- 8 years ago
Now that the wedding has come and gone, I just wanted to give a shout-out to all my vendors. Sure, not everything was perfect, but everyone did a great job.
David’s Bridal: A-
With all the negatives out there about David’s Bridal, I had a great experience. But then, I’m not one that easily buckles under pressure. If I didn’t like a dress, I said no, and moved on. No amount of pushing convinced me otherwise. I didn’t even buy the garment bag…my mom ended up buying it without me knowing. I only needed to fix the hem (I’m anti-train), so I didn’t bother with the highly marked up alterations.
Makeup: Lillian Toma of Starlight Makeup. A
There was a post on Weddingbee regarding Lillian. I originally wanted to do my own makeup, but Lillian offers a free trail with no pressure to book as long as you go to her place. Free? can’t go wrong. Lillian did everything I wanted a million times better: covered all my zits and unevenness, airbrushed, fake eyelashes. So I hired her. On the day, I had a huge breakout all over my forehead. She got me to glow. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend her.
Photographer: Steve Koo Photography. A+
I found Steve through another Weddingbee post (I believe from Mrs. Stiletto’s previous persona). Steve was great over e-mail and even better in person. His style is photojournalistic which was what we wanted. He was willing to come to our courthouse wedding and all the venues of our wedding day. We just got our DVD, and we’re amazed by the great photos that he captured. His photos arrived as delivered, and we can’t wait to get the album. We were hoping that he would come to England for our second reception, but he needs to go to his friend’s wedding too! Steve has a client for life with us; we can wait for him to take all of our life’s milestones.
Pre-wedding shots: Chicago Cultural Center and Lincoln Park Conservatory. A
If you want gorgeous photos, you can’t do any better than these places. Especially in winter. The Chicago Cultural Center lets you take as many pictures as you want as long as there is no private event. We went first thing in the morning, and there was no one there…the whole place was to ourselves! Unfortunately, you need a park permit for photography for the Lincoln Park Conservatory: $30 for the permit, $30/hr for the conservatory. But the permit lets you kick people out of shots if you need it. This was a great location if you want garden shots in the dead of winter. Word of warning, it’s humid there, so if you have an elaborate down-do, be careful!
Ceremony and reception venue: Jin Ju. A
We wanted Korean food at our reception, and this restaurant didn’t disappoint. We had a small wedding (50 guests), so the back room was the ceremony room, while the front was for food and dancing. We got a mountain of food for $22/person: 4 appetizers and 4 entrees. It was family style, so everyone got to try everything. We did a tabbed full option bar, but they have limited and full open bar as well. Guests drank anything from tea to sojutinis to straight-up whiskey. Agnes Hong was great to work with; she was flexible with meeting times and setting up. This is a fantastic place for a small wedding or rehearsal dinner.
Cake: Bennison’s Bakery. A+
We love cake. So much so, we wanted a lot of flavors of cake. Instead of a traditional cake, we did a cake buffet. Bennison’s was the only place where we could get all the flavors we wanted. And they deliver normal cakes. Delivery was early, cakes were super fresh and tasty, not too sweet, good ratio of frosting to cake. We can’t complain. Wish we weren’t so stuffed from Korean food to have more cake!
Post-wedding venue: 10pin Chicago. A
We really wanted to bowl after the wedding. We ended up picking 10pin over Lucky Strike because they let us rent lanes without having a party. We just had a party; we didn’t need another one. All you have to do is book that week of the event. I called on Monday for my lanes, done. When we got there; they were really nice and efficient. Quickly got our shoes so that we could bowl as many games as possible. They even gave us a lane on the house since more people came than expected.
Transportation: First Student Chicago. B+
I’m so glad I got a school bus. To get a recommendation, I ended up asking my old sorority what company they use. It was freezing on our wedding day. The school bus was really warm to the point of too hot and is an economical option for budget minded brides. Why the B+? Well, the guy had no clue where he was going, even though I sent detailed directions and a timeline for all the locations. Then he was late to our last pick-up, and told the company that our time had run 45 minutes over. When I called to inquire why I was overcharged, they quickly remedied the situation, and comped and extra 30 minutes off. So really, it wasn’t too big of a deal.