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
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)
- I have ALL the feelings
- I admit that wedding planning kind of sucks
- We run a million errands
- We practice how it’s gonna go down
- We have a big fat Italian rehearsal dinner
- A little rain won’t get me down!
- The girls get pretty
- The guys do whatever guys do
- I hang out in the hotel bathroom and make a bunch of bouquets
- I get my bride on!
- We exchange kisses and gifts during our first look
- I’m a runaway bride
- The bridal party processes and the ring bearer gets distracted
- I take my final steps as a single lady (and get stuck on a rose bush along the way!)
- We kick off the ceremony with some sweet words from The Princess Bride
- We share our love story and get our hands blessed
- We do!
- We miss cocktail hour for the sake of family photos
- We get everybody to join our first dance
- We frolic on the beach at sunset
- We have a beach-side ’90s dance party
- We eat cake and auction off our single friends
- We end our reception with a romantic private dance
- We brave fire for a sparkler exit
- We pack up all the little details
- I compare my expectations to the reality of our wedding
- I learn that nothing is foolproof