Tuesday, September 14, 2010
As a lot of my readers already know, Mr. FvF and I made it official last Sunday, and tied the knot right here in the Gem City. All of the vendors I chose did such an amazing job that I want to commend them all here, so that you might be enticed to use them for your next event.
First and foremost - Christopher's Restaurant Catering. Holly, the catering manager, was a pleasure to work with and so accommodating. We had originally done a tasting of some wonderful plated dishes, had everything picked out, then had to completely re-evaluate our budget and start the menu over from scratch. We chose the picnic option, with fried chicken, pulled pork, Calico beans, cole slaw, creamy dill potato salad, focaccia and soft drink service. We also chose to have Christopher's make homemade pies for our desserts, forgoing the traditional wedding cake (which is terribly expensive and never that good). The price was really, really right and we could not have asked for better food. Everyone raved about everything, including me. The two servers that they had working the kitchen (whose names, ladies, I'm sorry to say I forget) were just tops and went out of their way to make sure we were taken care of.
We had both the ceremony and reception at Benham's Grove - a historic property owned by the City of Centerville. They have a beautiful landscape, plenty of room, and it's a bargain compared to most other venues. We dealt with Margo, who was wonderful - but everyone there was extremely helpful and always friendly. Note: if you or your folks live in the city limits, you get a 20% discount. Score! They also allow you to bring in your own booze, so we ordered all of our wine from Arrow Wine & Spirits.
Jay Madewell (who you might know from dance nights all over town) served as our DJ for the evening, and did a great job of getting everyone off their asses and dancing after dinner. His prices are much lower than most "pro" wedding DJs, who usually just end up getting drunk and playing inappropriate songs in front of the old folks. He managed to fit in almost all of the songs we'd requested, kept it all pre-1990 (with the exception of pre-requested songs), played jams that everyone knew and liked, and even had Grandma dancing. Very easy going, easy to work with, timely and professional.
Digital Shorts on St. Clair St. took care of printing up our save-the-dates, invitations and RSVP cards after Mr.FvF designed them, and it was an absolute steal. We paid less than $50 for everything.
I purchased my dress from Lillian's Bridal & Formal Boutique in Kettering. It was literally the only place within three states carrying the dress that I found online and lusted after. This was a MUCH better experience than any I've ever had or heard of anyone having with a mega-retailer like David's Bridal. Huge selections from all types of designers at all price points, a fancy boutique layout and feel, and fabulous service.
Edited to add: two other wonderful vendors! Melanie Crow of Damselle Jewelry designed a stunning necklace to match some vintage earrings I've been holding onto for years. She did an amazing job matching the earring style to the vintage piece for the necklace, and with absolutely exquisite craftsmanship.
Ladies getting hitched, or just feel like treating yourself to a one-of-a-kind jewelry piece, check out her Damselle store on Etsy.
Also, I scored my veil from another place on etsy called YJdesigns. Got it for a steal at $27, plus $10 for shipping to America. Keep in mind, these veils start at $80 in most bridal stores. It was simple, thrifty and just what I needed to compliment my tea-length ball gown.
Everything else was DIY all the way. On that note, I have to thank all of my amazing friends and family for helping out and busting ass the way they did. You guys are aces!