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Monday, July 8, 2013

My Venue/Vendor Recommendations

Hi Everyone!
So when you plan a wedding you leave with a lot of insights.
You have advice and recommendations.
I thought I would share my recommendations with you all.
Whether you are future brides or anyone looking for a good review.
Here is mine.
My dress I got at Wedding Works Bridal in Endicott NY:
 The experience was so much fun! Your first time you get to try on every single style in a dress. My dress I didn't put on until very last. It was the last dress I tried on and it sat directly in view outside my dressing room. So I decided to go for it. I had a budget I was working with. I kept eyeing it and so I tried it on and fall in love. I couldn't stop smiling. This dress was off the rack and fit me perfectly already and I adored everything about it. It was comfortable and beautiful and I knew Kevin would love it too. I worked with a young bridal consultant, younger than me, but it was better that way because she viewed things in my favor. She was so easy to work with and I had the whole upstairs basically to myself! It was a cute boutique and they gave me a great deal. My budget was $1200. I needed to get a veil too with that. This dress cost $1200 on its own and my veil cost $150 so they gave it to me included so I could walk away with my dream dress. I recommend Wedding Works Bridal 100% over David's Bridal or any other boutique. They are affordable!

My shoes: I just bought my shoes off amazon- which I always recommend amazon. They were $62. I will say if its an outdoor wedding to consider wearing wedges. They will save you! I loved my shoes, they were super comfortable and squishy! 

I did my own makeup for the wedding but I did get my hair done by a good friend. Kayleigh Lehman. 
She did all our hair-
She does an outstanding job and will likely do yours too if you are willing to pay. She does not do this fulltime, its just something she is amazing at :) 

For my flowers I had Ye olde Country Florist in Owego NY:
They did an outstanding job! I showed them a picture I wanted my flowers to look similar too:
And though they are slightly different, I loved mine so much!
For my bouquet, 2 sets of corsages for the mothers and grandmothers,
3 sets of boutineers for the fathers
2 for the grandfather's 
a maid of honor bouqet
3 bridesmaids bouquets
a toss bouquet 
and flower petals for the girls to throw,
my total came to $1269.07
Flowers are expensive but I thought it was worth the price.
Margie was a wonderful florist to work with, I adored her, she makes sure you are truly happy and she's very organized. I recommend Ye Olde Country Florist 100%

For my cake, I chose Sweet Valley Chocolates and Bakery in Owego NY.
They did an outstanding job! And they are very very affordable. 
Since we were having our guests enjoy cupcakes, we wanted to have a small cake and have it not cost a fortune. And Sweet Valley was the best place by far!
I gave Rhonda  picture of the cake I wanted, and though they look pretty different, 
I loved my cake 100% overall! Everyone did. They did a great job!! (My cake below)
And like I said they were affordable! For my cake, I paid $255. $50 of that gets returned when you return the cake plates and pillars. Can't find that in Ithaca, that's for sure. I recommend Sweet Valley Chocolates and Bakery 100%

For my officiant I went to Les Swartz. Justice of the peace in Candor NY.
He was awesome to work with and was sweet and simple and to the point. He loved our vows and was so easy to work with. Only $100 Here he is in some pics
I recommend him 100%

From the above photos, kevin's tux: Hage Tailor in Ithaca NY.
He said it was a pretty easy experience to go through and the tux was a complete surprise to me until the wedding day. He could not have picked a better tux or looked more handsome. It fit him very well.

For my Tent, I went with Taylor Rental in Ithaca NY.
I do not recommend Taylor Rental at all. First off, tents are very expensive. If you buy a 40x80 tent, like we did, and you get 28 tables and 180 chairs, it'll cost you $2126.40.
With that, you get plasic folding chairs that are dirty and all need cleaning,
you get tables that are not appealing underneath the table cloths,
you get tent walls that are disgusting and also very dirty.
Andddd they are always late. They showed up 4 hours later than they told me
Which gave me less time to decorate.
It was awful and they never gave me a discount after I let them hear it.
So do not get a tent from Taylor Rental. Andddd if you do rent a tent, I recommend a frame tent over a pole tent. It'll cost you more but you will be happier with the outcome.

As far as food goes, I went through my stepdad's friend who is an actual caterer at Lake Watch Inn. He does make delicious food but I recommend going with a professional company over a person who knows what to do. Things were pretty unorganized here. He was IMPOSSIBLE to reach. Granted he was going through some life crisis's but as your job, its important to at least reach the bride when you can. He never even attempted it. I always had to go through my step dad which was a pain because he was annoyed and thought my questions were useless, whereas to me they were important.
So go through a company and not a person. Its worth every penny.

For my DJ, I went with Elephant Sound in Ithaca NY.
Again, I do not recommend this company whatsoever. Its a shame too.
The dj was very friendly. Yes.
He was easy to reach for the most part. Yes.
He showed up to rehearsal 30 mins late. Yes.
And he gave me attitude when I asked to go over the specifics of what will take place and in what order and what he will say. Yes.
He just wasn't organized enough folks.
I used to work at Bayshore Grove and went to weddings every weekend. The djs there always made sure to be organized and announce this and that and really keep things together and everyone informed.
He did not do that.
Though he played the music I wanted, he didn't announce pictures or when the order of events were happening so everyone ending up leaving pretty early.
It was a major bummer.
Be sure to REALLY do your research and pick a very organized dj. After all they basically run the show for you. (cake cutting, first dance, dollar dance, when pictures are taken and done, where the guest table is and where the gift table is, the order of tables to get food etc.) Elephant sound did not do a great job at it.
Though I did not let it ruin my day of course, it just was a major bummer.

For my seamstress, I chose Colleen Dewey-wright in Owego NY.
She is the sweetest woman in the world. Though I do not recommend her.
She is affordable but my dress was still very much too long. I kept tripping on it and I had to hold it the entire time.
Not to mention the bussle she did was impossible to figure out, and kept falling down. 
Major Hassle. Major embarrassment, as I tried to have my maid of honor fix it during our first dance because I could not physically dance until it was fixed.
Major bummer.
Be sure to tell your seamstress how short you want your dress, you will trip on it otherwise.

For my photographers: I went with friends and I was lucky enough to have such talented photographers!
The first friend I went with was Tara Toyryla. She actually has her own photography business so I got lucky there.
Tara Toyryla Photography in Spencer NY does an outstanding job!
As you know she did my engagement pictures and she did my wedding photos too. 
She is very affordable too. Charging anywhere from 500-1500 depending on the wedding package you want. Because she is my best friend, this was her wedding gift to me <3
Here is very little of her work. 

My second Photographer was Joey Sears from Spencer NY.
Joey is not a photographer. He actually does some DJ work and video work. If I had known, I would have had him as my DJ. However, I knew he could take some awesome pictures after stalking his instagram and facebook. So i went out on a limb and asked him. Of course he said yes.
He did an amazing job! He took some really great shots and took over during the ceremony while Tara was in it. 
He probably would do more photos if you asked him and negotiated prices with him.
Here is very little of his work:

 I absolutely 100% recommend both Tara Toyryla Photography
and Joey Sears!
They will make wonderful memories with you.

As far as decor: I did it myself. With help of course! I made the puffy hanging balls, we strung the lights and I borrowed those wicker balls with lights. I made the hanky on a line idea, and hung lace valances on the tent. I made button garland and bought a hat box for my card box. I made the moss numbers and brought accent clothes for the tables. The paper flower garland I also did. 

However, my terrariums were my center pieces and  made by another good friend. Sarah Giewont.
She did an outstanding job and this is what she does for a living!
I recommend her 100% if you are ever looking for terrariums. 

And I believe last but not least, the venue.
I had my wedding at Myers Gardens in Spencer NY.
It was on Michigan Hollow Road (it is a back dirt road with no service- so drive careful!!)
Wayne Myers is the owner and he has a helper Donna Brown.
They are the two sweetest people you will ever meet.
They do an outstanding job on the gardens and it is in his backyard. 
He only charges a donation for the gardens. $100 for a ceremony and $200 for the reception. 
I only paid $350 to book my wedding there. The additional $50 came from borrowing a few chairs and banquet tables. 
He was so nice and accommodating. He only requests to have dry reception there.
and he means well by it.
He does not want to have to get liability insurance because he doesn't want to have to charge brides and grooms an arm an a leg to get married at a beautiful place. 
We still had a champagne toast at my reception but that was all. 
Not only does he make things so easy for you, with getting things set up, borrowing ladders, scissors, clothes pins, using his house phone etc. He offers his all to you. Whatever he can get you, he does. 
He also ends up helping pick up when its time to take down the tent. Of course we did not expect it of him what-so-ever but he was willing which is what makes him a very nice sweet man.
I recommend the gardens 100%. There was not a lot of bugs, it was nice with everyone not on their cellphones, and it was GORGEOUS.
He has all sorts of little buildings too on the property that he opens up for guests to view during the wedding.
lots of antiques and beautiful things. Even if you aren't getting married, this is a great place to just go and gaze.

Here are some pictures:

Well I hope you found this helpful!
I don't believe I left anything out. 
Just remember at the end of the day, all those little details aren't noticed. As a bride I thought that everyone would notice this or if something was too low or high or went wrong, but they don't.
Paper flowers and puff balls that took days mean nothing.
Moss numbers are only cool for a second.
I mean everyone thought it was beautiful and I was pleased cuz I got to have all the decor I wanted but to save the stress, I thought i'd share.
And it flies by. Truly.
You gotta be sure to make your rounds and say hi to everyone because some are gone as soon as they get there.
And if you can steal your new love away, be sure to. I wasn't able to. Between pictures and the line up of events, the day goes fast.
But always keep in mind you want it to, otherwise people will leave early. 
You want everyone to experience the dollar dance and cake cutting and bouquet toss etc. Not everyone was there for ours. But there was some people so that was good. 
People want the food relatively quickly and then straight on to the next thing.
Just some things to think about. 
Again, I hope it was helpful and enjoy your engagement.

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