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August 7, 2011

Wedding Vendor Reviews Part 1: The Duds

My Dress: David's Bridal lace cap-sleeved trumpet with keyhole back and sash in ivory.
Photo by Ali Haupt
My Shoes: David's Bridal Maribelle shoes in watermelon

Photo by Ali Haupt
Review: I went to David's Bridal in Oregon a few weeks after getting engaged. I wasn't intending to buy anything; it was just a trip to see what style looked good on my body. Since I knew I didn't want to go strapless, my options were narrowed considerably. This was the third dress I tried on, and it was abundantly clear that it was THE dress. The price was also several thousand dollars less than what Say Yes to the Dress had led me to expect to pay. David's is no Kleinfeld's, but I received pretty good treatment while there. 4 stars.

Alterations: Carole Bruns in Uptown

Review: My alterations (hem, bra cups, taking in the sides, bustle) were about $50 less here than they would have been at David's. I also really liked supporting a local, independent business. You may have to call to check on your dress, but they got mine back to me within two weeks and were very good about letting me try it on as many times as I wanted to. 4.5 stars.
My hairpieces: Birdcage veil borrowed from Molly, feather and fabric flower fascinator fashioned by the MIL and me.

Photo by Ali Haupt

My jewels: My grandmother's pearl necklace, gold and pearl earrings, both borrowed from my aunt Mary Ellen.

Photo by Ali Haupt
Review: I had my eye on an $80 birdcage veil-feather combo at David's, but this was much more economical. The two ended up working perfectly with the style of my dress. Crafting triumphs over all! I also really loved wearing family jewels-- I tried to incorporate elements throughout the wedding that paid tribute to my dearly departed grandparents. 80 stars.

Bridesmaid Dresses: Flutter Boutique in Uptown
Laurel was in Cynthia Rowley "8013" in Bordeaux Duchess Satin
Anna was in Jenny Yoo "Lucy" in Garnet Shantung
Aleta was in Priscilla of Boston "1507" in Watermelon Satin Yoryu
Amanda was in Simple Silhouettes "Buttercup" in Aubergine Shantung

Photo by Ali Haupt
Review: This was another unexpectedly fast trip-- we were in and out of there in about an hour. I had told the ladies I wanted them to choose their own dresses, and at that point I was thinking pomegranate as a color. They each ended up with a dress from a different designer, which meant different color palettes. We ordered two in purple and two in pink and I think the result was gorgeous. The staff was very professional and gave us our own private room to frolic around in as we decided on dresses. Word to the wise: if you're between sizes, go bigger. We learned from experience it's much easier to take in a dress than to let it out. 5 stars.

Maid of Honor dress: My fabulous Aunt Wendy sewed this using a Simplicity pattern

Photo by Ali Haupt
Review: Gorgeous!  10 billion stars!

The Tuxes: Bills Toggery in Shakopee Savvi Formal Wear Grey Kingston with ties and pocket squares in sangria or dark watermelon for the groomsmen and dads, ivory for the groom.

Photo by Ali Haupt
Review: Another great experience with a local company. We got the groom's tux free with the rental of five others, and they brought down their price to match what we would have gotten at a Savvi shop. They had a very fast turn-around when Dude needed his cuffs lengthened a smidge, and they assured us that had we had any wardrobe malfunctions on the day-of they could have swooped in and saved the day (a service which, thankfully, we didn't need). 5 stars. 

Flower Girl Dresses: David's Bridal
Abbie was in a bubble hem crinkle chiffon and charmeuse dress in lapis with a watermelon hair flower
Emma was in a plum satin tea-length ballgown with a watermelon sash
Libby was in a short cotton dress with ruching details in lapis with a watermelon hairband
Ellie was in a short cotton sateen strapless dress (that we added straps to) in lapis with a watermelon hairband

Photo by Ali Haupt
Review: We had a much better experience getting Abbie's dress at the David's in Duluth and Emma's in Richfield than getting Ellie's and Libby's in Roseville. At the latter we had good service trying dresses on, but then my dear aunt stood at the register for what felt like forever trying to get the dresses rung up and the appropriate discounts applied. 3 stars.

Rings: Security Jeweler's in Duluth
My ring is a flat-face white gold band
Matt's is a two-tone yellow and white gold band

Photo by Ali Haupt
Review: Owner Jack Seiler is a family friend and just a lovely man. He offers impeccable service and gives you all the information you need to help you decide. He engraved our rings with our initials and wedding dates for free. Highly, highly recommended. 5 stars.

Coming up in Part 2: Reviews of our dessert, DJ, draping and photography vendors


  1. Nicely done. I would like to give a shout-out to David's Bridal in Duluth for exceptional service and friendly, professional staff.

  2. I also have had bad to fair experiences at the David's in Roseville (at the checkout) but good experiences in Duluth.

  3. I LOVED the rhinestone sash on your dress - it was so chic! And the bridesmaids dresses in that color palette turned out just perfectly.