Vendor Reviews: The Best of the Wedding

I’ve been reading Weddingbee for a long time. And when I say long I don’t just mean pre-engagement. I’m talking seven years long! Through many a failed relationship, Weddingbee was right there forming a wedding-obsessed girl who would later become Mrs. Rucksack. So obviously, after a seven-plus-year relationship with Weddingbee, I have come to develop favorite types of posts. Among my favorites are DIY tutorials, wedding details posts, and vendor reviews. I’m a detail-oriented girl, so I like to know how things work and I like hearing about outcomes—the good, the bad, and the downright ugly.

That’s why I’m so excited to share our reviews with you. We have a little bit of each category—mostly good—and I’m so happy to fill you in on the vendors that made our wedding possible. I’ve tried to keep these short and sweet, but please PM me if you’d like additional details on any of our vendors!

DJ: Matt Ferrera from DJ International



Hiring Matt was by far the best wedding decision we made. We met him at the CT Bridal Expo, and as soon as he walked up and introduced himself, we were sold. I am so glad we trusted our instincts because our guests have been raving about the music and Matt himself for months now. He made sure to play my whole lengthy “must play” list and avoided all of my “no-plays,” all while making sure to add in some crowd-pleasers—and the transitions were seamless. He kept that party going the whole night long without being in your face like some DJs I’ve encountered. Even my critic of an uncle who does not like things like dancing and DJs and fun was talking this kid up like he was some kind of music god. That’s how great Matt is. I would recommend him to everybody I know. (And if you do use him, please invite me to your wedding because it’s sure to be fun!)

Photographer: Abigail Scott Photography



Abbey was like this super talented photography angel that showed up exactly when I needed her. We worked together at a restaurant and she recently quit to work on her photography full time. She’s already blowing up with business because she is seriously amazing. One of her best attributes (aside from her photos, which speak for themselves) is that I had no idea she was around at all. Aside from our portraits and the times that I dragged her over to take a specific photo, I honestly don’t even remember seeing her. Which is kind of incredible considering the photos make it look like she was up in my face all night long. I also want to point out that Abbey worked at White Dress by the Shore, my bridal salon, for three years. (She actually recommended them.) This meant that I had an extra set of hands and expert knowledge to help get me dressed, bustle my dress, and remove and insert my veil. It was an awesome unexpected two-for.

Hair & Makeup: Pretty Up!



Tricia was the first person I hired for the wedding. I dated her brother in college and was a bridesmaid in her wedding, so when she offered to do my hair and makeup I excitedly took her up on it. Not only did she and Melissa make us look gorgeous, but they were also fun to work with and worked fast! I have the attention span of a gnat sometimes, so the fact that my hair & makeup were perfect in barely any time at all is a huge bonus. Plus, Tricia even gave my girls the lipstick and liner she used on them so that they could touch up during the day, along with extra bobby pins, eyelash glue, finishing spray, and everything we needed that night!

Gown & Alterations: The White Dress by the Shore, Clinton, CT



Personal photo

I was treated like a princess every time I walked into White Dress by the Shore. My dress-shopping experience was phenomenal and stress free, and my alterations process, while expensive, could not have been better. Remember my gorgeous friend, Shana, from the engagement photos I stalked and stole? Well, she works at TWD and was with me at every fitting making me feel comfortable and gushing over wedding plans. Between her and my seamstress, Penny, I was in great hands. You know when you watch brides in movies trying on dresses in perfect preppy locations? This was exactly like that.

Flowers: Whole Foods, Milford, CT



I really lucked out when I met Frankie at Whole Foods in Milford. It took some time to get her to warm up to me, but once she did we became fast friends. When ordering our flowers I went in with a budget and some inspiration photos and left the rest to her. The trickiest part was figuring out exactly what would be in season locally, but Frankie’s a pro and did an amazing job getting me as close to my vision as possible. I also want to clarify that this wasn’t just a bulk order and that she did all of the arranging for me. All we had to do was drop the flowers into our vases and we were good to go! My cost for 12 centerpieces and one bridal bouquet (along with my semi-homemade boutonniere & bridesmaids’ bouquets) was $300.

Cutting Cake: Glukey’s Gluten Free Bakery, Milford, CT



Debra had never made a Paleo cake when we first spoke, but luckily she was up for the challenge. We emailed back and forth and spoke on the phone countless times to ensure that she understood all of these crazy restrictions. We ended up with a nine-inch lemon cake with fresh strawberries and lemon frosting. Our non-Paleo guests had no idea that this cake was “different” until we told them, and they all agreed it was the tastiest of all of our available cakes.

Venue: Madison Surf Club, Madison, CT



While I had begun to experience some venue regret in the months leading up to our wedding, looking back I could not have imagined a more beautiful and perfect location. Our guests were in awe of how gorgeous the setting was—and so were we! The Surf Club staff was extremely helpful and accommodating, and all of the fears I had shared were definitely not realities! The Town of Madison does require that you have a Madison resident host your event for you, so if you know a Madison resident I would absolutely recommend our venue again and again!

(All photos by Abigail Scott unless otherwise noted)

Previously on the Rucksack Recaps:


Mrs. Rucksack

Branford, CT
Wedding Date:
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  1. Member
    mrscam24 26 posts, Newbee @ 8:20 am

    Thanks for the reviews! My best friends know the guys that run DJ International and had them DJ their wedding! It was a blast and I agree that they’re great. Matt will be DJing a New Years Party soon that I’m going to, I can’t wait :)

    I’m so happy to see that your budget was so small, yet you got so much for your Whole Foods flowers. I normally go to West Hartford, but I may trek to Milfod just knowing that Frankie did that for you. I was planning on DIYing my flowers (though I don’t really want the time/headache) and my budget is still bigger than that. I won’t mind spending a lot less though! I’ll have to go see what she says!

  2. Member
    Miss Wellies 1425 posts, Bumble bee @ 10:57 am

    I love vendor review posts, too! :) Your positive experience using Whole Foods for your flowers is definitely making me consider going the same route.

  3. Member
    Miss Pyramid 839 posts, Busy bee @ 7:05 pm

    So helpful! And what great vendors you had!

  4. Member
    Mrs. Palm Tree 1080 posts, Bumble bee @ 9:59 am

    LOVE that Whole Foods was so awesome with everything – I didn’t even know they OFFERED arranging. That’s a great price and your flowers fit perfectly!

  5. Member
    Mrs. Waterfall 1311 posts, Bumble bee @ 9:37 am

    Awesome reviews, I’m helping BM Green Eyes plan her wedding, and she might go the whole foods route. It’s good to know you had such a great experience with them!

  6. Member
    Mrs. Rucksack 496 posts, Helper bee @ 7:45 am

    @MrsCam24: Best of luck with your wedding and flowers! And have fun at that awesome New Year’s Party! (Tell Matt I said hi!)
    @wellies: I’ll definitely use them again!
    @Miss Pyramid: We were pretty lucky with some of our amazing vendors!
    @Mrs. Palm Tree: I was so happily surprised with all they could do on such a small budget!
    @Mrs. Waterfall: As long as she’s flexible, it’s a great way to go!

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