Reviews for our Wedding Vendors

Reviews for Metro Detroit Wedding Vendors

Liza and Gary-- June 27, 2008

We had a truly wonderful wedding day. I read a ton of vendor reviews on the Knot while planning my wedding, so I hope these will help other brides (and grooms!). Especially being an out of town bride, it was invaluable to me to get feedback from others when looking for vendors. Some of this may seem nitpicky, and to be honest most of it didn't matter once we were enjoying the day, but I know weddings cost a lot of money and I wanted to do my part to help others make the best decision possible. I know a lot of people give letter grades, but I chose to just do a written narrative.  Good luck!

Rehearsal Dinner: Sajo’s of Clinton Township

We had a very nice experience here. The food and staff were both great. We got there late—our rehearsal started quite late because of a sudden downpour—and they rolled with it.

Ceremony Site: Our Lady Queen of All Saints Catholic Church

They've only had two weddings in the past two years, so chances are you're not getting married here. We chose it because it's the parish where I grew up. The priest and staff were helpful and accommodating.

Officiant: Fr. Jim Wieging

Fr. Jim is a family friend and he did a lovely ceremony for us. We got a lot of comments from people about how beautiful the ceremony was. He kept us relaxed and laughing.

Organist: David Minnick

David is the organist at OLQOAS. He was very easy to work with and did a great job with the music, and scheduled several practices with my niece, who played trumpet. The only thing I wish he would have done differently was to cut short the Trumpet Voluntary, because it played for long after we had come up the aisle.

Ceremony Musicians: Inis Ceol

My husband is of Irish hertiage and we both like Celtic music, so we wanted Celtic musicians at our ceremony. We found this band through the wonders of the internet, and they did a fantastic job. We got so many compliments on the music. It added an unusual twist to the ceremony, but they still played music that was appropriate for a Catholic mass. They even learned Schubert's Ave Maria for our ceremony, and it was absolutely beautiful. In retrospect I wish we had someone there to cue them, though, because during the processional the music ended and some of my bridesmaids walked up the aisle in silence, which was a bummer.

Reception Venue/ Catering / Cake: The Sterling Inn

Our coordinator was Jennifer and she was easy to work with. We had a family style dinner and we had TONS of compliments on the food. We had a Friday night wedding and the price was very reasonable. They set everything up the way I had wanted. The nice thing about Sterling Inn is they put in a lot of extras with the price, like decorations for the head table, cake, and a suite at the hotel for the wedding night. The suite was nice, not super fancy, but just fine for us. Plus, we got to go swimming in the water park the next morning! What a hoot!

I loved the way my cake turned out. I gave them a picture and described what I wanted, and I think it looked great. We got a standard chocolate and vanilla cake and it tasted good. Our top layer was cherry nut, which we ended up eating the next day (we live out of town and it would have been impractical to try to freeze and transport it). The cherry nut was awesome, and if I had to do it again I would have upgraded to have it the whole cake.


The staff the night of the wedding was a mixed bag. They have a lot of teens working there, maybe because it’s the summer, and they weren’t always professional. When some guests asked for more food at certain times they said that there was none (I find that hard to believe—they didn’t even look). One time they brought out more beef when asked, but it was a cheaper cut than we had paid for. Jennifer said the chef would give us a call, but that never happened. The waiter assigned to our table was a total sweetie, and most of the servers were great, but I found out (several days later, unfortunately) that one of the waitresses was being a completely rude, eyerolling brat towards some of my guests. When my mom left a message regarding the incident, she never got a phone call to follow up.

UPDATE: after I sent in my feedback card that they mailed to me, I got a followup email from the hotel manager, who said he would consult with the banquet manager.  So at least that's something.

DJ: Elite Entertainment

Our DJ was Ben Yowell. Ben has a fun personality and was great with our guests. He also worked well with our other vendors. He took requests and kept things moving, and rolled with some last minute changes. The only weird part was that he started playing the U of M fight song (as a joke, I guess) before playing the MSU fight song (I’m a Spartan grad). Some people have a sense of humor about that kind of thing… I am not one of those people. I wasn’t in the room though, so I didn’t hear about it until the next day.  Otherwise, we enjoyed Ben a great deal.

Photographer: The Double Exposure

Denny did the ceremony and Dennis did the reception.  There was a good mix of traditional, candids, and detail shots.  I liked that Dennis went table to table and got shots of (almost) all the guests.  I loved Denny's pics after the ceremony at the church. I wasn't too happy with some of the reception shots though.  I felt there weren't really any good shots of the first dance or the cake cutting.  We got our album about six months after the wedding.  It was GORGEOUS.  Overall, I was happy with the pics.  



Videographer: Castle Video Productions

Kristyn always gets positive reviews on the board, and I certainly won’t be the first to give her a bad one. She did a great job working with our photographers and got lots of cool shots.  We were happy with the final product.

Here's a link to a clip of our video on Kristyn's blog.


DOC: Bella Tesora Events

I had never even heard of a DOC until I was on The Knot. Honestly, I thought this was some kind of BS foisted upon us by the wedding industry to get me to pay for something I didn’t need. Wow, did I change my mind! It was so great not having to worry about details. I called Julie a few hours before the wedding with last minute changes and everything was taken care of. I asked her to set up chairs at the ceremony for me and DH. I was just expecting some folding chairs, but she went the extra mile to contact my linen vendor to get chair covers so they would look all cute! Sarah was running little errands for me all night. They took care of the gifts, packed things up, cleared tables when the staff got lax… and probably did a bunch of other things I don’t even know about. If you’re wondering whether to hire a DOC like I was… DO IT!!

A link to our wedding on the Bella Tesora blog is here.  (Scroll down to the July 1st entry.)


Dress and Veil: Once Again Bridal

I loved my dress and got a great price on it. Mine was a sample, and was pretty much shedding beads all night, but I don’t think anyone noticed but me. I thought the dress and veil both looked great. The veil was not particularly modern looking and I had doubts about it right up until the end, but as it turned out it was perfect. I love how it looked. I went to the shop a couple times, and service varied depending on who was there.


Alterations: Hana Ayer   586-421-1936

Another member of the Hana army. My dress needed a whole bunch of wonky alterations (it had to be taken OUT which was quite the production) but Hana handled them like a pro. My dress fit perfectly. I also loved my bustle.  

Flowers: Michele Nonis   586-776-1201

I had a small and simple flower order, so I couldn’t believe the prices I was getting quoted. Michele did our wedding for a great price and was easy to work with. The flowers looked lovely and were just what I wanted. The only snafu was that two (out of four) of the flower girl pomanders had completely fallen apart by the end of the night. That probably had more to do with little hands than the quality of the work, though. Regardless, they looked great for the ceremony and that’s what was important to me. 


Jewelry: Me Dashuri

Deana did custom jewelry—necklaces and earrings— for all my girls. They were gorgeous and I got many nice comments about them. My only regret is that I didn’t get some jewelry for myself! Her prices are terrific.


Bridesmaid Dresses: David's Bridal

I wanted something simple, so David’s fit the bill. All the girls got their dresses within 2 weeks, the prices were right, and I thought they looked very nice.


Flower Girl Dresses:

I was a little nervous ordering from this online vendor, because the price was so low… I was afraid they would look cheap. But, we were very happy with the dresses. They came quickly and looked great.  The sashes came from David's.


Tuxedos: Men's Wearhouse

Ugh. I don’t even know where to start. We dealt with so many different MW’s because of many out of towners. We only had 4 tuxes, so this shouldn’t be too hard, right?? One of the GM’s had the wrong color vest and tie (got black, it was supposed to be red). My dad had a really lousy experience with the MW near Macomb Mall. He had to get it altered, then they lost the tux, then they found the tux, and then tried to charge him an extra $10 for alterations?? Uh, no. They ended up taking the charge off when he complained.

On the up side, my husband and his brother went through the MW at Lakeside and we had an okay experience there.  But, of four tuxes, only my husband's fit right.

Invitations: So In Love

Kristie was great to work with. I got so many compliments on how pretty the invitations were. There were some errors, but Kristie fixed things promptly. I couldn’t believe I was able to get custom invites at such a terrific price!  My invites are pictured here.


Transportation: Destinations Unlimited

We got a black Cadillac DeVille with a driver for transport for me to the ceremony, and my husband and me to the reception.  They then took one of our groomsman to the airport from the reception.  The car was clean and on time, and the driver was professional.  No problems, and lots less expensive than a limo!


Linens: The Linen Closet

We got chair covers with satin sashes and table runners from this vendor. They were great at working with my million last minute number changes, and worked with the DOCs to get them two chair covers for the ceremony at the last minute. Anita did a trial for me at the venue and was great to work with. The linens looked awesome.

Hair: Twist

I was going to do my own hair, but then had second thoughts. Karen blew out my hair and curled it just how I wanted. I lucked out with finding this place at the last minute!  They're on Utica Road across from the hockey rink in Fraser.

Makeup: Me

I thought all these people were crazy for paying $80-$100 for getting their makeup done, so smarty pants me decided to do my own. I proceded to spend $200 on makeup at the Bobbi Brown counter. Sooooooooo if someone can figure out the logic in that, I’m all ears!

But, my makeup did look faboo, if I do say so myself.


Photobooth: Shutterbooth

Without a doubt, the hit of the evening. The photobooth got everyone acting silly and having fun. We almost didn’t do this because of the cost, but I can truly say it was well worth it. People are still talking about that photobooth! We got a guestbook with all the photos in it, and it’s a riot looking through it. Our attendant also did a great job.

The only small issue we had was that we had wanted a prop box with top hats and other goofy stuff. We’d discussed it and emailed about it, but somehow it got lost in the translation. We didn’t pay for it, but I was disappointed that it was overlooked. It’s partly my fault because when I asked for the price of the final payment I should have noticed that it wasn’t included.

Our photo gallery can be viewed here.




Travel Agent: Dave Smith at Directional Strategies

With all the wedding hoopla we really didn’t spend much time thinking about the honeymoon. We gave Dave a budget and he did an outstanding job of working within it and finding us great hotels. He also spent a ton of time with us giving us maps and suggestions of where to go and what to do. Our honeymoon was absolutely perfect.

Thank you cards:

These were the best prices we found.  We got photo cards for about $1.06 each figuring in tax and shipping.  The first order never came... lost in the mail, I guess? They sent another order out via 2 day FedEx at no extra charge.  I thought they turned out cute! 

Shower Location: Warfield Grill, Fraser

I had a small shower and was looking for a place with good food that was reasonably priced.  Warfield Grill fit the bill.  They opened the restaurant for us on a weekend afternoon, so we had the whole place to ourselves.  They made a menu for us and the guests chose from four entrees.  I would recommend to anyone looking for an inexpensive option.

Trash the Dress Photographer: A Britton Photography (Washington DC Metro area)

Allison is not a Detroit photographer, but I had to give her props.  We did our TTD session at Glen Echo Park in Maryland, and we loved our pictures.  Photos can be seen here on our TTD page





A few random thoughts and advice for brides...

One thing I'm glad I did on my wedding day was....

...left my hair down!  I was happy to not have to fuss and worry about it all night.  Plus, it was more "me."

One thing I wish I had done differently was...

... the sweetheart table.  I was excited by the idea, but to tell you the truth, we were kind of lonely up there at that table all alone!  It might have been okay if it was closer to the other tables, but the way it was set up, we felt like the king and queen up on the throne... so NOT our style!

If I never have another photo taken of myself...

... it will be too soon.  Seriously.

Before your wedding day...

...consider getting some OTC sleep medicine for the night before your wedding.  I didn't sleep a wink!

On your wedding day...

the little things that go wrong really don't matter.  I was so sad for the day to be over.  I can honestly say it was one of the best days of our lives!