Lee and Eddie's have been nothing but helpful! They helped us decided on a budget and stay within that budget, they were flexible about using outside food, they had excellet waitstaff, and they had a free wedding coordinator for the catering. We had a buffet at my church and were able to serve almost 250 guests for about $11 per person for food (extra for drinks and dessert).
Chicago, IL 60614
I was inspired by the Paper Flower Kits at Paper Source and I decided to make 200 paper flowers for my centerpieces. They are beautiful and doubled as favors for the guests to take home. After using the Paper Source templates, I found some pearly off-white paper at Office Max. It was about $10 for a pack of 50 sheets (8 1/2 x 11). I used this paper to make the flowers.
View the kits online here:
There are a variety of kits and they can be fun gifts or great for showers, too!
Park Pointe Plaza
Orland Park, IL 60462
I recently went to David's Bridal to try on some gowns. I fell in love with one of them and will probably use it for my wedding next summer. I was a little disappointed at the selection because they had many gowns that had beading and embroidery and intricate designs and very few that were simple and classic looking (that is what I wanted to get). Overall, though, the service was good and I ended up being happy with the gowns they had. There is a lot of variety for those who want more fancy and detailed gowns. Also, the gowns are very affordable! There are many available for under $500.
I am having my photography done by Peter Ringenberg. He is from South Bend, Indiana, but travels around the US to do wedding photography. He has great equipment and does excellent candid photos in addition to the typical wedding portraits. His current prices are also very reasonable (under $900) for a basic fee of the day and including the rights to your pictures on DVD and CD. Great deal!
It did take me almost a year to get my pictures as the person below warned. They were great, but waiting was not.
My sister has been waiting for 1 year and 10 months now. She has still not received her pictures.
I wore a blue bridesmaid dress (Karen Crossdye Dupioni Strapless in Pacific Blue) from the Ann Taylor Celebrations Collection in a recent wedding. I would love to use them for my wedding, but don't want to have the exact same dresses!
The dress was short (just below the knee) and simple, but made very well (100% silk). It fit excellently and I will definitely wear it again. It was about $200, but was every penny of it. It was not a cheap-looking or cheap-feeling dress, as some bridesmaid dresses are.
View the dress I wore here:
I bought my invitations at a Target store. They are light blue with a brown design on them. I love them and they also inspired me to use brown and blue as my wedding colors! These invitations are easy to print at home because Target.com has instructions and templates to use with Microsoft Word. I saved a fortune by doing it myself, and it was still very easy!
My sister and I both used Giordano's Pizza for our rehearsal dinners. It is a great option in Chicago because out-of-town friends and family always enjoy deep-dish "Chicago Style Pizza". It's so simple to order and also inexpensive because most people only have 1 or 2 slices (they are huge!).
I have searched high and low for BROWN SUITS for the groom and groomsmen, and I finally found a great suit at JC Penny. It has a great fit to it and comes in the color chocolate brown. Since I am using brown and blue as my colors, I did not want to have black suits. These suits are great looking, come in a variety of sizes, and are for a great price.
I have not used this service yet, but am going to use it for my wedding next year. Growersbox.com has a great selection online of fresh flowers that are delivered to your house. You can use them for weddings, showers, and other parties. The flowers are a great price and are wholesale (you save a lot of money by not going through a florist). I am ordering calla lilies for my bouquet, my bridesmaids' bouquets and some flowers to decorate the church. It is the best price and has great testimonials on the website of happy customers.
Champaign, IL 61820
I wanted a pearl engagement ring, with no diamonds, so I had to look around a lot for one. Browne's Jewelry in Champaign, IL on Kirby Avenue was very helpful. They had great customer service and had the perfect ring for me! They are a small, local business, so I think they are more able to make special customizations and have better customer service than chain jewelry stores.