Since vendor reviews were soooo helpful for me during planning, here are mine.  I decided to break it down into Pre-Wedding, Day of Wedding and Random Supplies.  

I know it can be hard to buy things online and know what you are going to get, so I thought to include them too!  

The scale is 
A+ - F.

Some overall wedding wisdom I "gained" through the planning process.
  • Never lose sight of what this day is really about...marrying the man of your dreams.  It is easy to get caught up in the whirlwind which is the Knot and wedding planning, but never forget what is going to be left at the end of it all... a) pictures and/or video and b) the handsome guy waiting for you at the end of the aisle.
  • Determine your budget early and stick to it.  Prioritize what is most important to you and your fiance and go from there.  It is so easy to get caught up in the latest craze from Knotties...some are great, others are just a waste.  
  • Know your strengths.  I know I am not crafty.  I knew if I did anything myself like invites, programs, table numbers, etc.  all it would do is stress me out and cost me as much money as it would for me to hire someone to do it.  I really never got stressed during planning because I didn't have to worry about all these craft things and could focus my free time on enjoying being engaged with my fiance.
  • STOP LOOKING AT WEATHER FORECASTS.  Unless you are having an outside ceremony...let it go.  It is the one thing you can't control, so stop obsessing.  Sure, everyone envisions a perfect day, but anything can happen.  
  • The guest list.  Just because you knew someone 5 years ago, but haven't talked to them in 3, doesn't mean they get an invite.  Just because someone tells you or your mom or you co-worker they want to come to your wedding does not mean you have to invite them.  We said immediate family, stopping at first cousins and friends we see and talk to regularly.  Our parents understood it was OUR wedding, celebrating US.  Not a reason for them to show off.  If you cannot have a conversation with a guest other than "Thanks for coming", then maybe they shouldn't be there.  If you don't have their cell phone number in your phone, probably not worth an invite.  But hey, if you know of a money tree orchard somewhere, clue me in and knock yourself out.  Just don't come on the Knot complaining you want people to decline because you over-invited.
  • Don't let it be the best day of your life.  Let it be the start of the best days of your lives together.
++Wedding Day Related Vendors++

Hotel Room Block - Detroit Omni Riverplace - A- 

We knew we were going to have to get a hotel room block for our OOT guests.  Most are not familar with downtown Detroit and to be honest are scared of it, so we did a lot of research to make sure we picked a spot that was safe and close to our venues.  We contacted the Omni and once we took the tour of the building, we knew it would be perfect for our guests.  It is in a quiet, quaint part of Detroit, halfway between our reception and ceremony AND the selling point, they have a shuttle to and from downtown and since we had so many rooms booked, scheduled pick-ups and drop-offs to our reception.  The only complaints we had were that our guests kept running into problems booking under our block once a certain room type was no longer available.  The staff at the 1 800 number we were told to  use were telling them there was no block, so our guests would call us asking what was up.  Once that issue was resolved, it was smooth sailing for reservations.  My other beef was the OOT bags.  They didn't give them to everyone upon check in.  I had to keep asking if they were giving them out.  I know there was another block and wedding that night in the hotel, but they didn't have bags.  I wish they would have been able to put them in people's rooms, but oh well.  Nearly everyone got one, one way or another.  I know people were not crazy about having to valet park their cars and pay for parking everynight, but it is a "city" hotel and it is the norm for most hotels in Detroit.

Other than that, it was fantastic.  The rooms were spacious and clean and the staff was so nice and accomodating to our guests.  I stayed in a suite the night before the weddding so the girls could all get ready in the room and it was so huge and perfect for us.  Also, Steve and I stayed there the night of the wedding and they gave us a late check out of 2PM.  An added bonus was that we stayed our wedding night for free because we had so many rooms booked!  Woo hoo!

Rehersal Dinner - Pizza Papalis, Greektown - A+

We knew we wanted a casual rehersal dinner location and Pizza Papalis was perfect because it was so close to our church and all the groomsmen love that place.  They were a breeze to work with and of course, the food was great.  We pre-paid a certain amount of pitchers and bottles of wine and they had to come to us in order to replenish it which allowed us to stay on budget.


Chair Sashes, Chargers -  All About Elegance - A+

Originally, when I was planning our decor for the reception, I was working with the Roostertail's ivory stripe linens, silver chivaris and ivory chair pads.  I originally contacted Jennifer at All About Elegance about renting silver chargers at a great price of .60 cents each.  I was going to get 2 runners to add to the table for some color and that was it.  All was said and done and then I went to the Roostertail one day and they told me they got new silver pintuck linens that I could use for free.  Of course, I knew how much those bad boys were to rent, loved the look, but didn't want to spend more money on linens when I really didn't need to.  I rapidly started brainstorming how I could switch things around to make the decor work with these linens, knowing the previously rented silver chargers would not look so hot with silver linens.

I emailed Jennifer and she said I could cancel my contract completely if I wanted to with no penalization.  What?  That kind of customer service is unheard of.  I began talking to her about chair sashes and she sent me a bunch of samples to play with at the Roostertail with the silver linens.  She gave me a deal on the sashes for .40 cents each and I was sold.  About a month before the wedding, I noticed she had black chargers on her website and at the time, they were not going to be in for our wedding.  Rats.  But lo and behold, they came in the Friday before so I rented those from her as well for .60 cents each.  So all in all, I was able to add a great look to each of our place settings for just a $1 each.  We were able to pick up and drop off right at her house in Ypsi and it couldnt' have gone smoother...except, she had given us about 5 extra sashes and chargers in case we needed them and those went MIA at the reception.  How, we aren't sure...our DOC should have known, but luckily, Jennifer did not charge us for that.  Like I said, how is what for customer service!? 


Invitations, Paper Extras - Plush Paper Creations - A+

When we first started wedding planning and I began visiting the Detroit Board, I knew I wanted custom invites that would have the Detroit skyline incorporated since we were getting married downtown.  I was booked another very popular vendor and as time went on, my impression of the company dwindled and I knew I would only be able to afford a very basic invite style and the rest of the paper stuff I would be on my own since my budget was not unlimited.  Don't get me wrong, this company does gorgeous work, but I really wanted a cohesive look and feel to all paper-related items for our wedding and I am not crafty, nor have the patience to do it, so I knew I would have to hire someone.  That is where Plush Paper and Kathleen came into the picture.

I initally contacted Kathleen about our invites and she got back to me right away with some concepts we loved and we ran with it.  It was so much fun working with Kathleen and seeing her ideas come to life with every proof we received.  She really got our desire to having something a little more "out of the box", fun, funky and urban.  I am still in love with all our paper things, especially the patterned kalidescope paper, and couldn't be happier with the final result of it all.  We got so many compliments on all of the details at the wedding and I am so glad we went with Kathleen.  Although she may have been annoyed with my never-ending growing list of paper extras, she was always professional and nailed every design.  Her and her husband even figured out the correct dimensions for a JPG of our monogram to display correctly on the plasmas at our reception venue...which was above and beyond what she had to do.  To give you an idea of everything she desiged for us, here is a link to our invites and our many, many AWESOME extras.

If you are looking for a great place to get custom, gorgeous invitations or paper things done at a reasonable price, talk to Plush Paper.  Kathleen has a great sense of style and design and totally made our wedding just that much greater with all that she did for us!  As cheesy and it sounds, she really did contribute to make our wedding that much more special and give it that "wow" factor we were looking for.


Transportation - Wyandotte Trolley - A+

Since we wanted to invite our bridal party's dates to join us in-between the ceremony and reception, we needed a large vehicle to drive us around Detroit.  I think I called every limo place in the Metro Detroit Area and was utterly annoyed with the costs of a party bus that would barely fit our party of 26 and the shady reviews I had since for so many places.  I had heard about this Wyandotte Trolley from another Knottie so I decided to check it out.  The prices were almost too good to be true...there had to be some catch.  Which there kind of was on the application.  Technically, you are not supposed to drink on said trolley.  Steve was not so sure that our bridal party could not not have booze on board, so I called them to ask how strictly it was isn't really.  Just don't act like jerks is basically what we were advised. 

It was also recommended to request Jack as our driver, which we did.  Jack arrived to the Omni to pick up the girls an hour early just to make sure he gave himself enough time in case he got lost.  Which worked out great since that gave us an opportunity to take some great pictures at Eastern Market before the ceremony.  The trolley was so clean and charming on the inside and Jack was hilarious.  Oh and the trolley even has the traditional trolley bell that Jack would fire off all the time :).   As soon as we came on he asked, "So the boys will be bringing a cooler stocked with the goods later, right?"  Jack was our kind of guy.  He wasn't so familar with the streets of Detroit, so I had to help him get around, which I did not mind at all.  He had great music playing and was an additional fun charecter to our cast for the day.  So, if you are looking for an affordable, fun transportation option, contact Wyandotte and request Jack...they were awesome!!!


Cake - Chocolate Bar Cafe - A+

Chocolate Bar Cafe is our local ice cream shop and they also happen to make fantastic cakes at a really reasonable price.  I went around to a few other bakeries and no one compared to Chocolate Bar and Lisa's.  Even the places that want to charge you $4/slice!  Her cakes are so moist and the frosting is so creamy.  Most slices are $1.95 each, so our cake for 180 people was $450.  Which was so reasonable.  Our flavors were chocolate with fudge filling, banana nut with buttercream and red velvet with cream cheese.  I gave her the inspiration pic and when I saw her version in real life, I couldn't have been happier.  My only regret is that I felt that I didn't have enough time to eat it!  I wanted one slice of each flavor!!!


Florist - Blumz - A+

When my mom and I started talking about flowers and florists for the wedding (since Steve had no idea and was happy to bow out of this part of planning), we knew we wanted to use Blumz, but were afraid we wouldn't be able to afford their fabulous designs.  My dad and Steve only get their flowers for us from Blumz and they are always so unique, long lasting and just gorgeous.  We spoke to another popular florist to get an idea of how much things cost and I left the meeting feeling under-whelmed.  There was no collaboration, excitement, thinking out of a box.  It was more, "We do this, pick something you like out of a book".  Now, I love flowers.  I love to garden, look at flowers, see new things.  I wanted to work with someone who felt the same way.  I didn't want cookie cutter flowers that people may have seen at 5 other weddings.

So we met with Robbin at Blumz since we have gotten to know him through the years of going to their stores downtown and in Ferndale.  I showed Robbin some of my inspiration pics and he started rattling off ideas that would work for well as working within our budget.  My mom and I left that meeting giddy and estatic, wanting the wedding to be the next weekend.  But, we had to wait over a year :).  I think I had more meetings with Robbin than any other vendor, because I would see something I liked or maybe wanted to change my mind.  Robbin dealt with my sometimes in-decisiveness and brought me back to what would really work best. 

When I saw our bouquets the day of our wedding, I was in love.  There were so many peonies in my bouqet and it was so lush and colorful.  I was so anxious and excited to see the reception room I had been dreaming about for over a year finally come to life.  And it complelely blew me away.  Robbin and his team "Burned the midnight oil and lit a candle" to make our gorgeous centerpieces look top notch for our Mother's Day weekend wedding.  My jaw hung open for about 10 minutes when I walked into the room.   The room made me so happy and set the tone for the fun night that was ahead...and our fun and funky centerpieces allowed that to happen.

I can't say enough about Blumz and more specifically, Robbin.  They are truly a great talent and really give their customers flowers that are above and beyond what you can imagine.  They are so much fun to work with and really want to work with you to give you the look of your dreams on a budget you are comfortable with.


Ceremony - Old St. Mary's Catholic Church, Detroit - A

It's a church and we are members, so I really can't say much.  They are strict with who they let get married both have to be Catholic with all sacraments and active church members.  Other than the office staff and Father Ed are as sweet and helpful as can be, the music director is a diva.  He originally told me I had to have the same processional music as bridesmaids because it was "too hard" for him to know when to change it.  Luckily, my DOC was able to queue the music with him and all was well.  But he was very hard to work with and get a hold of.  He did get in trouble with Father Ed though, because I told on him :).  Father Ed was not pleased he was forcing brides to pick the same music and pulled  the "I am his boss card".  It was nice.  I was also so honored because the church decorating committee put out fresh flowers on the altar for our ceremony the morning of.  I help decorate the church for Easter and Christmas, so it really meant a lot  that they did that for us. 


Reception - The Roostertail - A+ (to infinity and beyond)

What can I say about the Roostertail.  They completely made our reception freaking amazing.  From the moment we booked there, I knew I was dealing with a great place and a great sales person, Shawna.   The Roostertail had so many nice added bonuses like a variety of linens to use in house (saved lots of money for a great look), chivari chairs, centerpiece options if you want them and obviously, a gorgeous venue.  They went above and beyond in every possible way and I can't even say enough about them and Shawna.

Shawna let me email and call her so many times well in advance of our wedding with stupid questions and never getting annoyed with me.  And that was just leading up to the wedding.  The few months before, my communications and visits became more frequent and Shawna (and all the staff) were so helpful.  I would go to play around with linens or check out the room and they let me come and go as I pleased.  Shawna also let us sample some food at a party they were having so we could decide on the menu.   She really helped us decide on things that work well and worked with us on our quirky requests like having just the salads plated  and set out so people didnt' have to juggle two plates in the buffet line and getting us our Oberon for the bar.  Shawna also allowed for my parents to charge a monthly payment every month until the wedding rather than waiting till the end...which my parents will be forever grateful for.  We were able to upgrade just certain liqours as part of our contract, rather than the whole bar, and get appetizers and a late night snack...while staying at the Roostertail revenue minimum for a Saturday night wedding.  They allowed us to drop off two car loads full of decor at the site the day before and they hauled it all off for us and locked it away for safe keeping.  Talk about service.  And this is just before May 9th. 

May 9th.  I hired a DOC to take care of a lot of set-up for the extensive candy buffet and parts of table decor (chair sashes, chargers).  Shawna called me at 11AM the morning of the wedding, asking what she could get started on for us since all she wanted to do was help.  That made me feel sooo good that she was taking such an active role in our wedding to make it phenomenal.  When I walked into the room the day of the wedding, I was in shock and awe.  It was more than I could have ever imagined.  They set up the linens and the room in such a great way and I later found out, they set up our candy buffet, not our DOC as planned.  It was more than I thought it could be.  I had about 21 containers of my own, but the Roostertail contributed some and it was the biggest thing of candy I had ever seen.   I think I made my little cousins' lives that night.

Anyways, the Roostertail also threw in a Signature Martini for us free of charge and our guests loved it.  The waiters had trays floating around filled with them and it was such a nice touch that they did not have to do for us, but did.  The food was outstanding, everyone loved it and even the chef came out to make sure everything was to our liking.  We had White Castles as a midnight snack and I think that was the hit of the night...there were boxes lying around everywhere.  An added nice thing that they did for us as we were waiting for the Omni shuttle to come back at the end of the night, the owners drove Steve and I to our hotel so we didn't have to wait. It was so thoughtful!

All in the all, the Roostertail made our wedding so fantastic, fun and we felt like celebrities with the way they treated us.  It is not a cheap venue, but the quality of service and food is worth every penny.  I wish I could start planning another party there!


Hair and Make-Up - Posh Brides by Kari - A+

I absolutely loved working with Kari and her team on my wedding day hair and make-up.  Other brides had mentioned they had communication problems with her, but I never did.  She was prompt with getting back to me via email and phone and so great to work with.  You could tell she really loves what she does and it shows.  All of my maids, mom and I were so happy with our hair and make up and also happy with the price and convenience of not leaving the hotel.  They got all of us done on time, arrived on time and were so fun to be around the morning of.  I highly recommend Kari and her team!


Photography - The Shooting Gallery - A+ (to infinity and beyond)

Dionne is probably my most favorite vendor.  She is so talented, creative and a true professional.  All our bridal party loved being around her and her assistant Chris and my family was also impressed by them.  When we first got engaged, I think booked her a week into planning and never looked back.  We immediate felt so comfortable with her and were amazed by her talent.  My parents thought we were a little nuts by spending so much money on wedding pictures, but now they understand.  I have gotten so many compliments on the moments she captured and it seems like every day, I find a new favorite picture.  We got around 1300 pictures back from our day and it took around 7 weeks to get them all.  It was worth every cent we spent and minute we waited to see them.  I wish we had more wall space in our house to display more of them.  So many just look more like art than screaming "This is us on our wedding day!!!".  Which is exactly what we wanted.

I cannot wait to work with Dionne again...we are planning on doing a Trash the Dress for our anniversary if things remain OK with our jobs.   And when we have kids...and maybe when we want new pictures of ourselves... :)


DJ - JD Entertainment, John  - A

We hired JD Entertainment after visiting another popular DJ vendor.  What we liked about John was his non-cheesy factor.  He is very down to earth, easy to talk to and that was what we were looking for.  I really liked that we got a gobo for free with our package and their prices were comparable to other DJs.  At the reception, we got so many compliments on how good the music was from everyone...all age ranges.  The only reason I haven't given him an A+ is because he did play some of our "do not play" songs, specifically, "Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy"...which we both hate with a passion.  Luckily we were outside taking pictures and didn't hear it first hand.  John also gets major kudos because he helped re-tie falling chair sashes during dinner when he didn't have to.  It was very sweet of him to stop eating his dinner to lend a hand to fix something I was not happy about.  He did not do any cheesy get the crowd going antics and was an upmost professional and classy DJ who rolled with our crazy friends stage diving off the DJ area and running up there to hang out with him.


Video - JD Entertainment - A+

We got a great deal on our video by booking both JD Entertainment for our DJ and video services.  Steve was really picky about who we hired to do the video and we looked at a lot of samples...all of which seemed cheesy, canned and not worth the money.  When John showed us a sample video from a wedding at the Roostertail, we were sold.  It was what we were looking for...out of the box, funny and unique.  They were also cool with Steve's friends essentially hogging the camera man to do "man on the street" interviews with our guests...a wedding tradition.  The day of, Tom arrived on-time and was so great to work with.  We didn't even know he was around!  

We got the video back and we couldn't be happier!  It is perfect in capturing all the highlights of the day in our style!  Plus, Tom did an amazing job editing the man on the street interviews and creating an awesome dancing recap.  The first time we watched it, we were laughing so hard our cheeks hurt and we were crying.  


Dresses- Arena Bridal - A+

I really enjoyed working with Arena on finding my dress.  The customer service is outstanding and I liked the casual atmosphere there.  Both my mom and MIL ordered their dresses there, as well as all of our bridesmaids.  Everything came in on time and in perfect condition.  My alterations were included in the price of the dress, which was great!  I do wish my bustle would have stayed more, but it was so delicate because of the sash, it kept coming un-hooked.  Once we figured out to squeeze the hook closed, it was fine.  But it was a tad annoying at first.


Tuxedos- Wesner Tuxedo, Sterling Heights - A+

One of my old friends from high school is now part owner of Wesner, so it was a no-brainer to go there for tuxes.  She gave us a great price and the tuxes all looked fantastic.  Even some last minute changes to Steve's tux were done so fast and with no issues.  Which was a relief being that is was high prom season!


DOC - Bliss Weddings - D-

I will keep this short and sweet and take what you will from the grade and what I am about to say.  I have received a partial refund for the "services" I received on the day of.  If you would like more detail, I will be posting a full synopsis to the Detroit Knottie Vault or you can always email me.


Honeymoon - Sandals Grand Ocho Rios - A+

We booked our honeymoon knowing we wanted to do basically nothing besides relax, no decision making (other than where we wanted to lay out, or what drink we wanted to have next) and Sandals was perfect for us.  We got a fantastic deal on a honeymoon villa with a butler and we loved every minute of it.  It was so peaceful where we were and I am really glad we decided to stay on the Manor side of the resort.  Our butlers were great, they set up our reservations for us, did a candlelight dinner on our balcony and were at our disposal with a handy cell phone they gave us to get in touch with them.  Our room was spacious, clean and had everything we needed.  All of the food we had was top notch.  Our favorite restaurant was the Marketplace and we really liked hanging out at the main pool on the Manor side.  The resort is really big and we never felt like there were a lot of people could always find a place to be more alone.  The staff was all very friendly and we were really sad to leave.  To see pictures, visit here:

We can't wait to go back to another Sandals for sure.  We did visit the Dunns River Resort and it was nice for a day, but it seemed too crowded for us...but we don't like being around a lot of people :). The brick oven pizzas were fantastic though!  It seemed like there were a lot of activities going on and we just prefer to be left alone.  The one thing that did get annoying at both resorts were the Sandals Photographers.  There were all over the place, taking pictures all the time.  We did get some cute ones, but it was kind of intrusive at times.


Boudoir Pictures - The Shooting Gallery and Posh Brides - A+

I went back and forth and back and forth on getting these done for Steve.  When I left my shoot, I was so happy.  I felt so great about myself and knew DH would love them.  He was in shock and awe I would do something like that and he loved them.  

I knew if I was going to get essentially half naked in front of someone other than my DH, why not Dionne?  She made me feel so comfortable and beautiful and knew how to pose me to make the most of my assets and hide my flaws.  I want to do them was really so much fun!

Kari and her staff did a great job on my hair and make-up too!  It is meant to be over the top and glamourous and it sure was!


++Pre-Wedding Related Vendors++ Save the Date Magnets - Carlson Craft - B-

We got a $200 Carlson Craft credit through booking our DJ/Video with JD Entertainment.  Since it was free money and I wasn't a fan of any of their invites, we decided to do a Save the Date magnet.  I placed the order according to the directions on JD Entertainment's website and it went through to Carlson no problem.  Well, after that is where things got annoying.  They didn't specify what size picture to include and they kept telling me to send a different size about 4 different times.  It frustrated me and JD Entertainment and then finally it worked.  I am glad they cared so much about making sure the picture came out OK, but they should be more specific on their website about image and file size to avoid the run around.  We had to stick the picture part to the magnet part which was kind of  a pain, but it was worth it in the end.  And hey, they were free! (see picture below for finished product)

Save the Date Inserts - Plush Paper - A+

Originally, I thought I could do some sort of insert on my own to include with our Christmas cards to put the magnet on.  Then I realized, I am not crafty and do not have time or patience to figure it out.  Kathleen is doing all of our other paper products, so I reached out to her and she whipped something together that matched our look and feel of our invites and worked wonderfully with the magnet.  Our guests loved them and raved about how fun and classy they were.  We loved them because they didn't break the bank at just around $1 each!

Engagement Pictures - The Shooting Gallery - A+

After our engagement pictures with Dionne, we decided booking her was the best decision we could have made.  She put us right at ease and got some gorgeous shots of us.  She also was great to our very disobidient weiner dogs!  The day after our shoot, she sent a teaser pic that had us waiting at the edge of our seats for the rest of them!  It took longer than we would have liked (because we were so dang excited to see how they all came out), but the final product was more than worth it.  I would rather have my photographer take time, do the proper editing and processing rather than rushing to give me a product that is mediocre.  Dionne is an amazing person as well as a photographer...her work speaks for itself.  On top of the amazing shots, when we signed our contract, it included our session as well as the disc of all of the images with re-print awesome.  If she is open on  your date, book her now!  You won't regret it!

Detroit Bridal Shower Invites - Plush Paper Creations - A+

After I saw how great our save the dates, wedding invites and my brother's baby shower invites came out, I knew I had to have Kathleen design our shower invites as well.  All I knew is that I wanted purple, white printing on color and all lower case fonts.  Kathleen came up with the most perfect, spring-themed shower invite!  After sending my requests, she literally had a design to me within a week and a half!  Plus, she came up with the fun idea of including the clear envelope with a label to explain why we were including a recipe card with the invite....all while staying in our budget of around $2/invite with our envelope printing (which is huge to my mom so she doesn't have to write names! :) )  

Custom Stamps - - A

As part of my package with Plush Paper, Kathleen designed custom stamps which I ordered through  I picked over since I saved 35% being a Costco member!  Plus, free shipping!  They took just about a week to come in and look great!

Detroit Shower - Maggiano's, Troy, MI - A+

After checking out a lot of shower locations with my mom, we went to Maggiano's and fell in love.  The banquet rooms are gorgeous with dark wood walls, nice chairs, linens and overall decor.  Not to mention their food is amazing!  We had the Amarone and Brindisi rooms to fit our 60 guests and it was very comfortable.  Although we didn't want to use their centerpieces, they had those available with the price of the room which we thought was nice.  My parents picked out the meat lasanga and Chicken Rigitoni "D" for our main course, an antipasti and chopped salad and for dessert, cheesecake and warm apple crostada.  The food was so good!  It was served family style and they brought more out promptly when we asked.  The added bonus, they packed up all leftovers for my parents to take home!  At the end of the shower, the valet team packed up our cars so we didn't have to do a thing which was so nice.  Our guests were all raving about the food, service and the overall experience!  It wasn't a inexpensive place, but you really get what you pay for at Maggiano' notch everything!

Ring Appraisal - Birmingham Gemological Services - A

I had a not so great experience at a jeweler in Grosse Pointe the first time I had my engagement ring appraised for insurance purposes.  Basically, the guy was trying to upsell a diamond to my fiance and was just sleazy.  So, when it came time to get my wedding band insured, I wanted to find a independant appraiser and James Krol at Birmingham Gemological Services did a great job. It is a small shop in downtown Birmingham that friendly and comfortable.  The price was great too!   The cost is dependant on your center stone weight and for both my engagement ring and wedding band, it was $110 for a full report.  I got all the paperwork the next day in the mail...great customer service!

OOT Gift Bag Candles - Motor City Candleworks - A

We wanted to add a little "something" to our OOT bags that was Detroit themed.  When another Knottie posted the information for these candles to the Detroit board, I jumped on it immediately.  They are homemade candles, with Detroit themes.  We picked the 2 votives to a box, which also come with a brief explaination of the meaning behind the "scent" and they smell wonderful.  The scents we chose were: 8 Mile Luvin', Belle Isle Breeze, Opening Day, The Paczki Principle, Irish Corktown and Detroit's Meet Market.  Carl gave us a deal for ordering 30, for $2 a box.  They were shipped right to our house promptly and we can't wait to give them to our guests!

Rehersal Dinner Invitations - Plush Paper Creations - A+

Once we found out we were going to have to pay for our own rehersal dinner, I got really excited, not to have another bill, but to be able to create some really cute invitations!  Wedding planning made me completely obsessed with paper products. :)  Of course, I contacted Kathleen and we started to brainstorm some ideas.  I wanted something bright and fun with the "Eat, Drink and Be Married" theme.  After a few tries (because Steve thought the initial designs were too "girly"), Kathleen came up with our awesome design of a pub sign with the place setting as the ring as a plate.  We loved it.  We still love it.  It could be our favorite paper piece of the entire wedding!  To see them more closely, visit:

++Random Vendors (supplies, etc.)++ Out of Town Gift Bags - Paper Mart  - A

We ordered the Euro Frosted Tote and were very happy with it!  Super fast shipping, nice quality was exactly what we were looking for!

Tissue Paper - Nashville Wraps - A+ (for great customer service)

Originally, we ordered gable boxes and tissue through Nashville Wraps.  When we got them in person, the boxes were way too small (I think I have a hard time visualizing measurements) so I immediately contacted Nashville Wraps to return them.  Their customer service was awesome!  They emailed me FedEx labels to take with me to a FedEx drop off location (which they also provided) and all I had to do was drop them off and it was done.  They credited our card the amount less shipping.  Easy as cake.  Oh, and the tissue paper is great!

CD Cases - Sleeve Town - A

We needed a 2-disc CD case for our "Mr. & Mrs." CDs to put with our out of town gift bags.  I came across this website and the prices were great and it was exactly what we were looking for.  They also shipped quickly and arrived in perfect condition.