I can't believe after almost 8 years, we're married! Having your friends and family who love and support you so much bear witness to your love as you make your vows in the church, in front of a priest and God is an indescribable moment. Our wedding was pretty much the wedding of our dreams, a moment in our lives that we and most of the people in attendance will not soon forget. Wedding's don't happen overnight, and the planning for ours took two and a half years, which was just enough time. All our vendors came together to pull of the most amazing party that either of us had ever been to, and the Hotel Arista in Naperville was the perfect setting. My husband and I both joke that we would do it all the same for the next one! It feels good to be in the "happily ever after!"
The entire planning process with GSPV was pretty smooth. The people in the Chicago office are really friendly, and Jennifer, our photographer was great. We just got our photos back, and they turned out amazingly! I would definitely recommend GSPV. I think that they have a great service for the price.
Disclaimer: I used to work for Jin Wang.
When it came time to purchase a wedding gown, I knew that I wanted the impeccable service and quality of Jin Wang (San Francisco). I fell in love with an Enzoani gown, and the designer/owner and a personal friend of mine, Jin Wang, made it happen. I can't say enough good things about her! I still love the gown, and I got a lot of compliments on it during the wedding and after.
Driver Tom is a friend of my husband, so when the guys needed someone to drive them to the church, it was a no brainer. A limo ride with Driver Tom is certainly an experience. He's a fun guy and definitely gets everyone in the party mood.
Bed Bath & Beyond is the quintessential registry location. They pretty much have everything that a new couple needs for their new life together. What I love about them more than any other place with whom we registered is that they've got such a liberal return policy. I actually returned a set of toasting glasses that I had received a year before, and they took it back, no questions asked. Their staff is very accommodating and super friendly. I certainly have no complaints about them!
Williams Sonoma was the one store with whom I couldn't wait to register. I was actually surprised with how reasonable a lot of their prices are on things, since they're more of a high end kitchen store. The service is great, and I really love the quality of all their products. The only thing that I don't love is that they changed their return policy so that you are required to have a receipt for all returns, even if they're gifts. I don't know about you, but my family is terrible about including gift receipts, and I think it's kind of rude to ask for the original receipt after they have given me a gift. Also, you have 30 days from the date of purchase to return the item, which means if your guest bought the gift way in advance, you're out of luck.
The photo booth was really a hit at the reception! It was totally worth the money that we spent on the rental. The photo booth attendant was very friendly and encouraged people to use the props that they supplied. What I liked most about this vendor in particular is that everything that you wanted was included in the rental fee: the guest scrapbook, unlimited prints, one strip per person in the picture (most places do 1 or 2 strips & sometimes you have to pay extra for the 2nd strip), the prop box, and unlimited time. I Do Photo Booths was there from the time that the reception started until the last song had been played and the bartenders were closing up. We also got a flash drive with all the photos on it at the end of the night so that we could have a good laugh later. If you're thinking about renting a photo booth for your event, they are definitely worth a look.
I've been in love with this church since I was in 4th grade. It was a complete no brainer that when I got married, it would be there. You do have to join the parish if you're not already a member, but the process is very easy. The fees were reasonable, especially considering it's a cathedral and the head of the Joliet Diocese. I was surprised that they provide a coordinator for the day of the wedding, which was very helpful considering we did not have our own wedding coordinator.
For as luxury of a hotel as the Hotel Arista is, I was not expecting such accommodating service. We looked everywhere, and I do mean everywhere for a venue. Food and setting were probably the most important factors in our decision, and the Hotel Arista went above and beyond with this. They pretty much catered to my every whim and even entertained some pretty crazy ideas that I had. I can't even say enough about the food. My husband and I are definitely planning on dining in their hotel restaurant for special occasions from now on because the food is just out of this world! The ballroom is beautiful, a perfect mix of classic elegance and modern textures. The rooms are beautiful, just what you'd expect from a high end, boutique hotel. We had a few problems with the reservations system, but it was all worked out in the end. I know that it's a little far from Joliet, being in Naperville and all, but it's right off I-88 and Rte. 59, so it's very easy for guests to get to. If I could do it all again, I would definitely still book with the Hotel Arista!
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