Toledo Ohio Wedding Review

Real brides review wedding vendors in Toledo Ohio and surrounding area

Friday, September 26, 2008

Ceremony Location - Cedar Creek Church
Grade: A+

The Church was absolutely beautiful! The church staff is amazing and made things so easy for us. It really made the process more enjoyable. The church's wedding coordinator was amazing. She made things extremely simple on all of us girls and everything ran smoothly. Though at one point she asked me if I wanted a muffin or some triskets. I said triskets would be nice thinking she was offering me something to snack on. I hadn't realized that we had forgotten bread for communion and that's what she was asking about. So low and behold Jon and I stood at the alter trying to quietly 'CRUNCH' triskets during communion. Neither one of us could help but laugh. The lighting and sound was wonderful (Thanks Matt!) and the chapel looked exactly as I had dreamed it would.

Officiant - Pastor Ed Bellner
Grade: A+

Ed has been there through so much of our relationship. He's funny, caring, and compassionate. He was wonderful to work with and I don't think we could have found a better match for us. He wrote a beautiful ceremony that fit us to the tee and claimed he had worked harder on our vows than any others he had written. We had a lot of fun with Ed! I'm so thankful he was there for us it was an honor to have him officiate our ceremony.

Reception Location - Civic Center Promenade
Room Rating: A

Jon and I fell in love with this location the moment we saw it. The room was exactly what we were looking for. It was plenty large enough to hold our group and fit the style of our wedding perfectly.

WARNING: This venue requires special attention in the sound department. If you plan on using this space let your DJ know about your concerns so that he or she can make sure that they make needed adjustments. (more in DJ review)

Hall Manager: F

Connie Huffman was an absolute nightmare to work with! And believe me I tried time and time again to give her the benefit of a doubt. She was rude, cold, dishonest, and completely unsympathetic to everything we went through. She refused to listen to any of my concerns and failed to take any responsibility for scheduling conflicts. I called her the week before hand to see when we could come in to decorate, only to have her inform me that she had permitted COT Environmental Services to hold their frog town fair in the civic center from 9am to 1pm the day of my wedding! And then she proceeded to treat me like an idiot because I was upset. I demanded something be done to make a mends for what she had but me through and I refused to pay the rental cost for the hall. After 20 min. of listening to her attempts to dodge the subject I think she knocked an additional $500 off the bar. Which was not worth the fact that I spent the Thursday before the wedding having to pull off to the side of the road several times to puke, because the stress she was putting me through was making me physically sick. On top of everything she had the gaul to show up at our reception and tell me 'see you can't hear the music...' and arrogantly ramble on about her being right! I'm not a violent person in the least but I have never in my life wanted to pummel anyone as badly as I did in that moment listening to that 70 year old woman talk down to me like that. She also promised added security and that no concert goers would be permitted on our side of the building; which never happened. The gross bathrooms we were forced to use due to the concert were mildly cleaned but not repainted as she promised they'd be. She's one of Carty's henchmen as far as I'm concerned and will not hesitate to step on anyone if something deemed by the city as more important happens to fall on your day. I honestly don't know how this women can sleep at night. I'm sure I sound like bridezilla but I really had trouble not bringing my issues with her to light. That and it feels incredible to vent.

Caterers - Event Professionals, aka Chef Bob
Grade: A+++++, I don't think I could put enough pluses behind this grade! <

Chef Bob saved my wedding day! No Joke.

He went above and beyond anything that I could ever have expected a caterer to do. He's gained my trust, confidence, and recommendation for a lifetime. When things got bad the week before the wedding he stepped up and hired added staff to set up and decorate the hall for us at no added cost! Which I must add included hanging a chandelier, placing favors, and assembling all 35 floral centerpieces! He made me feel at ease during an extremely stressful time. All while catering to two large wedding receptions that evening!

And The food? The food was incredible! Everyone at the reception and after raved about it! Chef Bob was creative and helped us put together a unique menu that was perfect for our summer wedding. He even put together a wonderful vegetarian option for us that left several of our vegetarian guests raving about it and thanking us for thinking of them.

If you haven't picked a cater yet I can guaranty 3 things with Chef Bob: 1 - food will be amazing 2 - you can count on his service and staff 3 - Chef Bob will do anything in his power to insure you have the wedding of your dreams!

If by some strange chance you're reading this Bob, we cannot thank you enough!

Cake Creator - The Bake Shop
Grade: A

Kristy was wonderful to work with. She's one of the nicest people I had the opportunity to meet in this process. The cake tasted amazing and her prices really can't be beat in this area. It's well worth the drive to Fayette to meet with her. The only reason I didn't give her a higher rating is because I'm a designer and had too high of expectations for the graphic elements of the cake. The cake was still very beautiful and I'm sure I was the only one remotely disappointed in the way it turned out. I highly recommend Kristy! Her lemon cake with raspberry filling will be a "birthday must have" for years to come. Sadly it was everyone else's favorite at the wedding too so I didn't get a piece of it at the wedding.

Florist - The Flower Market
Grade: B

The flowers turned out ok and the prices were very reasonable. Most of the flowers I fell in love with during our two year engagement were out of season in August but there was nothing they could do about that. They weren't the best but for the money they were a wonderful budget florist.

Photographer - Sarah J Photography
Grade: A++

Sarah and Mandy were amazing. They made us all feel relaxed and made things fun for us. They really went above and beyond the call of duty. Mandy even poured us champagne! A few times through out the night they even helped me hunt people down and manage the DJ. Everyone loved our wedding pictures! I'm so glad we chose to work with Sarah! I was absolutely blown away by these two! My youngest niece was a very unhappy camper most of the day but they still managed to get a ton of amazing shots of her. With the exception of a few shots you'd never guess she was upset! Thank you both so much you were incredible!

Disc Jockey - Larry's Jukebox
Grade: D

My cousin Larry has DJed a number of our family weddings and has done a great job so we hired him to DJ our reception. A month before the wedding he informed me that he wouldn't be able to do it because he had to go out of town and that his partner would be DJing our reception. He reassured me that his business partner would do equally as well as he would and with all the other stress we were under, I just trusted that he was right. I gave the partner very detailed instructions as to what type of music to play, not to play, as well as special dances and songs we needed throughout the night. I swear the guy never looked at our sheet. He got our entrance song wrong on top of saying our last name incorrectly. Which he continued to do for the rest of the night even after being corrected several times. His equipment wasn't set up well enough to accommodate the room so most of our guests couldn't hear anything. I felt like I spent most of the night trying to manage the DJ because he was incapable of keeping anything going. Very few people even danced because of the music selections he made. I can honestly say that he was the worst DJ I had ever encountered.

Musicians - Millenius Strings
Grade: A

Wonderful! My husband composed the song I walked down the aisle to. But he didn't get them the sheet music until two days before the wedding and they still played it perfectly. They were extremely reasonably priced as well. To save money we went with the trio instead of the quartet (which basically meant we had one violin instead of two)

Transportation - Family Friend
Grade: A+++

1964 Candy Apple Red Convertible Chevelle! It beat a limo any day. Thanks Pete!

Invitations - DIY
Grade: A

I designed the invitations, maps, and response cards. Ordered gatefold jackets and envelopes from Invitation Paper and printed the invitation and inserts through my wholesaler.

I ordered all the ribbon we used in wedding projects, including girls sashes from JKM Ribbon. Very reasonably priced, excellent quality. I saved over $100 buying their ribbon verses the midori satin ribbon at Romantic Flowers and JKM's ribbon was just as nice.

I was very happy with the results. All in all I think they ended up costing about $2.50 an invite.

Rental Company - Meredith Party Rentals
Grade: A

We rented silver charger plates through them. They let us pick them up a day early and were easy to work with. We didn't like that you had to return them clean though, it would have been nice if they provided this service. Even if you had to pay more for them to do it.

Tuxedos - MW Tux
Grade: A

Everyone's tux fit except for the jr. groomsmen and they got a new jacket in for him in time. Over all went well.

My Dress - I Do Too Bridal in Plymouth, MI &
Grade: A+++++ / A+

I Do Too Bridal in Plymouth, MI was wonderful. So many bridal shops are rude to brides that aren't able or willing to spend a small fortune on a dress they'll only wear once. I Do Too treated you like royalty. I've since gone up there to shop with friends and they've been just as helpful. I fell in love with my Casablanca 1827 dress there and planned to purchase the dress from them until I found it new, in stock, in the right size, and color I needed for half the price online. I ended up buying my dress from I was very happy with the dress and it arrived in less than two weeks. I just felt bad not ordering from I Do Too.


I Do Too Bridal
Best Bridal Prices

Bridesmaid Dresses - Ann Taylor Celebrations
Grade: A+++

100% Silk dresses for $79.99 can't really beat that. I think the girls were thankful. :) We ordered them offline and they all came in quickly and with garment bags. We ordered the smallest size Ann Taylor carried and had it rebuilt for my 9 year old niece (which was on clearance for $29.99 at that point.) Some of the girls had trouble with their alterations, hence the reason why my sister's dress was so much shorter than the other girls. But everything worked out in the end.

Hair Stylist - Amy at Shamas Perrysburg
Grade: A+++

I had an archive of pictures I had collected and not a clue what I actually wanted. Amy was able to combine ideas for my pictures and run with it. I was extremely happy with the results. She truly has bridal hair down to art form. My hair held all night even after a drive down 795 in a convertible. She was extremely sweet and worked to fix any concerns I had along the way. Including almost redoing it because I wanted more texture than we were achieving with my insane, never wanting to hold curl, hair. Everyone complemented on how much they loved my hair all night. Amy was more expensive than many of the other options in the area but in my opinion she was worth every penny!

Makeup Artist - Shannon at Shamas Perrysburg
Grade: A+++

Shannon was amazing. She did a fabulous job with my makeup and never once tried to talk me out of the dramatic look I was going for. I couldn't have been happier. I searched high and low for airbrush and couldn't find it in Toledo. The makeup Shannon used paired with My Laura Geller's Welcome Matte Primer lasted all night with minor touch ups.

Wedding Coordinator - Didn't have one
Knottie LisaNowSpitnale told me on her wedding day that I needed a day of coordinator. So not yet having hired one my mom and I agreed we should. Unfortunately my mother-in-law talked me out of it. I cannot stress how much I wish we would have had one. If you haven't hired one yourself I'd highly recommend finding room in your budget to do so. Your wedding will run smoother and be far less stressful on you and your fiancé.

Honeymoon Destination - The Vallarta Palace
Grade: A+

The Palace was amazing. The service was wonderful especially when you tipped. Every room has a large walk in shower, Jacuzzi, and well stocked mini bar. Almost all rooms have ocean views. The pools were amazing and the poolside service was even better. The restaurants were all very good; though my husband and I went through salt withdraw by the end of the week. Proof of how salty American food really is. We swam with the dolphins at Sea Life Park and did the Rhythm of the Night dinner. On our last full day there we went into town and bought souvenirs and took pictures of the art on the boardwalk. We had a great time in Mexico until 2am on the morning of our departure. I woke up feeling like I was going to die. [Whole Mexican stomach thing; and no I didn't drink the water] By the end of our 16 hours of traveling I almost wished I were dead, lol. I went through all three airports in a wheelchair because I didn't have the strength to walk but a few feet. It's funny how quickly you get through customs and security when you're in a wheelchair though. The flight from Puerto Vallarta to Phoenix felt like the longest flight I've ever been on in my entire life. I didn't think we'd ever get on the ground. Luckily the staff in Phoenix gave us the last row of the plane to ourselves. So I used my husband's lap as a pillow, curled up in the two seats I had graciously been provided, and slept the entire way home. I was just thankful it happened at the end of the honeymoon and not the beginning of it.

If you plan to honeymoon in Puerto Vallarta I recommend finding a hotel in Nuevo Vallarta [new Vallarta]. The hotels are all fairly new in this part of the city and It really made the difference. Also the Rhythm of the Night is a must! Vallarta Adventures does it and it was one of the most romantic things we had ever done. You depart by boat and are treated to drinks and snacks as you cruise the Vallarta coastline and Sierra Madras Mountains. As the sun sets you arrive on a part of the mainland that feels like a deserted island. There's no electricity to that area so everything is lit by candlelight and torches. They put on a show depicting a Pre-Hispanic wedding and then serve an amazing dinner complete with live music [non-cheesy mariachi band]. On the way back the host of the boat taught everyone how to salsa. It was a great way to spend the evening and the best meal we had all week!

Other Vendor - Wedding Night Accommodations – Belamere Suites in Perrysburg
Grade: A++++

INCREDIBLE! We enjoyed our stay so much! We stayed in the standard room on our wedding night and the presidential suite the next night it was wonderful. We've already talked about going back. I'd highly recommend the presidential suite however, I'd have to agree with the lady who helped us book the rooms, you won't have time or energy to fully enjoy the presidential suite on your wedding night.


At 9:38 AM, September 28, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wonderful description of wedding. It is good to capture everything that went on at the wedding because once it is over all that remains are the pictues, your memories and lots of bills!


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