Our Wedding Day
Bernadette & Haydn
Colorado Springs, CO
September 6, 2008
Vendor Reviews for the local gals!
I must preface this by saying I am NOT easy to please. I did A LOT of research and am pretty well versed in the wedding industry. I had high standards and truly feel that my hours upon hours of research is what made our wedding day such a success.
I call our vendors our "Dream Team"... our wedding day would not have been even a fraction of the success it was if it wasn't for them. Our guests had an AMAZING time and have been complimenting everything- the food DJ, decor, photobooth, DIY details, ceremony, etc.
Rehearsal Dinner: Sonterra Grill: A+
IL's hosted our RD and I suggested Sonterra Grill as it is one of our favorite restaurants. We had a private room that accomodated 40 ppl- we ate amazing food (coconut shrimp, tenderloin quesadillas, mandarin glazed salmon, sage rubbed free range chicken, triple chocolate cake and cheesecake), and they also allowed us to do karaoke in our room (IL's idea but it turned out to be hilarious!). Everyone had a great time and it was the perfect atmosphere for our group of guests to get to know each other and relax before the big day.
Venue: The Lodge at Cathedral Pines: A+
We accidentally found the Lodge through a very close friend of our family who lives in the Cathedral Pines Development. I am SO glad we did. This venue truly "fit" us and the kind of wedding we were looking for. We had our ceremony on the back patio overlooking the forest. It was intimate and beautiful. The Reception was set up perfectly and it was just enough room for our 85 ppl. Lori Raymer, the coordinator there, was there the entire evening- cleaning up and making sure things ran smoothly. You can bring in all of your own food, alcohol, etc. HIGHLY RECOMMEND.
Caterer: First Impressions Catering: A+
I was having a really tough time finding a caterer. I love good food and wanted a fabulous meal but being on the budget that we established, I wasnt sure it was going to happen. Then, a local CO nestie (smilelari), told me about First Impressions. We set up a tasting and immediately booked them. Mike Longo, the owner/chef, if amazingly accomodating and so easy to work with. We customized our menu and had a ton of selections. They got there early and made sure everything was set up impeccably. There was more than enough food for people to have seconds (or fifths- my cousin Eric went back 4 times for more chicken) and there was still enough leftover for dinner for 10 the next night. Mike's son Josh was our bartender and did a fabulous job as well. We have had many compliments on the food and would definitely recommend First Impressions to anyone.
Florist: Dawn Ackerman with Hillside Consultants: A+++
WOW. Seriously. Just- WOW.
Dawn was the very first vendor we booked when we first got engaged. We instantly clicked when we met with her and loved her work. I switched all of my colors and flowers about 6 months before the wedding and she changed everything without batting an eye. I was SO excited to see the bouquets on the wedding day and they did not disappoint. My bouquet honestly took my breath away. It was the most beautiful bridal bouquet I have ever seen (which is saying a lot considering how much Im on the knot!). The BM's bouquets were exactly like the picture I showed her and the ceremony site was decorated beautifully as well. I ADORE Dawn and cannot imagine anyone else creating more amazing florals.
Photographer: Real Photography: A+++++
I really dont know if I can put into words how I feel about Traci and NIc. Cheesy? Yes. True? Absolutely.
I literally stumbled upon Traci's new wedding website one day in January (after we had already booked a photographer). I sent her an email just telling her that I loved her work and we started emailing. Email turned into coffee and coffee turned into me forfeiting our deposit with our original photographer to have Traci an Nic photograph our wedding. We had the fortune of working with Traci back in April when she photographed my Grandparents 50th wedding anniversary, then again in May for our E-Pics. Traci is hilarious, fun, and amazingly talented. She has a fresh eye, affordable pricing, and offers some amazing album products as well.
Traci was there for our Rehearsal/Rehearsal Dinner and I am SO glad. She just posted a sneak peek on her blog that had DH and I both laughing out loud.
The day of the wedding she was with the girls during the getting ready process and Nic was with the guys. We chose to do all of our formals before the ceremony (highly recommend) and they set up a private moment for DH and I to see each other for the first time. They both had great ideas for Bridal Party shots and were more than willing to take all of the shots I requested as well. Traci was VERY excited when I mentioned I wanted to do a Photobooth during the reception and she was a HUGE hit with the guests. I can't WAIT to see all of our pictures and know how amazing they will be. I feel so blessed to have found Traci and not only to have the honor to call her our photorapher but also my friend.
My Dress: Something New Boutique: A
My mom and I both got our dresses from Something New. I LOVE the owner, Mindi, and there are some really beautiful dresses here. I hated the other bridal salons in the Springs and until I found Something New I thought I was either going to have to order from a Denver Salon or order online. There were a few bumps towards the end with alterations but I would definitely recommend going up there, meeting Mindi, and checking out her gorgeous selection of gowns and accessories.
Wedding Coordinator: Danielle Odil with Something Classic Events: A+++
Danielle rocks my socks off. Seriously. She is the best ever. I knew the instant we met with Danielle that there was no way I was having a wedding without her there. She has great ideas, even better advice, and is so much fun as well. Danielle was the only reason why I didn't have a panic attack the day of the wedding. She attended our rehearsal and organized everything and everyone. The day of the wedding she set everything up more amazingly beautiful than I could have ever hoped. Everyone commented on how beautiful the room set up was and how you couldnt tell at all that it was a "budget" wedding. Danielle was recommended by other knotties and I can see why. If you think you don't need a day of coordinator, think again. Then, call Danielle.
Grooms Attire: The Bridal Collection in the DTC: B+
With the style of our wedding we knew we did not want tuxedos. After searching high and low, we found out that you could rent tan/khaki suits at Jims Formal Wear at the Bridal Collection. The day before the wedding DH went to pick up his suit to find that the shirt didnt fit and they had ordered the wrong tie. Not a huge deal and it was fixed that day. The shoes that came with the suits were pretty awful though. We didnt stress about it though because the GM gifts were Converse sneakers for them to wear on the wedding day.
My Ring: Jareds Galleria of Jewelry B+
My view on Jared is slightly skewed. FI had a decent experience there buying my ring. My mom helped him out with a lot of it and she knew the salesperson so his experience could be related to that. My set was reasonably priced and the cost to set my diamond (a family heirloom) was fair as well. I wasn't thrilled that their appraiser tried to lowball the value of my diamond though.
Since getting my ring and hearing some other bad experiences that my friends have had with them. I probably would take my business elsewhere from now on. That being said though, I looooove my ring!
Grooms Ring: Overstock A+
I am SO pleased with Overstock for FI's wedding band. He knew he wanted Tungsten and we had shopped at a few jewelry stores to price them. I got a waaay better Tungsten band (its got a bezel set diamond in it) for less than a third of the price of other stores. It recieved it 48 hours later (free 2 day shipping) and it was even nicer in person than on the website.
DJ: Affinity for Music: A++
Tom and Melissa O'Malley are a husband and wife team that came highly recommended by knottie Amybyrd. Melissa was unable to make it to our wedding but Tom brought an assistant in her place and everything ran incredibly smoothly. They set up the ceremony- mics for the officiant, reader, and DH's twin brother who did an acoustic performance of Keith Urbans "Making Memories of Us" (which was amazing btw). Music was timed perfectly and everything was seamless. Tom checked on us multiple times in the night making sure we were having a good time and everything was going the way we wanted it to. The dance floor was packed the entire night and everyone had a fantastic time thanks for Affinity for Music.
Cake: Creative Cakes by Carol: A+
We waited until the last minute to book the cake and I was a bit nervous as to how it would turn out. Turns out I had NO need to be nervous. It was EXACTLY how I wanted it to look ( I was very particular that I wanted it VERY simple) and tasted amazing. My only regret is that I didnt get to eat more )=
Carol is such a sweetheart and when she found out I didnt get to try any of the strawberry or chocolate flavors, she made a special birthday cake for me (my bday was the week after the wedding). SO nice!
Alcohol: Colorado Liquor Outlet: C
My stepdad offered to pick up all of the alcohol for us so he is the one that had to deal with everything but long story short they didnt have 75% of the stuff they told me they had in stock so we had to improvise with the beer selection. It turned out fine in the long run but stressed him out the morning of the wedding.
Hair: Stephanie Gow at Toni & Guy at the Citadel Mall: A++
My hair was freaking amazing. Seriously. I had an unsuccessful trial prior to going to Stephanie and thought I was going to have to buy extensions in order to have the kind of updo I envisioned. I should have just gone to Stephanie to begin with ( I have been going to her for 8 years for cuts) because they hairstyle she gave me was even more amazing than the pictures I showed her. It stayed all night long- through dancing and putting funny photobooth props on my head. I got a TON of compliments on my hair.
Makeup: Erica Pasmino at MAC at Dillards at the Citadel Mall: A++
This could have been bad but turned out SO well. I had a TON of makeup trials before the wedding and wasnt happy with any of them. I wear a fair amount of makeup on a daily basis and didnt feel like any of the trials gave me a special enough look for the big day. About 3 weeks before the wedding I found out that MAC was opening a counter at Dillards ON my wedding day which meant no trial beforehand. I walked over there after I got my hair done the morning of the wedding and told Erica I wanted "the most amazing bridal makeup she's ever done"... she did NOT disappoint. My makeup was amazing, dramatic but not overdone, and stayed on all night long. I opted for fake lashes and am so glad I did- they add a lot of drama in the pictures.
Invitations: Costco A+
I went back and forth on the invites- I couldn't decide if I wanted to splurge or save. My mom offered to pay for them at the last minute so I decided to go ahead and get the less expensive invitations through Costco. I definitely do not regret my decision- they were SO inexpensive, came promptly, service was great, and the invites are really cute