It was a bit of a roller coaster at times (change of venues!) but it ended up being the perfect day. We have gotten many compliments and guests said they had a great time.
Venue: A+ (Airport Embassy Suites)
We were originally at the Airport Holiday Inn and very excited to work with them. They had a “make it happen attitude” and were going to offer us some food and drinks that went well with our “Pittsburgh” theme.
Then in April they told us the Holiday Inn was going to close and the wedding needed to move! The HI handled the situation very well and set us up with the Airport Embassy Suites for our same date. From there we worked with Linda at the Embassy Suites and everything was perfect. Linda was great to work with, the food was awesome and the entire staff did a great job. We had some special menu requests and they happily worked with us on them including: mini pierogie appetizer, Pittsburgh salad and an amuse bouche as a kind of fifth course. They also kept the hotel bar open late for our after party.
Hotel: A (Airport Embassy Suites)
I didn’t hear of any problems with the room block from guests and I think everyone got their welcome bag. Guests loved the suite rooms, the deluxe free breakfast, free happy hour and the hotel in general. Our package included a free room for us and they put some chocolate covered strawberries and a bottle of champagne in our room as a nice touch.
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DJ: A (Steve Maffei DJs)
Steve Maffei Jr. was very professional, easy to work with and did a great job. He got many compliments from guests. I thought he may have been pushing dance floor participation a little bit too much early on but guests didn’t seem to care and the dance floor was packed all night. When the “one more song” chant started at the end of the reception he played at least two extra songs for the crowd and his pricing included up to an extra hour of playing for an extended reception; I think we used about 45 minutes of that extension time since we had paid the ES for a half hour extension up front. His emcee skills were also very good. Price was under $1,000 too.
Flowers: A (Botanical Emporium)
Elizabeth was very enthusiastic and worked with my budget. I went to her without many ideas and she was able to come up with flowers that I loved.
Cake: A+ (Signature Desserts)
We went with SD because they offer dessert packages where you can have more than just cake and they give you a fresh cake on your anniversary. We ended up doing a cake, a couple different flavors of cheesecakes and got some lady locks for our cookie table. Everything was really good and guests were excited about the variety we offered. Offering variety was also easy to do because it was set up buffet style and offered later in the evening (cocktail hour and dinner had so much food we thought this would space out the eating). Guests liked that they could choose what they wanted at their leisure or take it home in a box we provided.
Church: A (Saint John Evangelical Lutheran Church in Carnegie)
We are not members so we had to pay a higher price but it was worth it. The church was very welcoming (do not need to be a member or Lutheran) and it is very pretty in a Gothic architecture style. I loved walking down the long red aisle. The organist was great and so was Pastor Bruce. We had to do 4 pre-marriage meetings with him and we actually really enjoyed and benefitted from them as they focused on giving us skills to communicate and make a marriage work.
Cons are no air conditioning and because they have a Saturday night service the latest a ceremony can be held on a Saturday is 3:30pm.
Alterations: A+ (Marlene in the North Hills)
My friend's mom did my alterations out of her house. She has professional seamstress skills and does it on the side. She loves working with dresses and was so great to work with. She came up with an innovative bustle that was very easy for my bridesmaids to do. If anyone is interested in her you can page me and I will send you her info.
Honeymoon: A+ (Excellence Playa Mujeres)
One week in paradise! Great room, service and excellent food. The perfect place to relax post wedding.
If you have any questions let me know! I'm happy to share more info on the vendors or on what we did for our "Pittsburgh theme."