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Iowa-Des Moines

Suggestions please

I am still in the early stages of planning my wedding. So I was wondering if you guys couldl give me some suggestions or reviews of some of your vendors. or maybe good places to find decent priced gowns or bridesmaid dresses. or anything really. Thanks :)

Re: Suggestions please

  • edited December 2011
    Congrats on starting your planning! Have you set a date yet?

    I am getting married in the fall but we have been planning away (I refuse to get stressed and want to enjoy every part of the process)!

    I can tell you the vendors we are using and our experiences thusfar:

    Church: Covenant Presbyterian Church, West Des Moines.  We love this church and recently became members.

    Transportation for wedding party from ceremony to reception: Urge Party Bus.  Very impressed with how professional they are.  And their prices fit right into our budget.

    Reception Venue: Holiday Inn & Suites at Jordan Creek, West Des Moines.  Alice, the event coordinator there, has been phenomenal to work with.  Johnny's Italian Steakhouse does all of the catering, but they are working on a customized menu for us (like they are creating a queso/salsa dip and chips for our cocktail hour, instead of fancy schmancy food, because it is more "us").  We also have  room block set up and have been extremly impressed with how great all of the staff has been to work with.

    Photography: Jennifer Waters Photography: www.jenniferwatersphotography.blogspot.com .  She gave us a GREAT package and instead of doing prints, she will give us a CD and the copyright to all of our pictures.

    Videography: Visualities Videography: www.visualitiesvideography.com .  We also got a great price on a videographer.  They're based out of a suburb of Omaha, but comparable price-wise, --and we think better quality--than a number of videographers in the area. 

    Dress: Stacey's Bridal, Urbandale.  Loved my experience there.  Found my dress the first day I went there and fell in love with it!  They are very friendly and helpful.

    Tuxes: Milroy's Tuxedos.  Also, great service here.  They have a headquartered office here in DSM, so we got to see everything and get an actual picture of what we will have, rather than looking at catalogs. 

    Rings: Jared's--also had a good experience here.

    That's about it that I can think of :-)  Good luck & happy planning!!!!!
  • McsweetsMcsweets member
    Third Anniversary 100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Congrats!!!!  I am getting married in October and enjoying the planning as well!  It's fun to look for everything.  As happy as I am to have things checked off the list, looking is part of the fun! :)

    I can tell you a little, but we haven't gotten very far!

    Ceremony and Reception Location: We are using a church in Boone (Cornerstone) because our reception venue is also in Boone (Seven Oaks).  We loved the pastor, and you don't need to be a member there.  Seven Oaks we loved because they come with a bartender (make sure you ask your reception vendors how they handle liquor) so we can have beer, soda, and hard liquor.  We also loved the ski lift that we can rent, and love that they have a bonfire!

    Transportation for wedding party from ceremony to reception: We aren't using any.  Initially we had booked CIT Transportation, and they were the best prices with the coolest limos (and motorcoaches).  They are based out of Ames, but travel all over.

    Photography: Moonwell Photography! www.moonsphoto.com
    His pictures are phenomenal and also gives the copyright release.  They edit all the pictures and it really makes the colors stand out.  We didnt find that in anyone else.

    Videography: I think we are going to use Complete Video.  www.cmdesmoines.com (they have DJ too).  They give a wireless mic to the groom so it shows up on the video clearly.  It was about $400 for the ceremony.  Their "demo video" about made me cry and I didn't even know the couple!

    We haven't done dress, caterer, DJ, or tuxs yet!

    Good luck on planning!

  • Zippy88kZippy88k member
    edited December 2011
    Venue: St. Thomas Aquinas Church, Indianola, using the Pastoral Center as the reception hall (but you don't have to be catholic to use the hall, it's nice and huge).

    Photography: Molly Cornelison--used to be based out of St. Charles, but now lives in Hannibal, MO. She's nice enough to come back and do our wedding, though, because we booked her before she moved. She's really good, and really fun to work with (did our engagement pics with her), and may be willing to travel again. 

    Flowers: Boesen's--pretty reasonably priced, and nice flowers (don't know much else at this point)

    caterer: the Radish, in Grimes. AWESOME FOOD and the event manager has been super nice to work with (I mean super nice). 

    Dress: Schaffer's--I know some people have had issues with them, but I've had only excellent encounters. My dress, the girls' dresses, and the tuxes are all coming from here.

    Jewelry: Aevum--look them up. Custom jewelry at a reasonable cost. Definitely worth it!
  • milesbellamilesbella member
    edited December 2011
    We're getting married in September at Copper Creek Golf Club.  We'll be getting married on their covered patio, followed immediately by the reception indoors.  We have to use their caterer.

    Cake - Pearls Specialty Cake - She is a personal friend of mine and does the most amazing cakes (if you visit her website, EVERYTHING you see is edible).  Buttercream starts at $3.50/serving and fondant starts at $4.50/serving.

    Photographer - APL Photography - with our wedding in September, I didn't realize how quickly you needed to jump on a photographer.  All of our first choices were already booked and then a friend recommended Amanda.  She charges a straight $100/hour and I'm really happy with her photos.  We will get a CD with copyrights when she's done.

    Officiant - We're talking with Barron Geiger from CrossWay Community Church to officiate our wedding.  He doesn't charge anything for the actual wedding, but you do have to have six 1-hour counseling sessions with him and buy a book for your religious growth (that you work through at your sessions).

    Invitations - I purchased an invitation suite from Target which came to $39.99/50 sets (invitation, envelope, RSVP, RSVP return envelope). I purchased additional stock paper and created my own maps and accommodation sheets and put them all together with a belly band and pearl embellishment.  The cost breakdown comes to less than $1.11/each (I have 150 of them).

    DJ - I have a friend of a friend who does the DJ'ing on the side - Jim Zimmerman.  He also has party buses that you can rent.  We're paying $700 for 6-7 hours of music (does not include any special lighting or audio visual equipment). I've seen him at other weddings and was very impressed with him.

    Bridesmaid Dresses - We just started looking for bridesmaid dresses and have had really good look at Davids (go during the week when they're WAY less busy).

    Flowers - Gardner-Minnehan Designs - My fiance works with the designer's mother so we'll be using this company for all bouquets and arrangements.  I don't have my price quote yet but I understand they're very reasonable.

    Whew, I think that's all I've got for now.  I actually purchased my dress new from Ebay.  Got a brand new Maggie Sottero gown for $400, plus $50 shipping.  I knew exactly what I wanted and when I saw it for that price, I jumped at the chance.  Feels sort of weird not having the full "Say Yes to the Dress" experience but I absolutely LOVE my gown.

  • edited December 2011
    This has actually helped me alot too:) I am getting married this September and still need to book alot of my vendors. I have found they get booked quickly. Im actually sick of hearing "we dont have your date available" ha:)

    Location: Toad Valley Golf Course for the wedding and reception.  Their wedding coordinator is fantastic. It is family owned and I have really gotten the "family" feel from them. We have our tasting in March and they are catering the food "family style" as well. I'll let you guys know how that is. Their pricing is packaged and depending on the food can be pretty reasonable. It was the middle of the pack compared to other golf courses and outdoor wedding locations we looked into and all of their pricing comes with the serve staff, silverware / plates, linens, ect.

    Invitations / STDs:

    Krysia J. Hannam with K&J Studios, Papiere and Design. I absolutely love her and would reccomend her. I found her online and she is the first and only person I met with to do my invitations and save the dates. She can work under any budget and is very creative!

    Dress:  I haven't ordered my dress yet but had a wonderful experience at Weddings By Design in WSDSM. I have picked out the dress. Just need to order it.

    Officiant My grandpa / pastor!! YAY!

  • edited December 2011
    Location: The wedding will be at FI's family farm. The reception will be at seven oaks. We use to go there all the time snowboarding so it has a special meaning for us. We also loved the idea of the ski lift rental too.

    Food: ?? That's a good question, i don't even know myself.

    Photographer: I've booked Nuzum photo. I loved the work they did for a friend of mine, so i picked them.

    Invitations: I'm doing them with a friend of mine, But I almost went with Krysia J. Hannam with K&J Studios, Papiere and Design. She is a wonderful person to work with and is very creative.
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