Sep 19, 2007
Artistic Florals by Michelle
Michelle's Florists was very affordable, and even so, she was willing to negotiate prices with me. She shared her opinion when I asked for it, but was not overbearing with her ideas. The day of the wedding, the flowers were dropped off at the church and reception site on time. If the specific color of the flowers is important to you, I would be sure to share exact color swatches of what you are looking for because the flowers I had thought we were ordering were purple, but when they arrived, they were much more pink than I had anticipated. I ended up being very happy with them, although it was not what I expected to have.
Services used: Unique Services
Edgar Gabriel's StringFusion
Edgar was wonderful to work with. He invited my fiance and I into his home twice to discuss our music choices, and during the visit played us many snipets of songs on his violin so that we could decide which songs we wanted to use for our ceremony. He and his band willingly learned a new song to perform for our first dance, and in our opinion, they outperformed the original musicians when they performed the song at our wedding. Both male and female vocalists work with Edgar, and many of the musicians play multiple instruments, so the sounds are constantly changing, and they're able to accommodate many musical choices. They played a great mixture of songs that got our wedding guests out on the dance floor, and we received a tremendous amount of compliments on their performance.
Services used: Unique Services
This reception site was perfect for our wedding. The coordinator I worked with at the Belvedere was welcoming to my constant questions, was able to incorporate ideas that I had (such as a specialty "blue" drink for all of our guests that tied in with the wedding colors), and went above and beyond our expectations. My mom and I had loved the way the main ballroom was decorated for a wedding before mine with tulle and twinkling lights hanging from the ceiling and draped around the railings, but we didn't think we'd be able to afford to have both of them with the budget we planned on. We decided to only do the railings, and I was thrilled when I walked into the ballroom on our wedding night to find that our coordinator had also had the tulle and lights hung from the ceiling as a surprise/wedding gift to us. Our food was amazing, the staff was accommodating and polite, and everything was perfect. I highly recommend Belvedere Banquets.
Services used: Wedding Venue
The videographer that we worked with from Milestone (Dave) was great. He worked very well with our photographer and he did not get in the way at all. He put together our childhood picture slideshow to share at the wedding, brought the projector and screen to the reception site, and produced a wonderful video for us. He sent us two copies of the video (dvd), as well as two copies of our slideshow so that we could share them with our families. The company as a whole communicated largely through email, and the person that you communicate with (Bob) is the one who dictates messages to Dave. This worked out well for us, but it's something to keep in mind if you prefer direct contact and/or communication that is conducted in manners other than email.
Services used: Photography, Videography, Rentals & Photobooths
Spa Di Da
Spa Di Da was a big disappointment, unfortunately. I had met with a stylist 3 weeks before the wedding to test designs, and she didn't style my hair the way I wanted her to, but said that she understood what I was going for and would be able to execute it for the wedding. I should have scheduled another trial, but it would have cost me another $100, and I decided to have faith in the stylist. The stylist made my hair look worse on the day of the wedding than she had at the trial, and I had to redo it with my bridesmaids leading right up to me walking down the aisle. I was able to convince myself not to get upset at the wedding, but afterwards, I was furious with the salon. They did my make up as well, and did a terrible job. I asked for a light/sheer lip gloss and they gave me a rosy color. I asked for bright, shining eyes, and received two tones of brown. I looked a lot better with my own make up. One of my bridesmaids ended up reapplying my make up (in different, better colors) while another styled my hair (and made it look much better than the hair stylist had). In addition, only two of my bridesmaids were happy with their hair, and they both had the same stylist. The other stylists did not listen to my friends requests. My maid of honor asked for loose curls, and the stylist used a 1/4 inch curling iron because she didn't have another one. I don't know why that was her only curling iron, but she didn't even try to borrow another curling iron or have my friend see a stylist that could do her hair the way she wanted it. I no longer recommend this salon for regular styling, and I especially do not recommend it for something as important as a wedding.
Services used: Beauty & Health
Randall Oaks Golf Club
Randall Oaks Country Club worked well as the site for our rehersal dinner. We had a great time in a private room that overlooked the golf course and pond. We were content with the food, and were happy with the space to give toasts, presents, and speeches. However, the staff asked that we clear out earlier than we had planned (or agreed to) because when we got there we incorrectly told them we might not stay too late. I was surprised that they were trying to push us to leave when we were clearly having a good time and had paid for the room until midnight.
Services used: Unique Services
Midas Touch Jewelry
Randy is an excellent jeweler. He has worked with my husband's family for years, and now works very well with us. He helped my husband create my engagement ring, has sized all of our rings for us, cleans them every time we come in, was willing to re-order my husband's wedding ring when he decided he wanted to switch to titanium because it's more durable, and with that situation, he issued us a credit for the difference in cost. Everyone that works with Randy raves about him, and I highly recommend him.
Services used: Jewelry
Wedding Belles Ltd.
The consultants at Wedding Belles are very experienced, sweet, and very willing to work with brides for a long time before they make their choices. The prices are unbelievable, as it mainly a sample shop. I purchased my dress for under $1,000, and the retail value would have been several thousand. My veil fit perfectly with my dress as well. I was very happy with Wedding Belles.
Services used: Dress & Attire
Tuxes and Bridesmaids Dresses - VIP Occasions was wonderful to work with. The consultants are helpful and knowledgable, they delivered well on their timing expectations, and they had a wonderful selection of dresses and tuxes for our bridal party. I personally love the Jim Hjelm line over any other designer's collection, and was thrilled to find out that VIP carries the entire line in their store. It was difficult to finally choose a dress because my bridesmaids and I liked so many of them, but the dress we chose was perfect, and everyone was very happy with it. The tuxes were great as well. My husband chose a great looking tux that had a bit of character to it but was still elegant and handsome for the wedding. I highly recommend VIP Occasions.
Services used: Dress & Attire, Jewelry
First Congregational Church of Dundee
The church was beautiful and was willing to accommodate our decorations. They let us set them up the day before the wedding. Our pastor, who is no longer with the church, spoke repeatedly of divorce during our ceremony, and made an inappropriate joke/toast at our wedding (when all we asked him to do was say grace). So, I would make sure you are very clear to the pastor about what your expectations are for the ceremony dialogue and any other moments when he will be speaking. The physical building itself is brand new (just opened in 2007), and has gorgeous stained glass, and a very simple/updated layout. We were happy to have our wedding there, and I would recommend it to others.
Services used: Unique Services
Rich Chapman Wedding and Lifestyle Photographers
Rich was a dream to work with. He is a photographer for the Sun Times, and as such, he has an extremely good eye for photographic moments. He has worked there for decades, and is excitedly transitioning into the wedding business. He has a true passion for photography, which reassured me when we selected him as our photographer. Rich took more than 2,700 photos for our wedding (more than twice what most other photographers take), compiled them for us immediately, sent them to us on a DVD 3 weeks after the wedding, gave us complete rights to the photos immediately, and created a very professional and amazing wedding album/photo book that my husband and I look at often. The company he used to make the wedding book is one that Oprah uses to create photo books - I think that speaks for itself! The actual pictures that Rich took were gorgeous, many of them looked like they belonged in a magazine. I 100% recommend Rich and am confident that everyone who goes with him will have great results.
Services used: Photography