Can you believe that it has already been a month since the wedding?! Time flies when you’re having fun, huh? I have a ton of pictures to show and stories yet to tell, but thought now would be a good time for vendor reviews. (Turns out this post is getting long. We’ll do positives today and negatives later in the week…)
Bridal & Formal, Inc.
Yes, I went to Ohio for my dress. Yes, it was totally worth it. What started as a way to get Amber involved in the wedding, since I knew the bachelorette party probably wasn’t in the cards, turned into a full-fledged dress hunt. Little did I know that by the end of the day I would have my dress, the bridesmaids’ dresses and the style of mom’s dress all picked out! The staff at Bridal & Formal were very accommodating and they had a cool web cam so folks at home could see the dress. Their selection was HUGE and covered all price ranges. They gave me such a great deal that it was cheaper to buy the dress there and have it shipped to Milwaukee, than to find it again back in the hometown. I would recommend anyone make the trip to the Cincinnati area to pull a Kleinfeld’s at half the price!
Zilli’s Hospitality Group/Milwaukee Public Museum
I think the universal consensus was that having a wedding at a museum was a great idea, but I think the Milwaukee Public Museum in particular was a great background for this kind of function. It was classy, but still comfortable enough that kids could run around and adults didn’t get nervous carrying cocktails and canapes through the exhibits.
Zilli’s Hospitality Group is the exclusive caterer for the museum. While slightly on the pricey side, I think you get a wonderful deal for the cost. They include every miniscule detail in the packages. We opted for the station dinner vs. sit-down. Best. Idea. Ever. It was hilarious to watch people run by our sweetheart table during dinner. “Maggie, did you know there’s a mashed potato bar?!?” “Randy, you’ve got to see the take-out boxes they put the Chinese food in.” Ah, pretty confident we knew what details were going into the day, but hey, it was cute to see everyone as excited over food as I am on your average Tuesday.
The staff at Zilli’s were fantastic. Our main contact started right after we signed our contract. With that said, there were some bumps in the road, but Stephanie was always willing to take my phone calls or emails with stupid bridezilla questions. On-site, the staff were very polite. The food was a little slow in coming out, but I don’t think anyone but my day of manager and I even noticed. And most heroically, they saved the day when we ran into a cake emergency!
Steve Bowman Photography
Hot dog. Hot f-ing dog. I first met Steve as a personal trainer a few years ago. He’s kicked my butt and kept me motivated in the gym, but who knew what miracles he could produce on film. I would like everyone in the Midwest to consider Steve as their photographer for an important moment, but that means I might not be able to get back on his schedule when the need allows. I have yet to see examples of his work that were less than perfection.
Possibly even more impressive – Steve got all 27 people of Randy’s immediate family to be in a picture with their eyes open and facing forward. On the first try!!! Wow. Amazaballs.
I first saw Craig at a wedding here in Milwaukee a few years ago, long before I knew Randy. I left that wedding thinking I would hire that guy someday. Well, this proclamation turned into fact last fall when I secured Craig for our big day. Again, we got a great deal, but there was NO skimping on service. Craig had great electronic forms to help us remember songs we might otherwise forget, but he really shined on the dance floor. I don’t think it cleared out once throughout the night. He had a great mix of music and did a good job coming out in the crowd to keep things moving. I am seriously debating having another big bash just to be able to use All-Star Music!
I have got to give a HUGE shout out to my hair and make-up goddess, Dawn. She made me look beautiful. If only I could have her, fake eyelashes, and hair extensions at my disposal every day! I would absolutely recommend her to any bride or person looking to just get glammed up for a night on the town! (And she rocks the everyday hair needs, too. Check her out, but not on Saturday afternoons every six weeks. That’s my slot.)
Finally, I need to give credit where credit is due. A number of folks commented on how calm I was throughout the day. There was one reason for that and that reason was Michelle. Michelle was my “day of manager” and handled all the details of the day that I would have otherwise focused on. I work with Michelle on a professional basis, so I knew she knew her stuff and (perhaps more importantly) would be able to handle my stressed out short temper. Many, many thanks to her and her husband, Bill, for keeping things together and letting me enjoy the day.