The I's Wedding

Vendors & Venues Reviews

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Catan Fashions
Strongsville, Ohio
Wedding Fashion

Pretty much all of our wedding attire came from Catan Fashions including my wedding dress, veils (yes, I had two), accessories, bridesmaids gowns(5) and our mother-of-the-bride dress. Clearly we were loyal customers. While Catan provided the styles and the dresses we wanted, the service left a little to be desired. The alterations ladies were not very friendly and rushed us through scheduling appointments (demanded that I had my first fitting 4 months before the wedding) and trying on the gown. I was charged a extra "special order fee" on shoes that they typically have in stock but didn't on the one day I was there to purchase them. Or wouldn't steam the bridesmaids dresses because we didn't purchase alterations (all the dresses fit correctly!) After spending thousands of dollars at the store it still seemed like they were wringing us out for every dime we had. By the time my wedding came around I was really happy to not have to deal with anyone at Catan Fashions again!


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130403
Ambrus Entertainment
Mentor, Ohio
DJs

For months leading up to our wedding, I had nightmares that the music was so bad everyone left immediately after dinner. Fortunately, with Ambrus Entertainment, this wasn't the case at all and the dancefloor was packed well until the late hours of the evening. Shawn was really down-to-earth, something we knew when we had our first consultation with him. I loved his online request system where we listed our 10 must-plays, 10 must-not-plays and also outlined the special songs for cake-cutting, first dances, etc. It was really easy to use and helped us feel more comfortable about how the evening would go. Shawn stuck to his promises that he wouldn't play songs we didn't want played, he didn't bring gaudy, self-promoting signs (or really do any self-promotion until the evening was complete when he simply mentioned the company name). He also didn't try to "MC the event" which really allowed our guests to dance and enjoy the evening. He even asked our permission to announce score updates to an important playoff game taking place on the same evening, appeasing many of our male guests. He was also really well priced, something that was important for us. Overall, considering the service he provided, in the professional manner that he provided it and for the price, I think Ambrus Entertainment was the best deal we found of our all wedding vendors.


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Grande Designs
Painesville, OH
Florists

I'm not really into anything overly floral, so I was hesitant about all meetings our with florists. Our meeting with Bernie was the first of a handful of florists, and in reality I had no idea what I wanted, despite extensive research online and cutting pictures out of my brides magazine. Bernie really helped me filter through everything and determine the essentials that I wanted. I feel like he knew me better than I knew me. He listened to us and gave us exactly what we wanted, and at a very reasonable cost. I loved that he respected the fact that I wanted to keep the details of my dress secret, and pulled me aside to go over the details of the dress that I wanted to reflect in the flowers. He also respected that I wanted to keep my flowers really simple and didn't try to push different flowers or designs on us at all. I brought him an image of a picasso cala lily that I had fallen in love with and was determined to have at my wedding. He warned us the difficulties of getting the flowers and helped us develop a Plan A and Plan B depending on whether or not they would be available on wedding day. Finally, I had told him that I wanted to incorporate my grandmother's handkerchief in my bouquet, as it served as the inspiration for our entire wedding design. When I saw the way he presented it on wedding day, it brought tears to my eyes, as he displayed in a way much better than I would have ever imagined. At the church (or so my groom tells me), he pinned all the boutonnieres on the guys and didn't leave until everything was set up the way we had discussed. Everything was on time and done just beautifully. I simply loved everything about working with Grande Designs and would recommend them them to any bride in the Cleveland area.


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Christopher Bues Photography
Willoughby, OH
Photographers

Hiring Christopher Bues as our wedding photographer was one of the best decisions we made throughout our wedding planning process. In addition to loving his work, an beautiful mix of contemporary, candid shots with the tradtional ones we knew we just had to had, Chris was such an experienced professional. He took the time to understand the style of images we wanted, where we wanted to get some important pictures and he even helped walk us through the timing of everything before and during the day. We love how Chris was really able to "read us" throughout the day and determine by our expressions some of the most important moments and guests which he in turn captured in pictures (for example, pictures of us hugging family and friends we haven't seen in forever). Also, he "read" us so well we were able to just relax and enjoy the day without worrying that we were getting the pictures we wanted. We loved that every once in a while he would give us a sneak peek of the images on his camera, just to show us how everything was coming together. We loved how he methodically flew through the traditional posed pictures, but also made it fun and enjoyable for everyone. Looking at the images, it seems like he was everywhere, but I never remember really seeing Chris or feeling like he was intrusive in anyway. We just loved working with Chris and would highly recommend his services to anyone in the area. We never feel like we can say enough good things or thank him enough for the wonderful keepsakes and memories he captured of our wedding day.


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95314
Shutterbooth
Royal Oak, MI
Rentals

From the moment we got engaged, the first thing I wanted as part of my wedding was a photobooth. We are both photoloving people and we thought this would be a fun and interactive thing for our guests to enjoy. We pretty much worked our budget around just so we would have room to have this at the wedding and it was a huge hit. I'm still hearing about how much fun it was for everyone, young and old. Shutterbooth was by far the easiest vendor to work with, sending payment reminders and working with us to customize the label design on the bottom of the photostrip. We even decided to order acrylic frames from them to give out as favors. Brian was so wonderful about sending me samples, quickly answering questions, and coordinating everything for the day. We purchased the package with the scrapbook option, and the attendant did a wonderful job with it! She was friendly to our guests, helped with reprints if needed and made a really cute keepsake. Additionally, we received a DVD with all the images of the event on them and our guests could even purchase copies online (which worked out great for large groups who only got one copy during the event). My only regret is not getting more pictures with more of my family and friends.


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Wild Flour Bakery
Cleveland, OH
Cakes/Candies

Wild Flour Bakery was one of my favorite vendors to work with in the planning process. After meeting with a number of other potential bakeries and cake decorators, Mona and the Wild Flour crew really made the process enjoyable and effective. Their prices fit really well into my "average-sized" wedding and best of all, the way they format the pricing for flavors and designs (One price for "simple and elegant" and another for extravagant and ornate), I did not feel penalized for wanting tasty flavors and a design fit my wedding style. I feel like Mona really took her time to understand the vision of our wedding, and then helped brainstorm a cake that was beautiful, creative and unique all in one, not to mention tasty! They made everything simple, including take-home diagrams of how the layers and filling would be stacked. They provided little samples of each cake and flavor in a take-home box, something that we loved because my then-fiancee couldn't make it to the consultation. Plus, it let us be honest with how felt about the cake instead of trying to appease the person watching us eat it (although we loved most of them, the real challenge was picking our favorite.) The service was great with reminder and refresher calls, and they even helped me add a few cupcakes to my order at the last minute to appease allergy concerns I had for some guests. I simply loved everything about working with Wild Flour and would recommend it them to any bride (or anyone looking for cakes) in the Cleveland area.


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A-1 Mr. Limo
Wickliffe, OH
Limos/Shuttles

We had no problems with A-1 Mr. Limo, but by the time we got around to choosing our transportation, we weren't all that picky. Because our venues were only a few miles apart and planned on spending limited time in the vehicle, the decision ultimately came down to the lowest priced option. Mr. Limo was well under the other quotes we had from other vendors and we got lucky enough to have the last weekend of "non-peak season" pricing despite the beginning of the local prom season. Our driver arrived a few minutes early and was polite and courteous throughout the entire day and we really appreciated how he just "blended in" and helped the day go by seamlessly. He even had extra utensils for our best man to hang a custom "Just Married sign." No complaints at all.


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Willoughby United Methodist Church
Willoughby, OH
Ceremony Sites
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Pine Ridge Country Club
Wickliffe, OH
Reception Sites

Let me start by saying that I loved Pine Ridge as a venue. The facility itself was classic, charming and had so much character, much more than a typical reception hall, yet around the same price. I still constantly receive compliments on how stunning it was on our wedding day. The facility itself was clean, as well as the restrooms and the surrounding area. It was a good size for our 150 guests, although I'm not quite sure how they would fit many more than that in the room (although they say it is possible). Pine Ridge is catered by a local restaurant Dino's catering, which had great food (again, I still recieve tons of compliments on it and how it didn't taste at all like "wedding food"). My love for Pine Ridge confessed, I must say I was extremely unhappy with the service provided by the catering manager who was in charge of the wedding events. Betty was extremely difficult to work with throughout the entire wedding process. She was very abrupt and not helpful throughout the process. Often it seemed like she just expected us to know how things worked (such as seating and timing) and all our questions were major inconveniences. We requested some special meals for some guests with allergies and dietary restrictions and they never received them. She inaccurately wrote down our menu selections on our catering contract and when we corrected her, she did not care one bit that we had already printed our menus based on the incorrect food item. She was extremely inflexible with times to meet for menu tastings and to drop off items for the wedding; We both work during the day and she refused to stay in the evenings for us, our parents ended up having to drop off all our stuff on their day off before the wedding. And she was rude to our parents on the day of the wedding because some of the vendors showed up earlier than the time they were supposed to (which, I understand it was in the contract and I informed them of this time, but obviously we only had so much control over the situation, it was not our parents fault and they should not have been made to feel guilty on wedding day). I don't mean attack her as a person, but I feel like if I had known these things about the "customer service" from Dino's Catering/Pine Ridge, and if I didn't love the facility of Pine Ridge as much as I did, I would have made a different decision about where I held my reception.


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Courtyard by Marriott Cleveland Willoughby Hotel
Willoughby, OH
Hotels/Accommodations

Great hotel. Our guests were all super comfortable and the staff was really helpful in distributing gift bags to our out of town guests.


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