I've seen a lot of activity on the "recommendations" posts, and I was recently married, so I thought I'd share my experience with local vendors.
Ceremony: King of Glory Lutheran Church, by way of Cheyenne Botanic Gardens (hail changed our plans!)
The gardens are cheap and have a few different locations to choose from, based on your number of guests. You do have to bring in your own chairs and you can't put anything deep into the ground. You have to clean up anything you use, to include tossed flower petals.
The church is my home church. It's a newer building with pew chairs and carpeting, but we got 3 beautiful stained glass windows about 10 years ago--I don't think photograhers can resist the big round one in the balcony! It's open and airy and seats at least 150 people.
Reception Venue: Kiwanis Community House
Beautiful building. Great location. A great value, with banquet style tables and chairs available for your use. You have to bring in your own food and drinks, which allowed us to choose what we really wanted. You need a noise permit and an alcohol license if you serve booze, and a special one for hard liquor (you also need a licensed bartender). No glass, can't hang anything on the walls, no confetti, etc. However, we discovered that some of the metal in the ceiling is magnetic (can lights are aluminum), so you can you magnet hooks to hang things from the ceiling. Must be outta there by midnight, so no late parties. But they do allow sparklers!
I'd do it there again.
Photographer: Markham Photography, Littleton, CO
Love his stuff. He's a little pricey, but similar to other area photographers with the same style. He's willing to work with you to create a package to fit your budget to some extent. He's consistent in quality and finds creative angles, both of which were important to me. He's personble very fun to work with and definitely knows what he's doing. We get a high-res CD of all of our photos and the copyright release to get prints at one lab of our choice, but he also sells high-quality, professional prints, books, and canvases.
(If you want to see my photos, go to the site, click on "Client Login," choose "Weddings," then "Jessie and Cody," the password is "pate."
DJ: Rock on Wheels, Cheyenne, WY
He is very professional and his prices compare to other DJs in the area. He has a lot of experience and doesn't talk all skeezy like the others. All of my guests thought he was very good--played all of the fun songs that everyone can dance to, along with the more recent music I requested. However, this guy thinks his way is best and you have to really put your foot down if you want something different (I wanted my first dance after cake, he swore up and down it needed to be the second we walked in). He also didn't check with us before plowing ahead with the schedule, even though he could see we were behind and had changed some things.
I have mixed emotions. Good if you want someone to keep the show going without your intercession, not as easy to work with if you're more independent.
Caterer: Kennison's Katering, Cheyenne, WY
We really liked Ami Kennison. She does all of the food for the Civic Center events. Our BBQ pork, brisket, spinach/strawberry/walnut salad, and baked potato salad were delicious. She has sample menus but will work with you to create whatever meal you like. Her menus are a la carte, so you can choose the number of appetizers, main course, sides, etc, to fit your budget. And her punch is yummy! She left the beverages for the rest of the evening and packed up leftovers for us to take home.
Cake: Karen Kent, through We Cater Wyoming
Karen makes beautiful and delicious cakes. They taste like a homemade cake, not a grocery store bakery confection. She is willing to make almost any flavor (her cherry lemonade and italian...shoot, I forgot the rest...are specialties) and take on any design. She made a Devil's Tower cake for us!
Highly recommended as well.
Florist: La Fleur, Cheyenne, WY
Barb and Shirl pride themselves on their creativity and willingness to work with a client on a design. This appealed to me after being sat down with the same Teleflora book of wedding flowers everywhere else. We worked with Shirl and were grateful for her honesty about how each flower works in a boquet and her expertise in how to bring different types of flowers together. We designed the bouquets, bouts, and corsages with her from scratch and they turned out beautifully, just my style. She was also helpful when word from Holland warned that weather might affect tulip availability, a major part of my bouquet. (They ended up being available, and beautiful).
Highly recommended, also.
Wholesale Florist: Fiftyflowers.com
We did our centerpieces ourselves and ordered Gerbera daisies in bulk from this website. The flowers arrived in perfect condition and stayed fresh through the reception two days later. WARNING: The spectrum of colors presented on the website for each flower type is not all-inclusive. We ordered dark and light pink, because the colors shown on the website looked good together. We got the darkest of the dark and the palest of the light. I would have gone with either one or the other, or chosen a medium shade. It's a risk, but the flowers are much cheaper than going through a florist and they are great quality. And huge.
Gown and bridesmaid dresses: David's Bridal, Fort Collins, CO
Not bad. A great store if you are on a budget. The gowns are pretty, and very diverse. Also convenient if you have bridesmaids all across the country, as I did. My consultant was friendly and helpful, but busy with a few other clients at the same time. They get you with accessories, though. I'd look for undergarments elsewhere.
I'd use them again. Others have had bad experiences.
Alterations: The Bridal Boutique, Cheyenne, WY
The seamstress has a lot of experience. She's a little brusque. She did the hem, walked off, we had to call her back for the bustle, the bodice, and the added-on ribbon, repeatedly. The hem was beautiful. The bustle was a little long and lasted about ten minutes. She didn't do the ribbon right. We got grilled about why we didn't get our dress there. Not a pleasant experience.
Wouldn't recommend it if you didn't get your dress there.
Rentals #1: Dan D Party Corner, Cheyenne, WY
Decent prices. Got a great deal on the tuxes from the January Bridal Expo in Cheyenne. They are kind of traditional in their suggestions and advice, and don't have a great linen selection. But the rental lady was pretty helpful and willing to work with us.
Rentals #2: A-One Weddings and Events, Cheyenne, WY
We kind of picked and chose what we rented from each place, based on price and availability. A-One has a ton on linens and vases, etc to rent. Carol is great to work with--I think she'd totally plan the thing if you wanted her to, or she'll step back and help you work out your own vision. She'll order new things in for your for a fee.
Hair and Makeup: Bloom! Salon, Cheyenne
New in town, they are a breath of fresh air! The salon has more ambience than I've seen in a long time in that town. They also have spa-type things--massages, facials, etc. Kelly, the owner, is very personable and does great airbrushing make-up (DO IT--it lasts all day and you feel like a movie star)--she was the only one who didn't make me look like a street walker. Aisha, my hairstylist did a wonderful job of executing the look I wanted without the requisite length of hair. Makeup price was a little high, but it was airbrush. My hair was average for other salons, and I thought my bridesmaids' would be, too, but some ended up getting charged higher prices than we expecetd, so be sure and get some more concrete price info.
Okay. That should be it! Sorry it's so long! Holler if you have any other questions--I would have loved to have more people to ask about vendors before we made a choice, for sure!