I always found vendor reviews helpful to both learn about other experiences and find vendors. I had a positive experience with (almost) everyone, so I’m not going to rank them–I’d use them all again!
Hair & Make Up: Mario Tricoci Salon, 900 N. Michigan
My stepmom set this up, including trials–it wasn’t a priority for me and this worked well. Its in the same building as the hotel and across the street from the church so there was no chance of delays. We didn’t get to all hang out together, but it did mean it was quick. We didn’t start til a couple hours before, which meant we had time for a leisurely breakfast together first. Kylie, who did my makeup, was especially awesome. She was getting married the next month and was super fun to chat with. I actually had some issues after my trial and she had me come back in to make sure everything would be perfect for the wedding.
Hotel: Four Seasons
I stayed there the night before the wedding. When I made the reservation I asked about getting guaranteed late check out of 1 pm (instead of 11 am) and the guy said it was probably fine but they really couldn’t guarantee anything. I explained that I was getting married next door and kind of needed to know for sure. He said he could charge me $200 and guarantee it. Seriously?! It’s two hours. Then he called back ten minutes later (I assume someone told him that was ridiculous–it was two hours and not like I just wanted more shopping time) and told me all was well. And it was. The room was beautiful, they sent chocolates, the view was great.
Church: Fourth Presbyterian Church
Fourth knows weddings. I’m actually on a committee with Kathy, the coordinator, so I knew her personally, and she did a great job. They have a staff of four for every wedding and ask that any outside coordinators limit their services to the reception. They have weddings down to a precise, perfect, relaxed science. Its quite pricy but includes all the staff people, the officiant and the organist. (We paid extra for a singer too.) And its beautiful.
Florist: Westgate Flowers
They were very easy to work with and affordably priced. Our flowers were beautiful–this was something else that wasn’t a big priority but it was for my mom and they were very organized to make sure nothing was missed. There were two mistakes–Mike’s bout was smaller than anyone else’s, including the 5 year old ringbearer, and the bridesmaids bouquets were wrapped in ribbon I had said could be used for anything BUT that since it would clash with their dresses. The first one is definitely on them (and the bouts were labelled, so it was intentional) but I think my mom may have mixed up the message on the second. We’re still married and all, so it turned out fine.
Photographer: Caili Helsper Photography
Are you sick of seeing her pictures yet?? Probably not! Caili did a fantastic job. She was so fun and easy to work with on the actual day. I spent more time with her than most of my guests, so I’m so glad she and second shooter Amanda was good company. BM Blondie got married this summer and was really disappointed when both Caili and Amanda were already booked. I got a great deal on my package because I booked when she had only shot a couple of weddings, but she would be worth it at any price.
Catering: Twomaytoz Catering
Our food was excellent and their prices are great. I looked at a ton of caterers and the big difference seemed to be that their menu was smaller–but ultimately your guests are only going to have a couple of choices no matter how big the menu you are choosing from is (and there was plenty extensive) and people told me the food was great. I have a friend with severe food allergies and there was a little trouble handling that request, but the owner stepped in and all went well.
Cake: Reuters Bakery
The cake was good. The cake tasting experience wasn’t quite what I anticipated, but they were the preferred vendor for our caterer and it was included in our package. I like cake but never find it memorable at weddings (and people try to get too creative and then I don’t like the flavor combo) so this was all good for me. They executed what we asked for perfectly and it tasted delicious.
DJ: DJs for You
I am so, so sorry DJ. Other than my vision, our poor DJ was the major victim of the weather. He set up all of his equipment, soundchecked, and was ready to go outside on the patio. Then they decided for sure we had to be inside, so he got to take down all of his equipment and move it to the third floor. Via a small staircase, because there is no elevator. He was great though–he listened to our request and mostly did his thing which is good because we were not one of those couples who wants to micromanage the music. And don’t worry, we tipped him well.
Venue: Cheney Mansion
They were awesome. They let us come the day before to drop our stuff off and because there were no events in the morning the next day, we were able to set up our photo display, card box and put our candy in the dining room. And then when the candy bar had to move (*tear) they carried the whole show upstairs. I’m still sad we didn’t get the cocktail hour and dancing I was hoping for, but overall it was lovely and they were a pleasure to work with.
Tuxes: Jos A. Bank
STAY AWAY. Not one persons tux fit at all. Too tight, too big–they didn’t fit in all kinds of weird ways. They were a huge hassle for Shamrock to deal with (he spent hours on the phone over multiple days before the wedding simply getting the details of the order straightened out). Every single thing I don’t like about our wedding pictures is their fault–Shamrock’s tux was so ill-fitting that it looks ridiculous in some of the pictures. We should have done suits. Oh well.
And I think that’s everyone we used! (It’s probably not, but I can’t remember the rest.)
All photos by Caili Helsper Photography