- 8 years ago
- Wedding: December 2009
This is a long one…. I am posting these reviews all over yelp, wedding wire etc. So sorry if you are trying to research Chicago weddings and keep finding my same reviews. Also, I will do a detailed, picture-laden review of our fabulous photographer, Michael Rastall, once we get the pro photos back. I loved, loved him. I also intend to do a budget post soon. It is possible to do a fancy wedding in downtown Chicago for a $30G budget.
D’absolute Catering and Events
D’absolute catered my wedding at the Newberry Library on December 12, 2009. We were very happy with all aspects of their service. Chris is friendly, professional and responsive. We contacted him on the recommendation of the Newberry event planners. We actually had two (free) tastings. The first was just my husband and me. We liked him and the food so much that we signed him on the spot. A few months later, my mother in law was in town and wanted to try the food, so Chris arranged for another tasting.
We had 4 passed appetizers and then a plated dinner, which included salad, chicken stuffed w/ asparagus and topped w/ a red pepper sauce, potatoes and green veggies. Chris also did all of the linens, plates/glasses etc, and service (wait staff and bartenders). Everyone at the reception loved the food (especially the roasted red pepper sauce) and thought that all of the staff was very friendly. There was barely a wait at the bar – which is saying something about how fast the bartenders made drinks b/c our group is full of crazy partiers. (We bought the alcohol directly from Binnys for a huge savings). The whole event went so smoothly and everything was on time.
They even did more than I expected – serving wine during dinner even though we didn’t discuss and setting up the centerpieces. I made the centerpieces myself and had hired a friend of a friend to act as DOC, setting everything up. But Chris and the staff made her job so easy – they set everything out.
I did comparative pricing before booking Chris. I don’t think Chris would want us to disclose our pricing, but it was a great deal. D’absolute is really the best deal in town – fabulous food and service for a great price. I would definitely recommend using D’absolute catering for your wedding.
Sweet Honey Bee Bakery
They provided delicious cupcakes for our wedding on December 12, 2009. They delivered to the Newberry Library without problem. Everyone liked the flavors (coconut, key lime, chocolate, and strawberry). We definitely ordered way too many (230 for 160 guests). I would guess that we had 50% left over. The cost was definitely much more affordable than a regular wedding cake ($1.90 per cupcake) and uber tasty.
Toula altered my wedding dress and did such a fabulous job. I had ordered my wedding dress from ebay (I know, you might think I’m crazy – but it was good quality and affordable). I just needed to fit it to me.
Toula probably had to take 1-2 inches off all over (bust, waist, hips), added boning to the bodice, and did a two-tier french bustle. All of these alterations cost around $225. She was always on time and friendly. There was no drama with my dress not being ready – as other posters on yelp complained about. I went for my first fitting at the end of October, had my final fitting Dec 3 and then picked up the dress (and veil) steamed on Dec 9. I was a little nervous that I didn’t have a multiple-step fitting, but that just wasn’t necessary. And it was nice that my final fitting was just 1 week before the wedding. I had accidentally lost some weight, so she was able to take the hips in a little more. Then it fit perfectly. Everyone said how my dress “fit like a glove.” I looooved my dress and a huge reason that I was so enamored was b/c it fit perfectly.
Duke with Style Matters was the DJ for our wedding on Dec 12 at the Newberry Library. This company prides itself on no cheese. No cheesy songs, no crazy lights. Duke just played great music and everyone danced all night long. He was not an obnoxious on-the-mic-all night DJ. He was very chill. My biggest concern going into the wedding was that I wanted all of the guests to have a blast. I don’t even know why I worried. Duke had it under control. The dance floor was PACKED all night long. I would definitely recommend using Style Matters for your DJ.
Yes, the Newberry has a fairly expensive rental fee ($6G). However, there are many reasons that it is worth it.
1. You can have both the ceremony and the reception in one location.
2. You can buy alcohol through Binnys and have your caterer serve it
3. The two event planners (both named Karen) are very helpful. They provide recommendations of other vendors – which is very helpful considering that they see so many weddings and vendors.
4. One of the Karens will play the harp for your ceremony/cocktail hour for a small fee.
5. All of the other nice, downtown Chicago event locations are this expensive and do not have #s 1-4
The only difficult thing is that since it is a functioning library, you can’t take pictures one the staircase and in the lobby much before the ceremony. They want you to stay in the upstairs rooms. Also, I was curious about rehearsals when I read reviews. We were able to have one from 4-5 on Friday. However, we did get married in the off season. I’m not sure what they do when weddings are booked for both Friday and Saturday nights.
Aly’s Posey Patch
They provided our chuppah for our wedding ceremony on Dec 12 at the Newberry Library. They were very responsive with sending photos of chuppahs and available decorations. They set it up with ease and it was what I wanted – simple and elegant. Would definitely recommend them for chuppah rental.
(We DIY’d all of the bouquets and centerpieces, we just used them for the chuppah).
Chicago Limo Coaches
This place uses a few different names – including Aspen Charters Luxury Buses / Chicago Limo Coaches. So just be aware. This is their website: http://www.chicagolimocoaches.com/
The limobus was one area where we were disappointed. But really, out of everything else wedding related, this is a tiny blip. Nonetheless, they deserve a bad review.
We decided last minute to reserve some form of transportation to take photos around the city pre-ceremony. (We had extra money in the budget b/c fewer guests RSVP’d yes). I didn’t want a regular limo b/c I didn’t want to bend over and scoot in my dress. I wanted to stand up. So we looked for a limobus. Anyway, since it was so last minute and b/c we were using it during the off-season, my husband negotiated a good price. The company will say that we got a great deal, so that we should not complain. But these are the issues:
- They told my husband that we would get a bus with leather seats and TV. What showed up was a regular bus with crazy patterned cloth seats. No TVs.
- They were 20 minutes late. Sure they offered to add 20 minutes on the other end, but that didn’t work b/c we were getting married. We couldn’t make all of the stops we wanted because of it – thus fewer photos.
- The bus driver was very cranky. Not a friendly guy at all.
- They demanded $65 above the agreed upon price. (The negotiated price was supposed to include tip).
When we called the company the next day to complain, they said that he would talk to his boss and get back to us. He never got back to us. Anyway, do not use them. Even if they have a good price, it is not worth it.
I had my hair styled by Ashley at Joseph Michael salon (at Superior and State). I go to her normally – I simply found her b/c I live right across the street from the salon. She crafted my hair into exactly what I wanted for the wedding. It was around $100 for each updo (the wedding itself and the trial), but that seems pretty standard for downtown Chicago.