The GOOD...

Smithfield United Church (ceremony site): Absolutely gorgeous church! The people there are very laid back, and they let us bring in our own minister, which was important to us.  They were also cool with any type of music that we wanted, and had no problem with my Aerosmith selection for the processional. The sanctuary is up a bunch of steps, but there is a ground-level elevator for disabled and elderly guests.  To my surprise, one of their guys actually directed our guests to the elevator and operated it for us. 

Rev. Lynn Acquafondata (Officiant): We got soooo many compliments on our ceremony!  Lynn took the time to get to know us as a couple and let us pick most of the ceremony ourselves.  She did one section of “reflections,” in which she just talked about our relationship, and she really hit the nail on the head when it came to the tone we wanted and making it really, really personal.  Not a dry eye in the room. 

Broughton Hall (reception site): This was one of my favorite vendors.  Barry was extremely helpful and answered any stupid question I called him with throughout the year.  He was super-friendly and upbeat, and he was on hand for the entire day that we set up.  They let us come in the Friday before to set up (the guys there set up all the tables and chairs) and they did most of the tear-down for us.  We just had to untie chair sashes and re-package the linens for pickup.  They were also fabulous working with our vendors and our rental pickups, deliveries, etc.  Truly, a great experience.  And with the right décor, it looked like a ballroom and not one bit like a fire hall. 

Beyond Elegance (linens, chair covers, and sashes): Beautiful quality items, great prices.  They were easy to work with and helpful with sending samples when I changed my mind on colors.  Delivery and pickup was a snap. 

A-1 Rental (china, flatware, miscellaneous linens): Delivery was right on time, and the china was just beautiful – much nicer than I even expected.  They had every little thing we needed to make our tables look elegant, and their prices were outstanding! 

Your Designated Driver (guest shuttle): Paul was great – all of our guests who utilized this service really appreciated it. 

A. Tortorice Limousines (BP limo): Great service, great price.  Enough said. 

Vicky Frey, Amazing Face (Makeup): Vicky was great to work with and did not take it personally when I had her re-do my preview 3 times until I got what I liked.  My makeup stayed on from about noon until I washed it off at 2am.  My mom’s lipstick was actually still on the next morning at breakfast!  She made everyone look absolutely beautiful for pictures.  She is not too keen on false eyelashes, so I applied them myself before she got there, so if that’s something you really want, do that part yourself.  But even after watching my DVD and seeing my pics, I think she did a great job of making me look pretty, but still allowing me to look like myself. 

Alaina Breakiron and Kiersten, Jan’s Salon (Hair):  All the girls loved their hair!  I requested that all the girls have their hair up because of the necklaces I got them, and they managed to do all their updos differently.  My hair was really beautiful – not stiff or “prom-y” at all.  She made my veil look so pretty in my hair that I decided not to take it out all night! 

Alfred Angelo on McKnight (wedding gown, BM dresses, and MOB dress): Brittany was an absolute doll to work with and made me feel completely comfortable, even though I’m a big gal.  The only thing is that when we ordered according to their size chart, everyone’s dresses came in huge!  I ordered based on my exact measurements, and my dress had to literally be completely reconstructed in order to fit me.  Thank goodness I know a good seamstress!  We did have a problem when my mom’s jacket came in, the rest of her outfit fit her great, but she couldn’t even get an arm into the jacket.  After I took it back to them, they measured it out, and even though the tag said 22W, the size of it was actually a 4.  They exchanged it with no problems and her new jacket was in within 10 days. 

DJ Big Ed, Rockin’ Bob’s (DJ): I can’t say enough great things about him!  He was extraordinarily professional and organized and acted as the emcee for the whole evening.  He met us just as we were coming out of the limo to give us the rundown of how everything would go and just handled everything.  He did an AWESOME job of pumping up the crowd and being very interactive, showing people dances, etc.  And he totally rolled with the punches – he even played “Jungle Love” when the gorilla appeared! 

Rick Szymanski and Dan Bucinski, picSure Photography (photographers): Amazing, awesome, fantastic, unbelievable…I simply do not have enough superlatives in my vocabulary to describe how I feel about these guys and their work!!  They really “got” what our wedding was about, and I think that made all the difference in the world.  They did a great job with all the formals and the usual stuff, but when they let their creativity loose is when the real magic happened.  It is amazing to me how much emotion is portrayed in my pictures – not just the events, but you can honestly SEE the emotions of the subjects.  By far, my favorite of all my vendors. 

Dixie Fox, Dixie’s HedonSweets (cupcakes): Dixie did a great job with our odd cake request.  She took my vision and made it into something better than I even imagined!  The cake looked beautiful, and the taste was phenomenal.  I can’t wait to order my next batch of cuppies from her! 

Donna, D&H Wedding Planners & Décor (entryway and ceiling swag):  Definitely an easy vendor to work with.  She was a little on the cheesy side when we met with her, but all we had to do was mail her a check and show up to the wedding.  When we got to the reception, we really thought that the entryway décor and the ceiling swag made a huge impact on the room, and she left us a cute little gift on the gift table.  The next day when we showed up to clean up, the decorations were already gone. 

Paula Minydzak (seamstress): She had a lot of work to do!!  My dress came in far too big, and she had to undertake what she termed as a “complete restructure” of my dress.  You would never know it from looking at it!  She made the dress fit me so that it looked like it was made for me, and she also did a great job on the BM dresses.  The other great thing is that her prices were LESS THAN HALF what bridal salons charge!!!

 

The BAD...

Only one - and it was due to the customer service: TableclothDesigns.com.  Long story short, I ended up having to buy 2 separate sets of custom table runners.  In their defense, I did end up really liking the second set, but I was out a lot of money at that point.  I just would have liked to have dealt with someone who spoke to me in a more professional manner.


The UGLY...

The Gown Company (NOT where I bought my dress): The lady who was "helping" me try on dresses had me in a size 22W (please note the above discussions of how the size 18W that I eventually bought ended up being so large I needed magic to get it to fit).  She also told me - and this is a direct quote - that "a girl your size is really lucky to have found a dress at all! If I was you, I would order that one today.  Don't wait to see what your mom thinks."  I put my clothes on and walked out the door.

 

 

 

 

Vendors:

Ceremony Site

Smithfield United

Officiant

Rev. Lynn Acquafondata

Reception Site

Broughton Hall

Cake

Dixie's HedonSweets

Hair

Jan's Salon (724) 872-8470

Makeup

Vicky Frey, Amazing Face

Ceiling and entryway decor

D&H Wedding Planners & Decor

Catering

Jason's Catering

Photography

picSure Photography

Videography

Josh Kubizne

DJ

DJ Big Ed from Rockin' Bob's

Guest Shuttle

Your Designated Driver

China & Flatware

A-1 Rental

Linens, chair covers, and sashes

Beyond Elegance

Seamstress

Paula Minydzak

Ceremony Musician

Nadina Bembic

Limousine

A. Tortorice