Couture 6 Hours 3 Locations 55 edited images on disc and same photos in a printed package-$500
    Videographer- Family
    Engagement Pictures- Maureen Williams Photography- $35 all images edited on a CD no prints.

    Photo from Engagement Photo Shoot

    Beauty / Attire
    Rings- Engagement Ring $500 - Zeidmans Wedding Band $60 His Ring $85 Walmart with shipping.
    Wedding dress- David's Bridal-Free My mothers dress she wore 6 years ago
    Shoes- $90
    Alterations- $25
    Tuxes- $165- Mens Warehouse
    Bridesmaid Dresses- $75 Angeles Fashions Hamtramck
    Hair- Charda $35, Flower Girl, Bell Girl ($15 each) total of $65.
    Makeup-$200 Mine, (3) Bridesmaids and Traveling Fee- Make up by Before-After Looks Ashley Riveria

    Wedding Party

    Make-Up & Hair

    Save the Dates- Did not have
    Invites- $55 Bought invitations at Hobby Lobby wedding items were 50% off. Paid $25 for 100 invitations I had already been given 100 previously from someone for free. I bought ink and we printed them out ourselves.
    Programs/Menus- Created them in Microsoft Publisher and printed myself.- Free

    Invitation & RSVP Card with Poem


  • edited December 2011


    Milford Presbyteran Church, Milford, MI – A – The ceremony was beautiful. The only issue I had was at the beginning of planning, communication was a bit off because their existing pastor was about to retire but he did not want to meet with us since he would not be performing the ceremony. They also did not start our pre-marital counseling until about 2 months before the wedding, which was a chaotic time. If you do book with them, just make sure you email the coordinator once a month or so to check in. I felt the cost was a lot but we were really having a hard time finding a church and luckily we got a beautiful church. Cost: $1100 for the church, use of the bridal parlor, organist, pastor, wedding ceremony coordinator, and video of the ceremony.
    Ceremony Music
    Bag Pipes: Don Ross – A+ - Originally we booked with Dave Martin from the Saint Andrews Society Pipe Band. A few days before the wedding Don called to say that Dave would not be there to do our wedding, but had arranged for Don to be there instead. He was great, knew what to do and sounded absolutely amazing. He played before, during and after the ceremony then went to our reception venue to pipe us into the reception. Cost: $250

    Beacon Hill Golf Club, Commerce, MI – B – When we first booked there was a different wedding coordinator at the time, who at the time promised all kinds of things that sounded great. He was one of the reasons why we booked there. I called a few months later to set up a tasting and found out he had been let go and was introduced to the new coordinator, Jerry. We paid for the Premier package which included premium bar and special table settings. The food was ok (your usual reception food), however everyone said the food was great. I was told that we could come set up Saturday morning, but when the groomsmen got there the room wasn’t even cleaned up from the previous night and were told that there was a noon luncheon, meaning they couldn’t really set up. Another thing that sort of put me off was we noticed that there weren’t extra seats set out for the dj and photographer to eat dinner. I was told from the beginning that there would be extra seats for those who show up unplanned and what not. When we sat down to dinner we realized this and asked Jerry to set out a couple of extra settings for them and he seemed inconvenienced to do so. The venue was beautiful, the price was great but the service was lacking. Cost:$59.00/person included 3 entrée buffet, premium 5-hour bar, champagne toast for everyone, and white linens

    Nicole’s Sweet Toppings – Milford, MI – A+ - Absolutely a pleasure to work with! Nicole was very easy to communicate with and went above and beyond our expectations. For our tasting she made us a small 6” cake for each flavor we picked to try.  This was great because we were able to take it back to our families to try and pick flavors too. I gave her a picture of the cake that I liked from the Knot’s website and she nailed it. It looked so beautiful! Cost: $220 for the wedding cake (only the top tier was cake, the rest was Styrofoam)

    DJ Chewy (Casey Lambert) from Liquid Entertainment, Grand Blanc, MI – A-  Great DJ, had everyone up dancing , even came and danced with us. The biggest thing for me was communication. Not sure if it’s a DJ thing, but I could not get ahold of the guy about a month and half from the wedding. We weren’t sure if he was going to show up. I even made a few calls to the owner of the company who promised that he would call. I am so glad it worked out because everyone had a great time and my feet still hurt from all of the dancing. Cost: $600 for 6 hours
    Foto Fun, LLC, Ferndale, MI – A- We found them through a Groupon Deal early in the summer. We wanted to do a photobooth, but they were just far too expensive to make it worth it. This deal came out for $200 for 3 hours and we couldn’t pass it up. We figured if it didn’t work out or wasn’t the greatest quality we weren’t going to be out much. It was a hit and everyone absolutely loved it! I wish I got to spend more time in it though : / The only issue I had was the owner’s did not honor the original Groupon agreement with the travel expenses, but we ended up compromising on an additional $50 travel fee instead of $100. I understood from the beginning that they were just getting started in the business and just wanted to get their name out there. They even let me provide my own artwork for the logo.  Cost: $300 ($200 Groupon, $50 travel fee, $50 logo add-on)

    April Irelynn Designs – A- April was very easy to communicate with. Our centerpieces were stunning! The bouquets looked great! The boutonnieres showed up with dead, wilting flowers. I did take the chance and requested a flower that had to be brought in from Holland, and they just didn’t travel well. Due to a shortage of time before the ceremony, they couldn’t be swapped out.  I guess if I were the florist, I would have swapped them out even before getting to the church with something else. Another note is that after your wedding, you have I think 2 weeks to return the glass back to April. Just keep that in mind that you will have to do that after you are all done celebrating. She will travel a long distance for a minimal fee. Cost: $1100 for 12 centerpieces, 6 BM bouquets, 8 boutonnieres, 4 corsages, flower barrette for the flower girl, along with a bouquet for her too.

    Adam Sparkes Photography – A+ - Probably one of my favorite venders. He was the first vender we booked because we loved his style and the photography was the most important to us. We had a lot of fun during our engagement session and he and his assistant kept everyone laughing during the day of. Can’t wait to see the final pictures but at this point I give him an A+. Cost: $1975 for engagement session, digital rights, himself and assistant photographer, all day coverage, no travel fee, and unlimited locations. He even scoped out an alfafa field for a photo opportunity down some random dirt road in Milford.

    See favors
    Picture Locations
    Central Park, Milford, MI and Beacon Hill Golf Club, Commerce, MI

    Engagement Pictures
    Kensington Park, Milford, MI

    Beauty / Attire
    Rottermond Jewelers – A+ - Worked with Christine everything went smoothly and felt we got a pretty good deal.

    Wedding dress
    Moni’s Bridal – C – Everything was great when we ordered my dress and 6 bridesmaids dresses. It went all downhill when it came to the alterations. I bought a Mori Lee style 1603 and the alterations ended up being 50% of the dress. I sort of felt like I was taken advantage of because I didn’t buy my accessories, shoes or undergarments from them. When I first purchased the dress I was told the hem would be $150 so I assumed the bustle would be for sure less than that. I was also told at the beginning that I wouldn’t need a slip with this dress, so I didn’t plan on that. At my first fitting appointment she told me I did need one, and of course it did look better, so that was another $100. I wish I would have known because I know I could have found it cheaper. I was also assured her prices “were the best in town”. Must be a pretty small town because Moni herself told me I could get it done cheaper elsewhere when it came to the bridesmaids’ alterations. I went in with one of my bridesmaids and was told it would be $35 for everything including hem. At the time my bridesmaid didn’t need a help, only the back to be taken in. I went in a few weeks later with another bridesmaid and she had to have her dress taken in and hemmed and was quoted $95 for all of it…. Moni argued with me after I said she quoted me differently. She said it was $35 to take in, $45 to hem and $15 for press and steam. It was not layered dress, just a simple tea length dress. I even told my bridesmaid in front of Moni to not pay that much. The bridesmaid didn’t really have time to go look elsewhere so she ended up paying $85…. Moni gave us a “deal”.  They have great selection and the prices for the dresses aren’t terrible. I would suggest getting it altered outside of the store. Be prepared for rude customer service.

    Highland Fling, Auburn Hills, MI – B+ - I married into a Scottish family, therefore we needed kilts. There is only one place to rent kilts in the state of Michigan and that is at the Highland Fling in Canterbury Village. The guy was helpful but not very organized. He didn’t require a deposit. He ended up not having one of the groomsmen’s name on file when they went to pick up their kilts the day before the wedding. Thankfully, they happened to have the pieces onsite. Cost: $150, it does not include white dress shirts (ended up buying those from Macy’s with a Labor Day Discount) or ties.President Tuxedo – A – We had the ushers and my father in tuxedos and that process was pretty smooth. I opted for the cheapest tuxedo and purple vests. Cost: $100
    Bridesmaid Dresses
    Moni’s Bridal – See Wedding Dress

    Iconic Salon, Royal Oak, MI – A+ - Really great experience here. We were able to bring in breakfast and mimosas and just relax. I had my hair done by Lauren and she did a fabulous job. Cost: $65 for up-do

    About Face Salon, Royal Oak, MI – A – I had my makeup done by Marla. My mom paid for this as a gift, but I don’ t know if it was really worth the amount. She did do a wonderful job, but it was expensive. Cost: $95.00

    Save the Date, Invites and Programs
     I designed our Save the Dates and our Invites. I ended up printing through a co-worker of my sister and the cost was free. If you have the time and experience I suggest doing this. It was one of my favorite projects and something I am very proud of.

    Dance Lessons
    Anja Wathall, Livonia, MI - A+ - So much fun. We probably took 8 lessons total and had an beautiful choreographed dance at the end of it. I kept stepping on my dress and DH kept slipping on the dance floor, but we managed to move around somewhat gracefully. Cost: $50/hr private dance lesson
  • lalaith50lalaith50
    1000 Comments Third Anniversary 5 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited December 2011
    Ceremony Site: Old St. Patrick Catholic Church, Ann Arbor-- A+ --- the prettiest Catholic Church in Michigan!
    Officiant: Father Gawronski-- A+ -- He's my favorite priest, but a little stressful b/c he is sometimes hard to get ahold of (but I knew that going in...)
    Ceremony Music: friends of mine-- B for effort...

    Reception Site: Sheraton Ann Arbor: A -- I believe they just had a price increase for 2012, but we were lucky cuz we got the renovated hotel for the old price! (included in the cost of catering)
    Caterer: Sheraton Ann Arbor: B -- as with most people, the food at the tasting was WAY better, but everyone told me they liked their food, I think it was $53 pp for 6 hour bar and dinner, PLUS tax and required 21% gratuity. yikes!
    Chair Covers/Linens: N/A
    Bakery: Catherine Whitehead (in Ypsilanti) A -- cake was excellent, and the design was wonderful! She was so creative and worked really hard, $600 for 4-tier cake to feed 200
    DJ: Robert Gray -- A + -- he's a friend who does a lot of weddings, and he really kept the dancing going, $400 for 6 hours
    Favors: N/A
    Lighting: Sheraton A -- They turned the lights down without being asked, and it seemed nice to me?

    Limo: Millenium -- B+ -- My DH thinks that they originally quoted a price $50 lower than what we ended up paying (He didn't have any evidence, so he didn't try to contest it.) But the limo was wonderful and on time and everything. Plus, the required tip will really bite you in the butt... I think the final cost was like $900 for 3 hours?
    Florist: A friend, Jeannie Wesley who has done other weddings- A -- 5 BM boquets, bride boquet, 18 arrangements of sunflowers on pews, and 4 altar arrangements. and a few corsages and bouts. $600
    DOC: a very organized and dear friend of mine! excellent! (She's helped out with lots of friends weddings of ours.)
    Miscellaneous equipment N/A

    Photographer: Melanie Reyes, A+ -- we don't have our pictures back yet, but she put about 20 pictures on FB and they look great! (Plus I've seen her work before and it's wonderful!) $2200 for e-pix, 9 hours on the day, and we will get the high-def rights of all of them.
    Videographer: A friend (I haven't seen the final product yet, I told him I didn't expect much, just a basic video)
    Photobooth: Shutterbooth: A+ -- It was a huge hit!  $700 for 4 hours
    Picture Locations:  Outside the church, Parker Mill County Park, outside the UM art museum
    Engagement Pictures: On North Campus of U of M, and my backyard (with a beautiful blooming tree)

    Beauty / Attire
    Rings: mine: iweddingband.com A+; I had to return it once to get a different style, and they were always helpful with email and phone questions. DH's: overstock.com , A+
    Wedding dress: Davids Bridal -- A -- it was on sale, so it arrived in 2 weeks! but I loved it. $300
    Alterations: Davids Bridal -- B -- why do they take a month to do anything? and of course as everyone knows they're over-priced...
    Tuxes: Men's Wearhouse: A- -- I think one of the men was measured poorly and had to have alterations, but they do them right there.
    Bridesmaid Dresses: Davids Bridal: A -- no problems.
    Hair: a friend
    Makeup: did myself

    Save the Dates: N/A
    Invites: Designed them myself, then printed at Standard Printing in Ypsilanti. I think it was about $1/invite, including envelopes and 2 inserts? A (they were helpful with me not having any idea what kind of paper I wanted!)
    Programs/Menus: Programs printed at Fed Ex office. A -- they were done in about 1 hour, and looked great! I assembled them myself. $56
  • edited December 2011
    Ceremony Site: Grosse Pointe War Memorial – Alger House Library
    Price included in the cost of the reception: B- for ceremony
    The location representatives are not the greatest at listening and the ceremony “coordinator” sat in a chair by the fireplace while I directed my entire rehearsal, even though they made me fill out all of this info and also asked for a run of ceremony, which I luckily had already created.  The chairs were placed way too close to the front of the room and we were all squished at the front during the ceremony, although this is a room that is HUGE and they knew we would not need as many rows as they set up.  They also needed to be told by a guest to lock a door that the service staff was using to go in and out of while guests were being seated for the ceremony, which also happened to be where we stood during the ceremony.  Of course, someone was pulling on the door while we were saying our vows.  They neglected to put a sign out or verbally inform the staff that they could not use that door during our 30-minute ceremony!

    Scott Steiger
    FREE because he is my BIL, but normally charges $300: A+++
    He performed a ceremony that fit our personalities perfectly and did an amazing job!  If you are interested in hiring him, contact me and I will get you in touch with him.

    Ceremony Music: Best DJ Service
    Price included in package: A for ceremony
    Everything was timed well and song changes faded in and out appropriately.  He supplied the microphones for the officiant and reader, as well.

    Reception: 73 people attended
    Reception Site: Grosse Pointe War Memorial - Alger House

    Caterer: Same
    $1,500 deposit & 4,500 for f&b, does not include liquor - B
    Like I said above, the people that work there are not the greatest at communicating.  It’s a lot of repeating the same things and over-explaining everything that you might want a little differently than cookie-cutter weddings that they would prefer to do with their eyes closed.  It took some patience, but it all worked out in the end.  My DOC had to ask them at least 10 times to turn the AC all the way up and to stop clearing full drinks.  No wonder we were running out of liquor! I did get some feedback from guests and vendors that the staff was very rude to them, which makes me a little uneasy about giving them a B.  Food was EXCELLENT!

    Liquor: Oxford Beverage, Grosse Pointe, MI - A

    $700 for premium, included delivery and chilling of our own wine & champagne along with the items we purchased from them.
    Great vendor – Sarah was an amazing help.  They also let us buy some more bottles of liquor when we started to run out and they came back and delivered it to the reception site later in the evening.  We were able to return any unopened liquor for refund. 

    Chair Covers/Linens: Sposa Seating
    $300 (had to guarantee 90) - A
    Maya is easy to work with and very straight forward, excellent service.  Worth the cost to make the room look great!

    Bakery: Hodell’s Cake Shop, St. Clair Shores, MI
    $300 for 3-tier cake that serves 90+ - A++++
    YUM!  Their traditional pound cake is a family favorite and what they are known for.  Get it. You will not be sorry.

    DJ: Best DJ Service
    $700 (reduced because he didn’t show up for our first meeting) – C overall rating
    Was one of the vendors that made me really nervous about whether he would even show up because he seemed to not remember or care about anything - Day of, he was somewhat better.  His wireless mic for the toasts was basically shorted out and not working for all of them, he forgot to introduce one of our toasts and instead announced that we were now going to have someone say “grace” even though we are non-practicing.  I was very specific about what I wanted to hear played and he played some things I told him absolutely not to and did not play a lot of the things I told him were mandatory.  The dance floor stayed full, but I knew it would, regardless of whom was playing the music.

    Favors: None

    Lighting: Kim’s Gifts, Monroe, MI
    $100 for 12 lights - D
    Uplighting was not bright enough to dim the lights in the main dining room and did not “wash the white walls in color, like they promised.  They were good vendors to work with and extremely reasonably priced, but I would have paid more to get better uplighting from someone else, had I known it would look silly.

    Guest Shuttle: Royal Transportation, Detroit, MI
    $505 for 6 hours split 3/3 – A+
    Company will let you split the total hours so that you don’t pay for the time in between your drop-off & pick-up shuttle trips.  Deb is really easy to work with and the driver was really friendly 
    Bride & Groom Transportation: Metro Car
    $90 incl tip for transportation from reception to hotel - A
    This is a great company with an excellent reputation for service.  Enough said.

    Florist:  Linnaea Floral Design (they will come to you almost anywhere in MI)
    $750 for Bride, MOH & toss bouquet, 5 bouts, 7 corsages, pew decorations, HUGE ceremony arrangement, mantle decorations for 3 fireplaces – A+++++++++++++
    I cannot say enough about how amazing these sisters are.  They executed my vision perfectly!  You can see their unique style and the variety of work they can do by visiting the blog on their site.  Book them quickly!  They are getting really popular!

    DOC: A Beautiful Day Events, Plymouth, MI
    $350 (I think) for 8 hours on-site with an assistant - A++++++++
    AMAZING!  I manage large-scale events professionally, so the planning portion of the pre-wedding work was something I already know how to do, but there was no way I wanted to be chasing after vendors and setting up the reception on my wedding day.  I could not have done it without Rachel  - she is very good at what she does and her assistant was so calm and kind to me when things around us were getting a little hairy – it put me at ease to know that Rachel and Christine had everything handled.  I highly recommend her!

    Centerpieces – Tall candelabras & feather balls, including flameless candles: Kim’s Gifts, Monroe, MI
    $1,100 included delivery & late night pick-up: A++++++++++++
    These looked FABULOUS!  So reasonable for the impact they had on the tables.  She’s one of the only people that offer these and most certainly the only one at such a reasonable price.  If you want to make an impact with your centerpieces, but don’t want to do flowers, look into these.

    Photographer: Pure Amour Photography, Oxford, MI
    $775 for 7 hours of service – we will order our prints ala carte: A
    Amy’s funky artistic style is exactly what we wanted for our wedding and our initial meeting with her was just confirmation that she was the photographer for us.  She had some scheduling conflicts and was not able to meet with us to talk about our shot list before the wedding, but I just sent her the info via e-mail and that worked out fine.  She did run into some traffic on the way to our wedding and was late getting there, which left us only 15 minutes before the ceremony to get all of the photos of me with my family and my Husband with his.  Needless to say, we did not get the shots we wanted beforehand and it caused some stress for me not knowing if she would be there before the ceremony began.  Amy did stay an hour later and is giving us a canvas wrap to make up for it.  Also, the sneak peek photos she posted for us are just prefect and really breathtaking, so I am giving her an A, still because in the end, it’s the photos that will capture the day.

    Videographer: None
    Photobooth: None
    Picture Locations: Ceremony/Reception Site
    Engagement Pictures: None

    Beauty / Attire
    Rings: Bride’s (custom designed diamond & sapphire) – Skyline Diamonds, Troy, MI: $2,000 A+  Groom’s (titanium)– Overstock.com: $35 A+

    Wedding dress: Patty Weir, Dressmaker (also the Bridal Manager at Haberman Fabric in Royal Oak, MI$900-ish for everything – A++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    The couture experience in Michigan – who would’ve thought? I designed my own dress and Patty executed it perfectly.  She tweaks the fit until it fits you like a glove.  She just had one of her dresses featured in Metro Bride and you would be surprised and how many people you know that probably wore a “Patty” on their wedding day.  Do it – you get to wear exactly what you want, in fabric you picked out, for much less $$ than a dress that was mass-produced.

    Alterations: None

    Tuxes: Men’s Wearhouse
    I think $150 each and the groom got a free suit and a discount on his tux – A
    We had a great experience with them

    MOH Dress: Konja’s Bridal; Lazaro gown
    $300 with extra length: A
    Great – let us come back a couple times to try on a few different looks to get my Mom’s opinion.  Make an appointment!  You cannot just walk in.  I witnessed a few women that were not too happy when they were told that they would have to come back when there was an opening in the schedule.

    Hair: Mijo-a Beauty (on-site)
    Makeup: Mijo-a Beauty (on-site)
    It was pricey, but she is a celebrity stylist with her own make-up line, so…you get what you pay for: A++++++++++
    Being a connoisseur of all things make-up and hair myself, I was very picky about who was going to touch my head & face on my wedding day.  Gjysta and her staff are top-notch with stellar reputations and even more impressive work to show for it (check out Hour Magazine, Metro Bride, etc etc etc).  They came to the hotel and then traveled with us to the site to do last-minute touch-ups and stayed until the ceremony started to make sure everything was “just-so”.  My sister and mother looked like models and I thought I looked pretty darn good, too…if I do say so myself ;-)

    Save the Dates: Vistaprint
    $80 for magnets & personalized greeting cards we mailed them in: A
    Great value for quality product.

    Invites: Etsy vendor (do not want to recommend due to poor experience with program & menu order)
    $300 for custom designed invites with all inserts, custom logo, envelope liner and return addresses printed on outer & RSVP envelope: A
    So perfect!  Could not have afforded what we had designed if we would have used a traditional route to get our invites.  I will explain below why I don’t want to recommend this vendor, but there are so many talented designers on Etsy.  It’s the only way to go for something unique at a great price!  Unless, you are a graphic designer, of course.

    Programs/Menus: DIY
    $70 for card stock & paper corner punch
    Originally we were having our programs & menus designed and printed by the same vendor who did our invitations.  BUT, she flaked out after the initial design was created and we never heard from her again.  Not sure what happened, but I ended up making my own and they looked pretty good.  Not as good as her work looked, but that stuff gets thrown in the recycling bin after that night, anyway.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • edited February 2012
    Ceremony Site: Oak Arbor Church in Rochester - I don't remember the cost of the church, sorry - A+ - Mandy was great to work with
    Officiant: Steve Goodrum - $400 - A - for finding him less than a month before the wedding, he was GREAT. He was funny and personable and really made us feel comfortable during the ceremony. 
    Ceremony Music: String Quartet by Panache - $600 for 1 hour and custom music (pieces requested that were not in their library) - A++ - They were WONDERFUL. It was an elegant touch and they were all so awesome.

    Reception Site: Oak Arbor (same as ceremony) - $1,000 refundable deposit (unless you burn the place down or whatever)
    Caterer: Rivercrest in Rochester - $33/pp for hor'dourves, 3 meat buffet, salad, pasta, veggies, potatoes, late-night pizza, and soft drinks - A- - They were super nice and always asking if I needed anything and the food was great (we got to take home all the leftovers!) but the ceremony started 10 minutes late and pictures in the church took a little longer so the caterer was apparently worried the food would be served late and the chicken would dry out. I didn't talk to him but the DJ was the messenger.
    Chair Covers/Linens: Glamorous Elegance - $1 chair cover .50 sashes - A+  - Delonna was wonderful to work with, and they looked great
    Bakery: Jennie B Cakes in Port Huron - $550 for 200 slices of deliciousness (multi-tiered and custom designed) including delivery. - A++ - Our cake was AMAZING, both in the look and the taste. People continue to talk about it. One couple said they went to 7 weddings this year and ours was the best tasting and definitely the most unique looking.
    Grooms Cake: I just HAVE to give credit to Sweet Simplicity Baked Goods in Rochester for their crazy amazing Heineken groom's cake I surprised my man with. It was HUGE (50 BIG slices or 75 average slices). That cake PLUS a lemon tort (size of a mini cake that has about 8 big slices) was only $85. Wonderful service. Definitely A++
    DJ: Matt from W.E.D. - $600 (I think?) for all day. Discount for Friday. - A - No complaints really, but since things were behind schedule he wanted to go through things quickly so we could get to open dancing. Great to work with. 
    Favors: Popcorn buffet from Popcorn Wagon in Frankenmuth - $120ish - A+ - our popcorn was a big hit and super delicious. They use coconut oil so it doesn't go stale. Very awesome.

    plus, frames for the photobooth strips*

    Limo: Millenium Limos - $500 for 3 hours - B- - Isaac was 10 minutes late to pick the guys up, and once he dropped them off at the church he seemed really impatient to wait around during the ceremony. Also, I never saw a "Just Married" sign (but I didn't really look for it, so maybe it was there..) and we never got "the red carpet" like we were told. Plus, there were bottles of champagne that I paid for but it slipped my mind and they were found right before getting back to reception hall so we just took them with us. I wish he would've reminded us.  
    Florist: Silk Thumb Florist in Wyandotte - $1,200ish for 18 centerpieces and delivery - A - They were awesome! They came early enough to set them up and came to tear them down. Friendly and efficient. 

    Photographer: Pure Amour Photography - $1500 for 8 hours, leatherbound album of all proofs (not watermarked), photo release, CD of all images, password protected online display, and around 15 prints (various sizes) - B+ - She has a very relaxed/down to earth personality but since we were running late I wish she would've taken charge more. 
    Photobooth: Rock The Booth - $1000 for 5 hours, scrapbook (used as our guestbook) and 175 frames - A - They displayed a sign that said it would be open from 6:40 to 10:40. In my mind I thought I paid for 5 hours but I didn't want to worry about it... it was open until 11:40 so the sign was wrong, but I just don't see why they would've kept it up if it was wrong. The scrapbook turned out AWESOME and everyone LOVED the photobooth. They were great to work with - and were flexible with the contract (changing the amount of hours, changing the start time, changing the number of frames, etc)

    Wedding dress: Brides by Demetrio's in Troy - $910 (with veil) - A - I had a wonderful experience with them. I didn't know what I was looking for and they totally helped me find "the dress". 
    Alterations: Brides by Demetrio's $300 - A - The length was perfect, and the bustle was awesome. She color coded it (underneath the dress) so it was "so easy a caveman could do it". seriously, though. Great job. 
    Tuxes: Men's Warehouse - $100 each - A - No problems that I know of. All the tuxes looked great and fit well. Plus, DH got a free suit.
    Bridesmaid Dresses: David's Bridal - $139 - C+ - All in all, their customer service is horrible. However, the dresses were cute, cheap, and arrived in 3 weeks or less. 
    Hair & Makeup: BridesMaid Beautiful - $55 for each hairdo, and MU depends on what was wanted (eyes only, airbrush, etc.) - A - Olivia was awesome. I think I liked my trial makeup better than day-of, but whatevs. She is so fun and personable. Plus, they come to YOU (your hotel, your church, wherever you're getting ready) which was really convenient. 
    Shoes: TOMS from Journey's at GLCO - $54 for each pair of the guys and $69 for the girls' wedges. A++ Neil at Journey's was INCREDIBLE to work with. I had so many complications (not the right style, someone wanted a different size, a BM dropped out, etc) so they were really friendly and helpful and that's always appreciated. 

    Save the Dates: Groupon for Mixbook - $15 for $35, and we spent an  additonal $10 or $15 I think (shipping?) for 125 STDs and envelopes. A+ - arrived quickly and was the correct order
    Invites: DIY from Cards & Pockets - $250 for 110 pocketfolds, mats, invites, inserts, envelopes and RSVP cards with envelopes. - A- - Arrived quickly but only sent 100 instead of 110. I sent an email and they were overnighted, which I appreciated (but still slightly annoying because there were signatures on the receipt of those that "packaged" and those that "inspected" the order)
    Programs/Menus: 100 programs from Michaels for $6. DIY menus on the backside of each table number (it's a buffet but we wanted people to have an idea what's up there)... Well, I think they turned out okay... ;-)
  • edited December 2011

    Ceremony Site: Our Lady of the Lakes A-     I am giving them an A- because the coordinator the assigned us was straight up crazy.  She showed up late for rehearsal and then had no idea what she was doing.  She kept trying to send people in the wrong order and she would make really bad off the cuff comments.
    Officiant  Deacon John Schulte from OLOTL A+++.  He is amazing!! We were super comfortable with him and even though we are new to the church and only met him once, we felt as if we had known him for ever and he made our ceremony very personal.
    Ceremony Music  Timothy R. Smith.  A++   Guy writes his own music, sings, plays the piano and organ and can get you other musicians that you may be interested in such as trumpet player and string ensembles.

    Reception Site: The Fountains of Clarkston C-  The banquet manager there is a nightmare and the staff has an attitude problem.  You can ask ANY of my other vendors..I am no Brideszilla and I was very laid back during this entire process but this B---ch makes my blood boil.  She is very unorganzied and forgetful.  She tries to change things thinking you will forget what was agreed on.  She tried to close our party down early when we had paid for an entire extra hour and when she was approached by my H..she changed her story.  She always changes her story and I have over 75 emails to back me up.  I wanted to give this venue and F but I can't because the venue is absolutely gorgeous and the food was amazing....but unfortunately working with her is NOT worth having this venue.  There are other venues that are amazing and gorgeous.  Their prices are not an exceptional value either.  We chose it because of the bar in the basement and the look of the room.  IF we would have known about Kari...we would have gone elsehwere.  If you do decide to use them or you already have booked with them...my advice to you is to email everything to Kari so that you have it in writing.  Emails are legal documents and my emails were needed in atleast 10 occasions when she tried to go back on things that we had agreed upon.

    Chair Covers/Linens:  N/A  I want to comment here because so many people thinkg they need linens and chair covers.  You don't.  Our venue only came with short table clothes and banquet chairs.  We rolled with what they had.  Everything else takes away the focus from linens.  I don't like the way chair covers look and I wasn't paying $7 a chair for chivari and I think our room looked great!!
    Bakery Lisa's Confection Connection A++  Under $400 for cake and cheesecakes for 170 people.   This little cake shop in Clarkston will blow your mind.  Her prices are amazing and she is very flexible.  Most importantly her cake blows sweet and savory and Elite sweets out of the water.  We tasted a lot of cake and Lisa had the best prices and amazing cake.  We took our top layer home and finished it throughout the week.  She also made us mini cheesecakes and they literally disappeared in 10 min!!! 
    DJ  Audio Logic DJ out of E. Lansing. AAAA++++++ We paid $700 for unlimited hours and they traveled for free to our location.  We had SOOOO  many compliments on our DJ.  Our photobooth host even got his card.  Our DOC even mentioned them when she blogged our wedding!!  We got his card from a wedding we attended that went until 2:30 am and the dance floor was NEVER empty!!  I guarantee you that Day and Shawn will keep your party going all night!!
    Favors DIY PhotoStrip Frames:  I bought them from a company online for 1/2 price of what Shutterbooth wanted and made my own inserts using publisher.  Cost was total of $150 for 170 favors.
    Lighting Sly Dog productions A+ The did a great job.  I paid $330 for 14 up lights and undertable lighting for the cake table.  It really transformed the room.  They have great deals.  Frank is great to work with.

    Limo  24/7 Limo. B  $700 for 6 hours for party bus that holds 26 people.  We got a deal because the person who owns the limo company is a partner in the Fountains.  The bus is in great need of some repair to the inside.  There were tears in the seats and it looks old and rundown.  The driver also got lost twice which cut a lot into our picture time.  It got us where we needed to be and they showed up 15 min early.
    Entertainment express. F------  We used them for my bachelorette party.  NEVER EVER AGAIN.  Just know that if you use them it is a crap shoot.  You won't get the vehicle they promise you and you pay for and you will not get any  money back when they completely F*CK you over!!
    Florist  Bellisario A++  I can't say enough good things about them.  I gave her a general idea of what I wanted with no specifics and Jennie did an amazing job.  My tall centerpieces were perfect and my bouquets were just amazing.  They were worth every penny!! They did 18 centerpieces 9 tall trees with orchids, 9 short.  One head table centerpiece, 4 bridesmaids bouquets, 1 amazing bridal bouquet, flower ball, 7 bouts, and 6 wrist/pin coursages. Also, flowers for the cake.
    DOC Simplicity DOC Shelly. A+++++++   I woke up the day of my wedding and I didn't worry about anything wedding related.  Nothing. Shelly was amazing.  She is worth every penny and probably even more.  She was key in dealing with the Fountains the night of the wedding.  IF she had not been there I may have gone off on the manager but instead I just kept dancing and enjoying my night.  I only paid for the 8 hours but because of the issues with the venue Shelly stayed righ up until almost the end of the night to make sure that they didn't try anything once she left. 

    Photographer Church Street Studio A+++  Mary is amazing.  She has such an eye for photgraphy that she is worth every penny.  I spoke with and met with photographer that had less expensive and more inclusive packages but when I met Mary I knew I had to have her.  She really is amazing!! I can't wait to see how the pics turn out.

    Photobooth:  Shutterbooth. A- We had a big breakdown in communication and misunderstanding of what I was paying for.  Just so you know. You don't actually pick your host.  They do.  You just fill out some personality profile and they match you up.  So if you go into their office and they tell you that there is a book of hosts and you get to pick...You don't.  Also, they will send you emails throughout that are automated.  They will tell you things like your host will contact you this week.  They won't.  Your host doesn't call you until the week of your wedding.  I could have done without a client manager. She didn't really do anything.  I had to contact them for everything.   I LOVED our host Jodi.  She was great.  Very laid back and easy going and fun.  Shutterbooth is expensive but they did a great job.  People used the booth and we have amazing pictures.  It was worth the money.
    Picture Locations:  We went back to our house to shoot pics near the lake and in and around our property.  It was pretty awesome. lol
    Engagement Pictures

    Beauty / Attire
    Rings:   Diamond Emotions.  Look it up.  Pretty Awesome.  A guy we know owns the company.
    Wedding dress Elizabeth's Bridal Manor:  C They were ok to get a dress from.  They were going to do my alterations but they kept canceling my appointments. The first time they cancel it was because they said the work wasn't complete from the last fitting.  The problem with that is that I had not had a fitting yet. Then they tried then to make my first fitting for Oct 8th and I was getting married on Oct 22. I then pulled my dress out of there and took it to the wedding shoppe.  If you want a maggie dress I would say that its ok to go there if you know what you are looking for but DO NOT attempt to get your alterations done there.  There is no flexiblity.  They only do alterations on Tuesday afternoons.  If that doesn't work for you then you run into the same problem I did...they would schedule me for a Sat or a Sun and then cancel.   
    The wedding Shoppe Berkely A+ Michell is awesome.  I paid only $260 for the bust to be taken in, some boning removed and a low french bustle.
    Tuxes  Men's wearhouse  A Can't really say anything bad.  It was all pretty standard stuff.  Nobody had any major issues
    Bridesmaid Dresses
    Moni's Bridal D  Do not go there.  They are a little less expensive but they are rude.  The insulted both of my plus sized brides and then orderd my MOH dress two sizes bigger.  They said they would do the alterations for free but she lives an hour and a half away!!!  As far as the dresses go we had Mori Lee dresses and the clasps on the back of EVERY DRESS broke with in 5 minutes of them putting them on.  All of my bridesmaids had safety pins holding their dress together.
    Hair& Makeup Bridesmaid Beautiful. B  They did a good job.  For the number of girls we had they should have sent two people for hair.  ( Which when I asked Olivia when I first signed the contract she said there would be.) We had 7 girls for hair and they only sent Julie who did a great job but we ran all the way until it was time to get on the limo and it left us no time for picutres.  I told them that we had the photographer coming at 12.  That is really my only complaint with them

    Save the Dates:  Wedding paper Diva's  B  They looked nice but not worth the price.  Early in wedding planning before you know where the cheap stuff is...you make mistakes like buying from wedding paper diva's.
    Invites  Smileblueeyes on Etsy.   A++ AMAZING!!  Paid less than $200 for 130 invitations. They were a personalized seal and send and they got so many compliments. 
    Programs/Menus  $70 For 100 programs.  I  rocked these out myself.  I must give myself props that I used publisher and made a totally awesome program that people thought was professionally done.  I have to thank Liz for the general layout though!!  
    Host Hotel 
    Hyatt Place Auburn Hills  A-  They gave us a free shuttle.  That was the best part.  Place is nice.  Breakfast kind of sucked compared to what our guests at the comfort inn who paid way less were eatingWink  They also put us right by the elevator so needless to say we got up at 8 am after not getting in until 2am...so that we could go home and get some sleep.
  • Jen1029Jen1029
    Fifth Anniversary 10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Ceremony Site: St. Mary's Catholic Church, St. Clair, A
    Officiant: Father Greg Deters, A+
    Ceremony Music: Church Minster of Music, A

    Reception Site: Fore Lakes Golf Club, Kimball Township,Approx. $11K,  A+
    Chair Covers/Linens: Sposa Seating, $1.75/chair, A
    Bakery: Mannino's Bakery, $450, A-
    DJ: Masters of Ceremony, $995, D - Most of the tunes were good but he ended up insulting a member of my bridal party towards the end of the night and caused a big upset, also a large lack of communication leading up to the event, unprepared: was still setting up as guest were arriving.
    Favors: Carmel Apples, Pankowitz Orchard, $3/apple, A+, received many compliments!

    Limo: Satisfaction, A
    Florist: Linnaea Floral, $450, A - Great communication, amazing prices, corsages were a tiny bit small but otherwise great color schemes!
    Ceterpieces: DIY Brass Pumpkins with candles/leaves

    Photographer: Adam Sparkes Photography, $1950,  A, Good at communication, great attitude, very fun to work with

    Beauty / Attire
    Rings: Fred Meyer Jeweler, $1300/both, A, Liz & Kris are great to work this
    Wedding dress: Marcile's Bridal, $900, A-, small issue with the alteration my mother was able to fix
    Tuxes: Men's Wearhouse, A
    Bridesmaid Dresses: Marcile's, $185 + alterations, B, Dresses weren't true to size, alterations were a little pricy and weren't as nice as I'd hoped.

    Invites/Programs: DIY
  • edited December 2011
    Ceremony Site: Grosse Pointe War Memorial Alger House A
    Officiant: Rev. Carl Vogler A+++
    Ceremony Music: Mike Staff- Kevin Joynt A+++ Perfect! ($900 for ceremony + reception)

    Reception Site: Grosse Pointe War Memorial Alger House A+ This venue worked perfectly for us. It is a little split up since it's a house after all but everything ended up working out perfectly. Food and service were excellent.
    Chair Covers/Linens: Sposa Seating A Maya is great and everything looked fabulous. She is a bit hard to reach though and you have to pay in cash (not check) which was a bit inconvient since the week of the wedding is already so busy. Great linens and chair covers though! $500 for 100 satin pillowcase chaircovers, linens, and delivery.
    Bakery- Nina Kelly Cakes A++ Nina is awesome and her cakes are delicious!!! $3pp and she was extremely easy to work with!
    DJ- Mike Staff- Kevin Joynt. A++ Amazing!! Hard venue for a DJ but he was fantastic. Absolutely perfect, not a single complaint.
    Favors - Fieldstone Winery A Great company and putting favors together was a lot of fun. A bit of a pricey choice for a favor but they were all gone at the end of the night- none left for us! Definitely a hit!

    Limo - Metrocars D Ended up charging us $100 for 40 minutes/8 miles then asked for a bigger tip. Driver was rude and not very special for our wedding night. I had read on theknot that the "after hours" rate was far less than it actually is. I would not recommend this company.
    Florist - Hollands in downtown Rochester A
    Hotel- Marriot Ren Cen A+ Took great care of us and our guests. Awesome hotel and service!!

    Photographer - Mike Staff- Mike Iezzi TBD He was nice but a little slow, I'm worried we will only have a few photos. $2,000

    Beauty / Attire
    Rings: His: Orin Jewelers in Northville A+  Mine: Tiffany's at Somerset A+
    Wedding dress: Macy's at Somerset A+ - Barb was amazing and found my perfect dress in minutes. Less than $1,000.
    Alterations: Macy's at Somerset A Great alterations but pricey. Just added an American bustle and hemmed half an inch for $400.
    Tuxes President Tuxedo B- Had compaints that the stores were difficult, not all the tuxes fit quite right, etc.
    Bridesmaid Dresses Macy's at Somersert A+ ~$200
    Hair Biachi's in Clinton Townsip A++ Perfect! ~$100
    Makeup Biachi's in Clinton Townsip A++ Never even needed a touchup. $95

    Save the Dates- Etsy
    Invites- Minted.com A Beautiful invitations and fast delivery. About $400 for 100 invites.
    Programs/Menus DIY
  • all7dwarvesall7dwarves
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Ceremony Site: St. Thomas the Apostle, Ann Arbor.  Its a beautiful historic church.  And our local parish.  (Julia the wedding coordinator was clear and helpful, the sacrosend (sp) at the rehersal.... was not)
    Officiant: Father Selvam - not optional, friendly guy, homily was unspecial but fine.
    Ceremony Music: Organist: Christ Urbiel (professional organist, friend of MOG)  Cantor Liz Crabtree- Liz was $150, They were both amazing.

    Reception Site: Michigan Union: Keunzel Room for cocktails, dinner and dancing in Pendelton Room ~850 B+ Ken the Wedding Coordinator was helpful, professional, and easy going, as was the day of staff.  There was one snafu with parking services.  Room looked great. 

    Caterer:  Michigan Union- Costs about the same as a hotel.  LOTS of rules about alcohol.
    Chair Covers/Linens: Michigan Union
    Bakery: Cakes by Gwen A. We did 3 10" rounds with a ribbon at the base and flowers on top instead of a tradional wedding cake.  cost: 150.  Delicious. Only problem...we should have ordered more cake...Everybody got the standard smallish wedding cake portion, but people were asking for seconds and there wasn't any left.  (wedding size 80 people.. which according to the serving chart was over 100 servings of cake...)
    DJ Sarah from Platinum Mix A cost $800. A  Affordable and fantastic.  I know the Union saved her card since the staff was impressed as well.  I really like that if a song wasn't working she just faded out into something new. 
    Favors: Chocolate covered cherries from Cherry republic, in self filled organza bags (from internet) total cost: ~$150 for 90 favors.  Product and cost - AProcess: - D  Bought in bulk, cherries were very affordable.  The bulk order lady was not helpful at all over e-mail but professional and efficient over the phone.. except when I went to pick up my order there had been no communication with the shop.  Fortunately the sales associate was helpful.

    Lighting N/A

    Limo: Arbor Limosene.  A.  Prompt in clean, late model town car, affordable.

    Florist: University Flowers, Ann Arbor.  A+++++  I cannot rave about Gwen enough.  Her designs were beautiful! She was so helpful and professional.  I gave her a few pictures and she helped me fine tune my color scheme.  At the wedding, My (also recently married) sister was sure that I'd blown my flower budget.  I didn't, Gwen gave me a detailed quote before I signed a contract, and she stuck to it.

    Miscellaneous equipment

    Photographer Amy Bouvee. A 2200 for day of and engagement shots.  Thrilled with engagement shoot, can't wait to get wedding picks.
    Videographer N/A
    Photobooth N/A
    Picture Locations: Engagement shot: Ann Arbor botanical gardens, UM law quad.  Wedding pics: Church and Island drive park
    Engagement Pictures: See above

    Beauty / Attire
    Rings: Bride: Schlander's of Ann Arbor A.  Groom: Blue nile A -product as advertised
    Wedding dress: Bridal and Formal, Cincinatti, OH. B Great prices, great selection, terrible customer service

    Alterations: Heather's Place, Ann Arbor. A Hemming, bustling my dress, with minor adjustments to the inner corset  (tightening it, adding cups) were about $200, 4 shawls for my bridesmaids and modifying the flower girls dress was anohter 200.  She's not cheap, but reaspnable, upfront, professional and friendly.

    Tuxes: Men's warehouse.  A
    Bridesmaid Dresses: Bridal and formal. C  My girls ordered their dresses off of the measurement charts.  Except that it didn't occur to any of of us that the recommmened measurement for the hips should be ignored because the skirt is quite full. Since that was limiting measurement for most of the group...major alterations all around.
    Hair: Aveda Exchange, Ann Arbor.  B .. Everybody's hair looked great but its pricey.   However they are conveniently located in Ann Arbor and my sisters have challengingly thick hair - so I wanted to play it safe.

    Makeup: Make up by NatalieA+ Affordable, nice, down to earth and she comes to you!  My make-up looked fantastic and lasted all day and all night.  She mostly advertises in Toledo, but she actually lives in Ann Arbor. Check out her website:  http://bridalmakeupbynatalie.com/default.aspx

    Save the Dates: DIY
    Invites: Little Spark Creations, Etsy.  B Loved the invites - professional and gorgeous.  The process was frustrating.   I think I yelled a response at my computer every time she sent me an e-mail.
    Programs/Menu: DIY/Kinkos
  • edited June 2012

    Ceremony Site- T-Plex (included in reception rental cost)

    Officiant- Wayne Byrum, $280 for rehearsal and ceremony-A
    Wayne was on time, professional, friendly...everything we wanted in an officiant. He was very efficient and delivered the ceremony beautifully. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend him to anyone.

    Ceremony Music- Four Seasons String Quartet, $440 for one hour + $40 travel fee-A
    Communication prior to the wedding was great. I never spoke to them at the wedding, my DOC handled that, but the music sounded beautiful to me and my guests had nothing but great things to say about them.


    Reception Site- T-Plex, $1800, includes chairs, tables, security, A/V equipment- Communication/Staff- D, Venue Itself-A+
    The venue itself was amazing, and just perfect for DH and I. We put a full day and a half of work into setting it up, and it paid off- it was exactly what I pictured. I loved the flexibility of having a "raw" space to decorate. Our guests are still raving about how awesome and unique our wedding was. However, working with Pat was a huge disappointment. Good luck getting an email back from her without having to resend the same email 3 times on 3 different days. She will tell you things before you book, such as "You have the week before the wedding to set up" and "You have about a week after the wedding to take down as long as there is not another wedding immediately after." Neither of those things happened. There was another event- a dinner for a bank group from Chicago- the Thursday before the wedding. We were not allowed to set up before that day, and it took a lot of persuading to get Pat to let this other group take the second floor so we could do SOME work on the third floor that day (two days before the wedding.) Understanding that Pat and all other staff are volunteers, we did not ask for much. I went down to the second floor to get a broom and she rolled her eyes at me. She was rude the entire time we were setting up, would not let us have the tables and chairs to set up that day (because she needed them for the other event), and gave us some major static at 3:30pm that we were not done- she had told us that we could have until 4:30, when the other group was due in.  The next day when we came back to set up everything else, there were not enough round tables (though she had promised via email that there were more than enough round tables for our 200 guests). The volunteers setting up were able to find the additional 5 round tables we needed, but not without much ado. She was also extremely rude at the rehearsal. I didn't deal with her much the day of the wedding. We had planned to return the Monday after the wedding to take down. My ILs went to the T Plex the day after the wedding at about 11am to find my BILs tux vest that he left there, and Pat informed them we had to take down everything NOW because she had an investor group coming in a few hours. I was extremely pissed that she did not communicate this beforehand, and we were late to our day after BBQ with all OOT guests because of this. If you're in love with the venue enough to deal with it, just be prepared. One very cool detail was that we arrived at the reception in a Model T- we were picked up in front of the Fox Theatre, and I felt like a celebrity riding down Woodward with DH. It was a very special experience I will always cherish.
    Caterer- Detroit Beer Co., $22.95pp for buffet with two entrees and other various items (potato, pasta, salad, etc)- altogether we are paying just under $10k for beer, wine, sangria, dinner, and cocktail hour apps.- A
    The food was great, Jennifer was always quick to respond to my emails, and all of the staff were awesome. The bartenders actually came to the head table a few times to make sure we had drinks. Chef Reggie did a fantastic job putting the food together. 

    Chair Covers/Linens- Purchased from Linentablecloth.com, approx. $750 for 25 120" round, 8 14' banquet, 220 chair covers, 220 sashes.-A
    Quick shipping, no issues. The linens were great quality and I plan to resell them.

    Bakery- Just Baked, ~$2.00 per cupcake- A
    The cupcakes were delicious, and they delivered to the venue and had them all set up on a stand when we arrived. Perfect!

    DJ- Detroit DJ (DJ Chuck), detroitdj.net, $725 ($450 for DJ services, $125 for projector/screen, $150 for ceremony package)-A
    DJ Chuck was great! We had to pay more than I originally wanted to due to the layout challenges of the venue- we needed a separate setup for the grand entrance in the 2nd bay, and the main setup in the third bay where we had the dancefloor. DJ Chuck kept things rolling all night, and was so friendly.

    Favors- Photobooth and sugar cookies- my mom arranged the cookies, I'm not sure how much they were but I believe ~$1/cookie from Elliott's Bakery in Trenton

    Lighting- N/A

    Limo-Randazzo Limo, $400 + tip for white school bus for 5 hours. Communication- D, Day of- A
    The communication was not there- I had to call back several times to confirm my reservation because they were "too busy." My DOC also said that when she called them to confirm details, they were beyond rude. The bus itself was a lot of fun- lots of leg room, head room, they played our music, and the driver was AWESOME. 

    Florist- Linnaea Floral Design, $545 for 6 BM bouqets, 2 Jr. BM bouquets, 16 bouts for GMs, dads, sponsors, 9 corsages, and a ceremony arrangement, A-
    I loved that Lisa brought my vision to life with flowers I never would have thought of. The flowers were exactly what I envisioned. I knew going into it that Lisa had another wedding that same day, so we agreed my parents would meet her the day before the wedding to pick up the arrangements, and she assured me they would keep. She said she would be putting them together that Friday at her supplier in Romulus. However, she arranged the flowers on Thursday, and by wedding time on Saturday, some of the bridesmaids' bouquets were browning at the edges, and the bouts looked a little wilted. This is the reason for the A-. I'm sure if we didn't have the timing issue the flowers would have been perfect.

    DOC-Grand Jour Events (Stephanie), $425 for rehearsal and wedding day-A+++
    I cannot say enough good things about Stephanie. She would have been worth every penny at double the price. Even DH was a believer after seeing how much she did. He thought because our wedding was very DIY that all the details were under control and we did not need a DOC. However, now I don't know how we could have done it without her! She kept things rolling and handled all the mini crises that came up. She made sure we had drinks as soon as the ceremony was over, kept us on schedule for the special dances and cake cutting, and packed up almost everything at the end of the night! She was amazing!

    Photographer- Tammy LaBar, $2400 for e-shoot, 10 hrs on wedding day plus second photographer, CD of images, online gallery, and all rights-A+
    I have worked with Tammy before for a boudoir type shoot, and I knew she would do our wedding. I also told her after the wedding that in a few years, I'll be seeing her for maternity and baby pics! She was AWESOME. Although our package only included two photogs, she had 4- two leads and two assistants, because she had a lot of details she wanted to capture of our wedding. They were great- all had a good sense of humor and the pictures are beyond beautiful. Plus, I got them back less than 3 weeks after my wedding!!

    Videographer- We are asking my very talented cousin to record and edit the wedding day video. We will give him $500.- TBD

    Photobooth- Rock the Booth, $600 for three hours plus scrapbook- A+
    This was one of my favorite details of the night! Very friendly and professional attendant, and you MUST get the scrapbook- the memories are worth so much more than the $100 fee for it. The attendant did a great job putting it together. I had so much fun in the photobooth, and even my 79 year old grandma loved it! Great investment.

    Picture Locations- Lafayette Coney Island and other Detroit places TBD- Lafayette was awesome, the staff there took pictures of us and put them on their Facebook! Plus we got a standing ovation. 

    Engagement Pictures- Tammy LaBar, included in wedding package

    Beauty / Attire
    Rings- Dillon's Jewelers (Westland), where FI got my E ring. My wedding band was $500. DH's ring was the Gear Ring from Kinekt Design, $165- A for both. Highly recommend Dillon's.

    Wedding dress- Allure Exclusive P900, Allure Bridals Livonia, $1600- C
    The dress was perfect, but the staff was not very friendly and not good at communicating. They caused me a lot of headache while I was waiting for the dress to arrive.

    Alterations- Michelle at The Wedding Shoppe, $380 for 7 pt French bustle, taking sides out and in, and sweetheart neckline- A+++
    Michelle was amazing. Allure ordered my dress a size down because it was "only an inch difference". I was too caught up in my bliss of finding the dress to contest this. Bad idea- I had a meltdown when the dress arrived and wouldn't zip. Enter Michelle. She made me feel at ease immediately and said it was no problem to let it out, even though it was lace. She ended up having to take it in even further than the original size because I lost so much weight due to stress before the wedding. The alterations were perfect, and my dress was a dream come true. I thought the price was very reasonable for what I had done.

    Tuxes- Men's Wearhouse, ~$160 each, groom's was free- A
    No major issues, and the tuxes looked great. We did a grey Calvin Klein tux with Mermaid (aqua) vests. 

    Bridesmaid Dresses- Various Liz Fields styles in "Pink Coral," Netbride.com, all between $97-135- A
    The dresses looked great and were very inexpensive. The girls did their own ordering so I can't speak to their customer service or shipping speed.

    Hair- Patti Rodriguez? (works out of Hollywoods Hair in Southgate)- $45 per bridesmaid
    Patti does great work. All the girls loved their hair and I thought they all looked great. 

    Makeup- I Make You Up, Aleksandra Adams, $80 for mine, $50 per BM for airbrush- A+++
    Aleks and her assistant did my makeup as well as my BMs, my mom, and MIL. Everyone loved the airbrush and couldn't believe how natural they looked. I thought they looked amazing and I loved mine as well.

    Save the Dates- DIY'ed them on Vistaprint, FREE with coupon for 100 postcards

    Invites- Cardsandpockets.com, ~$3.00 per invite including mounting- A
    The invitations looked great and I got lots of compliments on them. I designed them myself and had them printed and mounted on the pocketfolds.

    Programs- Office Depot, ~$200 for 150 booklet programs, hand folded and stapled.- A
    They were exactly what I wanted, I designed them myself and Office Depot did the rest. It was only about $40 to have them fold and staple the programs.

    Daisypath Wedding tickers
    249 Invited image
    200 Are Ready to Party! image
    49 Are Missing Out image
    0 Are Making Me Wait image
  • Ceremony
    Ceremony Site - Crystal Gardens Chapel, Southgate   $800
    Officiant- Melissa Lohr from Beautiful Memories, Toledo  $150
    Ceremony Music- Ceremony Site is playing a CD I bought for $13, and my neice is playing the Violin for the Processional and Bridal walk.

    Reception Site- Arnaldos , no charge because they are the Caterer
    Caterer- Arnaldos $34/pp, open bar is $7/pp
    Chair Covers/Linens- Hall has table cloths and napkins. I am getting chair covers & sashes ($1.75/each), table topper ($1) and organza swah og head table and cake table ($40) from a company (a couple ownes it) called Cheap Chair Covers.
    Bakery- Family of a friend - Karen Ensor from Let Me Eat Cake, $230 3 tier, feed $160 people
    DJ- Sunshine DJ, $750
    Favors- Self- boxes, tags, and mints from Oriental Trading <$100
    Lighting- n/a

    Rehearsal Dinner
    Nick and Ninos, Monroe - $200 - pizza Buffet, about $200 for food and round of drinks

    Limo- Bozzos Limousine, $375 3  1/2 hour
    Florist- Monroe Florist, about $400 for 6 bouquets, 4 corsages, 9 boutineers, and 4 dozen roses for reception decor
    DOC- n/a
    Miscellaneous equipment- n/a

    Photographer- Jason Laurain Photogrpaghy, friend - $750 for 10 hour coverage, unlimited pictures, and photo book- he will also bring another photographer along
    Videographer- have not booked one yet, still decideing on budget
    Photobooth- Rock The Booth - $550
    Picture Locations- unknown
    Engagement Pictures- Jason Laurain, included in wedding package

    Beauty / Attire
    Rings-Mine :  Tiffany Jones in New York $850, his Kay Jewelers $120
    Wedding dress- Davids Bridal, $800
    Alterations- Davids Bridal... will end up being about $130 total
    Tuxes- Mens Warehouse, $99/each
    Bridesmaid  Dresses- Atlas Bridal in Toledo, $180
    Hair- Attitudes Salon in Monroe.Angi Weiss (Normal hair stylist) $40
    Makeup- Same as hair - $30

    Save the Dates- Mixbook.com- had a groupon. $30
    Invites- DIY printed and assembled. total cost about $140
    Programs/Menus/Table Numbers- DIY printed and assembeled $2 total, another $20 for photo frames
    Wedding Countdown Ticker Follow Me on Pinterest
  • Tanya2012Tanya2012
    edited January 2012
    Since we planned our wedding in less than 5 months while working full time and going to school communicating via email and using reviews were important to us :) 
    Ceremony Site-A $500 ) Greenmead Historical Village-Livonia .  LOVED LOVED LOVED the venue!!  The coordinators were awesome and it was just beautiful there with Christmas decorations. They do have a lot of rules though since it's a historical building, but that didn't bother me :)  They're not very good at email communication, but I didn't expect it with them since I went to the venue for most steps.
    Officiant-A+ $275 (ceremony and reception) Kirk Haas (Secular Ceremonies).  Everyone loved him! He was soo easy going and made us all feel confident in him! Communicated most of our wants through email and that was great!
    Ceremony Music- A+  $275 for a string trio thru Fantasy Strings.  They were great at communicating and made sure they were able to play our special requests. I didn’t get to hear most of the music, but fiancé (now husband!) thought they did a great job!

    Reception Site-A- St Mary’s Cultural Center-Livonia..apr. $40p.p with everything. Great venue at a great price!  They were very flexible and while one person was not friendly our day of coordinator-Jason-was great to deal with!  The food the day of was better than the tasting, so that made us extremely happy :)
    Caterer-See above
    Chair Covers/Linens-A+ Stephanies Creative Creations $1.75 per chair cover with sash and it was great that we were able to get the satin pillowcases for that price!  She was so easy to communicate with and everything was handled online including paying thru paypal J  We showed up and the place was beautiful!
    Bakery-A- Holiday Market- Apr. $260 per a two tiered cake.  Kim was great to work with and the cake was delicious!!
    DJ-A- $500-Cloud 9 Special Events.  We may have gotten a discount, because my cousin knew him, but it worked out great! He was high energy and got the crowd on the dance floor, which was important for me!!
    Favors-D Forgive Me Not Photos PhotoBooth-  Bought through a Groupon, so a “good deal” for only $280 for 3 hours…I should have known L  Not only did he start late, but he ran out of strips and did not have the scrapbook together for my guests to sign!!  Terrible!!
    Lighting-A- $300 for 12 uplights- Through DJ, so good deal J 

    Limo –A $300 for 4 hours Rockstar Limo (party bus).  He was cool and he was used at my friend’s wedding, so we figured why not!
    Florist- A- Lasting Touch-Nickie Crosby- $490 for bridal bouquet (white roses,stephanotis and blue rhinestones), throw bouquet, 5 bridesmaid bouquets, 7 boutinierres, and 3 corsages.  She seemed really reasonable and does it out of her home. My bouquets looked great accept they started to yellow towards the end…not sure if that had anything to do with the cold temps thought!

    Photographer-Dana Chapman-apr. $1000 for 7 hours, unlimited locations, 400-450 edited images, $100 credit and a 11x14.  She did my friends wedding and did a great job.  We still haven’t got our pictures yet, so I’ll wait to rate her J
    Photobooth- See favors above
    Picture Locations Greenmead and a Local cemetery (I know!, but they had a great structure for pictures)
    Engagement Pictures N/A

    Beauty / Attire
    Rings Chinns Jewelry in Royal Oak- Not sure cost for mine, but his was $500
    Wedding dress-A Group USA  for apr. $700 on Sale  I worked with Rosa there and she was really helpful and made sure everything was ready when I arrived to pick the veil and dress up.
    Alterations-A+ Jean Kremer-Lovely lady in Royal Oak.  For a bustle and to have the dress shortened it was $145, which seemed reasonable for the amount of “fuss” on my dress J
    Tuxes- A Mens Wearhouse-apr. $170 per tux –The guys looked great and they were pretty easy to deal with when I decided to change colors
    Bridesmaid Dresses-A- Group USA  $120 each.  We planned pretty quickly, so it was nice for the girls to be able to buy something off the rack!
    Hair A+ Douglas J in Royal Oak $82 for hair, make-up, eyelashes and I purchase lip gloss.  I had Stephanie and she was great with details!  Added little braids that I loved!
    Makeup See above

    Save the Dates-N/A
    Invites- Picked out print on Vistaprint and then friend printed at shop (not sure of cost).
    Programs/Menus N/A

  • Ceremony
    Ceremony Site - A++ - First United Methodist Church Birmingham.  Beautiful church, easy marriage counseling (one Saturday group session) and very well organized.  They have some strict rules on photography but they ended up not enforcing them very tightly.  They provide a wedding planner on site (and forbid outside wedding planners, although I brought mine and she worked behind the scenes...I don't think they minded the help).  The church receptionist who will work with you up unti the wedding day is a bit stuffy, but don't let her get to you. 
    Officiant  A++ Dr. Jack Harnish.  Great sermon, not too preachy.  Very humble and down to earth. 
    Ceremony Music A+  Doris Hall, FUMC Birmingham organist.  She comes with the ceremony pacakge.  I picked out several songs about a month before the wedding and it was no problem.  She does have some rules about playing more contemporary music, so if you're expeting Coldplay this is not the place for you.     
    Post -Ceremony Music A+ Panache - I hired a string trio to surpirse my husband after the ceremony with "All you need is love."  They did a great performance.  Panache was great about being patient with me as I waivered back and forth on deciding wether or not to hire them.  The only hiccup I had was that they forgot to turn on their online song-selection tool after I paid them...they corrected that after a phone call. 

    Reception Site and Caterer - A+ Troy Marriott on Big Beaver - The Marriott team did an exceptional job coordinating room reservations (over 50% of our guests were from out of town), setting up the room, storing our decorations, and even turning over our room from the wedding reception to a brunch the next morning.  The servers were excellent and really attended to me as the bride...even to the point of packing up pizza for me to take to the honeymoon suite because they thought I hadn't eaten. :)  The only reason this site did not get a A++ is that when I brought my relatives from out of town for our tasting, the Marriott forgot we were coming.  My inlaws did not get to do a tasting, but the Marriott did discount their room reservation to compensate.  Also, I had a few other miscommunications with the wedding planner at the Marriott, Shanina, but mostly she did her job.  There were so many details to juggle and everything exceeded my expectations in the end. 

    Chair Covers/Linens A++ Linens and Beyond (.net) - Loretta works from her home and makes all of her linens by hand.  She will do custom fabric if you are looking for something particular.  Her prices are excellent - You cannot beat her prices for charger plates.  She set up a gorgegous room and picked up everything.  Her communicaton is great too.
    Bakery - A++ - Mrs. Maddox Bakery - This coud have been a really awful experience....right before the wedding the ownership of Mrs. M changed and it violated a contract I had with the Marriott, who includes cakes in their package.  Since the venue and the bakery could not work out their contract, the new owners of Mrs. Maddox gave me a 20% discount, free delivery and picked up the stand of the wedding cake I would have had to return. They were so totally awesome.  The cake tasted really good and everyone complimented it.  They also did a somewhat difficult structure and nailed the picture I had torn out of a magazine.  Very pleased!  (They also include a free annivsary cake in your purchase...yummy!) 
    DJ - Rock Out Entertainmen, Wayne Kinney - A+++++++ - I was so impressed by the DJIng Wayne did.  Literally everyone at our wedding was dancing, from our 2 year old cousin to our 91 year old Grandma.  He plays such a great variety - rock 'n rool, Sintatra, to this week's pop hit.  Communication was excellent.  He's super laid back and easy to work with.  Made sure to pronounce everyone's names right, kept us on schedule for the first dance, and wrapped up nicely.  Also, he won't play cheesy songs unless that's what you're looking for.  His basic package starts a bit high (around $900) but is worth it in my opinion.
    Lighting - Provided by DJ - The basic package from Rock Out includes a custom monogrammed light on the floor.  I ordered some additional uplighting that looked great...just right without being over the top. 
    Favors - I forgot where I bought them...they were compasses bought in bulk from a non-wedding website

    Limos - Razz Limos - A++ -  Razz Limos is really cheap.  They provided us with a blue F150 limo and the guys LOVED it.  Arrived on time and were very patient when we were running late.    
    Town Cars - Metro Cars A++ We used Metro Cars for the bachelorrette party and to drive my parents to and from the ceremony.  Arrived on time, patient drivers, and were really generally pleasant to be around.  Prices are very reasonable and cars can be purchase for an hour at a time - helps save some money. 

    Florist - Bellisario florist - Communication prior C, Day of A+  - Ralph was key to shaping my vision of the decor of the room and was great to brainstorm with.  His staff is sometimes hard to communciate with - they are really busy and you will get a different person everytime you call.  The final bill was never really delivered to me and the quote changed everytime they emailed me a "contract" (just an Excel sheet) or I called. However, they nailed the exceution of the flowers and the room decorations on the day of the wedding.  Everything arrived on time, was set up in the right place, and we had the right number of corasages, etc. 
    DOC - Daphne at Blissful Wedings and Events A+ (www.blissfulweddingsandevents.com) -  Daphne saved the day for me.  I hired her halfway through the wedding process after my dad was hospitalized for 6 weeks weeks leading up to the wedding.  She prepared a lot of DIY items for me, including my programs, the menus, and the place cards.  Her team set up for the wedding, all of my candles, books on tables, etc.  Found my limo and other vendors for me.  She really was helpful and organized.  Also she ran the DIY photobooth when the camera decided to have a mind of its own.  The only thing I wished had gone better was that she or someone on her team dropped a few placecards in the rain, so she had to call me while I was getting dressed and have me make a few more. (Note to DIYers - always have extras on hand!) It was just added stress that I did not need. Overall though, a great experience.  Also, they specialize in Indian Weddings for those who are looking. 
    Miscellaneous -  Ordered food for the bridesmaids from Panera - arrived in time, no problem.  

    Photographer - Blaine Sessier - A++++ - Blaine is so awesome.  He truely knows photography and the wedding industtry.  (He recommended both my DJ and florist.  Actually, he called a personal favor with the DJ so that I would have a DJ on the wedding day when my first DJ - a family member - backed out a month before the wedding.)  Blaine and his wife took amazing shots of the wedding that truly captured the day, from expressions on people's faces to standard family portraits.  Numerous people have complimented his shots of the wedding.   Blaine goes above and beyond his standard duties as a photographer.  His packages are expensive but his customer service and shots make it worth it.  (Note:  he does a lot of destination weddings.) 
    Videographer - N/A
    Photobooth - DIY 

    Picture Locations - At the church and the Marriott.  Our photographer highly recommends the Marriott becase there is a field in the back, some open wall spaces, and cool interior decor. 
    Engagement Pictures - Same as photographer

    Beauty / Attire
    Rings - Purchase in iowa. 
    Wedding dress - Brides by Demetrios - B - Had a great assistant but she quit shortly after I purchased by dress.  Was a little disappointed by the dress quality after paying so much - lots of loose little strings that needed to be cut off.  Also, they give you your veil without any steaming. :(  But I loved the dress and was happy with it overall. 
    Alterations - The Wedding Shoppe - A +  Really reasonable alterations prices.  Great staff.  Was very happy with the alterations - ask for Michelle. 
    Tuxes - Men's Warehouse - B- The tuxes don't arrive all at once, and a couple of guys had the wrong sizes but were corrected quickly.  Mostly FI and I were annoyed with the saleclerks who kept making drama about putting an ivory shirt with a silver vest.  This happened at 3 stores we visited in 3 states.  We probably would not have gone with them except that we had so many guys in so many states to get measured. 
    Bridesmaid Dresses - B David's Bridal locations in 4 states.  One of the girl's dresses ripped at the seam on the day of the wedding, right on her butt.  Service varies from location to location, as expected by a chain.  My husband had some trouble picking up the flower girl's sash because they thought he was not authorized to do so...even though he paid for the sash on this credit card!  Other than that, no complaints.
    Hair - A+++++ - eClips Salon Troy - The receptionist was so awesome in dealing with constant changes to appointments, including people being added and dropped out.  They let us bring in our own breakfast and basically rented out the entire salon to us from 9 - noon.  (We did book all of their stylists.)  Prices are very reasonable - cheapest I could find in the Troy/Birmingham area.  Salon looks a bit dated but the hair styles were not. :)
    Makeup - A ++ Makeup Hair by Cherhttp://www.makeuphairbycher.com/ Cher works independely but also teams up with eClips salon, who recommended her.  She does really natural makeup and works quickly.  She even added in bridesmaid who wanted her makeup done at the last minute.  All of our makeup stayed on pretty well and I was happy with the results for my photos.  (She does hollywood-style special effects makeup too, don't let the photos on her website scare you!) 

    Save the Dates and Invites - DIY. Ordered paper from Paper and More - Excellent quality.  Comes really well packaged so that the corners are not bent.  The customer service centered actually called me to make sure everything was ok with my order and I was happy
    Programs/Menus - DIY

    After I filled this out, I realized that most of the reviews look exceptionally postitive.  I had normal wedding stress but none of by vendors truely let me down.  All came through and did their jobs.   Where there were communication problems, they are noted in the review, but overall these communication issues did not bring down my ratings. 
    Daisypath Wedding tickers
  • JMBsbrideJMBsbride
    edited February 2012
    Ceremony Site- Colony Club A+. You can't ask for a more beautiful room. They dropped the ceremony fee because I was having the reception there and it was January.
    Officiant Family Friend
    Ceremony Music Eric Miller, An Ultimate Sound A+. $550 for ceremony and reception(special rate because he knows my mom) We had our DJ play a custom mix of Vitamin String Quartet music. All the guests commented on how they loved the modern songs made into classical. Eric did a great job of mixing the songs and timing them with everyone's entrance. It was beautiful.

    Reception Site Colony Club. Food and Venue appearance A+, management communication and valet issue D. Honestly, I love this venue. It's stunning. The food was fantastic. The staff was very friendly and efficient. However, there are too many managers to deal with. I had Allison for everything leading up to the final meeting. Then I had to meet with Nicole to re-explain everything. Then she relays the information to Judy who actually runs the event. There were too many things that I had to stay on top of because I could tell that they weren't. Thus, my valet was paid for and never ordered. So when my guests showed up to get valet they were promised in the inviatation, there was none and they had to go find and pay for parking. It was a big mistake that a venue with more organization would not have made. The owner finally came through for my husband and I, but it took some work. If you book there, you won't regret it. Just double and triple check everything and try to work with the person who will actually be running your wedding.
    Caterer- Colony Club A+ Delicious! $82 per person ++
    Chair Covers/Linens- Chivari Chairs and Linens from Colony Club A+
    Bakery Lakes Cakes A+++, my husband is a race car driver and they made a replica of his car ($120) and then we did cheesecakes ($120)for the actual served cakes. They were soooo good and just beautiful!
    DJ- Eric Miller, An Ultimate Sound. A++ Book him! He listens to what you want and keeps the party going. Our dance floor was going strong all night.
    Favors- Sanders Chocolate Coins $.55 each. A. They were cute and went with our theme.
    Lighting. Colony Club A+

    Limo N/A
    Florist April Irelynn B-. $1500.Had some communication issues and my tall centerpieces had pink, not dark red flowers. She spent some time trying to convince everyone that the pink flowers would look red when it was dark. Eventually, my mom gave her four dozen roses that we were going to use for something else, and she replaced the pink flowers.They were fixed but at our expense. When it was  done, everything looked beautiful and I did love my bouquets. I don't think I can recommend her though.
    DOC Tammara Kane- Grand Jour Events A+++++++ $350. Worth it. Book her. She made the day great!
    Miscellaneous equipment

    Photographer Amanda Williams A+++ $1350. She was fanstastic to work with and the sample pics I have seen are incredible.
    Videographer NA
    Photobooth NA
    Picture Locations Colony Club
    Engagement Pictures Jess Buttermore for Jessie B Photography  $150 A+, loved her work!

    Beauty / Attire
    Rings Tappers and Larson's Jewelry. A+ Love it all
    Wedding dress Elizabeth's Bridal. $1050. A-, Dress came in on time and everything was fine but they were pretty snippy about either get it altered here or pay a monthly fee to leave it there. I just needed a week to come and get it. They weren't very understanding.
    Alterations The Wedding Shoppe Berkley A-, Beautiful but very pricey for a bustle, press and cups.
    Tuxes Men's Wearhouse A, no problems
    Bridesmaid Dresses Allure Bridal in Livonia, A. No problems
    Hair- Nikki McIntyre, Tricho Ann Arbor A+++++ Unbelievable work. My hair looked great all night. My girls looked beautiful too.
    Makeup Myself!

    Save the Dates Vistaprint, A.
    Invites Wedding Paper Divas, A.
    Programs/Menus DIY
  • edited March 2012
    Ceremony Site- The Masonic Temple of Detroit- $1100, A+ Dorothy is the woman in charge and she's very upbeat. The chapel inside the building is gorgeous and needs no decorating.

    Officiant- Friend ordained on line -A , she did a great job.

    Ceremony Music- Stanley Cuiross, [email protected], he was referred by our primary DJ and we hired him the day before the ceremony because we were going to do the music ourselves (on an ipod). Absolute great decision to get the DJ! A $100

    Reception Site- Pi Banquet Hall in Southfield- $49 a plate (discount for February wedding). Plated dual entre with Salad and Pasta courses as well. B+  for my personal expirience with the owner and the hall. It's beautiful for a banquet hall, the owner is super accomodating when planning the wedding, and the food was great. However, at the wedding, a few of the employees rudely asked me to move out of the way while I was talking to my guests. Also, I supplied very few decorations, including 150 small votive glass candleholders. All the candleholders were thrown away by the staff even though I notified the owner that I would be there the next day to pick up my stuff.  The owner fished most of them out of the garbage but I felt he didn't really care to admit the mistake. C- for the report I got from vendors after the wedding. I was told the hall was not ready when it was scheduled to be for the other vendors to do their work and there was a bit of unprofessional fighting. (thank god I hired a coordinator to handle all of it)

    Caterer- Pi Banquet Hall- A for food (salad, lobster mac and cheese, prime rib with mashed potatoes and veggies.)

    Chair Covers/Linens- Inlcuded in banquet package

    Bakery- Elite Sweets in Livonia- A- we had a very small two tiered cake traditional cakes and then a large assortment of torte cakes. The different flavors (12 of them) were a huge hit. My only complaint is probably more my fault. One of the cakes were incorrect but after looking back over the contract, the employee filled it out wrong and I should have caught it prior to the wedding.  

    DJ- Ron Johnson from Night and Day Productions- A++++ ($1000)- I think I told him he was a life saver at least 12 times. Two nights before the wedding, he spent two hours (until 10:30 pm) remoting to my computer (he's an IT guy by day)  to download songs to make it possible for us to provide our own music for the ceremony because we couldn't find the songs we wanted plus if it's not on I Tunes, I don't really know how to DL it correctly. Then when I had a tiny melt down, he suggested a DJ (he was busy during the ceremony) to use and it was a true "Life saver." Also, the owner of Night and Day (Natalie) is amazing. She was my part time wedding planner in the very beginning answering any questions I had early on, even non-DJ wedding questions.

    Favors- Photobooth and Photo holders hand made by our invitation pro
    Lighting- Lighting was provided by the Hall- Looked great- Included in package

    Limo- Blue Diamond Limousine- (B-) $695 (including Grat) for 5 hours- We had 25 people in the party so we needed a large bus. The bus we were contracted for, we were told is a 30 person bus. Not the case. Not only was it not 30 people, 4 of the guys had to stand the entire time. I was really upset about it. The reason their grade is still good is because it was still a beautiful new limo, the driver (Kevin) was great. He showed up 15 minutes early. Also, we use a lot of party buses and this one all around was still the best we have used.

    Florist- Petit Fluer, Ferndale- (B++) (approx $3000 for 11 bm bouquets, bridal bouquets, 12 boutineers, 3 corsages, and all my table decs(25 tables)) So this is mixed because the service and company mostly deserve an 'A' but the problem I had, in my own opinion, was very disappointing. The company isn't considered a florist but more of decoration coordinators. They did all my flowers and table decorations. The tables looked amazing and everyone loved the flowers. Here is my issue: at the initial meeting and the meeting to finalize, I expressed my opinion regarding hydrangeas. I think they look like summer flowers and are boring. I wanted my bouquets to be dramatic and wintery looking. I said this many times. The contract listed the flowers to use and hydrangeas were not included. The only agreement for hydrangeas was to use them on some of the guest tables for small mint julep cup arrangements. All bouquets, including mine, were about 50% hydrangeas. So even though they were still very pretty, it's not what I wanted. Either way I would still definitely recommend the company and even use them again for events and their price was pretty unbeatable for everything that comes with it.

    DOC- Shelly at Simplicitydoc.com-($350 for the ceremony and most of the reception)  A+++++ Prior to the wedding I wasn't sure if I needed a DOC bc I didn't do DIY and most decorations were done by Petit Fluer. However, this was the best decision I made! She provided far more  value that what I paid for :) Afterwards, hearing about some of the events I missed, I realized how much stress she saved me from on the day of. Coming from a control freak (me) I still think ALL weddings need a DOC!!!
    Miscellaneous equipment- NA

    Photographer- Derek Cookson Photography- ($2500 for engagement, all day coverage, second shooter, and some extra prints and book) A+++(of course pending the photos when I get them back edited) I was a yearbook editor in high school and college so although I am not a pro photographer, I know what to look for in good photos. I met with probably 15 photographers and spoke to another 10 on the phone. I was super picky. I came accros Derek in a facebook advertisement. I only trust photographers that show you full albums, not just their best work. Our engagement photos were amazing. He's such a fun laid back guy! He stayed at the reception longer than I expected. I can only imagine my wedding day photos will be just as amazing as the service he provides!

    Videographer- Family Friend

    Photobooth- Infinity Photo Booth- ($750 for 5 hours with a break during dinner)- A+ The two attendants were so laid back. The booth is big enough to fit tons of people and they print a copy for each person. The leather binder/book we got is beautiful and we also got a CD of all photos!

    Picture Locations- Masonic of Detroit, Downtown detroit, the Town Pump
    Engagement Pictures- Ann Arbor (big UofM fans and husband went there)

    Beauty / Attire
    Rings- Wedding bands and the engagement band- Jareds- $1200- (B-) they don't have the best service once you have purchased something. Engagement diamond was purchased through a wholesale DaBeers diamond distributor (unsure of cost)

    Wedding dress- Demitrios in Troy- (B)- $800- Love/Hate relationship. I love the manager, Kaylin (sp?)! She was perfect the first day I went in. She brought dresses that were exactly what I wanted and when I asked to see more, she was honest and told me they have more dresses that are what I want but they are higher than my price point which I completely appreciate. The problem I had was that she wasn't at two of the scheduled appointments I expected her at (pretty legitimate reasons) but thats when everything went downhill. The same employee helped me and the first time she was rude and akward while trying on bridesmaid dresses and the other appointment was to try my dress (fully paid for) and while removing it, she pricked her finger and got blood on my dress in several spots and sort of argued with me about it. I tried to stay calm but I definitely complained. They had the dress cleaned and I recieved a complimentary head band (valued at $180). I also got great prices for the bridesmaids dresses. So long story short, I would still recommend it but get a good salesperson and be clear that you ONLY want to work with that person.

    Alterations- Annie from Haggerman's Fabric- $180- A+ she did exactly what I wanted, and my dress was beautiful.

    Tuxes- President Tuxedos- $120 a piece- B+ tuxes turned out great and they gave my groom a free tux and free suit. A couple of the guys had minor fitting issues but they cleared it up.

    Bridesmaid Dresses- Demetrios- $120 to $135- 4 dif styles- see the comment under bridal dress for details

    Hair- Stephanie from Duex Adore (thats here own weekend bridal company, she also works at Bianci's in Royal Oak on weekdays)- $55 trial, $65 updo. B- Part of her grade is probably a little bit on me though. I had a trial done with a full updo and I slightly changed what I wanted day of. I have super thick really long hair so it's very hard to do and my mom is normally my hair dresser. my hair still looked pretty but the curls fell out before the ceremony so I had to have my mom fix them. But I would definitely recommend her if you need someone to come to you rather than going to a beauty shop, day of.

    Makeup- Emily from Mirror Mirror Salon in Shelby TWP and Sephora in Somerset- $60 makeup, $10 eyelashed- A - my makeup looked great and she is super fun and very professional. She does a lot of commercial work on the side.

    Save the Dates- Celeste Filiatrault- A+ -$250 for 100. She is actually a graphic design pro (website- c313ste.com) but she is a highschool friend. She took serveral designs I found online and combine them perfectly and made the design exactly how I wanted. The cost was far cheaper than if I would have used any website.

    Invites- Nancy with NRC Designs LLC. She does custom paperwork out of her home. She's also a family friend. A+++ , $625 for 170 pocket invitations, 160 photobooth photo strip holders, 50 menus, all table numbers, name cards, and ceremony programs. Everything was beautiful and so much cheaper than it's real value.

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