Abby and Nick 's Wedding

Overall, our wedding was pretty much perfect! There was a fiasco with our DJ's that was pretty bad at the end of our night, but we are definitely trying to put that out of our minds and don't want it to be a lasting memory of an otherwise awesome day! Everything was seriously amazing, and we were blessed with perfect weather. Rockford Country Club was an amazing reception site, and our ceremony was beautiful at St. Anthony's. We did alot of the detail stuff on our own, but our vendors were excellent and helped with decorating and stuff and made everything come together great! All in all, it was a perfect day for us!

Vendors & Venues Reviews

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Balloons and Flowers By Haley
Rockford, IL
Florists

Jill did an outstanding job! Our flowers were awesome, table decorations were great and she was very helpful and provided great service to us!


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Kathy's Cakes
Rockford, IL
Cakes/Candies

Kathy was great to work with. She was very friendly and professional and made our cake exactly how we wanted. We had a 4 tier cake with each tier being a different flavor. We got to try all different cakes and fillings and customize the cake and the design. It couldn't have been better!


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Forest City Queen
Rockford, IL
Limos/Shuttles

Instead of a limo, we took a longer time for pictures at the church (and in the courtyard of the church) and did a boat ride on the rock river on board the forest city queen. This worked out great for us since our reception was at Rockford Country Club, and they have a dock where we were dropped off directly to the reception site, which was really cool! The boat ride itself was great...there is seating for around 30 people, and they will order champagne, beer, soda for you to enjoy with your wedding party or whoever you want on the boat. We had perfect weather and the boat ride was a really cool idea and way to do the 'limo' portion of the day. The only downside is we only had the boat for an hour and we had a big gap in between our ceremony and reception, so we had to wait a little bit. The park district will generally only allow for you to reserve the boat for one hour on a saturday afternoon, as this is when they do public rides. It was very reasonable compared to a limo though...$180 for one hour, and a little more for drinks - we had a few bottles of champagne, a case of beer, and bottled water. All in all it was a really neat experience.


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Men's Wearhouse
, MI
Tuxedos

National chain obviously, but they were great. Very helpful and professional and we had no problems with getting everyone fitted and the tuxes looked great!


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Sean Michael Photography
Roscoe, IL
Photographers

Our photographers were very, very excellent. Sean and his wife Sarah work together in the business, and they were great to work with. We couldn't have asked for a more professional, friendly, and easy to work with photographer. They have several options for packages based on length of time you will have them, number of prints, etc., but I'll guarantee you that whatever package you pick, they will work 100% as hard as they can for you. We had them for the whole day, and it was excellent to have two photographers shooting all day long...was very nice to have Sarah able to take pictures of the girls getting ready, while Sean was with the guys, and made for a lot more angles during the ceremony and candids during the reception. They made the effort of meeting with us at all locations before hand to see all our venues and pick out possible photo locations, and see what angles they'd want to take on the wedding day, etc. They also came to our rehersal and dinner and took pictures and practice pictures that evening to make sure everything was set for the actual day. They also take a ton of pictures, (like 2500-3000 for a whole day), and edit that down to 300-400...but either way there are ALOT of great pictures to choose from. They do a great job of taking not only the standard pictures of the day - formals with family, first kiss, etc., but also many great details shots of facilities, decorations, rings, etc. that when blended together really script a great 'story' in pictures of the whole wedding day. They did an AWESOME job for us!


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Sounds Unlimited - Mark Mandell/Frank Bambino
Rockford, IL
DJs

You're not reading that wrong - that is supposed to be ZERO stars.

I'll warn you, this is a very long review, but it is merited to explain what happened with these guys...DON'T DON'T DON'T DON'T USE THESE GUYS AS YOUR DJS!!!

I am not being extreme or nit picking, they seriously almost ruined our wedding. It was too bad too, cause they were doing a good job for the first part of the reception, but the last part of the night ruined any favorable opinion we had of them. They were recommended from a friend, so we didn't really complain about any little things at first and thought it would be fine, but after the end of the night, that was not the case. To start with, while Mark was always very nice to work with to begin with and flexible about meeting with us (we never met Frank until the wedding night), they operate using actual CD's - not a digital or computer system. This can be a bit of a problem cause they seemed a little limited in terms of new music, and they tell you that you need to burn the music for them because they can't be taking music for copyright reasons or whatever. We sort of shrugged this off, cause there was only a couple songs they didn't have that we wanted, so we burned a CD with those and a few other requests for throughout the night and gave the CD to them. Looking back on it, we should have opted not to use someone that wasn't using computer/MP3 system...just works so much better and seems surprising that they aren't. This didn't turn out to be a problem, just an observation. The wedding was going great, introductions were fine, dinner music fine, and all our 'special' dances were good as well. As we got into the dance music, this also seemed to be going well, as we heard a pretty decent mix of music. We had two specific requests for the DJ's 1. during the garter removal/toss, we asked that they refrain from the 'use your teeth' type encouragement - just a personal preference for us and our parents and stuff, and 2. that they didn't play any rap/hip-hop music with swearing or sexual explicity type lyrics - we had a ton of kids at our wedding, and irregardless of that, we wouldn't have wanted to listen to that, and certainly our older guests would not either. They honored our first request, but the second one became a problem during the last half hour or forty minutes of our dancing. Now we as the couple honestly weren't paying that much attention (I mean we're the bride and groom, and frankly we were bouncing around, talking to different people and having a good time and not really focused on the music), but toward the end of the night, they played two songs which started the problems, one was an Eminem song, and the other was the un edited version of the song 'Get Low'. If you don't know the lyrics of this song, go ahead and google it...lots of swearing and blatant sexual references....almost x rated stuff. We specifically told Mark that was not what we wanted at our wedding, and we had several older relatives and kids still there, who clearly heard the F word multiple times and direct refernces to sexual acts. I actually heard this being played and was considering going to say something when we saw that there was already somethign going on. What happened was this - a couple of our groomsmen, (my brothers), went up and asked Frank (the other guy who we had not met) that this song be turned off, cause they thought it was innappropriate and our grandparents and little cousins didn't want to hear this. They were flat out ignored and told 'after this song', and when they persisted to say 'turn it off', they were told to "Back the f**k up and away from our equipment". This confrontation prompted some more persistance from my brothers saying that these were flat out being ridiculous. The DJ's then persisted to get in my brother's faces, Frank approached my dad and told him "we're having these f**king guys arrested...we'll slap a lawsuit on you guys so fast you won't know what happened". We didn't really know what was going on, and thought maybe our brothers had just been overserved or something (not the case!), so they were calmed down and walked outside of the country club (fortunately, most of our guests didn't even realize anything was going on at this time). It turns out that my brother asked them to turn it off, and the DJ's said "we're only playing what the bride and groom have requested" (my brother knew this wasn't true), so insisted and said "well lets go talk to them about it then, cause I don't think they would want these songs on". Frank proceeded to act like he was going to talk to us, but then did nothing and just ignored the request, while continuing to confront and swear at my brothers. We are convinced that they just wanted to get paid (you pay the balance at the end of the night depending on how many hours they play) and didn't want us being upset and protesting paying. As the DJ's were packing up, they pulled my dad aside, and Mark flashed him some kind of ID, identified himself as being part of the Sheriff's office for the dept. of public safety and that we were lucky that my brother's weren't arrested for their confrontational behavior and he could have had this done.(come to learn that Mark is actually an assistant manager at a local DMV!!! so he said this to my dad with no authority at all!!). What made us mad when we heard all the details of these encounters was not only that the DJ's had played that kind of music that we had specifically requested not be played, but that they were so confrontational to our family members and extrememly unprofessional. They had every chance to come and talk to one of us about our brother's requests about the music and it could have been done at that...but instead they lied about it, and insisted on swearing at and confronting them on the situation. The way that situation was handled seriously ruined the good job they had done for the first 5 hours of our ceremony. We also came to learn from talking to the banquet people at RCC that there were some other issues. We bought the two DJ's a meal, and I guess as soon as meals were brought out, they were asking the servers where theirs was, before close to all our guests were served!!?? The servers were pretty confused, as they are obviously supposed to take care of all the actual guests first before any vendors...wouldn't have been a huge deal if the other stuff didn't happen, but still very unproffesional. One of the servers also said she saw the guy with the beard (Frank) grabbing glasses of wine off of one of the trays, and there were other witnesses that saw them drinking beer on a couple occassions throughout the night. Maybe we wouldn't have noticed/cared about this too much (although still VERY VERY unprofessional obviously), but when at the end of the night they are trying to threaten/fight our family members, you have to wonder if they were drunk, or what??
I called Mark the day after to ask him what happened, and also to inform him that I had canceled the check I gave him on the wedding night and would be re negotiating how much we were paying them. He seemed content that they had done nothing wrong, and defended his song selection as just simple dance music, something he plays at every wedding....and defended their actions with that those two guys, those groomsmen were really drunk and we needed to control the situation and protect ourselves and our equipment (I hadn't heard about the DJ's drinking yet, so I couldn't bring that up). I went off on him about how that was the most ridiculous thing I have heard, I quoted back some of the lyrics of those songs to him (he claimed he didn't hear those lyrics), and told him that him and his partner handled that situation in probably the most unprofessional way possible and offended a lot of people at our wedding and nearly ruined it by nearly causing a physical altercation with our family members. I informed him we'd be paying half of what we owed them (more than generous I think considering), and he seemed fine letting it go at that. We proceeded to only pay them half, we filed a complaint with the police about their actions on the night of the wedding, and the fact that Mark identified himself as a public official that he is not, and threated to have people arrested. We also filed complaints with the Rockford Better Business Bureau, and these guys are also banned from working at Rockford Country Club.

I apologize for the very, very lengthy review, but it is all very true! We aren't exaggerating, and we are really very easy to get along with people! These guys were absolutely ridiculous and seriously nearly ruined our wedding day. Please share this review with anyone in the Rockford area, as we really don't want any other couples to have the near disaster that we almost did. As I said, we were lucky that alot people were not aware of what was going on with them or had left by that point, but it seriously almost got to be a very bad confrontation that was handled very, very unprofessionally. Again, DON'T USE THESE GUYS!


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St Anthony's Church
Rockford, IL
Ceremony Sites

This was our parish, so where we would have been regardless, but this certainly one of the most beautiful churches in Rockford, and definitely a very beautiful, traditional style Catholic Church.


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Rockford Country Club
Rockford, IL
Reception Sites

RCC was outstanding! Food and drink was excellent, and the service was incredible. We got SO MANY compliments from all of our guests about the service they recieved throughout the entire night. The clubhouse is beautiful as it overlooks the rock river. Sandy and Gina did a great job coordinating everything and setting up our decorations, menu, and everything else exactly as we wanted. You simply couldn't pick a better place for a wedding reception. Extremely professional, classy, and elegant place.


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Cliffbreakers River Resort
Rockford , IL
Hotels/Accommodations

This was an obvious choice since it was the most convenient to our reception (at Rockford Country Club - 5 min. away), but us and our guests were pretty blown away by the service we recieved. We booked a large block of rooms, and were given a very good special rate for our guests. We left gift bags with the desk, which they were very helpful in distributing to guests as they checked in. Rooms were great, and the service was even better!


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