Missouri-St Louis

Post Vendor Recs HERE

Hey Everyone- I just wanted to consolidate these since we seem to be getting the same several posts over and over, so if you can, please recommend your favorite local vendors!
White Knot
Stand up for something you believe in. White Knot

Re: Post Vendor Recs HERE

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    edited December 2011
    My favorites: Photographer: Amy Pflasterer- she was amazing! One of the easiest people to work with- she is so sweet and accommodating! Very knowledgeable, and a FANTASTIC deal for the price. Her pictures are easily comparable to someone who charges three times as much and she was so much more affordable! Her website: [url]http://www.knepperphotography.com/[/url] Slideshow of my wedding: [url]http://animoto.com/play/oXDcaaK6YbO1sCCvJiIAFQ?utm_campaign=share_email&utm_medium=email&utm_source=share_email[/url] Florist: Schnuck's Focus on Design- Worked with Rosalinda, and she was great! They basically beat the next lowest quote by $500- significant when the whole order including tax and delivery was under $800. Very professional, if you have an idea of what you want for your wedding you can be in and out in less than an hour. Got my vision perfectly- even ordered special kinds of roses to match the dresses! Their website: [url]http://www.schnucks.com/floral/aboutus.asp[/url] Dress Shop: Simply Elegant Bridal (Downtown)- Worked with Annette on our wedding- we ended up doing my dress and BM dresses here. She worked with the girls who were out of town to get their dresses with plenty of time for alterations, and their selection of gowns in every price range really made them a great place to shop! Their alterations on my dress were very reasonable, but they were a little expensive in my opinion for the BMs who used them. Their website: [url]http://www.simplyelegantbridalstl.com/[/url] Rehearsal Dinner: Lucas Park Grille. Katie, their banquet and group coordinator was fantastic! From customized menus, the flexibility to choose your own selections once you get there and the private room were what sold us. Also, the service was exceptional the day of- we had an emergency immediately following our rehearsal and they just went with it and did everything the could to help! We were also excited about the location (on Wash Ave), so we were close to downtown hotels and night life. Their website: [url]http://www.lucasparkgrille.com/[/url] Officiant: Doug Robinson. Doug and his wife were very easy to work with and created a custom ceremony that didn't include anything we didn't want that would have otherwise been in a traditional ceremony. Love them! They were early, performed a beautiful ceremony, and exceeded every expectation. His website: [url]http://www.withthisring-stl.com/fees.html[/url]
    White Knot
    Stand up for something you believe in. White Knot
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    edited December 2011
    Bridal Shop:Simply Elegant would have been my store had I not found a nearly identical dress at Clarice's for about half the cost. Both stores offered a great selection of dresses, though I might have to give Anette and the girls at Simply Elegant the edge because their store is beautiful and they really do make you feel like the only bride there! Rehearsal Dinner: ~ScapeA newer restaurant in the CWE, Scape is a gem for rehearsal dinner options. We originally booked the downstairs wine room (which holds up to 50) - but when our guest list began to grow, they allowed us to move upstairs to the Fountain Room, which seats 125 comfortably. We had use of the outdoor patio in the back for cocktails and appetizers before dinner, and then moved upstairs for a seated dinner. The chef at Scape is wonderful and allowed us to customize a menu based on our needs. Cannot say enough good things! Photographer: Lisa HesselLisa Hessel was our photographer, and I cannot say enough about her! She shot our engagement photos as part of our package, and while they package states the shoot is 1 hour - we shot almost 2 hours, in multiple locations, and had hundreds of photos after the shoot. She was a joy to work with on my wedding day, and kept me very calm and collected. Her husband Jon is her assistant photographer, and you really maximize the photos you get by having 2 there on the big day. At the end of the day - I had 1600 wedding day photos! Love Lisa! www.lisahesselphotography.com Church:Graham Chapel - Washington UniversityPros: Beautiful space, very neutral colors, no clergy associated with the church, so you can bring in your own.Cons: Hard to book - must be affiliated with WashU in some way, on the more expensive side (1000 for a 3 hour block), books up quickly. We had a dear family friend who is a minister that we wanted to perform the ceremony, and Graham was a good option. If you have the budget, I would rec. booking 2 time slots - as you have to use that time for getting ready, the ceremony itself, and the photos after. Ceremony Music: Serenade StringsRanya and her talented crew of string players was a lovely find. Her rates were very reasonable, and their repetoire is large. We had an all-Beatles music wedding, and the way their quartet transformed the arrangements was really lovely. She was very helpful in thinking "outside of the box" in terms of wedding music! Flowers: A Special Event Florist - Tina BarreraAfter experiencing some sticker shock at a few floral consultations, and also being underwhelmed with their creative capacity, Tina was a great find. She works out of her house, but has done hundreds of weddings, so her books are proof of her floral talents. She also had a large repetoire of vases and table presentation ideas, which helped grately. I asked her to give me peonies in August, which I'm pretty sure is a florist's nightmare, and she somehow did it! Very reasonable, kind and energetic to work with, and gave me the flowers I wanted!Reception Venue: Probstein Golf Club - Forest ParkThis venue isn't often considered for a Forest Park wedding, and while any venue in Forest Park isn't cheap (90 and up/head after tax, etc) - it is worth it if you have your heart set on the location. We had gotten engaged on teh 9th hole that this venue overlooks, so for us - we had to have it! : )  Probstein will not charge you a room rental fee like most other FP venues -which is helpful. They have a great wrap-around terrace that you can use for the cocktail hour, large dance floor, and lots of natural light so you can see the sunset, etc. Amy Milne is a great coordinator for the sight, and answered my ten thousand questions with ease. Music: Downtime BandJon and everyone with Downtime provided not only music, but a great atmosphere for our guests. Everyone danced all night and we were proud to see such a packed dance floor! They have a large song list, and really went above and beyond to accommodate our song choices, etc. They invite you to come watch them play a venue, just to make sure you want to book them - very helpful! Transportation: St. Louis TransportationThey were by FAR the most reasonably priced limo companies in the area. We got a 25 passenger limo bus for 5 hours, 2 private cars (1 to leave and 1 to the airport the next morning) - for under 650 dollars. They also invite you to bring a cooler, etc, and they will ice it down for you. Since we were getting married in August, this was a big help to keep our bridal party hydrated and cool! Out of town rooms: Chase Park PlazaThe Chase is really a fabulous place for guests to stay if you have a lot of out-of-towners. It was close to our venue, and also within walking distance to a lot of food options and entertainment. Also, since we had a forecast of rain, the Chase allowed us to shoot inside and get some great historic shots (they normally charge 1k for shooting rights - just an fyi to all brides). Our suite that night was at the Chase - and was comped since we had so many guests staying in the hotel. Lovely! Linens: Weinhardt provided linens for both the rehearsal dinner and the reception. They allowed me to check out a number of choices and take them over to my reception venue for a trial run, and were very easy to work with! They also mail brides a 15 percent off coupon - which really can help with the overall cost, as linens do add up! Extras: Fireworks - J&D Fireworks holds the only permit to shoot in Forest Park. They will pull the fire dept. permits for you, give you options on length of the show, and suggest ideas. We did around a 4 minute shoot, and it was around 2k. If you have money left in the budget - I highly recommend this - the guests had such a fun time, and it was a nice homage to my grandparents, who had since passed, but loved the 4th of July and the fireworks that ensued! Only 1 negative review:Lisa Ritz: All About HoneymoonsWe originally thought we needed a travel agent to help us plan the honeymoon, but after using Lisa, we realized we could just plan it by ourselves like most of our travel, and be just fine! She took forever to answer emails, gave obvious suggestions, and told us that you couldn't go to Hawaii for less than 10 grand (We went to Maui, stayed at the Four Seasons, and definitely spent less than 10 grand - just an fyi!). In the end we were tied to using her, but really just did it as a formality. Do your research, book your own trip, and you will be just fine!
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    edited December 2011
    Hello brides to be! I just wanted to post my vendor reviews, hope this helps!  Go to this link to see preview pictures http://kellyprattphoto.blogspot.com/2009/10/christine-and-kevin.html     Kelly Pratt Photography: By far our favorite vendor.  Kelly and her husband Ian are remarkable people.  I would say my husband and I are not photogentic by any means but she captured all the beatiful things on our wedding day from the decorations, to the people, to the special little moments when you thought no one was watching. She has great ideas for photo locations (indoor and outdoor).  They are very professional, a good blend of traditional and photojournalist techiques, and very economically priced.     Larry Moore, officiant: Compassionate, organized and well-spoken. We did have a little bit of a hiccup during the rehearsal, but Larry stayed up all night to fix it in order do the ceremony.  He is a phenominal person that cares about each couple that he works with.  Larry’s ceremony that he wrote was beautiful.  It was real and concise.  We received many compliments from our guests about the ceremony, which my husbands Aunt and Uncle asked to use it when they renew their vows for their anniversery.  Also, the wedding coordinators at the butterfly house done over 600 weddings said they have not seen a nicer ceremony performed.    Butterfly House, Ceremony, Reception Site and event coordinator: This is a very unqiue location that offers nature’s natural beauty.  Also, it makes for an awesome wedding favor for guests; they are still talking about it. J  The event coordinators at the Butterfly House were a pleasure to work with.  Amy and Adam were life savers time and time again.  Our florist had forgotten the father’s boutinners and Amy and Adam created some using the bridesmaids bouquets right before the ceremony.  They were also the ones that took control when our rehearsal experienced a hiccup.  Amy and Adam were accommodating in all circumstances and they make sure your day is wonderful, special and a truly rememberable experience.  Even when the propain tanks ran out, they actually sent someone to go purchase more porpain to heat the tent, even though we were the last reception of the year.  It was a delight working with the Butterfly House and I would recommend this venue to any future bride.   Hendris, Caterer:  Good food, reasonably priced, professional, and takes care of their customers.   Dan and his wife were great to work with.  They met all of our expectations.  Execution went off without a hitch.  Dan provided great advice and ideas along the way regarding set up, and décor.  These guys were the back bone of the wedding.  They provided the set up, tear down, made sure that the cake cutting, first dance, etc went according to the timeline.  They were the vendor we were least worried about, and did a great job!   Karen’s Wedding Boutique:  This is a mother and daughter shop located over in Ballwim.  Betty and her mother are sweetest people in the whole entire world.  Thinking back through the whole experience they almost became my adpotive family J  No matter how many times I went to try on my dress or went back and forth between a slip and a veil they were always patient, kind and wise.  The prices that Karen’s has can not be beat.  I found my runner up dress at Maiden Voyage Bridal for a litte over a $1,000.  Karen’s sold the same dress for $500.  The customer service and the unbeatable prices makes Karen’s Wedding Boutique a hidden gem stone.   Jean Conroy, alterations:  Perfectionist, expert seamstress, and willing to work with people’s budget are the words I would use to describe Jean.  I had 4 fittings and the reason for that was because Jean wanted to make sure the dress was perfect!  Jean is the cutest old lady, she’ll teach you how to scoop and lift your boosums.  She was an absolute joy to work with her.  My dress turned awesome!  She is the alterations woman at Karen's wedding boutqiue so if you want to get ahold of her call there.   Face and Body Spa: I had posted on the knot boards before needing help finding a salon to get my hair and make up done at.  Long story short after my 4th hair and make up trial I found Lindsay and Trish.  Lindsay did a fabulous job on my hair and Trish did a wonderful job on my make up.  The only issue that I ran into was when I booked my appointment after my trial they made my appointment for the afternoon, when I needed it in the morning.  After a lot of brainstorming we were able to make it work out.   Savvi Formalwear, Tuxedos and Invitations: Savvi Formalwear was one of the easist vendors for us to work with.  Whitney, the manager at the Galleria store, was personable, a riot to work with and 100% knowledgeable about the wedding businesses in the area.  When we went to book the tuxedos it was during the bi-yearly sale on stationary.  We receieved 50% off on all stationary, 30% off at the Ultimate Bride for bridesmaid dresses, $25 dollars off each groomsmen tuxedos, and the grooms tuxedo was free.    Jive and Wail, Entertainer:  Our guests were not the big outgoing people so my husband and I wanted to book live entertainment.   We loved Chris and Richard. They were very accomindating.  They learned our first dance song, father daughter dance song, mother son dance song, ceremony music and much more.  They truly were the life of the party.  The only issue that we had with Jive and Wail was regarding our initial deposit.  The check was written in Janurary; however it took over 7 months for it to be deposited.      St. Louis Transportation:  After doing extensive research on St. Louis Transportation (they only received one complaint in the last 5 years and it was resolved immediately). They have no law suits opened against them either. The day of the wedding the shuttle was 15 minutes early, and he made sure we stuck to our time schedule and he was very nice. He helped me on and off the shuttle. He even asked the best man how long we were going to be at the photo location so he could use the bathroom.  The shuttle was clean, didn't smell like smoke, and it was actually an upgrade compared to the one that I had booked. The get away car was also on time and clean, however Mario Andrede was our driver. St. Louis Transportation is professional and reasonably priced. Riley’s Florist: Worst vendor hands down.  They had very innovative ideas regarding the décor combine that with being economical is the reasons that we booked.  Then the week of the wedding came.  Every day I called and every day he dodged my phone calls when I just wanted to go over the order to make sure we had everything.  We had to arrange two separate deliveries, which they were an hour late first delivery and 3 hours to early for the second delivery.  The guy actually left our centerpieces and other décor on a public park bench outside of the butterfly house, without telling anyone he made the delivery.  My husband stopped the guy and asked who those flowers were flowers for, and low and behold they were for our wedding.  My husband then gathered up the flowers and took them to the event coordinator of the butterfly house.    When we arrived at the butterfly house I was excited and I peaked at the reception seat up, this is when I noticed that specific items that were on our order were missing like the fathers boutinears, the memory vase for the grandparents, the bar décor and ceterpiece vases.  After totaling up the amount we were missing around $200 worth of flowers that we had paid for.  Anyway, my husband met with the owner and we were only able to get $75 back… he explained to us that there was a misunderstanding regarding what we thought our flowers were and his vision of our flowers.  So words of advice to all the brides to be out there see your flowers the night before.  Make sure they are what you want!  But all in all the work that he did provide us were beautiful so I will be a return customer for smaller arrangements.  But I would not recommend for weddings.If anyone is looking for a great place to have a rehearsal dinner Wapango Resturant is awesome great food, drinks and atmosphere.  John and Rachel were a pleasure to work with.  Also, if you want to have a new york strip for your guests at a reasonable price per head ($25 for drinks, bread, two appetizers, salad, 2 types of entrees, dessert and all of the utensials you use and set up and tear down) this is the place to go!
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    edited December 2011
    I totally forgot the cake! Lubeleys bakery did a awesome job on our wedding cake.  The cake was so good that the people at my office ordered an amerreto cake with raspberry filling just to statify their sweet tooth.
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    edited December 2011
    Hi there fellow Butterfly House 10/10 bride - so glad to hear your day went well! =)From your review, sounds like your experience with Amy was a complete 180 from mine. Interesting... I absolutely could not BELIEVE her disorganization. I actually was really worried for you given that both your ceremony and reception were there (and I couldn't even handle her for the ceremony alone with her!). So, so happy it worked out!Best wishes on your marriage!
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    edited December 2011
    Venue for reception- Foundry Art Centre, St. Charles. I love the Foundry. Caterer- River City Catering. George was very friendly and the food was amazing. I am still getting compliments on the food. I also loved that everything was included in the price- table clothes, plates & napkins, etc. Cake- Wedding Wonderland, Florissant. The cake turned out beautifully. Each layer was a different flavor and had different filings. Their prices were great. Photographer- Burns Photography. Loved, loved, loved the photographers. Tim and Ellie were excellent. See some of my pictures at burnsphotographystl.com/ My wedding was 10-9-09. They have some amazing weddings featured on their blog. I can't say enough about how wonderful they are to work with. DJ- Block Rockin' Beats. Tom Rotter was our DJ and was just perfect. He kept the party going all night. He played what we wanted him to play and also took requests.
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    edited December 2011
    I forgot to mention our florist. The flowers were beautiful. We used the Flower Stop in Cottleville. I loved all of the flowers. The florist was really easy to work with and my flowers were amazing.
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    edited December 2011
    I'm from FL but had my wedding in Detroit... My invitation person was out of St. Louis though... Melinda at Paper Frosting www.paperfrosting.com Wedding Invitations Paper Frosting - St. Louis, MO A+ With following suite to have everything regarding our wedding be difficult, I thought it would be best to work with another vendor across country! I met Melinda at Paper Frosting through my Maid of Honor and after taking one look at her website/gallery, I was hooked. Melinda took the time to get to know every little detail of our wedding & every thing I liked and disliked. She would send me samples and pictures daily to get my thoughts. She created so many beautiful designs for me to chose from too! She was very patient with me (as we all know brides change their minds a million times) and was always very eas y to get ahold of via email/phone.
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    edited December 2011
    I googled Saint Louis Transportation, but nothing close came up. Will someone please post their website address?Thanks.
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    edited December 2011
    I had the BEST makeup and hair experience of my life with Christina Studios. They are hair stylists and makeup artists that traveled to me and my party the day of the wedding. The makeup artist, Christina, did an amazing job with using airbrush makeup! Very natural but, completely flawless and my hair was exactly what I wanted. We all looked beautiful and you can't beat the pampering of having a beauty team come to you on that very stressful day. Their website is www.cstudiostl.com or 636-346-3383
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    shawna77inilshawna77inil member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Well we made it!!  We got married on October 10th and the day was fantastic!!  I just refused to get upset about anything, and it seemed to work out well for me.  LoL  I highly recommend it, actually.  Anyway, here are the vendors and venues we used and what we thought of them.  :-)
    ~Mane Attraction Hair Studio in Collinsville, IL~Makeup was one of the last things that I had booked for our wedding.  I went to a bridal show, saw that these guys did airbrush, and booked them on the spot.  AM I EVER GLAD THAT I DID THAT!  I wasn't super impressed with my trial because it was done at that same show and she was in a very obvious hurry to get me done and get to the ever growing line behind me.  I had seen pictures of their work online and was confident that they would be great on wedding day, though.  Three days before the wedding I get a panic call from my Mom about the hairdresser.  She had half backed out and, since it was my Mom's friend, my Mom was freaking.  I kept my cool and picked up the phone.  Carla at Mane Attraction told me to stay calm, they would make it work.  She asked me what time I could be there and I told her 5 am if that is what she needed.  LOL  She told us to come in at 8 for makeup and, since we would have downtime between makeup and hair, to bring some food and whatever to keep ourselves comfy.  My MOH brought trays of bagels and donuts, OJ and diet soda (my one vice in life) and we took over their kitchen area.  The girl doing our makeup, whose name I can't remember, was great!!!  She took her time and asked each of us what we wanted.  She had another job to go to but didn't rush through anything and all of us loved our makeup, from the Moms to me.  :-)  My mother in law had actually face planted a week before and had two black eyes from where her glasses hit, and you couldn't tell at ALL when they were done!  We had five makeup to do and nine heads of hair.  They were working us in while they were doing the weddings that had longstanding appointments.  We did alot of hopping from chair to chair, but they had ALL of the weddings done and out the door by 12:15.  There were easily 25 people in that salon between 8 and 12.  All of their stylists were fantastic!  We had several of us that were set by one person and styled by another, anything to make sure that we all got done and were happy.  None of us knew exactly what we wanted and I refused to be that psycho bride that wanted everyone to be done SPECIFICALLY like this or that, so the girls worked with their stylists and each got whatever they felt great in.  It was a great experience and I have already recommended them numerous times!
    ~First Christian Church of Belleville~ Let me begin by saying, Tonya is awesome!!  She is the minister's wife and their coordinator.  She is so much fun!  She told us straight up when we first met her that she loves fun and pretty weddings, and it was her job to make sure both of those things happened.  This is my brother's church and, while I don't attend, he has always said wonderful things about it.  The other thing we needed was to be able to bring in our own officiant, which the church was more than happy to do with NO problem or extra charge.  That is extremely unusual!  I was pleasantly surprised.  We found this out BEFORE the church figured out who I was and that my brother attended there, so this is the norm for them.  She made sure we were able to get in whenever we wanted, we were able to do any decorating we desired and they did everything they could FOR us so that we didn't have to deal with it.  We did our rehearsal on a Thursday and were in the church before noon on Saturday and Tonya was on time and ready to go with everything we needed.  My only complaint was the sound person.  While my brother does sound alot for the church, he was in the wedding so that wasn't possible.  The person that DID do sound faded a song that we specifically asked him not to, so the flower girls walked down with no music.  Minor detail, but it was a flaw that we wished would have been different.  If you use this church, ask for Chris to do your sound/music.  ;-)
    ~Roger Hartmann Sr ~ Roger is a friend of my Dad and a friend of mine as well.  He wanted to officiate our wedding, and we were happy to let him!  He is more laid back, FUN to be around and much less religious than many, which we appreciated.  He told us straight up at the beginning that he doesn't wear a suit.  He showed up at the church in his slacks and tux tshirt.  I told him that was cool!!  Of course, he had a button down shirt and tie with him too, but he was trying to rile me up.  LoL He kept our ceremony light hearted and fun with just a touch of religion.  He customizes each ceremony to whatever the couple wants.  He is ordained and has done weddings in both Illinois and Missouri.  If you want a fun wedding, he is the guy!  Very serious when he needs to be, but so much fun to be around in the planning stages.  He and his wife are wonderful, and that isn't me speaking just as a friend!  That is me speaking as a satisfied customer.  :-)  Several people asked me what church he preaches at so they could go and see him.  LoL  I told him he better set up some chairs in his living room because people are coming to visit.  Hahahaha 
    ~Kelly's Limousine from Belleville IL~My mother in law insisted that we needed a limo, so we got one.  Our driver was the BOMB!  His name was Greg and he was awesome.  He picked us up at the salon and was ten minutes early.  I introduced myself when we got in, asked him his name and told him to get ready to have fun.  He had water and soda in the limo (they won't provide alcohol if children are in the car) and got us on our way!  The kids were playing their music on the radio and he was jamming right along with us.  It was awesome!  We warned him that the boys wouldn't be near as much fun, and he told me later we were right.  Hehehehe  We were running slightly over our time because I forgot what time it was that we were supposed to be done and he assured me that we had ten more minutes.  I know darn good and well that we were over, but he wanted us to be able to get some outside pictures so he "adjusted his watch" for us.  I sure hope we didn't get him in trouble, because he was great!  Fun, outgoing, helpful getting us in and out with all of those dresses, GREAT driver and great experience.  
    ~Knights of Columbus in Cahokia, IL~We had so many people tell us it was the best reception they had ever been to.  While some people see it as "just a bingo hall", we had a bigger vision.  The hall set up our tables and then we adjusted them from there.  We wanted a little more space between the tables so people wouldn't have to squeeze in and out.  We were able to get in the night before to decorate.  They set out the trees with the lights and have the tulle across the ceiling with lights.  When they turned the lights down, the entire place changed.  It was stunning, if I do say so myself!  We had candlelight on all of the tables (shop after holidays, we got all of our jar candles for half off and they were the really pretty decorative Christmas ones so they really looked awesome) and candy sprinkled out between the candles.  We had chicken, roast beef, green beans, corn, rolls, salad, mashed potatoes, gravy, coffee and tea for $10.50 a person.  We got raves for the food.  Simple, yes, but cooked perfectly.  I have never had such a juicy chicken breast in my life.  We had the full hall with food for 250, three half barrels of beer, soda for the entire night, an ice sculpture and seven hours reserved.  With the extra beer (four extra kegs that we know of LoL) and mixed drinks that we picked up for several people there (bridal party and out of town guests) the whole thing was just under $6000.  Most of that was hall rental.  For a 250 person reception, I was thrilled with that price!  Their standard four hour reception and half the hall (which would have been plenty of space for us, we just wanted the extra room for the kids to play) would have cut about $500 off of that.  We also would have saved about $300 in alcohol because that would have been less drinking time.  LoL  Don't knock places like this for your reception.  You just might be pleasantly surprised!~Natural Aspects Photography~Regina was so much fun!  She was very patient with the kids and made sure that she got all of our shots that we wanted.  She took us aside to get intimate shots outside after we were done eating and everyone else was still finishing up so we could get the sunset lighting.  While we were visiting with our guests she took whatever props she needed and took care of pictures that we didn't have to be right there for.  At one point, she took our rings, my shoes and my bouquet and off she went.  I can't wait to see what kind of setup she was doing with that!!  LoL She worked very well with our other vendors to make sure that everything we needed pictures of, we got.  She also helped to keep things running smoothly throughout the night.  Their office person, Christine, made sure that everything pre wedding went smoothly.  Our engagement pictures got to us in plenty of time to use for the reception and she actually told us that we didn't need to pay for the full day coverage instead of just letting us pay for something we didn't need.  There is a reason that these guys are a top pick here on the Knot.  They are really great, and I can't wait to see all of our pictures!  Their packages work well for every budget.  His uncle is getting married in November and booked Natural Aspects after seeing our engagement pics and the package that we got.  They did a great job! 
    ~Patty Cakes in Highland IL~Another Knot recommendation that we are very glad we took.  Our deciding factor for using Patty Cakes was the supports that they use in their cakes.  They are acrylic and stainless steel so that your cake doesn't taste like a wooden dowel rod.  The topper we were using had pink in it and our colors were red and white.  Patty piped red flowers over the flowers on our topper so that everything would match perfectly.  Our cakes were vanilla with strawberry and cream cheese filling, chocolate with fudge, butter pecan and amaretto.  We had a four tier cake (top tier we took home, of course) and a groom's cake.  We took home our top tier and eight pieces.  Eight.  We had enough cake for 300 people.  Needless to say, the cake was a hit.  LoL  The groom's cake had dipped strawberries around it that looked like footballs and baseballs.  He's a bit of a sports nut.  We got raves about the cakes.  They came in and set everything up beautifully.  Again, TOTALLY thrilled with this vendor. 
    I think that was everyone.  I was told by several people that I was a very easy to get along with bride, so maybe that was why I was so happy.  I just took the mindset that whatever is going to happen is going to happen.  This is something else that I recommend!!!  The cake didn't get cut exactly on time, but I didn't sweat it.  The bridal party wore the dresses that they felt great in but in the same color, everyone picked their own shoes, everyone picked their hairstyle, etc.  Don't sweat the small stuff!!!  Your bridal party will be much happier if you let them have some say in the day and their happiness will show in the pictures.  My maid of honor has been in numerous weddings, many of which she was the maid of honor in.  She told me that, hands down, I was the easiest to get along with.  I think we all enjoyed the day alot more because I wasn't fretting over every single tiny little thing.  Also, remember that your bridal party is there to stand for you, not wait on you.  My maid of honor was actually getting annoyed because I was doing things for myself.  LMAO  Treat it like a fantastic, fun day with a big party at the end.  After all, that's what it is!  It's supposed to be fun for you and for all of the people you love.  Let it happen that way!  Don't fret, everything will work out, even if the cake isn't cut on time and the sound guy cuts a song short.  Getting angry about it will just ruin YOUR day, the vendor couldn't give a rat's butt less.  Trying to pass words of wisdom.  :-)I hope all our reviews help you ladies.  If I can answer any questions, please feel free to ask!     
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    shawna77inilshawna77inil member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    This and the previous post I originally posted on 10/18 and have finally, just now, gotten around to moving them into this category.  Just clarifying why the post says "and now, a week later" when it's like three months later.  :-D

    I can't believe I forgot about the flowers!!  We used bridesign.com  I found them through Proflowers.  The flowers they show on the website are exactly what the flowers looked like when they got here.  The representative called me within a half hour of them getting here (we were still unpacking them, as a matter of fact!) to make sure that everything was in order.  They were soooo gorgeous!  The buds were very fresh.  If anything, I wish they would have been just a litttttle more open, but they still photographed beautifully.  So many flowers I see in wedding pictures are about half wilted and sad looking.  I was a little bit nervous using an online vendor for such a big part of the day, but they have a triple backup plan in place so I took a chance.  SO GLAD WE DID!!!  As I said, the flowers were gorgeous and my bouquet still looks as fresh today, a week later, as it did on our wedding day.  We highly recommend these guys too.  LoL
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    edited December 2011

    I'm having my wedding out of state, so I don't have many recommendations for this area, except one.

    St. Louis Alterations on Clayton Rd (by the galleria).  I had a great experience here.  My gown needed taken in quite a bit, I added straps, and I had a bustle added.  They did an awesome job of making it fit like a glove and still keeping the shape and style of the dress.  The owner's name is Irena and she is a real sweetheart.  There is also another woman there who specializes in formal dresses such as wedding, prom, and pageant gowns.  If you need any alterations I highly recommend going with them.  They were also cheaper than the wedding salons that I looked into.

    BabyFetus Ticker
  • Options
    edited December 2011
    Exquisite Events (www.exquisiteeventsusa.com) took care of everything!  They were wonderful and have every level of service from Day-of to write them a check and show up in your dress with the groom!  I was never worried for a second--a totally stress free day!  314-338-5649 in STL or 618-654-3561 in IL.  It just doesn't get any better than Double E!!
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    umslartumslart member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Venue- Marriot hotel in St. Louis by the airport. They were easy to work with and the place is just beautiful. 

    Caterer- River City Catering. Great food and great people. 

    Cake- Jilly's Cupcake Bar. AMAZINGNESSSSS!! 

    Photographer- Sofi Seck Photography. She is just brilliant at what she does. I love her. Love her photos! 

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    blahhahblahhah member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Kelly Park is an amazing photographer.  I used her a year ago and recommend that you check her out.  She has a great style that is both modern and classic.  Check out Kelly Park Photography.
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    cmariemaloneycmariemaloney member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    I am having a post wedding celebration here in St L Labor Day week end.  It is being held at Strathalbyn Farms and the undertone will be rustic flare.  I really need help finding a fun band, the perfect farm band!  Suggestions?
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    Twitty2Twitty2 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    If you want superb red carpet or Vogue type style- go to www.cstudiostl.com and book your hair and makeup artists immediately! They are amazing and travel to you and your party! Airbrush makeup, Airbrush tanning, tattoo cover, and individual lashes!
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    kkse08kkse08 member
    First Anniversary First Comment
    edited December 2011

    Best Photographer in the world is Susan Jackson.  She is always in Martha Stewart's wedding magazine.  She is also not too expensive.

    Excellent Wedding Coordinators: 

    Swanson's Boutique
    Great value for your money- owner will work with bride's budget.  This coordinator saves the money on other costs and is extremely creative.  Also will do a lot of the nitty gritty things other coordinators will not do.  Owner knows a lot about contract law since she has a legal background.  The emergency kit is loaded with great stuff.  
     Cosmopolitan Events                       
    Owner is excellent to work with and has a great reputation in St. Louis.  Fun to work with and is established in the community.  

    Best Band is Yes Sirs 

  • Options
    edited December 2011
    Check out this group - great place to find all of your wedding needs and more.

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    ilythiailythia member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011

    Wedding Vendor Reviews

    Southern Illinois / Alton Illinois

    May 29, 2010




    Photographer – Dacia Miller



    I didn’t even need to see the photos to know that Dacia would receive an A+.  On the day of the wedding she was one of the only vendors who I did not need to stress about.  The day of the wedding we were supposed to be taking pictures of me getting ready, but we were running behind.  I was pleasantly surprised that when she got to the location, she took the initiative to find me and got right to work, taking the pictures I was hoping she would without interrupting our flow.


    Her personality, professionalism and dedication to getting her job done went over and beyond what was expected.  Even though we had complications with our DJ that set us way behind schedule, Dacia was patient, understanding, and amazing just for the fact that she stayed longer than she was required and took the necessary steps to make sure our photos were finished.


    At the very beginning she wowed me with her passion and dedication, and that followed through the entire day.  It was wonderful having such confidence in such a crucial part of the wedding!



    Cake – Martha Bick

    Send me an email if you’re interested; she is a family friend


    I absolutely loved my cake, it was everything I dreamed of and asked for.  Plus it tasted awesome!  On that note I want to point out that I don’t like cake!  Plus I couldn’t have beat the price anywhere else!



    Florist – RW Designs



    Well um, when I had been planning my wedding my mother found this florist in St. Louis.  My mother was under the impression that this was an awesome florist in the area and she was extremely excited for me to have my flowers done by them.  I met with the owner at Panera Bread and we discussed what my flowers would consist of.  I left feeling great!  When I had been informed of the price I cut quite a few items from my list believing being an artist myself I would be able to save my mother some money and make them myself.


    After about 4-6 months I still had not heard back from the florist so I sent him an email saying hi and asking if he had any photos of the centerpiece we had discussed for my reception; I also asked for a hard copy of our contract.  He responded saying he did not like my tone and that he felt it was best for the both of us not to work together.  This was after having a contract and a down payment.  I was stunned, shocked, hurt and confused.  I have never planned a wedding before but couldn’t believe this response just from checking in with the company.  I did not believe any of my emails had a tone; I had no reason to be upset prior to this occurrence.  After sharing all of my 4 or 5 emails to the company with my family it could only be assumed that he had scheduled two weddings on the same day and my wedding was the cheaper of the two. 


    My fiancé and I tried to contact him and discuss his actions and received no response.  Luckily we did receive our down payment in the mail.  Though just this morning, I found it very odd that my IP address is blocked from his website now.  We never received a single communication after he decided to drop us.  It was basically that it was his decision and it was final, regardless of the contract. 


    This experience rattled all my views on weddings and vendors.  There is really no point in a contract for our sake if anyone can just cancel for no reason without even allowing a chance for discussion on the matter!



    Florist – Peg’s Flower Cottage

    No website / located in Jerseyville, Illinois


    This was a really hard vendor for me to grade because it was so personal to me especially with my previous experience.  Yes my flowers were beautiful.  As an artist I am very picky and find myself a perfectionist.  The grade is based on the quality of the flowers which were very nice, the lack of ease in which I was able to communicate with the store, the store using it’s artistic expression in ways I didn’t like after a photo was included, and the disorganization of the boutonnières. 


    My altar arrangements, pew decorations and boutonnières were not what I asked for.  Actually the boutonnières for the guys weren’t even close.  The boutonnières had a white flower that dominated the whole thing, when the groomsmen were not supposed to have any white flowers.  They were supposed to be blue and chocolate with green accents.  I had provided a photo of exactly what I wanted for the guys in the wedding.  Only grandparents and women(singers, program passer, readers, etc.) were supposed to have a white flower.  The altar pieces were beautiful and different.  I believe they were changed based on the shortage of pussy willow at this time of year.  I just thank God I liked the choice made since I was never told they were going to look nothing like what I asked for.  The pew decorations were okay, I really don’t like bows, did not ask for a bow and got huge bows with a white flower and ivy.  Again I provided a photo of exactly what I wanted.


    The centerpieces really turned out great.  Only complaint would be that my large centerpiece was missing the light blue organza streamers.  It was only willow branches with LED lights in the water. 


    The bouquets were beautiful.  I just wished mine was a bit fuller.  It really wasn’t much bigger than the bridesmaids flowers.  I also did not receive the flowers for my hair that I asked for.  There were a bunch of silk flowers left behind. I guess I was supposed to assemble it and put it in my hair?  I had expressed to them I did not want silk flowers for my hair so I ended up just using a decorative bobby pin that my mother had brought with for a decoration.


    Last but not least, I guess all of the boutonnières and corsages were mislabeled so Keith had a hell of a time figuring those out on the day of with out me!  Then my last complaint would be that with the distance making things difficult for me.  I was living in Nebraska while working with everyone.  Peg is not computer literate.  I never received a response to any of my emails giving details of things she needed to know.  I never called more than twice because she was never in a good mood over the phone.  She was always super busy and didn’t have the time to talk.  The price was great for the flowers provided.  I just believe the shop needs some fine tuning.



    Reception Venue – The Beall Mansion



    This review is based only on the appearance of the Beall Mansion in Alton, Illinois. 


    I absolutely loved it.  Only reason it did not receive an A+ is I felt more time could have been spent cleaning and such.  If I remember correctly the grass had not been cut for what seemed like 10+ days, was over run with clovers and weeds.  There were a few pots with nothing in them also.  The plants that were growing were doing very well and were really pretty. 



    Reception Owner – Jim from The Beall Mansion



    Again the location is beautiful.  For me the location ended up being worth having to work with the owner.  But his grade is being kept separate from the location because I don’t want to taint the Mansion’s beauty.


    Okay, working with Jim was very challenging.  He frequently made verbal promises and comments that didn’t hold up on the contract.  Also he takes nickel and diming you to the next level, to the point that he would not allow me to discuss financial situations with his vendors.  Tried contacting the caterer, only to have them tell Jim we called with questions on pricing.  I had picked cheese tortellini with marinara for my veggie dish for $10 on their menu to have it cost me $20 a person, made no sense what so ever!  Bottom line he will not assist you in lowering the cost of your wedding. There is no negotiating with him.  Also for some reason he feels that if you choose not to get married at his location and only have a reception you will still need to pay for the cost of the ceremony.  His reasoning was that we take up the opportunity for having another wedding…lessening his chance for profits in the process, but he hosted another ceremony there the morning of.  Basically his reasoning for us having to pay more was untrue, and was just another way to get money out of us.


    On the day of my wedding while I was trying to take photos my mother comes to tell me that there is no water, only alcohol available until 4:30.  The lady of the house tells me that I scheduled for dinner to begin at 4:30 and drinks at 3:30.  Hello…its WATER!  It is not like you don’t have a tap in your kitchen…fill up some pitchers and serve some water!  They acted like I didn’t “order” water for my wedding!   Arrgghhhh, how the heck was I supposed to know I needed to order water for my reception when I was already paying for things like tea and alchohol?  Again…its water?!?


    Jim also made me book my stay at the location separately from the cost of the reception.  Yes I paid for my reception at a Bed & Breakfast and I had to book two nights at the location, nothing was provided.  But I do remember when I booked my room a package deal offering a half hour massage complimentary was offered.  Definitely never saw that massage.  Not too surprised.  I really didn’t expect it to happen.  The bed was very nice though.


    I was very frustrated with the owner of the mansion so I could go on, but I will just stop here.  Bottom line, he’s a salesman…he would tell us one thing early on, and then go back on it later.  I guess its our fault for not reading ALL the fine print as we were signing things.  That’s the sort of thing that happens when the vendor is verbally telling you what it ‘supposedly’ says as you are glancing through it though.



    DJ - Impressive Entertainment

    Filaoa Wedding Center, Bud Ramsay, Mike Schneider


    Okay, everything seemed fine and on schedule until a week before the wedding.  At the time my fiancé and I received a phone call from family saying that Bud Ramsay was in jail and that you should call a number if you need a refund, blah blah blah.  So we looked into things and it appeared he was just having money trouble with another company he was affiliated with.  My fiancé got in touch with Bud and was informed everything was fine and on schedule and that he would be at our Reception. 


    Well, the day before the wedding I received an email that Mike Schneider was going to be subcontracted through Bud Ramsay and would be our DJ for the wedding.  We were concerned at this point, given the information we received a week prior.  We contacted Mike Schneider though, and he guaranteed us everything was just fine, and that he’s done this once or twice before for Bud.


    The morning of the wedding I receive a phone call from Mike that he doesn’t have a copy of my song list.  Trying to be calm and not freak out, but very frustrated at this point I inform him that I will print it off since I don’t have time for emailing. 


    At 4:10 the day of our wedding, my husband’s brother asks us what time is the DJ supposed to get here?  Well he was supposed to be playing by 3:30pm!  So my husband and I dash up to my room to look up his phone number and call him.  I can tell the phone call is not going well. Now understand I’m supposed to be doing my Newlywed photos and family photos right now (part of the reason we didn’t even realize he wasn’t there!)  But instead I am in the bathroom bawling my eyes out!


    When Keith spoke to him, he said that his hard drive crashed around 3pm.  I asked him why that’s a problem….its a business….you should have a backup and be prepared for the worst.  Well…he wasn’t.  He flat out said he wasn’t coming because he couldn’t do anything.  We paid the company to DJ our wedding, it shouldn’t be our responsibility to fix the situation….it should be their issue.


    Keith calls another DJ company I had a card for but gets no answer.  So it feels like were giving up and my reception is over before it has a chance to start. 


    Luckily, we had a few family connections at the wedding that were able to save the day.  However, the schedule for other things got screwed up and delayed as a result.  Photos went further into the night than necessary, and our food, which was cooked and ready to go at 4:30, had to sit in warmers for another 30-90 minutes while we got everything arranged.  That isn’t a good thing when you’ve got steaks that are supposed to be served done a certain way.



    Caterer – Tony’s

    Tony’s Lounge Incorporated, Alton IL


    Due to our reception being at The Beall Mansion we had to go with Tony’s for our food. 


    The food was great, everything was served hot and delicious.  I ordered the fruit stuffed pork for myself and felt they gave way too much meat.  I was only able to eat about 1/3 of it.  I tasted everything else though, and everything tasted great....even the cheese tortellini, which was supposed to have marinara on it, but instead had Alfredo.  I felt this was a big mistake because people ordered marina and received Alfredo.  I personally really don’t like Alfredo sauce usually. So what were the people supposed to eat that didn’t like Alfredo?  I guess they were just out of luck.


    My major complaint was the service.  I can’t recall how many servers we were supposed to have but we had one bartender and two servers.  I had asked the event planner at Tony’s and they had informed me that I had more than enough servers needed to get the job done.  We had 4 different entrees, steak being served first and the cheese tortellini being served last.  With only 100 guests total, the guests that ordered cheese tortellini didn’t receive their dish until an hour after the steak was brought out.  I was very upset about this.  People who had ordered steak were long done eating before people at their table who ordered pasta even got their entrée.


    My only other complaint is that they did an awful job of clearing tables I must have had 20 glasses on my table when I sat down to eat.  The tables only had 8 people and most of the glasses were empty.  I have been a waitress and a server for restaurants and events and though the service was just awful, thank god the food was awesome!!!!


    I sent them an email with my complaints and they never responded to my issues.



    Hair Stylist – Roxy @ West 708 Salon

    Jerseyville, Illinois


    My hair was perfect I provided a photo and did a trial run for $15 bucks, and my hair the day of was $25.  As far as where to go to get your hair done this seems like an obvious choice now!



    Make Up – Merle Norman

    Alton Mall


    The make up was beautiful and the price was awesome!  It lasted all night with the humidity and tears!



    Ceremony – St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Father Jim

    Alton, Illinois


    I absolutely loved the church and absolutely loved working with Father Jim. The combination really made my day truly special!  Sadly Keith and I will be living in Nebraska.  I would love to be a member of Father Jim’s parish.  I will really miss him!



    Equipment Rental – A-1 Party Rental


    I did a vas amount of research for linens and centerpieces.  The price for the quality of the items at this rental store blows all competition out of the water!!!! 


    It was my dream to have affordable overlays for my tables in light blue and this location made that happen and they were beautiful and a wonderful shear material.  I believe they cost me a bout $7 per table.  Every other location I tried for the exact same thing had to be about $25 a table. 


    We had one table cloth rip that we had to pay to replace for about $20; but I get to keep the ripped table cloth!  I will probably use the material to make a memento from the wedding. The rip isn’t super large so I have quite a lot of material to work with. 


    We also had to pick up our rentals a day sooner for the florist.  A-1 gave us no hassle whatsoever in this situation!  I rented candelabras and 30” vases.  This made my centerpieces from the florist heck of a lot cheaper! 


    The website truly doesn’t do the store justice though.  I feel the store has far more options and supplies in person.  Some items I found hard to locate on the website.  Meeting in person was just so much easier and then I could pick everything out while I was there and see it first hand.  They also have pre-set up tables at the location that you can play with to see exactly what your final look will be!  


    I was very picky about the candelabras. I really didn’t want plastic, fake, cheap candelabras.  A-1’s options were exactly what I was looking for.  They had such a variety and they looked great!




    Transportation – St. Louis Carriage Company


    They were there and on time. The carriage color was the blue and white which we asked for.  The horse was black, which I found a bit surprising for a wedding. I had requested their dapple grey.  A white horse with grey spots on its shoulders and hips. 


    The carriage didn’t know where to go. Luckily our location was only a few blocks away.  I also thought the price was a little outrageous for 20 minutes of their time.  They charge $300 for the hour, though they don’t really stay and hang out for the whole hour.


    My last complaint would be that through the whole carriage ride our driver’s thong was very visible.  She was very friendly, though was I supposed to ask her to pull up her pants?


  • Options
    smj139smj139 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    I got married May 30th 2010 on a Sunday here are my reviews!

    Photographer: Julie Birkemeier. She was so amazing!!! She was very flexible and easy going! We highly recommend her!! 

    Her website: 

    Florist: Greg Fowler- He works at Dierbergs and he is a friend of my mom's and he gave us a discount as a gift. He saved us so much money and the flowers were perfect!! He made the church look amazing and the reception! He really helped make my wedding day a dream come true!!

    Dress Shop: Ida's Custom Veils (in Overland Park, Kansas) I live in Kansas now so it was more convenient to get my dress there and just drive it to STL 

    Rehearsal Dinner: 
    Trattoria Branica Wine Bar. My husbands mother took care of this but as far as I know everything went smoothly with the planning. The owner was very friendly and willing to work with you.

    Their website: 

    Officiant: Charlene Raitt. We had the ceremony at the First Congregational Church of Webster Groves. I think my mom paid around $1500 which included the officiant fee, ceremony music, and a wedding planner. Also it included other small things, like the janitor and what not. Rev Charlene did a fantastic job and we really loved the message she sent out to our friends and family.

    Reception: Olivia's on the Hill (Saint Louis Catering)- EXCELLENT place for a smaller wedding. We invited 130 but only 120 showed up. Which was perfect because we were aiming for 125. We did the Cocktail Buffet. The food was excellent and we had a lot left over! Everyone had a fantastic time, and 
    Rhonda Wineinger, who helps coordinate your night was a life saver. She stayed in contact with me through the whole planning process and made sure everything ran smoothly. This place is great because there is an outdoor courtyard and an indoor area. 

    Cake: Cravings : I picked this place because I wanted a better tasting cake, and not a lout of "frou frou" It came out perfect and everyone raved about the cake. My husband and I were having such a great time that we never sat down to eat a piece...lol.

    Entertainment: TKO DJ's. I totally forget my DJ's name but he did a great job. He kept things flowing and wasn't obnoxious. He kept the crowd dancing and everyone smiling. I was very pleased with TKO!

    Makeup: Christina Passanise did my makeup, my mom's and the bridesmaids. I thought she did a perfect job on me but I don't suggest allowing mothers to get the airbrush makeup. It looked good on my mom at first but after Christina left, the makeup really made her wrinkles/lines stick out. My mom freaked. Everyone else was happy with their makeup. Christina was very nice and flexible! She came to our house early in the morning and got everyone done in time before we left for the church!! 

    Invitations:Vellum- I picked out what I wanted but my mother in law was in charge of everything else, and she wasn't too happy with Vellum and had a lot of issues with them. The invites did turn out well though! 

  • Options
    AmyB1978AmyB1978 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011

    Here are my reviews from our May 21 wedding!

    Venue: Piper Palm House

    First of all, the Piper Palm House is a beautiful place to have a wedding.  We knew right away that it would be perfect for what we had in mind.  However, we were very disappointed with several things.  The rental coordinator’s response rate to my emails prior to the wedding was hit and miss – sometimes she would respond right away, but there were some questions that she never responded to.  I did not know who would be our contact person on the evening of the wedding until two days before, and I had to ask this question several times before I got an answer.  Two days before the wedding, we happened to be in the neighborhood and decided to drive by the Palm House just to see how everything looked.  As we drove up, we saw that there was caution tape and bright orange construction barrels around the fountain and the Ruins.  I started freaking out, and we walked closer and saw that the area around the fountain had been torn up in places and that the fountain had been drained.  There was also some construction machinery in the area.  This would be highly visible during our ceremony (guests would be facing this direction in our outdoor wedding), and we had planned to do first look pictures at the Ruins.  We attempted to talk to someone in the office right away, but it was after 5pm and everyone had gone for the day.  First thing in the morning, DH called the office and asked what was going on and why we had not been notified.  The coordinator’s assistant told him she would check with the rangers.  She then called me and said that everything would be moved by 12pm on the day of our wedding.  Later that day at our rehearsal, I again checked with her to make sure that no construction materials would be visible, and she assured me they would not.  I told her we planned to do first look pictures at around 12:30 and she said everything would be moved by then.  Of course, the next day the guys arrived with the second shooter and NOTHING had been moved.  They had to go to the office and tell someone, and they finally got it taken care of, but it put us behind on photos by about 30 minutes.  At the reception, the “coordinator” was not really all that helpful – thank goodness we had 2 friends that took charge of setting things up, and one of our friends said the Palm House staff were kind of rude to her.  The evening coordinator also never even introduced herself to me or DH and never really spoke to either of us.   I kind of got the feeling that they were only there to make sure we didn’t break anything.  They had no idea where to find candle lighters to light our centerpieces (Really?  You have receptions here every weekend and no candle lighters?)  Also, the Palm House requires a $500 refundable damage deposit to be paid a month before the wedding.  It was supposed to be refunded within 14 days after the wedding.  It took 19 days for the deposit to be refunded to our credit card, and they did not return my original phone call about that either – we had to call them again.  Overall, I would say it’s a beautiful venue, and we got lots of compliments on our choice, but their customer service is definitely lacking. 


    Photographer: Brigid Robeen, Wild Irish Rose Photography

    Brigid was FABULOUS!  She always responded quickly to my emails and questions and had some really great ideas about where to do location photos.  She came to my MOH’s house while we were getting ready and then followed us to the Palm House for first look shots.  She kicked the Palm House people into gear to get the construction stuff moved and wouldn’t take excuses from them.  We had a blast doing our location photos with her.  She had some really fun ideas and listened to ours too.  She did the family photos really efficiently.  We had our dog in our wedding and wanted to include him in some photos, and she was great with him.  She had our photo gallery of over 600 edited proofs up about 5 weeks after the wedding, and they are fantastic pictures.  I also did boudoir photos with her, and she put me at ease right away and made it really fun.  They turned out great and DH loved them! 


    Caterer: Butler’s Pantry

    Butler’s Pantry is the exclusive caterer at the Palm House, so we didn’t have much of a choice there.  The food was really good, but I was a little apprehensive that they do not do tastings.  They did, however, give us a free brunch at Café Madeline and the Palm House, with a few dishes the same (but we did not get to taste all our options).  Leading up to the wedding, Bridget, our catering contact, was really helpful.  She met with us twice to go over everything and responded quickly to my emails and phone calls.  However, several weeks before the wedding I had asked her if we could get the napkins so that we could put napkin wraps that we were making on them (eliminating this work for her staff – I figured it would be easier and would allow them to devote their time to other things that day).  She said that was fine, I could pick them up on the Wednesday before the wedding.  That morning, she emailed me and said that she would call when they arrived from the cleaners, and that it would probably by around lunch time.  At 2:30, I still hadn’t heard from her, so I called.  They told me that she had left for the day to help at an event.  I asked about our napkins, and they had no idea what I was talking about, but said that they would call Bridget’s cell phone.  Half an hour later, I still hadn’t heard anything, so I called again.  They said that she hadn’t answered her phone and again tried to figure out what was going on.  I finally talked to someone that figured out where the napkins were and we were able to get them.  But the whole situation was stressful and I never received an apology from Bridget.  The day of the wedding she seemed to be fine, I didn’t have much contact with her.  The service staff seemed pretty good, other than the fact that I had to chase them down during cocktail hour to get hors d’oeuvres! 


    Flowers: Chic Events by Angie

    Angie was AWESOME!  She was by far the lowest priced of the florists I met with, and she really listened to what I wanted and made suggestions that I really liked.  She did not try to pressure me into more expensive flowers or things I didn’t want like some of the other florists I talked with.  On the day of the wedding, she delivered my bouquet and my bridesmaids’ bouquets to my MOH’s house where we were getting ready, then followed us to the venue to pin on the guys boutonnieres.  I had forgotten to include a bout for our friend who was walking our dog down the aisle when I had met with her, and she put one together at the last minute at no extra charge.  We were going to take all our pictures before the ceremony and didn’t have access to the venue until 4pm, so she came back at 4pm to deliver the family corsages and bouts and the flowers for our centerpieces and helped set them up, again at no extra charge.  She gave us flower spray for the bouquets and 3 vases to keep them in while we were out taking pictures.  I got several compliments on how beautiful and fresh the flowers looked from our guests.  She also knew that I loved calla lilies, so she made a special centerpiece for our table with callas instead of orchids as a surprise.  When the people at the venue couldn’t find a candle lighter to light our centerpieces, she hurried out to buy us two.  We ended up giving part of the tip we had originally allocated for the catering coordinator to her since she was more helpful!


    Cake: McArthur’s

    Our cake was beautiful and delicious!  Their prices were pretty good, and they actually had just changed their pricing structure right before we placed our order, and we ended up paying about $100 less than we originally thought! 


    DJ: Tom Rotter, Block Rockin’ Beats

    Tom was great both before the wedding and on that day.  We liked him right away, and he totally got our “no cheesy DJ” requirement.  He listened to what we wanted, made some suggestions, and checked in with us several times to confirm everything.  Two nights before the wedding called me just to go through everything again after our final meeting and make sure we were on the same page.  He kept people on the dance floor and was great at reading the crowd.  He also checked in with us a few times throughout the night to make sure that everything was going smoothly.  I would definitely recommend!


    Ceremony Music: Serenade Strings

    We used the string duo (violin and cello).  I really don’t remember much of the music, but everyone said it was beautiful.  They were pretty easy to keep in contact with before the wedding.


    Rehearsal Dinner: Square One Brewery

    The food was good, and we had a private room upstairs with its own bathroom.  They also had some background music playing, which was nice.  Our server was friendly, and overall we had a good experience here.  Our only complaint was that guests could only use the drink tickets in the room upstairs, not at the bar downstairs prior to dinner.


    Hair: Erica Kaminski

    Erica did a great job on my hair and my two bridesmaids.  After my trial, I slept on my updo just to see how it would hold up, and I was able to wear it the whole next day!  My hair also held up great on the day of the wedding.  She was efficient, friendly, reasonably priced, and she came to us on the morning of the wedding, which was a big plus.


    Makeup: Erin Moore

    Erin did my and my MOH’s makeup, and we both looked great!  I did the false eyelashes, and I was a little worried at first since they seemed sooooo long, but she reassured me that they would be great for pictures (and they were!).  Her prices are very reasonable, she was friendly, and she also came to us the day of the wedding.


    Dress: Bridal Couture

    My sister actually works at this bridal shop, so I was able to get a discount on my dress J  They also did the alterations, and my dress fit me perfectly.


    Tuxes: Savvi Formalwear

    Overall our experience was pretty good.  The guys all looked great in their tuxes.  One of them did get an ivory shirt instead of white, but luckily you couldn’t really tell.  They did give us a little bit of a hard time about when they were due back – we had a Friday wedding, and even though everything we had been given said they were due on Sunday, when DH called just to make sure, they said that that was only for Saturday weddings, that they were actually due on Saturday since the wedding was on Friday. 


    Transportation: St. Louis Transportation

    This was the most reasonable limo company we found, and our rate included a getaway car after the wedding for us to go to our hotel, which was great.  Our driver was friendly and drove us all over for location photos, and the limo was clean and well air conditioned.  I thought I lost a charm from my bouquet in the limo, so we called them and the driver combed the limo looking for it (we actually found it the next day, but it was nice of him to look so hard).  The only problem we had was that they charged us extra, claiming that we had left the wedding late and the car had to wait for us, which wasn’t true.  DH cleared it up pretty quickly, but it was a minor hassle. 


    Dance Lessons: Dance Pizzaz

    We live near this studio and I had seen a few other good reviews, so it seemed like a good choice for us.  Don’t get me wrong, we did learn how to dance.  We just kind of felt like we were being scammed while we were doing it.  David was a decent teacher overall, but sometimes he was a little condescending with us.  We originally signed up for 6 lessons, and he taught us several steps.  He kind of kept trying to get us to buy more lessons, and also kept trying to get DH to buy special dance shoes.  By lesson 6 we still had not learned a finale for our song, so we ended up buying another lesson.  Each week, David spent the first 5 minutes or so of our lesson searching for and reviewing his info card about us, which I felt he should have done before we came in and that he should have remembered at least some of that info by a couple weeks in.  He called me by the wrong name a few times.  He told us we could come practice there anytime while we were taking lessons, but once we went around 8:45pm and after we had practiced for about 10-15 minutes, he said that they were leaving early (even though he had originally told us that they were there until at least 10pm every night, usually later), and the other time there was a class going on, so we tried to use the smaller back room of the studio, which should have been fine.  There was another student in there with Nikki, David’s co-director, and they were working on a few steps.  We did what we could until they were finished (they only danced for about 10 minutes), but then the two of them sat down in the room and continued to talk for another 20 minutes or so while we were trying to practice!  We did not feel comfortable asking them to go to another area of the studio, and we felt it was rude to play our music over their talking since they were there first, so we just did what we could in the space we had.  We eventually figured out another place to practice since it was a hassle to do it there.  At the end of our last lesson, he told us that they had set up a computer with a wireless connection to write a review right then and there!  We felt that was kind of inappropriate and said that we would take care of that in our own time. 

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    kacarotherskacarothers member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Another service-oriented makeup company is "Couture Makeup Designs."  They really go above and beyond in their level of service they provide brides.  Their bridal makeup package includes: two facials prior to wedding day, trial makeover, and wedding day makeup on location.  Very high-end, quality products. 
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    edited December 2011
    I had the BEST experience at The Highlands in Forest Park. Tonya and Matt were amazing, I mean above and beyond amazing. From set up, to execution, to clean up it was fantastic and completely stress free. I highly recommend checking them out if you have a WP under 150 people. Plus the AMAZING outdoor area!!!
    Which did you like better? "Jedi" or "The Empire Strikes Back"? "Empire". Blasphemy. "Empire" had the better ending. I mean, Luke gets his hand cut off, finds out Vader's his father, Han gets frozen and taken away by Boba Fett. It ends on such a down note. I mean, that's what life is, a series of down endings. All "Jedi" had was a bunch of Muppets.
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    edited December 2011
    Sorry for the delay, but wanted to wait to post my recs since we had a couple of issues and I wanted to be sure our pictures turned out ok. We were married in May and the recommendations really helped my planning.
    REHEARSAL - J BUCKS DOWNTOWN - Overall average. Relaxed atmosphere and good food, but forgot to put out potatoes, and the groom and I had to go to the bar to request our drinks after everyone else was served. Be sure you have your menu locked in, as they changed ours after we booked. Service was lacking but everyone had a good time.
    ELITE PRO DJS - A++ - I think we had Michelle and Kevin (wife and husband). They got everyone dancing but weren't intrusive. Went to a wedding this weekend and still got compliments on ours! Very good service.
    TUXES FROM MENS WAREHOUSE - overall good, no problems. Matched the girls' dress colors nicely.
    ALFRED ANGELO for my dress and bridesmaids (I live in Oklahoma, so did all of the stuff here)- no problems, reasonably priced (especially with good sales), good alterations, prompt
    HAIR - SALON ELLE in Chesterfield - Nothing fancy but good prices, fast, and everything stayed in place all day.
    MAKEUP - did it myself and got it from MERLE NORMAN after the Mary Kay lady and someone else (don't remember the guy's name) cancelled with only a couple weeks left. I don't usually wear a lot, but they took the time to teach me, write everything down, and told me to come back if I was having issues practicing and wanted help. Everything turned out great the day of and saved a good amount of money.
    DECORATIONS - bought candle vases at the dollar store, petals from online, and got candles from a friend's wedding. Otherwise the Zoo had everything else covered. Looked elegant and saved money. Our family put out the decorations
    FLOWERS - RICH WEST - definintely worth the money! Flowers were very important to me and he did an amazing job. Everything held up perfectly, looked better than I would have imagined, and were on time. A shipment of one of my flowers did not come in to his standards, so he was able to notify me and put something together that was probably better than what I originally wanted. He was able to stay within our budget.
    SUGAREE - cake was included with the Zoo. Great taste, easy to work with, had more than plenty (and they gave us an extra top to take home). The design was a bit different than what we discussed but overall looked similar and what we were looking for. Colors were perfect.
    ST LOUIS ZOO - RECEPTION SITE - couldn't have been more perfect! Jason was wonderful to work with during planning, as was everyone that day. I was exhausted by the reception and they went above and beyond to be sure I was taken care of. Much is included in their packages. People still talk about how good the food is, the unique atmosphere, how seemless everything was. Couldn't remommend more!!!
    ARTISTIC VIEW PHOTOGRAPHY - through the day of and getting our proofs back, I'd give her and A+. Sandy was super easy to work with, gave us breaks on the wedding day if we were tired of smiling for pictures (mostly my husband), and the pictures (even the posed) looked so relaxed and amazing. I told people I'm completely in love with our pics! Then the prices started to change, and costs were added for so many edits or for a number of changes to the album, and things that we weren't told about up front. It look several emails to get a slideshow that was part of our package. If I were to do it again, I'd probaly still go with her, but maybe just the by the hour package. The extra price wasn't worth it to me to just have the album edited, when anyone can put pictures together in a scrapbook online, although the album is beautiful.
    ST LOUIS TRANSPORTATION - average service. We also had some issues with them later. They charged our credit card a day earlier than negotiated, but they should have already received our full payment by check. We asked for our check to be returned, and they essentially blamed us, no apologies. We still haven't received our check even though they told us it was returned. They did not return numerous calls until I called and spoke with the owner, who seemed to get upset with me. On the day of, we had friends who ended up taking a taxi after waiting for the bus for 30 minutes during the negotiated time and it not showing up...seems to me like they stopped early, although they state they did not.
    Overall we had a great day and enjoyed most of our vendors. I wanted to be sure to include all the details so I didn't lead anyone astray. Enjoy your planning and your days!
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    rweiss07rweiss07 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Anyone have opinions on Hendris - the banquet hall and the catering?
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    kdbisopkdbisop member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011

    hope this is helpful to others: Wedding date 10-24-10

    Ceremony- UMSL Provincial Chapel   A++

    I cannot say enough about how beautiful the chapel is and how nice the staff is!  The chapel is beautiful so it requires minimal decoration and the acoustics are awesome.  I would encourage everyone to take a look. Only piece of advice is to make sure that you have signs because it can be a little tricky to find.

    Reception- DeMenil Mansion A


    Dan was great! He was helpful and flexible throughout.  The place was beautiful and guests are still telling me how elegant it was and how good the food was. On the day of the staff was so nice and helpful.

    Cake - The Cakery - A

    Sooooooo yummy and pretty. It was very simple because I didn't want alot of decoration. I had flowers on the cake and the ribbon that was used on the stationery wrapped around it to tie everthing together. I was very happy with the cake. The ladies at the Cakery are very nice and the tasting was awesome.

    Flowers - Les Bouquets A


    Melinda was wonderful. She listened to all of my ideas and created exactly what I wanted. She did all of the bouquets, centerpieces and bouts.  The flowers were really important to me.  She was cognizant of my budget and worked within it and still gave me the flowers that I really wanted.  I cannot say enough kind words about her.

    Invitations - Paperfrosting


    Melinda is creative, orignial and cost effective.  Her designs are great. People are still talking about the save the dates and invitations. She matched the colors of the wedding perfectly and also created the table markers for the reception. 

    Dress - Simply Elegant Bridal  A+++++

    They were also awesome.  The shop is beautiful. I went in there to see if they had a dress by a particular designer at first, but the carried the dress but not the designer. They told me they could order it, but I decided to try on a couple others and ended up finding another dress that I adored. I shoud also mention that I went there 3 times before I bought the dress and they never pressured me.  My dress came in earlier than they said and they held it for me throughout all the alterations (which were in house and that was improtant to me too) until it was time to take my dres home. The staff was helpful and so kind throughout the whole thing.  I would suggest them to everyone I know who is buying a wedding dress.

    Ceremony Music - Landolfi B

    We had a duet for the ceremony (vilolin and cello).  They music was beautiful (again the acustics in the chapel were awesome).  They were easy to get in contact with and very helpful in finding music for the ceremony.  There was a song that I wanted to play for me and she found the music and created an instrumental version (it was beautiful). My only complaint is about the miscommunication regarding the processional song.  It was another song that needed to be created by them and I was told that it would be fine. On the day about 20 minutes before the ceremony, I was informed that they did not have the music for that. Luckily I am an easy going person and at that point it was too late to do anything about it. I instructed them to just play something and it turned out fine.  I still don't know what they played. LOL. But, again the music was really nice.

    Tuxes -  Savvi at the Galleria A

    So nice and helpful. I only had one breakdown and unfourtunatley it was the day I called them to check to see if everyone had ordered their tux. She was helpful and supportive.  The tuxes all fit fine and returning them was easy.

     Photographer - Suttererbay Photography  A

    Liz was great. She fit right in and I didn't even realize she was there at times. She was very helpful with suggestions for pictures and dealt really well with the dozen other camera happy people.  She is really reasonable and flexible. I can't wait to see the pictures!

    Overall, we had a wondeful day and I couldn't have asked for anthing more Smile.

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    edited December 2011
    The Bakery Shoppe (O'Fallon, MO) - B+

    My FMIL ordered a cookie cake, cupcakes and pastries for my bridal shower. She got their Cocktail Cupcakes and some "regular" cupcakes...all of which were really good. Everyone seemed to really love them. Plus, we had some leftovers that I shared with co-workers and they raved.

    However, my FMIL was not impressed with their customer service. Although the cookie cake was cute and tasted great...it's not what she ordered and she was not happy with it. I did not deal with anyone at the bakery but she was not pleased with the customer service after she told them the order was not right.

    Just be aware that you should be very careful when ordering something custom and not their standard baked goods. Be very, very clear about what you want.

    No matter what it looks like, it will taste great!

    Cocktail Cupcakes:
    Amaretto Sour
    Pina Colada
    Strawberry Daiquiri
    Lemon Drop
    Shirley Temple

    The cupcakes:

    The cookie cake:

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    danielle2211danielle2211 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Reception Venue - Grand Opera House Banquet Facility, St. Charles MO
    (talk to Greg) Beautiful location in Historic St. Charles

    DJ - theSTLdj - talk to Brandon. Just got married in January and they were inexpensive, no hassle and had great DJ's. www.thestldj.com

    Wedding Venue - Hawk Ridge Golf Clubhouse - $400 for facility rental and was beautiful. (don't remember guys name)
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