midNovemberBride

WEDDING DATE:

Nov 16, 2008

midNovemberBride
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Fortel's Pizza Den, Inc.
 
( 5.0 / 5.0 )
Again we were on a tight budge for the rehearsal dinner, and wanted something casual, informal, and inexpensive for about 25 people. This location of Fortels has a nice party room that is supposed to hold almost 40, but we Im not sure I would have wanted a lot more people in there! 25 is about perfect. We pre-ordered a variety of pizzas/salads/toasted ravs and everything was ready for us when we got there. They were very easy to work with. Obviously this is not the place for you if you want formal (or even semi-formal) or to be waited on, but for us it was perfect. Perfect for visiting with our families and out of town guest and who doesnt like pizza and beer?
Services used: Unique Services

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Quail Ridge Lodge
 
( 5.0 / 5.0 )
Ceremony & Reception Site: I fell in love with the Quail Ridge Lodge the first time I saw it. It is just breathtaking, and honestly, pictures don't do it justice. Even though the location was kind of far from where we/our family live in St. Louis (almost an hour) I just had to have it here. We actually picked our wedding date around its availability (it books up about 2 years in advance, and we only wanted a 6 month engagement, so we literally had about 1 day, a Sunday, that would work). The rental fee is super reasonable and you get it from 9am-11pm, and you get to bring in your own caterer, DJ, etc so you can bargain shop there also. Additionally, you get to bring in your own beer & wine ,which saves a bunch of money. Hard liquor is not allowed there though, so keep that in mind. We did a champagne punch for the non-beer, non-wine crowd and everyone was happy. Glass beer/wine bottles didn't used to be allowed, but that rule changed a few months ago, so that made everything much easier. There are also restrictions about decorations (ie no tape, etc.) but I think those are pretty standard. Keep in mind that you do have to be all cleaned up before 11pm, so this is not the place if you want an all-night party (we were on a Sunday and out by 10pm, so didnt matter to us). There is no staff on-site while you are there, so be sure you have a DOC or friend/family member in charge to direct your vendors, etc. Overall, I loved the place and didnt have any problems. Really I have nothing but raves for the venue, the office staff and rangers were helpful anytime I had a question. Everything was perfect on our day. It was too cold to do an outside ceremony, but there is a beautiful gazebo for that purpose. However, you are not allowed to take the venues chairs outside, so you will need to rent from a vendor for outdoor ceremonies. With the entire front wall of the lodge being windows, even indoor ceremonies look like they are almost outside!
Services used: Wedding Venue

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Savvi Formalwear
 
( 5.0 / 5.0 )
Savvi was great. We had no problems with this vendor. All the guys tuxes fit and we in perfect condition when they arrived. We liked that the Savvi warehouse is in St. Louis, so problems, even last-minute ones, can be fixed quickly and easily. It is also nice that they will let the guys pick up/return their tuxes to their closest location (ie everyone doesnt have to get them from the same location). We had out of towners also, and sending in their measurements went smoothly.
Services used: Dress & Attire

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Hairstyles & Color by Erica
 
( 5.0 / 5.0 )
Erica is a stay-at home mom who does hair on the side. Shes super sweet, very talented, and is very reasonably priced. She will travel to your home/hotel for wedding day hair (which made things soooo much more enjoyable and calm on the day). I had a trial with her for my bridal shower and it turned out well, but I decided to change the style a little for the big day, and she was great! I e-mailed her pictures and she took care of the rest. My hair turned out beautiful and the style stayed in the whole day. Actually, I was too tired to really take it out before I went to bed, and it actually more or less survived a night on the pillow too!
Services used: Unique Services

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Music & Makeup
 
( 5.0 / 5.0 )
Erin is also a stay-at-home mom, and usually works along with Erica the hair stylist. Erin is another sweetheart and is SUPER reasonably priced. She uses mainly Clinique products (and some others). I had a trial with her for my bridal shower and it was beautiful and lasted all day. In addition to myself, she also did makeup for my MOH and my mother and the mother of the groom. Everyones makeup looked great and stayed on all day even after I totally bawled during the ceremony! I would definitely recommend Erin.
Services used: Unique Services

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With This Ring
 
( 5.0 / 5.0 )
What is there to say? Doug is perfect. Him and his wife Claire are a great team. We booked them as soon as we met with them, and about 2 weeks later, we had the first draft of the ceremony in hand. I cried reading it, it was so touching. Anything and everything we wanted to do or change, he was on top of and supportive of. On the day of, his wife took charge coordinating everyone and getting us down the aisle at the right time. We were Doug's 50-something-th wedding of THIS year. And I have heard from probably about 30some girls who have used him over the years and I haven't heard ONE bad thing about him. Can't recommend him enough!
Services used: Officiant

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Flower Farms to go
 
( 5.0 / 5.0 )
We were on a tight budget, so I chose to do DIY flowers. After looking at many online flower wholesalers, I chose to use Farmstogo.com and was very happy. I used all sunflowers in my centerpieces and bouquets. I ordered about 200 sunflowers for $200 including overnight shipping (straight from the farm in Columbia). Everything arrived healthy and packed well. The various sizes were as they described (I had contacted customer service to clarify what SM, MED, LG really meant). Our bouquets and centerpieces were simple designs, so it was easy to DIY and everything came out perfect.
Services used: Unique Services

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Embassy Suites St. Louis / St. Charles
 
( 5.0 / 5.0 )
Guest Lodging: Beautiful hotel, and everyone always appreciated the free breakfast and evening cocktails. We had 2 suites for the wedding party to get ready in (one for the guys, one for the girls) and there was plenty of room. Highly recommend.
Services used: Wedding Venue

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Davids Bridal
 
( 5.0 / 5.0 )
I know some people really HATE Davids Bridal, but I had a really good experience here. The absolute KEY is to make an appointment, go during the week (NOT WEEKEND) and preferably during the daytime (versus evening) if you can swing it. I went 3x, each time on a weekday morning and it was calm and quiet in the store and I had plenty of personal attention from my saleswoman. Weekends are when it gets ugly. Some things I liked about Davids Bridal you can see all the dresses online first AND their prices. I knew I wanted a simple, elegant dress and our budget was tight and I found my perfect dress for $250 on sale. As we had a short engagment (under 6 months) I was cutting it close on being able to order a dress from a shop, so I liked the security of being able to take my dress home the same day, and not worry if it would make it in time. I was lucky to not need alterations, so while I do not have personal experience with the shops alterations dept., I have heard some iffy things, so I would have chosen to go elsewhere for the work.
Services used: Dress & Attire

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Exquisite Cakes
 
( 5.0 / 5.0 )
Gwenn is amazing! She is a one-woman show and can only handle a limited number of cakes at the time (she is building her own commercial kitchen and should be able to take on more jobs soon). I loved how she ran her tastings she actually made two whole small cakes that we chose (flavor, filling, icing), and came to our house. Her tasting cakes feed 8 people each, so you can invited friends, family, etc. Our cake was sooooo tasty, and our guest devoured it. There was about 5 pieces left at the end of the night, which is exactly how I wanted it to be. The design and decoration was exactly how I wanted and everything was just beautiful! Gwenn is very reasonably priced and her cake tasted better than others we tried. Also, we were a Sunday wedding and she was one of the only cake places that wouldnt charge extra for Sunday delivery. I definitely recommend to check her out!
Services used: Wedding Cake

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A Perfect Touch Limo
 
( 5.0 / 5.0 )
We weren't planning on getting a limo because of budget, but decided to about a month before the wedding. Because we were on a Sunday, we got a great deal on a nice big SUV Escalade. The limo was nice and very clean. The driver was super friendly and on time. It was a chilly day and the driver followed us while we were walking around taking pictures, even if we went only 100 feet. It was nice that we didn't have to walk back to the parked limo where we started. The only thing to remember, which is typical of ALL limos and companies, is to get one that is big enough. Our was a 14person limo. We had 8 adults and we were nice and comfy. I think you could have put about 2 more people in, but much more than that and we would have been super squished. A perfect touch is the biggest company in the St. Louis region, and generally they get very good reviews. We talked to several companies and some of them seemed very sketchy. We felt very comfortable with this company from the first day.
Services used: Transportation

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( 5.0 / 5.0 )
We were very happy with 2 mikes catering. It is a family business and they are very focused on the quality of the food. Although we did a typical 'wedding menu' (2 meats, pasta, veggies, salad, potatoes) our guests all said it was much better tasting than most 'wedding food'. They use fresh ingredients and everything isn't just frozen/reheated. They were accommodating with special requests such as swapping their usual meat ravioli for cheese ravioli (as we had vegetarian guests). Everything went smoothly and on time. It was great. We also rented tablecloths from the caterer, and he allowed me to pick them up, along with plates/cups/pitchers/etc a few days ahead of time so that we could do the setup earlier in the day than they would get there. We did all disposables (to save money) but they also offer china, etc for what was a fairly reasonable cost. We did choose to purchase some nicer disposables from Sams Club in place of some of the caterers (ie plates).
Services used: Catering

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Big K Entertainment
 
( 3.0 / 5.0 )
This was the only vendor of the day that I wasnt thrilled with. We had found them on Craigslist, which we knew going in was hit or miss. Their prices were much lower than other companies and we met the owner/head DJ in person and we very impressed with him. This is a small company and the owner himself still DJs the majority of the time. When we booked him, he said that he was almost certain that he would personally do out wedding, since it was a Sunday and he had no other bookings. About 3 weeks before the wedding, we find out that we will instead be having 2 of his staff DJs instead. While these guys werent bad they werent exactly what I would call seasoned pros yet. They played all our special music at the right times and got the right songs, etc so all good on that front. We used them for both the ceremony music and for the reception. However, in the actual reception part, they didnt do a good job about getting people to dance. We had said we didnt want obnoxious DJs but they seriously didnt say a word practically the whole night. Also it kind of bothered me that they never came back to the brides room before the ceremony and introduced themselves/checked in with me. I know they talked to the groom, but still other DJs always check in with the bride. Overall, we were just kind of disappointed with the DJs they didnt do anything WRONG, but they just werent great or memorable. I think the owner (Dave) would have done a much better job, so unless you can guarantee that you will have him Im not sure Id recommend this company.
Services used: Unique Services