First: Many, many thanks to all of you. The support, advice, and suggestions were invaluable. So amazingly helpful and always there. (Except when BDC was down entirely just days before, which wasn’t too great)

Venues

Old North Church - Fr. Steve Ayres
Could not have asked for a smoother process and more laid back atmosphere surrounding all the planning. The music was played by Libor Dudas and was perfect. The sexton was very helpful especially in the moments leading up to the ceremony and immediately afterward. He even took the initiative to have our lanterns lit along the sidewalk so they were there when we came out of the church at the end. They also allowed us all the time we wanted for photos after the ceremony, which we weren’t expecting. Couldn’t have asked for more.

La Famiglia Giorgio - Reception
Not sure where to start on this one. Had everything booked nine months in advance. However, when I gave them the final numbers a week and a half prior to the day, they told me they had a minimum (never before mentioned, nor is it on their site) and that I wasn’t going to meet that. In addition, they said we wouldn’t be able to have any of our own music (contrary to previous agreement)- they would be piping in all their Sinatra from the restaurant and wouldn’t turn it off. Now, I have nothing against Sinatra, but it wasn’t our playlist. Needless to say, this caused major panic. There was no way I could get anything else within my budget and available with such short notice. We met with the owner in person once we arrived in the City and got it all worked out. Basically, I just ordered food for everyone in advance and requested it to be served family-style. It could not have worked out more wonderfully in the end. I just got another email today from a family member in Texas to let me know that her mouth waters every time she thinks of that night. We had wine on the tables and offered coffee and tea afterwards with the cake. We had Caprese salad, green salad, bread, Lobster Ravioli, Frutti di Mare (clams, mussels, and calamari with linguini), and Chicken Saltimbocca with Penne. Very affordable. Furthermore, about 5 minutes into dinner, they turned off their music and allowed us to play whatever we wanted. They packed up boxes of the remaining cake and all our guests were more than happy to take it back with them.

The Living Room, North End Boston - Rehearsal dinner
Most of the food was really good. Drinks were expensive, but those that ordered mixed drinks said it was worth it for the apple martinis. Biggest complaint is that the flower girl, our 4 year-old daughter, got food poisoning off the macaroni and cheese (which has great ratings online) and was throwing up from about midnight until about an hour before the ceremony started the next day at 6 pm.

Vendors

Cake - Montilios
Chocolate buttercream on two offset square layers with yellow ribbon around each layer with ivory piping. Top was covered in sugared cranberries. Bottom layer was tiramisu and the top layer was a white cake with champagne custard filling and candied cranberries.
Delicious, especially the top layer, to me. The tiramisu got rave reviews from a very picky crowd. Was happy with the delivery. Color of the ribbon and placement of the cranberries isn’t exactly what I had in mind, but considering the fact that it was done completely over the phone with Michele, I really won’t complain.

Flowers - Costco.com
Ordered bulk roses and spray roses. Until we mentioned it, no one realized we hadn’t had them professionally done. Very easy.

Invitations/Save the Dates - Costco.com
Gorgeous. We got so many complements on both of them. Very classy. Would have easily spent 3x as much elsewhere for same quality. Have since ordered personal stationery from them as well. Very pleased.

Decorations -
Save-on-crafts.com
Tealight holders
Ribbon - used for all the florals and as chair decorations- coupled a thick chocolate ribbon with an ivory ribbon on top for chair-ties.
Floral supplies (Oasis foam, floral shears, floral wire, floral tape, corsage pins)
Ikea
Tealights
Lanterns

Favors
Mike’s Pastry - fresh yellow Jordan almonds
Handmade cinched bags in cranberry with chocolate ribbon and chocolate with ivory ribbon

Music - iPod dock - used with iPhone
Our entrance music (which ended up being more of a kickoff to dinner song due to the above) was Red Sweater by the Aquabats and our first dance was to For Me This Is Heaven by Jimmy Eat World. Father/Bride dance was to be John Denver’s Sunshine on my Shoulder, but as my father was not in attendance, this ended up as the Mother/Groom dance.

Photographers
Family! I made a list of what photos we wanted to be sure to have and gave the list to one person from each side of the family. We ended up with about 1500 pictures! Most of them are really good. We uploaded them all into a program called Aperture and I was able to make quite a few adjustments to them (due to the low lighting because everything was done by candlelight). I posted a quick slideshow on Picassa web albums to stave off the wolves, but will be shortly ordering photobooks through My Publisher. They always have promotions if you sign up for their emails.

Clothing

Wedding Gown - Suzanne’s Bridal in Gilbert, Arizona
Casablanca 1858 in ivory with a champagne sash
Dress was delayed several times for weeks at a time and only arrived at the shop with a week to go until leaving for Boston. However, it was altered beautifully in time. Button for bustle did pop off prior to ceremony, but it was successfully safety-pinned up properly without too much ado.

Tuxedoes -
Suzanne’s Bridal in Gilbert, Arizona
Black tuxedoes with cranberry vests and black and platinum angle-striped long ties for both groom and best man. Looked so handsome. However, groom bent to tie his shoe just prior to the ceremony and the crotch split completely up through the back. (He still isn’t laughing about this, although I was already laughing when I heard word that things would be delayed a few minutes as the priest needed to borrow my sewing kit so he could help get things back together.) Groom ended up changing pants with the taller BM just so he wouldn’t have to worry about it. As compensation, my dress was cleaned, repaired and preserved free of charge. (Which would have cost more than the cost of the rentals had)

Matron-of-Honor Dress
Ann Taylor Celebrations- chocolate with an ivory underskirt peeping out. Added a chocolate sash for extra flair and concealment which my cousin thought she needed (but really doesn’t) - this was a $200 100% silk dress which I bought for $40 shipped. Definitely re-wearable, which was a high priority for me. She also purchased a wrap in ivory in case it was chilly.

Mother of the Groom
JC Penny - wore a black dress she has already had the opportunity to wear again. This dress and one for the rehearsal together both cost less than $100.

Flower girl's dress:
1950's vintage chocolate velvet dress purchased from MonsterVintage.com.
Great experience.

Hair:
Back Bay Hair Designs - got a conditioning treatment and blowout for $40 Newbury location without the snobbery. It was really great and helped me relax beforehand. Hair didn't get frizzy although I had expected it to. I took the T to the wedding and walked to the reception and it all held up perfectly without a drop of hairspray.

Honeymoon:
We went to Foxboro on the train for the Patriots game on Sunday and followed it up with a Red Sox game on Monday. That was it!

Tried to post pictures, but to no avail. Email me if you want to see anything in particular. Decorations/flower arrangements/lanterns/dresses....