• Jen Gibbs

Wedding Review: Take a Peek Into Our Special Day and Learn More About Our Vendors

Updated: Jul 1

With our wedding a couple of months behind us now, Mark and I have loved looking back on our special day and remembering how beautiful and full of love it was. There are always tweaks looking back that we wish we had made, but overall, the day was nearly perfect. We got to celebrate with our wonderful friends and family as well as our amazing vendors.

Truthfully, the vendors you hire (or don't hire) can make or break the day, especially if something starts to go wrong. I honestly don't know if anything went wrong at all the day of our wedding because everyone was so communicative in the beginning and I trusted them to do what they needed to if anything did slip-up. To put it simply, it turned out great! I've rounded up all the good and bad of our vendors, helpers, stores, and more to help give all of the brides-to-be a little insight into how each one can help give you your own dream wedding.

Nathaniel Jensen Photography

You've heard me talk about him before, and I'm sure you will hear me talk about him again but Nathaniel Jensen was fantastic to work with! He was so laid back and worked really well with a large bridal party and an even bigger family size. He captured the day perfectly and was able to think on his feet when we realized one of our photo opportunities wasn't available. The ONLY thing I kick myself for, is to not have had a better list for him! There are some photos I would have liked to have gotten with different people, but I didn't include them on his list. This is 100% my fault, but brides, just make sure to be thorough with your photo list! You may be surprised at which ones you missed when you start looking back.

A.A. Productions

Again, another team you have heard me speak of many times, but they are just the best. Easy to work with. Incredibly flexible. Worked GREAT with our photographer and this can be HUGE. Some videographers/photograhers don't always see eye to eye and little bumps in the road can pop up. As the couple, you shouldn't have to worry about this, they should be professional around YOU but just be aware. Sometimes, photographers and videographers have their own recommendations for who to choose for the other, it never hurts to ask!

Luke and Alyssa were great at capturing our day and creating a video to capture how special it was for us. They are a very talented crew for being fairly new. Their work gives off years of experience!

Saint Patrick's Catholic Church: Council Bluffs, IA

Just a head's up to any couple who is looking to get married in the Catholic church, the weddings always turn out beautiful but the process can be tedious and expensive. The church part alone was over $2,000 for us. This included Wedding Preparation classes, a Natural Family Planning course, renting the church, the rooms to get ready, and donating money to the priests. We were very thankful for Mark's parents to help us pay for the church and as I said, the church was beautiful. I was so thankful to have MY family priest AND Mark's uncle (he's a priest as well) to help us in celebrating our marriage. It really made the ceremony special and unique just to us. I'm glad we did have the Catholic ceremony, but I did have to sit through some old-style teachings with a Deacon in Colorado. Wasn't my favorite way to spend my time, but it made our family really happy.

The D.C. Centre

We abosultely LOVED working with the D.C. Centre! Our date was an "out-of-season" wedding so we got the room and security for only $150! Of course, that price increased with dinner and our open bar, but when we were discussing the price and our budget, they knocked down the price to accommodate us AND threw in the largest decoration package for free because we were so on the fence. When you're looking for a venue, pick a place that wants to work with you and will accommodate when they can. I cannot recommend them enough. Their sales member/event coordinator answered all of my questions and was SO SWEET about it, even when answering the same questions from my parents. The day-of staff was amazing as well. I didn't really have a lot of direction for them to go off-of and they made the place look wonderful.

The only downside to the D.C. Centre was that there were NUMEROUS other parties and weddings going on at the same time. I didn't mind because we were the biggest party and got the main room, but just be aware and make sure to ask how many parties are the same night and what room you're in.

Complete Weddings: Tray Harrington

Complete Weddings is my friend's dad's business and I knew I wanted them for my d.j. They have their planning system DOWN. You can inquire about different services online or on the phone and then they send you an email invoice. You can pretty much take your time on when you want to sign your contract (just know that the sooner you do it, the sooner you are locked in). You can request certain d.j.s but since my friend moved to Orlando, I just said to pick a random one based on our song preferences/personalities.

Tray Harrington met up with us a couple of days before the wedding (no extra charge) to talk about the feel we were going for. We were very generic in saying, "dance party" because we wanted a mix of oldies and fun, new songs as well as country-line dances and Broadway musicals. We wanted something that forced everyone to dance at some point in the night - and it worked. Tray worked his magic and it was hard for the D.C. Centre to get everyone out at the designated time (whoops, guess we should've stayed longer). He was great and the process was so simple and smooth.

Nebraska Party Bus

Soooo thankful for Nebraska Party Bus because they were the ONLY company we could find with a bus that seated more than 30 people. We needed 40 and they delivered! The bus driver was nice and didn't drive on the interstate for us so that we could drink and dance legally. I knew that he had a schedule to stick to in his mind, but he was very pushy, and a little rude to my husband and his sister who we put down as a contact. The bus was perfect for what we needed, and although the driver wasn't awful, it would've been nice to have a little more upbeat attitude from him! :)

Hair + Makeup: Tiffani J.

Tiffani has styled my hair since we were in high school. Honestly, I couldn't even imagine anyone else helping me on my big day. Although she did scare me a little bit because she was late and her phone was turned off (I thought she had gotten into an accident.) she made the most of the time she had left and even got done early! She is so good about seeing a photo and then recreating it in person. My hair and my makeup turned out amazing and I'm so glad I got to celebrate such a big day with her!

Bloom Works Floral

My parents are friends with the owner of Bloom Works Floral and once I had seen some photos of their GORGEOUS work, I was hooked. Alisa (the owner) was so easy to work with, even while I was planning the flowers from Colorado. I simply filled out a form she had and sent in some photos to her. My only request was to have only white/ivory flowers and lots of greenery and she nailed it. Everything was so beautiful! I absolutely loved my bouquet and I just wish I could've spent more time with it. :) She was really accomodating and made the process super easy for my personal attendant to go pick up the flowers the day-of. Her prices can't be beaten either. Although we're very thankful for my parents to help us pay for the flowers, the total for 7 bridesmaids, 1 bride (with a BIG bouquet), 7 groomsmen, 1 groom, 4 ushers, 2 sets of parents, 2 grandparents, and 2 sets of host-couples came to about $550. That's about as much as it would have cost me to make my own floral arrangements.

Tuxes: Men's Wearhouse

We REALLY wanted to have our groomsmen and ushers buy new suits for fairly cheap. We looked at a couple different locations for JCPenney and Dillards but we couldn't find anywhere that would accommodate everyone's stature. (The Gibbs boys are all tall and my brothers are short.) We came to the conclusion that we had to rent if we wanted everyone to have the same suit. Men's Warehouse was great to work with, they gave us several options to choose from and everything went smoothly and transferred easily from the Colorado location to every other Men's Warehouse location where the boys picked them up. Men's Warehouse IS on the pricier side, but the options that we choose were cheaper than the other options. Most people use Men's Warehouse and there's a reason for it. They have their routine and process streamlined to help create an easy experience, especially for the people NOT getting married!

Bridal Gown: Nebraska Bridal

I purchased my gown at Nebraska Bridal (or I should say my mom purchased my gown. She was happy that I never spent a lot of money in high school on dresses and for my senior year, I borrowed a dress for every dance. She said I "costed less than my little brothers" over the years and offered to pay for my wedding dress). I think you're supposed to set up an appointment so they can properly help you find your dream dress but I don't like the spotlight on me and so we just walked inside and in the background. Mark's sister immediately found the dress I loved and put it in the dressing room, but to help my mom see other looks and to wave away any doubt, we stocked up the room with about 8 other dresses too.

Bridal dresses and sizes are NOT normal dresses and sizes. So please don't be afraid of the sizes when you're trying on dresses! I think the dress I got was a size 12 or 14..? I am not a size 14 in real clothes. I'm typically a 6 or an 8. This was a weird fact to get my head around when I was searching around the store but I had help and I'm thankful for that!

The process was fairly simple, and I really enjoyed the fact that no employee was directly helping us (they had other appointments) and I could just give my true feelings and epressions without someone trying to give me a sales pitch. Overall, the experience was great and I'm excited I got to get my dress from the same store my mom did when she got married! Plus, the dress was under $800.

Bridesmaids Dresses: Azazie

For my bridesmaids, I told them to get a "dark green" swatch from Azazie and find any dress they loved in that color. It didn't even have to be from there. In the end, they all just chose a dress from their site and I honestly believe it's because of their prices. Their prices are outstanding and they have SO MANY styles of dresses to choose from. I told them the rule for the day is to be comfortable. Everyone is just happier when they're pretty and comfy! The dresses were all ordered at different times and they all came in, in about 3ish weeks. Some did order sample dresses first to see how they fit, others chose to provide their measurements and then have the dress shipped and others just ordered a regular size and either had it altered or just let it be.

By the sounds of it, the girls who ordered their specific measurements all had issues, whereas the ones who just ordered regular sizes had fewer problems. Overall, the website was easy to use and the swatches are free once you join their email list. With the cheap prices and ease-of-use, I would recommend them all day every day.

Planning a wedding can seem like a daunting task, but your vendors (and your friends and family) are there to help! Even during these times of uncertainty, people are waiting to help YOU plan your dream wedding.

I also wanted to let all of the engaged couples know, that if you're in need of a day-of coordinator, I would be happy to help. I can help with numerous items including:

1.) Wedding Decorations

2.) Setting Up/Taking Down (if your venue doesn't do it or needs extra hands)

3.) Being the "middle-man" to help eliminate any drama, frustrations, complications that may arise from anyone at the wedding

4.) Picking up items

5.) Be the point of contact for the venue. Meaning, I would talk with you before about your timeline, D.J. song preferences, etc. and if anything needed to be changed I can help make the decisions

6.) Other items you think you may need help with during the day

I would love to work with you and your fiancé! To learn more about pricing or ask some more questions, you can inquire here.


Weddings can be stressful. Weddings can also be incredibly fun! As the soon-to-be-married couple, you can choose how it will go. Personally, I hope you choose the latter! If you have any other questions about prices, timeliness of vendors, etc. just let me know! You can leave a comment below or shoot me an email at jen.m.rew@gmail.com. I'm excited for weddings to start picking back up once COVID-19 becomes a little more under control. Until then, I hope you, your special someone, and your family/friends are all staying safe and healthy during these strange times.

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