Here’s an updated list of wedding resouces for those who might need them =) I posted long ago on this topic and lots has changed since then.
Ceremony: Church of Christ Presbyterian, Chicago. This is our home church and just proved to be the BEST deal available (meaning free). We had entertained the idea of being married in a church closer to our reception venue, but found out it would cost upwards of $1500 on the LOW end – one church quoted us $2k! If you have a home church, you are truly blessed as we are =)
Reception Venue: Women’s Club of Evanston. It seems several of the northern Chicago suburbs have these women’s clubs. I first heard about the Winnetka Women’s Club for a friend’s wedding back in 2005. They’re just these gorgeous little establishments that feel quaint and homey, yet classy and large enough to accomodate the masses. Of all the clubs we visited Evanston was my fave and it’s right across the street from Dave’s Italian Kitchen, my fave restaurant of all time.
Photography: SecondPrintProductions. We were impressed with Albert’s artsy/journalistic style, his calm and friendly demeanor, and of course prices. We’ll see how everything comes together on the day-of. E-session scheduled for next month so we’ll get a little taste then.
Videography: JCD Films for the ceremoy only. Their online demo looked very nice, and they promised 2 cameramen for a 3-hour ceremony shooting (before and after) for an affordable price. I just wanted a little bit of live action footage of the day, but didn’t need a camera in my face all day long.
Music: Monastero Entertainment. We were referred to this group by our friends who were married in May ’09. We thoroughly enjoyed dancing the night away at their wedding and wanted to do the same at ours. They’re very organized, with “do play” and “don’t play” lists available with a personal account online, along with tons and tons of recommendations for all the obligatory dances.
Atire: I’ve loved perusing the wedding section at JCrew. We’re doing bridesmaids dresses and perhaps shoes here. If anyone has pregnant bridesmaids, I highly recommend Nordstrom.com, their maternity section is great and their dresses are super nice. Mens’s Wearhouse is the go-to for all our guys.
Invitations: We had the benefit of my cousin’s graphic design expertise and keen style to create us a beautiful invitation motif. Then we ran into a huge problem when it came time to pick the right paper and colors – I was lost. Charli and Cleo saved my life! They were able to use our original design and make it fit into a beautiful invitation suite that’s ready to go, hassle-free. We spent a couple hundred more than we had anticipated, but relieving my stress made it all worth it.
Favors etc: We’re still not completely done with this part, so I might update it after the wedding. I found an awesome deal for organza bags at Gifts International Inc, 7 cents per bag. Can’t beat that anywhere. We’ll probably use them for small favors at the reception. I have yet to purchase anything from Save-on-Crafts, but I’m officially in love. I don’t know if you would call it a store, but it has tons and tons of decorating frills and thrills that have a “natural” air about them.
Honeymoon: Okay, so this part isn’t actually booked yet. You give one task to the groom…… just kidding =) But in all honesty we’re trying to book this week and we’re using an excellent resource recommended by Dan’s coworker called LuxuryLink. It’s like eBay for vacations! Well, sort of. Lots of package deals that you can “bid” on or buy out right. If you buy it out right you secure your dates. And with bidding, your dates are subject to change but you save couple hundred. We’re thinking Mexico, but there are tons of wonderful destinations on this site.
I still don’t have hair and makeup nailed down yet – so any suggestions in the Evanston area would be great!