Vendor Reviews! 10-10-09 (Long!)

I really wanted to post vendor reviews for all of you because I know how helpful they are to all you bride-to-bes! Let me know if anyone has questions!Hair: Stacy Casson, Creative Hair DesignGrade: A+Stacy at Creative was great! She isn't my usual hair dresser since I live in California and so I took a chance based on her reccs on The Knot and was soooo glad I did. She really is a pro at updo's and captured my vision perfectly (and even made it better!) Everyone commented on my hair and how pretty it looked. All my girls got their hair done at Creative too... it is a great place for wedding parties and they all loved their hair too. A++++!Make-up: Carrie Maxwell, Garbos Salon in RegencyGrade: AI was nervous at first because I originally thought she did airbrushing and I wasn't sure if my make-up would last all day.... but she is a pro and it really did! it looked great and totally made me look great in every picture! wish she could do my make-up every day!Flowers: The Flower Shoppe, Woodbine, IAGrade: A+OMG I soooo loved my flowers. They were so unique and Loren really did a great job. Everyone was commenting on how beautiful they were... the flowers were fresh and looked absolutely stunning. He really took my vision and ran with it. Perfect! AND to top it all off he was soooo affordable. The flowers he did for me could have been $2,000 easy, but ended up being under $1,000! Highly reccommend him. And don't let the Woodbine address deter you... he will travel to Omaha.Dress: Bridal TraditionsGrade: AThey were very accommodating and nice every time I went in there. They even gave me $100 credit (which I used towards the tuxes, see next post) because I told them I could have bought the dress at another dress shop in Lincoln but wanted to stay in Omaha. Alterations turned out great (Shirley) and my bustle really accentuated my dress.Tuxes: Bridal Traditions/Jim's Formal WearGrade: C-Ok so everyone was super nice and everything but we had to go back 3 different times to pick up different sizes and do alterations... the FI even had to go back on Sat. before the wedding! Talk about stressful. Plus the three people who went in to BT to get measured (DH, dad and brother) their tuxes fit the WORST! Obviously they are not measuring right or something there. Wouldn't reccommend for tuxes.Reception Venue: Lauritzen GardensGrade: A+Kim the events coordinator is so great... she put up with me 1+ year before my reception asking questions and stuff! She is really organized and knows how to get the job done so you are happy. Love her. Plus, what can I say about the venue? It is so beautiful and made for a TON of great pictures (even despite the freakin SNOW outside!). Everyone commented on what a beautiful place it is. So worth the rental fee (which some people think is high), especially because Abraham Catering is the caterer and they are inexpensive (see next post). Loved this place. It is what memories are made of!Caterer: Abraham CateringGrade: AI am really trying to be objective here and not just give everyone A+s even though I really did think everyone did a great job. The food was delicious and their staff was great. My ONLY compliant is that I do not eat red meat (which I heard the beef was delicious) so I had the herb chicken and I don't think I got enough sauce with mine so it was a little dry/without flavor. But everything else was fantastic and I especially loved that they made our special family recipe as one of our dishes... which everyone loved. I had people telling me that it was the best wedding meal they've ever had. Photographer: Something New ProductionsGrade: AMegan was so great! She came prepared with her bridal kit which had tons of stuf we didn't think about like contact solution and safety pins (both of which came in handy) and she really knew how to stay out of the way and let the magic happen. Half the time I thought she was there and turned around and she wasn't! My only semi-compliant is that I felt the bridal portraits ran a little long (I felt bad having the whole wedding wait for ME even though I was the bride!) and sometimes her assistant wasn't quite sure what she was doing (although you could tell she was very new and Megan was trying to teach her, which is very commendable and didn't bother me at all). Again, trying to be objective. Overall I know she got a ton of great pictures and she put up with my crazy wedding party, which could get a little unruly at times. I can't wait to see her pictures! I know she captured a ton of little stolen moments and I can't wait to see how they turned out.Videographer: Davis CreationsGrade: TBDWell I really can't give a review just yet because they were there for the ceremony and reception... and I was pretty much oblivious to the world during those times (not drunk on alcohol - rather, just drunk on happiness!). I know they were there filming everything, I just don't remember seeing them in my face much except for the toast (which is actually probably a good thing!) I hope they stayed a little into the dance becaues my brother did an impromptu dance marathon (SO not like him, but hilarious all the same) and I hope he got that on tape. Anyways, reserving my grade for them (husband and wife team) until I see the footage.Cake: Carol RodewaldGrade: A+We didn't want a big fancy cake, but rather a small cute one and that's eactly what we got with Carol (out of Missouri Valley, IA). I've had her cakes before and they are delicious... we had a 2 tier red velvet/carott cake and I didn't even get to have a piece, aside from our cake cutting, because everyone gobbled it up. Shoot!Cake Topper: Bea's Creations, EtsyGrade: A+Ok I had to mention this because it turned out so perfectly! I had her make a French bulldog out of milk chocolate so our Frenchie, Stewie, could be there on our special day. He is a unique frenchie because one of his ears just won't stand up like a true frenchie's should and it JUST SO HAPPENED (I didn't tell her this but I'm sure she could have made it happen if I had) that one of the chocolate frenchie's ears got melted en route to my mom's house and it looked like his ear was floppy! SOOOO CUTE. no one would believe me that I didn't plan it that way but I didn't! I think God did it as a wedding gift to me (maybe to make up for the snow? haha!).Ceremony Musicians: Denison String EnsembleGrade: AVery organized and easy to deal with. Affordable too... way more so than Nova (try 50%). They showed up on time, were very professional and did a great job. Only thing (which was my fault) was that the Ave Maria went a little long during the lighting of the unity candle and it got a little awkward... like, what do we do while we're waiting!? Beautiful music though.Reception DJ: Ben Doll, Complete MusicGrade: A+OMG loved Ben! He is young and hip and cool and fun and all my guests adored him. He isn't cheesy wedding DJ but rather like a friend you would like to have partying with you. He made the buffet line go smoothly with one of his games and played really good music, kept people engaged.  In hind sight, I wish I would have told him not to do the fog machine because I think that was a little distracting, but I was too happy/having toom much fun to notice.Transportation: Omaha Fiesta BusGrade: BSo the busses weren't quite as fancy as the website makes it seem but they got the job done and they were fairly inexpensive. The party bus was fun for all the guests, although by the time it took everyone home there were so many people on that thing that we couldn't even use the stripper poles or anything. Fun time though.Guest Accommodations: The Hilton Omaha (downtown)Grade: AWe worked with one of the catering girls there since we had our rehearsal dinner there as well and she was great, very helpful. A couple times we had problems with people not being able to get our room rate but I hear that's pretty standard and she was always quick to right the problem. They gave out our gift bags to guests as they arrived and everything went smoothly. They did give the bottle of champagne and chocolate covered strawberries to my husband the night before, so we didn't get to enjoy those, but other than that all good here.

Re: Vendor Reviews! 10-10-09 (Long!)

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