Vendor Reviews
Our day was AMAZING!  Even when we woke up with the clouds and rain, we were both all smiles all day long.  We had the time of our lives and wouldn't change a thing about our day.  Of course, not everything went perfect -- but in all honesty we both agree that's what made the day even better.  We were happy with our vendors, we were surrounded by our amazing family and friends and we became husband and wife. 

Ceremony -- Faith Lutheran Church, Pastor David Doppenberg - Coon Rapids, MN

Highly Recommended - We joined Faith together when we got engaged.  We wanted a chuch that we could attend regularly together, that was friendly and welcoming and that had things for us to get involved in (like kickball and/or basketball open gyms).  We found after joining that we not only knew a couple of people from Eric's hometown, but that we really enjoy being members there.  We had ZERO problems working with their wedding coordinator Vicki and their organist Diane.  Both were quick to respond and were eager to meet with us during all of our planning.  We are really glad that we found Faith in our search for a church to raise our family at.

Reception (catering and baker) -- Majestic Oaks Golf Course, Angela Crow - Ham Lake, MN

Highly Recommended - We loved working with Majestic.  Angela was amazing!  They did all of our set-up and everything was set-up exactly as I had explained in the notes that we left on the boxes.  The Majestic Room looked AMAZING and the staff was helpful and friendly all night long.  The bartenders kept the liquor flowing all night long and were friendly to our guests - which is always a plus.  :) We got to take all of the extra centerpiece cakes home too -- we ended up with seven of them to give away at our gift opening the next day!

Photographer -- Wendy Woods Photography, Nick and Wendy Woods - Stillwater, MN

Recommended - Wendy and Nick Woods take AMAZING pictures.  The downfall... is the cost for the AMAZING pictures.  We absolutly loved the pictures that were taken, but we do feel that there were a bunch that were missing.  For example, there are no pictures of Eric and the bridesmaids, only one picture of our entire wedding party all together (and it was a picture that I called everyone together to take).  The pictures that we did receive we are absolutly in love with and they are great.  Her photo editing and her eye for taking pictures and catching important moments is just out of this world.  If you have room in your budget for them they are worth it, but for much less you can easily find amazing photographers in the twin cities.

Videographer -- Yellowtree Event Videography, Ryan and Shannon Tucker - Woodbury, MN

Recommended - Before receiving our video -- (was an A, January 09 down to a B, after receiving our video A) - Shannon and Ryan were with us all day long.  Shannon met the girls at the hotel at 8:30 and Ryan got to Eric's parents house around 9.  They stayed through the DJ's juggling torch/knife act (more detail below) which was at about 10 pm.  You barely knew they were there and I can't wait to see not only the highlight video, but the entire video together.  I'm hoping they got the little things (like before the ceremony when it was just Eric up at the front he raised his arms and said YES!... and all of our guests were laughing so hard)... We can't wait to see the video's.

Update 1.14.09 - We were supposed to receive our videos within three months - being 12.13.08.  I hadn't heard anything on 12.15 so I sent Shannon an email.  I hadn't received a response by 12.23, so I follwed up with another email.  She replied and said they were working on the wedding that was before ours and we were next.  1.14.09 and we still haven't heard anything.  Another follow up was sent.... with again no response.  Followed-up again on 1.23.09.  It's frustrating and embarrasing explainging to our family and friends that something we were told would take three months and here we are four months and a week out without so much as even a due date being told to us. 

Update 1.28.09 - We received our video yesterday and it is really fun to watch and relive the memories.  Even though it took longer than expected to receive our video we are happy with the end result.  Shannon and Ryan are good at what they do!  We also received the raw footage from them, which has been fun to spend some time watching -- so many things were said and happened that you forget about because your adrenaline is pumping so much.  I truly feel that a videographer is worth every penny!!

Transportation -- Total Luxury Limo, Darin - Vandais Heights, MN

Highly Recommended - A+ - We are SO GLAD that we rented the Hummer for the entire day.  It was SUCH a blast and it was so reassuring knowing that everyone was all together in one spot all the time and we never had to wait or wonder where anyone was.  On top of that, our drive Darin was AMAZING.  He walked each bridesmaid and myself to and from wherever we were with an umbrella so that we didn't get wet, he was always where he was supposed to be, he was polite, he let the boys blare their rap music after the ceremony while we drove all over drinking, he told us we weren't allowed to pack up our garbage and that he had it all taken care of.  Most people thought we were crazy paying to rent a Hummer for 8 hours, we think it was one of the beset investments of our day.

Florist -- Colleen's Flower Cellar, Colleen - St. Paul, MN

Highly Recommended - A - I LOVED our flowers!  I had given Colleen a picture to work off of and pretty much just let her run with it.  They turned out AMAZING and I loved them.  I'm glad that we went with roses instead of daisies for the bouts though, as I really think the roses took the wear and taer of in and out of the rain and buildings and looked great at the end of the night.  I wasn't only super impressed with the flowers, but the price couldn't have been beat!

Hair and Make-Up -- L.Mae Make-Up Artistry, Lacey O'Sullivan and Heidi - Hugo, MN

Highly Recommended - A - Lacey and Heidi showed up at our hotel room at 6:30 that morning (and man, did us girls have a rough time getting up and getting moving!).  They were very patient and kept things moving all morning.  I think that we all looked beautiful and that Lacey was worth every single penny!  I would hire her again in a heartbeat!

Chocolate Fountain -- Creative Confectionaire, Dave and Cindy Blomquist - Hastings, MN

Highly Recommended - A - We received nothing but compliment after compliment on how amazing the chocolate not only tasted, but how friendly our server was.  There was pretty much a line at the chocolate fountain the entire night.  We paid for them to be there from 5-7 pm and he didn't even start packing up until 7:30.  We researched four different chocolate fountain places and Creative Confectionaire came in the lowest by over $300.  They gave us our own private tasting even at the shop.  Another investment tht we are so glad that we paid for and that everyone loved.  Plus, to top it all -- all the leftover chocolate is sitting in our fridge at home waiting to be eaten!

DJ -- Midwest Sound and Light, Michael - St. Paul, MN

Not Recommended - Day of D -- AFTER THE WEDDING AND UPDATE BELOW B!!!!- - The story -- our DJ was very important to us as every bride knows that a DJ can really make or break a reception.  Well back in April 2007 I spoke with Ryan at the Wedding Fair.  In May 2007, I made an appointment with him and Eric and I went and met with him one night.  After the meeting Eric said he really liked him (for the same reasons I did, friendly, outgoing, easy to talk to, said he had five sisters so no bride worries him) so that week I called him and we signed our contract with him.  In June 2008, I called Midwest Sound and Light and spoke with him.  Let him know we were working on our must play and do not play lists and special songs and that we would be submitting them sometime in July, he said, okay and that he couldn't wait for our reception.  Now, fast forward to the Tuesday before our wedding.  I get a voicemail at about 9 pm from Michael from Midwest Sound and Light saying that he's our DJ for the weekend.  I decide not to get upset because obviously something happened or came up.  I called Michael back from on Wednesday morning from work, left him both my work number and my cell number and come Thursday afternoon, STILL no call back.  Now I'm starting to get upset.  So, I call Midwest Sound and Light and ask for Ryan.  I get told to hold on one second, they will go and grab him.  Well, someone else about two minutes later picked up and asked what they could do for me, I said I was holding for Ryan and they told me Ryan wasn't in, but they'd be happy to help me out.  So.. I tell them I want to know what is going on and why Ryan isn't our DJ and why Michael hasn't returned my call.  He tells me that, "Ryan had a family event come up, but that he handpicked Michael for us and he will do a stellar job at our reception." He also assured me that Michael would be calling me back shortly.  About 20 minutes later Michael calls (I'm still upset, but figure two days before the wedding, I'm just going to relax and go with it and not think twice about it) and we go over everything and I tell him about my song for Eric and he tells me that he has this act that he does with torches and flaming macheti's - I specifically tell him that if NO ONE is dancing to come and talk to us and we will tell him if he should do it or not, so I hang up thinking that all is well, right?  Well... we get dropped off at the reception and were waiting for grand march to start and he's outside to meet us.  Okay, so far so good.  The dinner music he played was good (a lot of Norah Jones, but it was relaxing and pleasant).  Then came the first dances.. I'm sorry, I spent $350 on having that song wrote for Eric and HE DIDN'T EVEN ANNOUNCE IT!!!!!  Just played right in to it.. Eric was like, what is going on?  Why are we having two first dances?  I just told him to listen to the words....... well, then he started playing music off of our must play list and the dance floor was packed.  Come time for the bouquet and garter toss, good times.. lots of laughs.  Then, he announces that he wants everyone to go out on the patio to watch him catch flaming torches and juggle macheties.  I was pretty upset.. but followed everyone out there.  HALF AN HOUR LATER it was still going on.  Someone told him to do it again, I walked up to him and told him he'd better go back inside and get people on the dance floor.  Then, I turned around and walked inside myself to find that HE LEFT NO MUSIC ON FOR THE GUESTS THAT DIDN'T COME OUTSIDE!!  My girlfriend (who used to run poker) ended up going up about 20 minutes into it and starting the music.  Then, at about 11 pm he came up and asked if we wanted to do the dollar dance?  Are you kidding me, the dance floor was PACKED (again, he was going straight down our must play list) and I looked at him and told him flat out that I'd rather have people dancing and having fun that make a couple hundred dollars.  I was pretty upset and granted, now I can look back and laugh about it and it by NO means made my night bad, but man.... it was just one thing after another with this company and would I hire them again or recommend them - MAYBE. (update below).

Update 10/1/08 - Thank you to whoever anonymously submitted my review to Midwest Sound and Light.  Since I wrote my original review yeseterday, we have been contacted by Midwest Sound and Light and they are going to be talking to our DJ and getting back to us with some sort of compenstation for not meeting our expectations, but failing to exceed them.  Even though things aren't worked out 100% yet, I do feel that just by contacting me, their reputation has begun to be salvaged by both of us.  Of course, we would be happy with any sort of compensation and by even offering one, we both feel that that's the customer service that should make consumers confident in their vendor.

Also, please note, that we don't feel that Michael was the worst DJ ever (heck, when the music was on, our dance floor was packed!), his show is just not what we visualized when we pictured our wedding reception.

Spray Tan -- MN Bridal Make-Up Artistry, Sarah - Minneapolis, MN

Highly Recommended - A - I went with my mom to get her spray tan done the Friday before the wedding (thanks to the referral from Kiz!) and it was great!  She was super tan for the wedding and it looked really natural.  I'm in two weddings coming up and I will be going to Sarah for them!

Tuxes -- Savvi -- Roseville, MN

Sort of Recommended - B - For the most part tuxes were okay.  We received two free tuxes from the bridal fair and we had to tell them four times that the free ones went to my brother and Eric's brother.  When Eric's brother went to get fitted, even though his tux was free they were rude to him and made him pay the $20 deposit (which was later transferred to Eric's other brother, but not until I had to call and talk to the manager).  They shipped the ring bearers tux to the Northtown location and never contacted us to tell us, so we had picked him up on Thursday night and taken him in and his tux was "in shipment" back to the warehouse.  He had school on Friday, but I picked his tux up and thankfully it fit okay (otherwise, I don't know what we would have done).  Nothing drastically went wrong and when there were problems they were quick to correct them. 

Bride and Bridesmaid Dresses -- The Hope Chest, Kohleen - Ham Lake, MN

Highly Recommended - A - Great customer service, our dresses were great -- everything was great.  More detailed reviews and pictures on my bio home page. 

Honeymoon -- Adventura Spa Palace, Riviera Maya, Mexico

Highly Recommended - A+++++++ - This place is amazing.  The food is great, the pool was always warm, the drinks are amazing, the atmosphere was perfect, the shows were entertaining, the tours were exciting.  Such a perfect place for a honeymoon.  We'd go back here in a HEARTBEAT!! (and we are already planning too in two years!)